About NCknows

Using NCknows

Participating Libraries

Technical Requirements


Using NCknows

What happens during a session?

After you ask a question, a librarian will pick up your call and reply by sending you a message. You can then chat back and forth as necessary. The librarian and you can also browse the web together and, if you are a citizen of North Carolina, we can guide you through NC LIVE, North Carolina's own collection of articles, facts and other resources that are not available on the "free web." Of course, in addition to the Internet, we are able to offer you a wealth of information found in books and journals from North Carolina's libraries. Afterwards, you will have a complete transcript of the session.

What is chatting?

Chatting, or instant messaging, is a way of communicating by typing short messages back and forth. After you ask your question, you will be able to communicate with the librarian by chatting. Chatting is as informal as everyday speech so we won't chastise you for incorrect grammar or spelling- it's the thought that counts!

Will this hurt my computer or give me a virus?

Absolutely not. Asking a question will not adversely affect your computer in any way. At some point the librarian will be able to control the left hand side of the chat screen but you can always regain control of your browser at any time. The librarian's ability to co-browse ends after you finish the session. Using NCknows requires no downloads.

What sort of information can you provide?

We can provide:

  • Facts and Statistics "What is the average income of North Carolina?"
  • Contexts and Background. "I need to find information on Charles Dickens."
  • Research Strategies. "I'm doing a paper on affordable housing, where do I start?"
  • Resources. "I need scholarly articles on schizophrenia and the Internet isn't very helpful, can you help?"
  • Other information like book recommendations, referrals to experts, information about library holdings and more. Don't be afraid to ask us, we are here for you.

We cannot provide legal or medical advice, and the information provided should not be regarded as such. No representations or warranties are made as to the quality of the information provided. Users should evaluate the content of the resources for their suitability and appropriateness for their particular purpose.

What about my privacy and the security of the information I give?

We take your privacy very seriously. At the same time, we need to evaluate the quality of this service. Therefore, we have decided to delete all transcripts after a 35 day period unless permission is given by you, the patron, to preserve the transcript for evaluation purposes. Transcripts that are used for review after that period will be stripped of all personal information. Transcripts reviewed before the end of the 35 day period can only be reviewed by project evaluators and supervisors and only for the purpose of answering your question. Users always have the option to use the service anonymously.

You will also be able to receive a transcript of the chat after the session. If you would like to be able to access this chat without giving any email information, click the box marked, "Use as anonymous."

The information that we ask for, specifically your name, email address and zip code, help us to communicate with you for the purpose of answering your question and are not used for any marketing purposes and will not be shared with any third parties.

Can I use this to get help with NC LIVE's articles, newspapers and journals?

Yes. If you are a resident of North Carolina, we can help you use NC LIVE. Please check our Using NC LIVE with NCknows page for more information.

NCknows is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Do you need help or have a question? Contact us .