Orem, Utah, USA and SYDNEY, Australia -- 1 October 2008. Altarama Information Systems (Altarama) today announced availability of RefChatter, a new module that joins RefTracker, DeskStats, VRLplus and SMSreference in the Altarama suite of integrated products for managing online and personal reference services in libraries. RefChatter is a totally Web-based system for delivering online reference services to the increasingly large number of patrons who use Instant Messaging as their preferred electronic communication method.
Designed by librarians and library automation experts specifically for the library industry, RefChatter addresses the issues that have prevented many libraries from offering IM based online reference until now. First, while patrons can use a wide variety of standard IM software, RefChatter's breakthrough IM aggregator and routing technology allows one or more reference staffers to chat with multiple patrons from multiple queues simultaneously. Second, RefChatter requires only a standard browser on the library side, so IT department concerns about loading IM software disappear. Third, transcripts are available for statistical and quality analysis; and finally, a library-customizable widget can be inserted in the library's Web pages so patrons without IM software can be served equally well.
"The underlying technology that makes RefChatter possible is a combination of open-source components and some amazing developments from the LibraryH3lp team," said Shirley Forster, Managing Director of Altarama Australia and Director of Technology. "Altarama's years of experience building and delivering excellent reference service systems will ensure RefChatter's quick and easy implementation, and ongoing quality support."
"Simply put, RefChatter finally makes Instant Messaging work for libraries-small, large or consortia," said Arthur Brady, President of Altarama USA, "because they can staff according to volume of IM traffic with a single, simple Web-based tool that aggregates IM sessions from the AIM, MSN, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, ICQ, and QQ networks, as well as RefChatter and Meebo-me widget users ."
About Altarama Information Systems
Altarama (Australia) and Altarama (USA) are privately-held companies that have been helping libraries manage their reference operations with innovative Web-based solutions since 2001. With hundreds of clients around the world, Altarama is led by librarians and library automation experts who average more than two decades of experience in the field. For more information, please visit www.altarama.com.