QuestionPoint has developed a chat box called the Qwidget that libraries can place anywhere on their website, at the patron's point of need e.g. within the library catalogue on the no results page, etc.. Patrons asking questions via the Qwidget will enter the regular AskAway queue.
The Qwidget will indicate when AskAway is open or closed. But unlike the familiar, commercially available widgets, the Qwidget will allow multiple concurrent sessions on the librarian side.
For the librarian, the Qwidget is another entry point into the chat queue they already monitor. The only difference apparent to the librarian is the term [Qwidget] displayed at the beginning of the patron name. The librarian will also see in the Info area that this patron's connection has no co-browsing capability.
Try It Out!
Most AskAway partner libraries use the Qwidget.
Test the Qwidget by entering in your question; your call will be answered by service providers staffing the regular post-secondary AskAway queue. Your call will appear in the chat monitor with the designation [Qwidget].
Interested in having Qwidgets on your library website? Instructions for creating an AskAway Qwidget
For those libraries that have implemented the Qwidget, all but one have shown a dramatic increase in patron calls for January to April 2009 over the same period last year. In general, those libraries that have placed the Qwidget in their library catalogues as well as in several places on their website have seen the greatest increase in traffic.
|Institution Name||Total Patron Calls||Percent Change|
|Without Qwidgets||With Qwidgets|
|Jan - Apr 2008||Jan - Apr 2009|
|British Columbia Institute of Technology||99||218||120%|
|Kwantlen Polytechnic University||95||642||576%|
|North Island College||42||107||155%|
|Northwest Community College||10||37||270%|
|Simon Fraser University||1006||1436||43%|
|Thompson Rivers University||23||96||317%|
|University of British Columbia||650||1295||99%|
|University of the Fraser Valley||101||514||409%|
|University of Victoria||255||365||43%|
|Vancouver Community College||107||28||-74%|
|Vancouver Island University||67||216||222%|