Hostos Library Chat Reference Policy
- Hostos Library provides chat reference through various instant messaging (IM) providers as a service to the Hostos College Community.
- The Hostos Library Reference Staff reminds Hostos Chat users that in-depth research questions are best answered in person or asynchronously via email. Therefore, we reserve the right to request a meeting with a patron or provide reference services via email at a later time.
- The Hostos Library respects the privacy of users, but cannot guarantee the confidentiality of files, electronic mail, or other information stored or transmitted electronically. We will collect data on each chat transaction for statistical purposes. In addition, each chat log will be saved in order to improve the service. At no time will any personal information be given to persons outside of the Hostos Library.
- Hostos Library Chat staff will not tolerate inappropriate behavior. Inappropriate behavior constitutes, but is not limited to, any action that is: illegal, threatening, harassing, obscene, objectionable, or a violation of federal, state or local law. Chats determined inappropriate will be terminated. A warning message may or may not be given to users who violate this policy. Users who fail to comply with this policy may be blocked from Hostos Chat in the future.
- Chat reference requires patience and politeness. We ask that you be patient while waiting for a response from the library staff member. If the library staff member is assisting another library user, it may take a few moments before he/she can respond to your question. If you have time constraints, please inform the library staff member.
- Hostos Chat will not do your research for you. We can help you with your research by giving you the necessary tools/knowledge to complete research. We will provide answers to brief, factual questions such as the verification of a bibliographic citation, spelling or definition of a word, or addresses and phone numbers of companies. We will also provide brief introductions to starting research, as well as instructions in using the catalog, databases and other library resources. We will not provide the following via chat reference: salary information, answers to quiz or test questions, in-depth research (such as compiling a bibliography or searching multiple issues of a periodical), lengthy research consultations, delivery of electronic full-text of articles, or genealogical searches.
- Hostos Chat will not provide medical, legal, financial, etc. advice.
- Hostos Chat does not renew, recall, or retrieve books/library materials for students, faculty, or staff.