SOUTHWICK – Beginning Monday, the librarians at Southwick Public Library will be available to assist patrons via live chat.
The chat will be staffed Mondays from 10 a.m.-noon, Wednesdays from 6:30-8 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m.-noon. Library director Lynn Blair said staff will be happy to answer any library or research related question dealing with their resources. You can find the chat box on the homepage to our website at southwickma.org/library. Blair said if no one is online when a message is sent, patrons can still click the link to send an email and somoene get back to you as soon as possible.
Blair said this is another way to provide services to the community during the pandemic.
“I thought it would be a great idea for patrons to still reach us during the pandemic if they didn’t want to or couldn’t visit the library,” said Blair. “It will be helpful if or when we have to close again due to COVID-19. It wasn’t necessarily something I saw as a service gap because we can answer questions by email, but I thought that due to the current situation with the pandemic, it would be an easy way for patrons to reach out to us with questions. It’s also very nice to get an immediate answer to your question instead of waiting for an email response.”
Blair and the library’s two reference librarians will monitor the chat line.
“We welcome patrons to write in with research or homework questions, questions about our library and/or materials and resources, if they need tech help with ebooks, etc. I also do genealogy in my spare time, so I welcome questions about that as well,” Blair said, noting it was easy to set up the chat on the website.
“The chat link is located right on the home page of southwickma.org/library. It will appear as a text box you can type your question into,” she said. “When we are offline, it will prompt you to send an email instead. We are in the process of revamping our whole website. We have new pages added for children and teens, as well as research resources. I am also adding a section for businesses, job seekers, and entrepreneurs. We are also continually updating our COVID-19 Community Resource Guide as new information becomes available.”
Located on Feeding Hills Road at the corner of Rebecca Lobo Way, the Southwick Public Library is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday from 1-8 p.m., Thursday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday,
Blair anticipates the chat option will be well received. “I hope our patrons enjoy the service and we’d like to let them know they can always reach out to us with comments or suggestions,” she said. “This is an unprecedented time and maybe there is a service that our patrons could use that we haven’t thought of yet.”