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Michigan Virtual Reference Conference

What is Research Help Now?

Research Help Now (RHN) is a virtual reference service provided by 13 Michigan academic institutions.

RHN Mission:
Research Help Now supports our educational community with research help from a librarian using 24/7 chat.

RHN Vision:
Research Help Now will be a growing, indispensable service that enhances the ability of our collaborative libraries to exceed students’ academic research needs by providing the best instructive user experience possible.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Research Help Now!, this article was written. It provides an overview of the collaborative history, outlining key events in the life of the organization:

History of Research Help Now

The Research Help Now Michigan Virtual Reference Service began in February 2004 as a project funded by a U.S. Department of Education Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Grant for the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative (MCCVLC). Formed by a group of Michigan Community College libraries to offer virtual reference to their communities, it has grown to also include several university libraries in the state of Michigan: Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, Lawrence Technological University, and Spring Arbor University. Research Help Now Virtual Reference Service is made available free of charge to all patrons of the participating institutions, and the MCCVLC.

The first year of Research Help Now was funded by the FIPSE Grant. Once the grant period expired in September 2005, funding was continued by the member libraries. The RHN Collaborative is staffed by professional librarians from the participating institutions. RHN is also a member of the QuestionPoint 24/7 Academic Cooperative, which provides library patrons with around the clock research assistance from professional librarians at other cooperating institutions when RHN librarians are not available.