Q & As for Handling Multiple Patrons

Some very useful questions from a service provider around handling multiple patrons, with my answers:
How do we know which patron is first in the line-up?

Patrons will be listed in the New tab in the order in which they come in, with newest at the top and oldest at the bottom. The Time column will tell you how many seconds the patron has been waiting.

I know I get anxious when I’m helping someone and keep hearing the pinging announcement of a new patron or patrons. Does the ping only happen once when a new patron arrives or does it keep pinging until one or several patrons are helped?

The pinging is set to go off continuously as long as a patron is in the New tab and hasn’t been picked up by anyone. Annoying, but it makes sure that no one forgets them! ;-)

If I’m in the middle of assisting someone, and without going back to the active screen, how do I know if there are several new patrons, or just one that is patiently waiting?

The only way to know how many patrons there are waiting to be picked up is to go to the New tab. You won’t lose your connection with your patron if you check the New tab during your call – just go back to the My Active tab and click on your patrons name to go back to chatting with your patron.

When you pick up another patron from the New tab and send them the Swamped script, they will sit in the list in your My Active tab until you can come back to them. To switch between patrons in your My Active tab, just click on them – it will take a few seconds for the chat transcript to load. Then you can chat with them as normal.

I’m often too worried of losing a connection if I’m in a database or catalogue to go back to the screen to send out a message to a new patron. Is there a way that the system can recognize when we’re swamped and the system can send out the messages automatically to the folks waiting?

I wish that we had this feature in QP! It is on our list of development requests for QP, so we’ll keep asking QP for a timeline on this.

It’s not possible, is it, for a patron to get a couple of swamped messages at the same time from several of the librarians on duty?

No, it isn’t possible for a patron to get multiple swamped messages. They will only get messages from the librarian that has picked them up.

If I send swamped messages to two or three patrons, are they relegated to my tab only and so am I then committed to helping all of them or can another librarian who might be finished before me have access to that tab to pick them up?

Yes, once you have picked them up and they show up in your My Active tab then you are committed to dealing with them in some way, whether it is to send them the Swamped script, help them later, or transfer them to another librarian.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
– Sunni

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