Bad news: a Hab.la staffer just confirmed for me that there is a cap on the number of users that can see any given widget at any given point in time. Currently that max number is 5.
The reason for this is “to keep the load down on [Hab.la's] machines.” They’re considering (1) asking for donations or (2) charging “some sort of fee to cover the cost of the hardware.”
I believe this means that site-wide or OPAC-wide installation of the Hab.la script would be rather futile. Only 5 people could see the widget at any given point in time. OPACs and library websites both frequently get more than 5 users at a time.
A co-worker in our library’s Systems department also suspects that there might be some latency issues, whereby Hab.la seats remain occupied even after patrons have left the page. This would obviously compound the problem.
I’m not sure I’d trust our IM a Librarian service’s chat box to Hab.la at this point. It’s not that we regularly get more than 5 patrons IM’ing the service simultaneously. But it is quite possible that we regularly get more than 5 patrons looking at our Ask a Librarian page simultaneously. One of those patrons might want but lack the ability to send us an IM because Hab.la might be maxed-out on other patrons.