Archive for January, 2012

New Tool for Working with Patrons: Screenr

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Screenr is a great new tool that many Ask-Awayers might find useful. It’s a webcasting product which ¬†allows you to create videos of website navigation. This type of thing can be helpful in a reference situation where there is a complicated set of steps a chatter must follow in order to navigate to a particular article or database, or in cases where the chatter is having trouble understanding your directions. Screenr offers the advantage of being quicker and easier to use than Jing – it does not require you to download any additional software (other than Java, which is usually already installed on many computers), and does not require you to create an account. Instead of logging in to Screenr, you use accounts you already own with other social networking sites. You can publish a video using your log-in for one of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Linked In, Yahoo, or Windows Live.

For more information about the simple three-step recording and publishing process, visit the Ask Away wiki here:

There is also an instructional demo on the Screenr website at

Embedding an AskAway Chat Qwidget in ProQuest Databases

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

ProQuest has now added the option to embed custom widgets into their databases!

Already have an AskAway Qwidget in your EBSCO databases or library web pages? Why not check-out the new option in ProQuest to add a custom widget to all your standard-platform ProQuest databases like CBCA (the options to select individual databases or non-standard platforms like Chadwyck are not currently available).

You can re-use your already existing AskAway qwidget code OR create/update your AskAway qwidget code to embed in ProQuest.

To add your AskAway qwidget code to your ProQuest databases:

  1. Create or update your AskAway qwidget code to embed using the instructions located on the AskAway Portal in Administrator Tools –> Qwidget –>¬†Create/Update a Qwidget for Your Library Website.
  2. Login to your ProQuest Admin Module (PAM) and navigate to the –> User Interface –> Branding –> the Tab labeled Widgets.
  3. Fill out the required fields and insert your AskAway qwidget code. **WARNING: Once created you can currently only modify NOT delete a qwidget. ProQuest is working on this issue.**
  4. The AskAway Qwidget can be embedded into the search interface or as a linked pop-up window.

Check out the Local Coordinators Wiki –> Embedding the Qwidget –> ProQuest Databases for information on which libraries are using the AskAway Qwidget in ProQuest databases as well as their tips.

Please note: To our knowledge, this has not been implemented by any AskAway libraries and documentation/instructions have not been created by ELN or ProQuest yet. Testing and trouble-shooting will be necessary. Please add your feedback & tips to the Local Coordinators Wiki or send them to the AskAway Admin Centre.