Sherri Vokey ran a survey a few weeks back to learn how many visitors to the UNLV website currently use Instant Messaging, and to find out how many would correspond with a librarian that way if such a service was offered. Sherri has posted her results, and you may find them interesting and/or useful. I plan to ask some similar questions later this summer in a survey of distance grad students (keep in mind Sherri's respondents weren't necessarily distance students) and will be sure to post any interesting findings.
A total of 195 responses were collected over 7 days (April 15- 22). The link to the survey was featured fairly prominently under the 'News' section of the Library's main page, as well as on the existing chat reference entry page.