Archive for January, 2011

QP Virtual User Group Meeting

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

QuestionPoint is holding virtual user group meetings February 8-9.  These meetings are open to any interested AskAwayers – registration information is below.


From QuestionPoint:

Our next virtual meeting will be held at 3 different times February 8-9. We will cover the enhancements and share feedback from the User Group meeting held at ALA Midwinter.

The update should take around 20 minutes. The remaining hour will be yours to discuss topics of interest to you. Between now and February 8 please e-mail topics to .

Please choose one of the following sessions. (Times are shown for both the Eastern time zone in the U.S. and GMT time for international participants.) Please be sure that messages from are allowed through to your email so your confirmation and log-in information is not caught in a spam blocker.

Tuesday, 8 February, 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM ET (13:00 to 14:30 GMT) We hope this time will be convenient for European, South African, and Middle Eastern users. Please register here.

Tuesday, 8 February, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM ET (4:00 PM to 5:30 PM PT; 00:00 to 01:30, 9 February, GMT) We expect western North American and Central American users to find this time best for them, as well as Australian and Asian users. Please register here.

Wednesday, 9 February, 11:00 to 12:30 ET (16:00 to 17:30 GMT) Best for eastern and central North America and South America. Please register here.

Sessions will be conducted in English; they will be recorded for those who cannot attend.

UBC BIOL 140 Assignment

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Dear Colleagues on AskAway,

Thanks everyone in advance for your support with our biology undergraduates. We are starting to see BIOL 140 students at our in-person desks and we anticipate they will be visiting AskAway soon too!

The BIOL 140 assignment this term is on freshwater and terrestrial organisms. Students are looking for information about their organism, its habitat and abiotic factors that affect its growth, survival, reproduction and behaviour. A good place to start is the course page for terrestrial organisms: or freshwater organism:

In addition to a catalogue search, we recommend the students check our reserve room for books and have created a guide “Biology 140: Quick Guide to Finding Books in Reference & Reserve at Woodward” to help them find the general call number range for their organism (This guide is linked from the course page). To find the journal literature, we recommend they use Zoological Record and suggest searching for the common and scientific names for the organism – narrowed by terms such as habitat OR ecology OR behavio*r. If a student is not finding very much information about their specific species such as Tribolium confusum, try a broader search for the genus Tribolium. I have posted on the course pages “Recording of Jan 20th Research Class How to Find the Best Resources for your BIOL 140 Research Assignment” to show the students step-by-step how to find the research for this assignment.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again for your support!

Kind regards,



Katherine Miller, MLIS
Reference Librarian, Natural Sciences

Woodward Library
University of British Columbia

EBSCO PDF Bug Workaround

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Hi folks,

Caroline Daniels at KPU passed on info about an EBSCO db bug which results in the wrong PDF displaying when a user tries to view an EBSCO article PDF in their browser – it will display the wrong article from the same issue of the journal.  EBSCO reports they are working on the issue, but passed on a workaround:

In the meantime, as a workaround, you can disable PDFs from being viewed in your web browser which should allow you to view the correct article. This can be done by:

1. Open Adobe Reader.
2. From the Edit menu, choose Preferences.
3. In the Preferences menu, choose the Internet category on the left hand side.
4. Uncheck display PDF in Browser, click OK and close Adobe Reader.
5. This will allow you to view the PDF outside of the web browser and out of our PDF Viewer which should allow you to view the appropriate PDF file.

Thanks for passing this on, Caroline!

–  Sunni


UBC big engineering classes

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


Starting with this week, we are teaching approximately 1,800 UBC engineering students in a number of major engineering 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
Science & Engineering Librarian, University of British Columbia

Back in the Saddle!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

As we move into the beginning of another AskAway term, here’s a couple of tips for ‘getting back in the saddle’:

1.  Get familiar with the Staff Portal again.  This is where you’ll find links to all the tools you need to staff your shift (QP login, Campfire login, scripts, library guest logins, policy pages, etc..).

2.  Make sure your Campfire login works.  Campfire is the group chat AskAwayers use to chat with colleagues during their shifts – it is an essential tool for communicating quickly with everyone about technical issues, traffic management, tricky questions, and it can be fun for getting to know your fellow AskAwayers!  To make sure your Campfire login works, visit .  If you are unable to login, let Sunni know.

3.  Browse through the recent posts on the AskAway Blog.  You’ll find tips on picking up patrons, handling patrons in crisis, what those mysterious patron status indicators mean, what to do with those lost calls, and lots more.  Have an idea for something you’d like to see a blog post on?  Let me know!

4.  Do a quick refresher – take the AskAway Staff Refresher Quiz to test your knowledge.

As always, if you have any questions, let Sunni know!