“Pidgin4Lib is a customized version of Pidgin. It includes a plugin for support of collaborative IM services. It allows libraries or departments to offer IM services with one public buddy name handled internally by any number of staff members.”

Wow.  This is something to definitely check out and play with when I have more time.  From the looks of the documentation, it appears to be fairly complicated.  However, it looks to be on the right path to solving some of the issues with IM reference.  There’s a powerpoint about the project here.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell who is working on the project from the wiki.  Anybody out there know?