>>> "Cloutman, David" <[log in to unmask]> 04/30/08 10:50 AM >>>
I briefly looked into Meebo for our site and decided against it. I
didn't like the idea of our chat sessions being bounced to and possibly
logged on a third party server. At least in our context as a public
library, reference interviews should be treated as confidential by
default, and chat records should be destroyed as regularly as
practicable. I don't feel comfortable trusting a black box service with
our patron's privacy. I know a lot of libraries use this service, but I
don't agree with the practice.

   I agree with you mostly, if not fully. This was my initial reluctant attitude when checking out Meebo for the first time.

I haven't had an opportunity to finish it, but the solution I am
developing uses an open source AJAX widget called PHPFreeChat. The
current release is 1.1, and it will run off the standard LAMP stack,
without the need for additional server software. I use cron jobs to
clear the chat logs daily. I think this may be a viable, in house
solution. It would specifically solve the security issue raised in the
initial message.

   Thanks. I appreciate this greatly. God bless open source LAMP apps. ;)

- David

David Cloutman <[log in to unmask]>
Electronic Services Librarian
Marin County Free Library

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Gavin Spomer
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:21 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] IM For Reference Desk

Hello everyone,

Our reference staff has decided that they want to "keep up with the
Jones'" and enable our university students to contact the reference desk
via a chat interface.

After a bit o research I decided to go with Meebo, specifically MeeboMe.
I've also decided that I want to run it through ezproxy because of two
benefits. First, this will reduce access to MeeboMe to our university
students/staff. Second, if legitimate university students/staff abuse
the service, they can be identified and dealt with by looking them up in
the ezproxy log.

But it's still not air-tight because a legitimate student/staff can just
copy the embedded MeeboMe widget from the html source and put it on
another web page. Chances are small that this would happen, (or are
they?) but like any decent sys admin I don't like to take chances.

Is anyone else on the list implementing some sort of IM at their library
and if so, how are you going about implementing this?

Gavin Spomer
Systems Programmer
Brooks Library
Central Washington University

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