Strategies for Busy Times

We're getting into the busy part of the term and we're seeing shifts with 30-40 questions per hour. Here are a few strategies to help ease the burden on you and on patrons during this time of year...

Log in a few minutes early

Login to LibraryH3lp, Campfire, and the AskAway website a few minutes early. Offering to take transfers and pick-up new questions at shift-change relieves the burden on service providers coming off shift. 

Send the swamped script

Pick up patrons as quickly as you can, preferably before 60 seconds have passed, and use the swamped script (see Begin - Swamped) to manage patron expectations and queue flow.

Manage your windows

When it's busy, having a number of windows open at the same time can get confusing. Try using two browsers.

Communicate with patrons

Let patrons know how busy you are and thank them for their patience. They can't see that you're helping several people at once.


During busy times, you may not have the time to give every patron the in-depth help you'd like to give them.

More strategies

See below for additional tips for working with multiple patrons: