Chat Reference Branding


The Main Library offers multifaceted Reference and Information Services to cater to the needs of library users. Virtual Reference Services (via email, chat, and social media) are one of the services in demand. The students and faculty fully maximize them, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services are governed by the Reference Correspondence Policy, Reference Privacy Notice, University Library Diliman’s Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and UP Diliman Privacy Policy.

The paradigm shift of library services to electronic format has gained positive outcomes for students and the institution. Many librarians view the move to online chat reference to shrink reference query numbers while meeting the needs of the library users remotely. Especially now that we are amid a pandemic, it is highly recommended that libraries devise ways to advance library services. 

Minimal face-to-face interaction between library users and information professionals significantly impacts how libraries provide reference services. With the current situation, librarians must then help students and faculty navigate the transition to online learning while working from home themselves. A hallmark of outstanding customer service is the anticipation of user needs, and actively offering assistance to its library users.

With the desire to more actively capture today’s digitally native students and to reach out to more library users remotely, the Information Services and Instruction Section would like to recommend  creating a Virtual Reference Assistant aptly named as “Ask SINAG.”


Ask SINAG stands for Ask Service-Oriented, Informative, and Academic Group of Information Professionals. In an effort to create a gender-neutral term that is more inclusive and diverse, a non-gender based name, SINAG, which contains the collective word “GROUP”, was suggested. Ask SINAG provides accurate and relevant information to reference queries through (1) Email (, (2) Chat (UPD Library on Facebook Messenger), (3) Call [(+632) 8-981-8500 local 2861], (4) Zoom Drop-in using UP mail (virtual one-on-one  interaction between reference librarian and library users).

Aside from the meaning of the acronym SINAG, it is the Tagalog word for “ray” which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “any of the lines of light that appear to radiate from a bright object.” As information professionals, figuratively, we are symbolized as that bright object which illuminates or transcends the right information, for the right user, at the right time. 


Ask SINAG fulfills its mission to provide real-time assistance and real-time feedback from library users. There are instances where types of reference queries such as specific search, research (complex question), database searching/literature search, and use of online databases are better resolved with one-on-one interaction between the reference librarian and the library user. 

The service should primarily focus on providing services from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Mondays to Fridays.


The typeface used in creating the Ask SINAG logo is LEMON MILK. The proponents opted to use the visual identity color of the University, Maroon (#7b1113), to create a logo that conforms with the branding of the University. Letter “S” was purposely inverted as this visually resembles number “2,” which signifies the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the UP Library System in 2022 and the two (2) people involved in online reference transactions: Librarian and User.