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The LibAnswers Platform

What is the LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative?

The LibAnswers Global Reference Cooperative includes hundreds of participating librarians and 20+ Springshare MLS librarians, delivering the highest quality co-op reference coverage for libraries.

  • The LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative allows librarians across multiple LibAnswers systems to provide collaborative chat reference.
  • Librarians answer patron chats on behalf of all member libraries within the cooperative.
  • This means, all of your patrons can get library help, even when your physical doors are closed.

How Does it Work?

Available Service Options:

  • Decide Your Own Coverage Levels - You're in the driver's seat with what hours you need covered and at which levels.
  • Participate in Cooperative or Not - Choose whether you wish to participate in the co-op or just get backup coverage instead.
  • More than just Chat Coverage - We've all been there and have needed an extra pair of hands during busy times. Our backup will provide more than just chat services if you need it.

24/7 Cooperatives

Two Global Cooperatives: Academic Cooperative & Public Cooperative

  • Academic Libraries - your patrons will receive 24/7 support from other Academic Libraries around the world.
  • Public Libraries - your patrons will 24/7 support from other Public Libraries around the world.
  • Just the Beginning - our goal is to add more Global Cooperatives for different Library types (i.e. Law Library) and specialties (i.e Medical Librarian).

Optionally Create Your Own Local Cooperative

If you work with a group of libraries in your consortia, your state, country, or even across the world - you can form your own local Cooperative.

The benefits of creating your own local Cooperative mean that you get first dibs at answering each other's patron's questions before they roll up to the 24/7 Global Cooperative. This comes into play when creating your LibChat widgets.

Cooperative Features & Functionality

  • Contribute or Don't - The Global Cooperatives are not only staffed by our amazing MLIS-Degreed Springshare Librarians, but also by thousands of librarians around the world - contributing hours to the Cooperative and helping each other's patrons. But, if you're a small or understaffed library, you can receive support from the Global Cooperatives without giving hours. The choice is yours.
  • Customizable Coverage Hours - Not every Library is in need of 24/7 coverage. You choose which days and hours you'd like coverage with flexible pricing.
 
  • Dedicated Cooperative Dashboard - View your activity, Co-Op Admins, member institutions, and other Co-Op librarians.
  • Co-Op Reporting and Statistics - Run detailed reports on how chats from your patrons were answered by the 24/7 or local Cooperatives (if applicable). Filter on what browser/OS they used, which websites with chat embedded are generating the most chats, and more.
  • Communicating Your Library's Information to the Cooperative - Sharing information about your library with fellow librarians around the world is a critical piece of the puzzle. We've created a special type of FAQ Group called the 24/7 Staffing FAQ Group. This way, you'll be able to create FAQs about your hours of operation, links to databases and catalogs, shortcuts to LibGuides, and more.
  • Chat Widget Fallback/Roll-up Settings - create customizable chat widgets where you get to decide how a chat cascades from your in-library chat departments to the Cooperative. If your local chat department, or local Cooperative is offline - the patron chat will automagically fallback to the next option that's currently online. Additionally, timed roll-up allows you to customize how long a patron has to wait before it rolls-up to the next available option.
    • There's no limit to the number of chat widgets you build and each widget can have different fallback/roll-up functionality.

  • Create a Post-Chat Follow-Up Ticket - if you're answering a chat on-behalf of another library, after the the chat concludes - you might need to tag that chat for post-chat follow-up. This creates a ticket that automagically gets sent to the library designated in the chat widget. This way, you won't have to wonder which library to send it to - the system takes care of it for you.