Have you ever wondered exactly what the AskAway session looks like from the patron side? Perhaps wondered what options are available for making the session more user-friendly or accessible? Check out the new How-it-Works tutorial for patrons with step-by-step help, key screenshots & "more" hover tips!
Just a reminder that AskAway opens again for service on Monday, May 17th at 10 AM. What can you do to be ready for your first shift?
1. Get familiar with the Staff Portal again. This is where you’ll find links to all the tools you need to staff your shift (QP login, Campfire login, library guest logins, policy pages, etc..): <http://www.eln.bc.ca/askaway/index.php?page=main>
The SFU Library has a short research guide intended to help students who are researching the Olympics from a wide range of perspectives (business, kinesiology, geography, communiction...):
Olympics & Paralympics 2010.
A couple of my favourite links from this guide...
Post your links to resources that will help AskAwayers answer those Olympics questions! Here's a couple to get started with:
From Public Library AskAwayers: Over 35 sites about the 2010 Olympics, transportation, free events, tickets and more! http://delicious.com/askaway/2010+Olympics
A student wrote "what are your hours?" I immediately gave the AA hours. But, after the call, as always, I thought, "Suppose the student thought I was a Camosun librarian on the line and meant the physical library hours."
I have had students on AA complain about the heat in the library (in Kamploops) and ask if I can turn it down, so this cognitive confusion is probably pretty common.
So, note to self: Ask what is the meaning of "your".
- Richard Baer
Richard Baer recommended this article:
The Good, the Bad, but Mostly the Ugly: Adherence to RUSA Guidelines during Encounters with Inappropriate Behavior Online.
Maness, Jack M.1
Reference & User Services Quarterly; Winter2009, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p151-162, 12p, 3 charts
Some very useful questions from a service provider around handling multiple patrons, with my answers:
How do we know which patron is first in the line-up?
Patrons will be listed in the New tab in the order in which they come in, with newest at the top and oldest at the bottom. The Time column will tell you how many seconds the patron has been waiting.
We've reached the busy peak of this term - on average we're handling 130 - 160 calls per day, 10-20 per hour. Our busiest hour so far was Tuesday Nov 3 from 2-3 PM when 27 calls came in!
As we get busier, things get stressful for our patrons and for us. Here's some coping strategies:
Rules of Engagement for Patrons
Just a reminder that we can only help AskAway patrons with the resources that THEY have access to at their own library. Even though you may have access to different resources at your library, it is important to direct patrons to resources that they will be able to use after their session with you.
Questions? Let me know!
Public library AskAwayers have created an incredible set of Delicious links on many of the topics that come in to their queue, as well as links to grade-level or reading-level specific resources:
There is also a link to these Delicious links on the Staff Tools page of the Portal: