QuestionPoint allows librarians with Administrator or Ask Administrator privileges to monitor any live sessions with their patrons by selecting the “All” tab in the chat monitor then clicking on any session in progress. This is a nice training tool for admins to assist and mentor librarians new to chat; it provides a safety net (like training wheels) to the new librarian, since the monitoring Admin can send chat messages and web pages directly to the patron in exactly the same way as the chatting librarian. This is useful in case the new chatting librarian is uncertain of what to do in a live session.
However, this capability should be used cautiously when the chatting librarian is a non-local librarian and is unaware that you’ve joined their live session with your patron. Although you may be tempted to jump into a session with one of your patrons, especially if you have local information not available to the chatting librarian, be aware that it is highly disconcerting to the chatting librarian, who is not expecting another librarian to suddenly appear in the session.
Instead of sending information directly to the patron, communicate privately with the chatting librarian. See Section 5.4 of the 24/7 Reference Policies for more information: http://wiki.questionpoint.org/w/page/13839422/247-Policies#54nbspJumpingintoSessions.
Librarian to Librarian (L2L) chat between 2 librarians in the same session can be easily done using either the IM tab or Librarian Notes, as follows:
The IM tab allows you to send chat messages to any librarian monitoring the same chat queues as you are, including the chatting librarian in the session you’ve just entered. To send an IM message, click on the IM tab in your chat monitor:
Alternative: From the Librarians list (from the Patron Chat tab), right click on the name of librarian you want to send an IM message to:
Once you right click on a name, click “Start IM Session”:
This opens the IM tab, where you can select a librarian then send the message. For assistance using the IM feature, please see our training tutorial:
2. Librarian Notes
The Notes tab is in the lower left of the chat monitor and is primarily for the chatting librarian to make notes during a session that will appear to the librarian (in the chat monitor and in the librarian’s view of the transcript) but will not appear to the patron, either during the session or in the patron’s transcript. The chatting librarian can use the Notes feature to alert the reviewing librarian of anything that occurs during the session which may not be obvious from the transcript (such as Note: I tried to search course reserves but the link was not working, or Note: I helped this same person 5 minutes ago in another session).
However, Notes can also be used for 2 librarians in the same session to communicate with each other, as this example illustrates:
1. Chatting librarian Ms Map picks up patron, Ricky:
2. Admin for Ricky’s library sees the session in the All tab. When the Admin clicks on the session, Admin will get this warning and must click OK in order to enter the session. The chatting librarian does not get any notice when the Admin decides to join.
3. Now the Admin will see all messages between the chatting librarian and the patron. Note the Admin’s chat monitor indicates “In Conference Mode”. The Admin may leave the session at any time by clicking “Leave Session”. This does not disconnect the patron and the chatting librarian.
4. The Admin may send a note to the chatting librarian using the Notes tab.
The Admin’s note appears to the chatting librarian in the messages area (the same place where patron messages appear). The note identifies the name of the sender (the Admin), the text is in a different color from the patron messages, and the work “Note” appears before the Admin’s message:
This is the first indication the chatting librarian has that a 2nd librarian has entered the session. The patron does not see this note. The Admin can use this opportunity to ask for a transfer, or to provide information to the chatting librarian to pass along to the patron.
5. Both the chatting librarian and the Admin (the jumper) can send messages back and forth using the message box in the Notes tab.
Warning: The chatting librarian should be careful to respond to notes in the Notes tab, since any messages sent through the usual chat box will also be seen by the patron.
In this example, the chatting librarian sees the note from the Admin librarian (Admin suggests a source for librarian to try), but the chatting librarian replies in the chat box (not via the Notes tab) …
Which will potentially confuse Ricky the patron:
Whether you use the IM tab or the Notes feature, L2L chat is a good way for librarians to work collaboratively to provide the best service for all our patrons.
Questions or comments? Please post to this blog or send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org