Instant Messaging Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use this service?
IM Reference is open to UNCP students, faculty and staff, and the general public.

Contact UNCP IM Reference using one of the following:
AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ

Where can I download the necessary free software?
AOL Instant Messenger:
Yahoo Messenger:

Is there a way to use this service if I do not want to download any of IM software?
Yes, AIM Express is a web-based service that will allow you to IM without downloading the software. AIM Express is available at

What is a screen name?
A screen name is a name that you choose to identify yourself online when instant messaging with others. You will need to establish a screen name with one of the supported instant messaging services before you can log in and chat with a librarian.

What is a buddy list?
A buddy or friend list consists of the screen names of people you may want to frequently instant message. Add UNCPREF to your buddy list.

How long will I have to wait to get a question answered?
We will respond to your inquiry as soon as feasible.

What hours will IM Reference be available? Check here for current availability.

Monday - Thursday: 1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: discretion of librarian on duty
Sunday: 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.






How do I get help if UNCPREF status is unavailable?

If IM reference is not available, contact the Reference Desk at 910.521.6656 or

What happens to the transcripts of my IM session?
The Library keeps all transcripts in order to compile statistics and to improve online reference service. Excerpts from the transcripts may be used for reports or publications. Personal information (e.g. IP address, email, names, phone numbers, etc.) that is included in the body of a chat transcript is not shared outside the library system.


Where can I find some tips on IM etiquette?
See our document Instant Messaging Netiquette or search Google.