AskAway Updates

November and December 2011 Update

We have just completed another busy and successful semester! Our busiest day this semester was November 15, when we had a whopping 216 sessions! That's up 10% from last year's busiest day. The busiest hour was from 7:00pm - 8:00 pm on October 31, with 31 sessions. Spooky!

November and December's usage and form fields statistics are available on the AskAway webpages below:

Usage Statistics

Form Fields Statistics

Swamped Tool Update

We have updated the swamped button - our new tool that allows you to quickly send an email to the listserv when AskAway is swamped. We're pleased to say that it now works with both web-based email and email clients (so that should be everyone)!

The swamped button remains in the same place on the AskAway Portal - Staff Tools page, but will now lead you to a form. Just enter your institutional email (the one that is subscribed to the listserv), click "send" and an email asking other AskAwayers to help out will be sent.

New Descriptive Codes!

Many of you make vigilant use of the resolution and descriptive codes as you end your AskAway sessions.  Up until now use of the descriptive codes has been fairly random, as we didn't have control over the list of available codes.  QuestionPoint has recently provided the ability to customise codes, so we've identified and defined a new, MUCH SHORTER list of AskAway descriptive codes to make your job easier.  Read on to learn more....

What are the new descriptive codes?

Columbia Bible College Joins AskAway

Columbia Bible College, one of Canada's premier Christian institutions, joined AskAway this fall. Columbia Bible College (CBC) is located in the Fraser Valley, and offers 4-year Bachelor of Arts programs as well as 2-year diplomas and certificates.
Library Director Richard Thiessen and Associate Librarian Anne Andres attended AskAway training and are currently providing 3 staff hours per week. Links to AskAway are being added to the new CBC website, so AskAwayers can expect to see CBC students using AskAway in the coming weeks.

Summer Term Form Fields Statistics Available

Form fields statistics for May through August are now available on the Statistics by Institution page of the AskAway Portal.

Form fields statistics provide information about how users are accessing AskAway, including the website and specific page AskAway was accessed from. These stats also include the wait time and resolution of each call, operating system and other details.

Launch of New Public Library VR Service ‘Just Ask’

I am very pleased to share with you the news that the BC InterLINK public libraries have launched Just Ask, a new public library virtual reference service.

Patrons at all InterLINK libraries now have access to virtual reference through their library websites, and InterLINK libraries are providing staffing for the new service.  Operating hours are weekdays only: Mon – Thurs 10 AM – 8 PM and Friday 10 AM – 5 PM.

Fall Back Into AskAway!

AskAway opens for the fall term on Monday, September 19th.  As we move into the beginning of another AskAway term, here’s a couple of tips for ‘falling back into AskAway’.

1. Check out the updated Shift Checklist on the AskAway Portal.  This handy guide is filled with tips to get your shift off to the right start!

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