The account number is the same for all Ask a Librarian staff: 6212. Enter your username and password in the remaining two boxes.
I received an auto-notification email that I had a new patron email, but I don’t see it inside the Agent Console.
If you are signed up to receive Ask a Librarian emails through the software, make sure the “local desk” box is checked and your library is selected from the list of libraries. You can log in to the academic or collaborative desks as well, but you will not see your emails unless logged into your local desk.
- Reports: Agents: Chat Transcripts (or Mail Messages) – view sessions by agent/librarian name.
- Reports: Departments: Chat Transcripts (or Mail Messages) – view sessions by desk (like collaborative, academic, or your own local desk).
Pre-scripted replies, or scripts, serve several purposes:
- they promote consistency in customer service
- they offer a professional, standardized way to approach patrons (much like answering the phone at your library)
- they create a temperament buffer to ensure a helpful tone
- they save you more time for up-front researching
- they increase the patron’s view of staff interest and staff/patron interactivity – all of which make for a more patient patron.
Using scripts is easy – just click on the Text tab in the upper left corner of the Agent Console, click on a category to view available scripts for that topic, and double-click to insert the desired script into the text box below the transcript. From here, you can modify the wording, or just hit “Send”.
To modify or create new scripts, simply click on the Agents tab on the Account Administration page (the same page where you click on Agent Console) and then on “Response Libraries”. Click on “Launch Response Editor” to open a window that will allow you to add, edit, and even organize your own personal scripted replies.
Dismiss ends the chat for the patron, but allows you to add notes such as email addresses, etc. Clicking on End ends the session for both you and the patron without adding notes or modifying Customer Details. In most cases, staff click on End to close chats.
Remember that text goes into the smaller white space below the chat transcript area (the space next to the “Send” button), while Web addresses go into the smaller white space above the chat transcript area (the space next to “View” and “Push”). If you type a URL into the “text” portion of the chat, it will not display as a clickable hyperlink, so all Web addresses should go into the URL address bar.
Your browser may have a pop-up blocker turned on. To see if you have a pop-up blocker on, go to http://www.popuptest.com/ and click on one of the tests. If you have a pop-up blocker on, turn it off before logging in to staff Ask a Librarian. Two ways to turn off your pop-up blocker in Internet Explorer:
- Go to Tools>Pop-Up Blocker>>Turn Off Pop-up Blocker; OR
- Go to Tools>Internet Options, click on the privacy tab and uncheck the box that says, “Turn on Pop-up Blocker”
If your browser’s pop-up blocker is off and you still aren’t getting pop-ups, check for a Yahoo, Google or other toolbar in your browser. These toolbars often download with other programs and usually have a pop-up blocker included.
You may have an incompatible version of Java. To see the most up-to-date Java recommendations, please click on the Support menu in the Toolbox.
We’ve compiled a helpful section to help you with all texting questions. For texting-specific how-tos and tips, please select Texting from the Training menu on this site.
Please let us know when abuse of Ask a Librarian happens. To report an inappropriate session, please email Virtual Reference Coordinator Traci Avet at firstname.lastname@example.org with the IP address, date, the approximate time of entry, and the customer’s screen name or other information to help us identify the session in question.
For more how-to’s that deal specifically with the software used in Ask a Librarian, please click on Software How-To’s under the Support menu in the Toolbox.