Archive for April, 2013

Administrative Centre Report, Dec. 1, 2012 – Mar. 31, 2013

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Below is a link to AskAway’s latest Administrative Centre report. This is the first to come out since we adopted a new streamlined approach to reporting; the Administrative Centre will produce these reports twice a year now, instead of for every Advisory Committee meeting.

The latest Administrative Centre report
Administrative Centre reports archive

Please feel free to contact the administrative centre with questions or comments.
Reece, BC ELN

April, Spring Term and Annual Update

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Annual and Spring term (including April) AskAway stats are now available on the AskAway site:

April form fields statistics are available on the AskAway site:

April’s exit survey results are also available on the AskAway site:

Last month we received exit survey responses from these institutions: BCIT, CC, CU, KPU, LC, SC, SFU, TRU, UBC, UFV, UVic, VCC, VIU

This month 51% of questions assisted patrons with research or ready reference, 27% were citation questions, and 10% were e-resources access. Other categories include citation, technical, writing help, and more. Note that some questions fit into more than one category.

Here are a few comments from AskAway patrons:

Very convenient service. Appreciate being able to ask a question while researching work working off campus!
- Thompson Rivers University learner awesome.

i love this service! thank you!!
- University of the Fraser Valley learner

I wish I had found this service before, but I will be telling my friends about it now
- Vancouver Island University learner

[Please provide] 24 hours service! (At least during the end of study term)
- Simon Fraser University learner

- Reece. BC ELN

March Statistics and User Feedback

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

March AskAway stats are now available on the AskAway site:

March form fields statistics are available on the AskAway site:

March’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, KPU, LC, NIC, SFU, TRU, TWU, UBC, UFV, UNBC, UVic, VIU

An important note for service providers: it is essential that all (non-practice) calls be labelled with the resolution code Answered unless the call is disconnected, and labelled Lost Call. Please do not leave the resolution code blank or use the resolution code Followup by Patron’s Library, as these distort our statistics. If you have questions or comments about this, please contact the administrative centre.

Here are a few comments from AskAway patrons:
I found this site to be very helpful and quick. I was able to get direct help with my search and was able continue with my researching for my paper, not wasting time surfing thru useless information
– North Island College learner

Thank you so much for this service. Both times I have used it I have been met with friendly, extremely useful assistance. Keep it up!
_ Simon Fraser University learner

The experience was SO helpful, and I was really stuck. I am so glad I used Askaway, wish I had in the past. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
– University of Victoria learner

I love Askaway! So helpful! Thank you!
– Langara College learner

AskAway feedback is always largely positive; learners usually express a lot of gratitude for the service. We do receive some constructive feedback from patrons, often from those who have appreciated some part of the service but saw room for improvement, or as in the first case below, an enthusiastic user who had an unusual negative experience. We are sharing this feedback with you in hopes of continuing to work together to improve AskAway’s user experience.

I use this service almost on a weekly basis and always have amazing, excellent and friendly service. Today, the person did not read my questions closely and closed the conversation in a rude manner which did not allow me to thank you, etc.
– University of Victoria learner

I think it would be beneficial if the librarian walked the students through the process rather than just giving them the link.
– University of the Fraser Valley learner

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact me at the Admin Centre.

Reece, BC ELN

Accidental Disconnections in Databases

Friday, April 5th, 2013

AskAway patrons who enter AskAway from Qwidgets in EBSCO or ProQuest databases are vulnerable to accidentally navigating away from their session when searching a database. If they try to perform a search from the page that they are chatting on, they can accidentally leave the session, and might not be able to return.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to prevent this; if they pop-out their window before searching, there is no danger of navigating away from the chat. The script Begin – Qwidget Database is useful for this situation:

Before we use this database, it's important that you expand our session to
a new window, so we aren't disconnected. To do this, click the Expand button
(beside the x-close button). A new window will pop up.

Comments or questions? Feel free to contact me at the AskAway Admin Centre.

– Reece, BC ELN

Article on Formal and Informal Language in Chat Reference

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Many thanks to Richard Baer at Camosun College for pointing this article out to us!

Formality in Chat Reference: Perceptions of 17- to 25-Year-Old University Students
Jennifer Waugh
This brand new, pertinent, Canadian article looks at how chat reference service providers’ formal and informal language impacts students’ perceptions of their chat session in a number of ways. It includes students’ perceptions of interpersonal connection with the service provider, competency  of the service provider, credibility of the answers they received during the session, and overall satisfaction with the session as the major areas for examination. The article focuses on chat reference with 17-25 year old patrons – the age range of most AskAway patrons.
An excerpt:
The findings of this study suggest that formality plays a key role in altering the perceptions of 17- to 25-year-olds in relation to virtual reference interactions. Both communication styles appeared to have benefits and drawbacks. Whereas participants often perceived formal language as suggesting competency and trustworthiness, it also was interpreted as robotic, impersonal, and at times condescending. Conversely, informal language suggested approachability, enthusiasm, and interpersonal connection, but also youth and inexperience.