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Receive questions

Overview

After reviewing the following information, you should be able to do the following:

  • Recognize questions received through the various methods set up by your library.
  • Chat with a patron.
  • Enter questions received at your reference desk or by e-mail or telephone.

Methods for receiving questions

The following table lists the QuestionPoint options for receiving questions. Your library may use any of the methods available through its QuestionPoint subscription.

Patrons submit questions through your library's question form. Your library answers and patrons receive an email with the answer. Your library puts a QuestionPoint question form on its Web site and/or provides an email address to which questions can be sent.
Patrons ask questions during chat sessions with reference staff. Patrons request these chat sessions through your library's chat form or Qwidget.
  1. Your library puts a QuestionPoint chat form and/or Qwidget on its web site.
  2. Your library monitors chat requests.
Patrons ask questions at your reference desk or by e-mail or telephone. Your reference staff type (or cut and paste) questions into QuestionPoint using Add Question in the Ask a Librarian module.
Libraries in a cooperative group that your library joined when it subscribed to QuestionPoint refer questions to your library.
  1. Your group administrator lets libraries in your QuestionPoint group refer questions to your library.
  2. Your institution administrator submits your library's profile to your group.
  3. Your group administrator activates your library's profile.
Libraries in a cooperative group that your library joined online in QuestionPoint refer questions to your library.
  1. Your institution administrator completes and submits your library's profile to the Global Network, and the Global administrator activates your library's profile.
  2. Your institution administrator joins a cooperative group in which group members refer questions to each other, and the group's administrator activates your library's membership.
Patrons submit questions through the question form of a library in a web-form cooperative coverage group that your library joined online.
  1. Your institution administrator completes and submits your library's profile to the Global Network, and the Global administrator activates your library's profile.
  2. Your institution administrator joins a cooperative group in which group members provide web-form coverage for each other, and the group's administrator activates your library's membership.
  3. Your institution administrator sets up coverage for web-form questions.
Patrons ask questions during chat sessions with reference staff. Patrons request chat sessions through the chat form of a library in a chat cooperative group that your library participates in.
  1. Your BME owns one or more chat Queues.
  2. Your institution receives a Primary Queue assignment.
  3. Your BME or QP Administrator configures your Queue to participate in one or more Cooperative Groups.
  4. Your library monitors chat requests for one or more Queues.
Patrons submit questions through your library's text-messaging service. 
  1. Your library signs up with Upside Wireless and sets parameters on their site.
  2. Your library sets up access to messages received via your library's text-messaging service in the QuestionPoint Administration module.

Authorization privileges

In order for you to receive questions, you must have an authorization with the Librarian or Administrator privilege for the Ask a Librarian module, or you must be an institution administrator.

Through your library's question form

If your library has a subscription to QuestionPoint, it may put a question form on its Web site to receive questions submitted by its patrons.

Cooperative coverage for Web-form questions: Your library may also work in a cooperative group with other libraries to provide cooperative Web-form question coverage and extended hours of service for each others' patrons. To do this, your institution administrator joins a group that provides cooperative Web-form question coverage. Each group member specifies the times when it needs other group members to respond to questions submitted through its Web form. Each member also specifies the times when it will respond to questions submitted through other members' Web forms.

QuestionPoint automatically refers questions based on the specified times of need and availability. The referred questions appear in the Active and Referred question lists of the libraries receiving them and in the Referred question list of the patron's library. During times when two or more group members have indicated they are available to receive questions, each question is referred to the member who has waited the longest time to receive one. If a member rejects a question, the question is not automatically referred to another library. The patron's library acts on the question when it can.

Receive an email notification

You learn when a patron submits a question in the following ways:

  • You can receive an e-mail notice if your institution administrator includes your e-mail address as one that receives the notice.
  • You can monitor lists of questions in the QuestionPoint Ask a Librarian module.

The e-mail notice that you may receive when a patron submits a question through your library's question form includes:

  • The question
     Note: When a patron submits a question through your library's chat form or Qwidget, the email notification does not include the question.
  • The question's ID number in QuestionPoint. You can use the ID to retrieve the question in the Ask a Librarian module.
  • The institution name and ID of the library that the patron used to submit the Question.
  • The language of the form that the patron used (If available)

To send an answer to the patron, find the question in the Ask a Librarian module, type your response, and send it to the patron.

View a list of new questions

You can monitor lists of questions in the QuestionPoint Ask a Librarian module to check for new questions.

When you access the module, you first see the Active Question list.

New questions have the symbol for a new question (New question symbol) in the Status column.

To view more information about a question, click on the question in the Question column. Or, type the Question ID in the box provided and click Go.

View a new question

The Full Question record contains all the available information about a question. It also contains buttons and boxes for the actions you can take on the question. The buttons and boxes available to you depend on your library's QuestionPoint subscription, your library's implementation of QuestionPoint, and the privileges of your QuestionPoint account.

At your reference desk or by email or telephone

You can type (or cut and paste) reference desk, e-mail, or telephone questions into the Ask a Librarian module. This lets you manage and track all of your library's reference questions through QuestionPoint, regardless of their origin.

This method also helps with Full Question records that contain missing or incorrect information in fields that you cannot change. If you know the correct information, you can use this method to create a duplicate record with the correct information and then close or delete the original record.

To use this method:

  1. Click Add Question in the Ask a Librarian module. The Add Question form appears when you click Add Question.
  2. Provide the information requested and click Add. QuestionPoint displays a Full Question record containing the information.
Add Question form elements - Table
Add Question form
 
label item description
1 Status

You must choose the status that you want the question to have:

  • New: New question, no answer provided yet. This adds the question to the Active Questions and New Questions lists. The question is unassigned.
  • Pending: Waiting for patron clarification. This adds the question to the Active Questions list. The question is assigned to you.
  • Answered: Answer sent. This adds the question to the Active Questions list. The question is assigned to you.
  • Closed: No further action on the question needs to be taken for the patron; consider adding the question and answer to a knowledge base. This adds the question to the Closed Questions list. The question is assigned to you.

 Note: If you supply both the patron's e-mail address and an answer, QuestionPoint sends the question and answer to the patron's address regardless of the status you choose.

2 Question You must type (or paste) a question into the Question box.
3 Patron

You may type the patron's e-mail address, name, or both. If you type the patron's e-mail address and an answer, QuestionPoint sends the question and answer to the patron's address when you add the question.

If you type the patron's e-mail address and the patron does not already have a Patron interface account, QuestionPoint creates an account for the patron and sends an acknowledgment message with account information to the patron's address when you add the question.

4 Answer You may type an answer.
5 Descriptive Codes You may configure the "add Question" interface to have more fields for patron information, using the QuestionPoint forms Manager, in the Admin Module under "Forms".
6 Add Click Add to add the question into the Ask a Librarian module with the status that you choose.

From libraries in your QuestionPoint group

If your library participates in a QuestionPoint group, it may receive questions from other libraries in the group.

If you receive email notices when patrons submit questions using your library's question form, you also receive them when libraries in your group refer questions to your library. These questions appear in the Active Questions list.

The Full Question record appears when you click the question in the Question column of the question list.

 

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