Interested in the 2019/2020 Maryland AskUsNow! Chat Librarian Field Study or Internship?

2019/2020 Maryland AskUsNow! Chat Librarian

Field Study or Internship


What is Maryland AskUsNow!?

Maryland AskUsNow! (AUN),, is a free, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, online library chat reference and information service.  AUN staffs approximately 200 chat hours/week, and has trained over 1000 library staff and volunteers to provide the service since 2003.

Under the supervision of the Statewide Coordinator of AUN, interns experience the following opportunities:

  • enhance their reference and information service skills.
  • cooperate and collaborate with over 600 libraries that are members of the LibAnswers, 24/7 Cooperative Reference Service.
  • make a difference in the lives of library customers who have chosen AUN as their comfortable, convenient, and preferred way to get help from librarians.

Maryland residents, students in Maryland schools and institutions, and people outside of Maryland who find the service, ask questions anonymously or by identifying themselves with email addresses, with or without a library card, to get quick or in-depth, reference and information help in online conversations.  Maryland librarians, or librarians from other states and countries who back up the service, provide the reference and information help.  Customers may receive referrals to services related to their questions.  The customers may also get more reference and information help from a local librarian or subject specialist by email.  Let's chat at   


To participate as an AUN field study student or intern, the individual must:

  • Commit their semester to this unpaid internship. This commitment includes providing at least four chat hours per week.
  • Think "people first:" help chat customers as best as possible on their reference and information needs, and be open to collaborating with library colleagues to make the customer experiences better.      
  • Do what all AUN chat librarians (who provide AUN as one of the many librarian hats they wear) have done:  complete training on how to be an AUN chat librarian.  The training will be customized to fit your schedule.  
  • Take on a project:  what will you do to enhance AUN?  Develop marketing strategies?  Make training materials?  Introduce your colleagues to new online resources?  Let's apply our current skill set to a project that will lead to developing new skills that can be applied to AUN.  Please be prepared to report and present your project with the Statewide Coordinator of AUN and/or the AUN community.
  • Treat the internship like a job:  this simply means not having your other employment, personal, and familial obligations interfere with the commitment.

Field study students or interns are expected to:

  • Hold themselves accountable for their chat and project hours, and interactions with customers and libraries from in and out of Maryland. 
  • Cover for AUN colleagues, when available.
  • Ask questions, or comment, on their chat and project experiences with the Statewide Coordinator of AUN and/or the AUN community. 
  • Apply virtual reference behaviors, communication strategies, and the virtual reference software to great use.
  • Have access to a desktop, laptop, or portable device with internet access.  You can do most of the project from home or another convenient location with internet access.

Prospective field study students or interns must complete and send to the Statewide Coordinator of AUN: 


To learn more about Maryland AskUsNow, try out chat at or get more in-depth information about the service at


Interested in the field study or internship?  Besides sending the application, background check form, and resume to the Statewide Coordinator of AUN, please contact Paul Chasen, Statewide Coordinator of AUN, directly at or 443-984-4955.


Revised and Updated on June 28, 2019