Archive for September, 2010

UBC Engineering Classes

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010


Starting with this week, we are teaching approximately 1,800 engineering students in a few major classes- Engineering Cases (APSC 150), Engineering Communication (APSC 176) and Technical Communication (APSC 201) .

If you get those students coming to you, please help them by starting with our SciEng homepage – where you will see links to the appropriate course pages – APSC 150, 201, 176 and 262

Please refer any questions you may have with these folks my way.

Many thanks,


Eugene Barsky, M.L.I.S.
Science & Engineering Librarian, University of British Columbia

QuestionPoint Bug Fixes

Monday, September 27th, 2010

There have been a number of reports of QuestionPoint bugs since the last software install on September 19th.  These include:

1)  The inability to see how many calls other librarians are handling via the “All” tab in the chat monitor.

2)  The address bar doesn’t appear when the Policies link is clicked in the chat monitor.

3) Patrons have been reporting difficulty typing in the Qwidget box.

The first two items will be resolved in the next QP install, happening tomorrow AM (September 28).

The last one is related to the way that the Qwidget interacts with the CSS code in the library website.  I’ll be following up with libraries about this.

For more information about the QP install, see the QuestionPoint Blog:

– Sunni


How-it-Works for Patrons!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Have you ever wondered exactly what the AskAway session looks like from the patron side? Perhaps wondered what options are available for making the session more user-friendly or accessible? Check out the new How-it-Works tutorial for patrons with step-by-step help, key screenshots & “more” hover tips!

Learn the differences between the Chat (IM Qwidget) & Chat (Fullscreen) interfaces as well as important Email, Privacy & Survey info. From basic information to useful tips about expanding Qwidgets, message chime notifications and email option quirks – we hope you’ll find great tips to pass on to your patrons!

UVic Chem 101 Labs

Monday, September 20th, 2010

From Liz Ball at UVic:

Hi Colleagues:

RE CHEM 101 Labs:

There  are 900 students trying to complete their first CHEM 101 Lab.  There is a CHEM 101 Web page at  Lots of answers to questions students maybe asking at the Library Help Desk are found on this web page.

If students want help in writing up their Lab, they should be sent to the Chemistry Drop in Centre on the 2nd floor of Elliot (30 hours a week) .

The Learning Commons CHEM Office (30+ hour a week) will also be staffed but the hours are not yet posted and this is more for help with Lecture material concepts, not so much for their Labs.

The first lab lists Additional Sources:  Students are not really expected to seek these out, but if they do:

–          Their textbook, is available on Reserve. Chemistry: the central science, 11th edition (page 499)
o    Reserve call number is pri 16000
–          DA Katz J. Chem. Ed. 1994, 71, 891.
o    Maybe you use Google, but UBC has a nifty tool to decode journal abbreviations at
o    The Voyager web link note claims online access to the backfiles is temporarily unavailable, but that is not true. I will get this changed
o    Access to the PDF of this 1994 article is at Scroll down the Table of Contents to the article
–          J. Walker. Scientific American, 1978, 239(5), 142
o    The page number in the Lab Manual citation is wrong. It is not page 186. It is page 142.
o    Call number is Q1 S7. Not available online.

I have contacted the Lab Supervisor to let her know of the citation error.


AskAway Refresher Session — Watch the Screencast

Monday, September 20th, 2010

On September 10, BC ELN hosted an online refresher session for AskAwayers from participating libraries. We tested our knowledge of AskAway functions (do you know the difference between a Qwidget and a full screen interface?) and discussed a handful of brand new transcripts.

You can watch the hour-long screen cast at

It’s a great refresher for anyone who has used AskAway in the past, and you are guaranteed to learn something new!

– Kat