Best Practices: Minimum Visibility Standards

Last updated November 18, 2021

To serve patrons effectively, AskAway needs to be easy to access and available when and where patrons need it.

Research on AskAway usage since 2008 shows that visibility in key locations is the primary determinant of how much the service is used. The largest barrier to AskAway usage is students not knowing that the service exists, and the best way to increase usage is by increasing visibility.

Being available at point-of-need is key not only to increasing usage, but also, more importantly, to providing students with the help that they need, when and where they need it most.  

In general, libraries should use embedded chat boxes wherever possible, on any pages that researching patrons use.  This document outlines the most critical library web pages and services where an AskAway chat box, or other types of entry point, should be included to get the most out of participation in the service and to provide students the greatest access to research help.