December 2019
New Service Hours a Success
This September, AskAway extended service hours for the first time in over 10 years to open at 9:00am on weekday mornings.

Opening earlier offers more flexibility to students with busy schedules and provides them with research support at libraries where the research desk hasn't opened for the day.

These new morning shifts have been a success, showing steady usage over the fall term as early birds flocked to the service.
Image of a bird with the text "Calling all early birds. AskAway chat research support is now open weekdays at 9am (PT)." AskAway service hours are also displayed.
Launching LibraryH3lp: New Chat Reference Software
This spring, AskAway migrated to new chat reference software - LibraryH3lp. To prepare for the transition, over 180 service providers and local coordinators attended 12 orientation sessions. By participating in training, asking questions, and supporting one another in Campfire, the AskAway community didn't miss a beat. Students, staff, and faculty benefitted from uninterrupted service through the summer and fall terms.

LibraryH3lp offers greater customization of the staffing interface, and libraries can easily modify the patron-facing chat to align with institutional branding. New features such as screenshot sharing support visual learning, and the service can now consider adopting proactive chat (more on this below).

Transitioning to new software can be a bit like breaking in a new pair of shoes, and so to help folks feel as comfortable as possible, the Admin Centre has put together FAQs for service providers and for local coordinators. Learn how to send screenshots (service providers), customize the appearance of your library's chat box (local coordinators), and much more! We'll continue to add new FAQs and additional support material as needed.

Is there an FAQ you'd like to see added? Contact the Admin Centre and let us know.
AskAway Advisory Committee
The AskAway Advisory Committee keeps the service healthy in the present and provides strategic direction for the future. A warm welcome to new members and thank you to members who are continuing their terms!

See who represents your library and learn more about the Committee's strategic planning work.
What's coming up?
Investigating Proactive Chat
A top priority for the AskAway Advisory Committee is to explore proactive chat, a feature that actively invites a student to chat at a certain point along their journey through a website or database. With LibraryH3lp, proactive chat can be customized so that libraries control when the invitation pops-up, what it looks like, and where it lives.

In the new year, the Advisory Committee will take a closer look at this feature and consider implementing a proactive chat pilot with willing AskAway libraries. Stay tuned!
Transition to APA 7th Edition
The new 7th edition of the APA style manual was released this fall, and libraries are working hard to update their guides and adopt the new edition.

With input from local coordinators, the Admin Centre will provide guidance to service providers during the transition so that AskAway users from all institutions continue to receive reliable and relevant citation support.

Keep an eye on the Citation Best Practices Appendix for updates to APA guides.
See you in 2020!
"The librarian that I worked with was super friendly and helpful! It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to use it again. :)" Trinity Western University student

"This is such a great feature, prompt and reliable. I will definitely use again." Selkirk College student

"Thanks for the help. I will see you again in the future." Capilano University student
Image of a cat sleeping and the words Happy Holidays!
AskAway is a service of the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN).
Questions? Contact the AskAway Administrative Centre.