learning center

Exceptional AskUsNow! Transcripts: FY15-17

Congratulations to all of our nominated and recognized providers!

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:

Part II: New Staff Training

This is Part II of the New Staff Training for new AskUsNow! providers.  Each part builds on the previous one.  No participant can move onto Part II without completing Part I.  4 Contact Hours are given for Parts I and II.

PART II:  Face to Face Training

The main agenda items include:

Summer 2016 Online Refresher Training Topics?

Last Summer, Becca and I facilitated three Tough Customers in Review Blackboard Training Sessions.  While we are open to doing another round of Tough Customers in Review, we would like more online refresher training topics that will lead to developing online refresher training in July and August 2016.

At the December 2015 Liaison Meeting,  we shared the following online refresher training ideas:

Law Questions: What does the Maryland State Law Library answer compared to academic and public libraries?

Guest blog by Catherine McGuire, AskUsNow! Liaison and Head of Reference and Outreach, Maryland State Law Library


Best Bet:  Law Librarian

Anything that asks for specific laws or processes related to law.

Using HTML Tags in the Chat Monitor

For chat providers who want to spruce up their chat sessions:

On Behalf of Wren Spangler at QuestionPoint:


I've received some questions recently about the html tags that appear in some scripted messages and I'd like to provide some clarification.

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