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Jan 31 / Kimberly

AskON.ca Official Launch at OLA SuperConference

As posted at KnowledgeOntario.ca:

The Hon. Aileen Carroll, Ontario Minister of Culture will be on hand for AskON Logothe formal launch of   Knowledge Ontario’s askON online research and virtual reference service.  The launch will be held on Thursday January 31, 2008 at 5pm at the Knowledge Ontario exhibit booth (813/815) at the OLA SuperConference being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

askON is a leading edge virtual service that allows Ontarians to chat, in real time with expert library staff who can help them find information, answer questions, deliver articles and improve web searching skills.  askON, in its first phase, is a collaboration of 10 public and 7 post-secondary libraries. Using state-of-the-art software askON will offer 40 hours a week of chat reference service to public library visitors (10 hours in french) and over 60 hours a week to post-secondary students.  Visitors to askON will access the service via the askON link from the web sites of the participating libraries.

askON began operation on January 7, 2008 and has responded to over 150 information requests in the first three days of service. There are over 200 askON information specialists from libraries around the province trained to provide askON real-time chat reference services on a rotating schedule.

“We are thrilled that the Minister of Culture will be joining us to celebrate the launch of askON”, said Virginia Roy, project manager. “Libraries and librarians from around the province have invested hundreds of hours since June working on the implementation, technology and service details of askON.” “It is a true collaborative effort and demonstrates the strength that libraries can collectively deliver to the province’s knowledge economy.”

About askON
askON is a new information service, managed by Ask Ontario, that will help Ontarians connect, using real-time chat over the internet, with library staff who can help them find authoritative digital information and improve their online search skills. The first phase of askON involves 10 public library systems and 7 post-secondary libraries from across Ontario.

About Ask Ontario
Ask Ontario is the project of Knowledge Ontario focused on planning, delivering and managing province-wide, real time library information and research services. Knowledge Ontario is the first ever province-wide collaboration of libraries (public, school, college and university) working together to create an integrated and interactive digital environment about and for Ontarians. The Knowledge Ontario initiative is supported by the Province of Ontario. For more information visit: www.knowledgeontario.ca or www.askon.ca.

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