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SpringyNews - Automation Magic

August 2022

Chatbot Can Help With That!

Chat Reference has become a standard service for public, academic, and research libraries over the past few years. Gone are the days of calling to check on the library hours or stopping by to see if a particular book is available - patrons have come to expect the convenience and rapid turnaround of on-demand chat! Staffing a chat service, however, can be challenging. What if the person at the Reference Desk is helping another patron or your Research Help Desk is only staffed during specific hours? Enter, the LibAnswers Chatbot. Chatbot serves as the first point of contact for chat patrons, guiding them through options, and passing them on to a particular resource or staff member as needed.

welcome to libchat

Make It Your Own

During our time working with and for libraries, we've learned that every library is different. Each institution has its own unique space, set of policies, procedures, organizational structure, etc. It only makes sense that every Chatbot will need to be different, too. That's why we've made them totally customizable!

  • Add your branding! Chatbot's name and images are both customizable.
  • You set the availability.
    • Pick from "Always Available", "Available when chat is online", or "Available when chat is offline"
  • There are no surprises. Chatbot uses a database of predetermined rules set up by you and your organization.

We take privacy seriously! Chatbot is wholly contained within each LibAnswers system for security and privacy. There is no sharing of Chatbot data amongst LibAnswers sites.

Build Flows Now - Save Time Later

With Chatbots, you'll be able to create your own chatbot "Flows" to guide end-users toward the answers and resources they're looking for, before they talk to a librarian. Chatbot is rule-based, not AI, so you'll have the opportunity to control the entire user experience.

Setting Up Chatbot Flows:

The way your Chatbot interacts with patrons depends on you! Here are some ways you can set up Chatbot Flows to best suit your library's needs:

  • Fully customizable welcome message can include text, a set of specific links, FAQs, or the option to chat with a live operator.
  • Provide a selection of FAQs - to answer common questions like “What are your hours?” or “How do I renew an item?”
  • Prompt patrons to choose the type of help they're looking for, using fully customizable (and natural language!) contextual Flows.
  • Ask the user custom questions like “What is your department?” or “Do you have a student ID number?”
  • Integrates with Guides, A-Z List, and LibCal –so that you can create Flows that direct users to your resources.
  • Chatbot Flows can be reused across all chat widgets or as a template to create new Flows.


  • No one around? Chatbot can send the information it has collected to a specific email or queue.

chatbot flow editor Chatbot uses a database of predetermined rules set up by librarians

Keep an eye on our blog and the Springshare Lounge - this new feature will be released in autumn 2022!