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24/7 Co-op & LibChat: Add co-op monitoring to a LibChat widget

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Just like a local department or operator, you must first add a co-op to a chat widget before co-op staff can monitor and answer chats from your patrons. You can add co-op monitoring to any new or existing chat widget, either as the initial monitoring option or as a fallback. For example:

  • If you want to create a widget that is only monitored by a co-op, you would simply select your co-op as Option 1 and not add any fallback options.
  • If you want to create a widget that falls back to a co-op only if local staff are unavailable, you would add the co-op as the very last fallback option in your widget.
    • Note: even when a chat widget has the co-op added as a fallback if new chats arrive outside of the hours of coverage your library has with the co-op, the co-op will not be notified and the widget will show as offline.
  • If you do not want a widget to be monitored by a co-op, then simply do not add one as a fallback option. This allows you to have widgets that are only monitored by local operators and/or departments.

When creating or customizing a chat widget, you can add or remove co-op monitoring using the Who monitors the widget setting.

  1. Go to LibChat > Chat Widgets in your local LibAnswers system.
  2. Either click the Create New Widget to add a brand new widget, or click the edit () icon next to an existing widget you'd like to modify.

Options to create and edit widgets on the Chat Widgets admin page

  1. If you are using a Shared Group System, select the Group Member Affiliation for the widget. (This option will not appear if your library has a traditional, standalone LibAnswers system.)
    • While this is an optional field, it is important to set the affiliation when your LibAnswers site is part of a co-op, as this will ensure that the co-op staff member is searching the correct Group Member Policy FAQs for that patron's library.
  2. Under Widget Name & Type, click on the Edit link for the Who monitors the widget setting.

The Who monitors the widget setting under Widget Name & Type

  1. In the Who Monitors this Widget window, configure the fallback options for this widget.
    1. Option 1 is the operator, department, or co-op that will be checked first. If the chosen operator, department, or co-op is being monitored, then new chats will be routed to them.
    2. Click the Add another fallback button to add fallback options to your widget. If the previous option is not being monitored, then LibChat will check each fallback option in order.
      • For example, if you chose a local department as Option 1 and it is not being monitored, then LibChat will check Option 2. If Option 2 is not being monitored, it will check option 3, and so on.
      • If none of the options are being monitored, then the chat widget will display as offline.
    3. To remove a fallback option, click on the red delete () icon next to it.

Fallback options in the Who Monitors this Widget window

  1. If you select a co-op as a fallback option, you can use the Co-Op Timed Fallback to automatically fall back to that co-op if your preceding options do not claim a chat after a certain amount of time. Simply enter the number of seconds to wait before the fallback occurs.
    • For example, if your Option 1 is your local Reference department and Option 2 is your co-op, this setting would allow new chats to automatically fall back to your co-op if your Reference department does not answer it within the fallback time limit (i.e. 30 seconds).
      • This will allow either your Reference department or your co-op to answer the chat. Both would be notified until the chat is claimed, but the co-op would not start receiving notifications until after the Co-Op Timed Fallback period elapsed.
      • If an additional 40 seconds elapses after the global fallback co-op starts to receive notifications of the chat, then the chat will also fall back to our Springshare 24/7 Librarians.
    • If you belong to multiple co-ops, you can use one or more of them as separate fallback options. The same timed fallback process will still apply to the co-ops in order.
    • You can disable timed fallbacks by setting this to 0. When disabled, please note the following:
      • If you selected a local co-op as a fallback option: co-op operators will only be notified of new chats if your department or operator fallback options are not being monitored.
      • If you selected a Springshare global co-op as a fallback option: unclaimed chats will always fall back to our 24/7 Springshare Librarians after 40 seconds.
  2. Finish customizing your widget as needed, then click the Set button to save your changes.
    • Note: if you're editing an existing widget that has already been embedded on a page, you may need to allow a minute or two for the widget's cache to clear before you notice the saved changes.
Please note: the Autoload Delay (aka Proactive Chat) option for button pop-out, slide-out tab, and floating widgets will only open if someone from your local site is currently monitoring chat. If a widget can be monitored by a Co-Op, and no one from your local site is online to monitor chats, then the proactive window will not be triggered.