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Rob Casson, electronic information services librarian at Miami University, is offering RAKIM - a software package he has developed that enables live, online, chat-based reference service - for free downloading. An excerpt from his 9/21/01 posting to the DIG_REF listserv:
Here is a brief rundown of features:
*unlimited number of operators/librarians
*shared queue of patrons
*ability to refer patrons to other librarians (personal queue)
*email transcripts to patrons
*audible alert to librarian when new patron arrives
*audible alert to patron when their call is answered
*editable preferences for librarians
*browser-based - no plugins (except to play alerts, and this can be turned off)
*relational database backend . . . any relational database that PHP can connect to can be used to run the software . . .
*its Free software....Free, as in speech, and free, as in beer.
I thought people on this list might be interested in a Free alternative to the LSSI\'s of the world . . . it may not have all the features
of some of the commercial products, but its also a very young project, and the source code is available, just waiting for others to tear it apart, fix it, add to it, or ignore it and write your own . . . ;)
For more information, see the RAKIM home page.