AskAway Update for October 9, 2006

Welcome to the AskAway Update! This is a weekly email to keep all of you who are working on the AskAway project up-to-date on how the service is doing. The update is also a way for us to push you technical tips, feedback and stats without inundating your inbox with emails! Please let Sunni know if you have any suggestions for future content:

  • Last Week’s AA Stats
  • AA (Absolutely Astonishing) Question of the Week
  • AA (Absolutely Amazing) User Feedback of the Week
  • Gord’s Technical Tip of the Week
  • How Do I…create my own scripts?
  • Neat New Stuff
  • Coming Soon…

Last Week’s AA Stats
The following numbers are for all chat sessions accepted by a librarian, excluding those sessions coded Practise.
From 11 AM Monday October 2 to 5 PM Saturday October 7, 2006 (Service closed Sunday Oct 8)

  • Total # of ‘real’ chat sessions accepted: ~ 270
  • Average # of ‘real’ chat sessions accepted per day: ~ 44

AA (Absolutely Astonishing) Question of the Week
“I am having difficulty finding periodical articles related to a study exploring the relationship between intrusion and territoriality in the context of a parking lot.” !!!!
AA (Absolutely Amazing) User Feedback of the Week
“The Reference Librarian in the library always seems to be busy, so it's hard to get questions answered... this was faster, easy to use and had very satisfying results. THANK YOU!!!”
“This is an awesome service. I am in the North West Territories and was not able to connect by phone so this service is wonderful. It is quick and efficient!! Keep this service going, it is a much needed one!”
“This was a wonderful service, the person helping me was precise and very accommodating.”
Gordon’s Technical Tips of the Week
“The librarian I’m trying to IM isn’t responding...”
At present, there is no notification when a librarian you are IM’ing with has sent you a new message – this can be problematic if you are toggling back and forth between patron chat and IM. The only way to get the librarian’s attention is to close the IM session and then re-initiate a new IM session with them - then they’ll get a notification (either a pop-up or a ping).
How Do I…
…Create my own scripts?
You have the option of creating personal scripts that will only be visible to you in the chat monitor. These will save you time and make dealing with multiple patrons easier, especially if you find yourself typing the same thing over and over to patrons.
To create your personal scripts:
1. Log on to QP.
2. Choose the Ask module from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
3. Choose the Settings tab.
4. Choose My Scripts.
5. Enter your scripts, giving them a short script name (less then 100 characters) that will allow you to easily identify them. Scripts will be displayed alphabetically.
6. Click Add.
You can add up to 25 scripts. Personal scripts will show up in the My Library window of the Scripts tab in the chat monitor. You can add your own URL’s in the same way, using the My URLs tab.
For more details, see the QP documentation:
Neat New Stuff
The Troubleshooting Manual is up on the portal!
Remember to keep Gordon posted about any tech troubles you experience that don’t show up in the manual and that you think others might benefit from knowing about.
Gordon has created a page listing all email reference contact points: The link shows up on the patron question form (viewport page) and the Librarian’s Portal. Information about email reference contact points should also be included on your library policy page, if it isn’t there already.
System-wide scripts added/edited:
TechTrouble - Contact us by email You are not responding, and I’m wondering if you’re having technical difficulties. One alternative is to send us your question by email. Contact information for your library is on this page:
Privacy - Brief We’re not permitted to collect personal information (such as your name, email address, etc.) because transcripts of our sessions are stored on servers outside of Canada.
Privacy - Detailed The BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act states that personal information may not be stored on servers located in the United States without your permission. This is because information stored in the U.S. may be accessible to authorities under the USA Patriot Act “warrant-less searches” provisions. Transcripts of our sessions are stored on servers in the U.S. Therefore, to comply with the BC law, we’re not permitted to collect personal information such as your name, email address, etc.
Close – Goodbye & Survey Thank you for using AskAway. Please come back again if you have more questions. After you exit our session, I encourage you to take a moment to fill out the brief survey. AskAway is a new service, and your feedback is essential to ensure its continuation.
Please remember to use the scripts to help you deal with multiple patrons and to ensure we maintain consistent service standards.
Coming Soon…
Service statistics: Sunni is working on getting service-wide statistics up on the portal, and on instructions for collecting your institution’s statistics.
We’ re working on a PR Toolkit for the institutions which will include materials to hand out at service points, flyers, boilerplates for your internal PR, etc..
Sunni Nishimura
BC ELN Virtual Reference Coordinator
Phone: (604) 268-6937
Fax: (604) 291-3023
AskAway is coordinated by the BC Electronic Library Network.