Archive for the ‘Local Knowledge’ Category

Short URLs for Qwidget Patrons

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

We often have to copy and paste a long URL, especially from database searches, into the Qwidget chat interface. But these long links can be overwhelming and frustrating for patrons. In some cases the URLs are even too long to paste into the chat box. Rather than disrupt your chat session with messy links… make your link tiny with a URL shortener instead! (more…)

All Tab Display Issues in QuestionPoint: An Update!

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Many AskAway service providers have reported that the All () tab in QuestionPoint no longer displays an accurate count of your colleagues ongoing questions since the addition of the new BME Queues (see below for example). We’ve reported the issue to QuestionPoint and the investigation is ongoing but in the meantime there’s other ways to deal with queue management!

With the addition of the Institutional BME Queues your colleagues may suddenly display many questions ongoing that never even made it to the Primary queue. This is because incoming questions for that Institution are offered for 40 seconds to those service providers first before they roll up into the Primary queue. Due to this your colleagues may be handling many more questions than expected.  In some cases they may also only be monitoring their own BME queue (check the Queues column for more information) and are unavailable for Primary queue questions.

Check the Librarians tab and Chat Monitoring Tool frequently for updates.

All Tabs in QuestionPoint

  1. Check the Librarians () Tab instead! This tab is updated with all ongoing question counts including those you may never see arrive in the New () tab as they were picked up directly from a BME queue.
  2. Communicate in Campfire! Please remember to login to Campfire to communicate with your colleagues even if you’re only monitoring your own BME queue.
  3. Check the Chat Monitoring Tool for in-depth information! From your QuestionPoint Home page you can click the Chat Monitoring Tool link in the top menu or below the Launch Chat link for more information on all ongoing questions.

Chat Monitoring Tool Link

For additional information on the All () Tab check AskAway Blog: All About the All Tab (2012) and AskAway Blog: QuestionPoint All Tab Display Issues (2013).  Questions or comments? Contact the AskAway Administrative Centre.

University Canada West Resources Demo

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Update: Here is the recorded session
Note that it works best in IE, and may not function with other browsers.

University Canada West offered to provide a quick online demo of how to access their resources for any AskAwayers who are interested. We will record it to make available to those who can’t attend.

Date: November 2, 2012

Time: 12:00 pm

Length: 15 minutes


Demo Details:

University Canada West is holding a brief (approx. 15 mins) but informative session on how to access UCW’s Library Resources behind the MyUCW portal. This session will review how to log into the MyUCW portal, what resource are available, and how to access them. UCW is pleased to be an active member of BC ELN and the AskAway service. We want to ensure that everyone has the necessary information to help UCW students when they take advantage of the AskAway service. Please bring any questions or concerns you may have to the session or feel free to contact me directly at

About Adobe Connect:

  • No need to RSVP, just join in!
  • To connect to the meeting, go to:
  • Enter your name to join as a guest.
  • To participate fully in the meeting, you would ideally have a headset with microphone for your computer.  Relying on an external microphone and speakers results in feedback issues.
  • If you don’t have a headset with microphone, you can still participate with just earphones, using the chat function instead of a microphone.

    UVic Library’s Help Videos

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

    What do Gumby, Bugs Bunny, and mini-horses have to do with UVic? They each feature in one of UVic library’s instructional videos- 2-minute YouTube clips that cover topics such as academic integrity, scholarly vs. popular sources, and defining a thesis statement. The videos give step-by-step instructions with visuals of the library’s catalogue, website, and databases when relevant.

    The videos are available on UVic library’s YouTube channel as well as on their Help Videos page.

    My favourite one features cleverly clipped vintage Dracula footage in the video Using Wikipedia, with the memorable line “Make critical thinking your garlic!”

    Another video not to miss is Research Help from your Librarian, which inserts the UVic Library website and information into a clip of a 1940s film on librarianship.

    Feel free to direct UVic students to the appropriate video(s) while helping them on AskAway, and let us know if your library has something similar.

    – Reece, BC ELN

    Reminder: Check-out your Qwidgets each Term!

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

    Just a reminder to update and check-out all your qwidgets each term! AskAway Qwidgets provided on your Library web pages, Libguides and EBSCO & ProQuest databases can be very useful to patrons but occasionally some are missed in the update each term.  We’ve had a few reports of out-dated qwidgets and closed qwidgets that don’t display all of the offline message.

    Here’s some reminder tips to help:

    1. Update your qwidget each term in every resource or location when you receive the Preparation for Term Start message from the listserv.
    2. Don’t forget to also check-out the closed/offline message display before the service opens!  Qwidgets with long closed messages or larger font sizes may not display the entire message to the patron.  You may need to Create/Update your Qwidget and replace the code if you make changes to qwidget size, colour etc.
    3. Does your qwidget display differently or incorrectly in a particular browser (eg. Internet Explorer vs. Firefox)?  Check your web page for snippets of out-dated qwidget code that may be hidden from sight but interfering with the display.

    Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the AskAway Admin Centre.