How to enable and use LibChat screensharing in LibAnswers

LibChat is great for providing online support to your patrons, allowing you to provide answers, info, and links in real time, with built-in options for following up after each chat session.

However, with certain types of research or tech support questions, it can be incredibly helpful if both the staff operator and patron user are able to look at the same screen. Not only can this help you better understand the patron's question or problem, but it also allows staff to better demonstrate how to find the answer or fix the issue.

That's why we're excited to introduce screensharing in LibChat! When enabled, this will allow chat operators to start 2-way screensharing sessions during any chat. This allows either the operator or the patron to share their screen with the other person. This includes:

  • Support for all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, Safari, and even mobile devices).
  • Built-in audio so you can talk with the patron live over a high-quality VoIP connection.
  • Ability to request keyboard & mouse control of the user's screen to guide them right on their own computer.
  • Integrated 2-way screen annotation so you mark up and highlight elements on the user's screen (or vice versa).

These same features are also available for internal department and operator chats, too, making LibChat your go-to online meeting tool for patrons and library staff! 


How do I enable screensharing in LibAnswers?

The Screensharing & Webinars module is available as a paid add-on to your LibChat subscription. To see if screensharing is already enabled for your system, go to Admin > LibChat Set-up and click on the Screenshare tab. 

If it's not, you'll see a "Screensharing is not enabled for your site" message with additional details about this feature. If you'd like to add screensharing to your LibAnswers subscription, drop us a line for more info!

Please note: in order to ensure the stability of the infrastructure the rollout will be gradual, over the next couple of months. If you want to be an early adopter please let us know you’re interested and we’ll go from there.

The Screensharing is Not Enabled message


I've enabled screensharing. What next?

When adding the Screensharing & Webinars module to your LibAnswers subscription, you'll have the option to either:

  • Use a Springshare-provided screensharing account. This will automatically provide you with an institutional user account to use for department/all-staff screenshares, as well as an individual account for each of your LibChat operators to use for one-on-one screenshares. This allows you to get started with screensharing right away.
  • Use your own screensharing accounts. If your institution already has a Zoom account that includes access to their API (the Pro, Business, or Enterprise plans), learn how you can associate existing Zoom accounts with LibChat. This will require a little additional setup in LibAnswers, but will allow you to continue using your existing Zoom user accounts for screensharing.

Share your screen while chatting with patrons

When chatting with a patron, you can fire up a screensharing session with just a couple clicks. Using screensharing can help you more easily demonstrate using online resources and walk through the steps of answering a patron's question, especially when also using the built-in meeting audio to talk directly with them. Learn how to start a screensharing session during a chat.

Additional resources

Use screensharing to host internal meetings and webinars

Not only does the LibChat Screensharing & Webinars module 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! This is especially helpful when you need to meet with colleagues who are working off-site or are out of the office. Learn how to start individual and group meeetings using LibChat screensharing.

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