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Knowledge bases

What is a knowledge base (KB)?

A knowledge base (KB), as used in QuestionPoint, is a searchable database of selected, edited questions and answers and chat transcripts. A KB makes the answer prepared for one patron available for reuse to respond to other patrons. When you answer a question, you can easily search KBs and include the information that you find.

Records containing questions and answers and chat transcripts are added to one or more KBs. KB records are edited, activated, indexed, and made available for searching and viewing.

QuestionPoint KBs support all languages and alphabets.

QuestionPoint provides two types of KBs:

  • The Global KB
  • Local KBs

What is the Global KB?

The Global KB is shared by all libraries that participate in QuestionPoint. It is a cooperatively built resource for reference support and discovery work. All QuestionPoint libraries that have an active Global profile can contribute records to the Global KB. All QuestionPoint librarians can search it.

How does the Global KB grow?

  1. Libraries submit their questions and answers and chat transcripts.
  2. Editors of the Global KB review each record for relevance. Therefore, libraries do not need to decide if a record is relevant before they submit it.
  3. Editors follow guidelines to remove personal information and to correct errors in grammar and spelling while preserving the integrity of the information.
  4. Editors activate records to make them available for searching and viewing by all QuestionPoint librarians. Editors may also mark records for public access so patrons may view them.

What is a local KB?

The local KB is a database of questions and answers controlled by the library or libraries that share a Base Management Environment (BME). The libraries in each BME decide whether to contribute or use their BME’s KB. Only the librarians in the BME can search a local KB or contribute records to it.

A local KB can:

  • Grow into a valuable, time-saving reference resource
  • Help librarians work more efficiently
  • Help patrons receive faster and better reference service
  • Help libraries analyze their questions and answers to improve their reference service
  • Include records added from questions and answers and chat transcripts
  • Include specialized local information added through an entry form

What is the Knowledge Base module?

The Knowledge Base module is the QuestionPoint system area where knowledge bases are searched, browsed, viewed, and edited.

To go to the Knowledge Base module:

  • Select Knowledge Base in the Select Service drop-down list at the top of any QuestionPoint page.
  • Click a link or enter a search in the Knowledge Base Quick Links on the My QuestionPoint page.

What is public access to KBs?

Public access is the searching of a KB by patrons. Patrons can search and view only those active records that have been marked for public access. Some record fields that are displayed for librarians are not displayed for patrons.

Global KB

To search and view the public-access part of the Global KB, patrons can:

  • Go to the Patron Logon page and click the Search KB link to view the Basic Search page.
  • Use the KB search box or link on your library’s web pages if you provide this access to your patrons

Local KB

To search and view the public-access part of your local KB, patrons can:

  • Use the KB search box or link on your library’s web pages if you provide this access to your patrons.

For more information, see Let patrons search knowledge bases.

Sample KB module pages used by librarians

Knowledge Base basic search

The KB basic search illustrated below seeks information about a Smithsonian painting. The search looks in a local KB (Heartland Libraries) and the Global KB (QP Global Knowledge Base).

KB basic search

Knowledge Base search results

The KB search results illustrated below contains the records found by the search. Click a question in the list to view the record detail.

KB search results

Knowledge Base record

The illustration below shows the Record Detail for one of the KB records found by the search.

KB record


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