Best Practices and Protocol for Librarians and Staff Directions for Staff: When do questions go to the librarians?
Use this version of the READ Scale to determine what you are expected to know as a library employee. All staff are expected to answer level 1 and 2 questions. Level 3 and 4 questions may be answered by part-time staff based on their comfort level and the complexity of the question, but they should at least attempt to try to answer the question and then verify that the patron needs additional help beyond their abilities to answer before involving another employee. Full-time staff/CTLs are expected to answer these and not forward unless more help is needed (see box on the right). Part-time staff can forward these levels to CTLs/full-time staff before a librarian depending on their comfort level with the question, but they do not require a librarian. Level 5 and 6 questions require forwarding to a librarian from part-timers and full-timers because they meet 2 of the requirements listed in the box to the right.
Reference Effort Assessment Data (READ) Scale breakdown:
1. Answer requires no specialized knowledge skills or expertise. (Examples: When do you close? Does the NEC campus have a Writing Center? What is interlibrary loan?)
2. Answers require more effort than the first category, but require only minimal specific knowledge. (Examples: What does this call number mean? Where do I search for books online? How do I renew my ILL?)
3. Answers require some effort and time. Using reference material may be needed. (Examples: How can I tell if an article is peer-reviewed? Where can I find this article? How do I find ebooks?)
4. Answers require the consultation of multiple resources. (Examples: My instructor said to use Ebsco and JSTOR to find an article but I am not sure why I am getting no results for my topic, can you help me? How do I get a copy of a chapter from this book? Where could I go to get topic ideas for my research paper?)
5. Answers require specialist and evaluation of resources. (Examples: I found three resources on Google Scholar but I’m not sure they're what my instructor wants me to use for my assignment. Can you review them or help me find different ones? Or, Can you find the articles this book references in its bibliography and teach me how you did it? Or, My instructor told me that the three sources I found did not work and that I also need 3 ebook sources and a source from a government database but I'm not sure where to go.).
6. Answer requires the most effort and follow up information may be required. (Examples: I am an instructor who needs a rare manuscript that doesn’t show up in Discovery interlibrary loan options as well as the ability to digitize it for my online class. Can you do that for me? Or, I am a student and the ILL Librarian cancelled my request. The reason why doesn't make sense to me and I need it as a resource or to choose another resource. Can you help?)
Adapted from: http://metrolibrarystaff.pbworks.com/w/file/119237490/READ%20Scale.pdf
Part-time staff are only held responsible for questions that come in via SMS and chat. Full-time staff members and librarians will respond to all other ticket questions. Exception: if you are a part-timer who works evenings and weekends and have been given access, answer ticket questions to the best of your ability. At the very least, reply to the patron with a link to an appropriate help (FAQ link, research guide, etc.) and explain that you have referred it to a librarian who will be in contact as soon as possible.
Not sure who to assign it to? You can leave the ticket on the general queue/assign to no one and whoever sees it first the next business day can claim it and see your previous response for context. Be sure to unclaim the ticket and/or submit it as "Open" if the patron continues to respond to the same thread.
Library tiered reference for "Computer Support Assistants" (CSAs):
Please note that any chats that come in about computer support can be directed to Kenneth Loveland, Natalie Manke, Stella Harrison, and Seth Yarbrough. If they are logged in, you can transfer the chat. If it is after their working hours in the evening, you can tell the patron you are assigning a support ticket to a Computer Support Assistant and they will get back with them. You can also just assign the ticket back to the Library department at large if you aren't sure who should grab the ticket (if someone is out that day, etc.) and the next available CSA can grab it.
Hotspot and Student Laptop Loan Program: Natalie Manke is the main contact.
For information on how to assign tickets and turn chats into tickets, see this page of the LibAnswers LibGuide. The typical hours of the Computer Support Assistants are below:
It is good practice to also internally let the other employee in the other department know you are trying to transfer the chat so they have context, and so you can make sure they are really available. If it's just to the entire department (anyone available in that department currently), you might not need to. Also, let the patron know what you are doing so they do not think you have abandoned the conversation. You cannot create a ticket for another department because the library is the only department with a ticketing system (called a "queue").
Chatting internally (with co-workers) on the new chat interface: Keep in mind that, unlike in the classic view, the internal chat will ding only one time (for every message sent), not continually until you pick it up. If you see a chat on the dashboard and think a chat was grabbed after hearing a ding, you might double check and scroll down to make sure it wasn't actually an attempted internal chat. An internal chat will look like this and they are hard to miss, especially if you think the sound was a chat and assume it was just grabbed or that the patron left (see left - number in red).
Likewise, if you are the one trying to chat internally with someone, send another message to create another "ding" for your co-worker to notice. Amanda will change the sound for internal chats to help us differentiate. Up to 1/19/21 it was the same sound as a patron chat.
Do NOT transfer to a librarian for follow up:
DO transfer to a librarian as a ticket for follow up when:
Patrons need a librarian when a) using the READ Scale, the question is either a #5 or #6, b) their assignment requires they meet with one, or c) their question meets TWO of the following bullet points. Depending on if the question meets two of these, you might need to contact a CTL instead of a librarian because these are #3 and #4s. Technical questions you cannot answer (like about Hotspots and laptops) can also be transferred to CSAs. Learn more about CSAs in another box.
If their question only meets one of these, attempt to answer it to the best of your abilities and ask them if they still have questions. Doing so could turn the interaction to a #5 and #6 on the READ Scale.
1. Tell the patron you will have to forward their question and create a ticket.
2. Unless a specific librarian is needed (maybe due the an assignment a specific librarian is doing with a class, an ILL question, or an OER question), just assign it to the general queue (right click to open in tab for expanded view):
If it is an SMS question that came in over chat, you will have to go to the LibAnswers Dashboard to assign the question or unclaim the ticket. Librarians will be able to see your message history for context.
Remember: don't be afraid to use the Call for Backup Button on the LibAnswers Dashboard if there's not enough people on chat. Using it reminds others to log in if they forgot or asks them to refresh settings in case there was a glitch.
Members button on the LibChat Dashboard: Some librarians are logged on even outside of their campus coverage times. But, be sure to check that they really are monitoring the Library's chat, and not just their personal chats for a class or consultation, before contacting them (they might be busy with an online class). You can check this in the new chat interface by selecting "Members" by the Department name (learn more about this and how to change what you are monitoring here):
Notice that Marianne is online, but not for the department. That means patrons are free to only chat with her from her profile (get links to librarian profiles in the staff directory) and only she will be able to grab chats that go through this profile widget (given out to classes and students sometimes):
Everyone else who is "green" can grab Library department chats and are monitoring the library department chat.
The new LibChat interface has the ability to request a screenshare. This feature is to be used only for librarians as of 2020, because of privacy issues. It allows the librarian to create a zoom meeting quickly to demo what is on their screen. This is one way that chats can turn into research consultations for a librarian.
Inappropriate Content/Spam in Tickets Reminders: If employees see a ticket on the dashboard with a suspicious or inappropriate subject, please mark it as spam so that the system learns to block such senders before deleting. You do not need to open or view suspicious content. A few relevant staff are being emailed copies of tickets. If you are unsure if it is a legitimate ticket, move it to spam and don't delete, but inform Amanda and/or a CTL about it so we can mitigate quickly.
This is the last quiz! Part-time staff are done after they complete it. The next tab is for full-time employees & Librarians only. Refer back to this guide as needed! <3
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