Getting Started with Your "Desk" Hours:
- Log into QuestionPoint "Ask a Librarian" and answer any new or pending email questions during the day that you are assigned to cover. Close any questions you fully answer. After closing your questions, move any significant questions which should be saved for future reference to the "Knowledge Database." Directions to do this are listed below.
- If any requests for a live chat session come in on your assigned day, send an email to the patron to set up a time to meet in the InfoEyes live chat room. Direct the person to meet you at the appointed time in the live chat room and send the link in an email. Current link to live chat room is:
Include the link to the room in which you want to meet in your message. When you hear back from patron, if you are unable to meet in the room at his/her requested time, send an email to the InfoEyes Reference List to see if another librarian can meet at that time. email@example.com
Email patron and communicate the time that either you or another InfoEyes staff member can meet in the online chat room.
- When it is your assigned day to answer questions, it is a good idea to keep QuestionPoint open (even if it is minimized) so you can keep checking on whether any new questions have come in. At the end of your QuestionPoint shift, click on the exit button on the top of the screen and the X in the top right corner to leave QuestionPoint.
You will also receive email notification of any new questions that are sent to InfoEyes.
To start QuestionPoint (for email questions):
- Launch your browser software (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
- Go to http://www.questionpoint.org/crs/html/home/authorize.htm
- Enter your "User ID" and "password".
Note: Please use the user ID and password assigned to you or your institution.
You should now be on a webpage called "QuestionPoint Home". From this page you can do many things (e.g., change your password, browse the KnowledgeBase), but for a normal desk shift you will want to enter the "Ask a Librarian" service to review any unclaimed email questions.
- To enter the "Ask a Librarian" area, click on the "Ask" link in the upper right area of the screen.
Note: Another link to the "Ask a Librarian" area is located in the lower left area of the screen under the "Services" banner.
Note: For more information about the features and functionality of QuestionPoint, please see Mary Mohr's PowerPoint presentation at http://www.infoeyes.org/librariantrng.2_files/frame.htm.
On the "Ask a Librarian" homepage you can review the active questions (i.e., new and pending questions that have been submitted by patrons). Questions with a red question mark in the status column are available to be claimed by you and worked on during your reference shift.
To get into the Talking Communities Version 5 Chat Room (for live enhanced reference)
- First go to this link:
- If it is the first time you are entering the room, click the button "download here" to install the plug in. (Use "run" rather than "save" when it prompts you for that choice.) You should only have to do this download of the plug in one time unless there has been a major update to the software.
- Then press "click here" to enter the room. Enter your name in the first box. The moderator password will be sent to you in a separate email. You will need moderator status if you want to enable co-browsing with the patron. Make sure the appropriate boxes on the file menus are checked off to co-browse. For the training document on how to use Version 5 chat rooms, please see the following documentation for details:
After a Reference Session: Save and clear text chat and email chat to listserv: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Text Chat at the End of Every Reference Interaction: Cut and paste the text chat directly into an email or Word file, or save it to a file:
- To save the contents of a text chat interaction into a file, pull down the "file" menu, then click on "Save Text Chat."
- When prompted for a file name you can give it a file name of your choice.
- Note: Unless you specify otherwise, the text chat file will be saved on the local hard drive of the computer you are using.
Clear the Text Chat: After saving the text chat, clear the chat message window to protect the patron's privacy. You can select the text and cut or delete it.
Email live session to listserv: After answering a reference question in the Talking Communities Version 5 room, email the InfoEyes Reference listserv:
Use the subject line: "transcript." Body of email should include (cut and paste of) text chat and a summary of what was said if the session included a lot of audio.
Send follow-up email to patron: If patron has given you their email address, send a follow up email, including the text chat.
Closing Down at the End of Your "Desk" Shift
- In QuestionPoint, in the "Ask a Librarian" window, click on the "exit" link in the upper right area of the window. This will return you to the QuestionPoint Logon window. You then can close that window.
- In the Talking Communities conference room, merely close the entire window by clicking on the "x" in the upper right corner. Alternatively, pull down the "file" menu and click on "exit".
Directions for Putting Closed InfoEyes Reference Questions into the QuestionPoint Knowledge Database for Future Use
- After you have answered a reference question on the InfoEyes desk, be sure to close it. Then go into the closed questions section.
- Evaluate the closed question you have worked on to see if you think it would be a good one to save future reference.
- Go into that question that you want to save by double clicking on it.
- Go to the "move to" drop down menu (upper right)
- Click on Knowledge Database
- Click on Arrow
- Move to the bottom of the screen and click on "create record" (There is also an icon to create record on the top)
- The Record will be saved into the Knowledge Database under InfoEyes (It will give you a message that the new record has been created)
- A yellow barrel like symbol will later show in the closed questions showing that the question is now in the Knowledge Base.
This is actually just the first step as InfoEyes coordinators will need to then activate the records administratively to make them searchable. Administrators will check what you all add on an ongoing basis and make them active. The records will be searchable 24 hours after activation and made public. At that point they can be browsed or searched by key words in the question. It will be a nice additional feature for InfoEyes staff to have access to these older questions as good sources of information for our reference librarians.