In response to some of the messages sent to the List over the last few days regarding librarians unexpectedly entering chat sessions, here is some clarification:
If you are a librarian chatting with a patron, there are 2 ways a second librarian can enter your session:
1. Conferencing into a live session
If you are using the Flash Chat, Institution administrators can enter another librarian's session by going to the ALL tab and clicking on a session. This is called "conferencing", and it is described more thoroughly on page 20 of the "Guide to using the new QuestionPoint chat":
If an Institution administrator conferences into a session, they can send messages via the chat box that both the patron and the original chatting librarian will see. Alternatively, the conferencing librarian can send a message that only the chatting librarian will see by sending a librarian note (rather than entering the message into the chat box, which would cause both patron and librarian to see it). It is recommended that you send a private librarian note, in order to minimize confusion to both the chatting librarian and the patron. Any message sent as a note is preceded with the indication "librarian note" - which means the patron does not see it.
2. Sending messages to the live session from the Question List
Once a librarian begins chatting with a patron, the session will immediately appear in the question list of the patron's library. These ongoing sessions do not have an indication that they are still ongoing. In fact, they are given the default status of "answered", until a resolution code is set by the chatting librarian.
WARNING: If a librarian opens a session from the question list that is still ongoing, and performs an action on the session, this will impact what happens in the live session. Before doing anything to a question in your question list, be sure that the chat session has ended. Check the timestamp of the messages in the session, and see if new messages are still being added. Sessions that are no longer live will say "Chat session has ended" and "Resolution code set".
Here's what will happen when a librarian opens a live session from the question list:
- Sending an answer from the question list: the answer itself will be sent in an email to the patron and will appear in the live session to both the patron and librarian.
- Add a note: the text of the note will appear as a "librarian note" in the live session, so the chatting librarian will see it, but the patron will not.
- "Send message to librarian": the text of the message will appear as a "librarian note" in the live session, so the chatting librarian will see it, but the patron will not.
- Close the question: a note will appear in the live session that the session is closed, but this does NOT end the chat session. If you see this, please continue the session and assign the proper resolution code. If the chatting librarian does NOT assign a resolution code, then in this case the status will default to closed (since it was closed from the question list). If the chatting librarian does use a resolution code, then this will determine the status of the question (i.e., it will reopen it).
Note to library and Institution administrators in the 24/7 Reference Cooperative:
If you are an administrator in the 24/7 Reference Cooperative, which means you will see active sessions in the "ALL" tab in your chat monitor, please be cautious about inadvertently clicking on a session from the ALL tab, thus entering another librarian's sessions. It is preferable to use the librarian note feature or the IM to communicate with the chatting librarian. Patrons may be confused if suddenly a second, unannounced, librarian enters the session.
If you are reviewing sessions in your question list, be cautious about performing any actions to a session that is still in progress. While it is commendable to offer helpful tips to the chatting librarian, it may be disconcerting if it is unexpected, and anything that is also sent to the patron may cause confusion on their end as well.
If you are a chatting librarian, be aware that other librarians may send you notes while you are in session, in an effort to assist you in providing the best possible service to their patrons.
Hope this helps!
24/7 Reference, QuestionPoint
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.