When a question is submitted via virtual service points, it appears in the Dashboard. Departments have responsibilities during the week from 9-5, and on evenings and weekends.
During the week from 9-5:
On evenings and weekends:
The following processes are the steps to answer LibAnswers questions, from claiming the question to closing it. To claim a question in LibAnswers:
1. Look for new questions in the Dashboard.
2. Click on the question to "Claim it".
Image of Ticket question with eye icon highlighted:
When answering virtual reference questions in LibAnswers, consider whether you can use existing tools, links, and resources.
1. Can you macro an answer?
2. Can you reuse a past answer?
3. Search for an answer using tools like the Library Catalogue, University of Waterloo website, and Google. See Contact and Resources.
4. Complete your answer using text editor, and add links and files as appropriate.
Image showing steps in answering a question:
5. If appropriate, copy your answer to other staff or email aliases.
6. Suggest your question and answer for the FAQ. See Adding a Question to LibAnswers FAQ.
7. Add analytics and submit as:
Image of steps taken to cc a ticket, add to FAQ, add to analytics, and closing a ticket:
Internal notes can be added to tickets and are only visible to staff and do not go to the patron. Internal notes help us share important information with other staff members.
How to add internal notes that are sent to fellow staff:
Image showing steps to post and email an internal note:
Internal notes can also be used for statistical purposes, adding information to transactions in RefAnalytics.
How to add internal notes that are only recorded in RefAnalytics
Image showing steps to post an internal note that is only recorded in RefAnalytics:
Patron Responds After you Have Left the Dashboard
Handing over a Question at the end of your Shift
Close a question: Keep statistics about the question, but no response is sent to the patron.
Delete a question: Remove the question from LibAnswers, including any statistics.
LibAnswers FAQ knowledge base is divided between Circulation and ISR. It provides answers for typical patron questions, working from answers to FAQ. If you think a question should be added:
1. Ask yourself: Is this a new question that should be in the FAQ?
2. Add the transaction in Ref. Analytics as normal.
3. Select "Include this transaction in the public knowledge base."
4. Add to Group: Default.
5. Add analytics and submit.
Image showing an FAQ entry:
When expertise is required, you may need to transfer a ticket in LibAnswers.
Image showing steps to refer a question inside the question:
You may have to refer a patron outside of LibAnswers system. You can hand it over to an expert, or stay active on the ticket.
Referring a Ticket outside the System, by handing it over to an expert
Referring a Ticket outside the System, while remaining active. This method is used for text message tickets.
Turning on AskUs notifcations allows you to get alerts for new questions in the Dashboard.
Notifications are not turned on automatically, and turn off when you refresh the LibAnswers page.
Image showing stand-by alerts enabled: