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Monitoring a co-op and answering chats

Signing into LibChat

To begin monitoring chats for a co-op, you must first be given access to the co-op by either an Institution Admin user or a Co-Op Admin user. If you are unsure whether or not you should have access, contact an Institution Admin from your library (this is a user from your library who can add and remove users from the co-op).

Once you've been given access to your co-op, you can begin monitoring the co-op via your institution's existing LibChat dashboard.

  1. Log into your LibAnswers system.
  2. Log into LibChat by either clicking the Sign In link on your LibAnswers dashboard, or by going to LibChat > Connect.

The Sign In link on the LibAnswers dashboard page

  1. The LibChat dashboard will open in a new browser tab/window, showing the Settings tab.
  2. Below the Settings tab, you'll see two tabs:
    • Local Monitoring: this is where you can enable/disable monitoring your local departments and queues.
    • Co-Op Monitoring: this is where you can enable/disable monitoring your co-op(s).
  3. Under the Co-Op Monitoring tab, click on the Offline/Online toggle to turn monitoring on (green) or off (red).
    • When turned on, you will be able to receive new chats from the co-op.
    • Click on the Check Status button to see how many other users are currently monitoring the co-op (if any).

Co-Op Monitoring options under the Settings tab

  1. Click on the Chats tab to begin monitoring the co-op for new chats.

The Chats tab of the LibChat dashboard

Are you new to LibChat? To learn more about navigating the LibChat dashboard and chatting with patrons, check out How to use the new LibChat dashboard: chatting, claiming tickets, and customizing settings, part of our series of LibAnswers Springboards.

Claiming chats from a co-op

When a chat arrives from your co-op, it'll show up under Chats > Patron Chats in the LibChat dashboard -- just like chats from your local patrons. To help you easily see which chats in the list are from your patrons from your library vs. the co-op, chats originating from your home institution will display a home () icon next to the patron's name.

A patron chat displaying the home icon above a co-op chat without a home icon

To view more information about a co-op chat without claiming it, click on the patron's name.

Clicking a patron's name under Patron Chats

This will reveal the patron's site, co-op, and referring URL, as well as the name of the widget being used (these details can also be found under the Patron Information tab of the chat pane). If the widget prompted the patron to submit their initial question, it'll display under the Chat tab of the chat pane.

To start chatting with the patron, click on the Claim Chat button.

Previewing a co-op chat's details and initial question

Chatting with patrons

When it comes to chatting with patrons from the co-op, the basics are the same as chatting with your local patrons. To learn the ins and outs of using LibChat to reply to patrons, check out our How to Chat with Patrons article. This will cover how to write & send replies; view & edit patron information, and use helpful features such as canned messages & file attachments.

That said, there are a few differences that you'll find when you're chatting with co-op patrons. You can learn more about these below.

24/7 Staffing FAQs

When chatting with a patron from a co-op, you'll be able to search FAQs from the patron's library via the 24/7 Staffing FAQs tab. The information from these FAQs can help you better assist the patron by providing more relevant and accurate information. There are two types of FAQs available to you:

  • Internal FAQs: each library in a co-op has a special FAQ group for 24/7 Staffing FAQs. The purpose of this group is to provide co-op staff with helpful information from the patron's home library, such as local policies, procedures, collections, facilities, staffing, etc.
  • Public FAQs: in addition to the special 24/7 FAQ group, you can also search all of the library's published FAQs from their public groups. This gives you easy access to answers and info created by the library's staff for their patrons.

To search a library's FAQs:

  1. Click on the 24/7 Staffing FAQs tab in the chat pane.
  2. Select Internal FAQs if you'd like to search the library's 24/7 Staffing FAQs group, or select Public FAQs to search all published FAQs from the library's public groups.
  3. Enter your search terms and click the Search FAQs button.
    1. Under 24/7 Internal FAQs (Most Recent)‚Äč, you'll find a list of the most recently updated FAQs from the library's internal 24/7 Staffing FAQs group. Click on any FAQ to view its details.
  4. Search results will display below the text field. Click on any FAQ to view it's content below the results.
    1. Click the Pop-out button to open the 24/7 Staffing FAQs search form in a new browser tab/window.
    2. Click the Close button to hide the FAQ's details.

Options to search and view FAQs under the 24/7 Staffing FAQs tab

Transferring chats

If you would like to transfer a chat to another staff member, click on the Transfer button in the chat pane. This will launch the Transfer Chat window, where you'll find the following options:

  • Transfer to a Department of Co-Op: selecting this option will allow you to transfer the chat to an online department from the patron's home institution, or to another online co-op that library participates in (if you transfer it to the current co-op, this will allow any user in the co-op to claim the transfer).
  • Transfer to an Operator: selecting this option will allow you to transfer the chat to a specific online user from the patron's home institution, or to an online operator from elsewhere in the co-op.

Once you select your transfer type and destination, click the Transfer Chat button.

The Transfer Chat window showing the options for transferring a co-op chat

Once the transfer has been claimed, you will remain in the chat until you click the Leave Chat button.

The Leave Chat button in the chat pane

Creating tickets from chat

If a patron's question requires follow-up, you can create a ticket for that patron in their home institution's LibAnswers system. This will allow a staff member from their library to follow up via email.

  1. When you click on the Ticket button in the chat pane, the Create a Follow Up Ticket window will appear. This will display the name of the patron's home system, along with options for selecting the queue and providing contact information for the patron.
  2. From the dropdown, select the queue to which you want to file the ticket. This will initially display the queue selected as the default in the chat widget's settings, but you can select from any available queue.
  3. If the patron did not provide, or you did not request, contact info during the chat, you can enter the Patron Name and Patron Email in the corresponding fields. (Both are required.)
  4. When the ticket is created, library staff will be able to view the text of the chat transcript. If you'd like, you can add an optional internal note to the ticket. This allows you to provide additional background info which may help bring staff at the local library up to speed.
  5. Click the Create Ticket button.

Options in the Create a Follow Up Ticket window 

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