learning center

Creating Institution's Scripts and URL Scripts

Institution's Scripts and URL Scripts are scripts that chat librarians are encouraged to send to customers that need more help getting answers to questions that are specific to our libraries or communities.  

  • These scripts complement Shared and URL Scripts that can be given to AUN and/or 24/7 Cooperative Library customers and the "My Scripts" and "My URL Scripts" that we have individually created.   

When Do I Contact Customers After Chat?

In a continued effort to streamline AskUsNow!, and apply feedback from Liaisons and Providers to create new documentation, this guide has been created to explain in a nutshell when to contact customers after chat.

Contact customers, not using QuestionPoint, within your library and/or with guidance and support from the Statewide Coordinator of AskUsNow!, when the following scenarios occur between the chat provider and chat customer:

What Do I Do If a Chat is Accidentally Marked for Email Follow-Up?

In lieu of Email Follow-Up ending at the close of business on 1/31/19, adapting to big changes to a service as longstanding as Maryland AskUsNow! are expected and anticipated.  Because libraries from in and out of Maryland chat with Maryland AskUsNow!

Providing Referrals on Chat (Updated)

Providing referrals on chat is of the utmost importance to:

1) promote or add value to the customer's chat question and information needs

2) ensure that the customer's question will be completely answered after chat

3)  both 1 and 2.  


Quick Guide to Going Global

"Going global" means that during your AskUsNow! shift, you're accepting customers from outside of Maryland. The global queue is almost always busy and can be a little nerve-wracking to librarians who are unfamiliar with working with non-MD customers. We've put together this guide to help out.

Talking about Information Literacy

Not too long ago, in the dark pre-Web and html days, libraries had a somewhat contained grasp of carefully selected sources around their desks.  These tools provided the reference librarians and staff with information from well-worn materials at their fingertips.  Finding "the answer" to questions, such as who won the World Series in 1978, the highest peak in the U.S., which refrigerator is the best on the market, or what Nikola Tesla invented were often organized in a Ready Reference collection, as well as available to check out through almanacs and encyclopedias.  Some materials floated over to the large Xerox machines as dimes were fed in and pages were copied.  Earnest librarians amazed patrons when they found reputable articles through the library's in-print journals and databases.

Freshening up Your Scripts

Initially, your personal scripts may have been set up by you as a new provider. If you find you haven't done much work on them after that, you're not alone! It may be time to revisit your scripts and see if they need a little spring cleaning.  You may want to update the language or re-organize them.

Overcoming Uncertainty: "Can I answer THIS?"

Our ultimate goal is to pick up our patrons as quickly as possible while providing excellent assistance.  A genuinely welcoming greeting, given in a matter of just a few seconds, sets the tone for what can be a small but significant adventure together into the world of information. Through our need to find excellent information and solutions, we creatively tax our brains and benefit from these active, intellectual pursuits.

The Chat Monitoring Tool

The online environment can be strangely isolating, yet amazingly active.  While settling in for your chat session, it's interesting and informative to gain a sense of who else is online and what types of questions are being asked at the time.  We can do this through the Chat Monitoring Tool.

Turn Off Your Music While Chatting

music notes

Do you listen to music while working?  Music can get you into a groove and help speed up (and liven up) repetitive tasks!

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