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LibAnswers/Chat Best Practices

Signing on to LibChat

  • Login to monitor LibChat during your shift.

Arrow showing where to click on Connect in LibChat.









  •  Click on Settings, Local Monitoring, Teaching and Learning Department and a personal department if you are monitoring that, and the RHD Queue.

Screenshot of how a LibChat should look with all the notifications turned on.

Answering Chats

  • Answer as quickly as possible.
    • It is recommended to have a Canned Message set up so you can respond quickly and let the patron know you will be right with them.  For instance, as soon as I answer a chat I use the Canned message that says, "Hi, I'm Amanda Kalish.  I'm an Instruction and Reference Librarian at CSUSM. Please give me a moment while I read your question."
  • Though not required Canned Message are easy way to buy some time while trying to read and understand the question.

A screenshot of where to find the Canned Message button in LibChat

Examples of Canned Messages

Example of a Canned Message to get the chat started.

  • Double-check that you have the correct email address for the patron.
    • This makes it easier to email a transcript and/or follow-up with the patron.
    • It also allows you to check if the patron has used chat before and if they have already been helped on this particular question.  

Patron info box with arrow showing where to put email address of patron


Fixing emails:

Check all email domains.

  1. Student emails are Students consistently add extra letters, typos, and reversals - check that the email domain name is correct. (In the fall student email is changing to
  • FIX all incorrect STUDENT email domains to
  1. Faculty, Staff, and Administrator's email domain is


End of Chat

Options of what you can do at the end of the chat.

  • Optional:
    • You can offer to send a transcript of the chat to the patron.
    • You can make a ticket so that you or another librarian can follow up on the chat, if you think it needs to be addressed further.


  • Required:
    • At the end of an RHD interaction, be sure to record the transaction statistics by clicking on the ”Add to Analytics” icon.


The difference options given in the Add to Reference Analytics box.


  • Add to FAQ Group - Do not add to FAQ group
  • Add to Analytics - Leave as General
  • Service Point - RHD Librarians
  • Mode - Choose Chat, Email, In-Person, Phone, Stacks/Roaming, Ticket, Video Chat, Text
  • If Referred, To Whom - Only change this if you referred the question
  • Time Spent - Choose the approximate time
  • READ Scale - Explained here
  • Internal Note: If you found out the specific class the question was in relationship to, put it here.  For instance, NURS 302.