Ask a Librarian
Instant Messaging FAQ
- What is Instant Messaging?
- How do I get started using IM?
- How do I contact LFPL?
- Where can I learn more about IM?
Instant Messaging (IM) is a way to communicate with others on the Internet. People can type messages back and forth and have a real-time conversation.
First, you need to sign up for a username with one of the three major IM networks: AOL, Yahoo! or MSN. If you already have a Yahoo! or Hotmail (MSN) email account, you can use your username to login into instant messaging services.Once you have a IM username/screen name, there are two ways to use IM:
- Download a small piece of software to your PC from the instant messaging network you created a username account with (AOL, Yahoo! or MSN). OR
- Use a web-based IM interface, such as AIM Express (AOL IM users only) or Meebo.
- Log in to your IM account, using either the downloaded software or one of the web-based options.
- Open a new message. In the To: box type our username (askLFPL in AOL and Yahoo! or firstname.lastname@example.org in MSN).
- Type your message and click Send.
- Your message will be sent immediately to a member of our reference staff, who will respond as soon as possible.
Don't forget to add us to your buddy/contact list. Then you'll always be just one click away from a chat with our reference staff.
You'll find an excellent article covering a variety of topics related to instant messaging at the Howstuffworks website.