The following article describes our experience using two popular interactive chat services: OCLC QuestionPoint and Docutek VRLplus. A search of the library literature revealed that no similar comparisons had been done. Regardless of the future of chat technology, the current buzz surrounding its use is prompting libraries across the country to seek out ways of acquiring a chat service. OCLC has strong name recognition due to its traditional role in providing library technology solutions. This factor plays an important role in marketing its QuestionPoint chat product. Docutek also offers library technology solutions with the idea of making technology simple and easy to use. Before the release of VRLplus, Docutek had already entered the library market by providing technology that enabled libraries to manage their electronic documents. In the following article, we will give our impressions of the overall functionality of QuestionPoint and Docutek chat based on our observations.

Publication Date

Spring 2005