Thanks to all our users for helping to make the first 2010 Virtual User Group meeting a success. Just under 100 users joined us for the QuestionPoint update on software and community and a discussion on future enhancements for QuestionPoint and quality issues in the 24/7 Reference. The first session was hosted by Carol Bonnefil, Senior Product Analyst; the second by Paula Rumbaugh, Senior Product Analyst; and the third by Susan McGlamery, Senior Product Manager and Manager of the 24/7 Cooperative.
A. QP software update
New features we talked about include KB web service and Qwidget evolution, including Qwidget on Facebook, WorldCat Local, and via selected mobile devices (iPhone O/S, Palm and Android devices).
B. Text a Librarian
QuestionPoint is currently developing an API so text messages sent from users to the library via Text a Librarian (“TAL”) will appear in the QuestionPoint interface. Librarians will be able to work completely within QP to review and respond to text messages. Text messages will be included in the usual QP reports, along with email, chat and Qwidget statistics. Representative Gabe Macias attended the Thursday session and answered a few questions from attendees. For more information on Text a Librarian, visit http://www.textalibrarian.com/.
Attached, below, is a link to the recording of the first session, held on February 3. If you wish to hear specifically the recording of one of the other two sessions and have not already received a link, please send your request to Becky Hawk (email@example.com). We are also attaching a link to the PPT that we used for the update.
A number of questions were asked throughout the three sessions of the meeting, primarily regarding the mobile Qwidget capability and how text messages will be handled in QuestionPoint after the launch of the Text a Librarian / QuestionPoint collaborative implementation.
Here are a few of those questions:
Is co-browse basically “dead”? Co-browse continues to be available on QuestionPoint, and we currently have no plans to discontinue it. However, it will get less and less usable, and we and others are investigating using other methods to demonstrate search techniques to users. Two products mentioned were Jing and Camtasia, with which the librarian can take a video of her movements and send that to the patron.
Will texting (referring to the Text a Librarian / QuestionPoint collaboration) be available in the UK? Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer that option to the UK community. We will be happy to hear from you, though, about any web service in the UK that provides a service similar to what TAL does in the U.S.
Can we continue to use the TAL interface if we subscribe to both Text a Librarian and QuestionPoint? You can but it is not advisable; in fact, there will be a message when you log into TAL cautioning you to handle the work from within QuestionPoint. The reason for that is that API built to handoff text messages to QuestionPoint and to receive answers back does not transfer any librarian information. Nor does it transfer work done within Text a Librarian to QuestionPoint. It acts as an intermediary, passing and recording messages from the patron to QP and back. Any work done from within TAL would not be recorded in QuestionPoint; the QP question history would be incomplete, statuses out of date, and librarian work unrecorded.
Can we use the “old” style Qwidget in Facebook or for mobile patrons? No, you must use the new style Qwidget, which was implemented in Aug. 2009. If you have not upgraded to that version, we encourage you to do so: set-up is as simple as it has always been, but you and your patrons will experience more flexibility and options.
What you said you want to see in QuestionPoint:
Full-text searching of questions and by e-mail address.
A search mechanism on the policy page. In the meantime, we suggest you use the browser’s “Find” feature to help get your around a policy page.
Ability to export all reports to Excel and a link to a graphing feature. Just a reminder that you can highlight any and all Reports data with your browser, copy, and paste into an Excel spreadsheet cell.
An updated QuestionPoint interface, especially terminology.
More kinds of notification in Ask, such as different sounds for different kinds of transactions (e.g., follow-ups vs. e-mail)
Combined Review Transcripts and Question Lists, as there is not a clear distinction between the two kinds of lists. Librarians want to be able to do activity from the Review Transcripts area, such as send answers to patron, referring to other libraries. We do know that BME administrators have often needed this kind of functionality. Since this involves permissions for someone not logged in as an institution administrator or librarian to manipulate data for an institution, this is not an insignificant enhancement, technically or legally.
An Undo button to change resolution code.
Conference mode for IM in chat.
Ability to send surveys out to patrons later, not associated with a particular question
Various new reports, e.g., turnaround time for e-mails.
New Profile fields, such as a field about recurring assignments; an FAQ toward the top. A different policy page template for academics vs publics.
Quality issues you mentioned:
Most issues seem to revolve around problems chat librarians have in remembering that they aren’t necessarily helping a “Local” patron. What can QP do to make it more obvious to the chatting librarian that a patron isn’t Local (colors, bolding, for example)?
E-mail addresses are needed to do follow up! It is good practice to set up your Qwidget to require e-mail, now that that option is available. We suggested that libraries finding this to be an issue start a blog topic or entreat libraries via the listserv. There was a request to also see the patron e-mail from Qwidgets in the librarian interface, something that is not currently possible.
Apparently there are several instances of middle schoolers who somehow end up in the Academic queue. If anything can be done to prevent this, it would be appreciated.
What are the different philosophies and expectations of the various members in the Cooperative? Some institutions, e.g., want more chats marked for follow up because they often find that they want to include more information or more sources or more strategy. But they don't want to have to review all transcripts. On the other hand are libraries that want fewer marked for follow up. One attendee said her institution considers many chat questions in-depth research questions, but she suspects some other libraries assume chat to be a quick request for a quick answer. A discussion around this topic--Is it possible to more closely fulfill varying library expectations?—might make a good theme for the next Virtual User Group meeting.
To listen to the session of February 3, please go to:
Here are the slides we used for the update: