AskAway Blog

Changes to SFU's website

As of today, several links on SFU Library's home page ( have been repositioned:
1. The "Course Reserves" link, formerly under the "My Library" section has been renamed "Reserves" and can now be found under the "Find" section.
2. The "Online reference sources" link, formerly under the "Find" section, has been moved to the "Help" section.
3. The most visited link on the home page, "Journal articles & databases", is now the first link under the "Find" section.

How to turn off Automatic Java Update

If you have your computer set to automatically update Java, you're probably sick of uninstalling the new Java 6.0 before every shift. Here is a link that shows you how to turn off the auto-update.
Actually, it shows how to turn it on, but if you just do the opposite of what it says, you'll turn it off instead.

AskAway: recordings of brown-bag presentations available

Recordings of all AskAway brown-bag lunch presentations are now available on the AskAway portal:
Recordings Page
Handouts associated with each presentation are also linked on the same page.
To view the recordings, you will need a browser that has the Flash Player plugin, and a pair of headphones or speakers.
Thanks very much to everyone who gave presentations this term!
AskAway brown-bag presentations will resume in September.

Cobrowsing with 2 patrons

It is possible to cobrowse with 2 or more patrons at the same time!
If you normally delete files and cookies before every cobrowse session, you can do so even if you already have a cobrowse session open.
However, if you don't need to delete files and cookies before every cobrowse session, then you can just begin cobrowsing with the second patron.
Happy cobrowsing!

Staffing Alone?

There has been a rash of technical troubles lately, with folks not appearing to be logged on, or folks thinking that they are stuck staffing the service by themselves. In almost all cases this has been due to incorrect settings, or un-cleared caches or cookies. Although the service is fairly quiet this term, there are busy times (11 calls per hour!), so we want to make sure service providers are never staffing the service alone.

AskAway logout errors

What happens if there's an error just as you or your colleague logs out at the end of a shift?
Here are some tips for recognising and dealing with this situation.
Scenario A: You notice that a colleague hasn't logged out, even 15min after their shift is over, but they're not helping a patron at the time.
What you can do:

Can't Cobrowse?

Here are some tips related to cobrowsing:
Table of Contents
1. Preparation for cobrowsing
2. Tips for cobrowsing
3. Alternatives to cobrowsing
1. Preparation for cobrowsing
1.1 Remove Java Update
1.2 Delete both your cookies and files
2. Tips for cobrowsing
2.1 One at a time

BIOL 140 (UBC)

First year biology students at UBC are designing experiments to test the effect of an abiotic factor (e.g. light, temperature, salinity) on a small marine organism. The first report is due Monday, July 9th and requires basic information about the animal (i.e. structure, life cycle, where it lives, what it eats, what eats it, etc.).

Troubleshooting: Queue Selection Screen slow to load

Some AskAwayers have reported that when they login, the Queue Selection screen takes a long time to load.
To speed up the process, please try clicking the Refresh button on your browser.
If that doesn't work, try logging out, and logging back in again.
It seems that the Queue Selection screen does eventually load, but these tips will help you to get through the queue selection process more quickly.

QP Web Training: Co-Browse

The following web training opportunity is coming from QP at 8:30 AM PST on July 17th. See registration info below (please contact Becky Hawk if you have questions about this session):
A free one-hour training session for QuestionPoint librarians who want to learn to use or review the features of Flash-based chat and/or co-browse will be held on July 17th, 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time (3:30 PM GMT). The session assumes familiarity with the basic concepts of virtual reference and QuestionPoint, but no previous experience with Flash-based chat is required.