Chat (IM) FAQ

Questions about IM?

How do I IM a librarian?

The easiest way is to use our Library H3lp widget, available from our Ask Us! page. You don't need any set-up or account in order to do this, so it is really easy. 

Will I need to wait to chat with the librarian?

IM questions are taken in a first-come-first-served order. You may need to wait if the reference librarian is already helping someone in person, on the phone, or in another IM chat session. Of course, you can always call us at 631-4624, or email at You may also text message a librarian, during reference hours. Text to (925) 235-4762.

I'm not affiliated with Saint Mary's. Will you answer my questions via IM?

Due to the nature of IM service, we regret that we must restrict usage to Saint Mary's College students, faculty, and staff. Community users are welcome to call the reference desk at 925-631-4624, or visit the library in person.

How do I know who I'll talk to? Can I talk to a specific librarian?

The Library H3lp account is operated by different librarians at different times; you'll likely get the librarian currently working the reference desk.  Please check out our staff directory if you wish to contact a specific librarian.