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Apologies from the library

I work in customer service so I like to point out the good when I see it. Especially companies and organizations who make up for their mistakes or errors well.

There was a slight problem the other day when I wrote to my local library's Ask A Librarian chat feature with a reference question...there was no librarian on the other end. lol

I did the feedback survey and this was the mail I got in return. Good job OPPL! Thanks for the explanation, at least.


We're very sorry you didn't receive service when you tried to use the chat widget on our website. The 24/7 chat service is provided by a nationwide cooperative of librarians who pick up questions for other libraries when their staff aren't monitoring the service--it is (usually!) a wonderful way to provide a service that any one library couldn't provide on its own. We didn't have any Oak Park staff logged in to the chat service when you asked your question, and I don't know why no other chatting librarians picked up your question. All the cooperating libraries pay for the service with the expectation that our patrons will be helped at a high level of customer service. 

To complicate matters, the state-level oversight of the this service fell prey to the massive budget cuts and late payments to the Illinois State Library, so we're a bit at sea on that level. Fortunately, the service is in active discussions with one of the state's remaining library systems to assume oversight. In the meantime, I am in touch with one of the staff members who remain at the IL State Library to try and ensure this doesn't happen again.

Again, I'm very sorry we didn't provide the service you were expecting, and I hope we have the opportunity to make it up to you. Thank you for using the library!