About AskAway

A Vital Service

AskAway enables real-time, chat-based research assistance for learners when they need it. With a single click, students can connect with a librarian to receive expert guidance. Staff from 31 post-secondary libraries across British Columbia and the Yukon chat online with learners, providing flexible, timely access to province-wide reference resources beyond the limitations of library buildings and traditional hours of service.

Responding to educational needs with a collaborative approach, AskAway is able to extend this service to learners via cost-sharing and coordination of infrastructure and resources amongst institutions.

Standing alongside phone, email, and in-person reference services, AskAway chat reference has become a core mode of service delivery for post-secondary libraries.

AskAway is an essential service that...

  • Extends equitable access to quality information to over 430,000 post-secondary learners at 31 institutions.
  • Meets learners "where they are" - online - and offers educational support at point of need.
  • Provides 67 hours of virtual reference service per week, effectively leveraging professional expertise across the system to facilitate reference and referral.

Essential Partners

Through collaboration, cost-sharing, and coordination of existing infrastructure and resources, AskAway provides a service far beyond what any individual institution could offer on its own. AskAway is a collaborative partnership between participating libraries and the British Columbia Electronic Library Network.

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