Archive for March, 2013

Descriptive Codes: What we can do with them

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Reminder: Please click “add” after entering  each description code. Without this extra click, the information you entered will be lost! See below for more information on how to add descriptive codes.

The ability to add useful descriptive codes from our own, customized list at the end of a session is still fairly new to AskAway; late 2011 is when QuestionPoint introduced the improvements to this feature. The descriptive codes help us to see how students use AskAway; since we have begun to use the codes more extensively in 2011, we can see that the majority of questions are related to research – a great result! Ready Reference questions generally follow research, ahead of circulation, directional, e-resources access, technical, and other question types. See chart for details.

Descriptive codes also help us track first-time users, unaffiliated users, and patrons who were turned away or asked to wait because of a “swamped” period.

There is the ability to add up to four descriptive codes per session. It’s rare to see that many, but 2 isn’t uncommon; research and e-resources access often go together when a student comes in to AskAway for help with research, and receives additional help accessing databases.

Most service providers use at least one descriptive code. We’d love to see this number at 100%, helping us to really get a full picture of how AskAway is being used. Even better would be to see an increase in 2 or more descriptive codes in sessions; with more information about the sessions,  we can share a more complete picture of the service with partner libraries, funders, directors, service providers, and others.

Below is an overview of how to add descriptive codes:

At the end of your session, after you click End Session, you’ll be asked to apply a Resolution code (Answered, Lost Call, or Practise).  Then click on Add Description, and you’ll be given the option to apply up to four descriptive codes to your call – click Add after each one.  Then click on Close to completely close your session.  For more information, refer to the Software Manual on the Portal or the refresher blog post on descriptive codes.

Questions about descriptive codes? Please contact me at the Admin Centre.

– Reece, BC ELN

February Statistics and User Feedback

Monday, March 11th, 2013

February AskAway stats are now available on the AskAway site:

February form fields statistics are available on the AskAway site:
For 66% of February AskAway survey respondents, AskAway was the first library service they turned to, after trying to find information on their own. 6% of students stated that this was their first time using any library service.

February’s exit survey results are also available on the AskAway site:
Last month we received exit survey responses from these institutions: BCIT, CC, CU, DC, ECUAD, KPU, LC, OC, SFU, TRU, UBC, UFV, UNBC, UVic, VIU

Here are a few comments from AskAway patrons:

I am impressed with this AskAway chat, it was useful and I will utilize it again.
– Thompson Rivers University learner

Awesome help!! Saved myself from pulling out my hair…great service please continue doing what you’re doing.
– Langara College learner

Very helpful & love the emailed transcript.
– Camosun College learner

I would most certainly use this online resource again. I was struggling to find online scholarly articles and I saw the “ask a librarian” chat, and I was helped right away and had all my questions answered. Very helpful.
– Douglas College learner

– Reece, BC ELN

Problems with QuestionPoint server

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

7:50 pm March 5- The QuestionPoint server is currently unavailable.
An update will be posted when service is restored.

To Log Out or Not to Log Out?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Here are a couple of tips related to logging out of QuestionPoint in different situations.

Situation #1: it’s the end of your shift, but you would like to finish up one of your questions. You don’t want to pick up any new sessions, or appear to be available for new sessions. Is there a way to log out of the queues without disconnecting with the patron you are helping?
Yes! It’s quick and easy to de-select the queues while staying connected to your patron.

  • Click the “Queues” link at the top of the librarian viewscreen
  • Uncheck the queues and save the list

Situation #2: your computer has crashed while on AskAway! Fortunately it was just about the end of your shift. Do you need to log out before leaving AskAway?
Yes! Please log out of QuestionPoint as usual. Even if your computer turns off or crashes, QuestionPoint will keep you logged in so that patrons do not get dropped. Other AskAwayers might be unaware that you left and wait for you to pick up calls. If you are still logged in at closing time, it’s necessary for the Admin Centre to intervene so that AskAway doesn’t appear to be open all night.

As always, feel free to contact us at the admin centre with comments and questions!
– Reece, BC ELN