AskAway Blog

Helping "Public Library" patrons

Since the public library "side" of AskAway is still behind a picket line, we may see a few questions from public library patrons. Here are a few tools that you can use to help them:
Public Libraries' Delicious bookmarks:
For those of you not familiar with Delicious, use the Tags on the right side of the screen to select a topic, e.g. Climate_Change
Then, select a link from the left side of the screen.
List of Free (academic) databases:

Helping a NWCC student?

NWCC's "Where Can I Get This" link is behaving very oddly. Please show any NWCC students how to search databases that contain full text articles, and please show them how to limit their search to only Full Text until this issue is resolved.
FYI, of the WilsonWeb databases, only Biological and Agricultural Index Plus contains any full text.
For your convenience, here is the main page of the NWCC library:
Free resources to try as well:

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.