You can find out a lot about your patron, even before you click on the “Policies” link, by just looking at the “Info” tab – located in the lower left of the librarian chat monitor.
Some of the information available will depend on the form used by the patron to enter the service. For example, Qwidget patrons may have less information captured because they do not need to fill out a form before chatting. For those who enter via the library’s chat form, the “info” tab presents all the information provided by the patron, which may help you determine the library, and even the branch, with which the patron is affiliated. IMPORTANT: be sure and scroll down, as all information from the library form fields, as well as Oregon patron email information, is located at the bottom of the patron info tab!
Information from library chat forms is especially useful when patrons access the service via a portal site not affiliated with a specific library, which is often the case for groups where multiple libraries link to the same chat form. For example, Enquire – the UK national service, comprised of many different libraries – has one main site, which links to the generic Enquire policy page. But, Enquire patrons are requested to submit the first 3 digits of their postcode, which will appear in the “info” tab (if patrons don’t opt to be anonymous).
Our newest group, Oregon, doesn’t use standard QuestionPoint forms, so be sure and check the “info” tab for important information about Oregon patrons, including whether or not the patron left an email (you won’t see the email itself, but you will see an indication as to whether patron left an email on the Oregon form). CAVEAT: with Oregon forms, all patrons will appear to QP as anonymous (so in the first part of the Info tab you will see “Library Patron (No e-mail provided)”. But, be sure and scroll down to the “note” field, which is the true determinant of whether patron has left an email. You won’t see the email address itself, but you will be able to see whether an email was submitted. If in doubt, it’s ok to ask the patron to verify their email address before coding Follow Up!
Questions about the 24/7 Reference Cooperative policies? Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org