Q. What is a Statewide Virtual Reference Cooperative?
Cooperative's such as AskWA provide reference services through online technologies, often email, chat, and instant messaging (IM). These services are available via participating libraries throughout the state, and coordinated by a central administrator. Other examples of statewide virtual reference cooperatives include Answerland, AskALibrarian.org, and AskMN.
The AskWA cooperative includes more than 40 cooperating libraries: public, academic, and special; and serves to answer more than 80,000 reference questions every year. By leveraging the LibAnswers 24/7 global cooperative, participating Washington libraries are able to offer their patrons 24/7 access to a live reference librarian at an incredibly small cost.