How to Use: Library Chat Help

The Library Chat Help window is available on many of the library webpages as well as in some of the databases you can search in.  During our Reference Hours, you will see that we are available to answer your questions via chat as well as through email, online forms and the phone.

image of chat window and library contact info and hours

How to use Library Chat Help

Click your mouse so that the cursor goes in the smaller text box at the bottom of the chat window, right where it says, “Type here to chat.”

image of type to chat

Type a message to the librarian on duty and hit the enter key on your keyboard.  This will submit your chat text. Now you can wait for a response.  You should hear back from the librarian in a few moments.  The conversation will appear in the window above where you type your message.

image of chat conversation

Do NOT Leave the Window Where your Chat is Located

Do not leave the window while chatting or you will lose the conversation.  You need to keep the window open to keep the conversation and all the information that the librarian has given you.  If you need to view something or click on a link, open it in a new window so the original chat window is kept open.

Useful Chat Button Features

image of chat buttons

Open Chat in New Window: Is the chat window too small for you?  You can click on the green arrow in the chat buttons (see picture) and this will pop out the chat window.  You can click and stretch the chat window to be the size you want.

image of chat pop out window

Send Chat History in an Email: Want to save the information from the chat for later? You can email the whole conversation to yourself by clicking on the envelope icon.  A window will pop up and ask you to enter an email address to send it to.

image of pop out window asking for email address

Copy & Paste: You can also copy and paste the conversation to save on your computer.  Just put the cursor in the message box. Hold down the Ctrl key and press A to select all. Then Ctrl C to copy. Open up Word or another word processing program and Ctrl V to paste.

Why does it say Chat is Offline?

image of chat offline

That means the librarian is not available.  Check our Hours (see above). Are we open?  If we are open, it is likely that the librarian is helping another student or may have needed to step away from the desk briefly.  Please check back again during our regular hours and refresh the page to see if the librarian is available for chat again or you can submit your question through email or online form at and you can also call us on the phone at 800-847-3000, ext. 2222.