learning center

Urgent Issues, But Not Crises, Happening Right Now at a Customer's Library: What Do I Do?

Have you ever received chat questions or comments from a customer who states he is upset about something that is happening right now at his library?

  • I am having trouble opening up a website for my homework assignment.  I keep getting a message that I am not permitted to see it.
  • There is too much noise in the fiction area.  Please stop it.
  • Can you turn down the air conditioning?  It's always hot in the library.

 

In any of these scenarios, we will:

No Habla Español? Transfer to the Spanish Queue

Learn how to transfer a chat customer to another queue (instead of to a librarian) like the Spanish or After Hours queue.

May I Ask for a Customer's Library Card Number and PIN/Password During Chat?

Yes!  Whether it is an account, library policy, student assignment, or any other type of in-depth, research question; you may ask for this information if this will assist in providing great service to the customer. 

This answer is provided by QuestionPoint in their Policies and Procedures section on Patron Privacy:  http://wiki.questionpoint.org/w/page/13839422/247-Policies#46Patronprivacy.

 

 

When a Customer Requests a Transcript From a Previous Session

This guide walks you through the steps of getting a previous transcript re-sent to a customer.

Exceptional AskUsNow! Transcripts: FY15-17

Congratulations to all of our nominated and recognized providers!

Privacy and Librarians: What can we share with online customers about AskUsNow! Librarians?

Occasionally I come across chat transcripts where customers ask the following types of questions:

 

  1. Is MD Librarian John Smith available?  I lost my connection with him.
  2. Is MD Librarian John Smith available?  He helped me out the last time I was on chat.
  3. When are UMES librarians online?  Charles County librarians?  BCPL librarians?....

 

Quality Control: How can we provide it like QuestionPoint and the AskUsNow! Administrators?

In reference to the "Supports the Quality of Service" section of The Responsibilities of the AskUsNow! Liaison, I have received questions about how I (the Liaison) should be reviewing chat sessions.  I have also received questions from AskUsNow! Providers about the criteria used to evaluate the chat sessions. 

QuestionPoint Administrators have graciously shared information about how they provide quality control.

How to Send a Question for Follow-Up to a Non-Maryland Library

Sometimes a session needs follow-up by a non-Maryland library.  You have multiple options!

Follow-Up by Email: Referring a Chat Session to a Subject Specialist

Are you a liaison or chat librarian who is trying to figure out if your library has a subject specialist who can effectively reply back to a customer's chat question?

  • Genealogy?
  • Maryland history?
  • Maryland law?
  • Engineering?
  • Meteorology?
  • Another Subject Specialty?

We may not have all of the subject expertise at our library.  I don't think there is one librarian who can state they specialize in every subject, even though we sometimes try hard to do it.

The Referer: It Saves Reference Interview Steps

"I need an obituary from this newspaper." 

"Where are the peer-reviewed articles?"

We've all seen versions of these oddly-specific questions.  In some cases, this is because customers assume we can see what they see.  Thanks to the referer (aka referral URL), this is somewhat the case. 

The referer shows the page where the customer began their AskUsNow! chat.  It's located in the Info tab on the chat monitor:

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