Students Can Stay Home & Stay On-Track
Over 50% of students, instructors, and researchers who visit AskAway are off-campus or studying at a distance. When students can't make a trip to the library, AskAway service providers are there to offer convenient, in-depth research help. In AskAway exit surveys this fall, undergraduate and graduate students shared how chat reference helps them work from a distance and stay on-track with their research and assignments.

"I am so thankful for this service, THANK YOU SO MUCH. It really helps us when we are off-campus. So convenient!!!!"
UBC graduate student

"AskAway chat was wonderful!! I do my schooling by distance while my caregiver is sleeping. Silent, written, yet live communication also happens to be best for my own disability. I could hardly believe the excellence of quality in the response. So patient and thorough! What a wonderful resource." North Island College distance student

"It was perfect. Thank you. It is extremely helpful if it's a weekend when I have specific APA questions." Douglas College student, off-campus

"AskAway has helped me several times and I am very thankful for having such a great tool at my disposal." Langara College distance student

"My librarian was great. Thank you for providing this service. I had a quick question. They were able to assist and I am able to move on with my research."
 Thompson Rivers University student, off-campus
Spotlight on Promotion: Reaching Online Students
How does College of the Rockies (COTR) Library get the word out about AskAway to over 1,000 students who study online?

The library encourages students to access live chat research support by sending promotional materials in a welcome package. Sue Morin, COTR Library's AskAway local coordinator, tells us more:

"College of the Rockies library staff prepare student ID cards and send out a welcome package to online students. Inside their package, students will find a welcome letter introducing services available to them, including online research help via AskAway (and online writing help via WriteAway). An AskAway bookmark and magnet are tucked into each envelope.

Library staff often hear back from students who are grateful to learn that they can easily access research support. They especially appreciate that AskAway is available after library hours and on the weekends."

Does your library have a promotional initiative that you'd like to share? Let us know!
Improve AskAway Visibility: EBSCO & ProQuest
Have you been thinking about adding the AskAway Qwidget to your library's EBSCO and ProQuest databases? Adding the chat box in database search results offers students immediate help, when and where they need it most: during searches.

Questions? Contact the Admin Centre and we'll be happy to help.
Chat Reference Skills Refresher
The term break can offer some time for professional reflection and growth. If you're looking to polish your chat reference skills, take a closer look at these freely available resources:

Have you come across any articles or learning resources that have helped you develop your chat reference skills? Let us know.
Fast, Friendly, & Fabulous Research Support
"The librarians are not only knowledgeable, but also convey a sense of friendliness. I never hesitate to reach out because I know I'll be warmly received, and the person on the other end will be both competent and helpful." Simon Fraser University faculty or staff

"This was a very helpful service!!! And the people are very knowledgeable and kind!" University of Victoria student

"I'm very happy with the service I received. The librarian was very helpful and quick. They were able to help me find the resources I needed for a research paper and helped me tweak my research topic a little bit to find a larger source of articles. This is a great service! Thank you." Camosun College student

"Very friendly and helpful. Thank you!" University of Northern BC student

"Fabulous experience, it helped me find the most relevant articles."
University Canada West student
What's Coming Up?
Chat Reference Software Evaluation

Since October, the AskAway Software Evaluation Committee has been meeting regularly to lay the groundwork for an evaluation of chat reference software and develop a Request for Quotation (RFQ). Three software providers (LibAnswers, LibraryH3lp, and QuestionPoint) responded to the RFQ, and the Committee is now moving into the evaluation phase.

Through December and into January, committee members will be hard at work evaluating and scoring RFQ responses and planning for community involvement. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to participate in software demonstrations and to share your feedback.
Call for Proposals

Mark your calendars for the North American Virtual Reference Conference, Tuesday, February 12, 2019. This free and fully online conference will be held from 8am - 2pm Pacific Time.

The conference theme is Fully Present Online and Miguel Figueroa (ALA Center for the Future of Libraries) will deliver the opening keynote.

If you would like to submit a proposal, please fill out the proposal submission form by December 15th, 2018.

Stay tuned for registration information!
Image courtesy of College of New Caledonia Library
AskAway is a service of the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN)
Questions? Contact the AskAway Admin Centre