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LibAnswers/Chat Best Practices

First Shift of Day (Monday-Friday)

1. Login to monitor LibChat during your shift.  Click here for instructions.

  • Answer chats as they come in.  
  • Try to answer the chat quickly so that the message doesn't roll over to Co-Op.
    • It is recommended to have a Canned Messages set up so you can respond quickly and let the patron know you will be right with them.  See here for instructions about how to use Canned Messages.
    • Though you do not have to do this it is an easy way to buy some time while trying to read and understand the question.

2. Navigate to LibAnswers, and then to the drop down menu LibChat and click on Transcripts.

In LibAnswers, arrow pointing to transcript link.

  • Review the transcripts of the Co-Op (non-CSUSM librarians) that have come in since the last CSUSM librarian logged off the evening before.  
  • Use your judgment to determine if you think the Co-Op librarian's answer needs follow up.
    • If you think it does, you can then either:
      • Make a ticket so the question goes to the general LibAnswers dashboard, which you would then claim and answer OR
      • Make a ticket to send the question to a subject specific librarian or a general Queue, such as User Services or TAL.  Add an internal Note:
        • "April I reviewed this transcript and am wondering if it needs follow-up by the Education Librarian? AK"

An arrow pointing to Make a Ticket from the LibAnswers transcripts

A screenshot showing with the Create Ticket from Transcript form looks like.

3. Review Unclaimed Tickets from the Dashboard.

Screenshot of an arrow pointing to an unclaimed chat

  • Claim and answer the ones you feel you can answer.
    • This can include answering a simple question that is in a subject area, other than yours. If you have answered completely there is no need to CC the subject specialist librarian.
  • Make a ticket for the ones you can't and Assign/Transfer the question to a subject specific librarian or to a Queue, such as User Services.  Include an Internal Note:
    • "April I reviewed this transcript and am wondering if it needs follow-up by the Education Librarian? AK"
  • If there is a ticket submitted by co-op librarians that has no apparent need for follow-up use your judgment as to how to respond.  You can either:
    • Close the ticket, or
    • Send a generic message just to check in rather than providing a full and detailed answer.  Be sure to submit it as closed afterwards so that way if we don't hear back, it's not lingering in the dashboard and if they respond it opens back up. 

4. Check the Dashboard for lingering tickets that can be closed. See: Tickets That Linger

5. Before you log off:

  • Let the next librarian know through Slack or LibChat if you were not able to check Transcripts.
  • If you can, wait to logoff until the next librarian comes to take over but if you cannot, that is fine too.

All Other Shifts

1. Login to monitor LibChat. Click here for instructions.

  • If you are running more than a few minutes late for your shift, please Slack to see if someone can cover for you.
    • If no one can cover, once you get on be sure to check the transcripts to see if you missed anything.  See First Shift of Day box above for how to check Co-Op Librarian transcripts.
  • Answer chats as they come in.  
  • Try to answer the chat quickly so that the message doesn't roll over to Co-Op.
    • It is recommended to have a Canned Messages set up so you can respond quickly and let the patron know you will be right with them.  See here for instructions about how to use Canned Messages.
    • Though you do not have to do this it is an easy way to buy some time while trying to read and understand the question.

2. Review Unclaimed Tickets

Screenshot of an arrow pointing to an unclaimed chat

  • Claim and answer the ones you can.  Claim it by clicking on the question title, in blue.
  • For those that need to be "assigned" for follow up there are two options:

Make a ticket to send the question to a specific user such as subject specific librarian for the questions you cannot answer. In the example below - you may wish to also add an internal note too for example,

  • "April, I reviewed this transcript and am wondering if it needs follow-up by the Education Librarian? AK"

Libchat showing assign/transfer to a specific user

  • Make a ticket to sent the question to a Queue (User services or RHD). 

Libchat showing assign/transfer to a queue for follow-up

  • If there is a ticket submitted by co-op librarians that has no apparent need follow-up use your judgment as to how to respond.  You can either:
    • Close the ticket, or
    • Send a generic message just to check in rather than providing a full and detailed answer.  Be sure to submit it as closed afterwards so that way if we don't hear back, it's not lingering in the dashboard and if they respond it opens back up. 

3. Check the Dashboard for lingering tickets that can be closed. See: Tickets That Linger

4. Before you log off:

  • Let the next librarian know through Slack or LibChat if you were not able to check Transcripts.
  • If you can, wait to logoff until the next librarian comes to take over but if you cannot, that is fine too.

Reminders

  • The ticket dashboard doesn’t automatically load new tickets so refresh the page periodically to see if anything has appeared.
  • Double-check  the following folders:
    • Spam
    • Error folders

A screenshot highlighting where the Error and Spam folders are in LibAnswers

  • Missed Chats

Arrows pointing in LibAnswers to Missed Chat and Canned Messages

  • Review the latest Missed Chats.  If the Missed Chat has been attended to there should be an Internal Note saying so.
  • If the missed chat has not been responded to yet and you feel like it should be, make it into a ticket and reply with either a personal message  that you write or click on the Canned Message link (shown by the yellow arrow above) and use the canned message called "Missed Chat" to reply to the patron.

Arrow pointing to the icon for Making a Ticket from a missed chat.

  • If you've reviewed a message write an Internal Note saying you've done so .  There is no way to close a Missed Chat so this step is necessary to show that someone has looked into the Missed Chat.

Internal note and an example note highlighted in this ticket.

Weekend Shifts

If you are monitoring over the weekend, you do not need to turn LibChat on.  Your sole duty is to check the LibAnswers Dashboard a few times during the day.  If you find open tickets in the Dashboard, your options are to:

  • Claim the question and answer it.
  • Make a Ticket so the question is sent to a subject specific librarian. 
  • Include an Internal Note:
    • "April, I reviewed this transcript and am wondering if it needs follow-up by the Education Librarian? AK"

Libchat showing assign/transfer to a specific user