AskAway Blog

Update on the Chat Monitor Redesign

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2019-03-06 11:26

On your shifts, you're encouraged to use the new QuestionPoint chat monitor. Before taking it live, please check out the recent blog post Going Live with the New Chat Monitor for short demo videos and important information about what's changed and how to stay consistent with AskAway practices and procedures.

Read on to learn the latest on the chat monitor redesign including recent enhancements, when access to the current chat monitor will end, and a workaround for hopping out of the queues.

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Snapshot from the North American Virtual Reference Conference 2019

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2019-02-25 16:28

Missed out on the North American Virtual Reference conference? Recordings from all sessions are now available in the conference Archives.

Our AskAway colleague Ean Henninger, from SFU Library, presented at the conference and has shared a snapshot from the round of lightning talks Communication Strategies and Best Practices.

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Going Live with the New Chat Monitor

AskAway Blog - Thu, 2019-02-14 09:36

You're invited to use the new QuestionPoint chat monitor on your AskAway shifts. The new interface and the current (aka old) interface will operate in parallel for at least 2 weeks before access to the current version ends.

***Before taking the new chat monitor live, see below for important information about what's changed and how to stay consistent with AskAway practices and procedures.

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Test Driving the New Chat Monitor

AskAway Blog - Thu, 2019-02-07 15:29

QuestionPoint has released its redesigned chat monitor. The new redesigned interface and the current interface will operate in parallel for at least 2 weeks before access to the current version ends.

***Please continue to use the current (aka old) chat monitor for your scheduled AskAway shifts for the time being***

Next week, we'll follow-up with more information about the subtle changes in workflow and the features available in the redesigned interface before taking it live.

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Referring Students to WriteAway

AskAway Blog - Tue, 2019-02-05 13:58

WriteAway is a BC post-secondary collaborative online writing tutoring service. Undergraduate students at participating institutions can submit draft papers to WriteAway online and receive feedback and strategies to improve their writing from qualified tutors. WriteAway can be a nice complement to AskAway, as students who prefer online services or who are working off-campus can take advantage of online writing support.

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Catch up on AskAway Fall News

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2018-12-10 14:05

Catch up on AskAway fall news with The Chat Box December 2018!

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QuestionPoint Chat Monitor Redesign Update

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2018-11-14 12:37

At their November 8 Virtual User Group meeting, QuestionPoint shared an update on the chat monitor interface redesign. Learn more about what's expected and check out a recording and slides from the meeting.

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Relying on Campfire

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2018-10-10 15:02

The real value of Campfire comes from the community of service providers who use it to support one another during their shifts and keep AskAway running smoothly.

Log into Campfire and listen for notifications during each shift so that you'll be aware if something important comes up and your colleagues need assistance. You'll also be able to ask for help if you run into an issue.

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Refreshed Scripts Have Arrived

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2018-09-05 16:39

Refreshed service-wide scripts have landed in time for the start of the fall term!

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Catch Up on AskAway Summer News

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2018-08-20 16:03

Catch up on AskAway summer news with the The Chat Box - August 2018!

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Ideas for Promoting AskAway at your Library

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2018-05-23 16:45

A one-pager with ideas for small steps you can take to promote AskAway at your library.

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Refresher: Resolution and Descriptive Codes

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2017-11-22 12:04

At the end of a chat session, you have the opportunity to add Resolution and Descriptive codes to your chat. By adding these codes, you help us track technical issues with the service and give a clear picture of why patrons are coming to AskAway and the kind of help you are providing them.

Below, you'll find a quick refresher on how to apply resolution and descriptive codes.

Adding a Resolution Code

Resolution codes allow us to track technical problems and to exclude practice calls from AskAway statistics.

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Answering Citation Questions with Marjory Jardine

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2017-11-20 09:57

Did you know that between 15-20% of questions that come to AskAway are citation questions?

To learn more about answering citation questions, we interviewed Marjory Jardine, an AskAway service provider at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), who has a knack for answering APA questions. Marjory shares what she enjoys about chat reference and citations, tips for tricky citation questions, and some of her favourite guides.

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Logging out at the end of your shift

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2017-11-01 10:46

"Hello, do you offer 24/7 live chat assistance?"

"Hello, sorry to interrupt in the middle of the night. I have some problems with my research paper."

These questions came in to AskAway late one night after opening hours, with no one online to answer. It happens rarely, but every so often, an AskAwayer may forget to log out of QuestionPoint or have trouble logging out due to technical issues (e.g. computer freezes, power outage) and the service stays open through the night with no one to pick up calls.

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Quick tips to improve conversations with patrons

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2017-07-31 12:01

QuestionPoint recently hosted a brief 30 minute webinar with quick tips to improve chat reference conversations. They also shared several follow-up questions and answers from the session.

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Improving Chat Reference with Emotional Intelligence

AskAway Blog - Wed, 2017-03-08 13:37

The Florida State Library has shared a webinar they held on emotional intelligence in chat reference, which they offer as part of their library staff training. If you're interested in a stronger connection with your patrons for better reference outcomes, please have a look:

 

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Preparing for unexpected patrons

AskAway Blog - Fri, 2017-02-24 10:56

As we are now approaching the busy part of the term, it may be helpful to review some tips and recommended procedures for working with unexpected patrons. 

Although it happens rarely, AskAway sometimes receives calls from unexpected patrons. These might include chats with non post-secondary patrons, pranksters, patrons with technical difficulties, or patrons in crisis. The Unexpected Patrons page has best practices and tips to help you be prepared and work with these patrons smoothly.

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Sending database links to patrons

AskAway Blog - Mon, 2017-01-23 10:41

A recent message from a service provider:

"I've been having intermittent problems sending working links to Ebsco databases to patrons over Askaway. I'll send a link to search results or a journal article and they will be sent to an Ebsco page where it asks them to pick their server. This is not the database homepage or a university off-campus log in page."

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Large SFU Psych 100/102 assigment

AskAway Blog - Fri, 2016-09-30 10:25

It's that time of semester when you may hear from SFU students in Psyc 100 / Psyc 102 looking for research help on their assignments.

Please note that there is a guide for Psyc 100 / Psyc 102. Some students may still need help navigating the databases, as they are mostly first year students new to research and academic databases. I've also attached copies of the assignments for your reference.

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