VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and although I had never heard this term I have used some of the services. VoIP is basically Internet telephony, one of the most common forms utilised is Skype. Sype provides free calls using the Internet network rather than telephone networks. There is also the option of using inbuilt or attached web cameras to make the call face to face.
There has been great advances in the technology that supports Internet telephony and many people, especially in business make use of web conferencing. This allows for people across the world to conduct meetings in each other's presence via online tools that include features not limited to face to face, real time conversing, digital collaborative whiteboards and audio recordings.
Tools such as Skype are changing the services that can be provided to people working across distances: they allow for less travel expenses and more on time work, they connect family and friends, work colleagues, university peers and lecturers, guest speakers and celebrities, they allow face to face chats which are more intimate than a phone call and allow body language and movement to be a form of communication.
By providing a service that enables face to face chats people are challenged to read other people, there is no anonymity, people are real and it is occuring in real time. Ohio University provides Skype a Librarian and this service would encourage people to call as often when struggling with a challenge the need to speak with someone and visualise them is vital, also they can see exactly what you are working on if the web camera is pointed the right way.
Ideas for enhancing services via VoIP:
Guest authors to speak to classes via Skype
Web conferencing to network with other Librarians and discuss ideas
Allowing for workers to spend more valuable time at work and at home rather than travelling to meetings
The library should no longer be a place you have to physically be to 'visit'.