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LibAnswers User Guide and Best Practices

How-Tos for LibChat

UR Libraries is currently using LibChat as its preferred chat service for patron interactions on shared service points including DiscoverUR. Additional features available through LibAnswers such as a ticketing service and knowledgebase platform will be implemented over the course of the 2022–2023 academic year.

Staff members can access their campus's subscriptions using the following links:

Miner Libraries

River Campus Libraries

Sibley Music Library

Accessing transcripts

Staff members can view transcripts for any chat department to which they are assigned (e.g., River Campus Libraries, Miner Libraries, etc.). While these transcripts can be used for assessment and training purposes, content from transcripts should be anonymized before sharing with other individuals.

To access a transcript, log into the LibAnswers instance for your campus and click LibChat → Transcripts. From the transcript page you can filter by department, operator/staff member, content, widget, and date.

The "Actions" column on the right-hand side of the transcripts page allows you to perform a few helpful actions for individual transcripts:

Icon Label Description
Quick transcript view
  • Launched from site
  • Widget
  • Department
  • Answerer (i.e., staff member)
  • Wait time
  • Duration
  • Partial transcript
Link to full transcript
  • Same details a "quick view"
  • Full transcript
Email transcript
  • Email Patron Transcript includes:
    • Launched from site
    • Chat date/time
    • Wait time
    • Duration
    • Answerer's (i.e., staff member's) nickname
    • Optional note
    • Full transcript
  • Email Librarian Transcript includes:
    • Same details as "Email Patron Transcript"
    • Answerer's (i.e., staff member's) real name
    • System messages
    • Internal notes

Transferring chats (LibChat user must be online)

Chats can be transferred to both individuals and departments, as well as to departments at other UR Libraries campuses when appropriate. This feature is only available if someone from the other campus is monitoring that campus's LibChat department.

To transfer a chat, click the button and select the individual's name or corresponding department. If you do not see a department listed for another campus, no one is currently monitoring that department.

Viewing a Chat before Claiming

When a patron sends a chat message, there is a way to preview the chat to determine if you're the best person to respond. 

1. A new chat will show up in the "Chats" section.

2. Instead of clicking "Claim Chat", click on the name of the guest.

3. You can now read what the patron has asked without having claimed the chat.

If the nature of the question is better suited for someone else who is online and available, wait a few seconds (approx. 15s) to give that staff member a chance to respond. 

An example of this is: 

Three Operators from RCL are available. Two of them are librarians and one is a member of Patron Services.

There is an incoming chat. Follow the steps above to view it before claiming.

It says, "Hi, I need help with renewing my books." In that case, the two librarians can wait a few seconds to let the Patron Services member directly help the patron. If for some reason the staff member hadn't picked it up, one of the librarians can claim the chat and transfer or refer the patron.