Chatstaff was originally created as a homegrown solution when North Carolina’s state-wide virtual reference service, NCknows, decided they needed a higher quality, lower cost alternative for afterhours and backup coverage.
We’re still based in NC, but we have customers and librarians across the country. Our dispersed workforce not only lets us recruit only the best, it also means less vulnerability to local weather conditions and infrastructure problems.
Chatstaff is staffed by librarians with MLS or equivalent degrees from ALA-accredited programs. All of our librarians have chat reference experience and deeply care about the quality of service we provide, going above and beyond to help your patrons.
The service is owned and run by four librarians who have over 60 years combined professional expertise.
Alicia Wyatt works closely with our customer libraries to customize our approach and provide a seamless experience for their patrons - many patrons never realize that the librarian they’re working with is from Chatstaff instead of a local! Elizabeth Bollinger supervises and provides support for the team of incredible librarians who are the foundation of our service. Alicia and Elizabeth both also regularly participate in staffing the service, which keeps us in tune with service on the ground.
Gwen Exner and Pam Sessoms handle data wrangling, and provide development and support for the underlying software.