A Busy Summer on AskAway
This summer (May - July), AskAway saw a 15-20% increase in traffic compared to last year. Students, researchers, and instructors from across BC and the Yukon received ongoing support with everything from conducting research (40% of questions) to formatting citations (17%) to requesting interlibrary loans (4%).
When calls flooded in and the swamped message went out, service providers were quick to sign on, pick up chats, and lighten the load for their colleagues.

Keeping the Schedule Healthy

A big thank you to libraries who volunteered an additional 17 hours
in the May - August schedules.

Contributing volunteer hours maintains a healthy collaborative schedule and helps service providers keep their chat reference skills fresh over the summer.
Shift Swapping Shout-outs

"I'm so grateful for the response of the AskAway community. It's wonderful to be part of such a great team."
Anne Andres, Columbia Bible College

"Thanks everyone who offered to cover [my shift]. Just an amazing team!"
Aline Goncalves, Yukon College
What are Students Saying?
Service providers help meet information needs

  • "Amazing and friendly service!!!! Super useful and taught me how to find a ridiculously obscure article from the 70s." SFU student

  • "I got the information I need and it was fast and on target." Douglas College student

AskAway eases the stress of student life

  • "Very helpful, I use this website for every research paper and it has helped me throughout my undergrad!" UBC student

  • "This was so helpful and saved me hours of research time." Capilano University student

  • "This is so great! I thought I had to come to the library during certain hours to ask questions. This makes our student life easier." BCIT student
What's Coming Up?
Scripts Refresh

Service providers have the option to send scripted messages (or scripts) to students during their chat sessions. At a recent AskAway Advisory Committee meeting, it was suggested that the scripts could use a refresh, and we couldn't agree more.

AskAway scripts are currently being reviewed and refreshed to:
  • Remove duplication and reduce the number of scripts
  • Update wording to be more proactive and user-centered, and
  • Reorganize the categories to align with chat workflow.

Expect the new scripts in September, in time for the start of the fall term, so stay tuned! (Don't worry, we'll keep an archive of the older scripts available for a little while to ease the transition).

Chat Reference Software Review

As a result of action planning activities, the Advisory Committee prioritized a chat reference software review for the service.

Since the last software review was completed five years ago, the software landscape and the service's priorities have changed (for example, we'd like to explore features such as proactive chat). The software review will get underway in September and will take us into the following year. There will be opportunities for involvement, and we'll keep you updated at key points in the process.
AskAway is a service of the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN)