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« Updated browser setup guide now available | Main | Survey Results »

January 26, 2007


As a reminder, I'd like to suggest that a note be placed near the "Descriptive Codes" selector indicating that they should only be assigned by the patron's home library.

In section 3, on Policy Page update and Librarian Notes, you're suggesting adding a librarian note directly into the transcript. We normally caution librarians to not use this for problems that may require an administrator's attention, such as updating a policy page. We all do our best to monitor transcripts, but not every transcript is read, so there is a risk that a librarian note within a transcript will never be seen. To ensure that a problem is taken care of, it seems best to contact the reference email contact or policy page contact listed in the policy page, or refer to Quality.

Emily has a great point - although it is important for libraries to review session transcripts, realistically it is difficult to review every session from a busy service. Using the reference email contact in the policy page template (or referring the issue to Quality) is probably the best way to alert a library of an issue with their policy page.

However, we do encourage libraries to review as many sessions as possible. This is our primary way of ensuring that the quality of the service continues to improve.

Thanks so much for posting these notes online! It would be great if a message went out on the QuestionPoint list telling folks not to add descriptive codes if the patron is from another library.

Regarding resolution codes, I've noticed that often there is no resolution code assigned by the librarian or the system failed to record it. I have a theory about why this may be happening. Once you have selected a resolution code and then click the "Add" button, if you don't wait for 5-6 seconds before closing the session, your resolution code won't register with the system. I would like to know if this theory makes sense.

Finally, to help my colleagues here at Baruch College, and at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, the CUNY Graduate Center (who are part of our subscription group), I've created a screencast with instructions about how to select a resolution code:

Regarding this sentence from II. 2.: "There was a comment that the suggested greetings in the Best Practices are too long and patrons will not read them [item 2 in the Best Practices]."

The suggested greeting might be too long, but in my experience, patrons do read my script because they normally respond with "thanks" or "okay."

I start out by saying "Hi, " to welcome the patron. I've been customizing my script as a way to ensure that I check the Patron Information Screen at the beginning of each session. For example, here is the script I use to fulfill the guideline of letting the patron know I am not from his library:

My name is Wren, and I'm a reference librarian with the QuestionPoint chat service. Your King County librarians have asked us to staff this 24-hour service when they are unavailable. I'm reading your question right now to see how I can help you...

My script normally reads "Your librarians" and I simply take a look at the Patron Info Screen and insert the library's name to personalize my script. If I'm busy helping multiple people and don't have time to type in the library's name, I can send the script as it is written ("Your librarians have asked...").

It's been working well for me.

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