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There was a session at code4lib 2006 on using IM bots to deliver library services. I was at a different session, but I thought about it a bit and realized that the "jake-like" queries to the CUFTS database could fairly easily be adapted to the IM world. "jake-like" queries being "where is this journal indexed?", "where is there fulltext for this journal and what's the coverage", etc. I started on a quick bot while I was there, got that working and finished up a fairly comprehensive version last week.

Connecting the bot to the IM network was very easy thanks to Net::OSCAR. Unfortunately, it doesn't include file transfers, but everything else I wanted was there. Since I already had the database and queries mostly written, the bulk of the work was formatting the results for IM size display, handling "more" commands, and writing help.

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