Ask a Kent Librarian terms and conditions 

Service availability

The Ask a Kent Librarian service is staffed by our librarians:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm 
  • Saturdays: 9am - 5pm   

We aim to answer or acknowledge enquiries within 2 working days.

Eligibility

The service is aimed primarily at people living, working or studying in Kent. However questions from people outside the county are answered when relating to Kent and as part of our participation in the Enquire 24/7 service.

Chat service 

The librarian will often send you a web page as part of a response. This requires the use of pop up technology. If you have pop ups blocked on your computer, the link will not automatically open in a new window. Just click on the link in the chat transcript to open the page then go back to the chat screen to let the librarian know if any further information is required. 

Acceptable use

Our librarians are here to help you find the information you need. 

The following constitute unacceptable use of the service:

  • any use of this service for unlawful purposes
  • using this service to harass or offend other users or staff, or to interfere with their work
  • deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance
  • the distribution of unsolicited communications through the service.

In addition please note that:

  • the person in whose name the email address is used is responsible at all times for its proper use
  • any user's traffic that crosses another network may be subject to that network's acceptable use policy.

The service manager and/or scheduled librarian reserves the right to:

  • end contact deemed offensive
  • end contact with any user who does not follow the acceptable use policy
  • ban from the service a user who does not follow the acceptable use policy.

Acceptable questions

Every effort will be made to answer your questions and help you to find the information you need.

Please be aware that a librarian may need to contact you for further clarification. To enable staff to answer your query as speedily as possible, ensure that all relevant details are included in your question, including the level required and where you have previously looked (if appropriate).

There may be times when we cannot answer your query and you will be advised accordingly. The following illustrates when this situation applies:

  • out of scope questions - there may be times when members of staff do not have the expertise or resources to respond satisfactorily. Staff will try to provide you with suggestions on how best to pursue your search
  • inappropriate use of staff time (see section on acceptable use and notes below)
  • requests for "illegal" material (pornography etc)
  • we can only provide answers from documented sources and do not offer opinions or guesses
  • we aim to provide or signpost you to the information or answer you need. We cannot offer interpretation, guidance or advice, though we will try to provide a source of support if required
  • we cannot undertake wholesale competition entries on your behalf
  • we will help by pointing you to information sources but we cannot provide written essays in answer to your questions
  • exhaustive literature searches are beyond the scope of 'Ask a Kent Librarian'. You can search our catalogue or visit your nearest library for assistance
  • renewals and computer bookings should be done either via the relevant online facility or by calling 03000 41 31 31. 

Confidentiality/Data Protection

To help us manage enquiries efficiently and monitor service quality and performance, your details and enquiry are logged into a database.  

The information you provide will only be used:

  • for purposes necessary to serve your needs, such as responding to an enquiry or other request for information (this may involve redirecting your enquiry or comment to another person or department better suited to meeting your needs)
  • to gain your feedback
  • to let you know about changes to the service.

Liability

Kent Libraries and Archives does not guarantee or warrant any information or materials contained in or produced from any of the resources we make available on our premises or remotely; nor the accuracy, completeness or reliability of such information or service. Should you have any question about the integrity of the data, we can facilitate your dealings with the supplier.