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Updated: 2 hours 55 min ago

Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

Tue, 2019-07-16 11:36

Are you working with a student who has a question about how to cite Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers?

The formal APA and MLA style guides do not currently have a format for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, so NorQuest College Library has developed citation styles for APA and MLA reference lists and in-text citations.

The list of Recommended Citation Guides and Websites from AskAway's Citation Best Practices has been updated to include links to these NorQuest College Library guides.

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Alone or Short-Staffed on your Shift? How to Request Help

Mon, 2019-05-27 14:52

When you're working on AskAway, there should always be at least one other person on shift with you. If you find yourself alone or short-staffed, your colleagues and the Admin Centre are here to help. Below, you'll find the steps you can follow to request help as well as strategies to manage calls while you wait for help to arrive.

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Update on the Chat Monitor Redesign

Wed, 2019-03-06 11:26

On your shifts, you're encouraged to use the new QuestionPoint chat monitor. Before taking it live, please check out the recent blog post Going Live with the New Chat Monitor for short demo videos and important information about what's changed and how to stay consistent with AskAway practices and procedures.

Read on to learn the latest on the chat monitor redesign including recent enhancements, when access to the current chat monitor will end, and a workaround for hopping out of the queues.

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Snapshot from the North American Virtual Reference Conference 2019

Mon, 2019-02-25 16:28

Missed out on the North American Virtual Reference conference? Recordings from all sessions are now available in the conference Archives.

Our AskAway colleague Ean Henninger, from SFU Library, presented at the conference and has shared a snapshot from the round of lightning talks Communication Strategies and Best Practices.

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Going Live with the New Chat Monitor

Thu, 2019-02-14 09:36

You're invited to use the new QuestionPoint chat monitor on your AskAway shifts. The new interface and the current (aka old) interface will operate in parallel for at least 2 weeks before access to the current version ends.

***Before taking the new chat monitor live, see below for important information about what's changed and how to stay consistent with AskAway practices and procedures.

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Test Driving the New Chat Monitor

Thu, 2019-02-07 15:29

QuestionPoint has released its redesigned chat monitor. The new redesigned interface and the current interface will operate in parallel for at least 2 weeks before access to the current version ends.

***Please continue to use the current (aka old) chat monitor for your scheduled AskAway shifts for the time being***

Next week, we'll follow-up with more information about the subtle changes in workflow and the features available in the redesigned interface before taking it live.

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Referring Students to WriteAway

Tue, 2019-02-05 13:58

WriteAway is a BC post-secondary collaborative online writing tutoring service. Undergraduate students at participating institutions can submit draft papers to WriteAway online and receive feedback and strategies to improve their writing from qualified tutors. WriteAway can be a nice complement to AskAway, as students who prefer online services or who are working off-campus can take advantage of online writing support.

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Catch up on AskAway Fall News

Mon, 2018-12-10 14:05

Catch up on AskAway fall news with The Chat Box December 2018!

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QuestionPoint Chat Monitor Redesign Update

Wed, 2018-11-14 12:37

At their November 8 Virtual User Group meeting, QuestionPoint shared an update on the chat monitor interface redesign. Learn more about what's expected and check out a recording and slides from the meeting.

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Relying on Campfire

Wed, 2018-10-10 15:02

The real value of Campfire comes from the community of service providers who use it to support one another during their shifts and keep AskAway running smoothly.

Log into Campfire and listen for notifications during each shift so that you'll be aware if something important comes up and your colleagues need assistance. You'll also be able to ask for help if you run into an issue.

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Refreshed Scripts Have Arrived

Wed, 2018-09-05 16:39

Refreshed service-wide scripts have landed in time for the start of the fall term!

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Catch Up on AskAway Summer News

Mon, 2018-08-20 16:03

Catch up on AskAway summer news with the The Chat Box - August 2018!

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Ideas for Promoting AskAway at your Library

Wed, 2018-05-23 16:45

A one-pager with ideas for small steps you can take to promote AskAway at your library.

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Refresher: Resolution and Descriptive Codes

Wed, 2017-11-22 12:04

At the end of a chat session, you have the opportunity to add Resolution and Descriptive codes to your chat. By adding these codes, you help us track technical issues with the service and give a clear picture of why patrons are coming to AskAway and the kind of help you are providing them.

Below, you'll find a quick refresher on how to apply resolution and descriptive codes.

Adding a Resolution Code

Resolution codes allow us to track technical problems and to exclude practice calls from AskAway statistics.

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Answering Citation Questions with Marjory Jardine

Mon, 2017-11-20 09:57

Did you know that between 15-20% of questions that come to AskAway are citation questions?

To learn more about answering citation questions, we interviewed Marjory Jardine, an AskAway service provider at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), who has a knack for answering APA questions. Marjory shares what she enjoys about chat reference and citations, tips for tricky citation questions, and some of her favourite guides.

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Logging out at the end of your shift

Wed, 2017-11-01 10:46

"Hello, do you offer 24/7 live chat assistance?"

"Hello, sorry to interrupt in the middle of the night. I have some problems with my research paper."

These questions came in to AskAway late one night after opening hours, with no one online to answer. It happens rarely, but every so often, an AskAwayer may forget to log out of QuestionPoint or have trouble logging out due to technical issues (e.g. computer freezes, power outage) and the service stays open through the night with no one to pick up calls.

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Quick tips to improve conversations with patrons

Mon, 2017-07-31 12:01

QuestionPoint recently hosted a brief 30 minute webinar with quick tips to improve chat reference conversations. They also shared several follow-up questions and answers from the session.

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Improving Chat Reference with Emotional Intelligence

Wed, 2017-03-08 13:37

The Florida State Library has shared a webinar they held on emotional intelligence in chat reference, which they offer as part of their library staff training. If you're interested in a stronger connection with your patrons for better reference outcomes, please have a look:


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Preparing for unexpected patrons

Fri, 2017-02-24 10:56

As we are now approaching the busy part of the term, it may be helpful to review some tips and recommended procedures for working with unexpected patrons. 

Although it happens rarely, AskAway sometimes receives calls from unexpected patrons. These might include chats with non post-secondary patrons, pranksters, patrons with technical difficulties, or patrons in crisis. The Unexpected Patrons page has best practices and tips to help you be prepared and work with these patrons smoothly.

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