AskAway Blog

Tips for Busy Times - Tip #2

As we mentioned yesterday, AskAway is already getting busy! We’re posting tips this week to help service providers when there are a lot of questions coming in. Here is Tip #1, in case you missed it.

Here is tip #2:

Swamped Calls: don't hesitate - use the Swamped tool to email the listserv for help as soon as it starts getting too busy!

Click on the Swamped button on the Staff Tools page of the portal to email the listserv for help as soon as it starts getting too busy for the number of service providers on AskAway.

Tips for Busy Times: Tip #1

AskAway is already getting busy this year! We'll be implementing some patron-side communication to help manage patron expectations. In the meantime, we are going to post some tips over the next few days to help ease the burden on AskAway service providers and stressed patrons when it’s busy.

Here is tip #1:

Use the new script: Queue: Off-Peak Hours, as well as the Swamped scripts to manage patron expectations and queue flow.

Large UBC Engineering Classes

Here is a message from Eugene Barsky at UBC, alerting AskAwayers that some large classes of engineering students may be on AskAway:

Hello Colleagues:

Starting with this week, we are teaching approximately 1,500 UBC engineering students in a number of big classes - Engineering Cases (APSC 150), Engineering Communication (APSC 176) and Technical Communication (APSC 201).

Biology Assignments at UBC

A note below, from Katherine Miller about BIOL assignments at UBC:

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks everyone in advance for your support of our biology undergraduates.

We are starting to see BIOL 140 and BIOL 200 students at our Woodward Reference Desk in and we anticipate they will be visiting AskAway soon too!

Logging out of QuestionPoint at the end of the day

Attention: folks who work the last shift of the day.

This is a reminder in response to questions about logging out of your shift at closing time (9:00pm every day except Fridays and Saturdays, 5:00pm).

If you are working the last shift of the day, please close your session as normal; there aren't any special procedures to follow. When there are no AskAwayers logged on, users will automatically see a notice on the Qwidget or question form page that lets them know the service is closed.

Selkirk College Students and Proquest Databases Issue

A note below, from Selkirk College librarian Danielle Cossarini about a known issue with remote access to Proquest databases for their students:

The new Proquest platform does not support Selkirk College Library's current (and ancient) version of EZProxy, which means that Selkirk students will not be able to access our Proquest databases from off-campus. This includes CBCA Complete and Canadian Newsstand.

U.S. Report on Text Message Reference

An SLIS professor in the States recently published a detailed report on text-message reference based on two years of research from over 20 libraries .

The report is an in-depth look at:

• Information needs of users
• Competencies requisite for text reference
• User perception and use of text reference
• The collaborative text reference service model

Personal Scripts Refresher

Do you type similar responses to AskAway users over and over again? Find yourself constantly making the same tweaks to shared AskAway scripts?

This is a refresher/reminder about creating custom, personal scripts in QuestionPoint. It's a quick task that is easy to fit in between busy times at AskAway, and can really save time when there is a crunch! These scripts are only available to the individual who creates them, and will appear in the same place as the shared AskAway scripts during your sessions (My Library's scripts, in the scripts tab).

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