Shared Follow-Up


"Shared Follow-Up" is a folder of chat sessions that have been marked with the "Follow Up By Patron Library" resolution code.  Shared Follow-Up Libraries have the responsibility of sending chat sessions to the customers' local libraries or subject specialists, or replying back to them immediately. Shared Follow-Up is another way that AskUsNow! libraries and librarians help each other out within the 72-hour follow-up by email expectation.



The following libraries check Shared Follow-Up at least twice on their date and time scheduled. 

For implementation on 7/3/18; updated on 11/26/18:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday*
9 am-1 pm BCPL Pratt/SLRC MCPL Pratt/SLRC AACC Pratt/SLRC
1 pm-5 pm Pratt/SLRC Pratt/SLRC Frostburg State University FCPL Pratt/SLRC Pratt/SLRC
5 pm-9 pm     CarrollCPL  
Anytime of the Day (Law Chats Only)

MD State Law Lib

MD State Law Lib

MD State Law Lib

MD State Law Lib

MD State Law Lib

MD State Law Lib

*Pratt/SLRC will do shared follow-up on Sundays when time permits.

Substitute libraries for coverage are the 1) Calvert Library and 2) Stevenson University Library


Who should do Shared Follow-Up?

Libraries should check the schedule to find out which dates and times they do Shared Follow-Up.  The libraries will review the chat sessions in the Shared Follow-Up folder, and decide on if they should 1) be sent to the customers' home libraries, 2) be sent to libraries with subject specialists who will best reply back with more information, or 3) send immediate replies back with more information.

See Customer Service Excellence in Email Reference for how to do follow-up or email reference.


How often do libraries do Shared Follow-Up?

Libraries should do shared follow-up two times during their four-hour time block.  Ideally, here is how shared follow-up should be done by time:

  • 1st time:  First half of the time block
  • 2nd time:  Second half of the time block, or about two hours after the first time.


What happens if my library needs coverage or a substitute for Shared Follow-Up?

  1. Ask the libraries assigned to your Shared Follow-Up day if they can cover or switch time.
  2. No coverage?  Please ask other libraries that do Shared Follow-Up for coverage or a switch in times.  You may also contact the substitute libraries for coverage.
  3. Still no coverage?  Please contact Paul and Becca.  Contact information is available at


How does the library review the Shared Follow-Up chat sessions?

Chat sessions that have been marked "follow up by patron library" will be found in the "Shared Followup" folder of the My QuestionPoint homepage. To see the Shared Follow-Up chat sessions, follow one of these paths:

My QuestionPoint > Question Lists > Shared Followup


My QuestionPoint > Select Service > ASK > Shared Follow-up



Click on the chat session links for review.  

In the full chat transcript view, click "Claim" to claim the chat session. This puts the chat session into the "My Questions" area, and also allows the chat to be sent to another library, or receive an immediate reply back by the Shared Follow-Up library.

Please review the chat sessions to find out if they are research questions, or questions dealing with policy, circulation services, access services, or other topics. More importantly, make sure the chat sessions have email addresses in them for follow-up.   


How does the library send the Shared Follow-Up chat sessions to specific libraries OR reply back to the chat sessions immediately?

If a chat session is best suited for a particular library, send the chat session to that library.  If confident and quickly able to send a reply back, please take that initiative.  
Sending Chat Sessions to Specific Libraries
1. After claiming the chat sessions, reviewing them, and making sure they have email addresses in them, click on the "Refer To" drop down menu when viewing the full question.
2. select "Partner (Subscription)," and click the arrow to continue.
  • To refer to the QuestionPoint Quality Control Team, choose "Subject Matter Expert" and then "Quality Control."  Please leave a note about why you are sending the chat session to Quality Control.
  • If a library or institution is not listed in "Partner (Subscription)," use the "E-mail Partner" option and email the chat session to the appropriate AUN Contact.  
3. on the next screen, in the "to" drop down menu, select the library that will receive the chat session. Add a note about why the chat session is being sent to that library and click "refer."  More information about Shared Follow-Up is in the "Referral and Follow Up" section at
Replying Back to Chat Sessions Immediately (instead of sending them to specific libraries)
If you want to send a reply back, click on "Answer", Once the reply is ready for the customer, please click on "Send Answer."  Also, please do not close the chat session. Chat sessions are only closed by the customers' librarians who are doing quality review (liaisons, designated providers, and the AskUsNow! Statewide Coordinator).

A NOTE ABOUT SHARED FOLLOW-UP CHATS FROM "Maryland AskUsNow! Public Library" and Enoch Pratt Free Library Customers:  Please review the transcripts carefully to determine where they should go.

  • ​Does the customer mention their local library or institution?  If yes, please determine if the chat should go to the customer's public or academic library system.
  • Does the customer have a subject-specific need?  If yes, please determine if the chat should go to the upper and lower case "Enoch Pratt Free Library" (No chats go to "ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY" for follow-up.) or one of our special library partners (i.e. Maryland State Law Library, LBPH...).
  • Does the customer not mention a local library, but needs follow-up?  And you cannot determine the subject specialty?  Please send the chat to the "Maryland AskUsNow! Public Library" account.  Paul will determine the best library for follow-up.
  • No chats go to "ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY" for follow-up.


Done! The chat sessions will now show up in the chosen library's "new" list or have immediate replies with more information.