Archive for January, 2007

Clarification: How the All tab works

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Hi everyone! There has been some confusion about the All tab, so here is some further clarification.
The All tab is a new feature, introduced this January.
If you click on the All tab, you will see a list of all the patrons that are being helped by OTHER Askaway librarians. If you were to click on one of these patrons, you would then enter “conference mode”, in which you could silently observe the session between the patron and the librarian, and/or send messages yourself.
PLEASE do not enter other librarians’ sessions without their permission. If you feel a need to “jump in”, please contact the other librarian via IM first, and ask permission/offer your services.
Conversely, if you are answering a question and you would like another librarian to assist you, for instance with some local knowledge, you can IM them and invite them to join you in “conference mode”.
Askaway has been promoting the use of “conference mode” and the All tab, to create a conference for all on-duty librarians. We are suggesting that one librarian create a question, with the patron name “Conference 4 All”. This fake patron would then appear under the All tab, and could then be used as a conference for librarians on-duty to collaborate and quickly disseminate information.
However, any sessions that are under the All tab and do NOT have the name “Conference 4 All” are live sessions occurring between other librarians and real patrons. Once again, please do not join these sessions unless you are invited.

You can also use the All tab to determine how many questions are being answered by other librarians. For instance, if a new question comes into the Chat Monitor, and you are already answering another question, you can glance at the All tab. If the number of questions displayed in the All tab is less than the number of questions in the Librarians tab, it is likely that another librarian is free to take the question.
I hope that this clears up some of the confusion about the All tab. If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at:

Brown-bag lunch: Conference Mode and IM

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Curious about Conference mode? Want to learn more?

Over the course of the term, Askaway will be providing
brown-bag lunch sessions. These will be available
online, so you can attend from the comfort of your
own desktop!
The first session will be: Conference Mode and IM.
It will take place Monday, January 29th, from 12:15
to 12:45.
To attend, click the link below:
and use the Enter as Guest box to enter the session.
The session will open at 12:00 to allow participants
time to check their audio equipment.
For more information, including system requirements
and FAQs, visit:
If you have any suggestions for future topics, or would like
to present a topic, please email me: nikib(at)eln(dot)bc(dot)ca

Conference Mode Instructions Fixed

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Hi folks,
Sorry about the confusion! Conference Mode wasn’t working for some folks because our documentation instructed you to use the Practice queue to initiate it, when in fact you need to use the real BC Acad queue, otherwise the Conference 4 All question won’t show up in the real queue that everyone is staffing. The documentation has been revised:
Instructions for using Conference Mode to chat with all AskAwayers online.
Happy conferencing!
– Sunni

Conference Mode Didn’t Work

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Has anyone tried to set up a Conference session yet? I just tried and got as far as submitting the practice patron form with “Conference 4 All” in the name field. But the message never arrived in the Chat Monitor.

New: Conference Mode

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Communicate quickly with all of the librarians currently online!

When beginning your next shift at Askaway, be sure to join the conference (or be the first to set one up)! This allows you to communicate quickly with all of the librarians who are currently online.
Use conference mode to find out who’s online, to co-ordinate transfers at shift changes, or announce important discoveries.
For example:

  • Is anyone here familiar with the NURS362 assignment at UBC?
  • I’ve just begun my shift. Does anyone need to transfer questions?
  • “X” university’s catalogue is down. I’ve emailed their tech support.

For more details, click on:
How to join an existing conference session
Protocols for communication
How to set up a conference session
How to leave (or transfer) a conference session
How to close a conference session