USC students, faculty, and staff in need of research help can now turn to their campus libraries for enhanced virtual reference support. Last semester, the USC Libraries launched a pilot program that makes librarians available to USC researchers through live online chat each weekday, as well as an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that's available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Those additions were accompanied by a streamlined Ask-a-Librarian page that makes it easier for USC researchers to contact their respective subject librarians or to find answers to frequently asked questions about library resources.
Last November, the Daily Trojan highlighted the new services in an article by Chaundra Furin-Campbell. "The main goal is to try to provide more access to strategic research collaborations for students, faculty and staff," Melissa Miller, head of the Hoose Library of Philosophy and one of the team members behind the pilot program, told Furin-Campbell. "We really want to stress that the virtual reference pilot program is increasing availability because you don’t just have to do it in person."