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SpringyNews: Summer Projects Checklist

June 2015

Today's Agenda: Proactively Engage Users

When your users are accessing the services and information online, are they getting the information they need? Are they aware of all the wonderful services the library offers? Do they know that help is always a click away?

Here are a few tips on how to be “on the offense” in reaching out to patrons and building meaningful relationships.

Be Proactive with Online Chat

The research (see callout) indicates it’s good practice to proactively reach out to patrons who otherwise may not make the step in asking for help online.

Using LibAnswers' v2 Proactive Chat Widget to Engage Users

LibChat has a proactive chat feature to help you engage users when and where they need it most.

  • If a librarian is online users will be prompted to chat via the proactive widget. After all, you don't want to annoy them by offering help if you're not even online to answer their chat.
  • A customizable timer at the widget-level lets you control how long to wait before the proactive chat offer pops up. You can set different timers for different widgets on a webpage-by-webpage basis.
  • Control the chat invitation's look & feel with full customization options (slide direction, custom message, colors, text, etc.)
  • You can update the widget(s) at any time and changes automatically cascade down everywhere it's been embedded!

The Research Says

Zhang, Jie & Mayer, Nevin "Proactive Chat Reference: Getting in the Users' Space." College & Research Libraries News Vol 75 no.4 202-205. 

"Trigger-initiated chats are more reference and research related than our patron-initiated chats. ... trigger-initiated chat reached students online with complex research questions, who might not have otherwise known where to go for help."

"...there is indeed a readymade market for our services right on our own library webpages, and that our users will ask us questions when we approach them."

LibAnswers Proactive Chat Builder


Proactively Send Announcements about Library Events in LibCal v2

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. - Roger Staubach


When creating events in LibCal, take a minute to send an event announcement to interested parties. How do you find interested users? Here are some tips!

Tips for Proactively Marketing Your Event:

  • History Repeats Itself - Look at past LibCal events that are similar to your upcoming event - export the registration list, grab their emails, and send them an announcement.
  • Chain Letters For Good - Send an announcement to six strong library supporters and encourage them to 'Forward' it along! If every patron forwarded it to just one additional person, think of all the people you could reach.
  • Mine Your Reference Tickets - Check your LibAnswers tickets or mine your virtual reference services and identify users that would benefit from attending your event.
LibCal Send Announcement



Build Relationships with Users

LibCal’s appointment scheduler widget enables you to insert your availability calendar anywhere and everywhere “at the point of need” so your patrons, faculty, and students can effortlessly schedule one-on-one consultations with you. You’ll get notifications right to your inbox and even live sync with your Google and Outlook calendars.

Here's how to do it:

Navigate to LibCal > My Scheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings. Setup your appointment duration timeslots, customize your booking form, and add booking instructions/directions.

Then head over to My Scheduler > My Appointments > Set Up My Availability Time to setup your available hours. If you're always available Monday mornings from 10am-11am, set up a repeating event.

Grab the widget code and My Scheduler URL and embed them anywhere and everywhere. Voilà! You're one step closer to building relationships with users.

My Scheduler Widget

Pro Tips:

  • Add your My Scheduler widget to your staff directory, personal blog, website, and LibGuides profile box
  • Grab your My Scheduler URL and add it to your email signature
  • Share it on social media via your Library's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
  • Make 'Schedule Me' business cards with your My Scheduler URL featured
  • Create My Scheduler QR Codes and paste them in places where users congregate/need help



Be Proactive in Asking for Feedback on Events

You attend a conference or an event and days or weeks later you get an email survey asking you for feedback. In most cases, that’s too late – you should ask for feedback immediately, while the experience is still “fresh” in your users’ minds.

So, rev your proactive engine into high gear and send them a feedback survey as soon as the event ends.

Send Follow-up Emails with Integrated LibSurveys in LibCal v2

Create registration-enabled events within LibCal so users can register for events and receive follow-up emails.

These Follow-up emails automatically integrate with LibSurveys so you can embed your feedback survey right inside the email.

Tips for Better
Response Rates

  • Keep your survey short!
    (5-7 questions, tops)
  • Use conditional logic to show/hide questions based on answers. Users will only see the questions that pertain to them.
  • Send the survey quickly after the event, while the information is still fresh in their mind.


Here's how it works:

  • Build your survey in LibSurveys. Don't forget to use conditional logic to show/hide questions based on answers!
  • Navigate to LibCal > Calendars > and build your event. 
  • Under Follow-up email > select your time threshold and customize your email text.
  • Select the 'Insert a LibSurvey' button to automatically retrieve your Event Feedback Form.
LibSurveys integration with LibCal