Did you know . . .
That your library can offer your local knowledge base or the Global KB to your patrons to search?
Although it would be an unusual day if two questions were exactly the same, it is possible that one answer can address multiple questions, or that websites sent or resources cited will satisfy the information needs of more than one user. And, haven’t we been told by various studies that users want to help themselves?
Why not offer your knowledge base on your website, even right on your question form? Your users can see if they can find an immediate answer to their question if they like. And if not, the question form is right there for them to approach you if they’re unsuccessful.
In some ways, this serves a purpose similar to FAQs on a website, but the QuestionPoint KB feature is backed up by a pretty powerful search engine (the open-source Lucene). Perhaps you can include detailed instructions in your KB for using such and so database. Since you can control the keywords for each KB record, to improve searchability, you can make this instructional record easy to find by including keywords your students are likely to think of. Remember, a KB search looks in the Question text, the Answer text, and the Keywords.
Actually you can let your patrons search both your local knowledge base and the Global KB if you want. You might want to do this, for example, if you tend to keep local and community information in your local KB but want your patrons to also have the benefit of the broader set of Q&As available in the global. Which KB is being searched can be completely transparent to your patrons; the search would simultaneously look in both KBs.
You can even categorize records, as you add them to your local KB, as public or non-public. Those for which you or the editor responded “Yes” to the question Make public? will be retrievable by the public. But a “No” response means that only QuestionPoint librarians can retrieve them in a search.
Consider putting the KB search box anywhere you control the website! Here’s an example of the GKB offered to the readers of the Criminal Law Library Blog (New York).
Or take a look at how the Wageningen UR in the Netherlands has mounted the search box on their digital library site.
Instructions for putting the QuestionPoint knowledge bases on your website are at:
Your patrons don’t see all the fields that you see when you open a KB record. Below is an illustration of what your patron sees:
If you have any questions about this article or if you would like to be a Global Knowledge Base editor, please contact Paula Rumbaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.