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Catch Up on AskAway Summer News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Assignment Alert: UVic BIOL 184 Library Assignment

Mon, 2016-09-19 10:01

The annual Biology lab assignment at UVic is underway – here is a message with various bits of information for you and any UVic students you might come across while chatting. Questions can be directed to the subject librarian – Kathleen Matthews,

The BIOL 184 Library Lab assignment is getting underway and the assignment will be due Oct 3-6.

The PDF of assignment is posted on the BIOL 184 Subject Guide at

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