Skip to main content

Service Provider FAQs

Browse and search frequently asked questions.

How can I see how many active chats my colleagues are currently handling?

1199 views   |   3 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jul 27, 2022    Traffic

Use the Current Chats status board to see how many active chats your colleagues have and to balance traffic on your shifts:

You can access this tool from the AskAway staff homepage (under "Key links for your shift"):

You will need to be logged in to the website to access the link. Open this tool at the beginning of each shift and use it to manage traffic and balance the workload with your colleagues.

The status board refreshes automatically every minute to show you the following information:

  • who is currently staffing queues

  • what their status is (eg. available, busy)

  • the queues an individual is staffing

    • Note: you may see some service providers staffing only their institutional queue outside of their scheduled AskAway shifts

  • the time they picked up their most recent chat

read more

How can I work more efficiently with multiple patrons in LibraryH3lp?

1197 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jul 27, 2022    Preferences Traffic

There are several tools available in LibraryH3lp to help you work more efficiently with multiple patrons:

 

See how many active chats your colleagues are handling

See the FAQ "How can I see how many active chats my colleagues are currently handling?"

 

Customize your chats layout

You can decide how you would like to layout your chats:

1. Navigate to the Preferences tool in the far left menu

2. See the "Automatically arrange and size chat windows" preference

  • If you turn this on, new chats will be automatically resized
  • If you turn this off, you can resize new chats as desired

Note: Please leave the "Automatically set me to 'Busy' after this many open chats" set to 99. Altering this setting can interfere with the way chats are distributed and have unintended negative effects for your colleagues. 

 

3. If you have this feature turned on, see the "Automatically expand new chats until I have..."

  • This feature allows you to choose how many chat boxes you would like to pop-up automatically as new chats come in
  • After the threshold is reached, new chats will arrive minimized in your Current Guests list on the left where you can click to open the chat preview and claim the chat. If another service provider claims the new chat before you pop it open, the chat will disappear from your Current Guests list.

This feature can be hard to explain in words, so the best idea is to test it yourself on your shifts and see which layout you like best!

 

View the patron's status

The icons beside the guest's ID help you understand what's happening on the patron's end:

  • Green icon: the patron is online
  • Black icon: the patron is offline
  • Red circle with a number: the patron has sent you a new message (and number of messages they've sent)
  • Arrow in the circle: you've minimized this chat

 

Update the Guest Nickname

The Guest ID / nickname (e.g. "Guest JDBB") can be edited. If you'd like, you can edit this guest ID to give the guest a nickname to provide better context and help you keep track of different questions when you're handling multiple patrons. For example, you could change it to a short description of the topic or the type of question (e.g. APA). Any changes you make to the guest's nickname will not be reflected or stored in the session metadata.

To edit the nickname, hover over the guest ID in your Current Guests list and then click the pencil icon.

This short screencast (30 sec / no audio) shows you how to update the nickname.

 

Minimize chats

You can minimize an open chat by clicking the arrow button in the top right corner of your chat. This will minimize the chat to your current guests list. Minimized chats will have an arrow in the patron status icon. You'll see a notification if the patron sends another message.

Minimizing chats can be helpful to clear up your workspace if you have a chat that you're pretty sure is finished but you want to keep open for a few more minutes in case the patron returns.

 

Highlight chats

You can highlight a chat by clicking the star button in the top right corner of your chat. Highlighting a chat will help draw your attention to it for any number of reasons.

Do you have any other tips for working with multiple patrons in LibraryH3lp? Let us know!

read more

How do I end a chat session?

1088 views   |   1 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 28, 2022    Ending Session

Before you end a chat session:

  • Make sure the patron has enough information to get started or that you've made an appropriate referral.
  • Ask if they'd like any additional help with their original question or if they have any other questions before closing.

If the patron is not responding and you think they may have left the chat accidentally, you have the option to keep the chat open. If they return, they will be reconnected directly to you. If your shift is over and they haven't returned, make sure to end the session. If they return after you've logged out for the day, they'll be reconnected to the queues for your colleague to pick up.

When you're ready to end the chat, follow these steps:

  1. Send the patron the Close - Goodbye script
    • This will let them know they can request a transcript, fill out a survey, and clear the chat history
  2. Tag the chat session
    • ​Adding tags helps the service and institutions track what kind of questions patrons are asking when they visit us
    • At a minimum, apply at least one primary tag to each chat
    • If you close the chat before adding tags, a reminder will pop-up asking if you'd like to add any tags

  1. Click the X (end chat) button in the top right of the chat session window to close the chat
  2. If you add tags at this point, you'll need to click the X again to close the session

Note: If the patron happens to still be online with their chat box open, they will appear under your Recent Guests list. There's nothing you need to do with Recent Guests. Once the patron closes the chat window, they will vanish from this list. If they come back online with a question after you've logged out, they will be reconnected to the queues.

read more

How do I create a personal canned message / script?

995 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 28, 2022    Scripts Chat Features

Creating a personal script in LibraryH3lp is easy!

Follow these steps to create your own personal canned message:

1. In the LibraryH3lp staffing webclient, navigate to the Canned Messages area 

2. Click the button in the top right corner to add your own script

3. Enter your script content

  • Note: If you're adding any links, make sure to click the "Link" button to add it as a hyperlink. If you skip this step, the link will not be available to the patron as a hyperlink in the chat

Screenshot of canned message editor with arrow pointing to where you can add link 

4. Click and your new script is ready to use

 

Tip

Create a personal canned message with your first name in it, so that you can quickly send a personalized welcome message to claim a chat.

Example personal welcome script: "Hi this is Sadie. Welcome to AskAway. How can I help you?"

When a new call comes in, simply type your name to bring up the script using the type-ahead feature, send this script, and quickly claim the call.

read more

How do I send a file, image, or screenshot?

994 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 28, 2022    Chat Features

General notes
Send a file using the file button
Send a screenshot using the snapshot sharing tool
Send a file or screenshot using drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

 

Common Issues
Image resolution

Why are some screenshots dark / unreadable in Chrome?
Why does text copied from a document sometimes go through as an image?

 

General notes on sending files and images

In LibraryH3lp, there are several ways you can send files and screenshots to patrons.

Notes:

  • Please don't send full text articles and other licensed resources. On AskAway, we have no way of verifying a patron's institutional affiliation and we want to respect licensing agreements.
  • When you're sharing files and snapshots, be mindful that you aren't sending any personal information or information you wouldn't want them to see.
  • Any files or images you send to the patron will not be included in the transcript they request. For this reason, you may wish to encourage the student to download and save any images they might use later.
     

Send a file using the file button

You can send a file to the patron by using the "send a file" button . Once you've clicked this, you can upload a file from your computer. Files sent to the patron will appear as a link on their end and clicking the link will start a download of the file.

Files of any type can be sent and each file can be a maximum of 20 MB.
 

Send a screenshot using the snapshot sharing tool

You can edit and send a screenshot to the patron by using the "share snapshots" tool :

1. Click the tool to get started. This will open a pop-up.

2. There are 3 ways to upload an image:

  • copy (Ctrl-c) and paste (Ctrl-v)
  • choose a file from your computer
  • drag and drop

4. Once you've uploaded the image, you can send as is to the patron by clicking "Send Snapshot to Guest" or you can "Edit Snapshot"

5. There are many options for editing your snapshot! You can add text, highlights, crop, etc.

6. When your snapshot is ready, you can Save to your computer (if you think you might use it again in future) and/or you can go ahead and send it to the patron by clicking "Send to Guest"

7. A message will notify you when the snapshot has been sent

8. Exit the snapshot tool to return to your conversation with the patron

On the patron's end, the snapshot will show as a thumbnail, which they can click to open full size.

On your end, you'll see a link to the snapshot and can choose to either show or hide the image in your chat history (note: this will not affect what the patron sees).
 

Send a file or screenshot using drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

You don't need to use the above tools to send a file or screenshot. Here are some of the ways you can quickly send a file or screenshot to the patron:

  • Drag and drop into the typing area
  • Copy (Ctrl-c) and Paste (Ctrl-v) into the typing area
  • Use the Print Screen shortcut and paste into the typing area

When you use the above methods with an image, you'll have the option to edit (using LibraryH3lp's snapshot editing tool) before sending to the patron.

Have you found another method to send files or snapshots? Let us know!

 

Common Issues

Image resolution

If you use LibraryH3lp's built-in screenshot sharing tool to edit your screenshot, you'll likely see a system message that says "This image was resized to fit the space available. Use Undo to go back to original size." If your image has small text that may be difficult to read at a lower resolution, click the "UNDO" button on the left-hand side of the editing tool and then proceed with editing and sharing the full size image.

Once you've sent the image to the patron, you may wish to check the resolution. To see the image you've sent, click in your chat to open the thumbnail and then click the thumbnail to view the image in a new tab.

You can also ask the patron if the image has come through clearly on their end. On the patron's end, they'll receive a thumbnail of the image that they can click to open full size in a new tab.

This short screencast (1min 23sec - no audio) shows you how to use the screenshot editing tool and how to undo the automatic image resizing.
 

Why are some screenshots dark / unreadable in Chrome?

If you or the patron are viewing screenshots in Chrome and if the screenshot is a transparent image (i.e. an image with no background), the image may appear dark and unreadable. This happens because in Chrome, the default background color for images shown in a tab is black and if the image contains black text, you're seeing black text on a black background.

When you're sending screenshots to a patron, always check-in to make sure they can read it. If they're having trouble seeing it and they're using Chrome, suggest they open it in another browser (i.e. Firefox) or that they download the image and view it on their desktop. If you're having trouble viewing an image the patron has sent you, try opening it in another browser such as Firefox.
 

Why does text copied from a document sometimes go through as an image?

This is an odd issue that can be replicated when text is copied from a Word document on a Mac and pasted into chat in Chrome. It looks like what's happening is Mac Word is placing multiple representations of the copied data onto the clipboard and Chrome is choosing to send the image version instead of the text version.

To workaround this issue, use Ctrl-Shift-V to paste the text OR right-click and use "Paste and Match Style" when pasting your text into chat. If a patron is having this issue, recommend they try the same.

read more

How do I log out at the end of my shift?

981 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jun 28, 2022    Ending Session

It's important to log out fully at the end of every shift, otherwise the service may stay open overnight with no one to pick up calls.

To log off at the end of your shift (and once all of your chats are wrapped up) do one of the following:

1. Click the status drop-down list in the top right corner of the webclient and click .

2. Click the button in the left-hand navigation bar.

 

There's no need to deselect queues. When you logout, you will also be removed from the queues. If you think that someone is still logged in after closing and/or if the chat boxes still appear open, let us know!

If it's time to close the service at the end of the day but you would still like to wrap up any ongoing sessions, see the FAQ I want to wrap up a chat at the end of my shift. How can I stay on without picking up new chats?.

Auto Logout option

In the LibraryH3lp webclient, you have the option to set-up auto-logout using a timer or a clock. You can set this up when you first login to LibraryH3lp for your shift. This can be a nice option if you sometimes forget to logout of LibraryH3lp at the end of your shift.

Auto logout using a timer:

 

Auto logout using a clock:

 

Note: When the time has elapsed, a box will pop-up that lets you know of the impending logout and gives you the option to extend the time if needed. This would allow you to remain logged in and wrap up any sessions if needed. If you don't respond to the auto-logout prompt, you will be completely signed out in one minute.

read more

How can a student request a transcript of their session?

928 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 16, 2022    Privacy Patron Experience Transcripts

A student can request a transcript of their chat session at any time by clicking the email icon on the chat box and entering their email address. The transcript will be emailed to them immediately and will include the conversation up until the point they requested the transcript. They do not have to wait until the end of the session to request a transcript.

Click the email icon in the chat box to request a transcript

AskAway is anonymous to protect patron privacy, and if the patron enters their email address to request a transcript, this email address is never stored.

Can I send a patron a copy of their transcript?

The short answer is no.

As AskAway is anonymous, we don't ask patrons for identifying information such as email address, student ID, etc. Instead, you can direct the patron to the email icon in their chat box, and they can request a transcript on their end.

If a patron asks for a transcript from an earlier session to be re-sent, we have no way of verifying the identity of the person asking, so re-sending the transcript violates the patron's privacy.

read more

How can I change my personal preferences?

919 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Preferences

In LibraryH3lp, you have several options to customize how you work with patrons.

To manage your preferences, navigate to the Preferences area in the staffing webclient (gear icon in the left navigation menu).

Hover over the ? icon to the right of each preference to learn what it does.

You can adjust your preferences as you're staffing and they will take effect immediately. Most of these settings (other than Auto Busy) are a matter of personal preference and you're encouraged to play around and see what settings you find most comfortable on your shifts.

See below for more detail on preferences of note.

New chat sound

This is the sound that you'll hear when a new patron comes in.

You can choose any sound you like, but please choose a sound (rather than none) as audio is generally faster than visual notifications and will ensure patrons are picked up promptly.

Chat message sound

This is the sound you'll hear when one of your existing patrons sends a new message.

You may wish to choose a sound that is different from new chat sound, so you can differentiate between the two. Or, you may wish to set this to "none." If you turn off this sound, please keep an eye on visual notifications to see when a patron has sent you a new message.

See also How do I customize sound and visual notifications?

Enable type-ahead for canned messages

If you find the autocomplete feature for canned messages distracting, you can deselect this preference. If you turn this feature off, you can still access scripts by clicking on the canned messages icon above the typing area and choosing from a list.

Automatically arrange and size chat windows / Automatically expand new chats until I have...

This will control how many chats automatically expand and show a preview of the chat when they first come in.

See also "How can I work more efficiently with multiple patrons in LibraryH3lp?"

Automatically set me to 'Busy' after this many open chats

This has been set to 99 for all service providers, which means it's ineffectual.

Note: Please leave this at 99. If it's set to another number, please set it to a very high number (e.g. above 20). The reason it's set to such a high number is because if service providers are automatically set to Busy during their shifts, this puts a burden on other colleagues to pick up new calls. Additionally, if all service providers on a shift are set to Busy, this will close the service.

Nickname

Please leave this as is.

read more

I want to wrap up a chat at the end of my shift. How can I stay on without picking up new chats?

905 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Status Staffing

It's your choice whether you would like to stay to finish up a question after your shift has ended or if you would like to transfer the chat to someone else. If you would like to finish up, you can set your status to "Busy" in LibraryH3lp on the hour. This allows you to wrap-up any active chats without being distracted by new ones. See below for more information.

AskAway is still open

  1. Make sure other service providers have arrived for the next shift so that the service remains open
  2. Only set yourself to "Busy" on the hour
  3. In the top-right in LibraryH3lp, set your status to "Busy"
    • When you set yourself to Busy, you won't receive any new chats but you can continue with and wrap-up active chats
  4. Once you've wrapped up your last chat, remember to Logout!

AskAway is closing for the day

  1. If everyone staffing the service sets their status to "Busy" and/or logs out, this will close the service
  2. Only set yourself to "Busy" on the hour
  3. In the top-right in LibraryH3lp, set your status to "Busy"
    • When you set yourself to Busy, you won't receive any new chats but you can continue with and wrap-up active chats
  4. Once you've wrapped up your last chat, remember to Logout!
read more

How do I transfer a chat session?

874 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 30, 2022    Transfers

In LibraryH3lp, follow these steps to transfer a chat to another service provider:

  1. Before you transfer, ask the patron if they would like to be transferred (you may wish to use the Chat - Transfer script)
  2. Ask in Campfire to see if one of your colleagues can take a transfer
  3. When you're ready to transfer, click the transfer button in the toolbar above the typing area (the icon with two arrows)
  4. In the box that pops-up, select to transfer the chat to "users" and in the drop-down select the service provider you are transferring to and click "Ok"
  5. Back in the chat session, you will see a message that the chat is being transferred
    • Note: If you send a message to the patron while the transfer is in progress, you will re-claim the chat and the service provider on the other end will not be able to respond to the patron
  6. Wait until you see a message that the chat has been successfully transferred (e.g. answered by bceln-sadie-p) and the chat background greys out
  7. Once the transfer has been picked up by your colleague, you can close the chat on your end by clicking the "X" button in the top right

Note: You can add tags before transferring or when you close the transferred chat and these will be captured in the session data.

This short screencast (1min 30 sec / no audio) shows you how to transfer a chat to another service provider.

Known issue: Transfer is not going through

There's currently a bug when trying to transfer what's called a "proactive outbound chat" (note: this is not related to proactive chats):

  • This is a chat that you initiate with a patron by selecting them from your contacts list (usually under "recent guests" or "current guests"). Typically, you would do this if you accidentally closed a prior chat window and then re-opened the chat, or if you closed it and then found new information to send the patron later.
  • Due to a bug, transfers for this particular type of chat will not work. This issue has been reported to LibraryH3lp.

Workaround:

  • If you need to sign off of your shift, one option is to let the patron know you're experiencing a technical issue with transfers and ask them to come back with their question in a few minutes for a colleague to answer after you have signed off. The new service provider can access the prior chat history using the "today's chat with guest" link in the new chat window.
read more

What contextual information is available about the patron?

866 views   |   1 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Patron Information

When you've claimed a patron, there is contextual information available that can help you work with them more efficiently.

You can view and access this information in the top left corner of the chat.

Queue and Queue Avatar

You'll see the name of the patron's queue / institution.

The queue avatar (the small box with the institutional acronym) is a nice visual cue that also tells you which institution they're from.

Page

This link is the referring URL, the page the patron was on when they initiated the chat. You can click this link to navigate to the page.

Guest ID / Nickname

The Guest ID / nickname (e.g. "Guest KAZM" in the example above) can be edited. If you'd like, you can edit this guest ID to give the guest a nickname to provide better context and help you keep track of different questions when you're handling multiple patrons. For example, you could change it to a short description of the topic or the type of question (e.g. APA). Any changes you make to the guest's nickname will not be reflected or stored in the session metadata.

To edit the nickname, hover over the guest ID in your Current Guests list and then click the pencil icon.

Profile (aka Policy Page)

You can access the patron's institutional policy page by clicking on the queue name. Links to policy pages are also available on the AskAway staff website Policy Pages page.

Timestamp

You can see the time the patron initiated chat. This is represented in Pacific Time.

read more

How do I customize sound and visual notifications?

865 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Preferences

In LibraryH3lp, there are several options for customizing your sound and visual notifications.

To set sound and visual notifications, navigate to the Preferences area of the staffing webclient (look for the gear icon in the left-hand menu).

Sound notifications

New chat sound

This is the sound you'll hear when a new chat arrives.

It's strongly recommended that you select a sound that will grab your attention, as new calls should be picked up as quickly as possible.

Chat message sound

This is the sound that you'll hear when you receive a new message from a chat that you've already claimed.

You may wish to choose a sound notification that's different from the new chat sound, so that you can distinguish between the two. You may also wish to set this to "none." If you set this to "none," keep a close eye on your chats to see when a patron has responded so that you can read their message and reply promptly. When a patron responds, you should see a red circle beside their guest ID with the number of new messages they've sent. For an extra visual cue, you can also enable desktop notifications (see below).

In your LibraryH3lp Preferences, click the drop-down to select from a list of sounds.

Visual / desktop notifications

In addition to sound notifications, you can also set your preferences for visual notifications. If you turn on visual notifications, you can select to have them close after a set number of seconds (available in Chrome only).

Setting visual notifications will be especially helpful if you've turned off the chat message sound notification.

In your LibraryH3lp Preferences, scroll to the bottom of the page and configure your desktop notifications.

read more

What are some tips for working with patrons who return to say thanks after the chat was closed?

818 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Ending Session

On your shift, you may sometimes receive a new incoming chat that says something like "Thanks for your help!" or "Bye, have a nice day!"

What's happening?

What's happening here is the patron was previously chatting on AskAway, and this earlier chat was closed on the service provider's end (likely because the conversation ended and the patron said they had all they needed, or the service provider hadn't heard from the patron in a while).

How can I handle these chats smoothly?

When these calls come in, it's best practice to pick them up and send some sort of message to the patron, even if they are just saying thanks or goodbye.

If the patron goes offline, send a short message to let them know they can come back if they have more questions. Even if they're offline, they'll still receive the message if they return:

  • "If you need further assistance, please start a new chat and someone will be happy to help."

If the patron is still online, you could send them a short message to confirm they have all they need:

  • "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

If they say "no," then you could send the first message above, letting them know they can start a new chat later if needed. If they say "yes," then you can continue the chat.

The message you send to the patron is up to you and will depend on the context (e.g. what exactly did the patron say? were you chatting with this patron earlier or was someone else?). In general, try to send some sort of message to the patron, either asking if they need further help or letting them know they can come back later if needed.

read more

How do I add tags to a session?

788 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Tags

Tags allow the service to track what kinds of questions are being asked and paint an accurate picture of student chat reference needs. Tags are customized for AskAway and have been selected to capture evaluative information of use to the AskAway service as a whole. To see definitions for the different tags (e.g. research, ready reference) and when to apply them, see the AskAway website tags page.

You can add tags during and/or at the end of your chat session by following these steps:

  1. Click the "tag chat" button (flag icon above the area where you type to send messages to the patron)
  2. Select tag(s) from the drop-down list. You can also start typing to search and filter the list.
  3. Add at least one primary tag to your chat session:
    • Primary tags: Circulation, Citation, Directional, eResources Access, Inappropriate / Prank, Ready Reference, Research, Technical
    • Note: Don't use the Follow-up tag as this is for follow-up via email, a feature AskAway doesn't currently use
  4. If appropriate, add any additional tags (you can add up to a maximum of four tags, most service providers add between 1 and 3)
  5. If you selected a tag by accident, click the "x" button to remove the tag
  6. Once you're happy with your selection, click the OK button
  7. If you'd like to add additional tags later in the session, you can do so at any time

Note: If you claim a new incoming chat at the exact same time as another service provider but they end up with the chat, you may be asked to tag the chat before closing the window on your end. If this happens, leave it up to the responding service provider to add tags as they will have a better idea what type of help the patron received.

read more

What status should I use on my shifts?

752 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Mar 15, 2022    Status

In the top right corner of the staff chat client, you'll see a drop-down list where you can set your status.

Your colleagues will see your status if they hover over the Queue status. Patrons will not see your individual status but the status you select may affect the status of the queues. For example, if everyone sets their status to Busy, this will close the service.

Available: In general, set your status to Available when you're staffing AskAway.

Busy: In general, don't use the Busy status on your shifts. If you set yourself to Busy, you will not see incoming chats and this puts the burden on your colleagues to pick up new calls.

Only set your status to Busy to wrap up any chats at the end of the night. For more information, see the FAQ I want to wrap up a chat at the end of my shift. How can I stay on without picking up new chats?

Away: If you have no active calls, you have the choice to set yourself to Away if you need to step away for a minute or two during your shift. Always let your colleagues in Campfire know that you're stepping away and remember to set yourself back to Available when you return.

No more than one service provider should set themselves to Away on a shift if they need to step away. If everyone on shift sets themselves to Away, this will close the service.

Free for Chat: You have the choice to use this status if you would like to signal to your colleagues that they can leave a call or two for you to pick up. Remember to set yourself back to Available when appropriate.

Extended Away: AskAway is not currently using this status.

Logout: When you've wrapped up all your calls and your shift is over, logout.

read more

Which queues should I choose when I login for my shift? 

742 views   |   0 Vote this question as useful.   0 Vote this question as not useful.   |   Last updated on Jan 20, 2022    Status Queues

When you login for your AskAway shift, choose the following staffing assignments:

Queues

  • Select the askaway queue (this is the general AskAway queue)
  • Select your institutional queue

Auto Logout

By default this is set to Never but you may wish to select an auto-logout on a timer or a clock.

If you choose an auto-logout option, make sure you're not staying logged in too long after your shift and leaving your workstation as this may be confusing to your colleagues. If you choose an auto-logout option, you'll be notified one minute before you're logged out and will have the option to stay logged in.

Set me as

Always set yourself to Available when you're logging on for your shift.

Example

Your staffing assignments will look like this (note: bceln is the institutional queue in this example):

How to choose staffing assignments for your AskAway shift

read more

What are the guest status (offline / available) system messages?

The guest status messages (offline / available) are automated, timestamped messages in LibraryH3lp that let you know what's happening on the patron's end, and if they have the page with the chat open or closed.

Here is an example of what this looks like. First, the system "Guest is offline" message displays when the patron navigates away. When they return, the system message "Guest is available" displays:

A screenshot of a chat that shows the patron offline and patron available system messages

 

What's happening on the patron's end?

Patrons will often navigate among web pages during chats, which is common user behaviour.

"Guest is offline"

  • If the patron came to AskAway via an embedded chat box, you'll see this message if they navigate to a new page, reload the page, or close the page.
  • If the patron came to AskAway via a button or link that pops out into a chat box in a separate window, you'll see this message if they close the window with the chat box.
  • If the patron is on a mobile device, you'll see this message if they place the browser app in the background by switching to another app.

"Guest is available"

  • This message will display if the patron is offline and then returns to a page with the AskAway chat box.

How can I work smoothly with patrons when I'm seeing these messages?

When you see the "Guest is offline" message, you can still send messages to the patron, and they will receive your messages if they return to the chat. It's good practice to always check-in with the patron, and if you don't hear from them for a while, to let them know you're closing the chat but they can always return if they need more help.

If you're seeing repeated "Guest is offline" messages, and they're coming and going frequently, ask them to pop-out the chat box. This way, they won't be reloading the chat box each time they reload the page they're on, as the chat box will be in a separate window that they can keep open as they navigate different pages on their browser. There's a script for this:

  • "Quick tip: You can make the chat window larger by clicking the expand icon (top right) and a new window that you can resize will pop-up."

Patrons are often appreciative to learn they can pop-out the chat, since the chat box can be quite small, especially in databases. One thing to be aware of is that sometimes when the patron pops out the chat box, their chat history will not be available in the new chat window, so it's best to ask them to do this earlier in the session rather than later.

Here's how patron's can pop-out the chat box:

A patron chat box with an arrow pointing to the chat expand icon

For additional tips, see the FAQ What can I do if the patron's chat is timing out or disconnecting?

read