Archive for January, 2008

Switch to OvidSP: upcoming brownbag presentation

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

The Ovid database provider is rolling out a new interface, OvidSP. Some AskAway institutions have already switched over to the new interface; the rest will be switching in the next few weeks.
On Wednesday, January 23rd, at 2:15pm, there will be a Brown bag presentation called “Introduction to OvidSP”. I’ll be going over some of the features of the new interface.
An email with the link to the presentation was sent out via the listserv on Mon, Jan 14th.
If you have never attended an AskAway brown bag presentation before, please arrive early to set up your audio equipment.
If you’re not able to attend the presentation, a recording of the session will be placed on the Recordings page (under the Professional Development tab on the Portal). Here is a direct link:
Questions? Email Niki.

Welcome to the new term!

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Happy New Year!
AskAway opens today for the January to April 2008 term. What can you do to be ready for your first shift?
Have a look at these recent blog entries:
Top Ten Tech Tips
New Patron Exit Survey
New Script: Problem – Prank
View a recorded online training session for an unfamiliar subject area or institution: Recordings of online training sessions
Have fun and let us know if you have any questions!

Top 10 Tech Tips

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

We’ve learned a lot about the QuestionPoint software over the past year. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent and recover from technical glitches.
Prevent Screen flickerings
Screen flickering/refreshing uncontrollably? This is often caused by double-clicking on a New Patron rather than single-clicking. It can also occur if you click once on a New Patron, but they are very slow to load, so you click again. Be sure to only click once on each New Patron.
Check your IE settings
Is QP behaving oddly? Are you all alone on your shifts? Check your Internet Explorer settings (instructions available at: It’s good to check them at the beginning of every term. Be sure that “Check for newer versions of cached pages…on every visit
to the page” is selected!


New Exit Survey for Patrons

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

This term, AskAway patrons will be presented with a different exit survey. The exit survey appears as a popunder window after the chat session is completed.
The questions in the new survey are more relevant to our specific service. Please see below for a list of all of the questions and the possible answers.


New service-wide script: Problem – Prank

Friday, January 11th, 2008

In preparation for the new term, a new service-wide script has been added to assist you in dealing with prank questions.
What is a prank question?
Any inappropriate question that is not actually obscene, abusive or threatening.
E.g. Are you fat? Are you hot?
Here is the text of the new script:
Problem – Prank
This service is for questions related to library use. You are welcome to use the AskAway service if you have such a question.
Please also remember that the scripts: Problem – Rude and Problem – Threats are available should you need them.