As a reminder, L-net will be closed on Presidents' day, in honor of all the presidents. You won't be scheduled any shifts.
Talk to you soon, Caleb
5. Patrons chat back
1. 2010 Oregon Virtual Reference Summit May 7th
The 2010 Oregon Virtual Reference Summit will be held May 7th at McMenamin's Edgefield in Troutdale. More news soon, we promise.
2. New e-mail software features
I want to highlight three new things on the L-net website, www.oregonlibraries.net, especially as it relates to answering e-mail questions. I hope that all of these things will make it easier for you to answer questions.
First, there is now an easier way to see all of the open questions you or your library is working on.
Go to www.oregonlibraries.net/ask/answer/my and it will list all of the questions that are included in your 'Good Morning from L-net' e-mail.
Second, every question and every person now has a tab near the top of the screen that says 'History'.
The history tab for a question lists everything that has happened with that question so far. The history tab for a person shows everything that she has been working on lately. There is a site-wide history available at www.oregonlibraries.net/history, if you want to keep up with all of the action.
Third, you can now get alerts of activity on your question by IM instead of e-mail.
This is helpful if you are on Spark all day anyway and like to respond to patrons right away. Log into the website, and click 'my account' and then 'edit'. Scroll down to 'Messaging and Notifications settings' and set 'Default send method' to 'XMPP'. Alerts for new questions will come over IM instead of e-mail. Alerts for old questions and the daily 'good morning' messages will continue to arrive by e-mail.
3. Patrons seem to not be connected
Have you noticed that sometimes you pick up a question and there is no patron there? Sometimes you even see a bunch of patrons like this in a row.
Occasionally there is a technical problem, but more often it is because the patron had to wait too long and gave up. This explains why it can happen to several patrons at once.
Usually, when a patron's browser connects to you, their initial question is sent as their first chat message. Seeing this message is a sign that the patron is connected. Seeing no message is a sign that they may not be. It is a good idea to wait for a message from the server saying they are gone before you close the question and code it as 'disconnected'.
As always, it is good to send a broadcast message to call for help when L-net gets busy. Set your status to 'Away' to keep notifications of new questions from appearing and to tell the system that you really aren't available for more at the moment - the system will relay the message to patrons by not allowing them to submit new questions.
4. Patron's question appears near the end of a transcript
Have you ever noticed that sometimes a patron's original question will show up again near the end of the transcript?
We think we know why. http://www.oregonlibraries.net/staff/2010/02/02/patrons_question_shows_n...
5. Patrons chat back
Since our software switch, only 4% of patrons are filling out an exit survey. This is ok because it means that patrons get to keep looking at their transcript. But there are fewer comments than usual.
It's been so long since I sent a newsletter that one of the more recent comments is "everybody deserves a candy cane". I'll see what I can do.
But I'm not writing them all here because you can now keep up with all of the uncensored things that patrons have to say to us by visiting http://www.oregonlibraries.net/buzz/comments/patrons.