The Ask a Kent
Librarian service is staffed by Kent Libraries and Archives
Monday - Friday 9am -
Saturdays - 9am - 5pm
We aim to answer or
acknowledge enquiries within 2 working days.
The service is aimed
primarily at users residing, working or studying in Kent. However
questions from enquirers outside the county are answered when
relating to Kent and as part of our participation in the
Enquire 24/7 service (this link opens in a new window).
When using the chat
service the librarian will often send you a web page. This facility
requires the use of pop up technology. If you have pop up blocking
software on your computer, the window will not open. However, if
you click on the hot link in the transcript (the underlined 'www'
address), you will be able to open the page and go back to the chat
screen to let the librarian know if any further information is
The purpose of this
service is to provide you with guidance from trained library staff
in your pursuit of information.
In our experience the
vast majority of interactions with people are extremely positive
and lead to a successful outcome. However, as a precaution and to
ensure that we are able to help as many people as possible we have
established some guidelines.
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
- The distribution of unsolicited communications through the
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
- terminate a transaction deemed offensive
- terminate a transaction with any user who does not follow the
acceptable use policy or is deemed purposefully vexatious
- ban from the service a user who does not follow the
acceptable use policy.
Every effort will be made to answer your questions and help you
to find the information you require.
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
- Out of scope questions - there may be transactions in
which members of staff do not have the expertise or resources to
respond satisfactorily. Staff will endeavour 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. We cannot
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
- 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 online or visit your
nearest public library for assistance.
computer bookings should be done either via the relevant online
facility or by calling 0300 333 6022.
Any personal information that you provide will be used only 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), and to gain your
To ensure efficient enquiry management and enable us to monitor
service quality and performance, your details and that of your
enquiry will be logged into our enquiry database.
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.