What is the Qwidget?

The Qwidget is a chat box that libraries can place anywhere on their website, at the patron's point of need - e.g. in research guides, in database search results, in the catalogue, on the library home page, etc.

The Qwidget will indicate when AskAway is open or closed. But unlike the familiar, commercially available widgets, the Qwidget will allow multiple concurrent sessions on the librarian side.

For the librarian, the Qwidget is another entry point into the chat queue they already monitor. The only difference apparent to the librarian is the term [Qwidget] displayed at the beginning of the patron name. Interactions are the same, except that pages can't be pushed, and patrons have a smaller chat window.

Try It Out!

Most AskAway partner libraries use the Qwidget.

Test the Qwidget by entering in your question; your call will be answered by service providers staffing the regular post-secondary AskAway queue. Your call will appear in the chat monitor with the designation [Qwidget].

Interested in having Qwidgets on your library website? Instructions for creating an AskAway Qwidget

Qwidget Statistics

For those libraries that have implemented the Qwidget, all but one have shown a dramatic increase in patron calls for January to April 2009 over the same period the previous year. In general, those libraries that have placed the Qwidget in prominent places on their website, such as the front page, catalogue, or database search results, have seen the greatest increase in traffic.

Institution Name Total Patron Calls Percent Change
Without Qwidgets With Qwidgets
Jan - Apr 2008 Jan - Apr 2009
British Columbia Institute of Technology 99 218 120%
Camosun College 40 219 448%
Capilano University 15 105 600%
Douglas College 243 597 146%
Kwantlen Polytechnic University 95 642 576%
Langara College 110 150 36%
North Island College 42 107 155%
Northwest Community College 10 37 270%
Okanagan College 74 165 123%
Simon Fraser University 1006 1436 43%
Thompson Rivers University 23 96 317%
University of British Columbia 650 1295 99%
University of the Fraser Valley 101 514 409%
University of Victoria 255 365 43%
Vancouver Community College 107 28 -74%
Vancouver Island University 67 216 222%
Totals 2927 6190 114%