learning center

AskUsNow!: Persistent and "Interpretation" Online Customers

Dear Liaisons:

Yesterday I had multiple chat librarians make the right judgment calls in addressing concerns about a customer who was asking them to interpret passages/ask what the passages mean. 

The chat librarians were suspicious of the customer's online behavior because of these "red flags:"

  • The initial chat question made no sense.  Here are examples from yesterday:
    • a
    • dd

Local Service is possible, even for non-local librarians

Sometimes a local question may be difficult to answer, especially if you're not the local librarian! But there are some quick and easy things you can do to give them the best service possible.

What To Do With Local Account Questions

We sometimes hear that local account or PIN questions are among the least favorite of our AskUsNow! providers. It's a rare scenario when a customer logs in and is picked up by one of their own librarians who would have access to their library account information.

Is there anything we can do? Yes! An automatic "Send to Followup" response is not necessary. We should make every available attempt to solve the problem before offering followup as an option.

Best Practices for Database Access

In May 2016, a work group was convened to create a Best Practices for Database Access

document for members of the 24/7 Reference Cooperative.  The work group gathered data

Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement: July-September 2016

AskUsNow!:  Quality Control Commendations and Tips for Chat Improvement

FY 17

July-September 2016


The following commendations and improvement points are based off of praise and constructive criticism from 1) the Statewide Coordinator and Support for Operations, 2) Liaisons, and 3) QuestionPoint and out-of-state/country Liaisons


Top Five Chat Librarian Commendations:

Students' In-Depth, Research Questions: Tips for Helping Them Out

A topic that has been revisited over the AskUsNow! years, here is working list of the best ways to help out students at any grade level with their in-depth, research questions.  These tips have been provided by chat providers and customers in survey and email feedback:

Policy Pages: How Do We Improve Them?

Thanks to the feedback from the September 2015 Liaison Meeting, we have developed templates (They can also be used as customized scripts.) that your library may add to their policy pages.

What policy pages improvements will we post?  The improvements deal with topics that:

QuestionPoint Reports: Offline Reports

This guide is geared toward AskUsNow! Liaisons, but may still be informative and useful to know for Providers.


QuestionPoint gives us access to reports that are more detailed than 90-Day reports. 

QuestionPoint Reports: Stats for Individual Librarians

 This guide walks you through how to get statistics for your institution's individual librarians.

QuestionPoint Reports: Chat Sessions Requested and Accepted at Your Library

This guide will assist you in how to find the standard monthly stats for your institution's librarians (Chats Sessions Accepted) and customer activity (Chat Sessions Requested). Short video included.

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