In This Article

Chatting with other online staff via an internal chat session

Not only can you use the LibChat dashboard for chatting with patrons, but you can also use it for chatting with coworkers! Under the Chats tab, you'll find the Internal Chat section. Or if you would like, you can enable an Internal tab in your dashboard to keep your staff and patron chats separate.

From either area, you can:

For example, if you have a thorny reference question, you could ping the entire Reference department for help or suggestions. Users in that department who are currently online will be notified and can chime in.

Similarly, you can use the All Staff chat to ask questions or post announcements to all staff members at once.

What's great is that LibChat keeps the history of these internal chats, allowing you to view past activity. That way, you can catch up on anything you missed or jog your memory about a discussion from the other day. It's also possible to scrub the internal chat history if you and your staff don't want to staff chat logs indefinitely. Admins can adjust the scrub from Admin > LibChat Set-up > Settings tab > Scrub Internal Chat Messages box.

Chats tab


Department chats

Each chat department has its own ongoing internal chat, allowing all members of the department to chat as a group.

  1. To chat with a department you're monitoring, click on its name in the Departments list under the Chats tab. The most recent chat history for that department will appear in the chat pane.
    1. If you see a numbered badge next to a department's name, that means you have unread messages from others in the department.
    2. To view a list of all users assigned to a department, along with their online status, click on its Members button.
    3. Click on the Load more history... button to view earlier messages.
  2. Use the text box to write out your message.
    1. Use the buttons above the text box to format and send files with your message
      • Click on the B to bold the text.
      • Click on the I to italicize the text.
      • Click on the U to underline the text.
      • Click on the emoji (grinning emoji) button if you'd like to insert an emoji into your message.
      • Click on the paperclip () button if you'd like to send a file to others in the department.
    2. Click the FAQs button to search for and share FAQs from within your public FAQ groups.
  3. Click the Send Message button. If users are signed in and have notifications enabled, they'll be notified of the new chat. Regardless, users will see a badge indicating the number of unread messages next to the department name.

A department name with an unread messages badge

Sending messages to a department


Operator-to-operator chats

You can chat one-on-one with any other online operator. This is a great way to communicate directly with coworkers, even if they are not monitoring the same departments as you.

  1. To chat with another operator, click on their name in the Operators list under the Chats tab. The most recent chat history with that user will appear in the chat pane.
    1. If you see a numbered badge next to an operator's name, that means you have unread messages from that user.
    2. Click on the Load more history... button to view earlier messages.
  2. Use the text box to write out your message.
    1. Use the buttons above the text box to format and send files with your message
      • Click on the B to bold the text.
      • Click on the I to italicize the text.
      • Click on the U to underline the text.
      • Click on the emoji (grinning emoji) button if you'd like to insert an emoji into your message.
      • Click on the paperclip () button if you'd like to send a file to the user.
    2. Click the FAQs button to search for and share FAQs from within your public FAQ groups.
  3. Click the Send Message button. If users are signed in and have notifications enabled, they'll be notified of the new chat. Regardless, users will see a badge indicating the number of unread messages next to the operator name.

An operator name with an unread messages badge

Sending messages to an operator


All-staff chat

Each system has its own ongoing internal chat, allowing all staff members to chat together as a group, regardless of whether they are assigned to a department.

    1. To chat with all users, click on the All Staff operator. The most recent chat history for the group will appear in the chat pane.
      1. If you see a numbered badge next to the All Staff name, that means you have unread messages that are intended for all staff members.
      2. Click on the Load more history... button to view earlier messages.
    2. Use the text box to write out your message.
      1. Use the buttons above the text box to format and send files with your message
        • Click on the B to bold the text.
        • Click on the I to italicize the text.
        • Click on the U to underline the text.
        • Click on the emoji (grinning emoji) button if you'd like to insert an emoji into your message.
        • Click on the paperclip () button if you'd like to send a file to everyone.
      2. Click the FAQs button to search for and share FAQs from within your public FAQ groups.
    3. Click the Send Message button. If users are signed in and have notifications enabled, they'll be notified of the new chat. Regardless, users will see a badge indicating the number of unread messages next to the All Staff name.

All staff chat with an unread messages badge

Sending messages to all staff


Using LibChat screensharing for internal meetings and webinars

If you've added the LibChat Screensharing & Webinars module to LibAnswers, it will not only allow you to assist patrons using interactive screensharing sessions, but you can also use it to host meetings with your colleagues -- without having to leave your desk!

  • When chatting with another operator, you can start a one-on-one screensharing session. Not only does this allow you to share your screen with the other user, but it also allows you to communicate with them over a high-quality audio connection.
  • You can even start a group screensharing session with an entire department, or even all online staff members. This is especially useful if a colleague is out of the office and wants to join in from a meeting remotely.
  • Once you've started a screensharing session, you can send invitations to other people via email, allowing external users to join your meeting rooms. This can come in handy for things like webinars, search committee interviews, presentations with colleagues from other libraries, etc.

To learn more, check out How to use LibChat screensharing for internal meetings and webinars.

The Request Screenshare button in an operator chat window

Related Articles

    Nav menu script