AskAway Blog

QP fixes coming this weekend

Update to the message below: The upload has been delayed a week. Also, of course, our service is closed as of yesterday, so you won't get to try these features until January.
Great news! The QuestionPoint upgrade scheduled for this weekend should fix a number of minor annoyances. Here's a partial list of the fixes:

Monday November 27th

Most post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are closed today due to weather conditions. While this may not affect AskAway staff that are able to work from home, some AskAwayers may not be able to make their shifts. However, with so many students at home today, there may be increased traffic. Here's our strategy:
There will be a notice on the patron login page warning them that service may be affected today due to weather conditions.
If you are not able to make your shift, please send an email to the servprov listserv letting everyone know.

Tip for Speeding Up QuestionPoint

The following tip comes from the AskAway public library service ...
QuestionPoint speed tactics
Some suggestions have been made that QuestionPoint runs much faster if you don't have many Internet Explorer browser windows open. Jane Lucas (one of our Supp Staff) has found that if she runs only the Chat Monitor (and co-browse windows) in IE and then runs all of her other browser tasks from Firefox, she gets much better performance. Perhaps a few of you can try this out and let us all know if that seems to improve chat and IM response.

Comments feature now turned on

Hi folks. The Comments feature on the blog has now been turned on.
If someone posted a question or comment to the blog, and you'd like to reply immediately (and publicly), here's what you do:
1. Click the Comments button.
2. Under "Post a Comment", hit the orange Sign in link.
3. You'll be taken to a TypeKey screen. On the left, enter the Name and Password. They are exactly the same as the name and password combo for posting entries to the blog. See my email of Nov. 14 for those.

QuestionPoint and IE7

I've had a few questions from librarians wanting to upgrade their Internet Explorer browser to version 7, which Microsoft just released. The official word from QuestionPoint is: don't upgrade yet. They're having some difficulties making cobrowse play nicely in IE7.
(Related note: apparently OCLC (which owns QuestionPoint) has banned all their employees from using IE7. A number of their products and services do not work well in IE7.)

citing resource in APA style

I had a challenging question about how to cite a resource from PubMed - an article which predates the print version and therefore did not have a volume, issue designation. Is there a specific section in the APA style publication which gives the format for this? Can you supply info in square brackets in a case like this?
Mary Anne Guenther, NIC 250-334-5001

NEW: Swamped page

We know things are getting busy now, and you may find yourself trying to respond to more calls than you can handle. So we've added a new tool: a Swamped page. The URL has been added to the list of "scripted URLs" you can push to the user. Basically it's just the viewport page, but with a message added at the top saying that we're very busy and it may take a few minutes before their call will be answered.
Note that this is a page you push, so you do have to pick up the patron from the queue before you can send this.

Welcome to the AskAway Blog!

We're pleased to announce that the AskAway blog is open for business. The goal of the blog is to enable (and encourage!) communication among AskAway-ers staffing the academic queue. You can post messages about anything you feel is relevant to other AskAway-ers ...
- a tough assignment which may bring questions to AA
- a local technical problem your library is experiencing
- a request for help on a tricky reference question or VR issue
Sunni and I will also use the blog to post messages such as the kind of information now in the AA Update email.

AskAway Update for October 23, 2006

Welcome to the AskAway Update! This is a weekly email to keep all of you who are working on the post-secondary 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: