AskAway Blog

Swamped Button

The AskAway Portal - Staff Tools has a new feature: a button that will automatically create an email addressed to the listserv saying that AskAway is swamped. All you have to do to is press "send". The button is located in the section called "Tools for your shift". This feature was requested by a service provider, and we are pleased to make it available; we're always happy to hear new ideas or suggestions.

Columbia Bible College Joins AskAway

Columbia Bible College, one of Canada's premier Christian institutions, joined AskAway this fall. Columbia Bible College (CBC) is located in the Fraser Valley, and offers 4-year Bachelor of Arts programs as well as 2-year diplomas and certificates.
Library Director Richard Thiessen and Associate Librarian Anne Andres attended AskAway training and are currently providing 3 staff hours per week. Links to AskAway are being added to the new CBC website, so AskAwayers can expect to see CBC students using AskAway in the coming weeks.

Summer Term Form Fields Statistics Available

Form fields statistics for May through August are now available on the Statistics by Institution page of the AskAway Portal.

Form fields statistics provide information about how users are accessing AskAway, including the website and specific page AskAway was accessed from. These stats also include the wait time and resolution of each call, operating system and other details.

Get Acquainted with Chat Lingo!

Communicating online in AskAway can be a challenge at times - particularly when students use unfamiliar chat lingo that we may not recognise!

Ever stumped by someone using IMO [in my opinion]? Stymied by a student typing BRB [be right back]? Deterred by a student going AFK [away from keyboard]?

UBC Engineering Students on AskAway

Colleagues:

Starting with this week, we are teaching approximately 1,800 engineering students in a number of big classes - Engineering Cases (APSC 150), Engineering Communication (APSC 176) and Technical Communication (APSC 201).

If you get those students coming to you, please help them by starting with our SciEng homepage - http://scieng.library.ubc.ca where you will see links to the appropriate course pages – APSC 150, APSC 201, APSC 176 and APSC 262.

Librarians From Other Institutions

Some questions have come up about what to do when patrons believe AskAway librarians are always from their institution. From a service perspective there is nothing wrong with letting users know that AskAway is serviced by BC and Yukon librarians and that they are talking to a librarian from a different institution.

Changes at TRU

From Kathy Gaynor at TRU:

We've opened a new branch and moved collections and services.    Due to delays in the renovations, much is still being put in place (ie. furniture, signage, etc...).  Our students may be a little overwhelmed by all of the changes that have taken place.  Please see the following information for a breakdown of what our users can expect to find:

http://www.tru.ca/library/news/2011/083111.html

Launch of New Public Library VR Service ‘Just Ask’

I am very pleased to share with you the news that the BC InterLINK public libraries have launched Just Ask, a new public library virtual reference service.

Patrons at all InterLINK libraries now have access to virtual reference through their library websites, and InterLINK libraries are providing staffing for the new service.  Operating hours are weekdays only: Mon – Thurs 10 AM – 8 PM and Friday 10 AM – 5 PM.

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