Chat – An immediate, interactive instant messaging session with a patron. Chats originate from the “Get Help” tab on the library home page.
Ticket – A session with a patron that allows for follow-up after the patron has left the initial interaction. Tickets are created automatically when a patron submits an email, or texts a question via SMS.
Transferring a Chat – The process of handing the chat off to another operator.
Operator – An individual with a LibAnswers account. Operators can be Librarians, Library Specialists, Library Managers, Instructional Associates, Directors, and Assistant Directors.
Department – A group of Operators who work in the same TCC department like the library, writing center, learning labs, etc.
You have the option to change your status and availability, throughout the course of your shift on LibChat. In the upper, left corner of the screen, you should see four different options to choose from. It is important to keep an eye on this feature during your shift and insure that your availability is accurately reflected.
A. OFFLINE - You remain logged into the LibChat service, but are unavailable to receive chat requests from either patrons or staff. Use this option if you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time. Under the list of Operators, your name will have a red dot.
B. INTERNAL - This means that you are only available to answer and accept chat requests from other staff within your organization. You will not see or be notified of new chat requests from patrons / customers and, to outside users, you will appear to be Offline. Use this option if you are still working at your computer, but prefer not to answer patron questions at this time. Under the list of Operators, your name will have a green dot.
C. ONLINE - This means that you are available to answer and accept chat requests from any Department that you’re assigned to. Your status can also be seen by any other staff who are logged into LibChat, so you may receive internal chats, public chats, and ticket notifications from those departments / queues. Under the list of Operators, your name will have a green dot.
D. AWAY - Use this check-box option to indicate that you are still online and generally available, but that you have stepped away from your computer for a short period of time. Other staff will see you as “Away” but can still send you internal chats. The service will still be available to patrons, but if you are the only one monitoring a particular chat department, then they will receive an “Away” response when they try to contact you. Under the list of Operators, your name will have a yellow dot. Please be sure to un-check this box, once you have returned to your computer.
When the time has come to end your shift on the LibChat virtual service desk, you will want to make certain to sign completely out of the service, so that patrons and other staff don’t see you listed as still active / online.
Recording statistics for a chat:
Recording statistics for a ticket:
One option available within LibChat is to use pre-prepared or “canned” messages during your chats with patrons / students.You may find this particularly helpful with standard messages that are a common part of any chat…such as the initial greeting, letting a patron know that you are going to refer their question to another staff member, or standard answers to any Frequently Asked Questions, etc.
The TCC LibChat already has a number of Canned Message options available, but you have the opportunity to create your own.To do this, you will want to….
1. Navigate to the LibAnswers dashboard screen and find the drop-down menu for LibChat
2. Select the option for “Canned Messages.”
3. Locate the button on the left-hand side of the screen that says “+ Add Canned Message.”
4. Type in a “Display Name” that will show on your list of message options, as well as the text of the prepared “Canned Message” that you want your patrons / students to see. Be sure to click Save.