AskAway Blog

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).

Call for Participants in VR Research via Phone Interview

The following call for participants was posted to the Question Point listserv.

Dear QP librarians:

Here's your chance to participate in the latest virtual reference research!  Please see this message from Lynn Connaway and Marie Radford
(of Seeking Synchronicity fame):

Dear Virtual Reference Librarian:

Greetings! We are looking for people interested in taking part in an important study of virtual reference services (VRS). We are willing to
pay you for your time.

Request for Survey Participants: Collaborative Virtual Reference Service

The following call for survey participants with collaborative virtual reference service experience was sent to the Digitial Reference listserv. Interested parties can access the survey from the link below. Contact Emily Weak at with any questions.


Are you a librarian who has personal experience working in a collaborative virtual reference service?

OCLC Free Webinar: Marketing Your Virtual Reference Service

From the OCLC QuestionPoint team:

We invite you to attend a free webinar, Finding your users online, May
17 at 1 PM ET.

Seeking Synchronicity found that one of the biggest obstacles to a
successful virtual reference service was getting users to simply know
the service existed. How do you find your users online? How do they find

March Statistics and User Feedback

AskAway's March form fields, usage statistics and survey information are now available on the AskAway Portal.
Compared to last March, we engaged in 7% more sessions. This translates to over 230 additional sessions, and a total of 3758 sessions, or over 118 sessions per day.

March usage statistics are available here:

Embedding an AskAway Chat Qwidget in ProQuest Databases - Updated!

ProQuest has now added the option to embed custom widgets into their databases!

UPDATE: The option to delete the qwidget is now available!

Already have an AskAway Qwidget in your EBSCO databases or library web pages? Why not check-out the new option in ProQuest to add a custom widget to all your standard-platform ProQuest databases like CBCA (the options to select individual databases or non-standard platforms like Chadwyck are not currently available).

Advisory Committee Minutes Posted

The AskAway Advisory Committee meeting minutes from February 12 are now posted on the AskAway Portal here. The meeting discussed the BCcampus Funding Request, 2012/13 Budget & Service Support Fee, Software Selection Committee membership, and other topics, including an update on text message reference pilots.