The holiday season is upon us and we'd like to end 2019 with a gaggle of new features for you to ooh and aah over, and we couldn't think of a better gift than the brand-new and shiny LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative Service. Since our announcement of our acquisition of QuestionPoint on May 31, 2019 - we've been hard at work not only building out the infrastructure for the 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative, but also adding some really cool new features and flexibility for you to decide how, when, and where you want to use the service.
The service will officially go live on February 28, 2020 - so if you're interested in adding backup chat reference to your existing LibAnswers subscription or subscribing to LibAnswers + 24/7 Chat Cooperative, register to attend any of the sessions below to learn more or contact us.
If you're itching to check-out the 24/7 Cooperative, we've got some new cooler-than-a-snow-day features below.
We're starting with two 24/7 Cooperatives, divided into Academic and Public Libraries. This means, if you're an Academic Library - your patrons will receive 24/7 support from other Academic Libraries around the world. Public Libraries, the same concept applies to you. This is 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).
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.
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.
After our acquisition of QuestionPoint, one of the biggest pieces of feedback we heard was the desire for customizable coverage hours. Not every Library is in need of 24/7 coverage, and we made sure to build our coverage functionality with flexibility in mind. Choose which days and hours you'd like coverage with flexible pricing points.
We've built out an awesome Cooperative Dashboard so you can view your activity, Co-Op Admins, member institutions, and other Co-Op librarians.
Maybe not every account holder in your LibAnswers system will be a member of the Cooperative, either your local Cooperative (if applicable) or the 24/7 Global Cooperatives. You can pick and choose which chat operators are members of your Co-Ops versus being an account holder in LibAnswers and answering local-only chat, tickets, and social media.
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.
View patron transcripts and search transcripts for terms like "barcode" to identify patterns in your patron chat activity.
This is where the magic of LibChat really shines - creating 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.
Right now, you can easily transfer chats between operators and Cooperatives, both Local and Global 24/7. So if a chat starts in a local library, you can transfer it to the Cooperative and vice versa.
Coming soon, when initiating a transfer, you'll be able to see how many chats other operators are engaged in and initiate a private 1:1 chat with another operator right from the transfer chat window.
Within the chat operator console, you can toggle your Cooperative monitoring on and off - and still keep your personal chat and library-specific chat departments online.
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.
One of the most important components in a chat Cooperative is sharing information about your library with fellow librarians around the world, so that they can best assist your patrons. If they're answering one of your patron's chats about library's hours - that librarian needs access to that information to provide high-quality and efficient service.
To that end, 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. These FAQs are searchable inside the patron chat so you can quickly answer their questions.