Tag Archives: Ask a Librarian Software

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

25 Great Text Messaging Acronyms You May or May Not Need to Know for Your Text-a-Librarian Service

Do you speak text?

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Your patrons speak many languages, and you can’t learn them all. But one thing you can do to improve service to your patrons is familiarize yourself with some of the more common terms and phrases in their languages of preference. If your patron is text-savvy enough to be texting his or her librarian, then one of his or her languages of preference is chat and chances are he or she is up on the latest text messaging acronyms.

A great way to enhance chat service for your patrons and maximize your efficient use of time is to become familiar with some of the most common and helpful text messaging acronyms. Speaking your users’ languages, especially in online communications, will help them feel more comfortable and give that personal touch so they don’t feel like they are talking to a robot.

There are thousands of text messaging acronyms, but we want to stick to the ones that can be used in a professional environment and that are not too obscure. These are the ones your users will likely be using, and these are the ones that you should be using as well. You will want to tailor your chat acronym use to each session, gauging each individual user’s chat acronym expertise level by the acronyms that he or she uses him- or herself.

Here is a list of 25 text messaging acronyms which you can add to your arsenal of reference tools.

AAP – Always a pleasure
BIF – Before I forget
BRB – Be right back
BTW – By the way
EOM – End of message
F2F – Face to face
GL – Good luck
HAND – Have a nice day
IANAL – I am not a lawyer
IMA – I might add
IMO – In my opinion
IOW – In other words
ISWYM – I see what you mean
JIC – Just in case
OIC – Oh, I see
OTOH – On the other hand
PD – Public domain
SOW – Speaking of which
THX – Thanks
TTBOMK – To the best of my knowledge
TYVM – Thank you very much
WB – Welcome back
WRT – With regard to
WTG – Way to go!
YW – You’re welcome

The patron texting a question is typically expecting a quick response and librarians need to be prepared to answer text-a-librarian questions promptly. Lots of chat acronyms, such as ROFL and L8R, are designed for close friends. Your users may employ such acronyms, but you will want to restrict your use to the more professional ones such as those in the list above.

And if your patron sends you a puzzling collection of letters and you have no idea what they mean, Mosio’s text speak translator will give you the help you need with its 800+ text messaging acronym definitions.

Can personalized library customer service survive in our increasingly digital and mobile world?

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The image of the library in the modern world is changing as rapidly as technology. Gone are the silent, cavernous collections guarded by scowling librarians. Libraries of today are as much about computers and information technology as they are about books. But, one of the things that has always made the library experience so special is the personal touch that customer service provides. The human aspect of libraries is something that can never be replaced by technology, and indeed, today it is more important than ever due to the massive amount of information that is available to patrons.

In the libraries of yesterday, patrons may have sought help in using the card catalogue or locating a book on the shelves. The customer service aspect of those times was much narrower in scope. A patron today may need assistance with a variety of media; books, software, internet databases, and more. Even though so much can be accessed in a solitary fashion, i.e. the patron perusing materials independently, the library experience can be made so much better with strong, personalized customer service. And, thanks to ever-evolving options, the way that customer service can be provided is as diverse as technology itself.

Customer service no longer has to be limited to the actual brick-and-mortar library. Texting, which is vastly popular in society as a whole, is a wonderful tool for librarians to use when helping patrons. A patron can literally be anywhere and still be able to get personalized help and important answers. As much information as there is in the world, there is still no substitute for having an actual knowledgeable person to help a patron with a question. Personalized customer service is as vital today as ever—perhaps even more so! It is a very reachable goal for all libraries to foster strong interaction with their patrons through ever more diverse means. Pursuing this ideal will ensure that libraries remain the most vital source of information that they can be.

About the author: Lizabeth C.S. Bell has worked as a librarian, and has a great appreciation for the power of information. She has degrees in English literature and library science. Currently, Lizabeth is a freelance editor and writer. Follow her on Twitter @LizBell9.

Four Ways to Promote Your Ask-a-Librarian Service

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Your Ask-a-Librarian service is a powerful research tool for your patrons, most of whom have come to expect quick and easy access to information and answers. Here are four promotional ideas to get the word out and help your patrons take advantage of this service.

1.  Instructional Sessions and Classes

One of the best ways to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is to tell your patrons about it directly in informational literacy classes (for academic libraries) or computer and other instructional classes and workshops (for public libraries). A live demo in a class or group setting will really grab your patrons’ attention so they remember to use the service the next time they need information remotely.

2. Posters with QR Codes

Another great way to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is by placing posters around your library building (and campus community, for academic libraries) advertising the service. Be sure to include a QR code to take patrons directly to your Ask-a-Librarian information page, where they can learn more about and use the service.

3. Social Media

Does your library have a blog, or a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account? A great way to inform your patrons of an online service such as Ask-a-Librarian is to reach them when they are already online. If they are reading about your Ask-a-Librarian service from any of your social media accounts, then they are either on a computer or a smart phone, and they can go straight to the service and utilize it immediately.

4. Signs on Computer Monitors

Finally, placing small and unobtrusive announcement “bubbles” in the upper right-hand corner of your library’s computer monitors will certainly catch your patrons attention without being a distraction. One of the best methods to create these announcements is to use dialogue bubbles from MS Word. Type in your message, laminate the announcements, cut them out following the dialogue bubble outlines, and then attach one to the upper-right corner of each of your monitors using Velcro or another adhesive method.

These are just four ideas to get you started with your Ask-a-Librarian promotions, but you can come up with many more. The key is to be creative and have fun! When you connect your users with your library’s services, everybody benefits.

Michael English is an academic librarian and freelance writer/editor.

Mosio’s Text a Librarian is now Mosio for Libraries: Multi-Channel Customer Support Software for Libraries

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For awhile now, our customers have been simultaneously paying us a compliment, but also making a huge feature request: “I wish we could answer all of our patron’s questions this way.” We were flattered, we’ve been listening and now we can say we have fulfilled that wish. Well, almost. Libraries using our software can now respond to patron inquiries via Text Messaging, Live Web Chat and Email, all from a single, web-based dashboard. Plus, we’ve made it easy for libraries to have a larger digital footprint by working with some of the leading vendors and applications in the industry to make it simple to add their Mosio for Libraries support tab, customizable in color, wording and placement on the web.

So, with some more advice in the form of “you guys are more than just Text a Librarian now”, we’ve decided to change the name of the product. We figure Mosio for Libraries describes it perfectly.

If you are an existing customer or partner of ours, thank you for growing with us as we’ve evolved. If you are looking for a better way of supporting your library patrons/customers, we guarantee Mosio for Libraries is the most efficient tool you will use to do so.

We are busy adding new features, working with as many integration partners as possible and look forward to serving you in the future. For more information about how we can provide your library with the fastest way to provide support to your patrons online and on-the-go, contact us for a webinar or a free quote.

Thanks and we look forward to serving you.

The Mosio Team

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
www.mosio.com/libraries

Customize Your Support Tabs / Widgets – Mosio’s Patron Support Software for Libraries

Customization is Here – Upload Your Library’s Own Support Tab

Hello!

Support Tab customization is here! You are now able to upload your own Support Tab design (or use one of the 70 we have created in our Support Tabs Gallery). This enables you to create a Support Tab that has the look and feel of your own site, along with your desired “call to action” (Contact Us, Support, Ask a Librarian, etc.)

You are also able to choose if you want your widget on the Right, Left, Top or Bottom of your page AND you can decide where it aligns.

To upload your own Support Tab:

1) Log in to your microboard.

2) In the upper right, click on Support Widget Admin (this is where you log in and out of chat).

3) Click on Customize Your Widget.

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This is what you’ll see on the next page (although your tab will most likely be green)…

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After you have uploaded your new support tab, it will immediately show up on your site, you do not need to replace any code on your website.

The Mosio Development Team has been working on several features and fixes over the past few months, we will be announcing more soon, but many people have been asking about being able to have control of the look and feel of the support tabs, so we pushed those live.

Some Quick FAQs:

* Will we be able to change the colors and feel of the widgets themselves?
The widget that slides out will remain white for now, but the Tab that sits on your site can be updated and changed by you as often as you like.  See “Chat Widget Pop Out” below to learn how the widget itself is changing.

 

* Why is that?
We have some feature updates coming up that we feel will make for a better librarian and patron user experience. By keeping the widgets a uniform way, it enables us to make it easier for you to take advantage of those features without spending any time in design or coding. After gathering some feedback from some customers, we heard that because the Support Tab is literally on every page, it was better to give everyone graphic and design control. The upcoming features (see below) will enable us to make these changes seamlessly without requiring anything new on your part except turning them on in some cases.

 

* Do we have to change or update the Mosio code on our web pages?
No and this has always been our goal. We feel it is better to have you place code on your site once and then as we add features and functionality, not to have to ask you to change any code on your end. This way you can manage features from your microboard without having to know any HTML or programming languages once the code is on your site.

 

* Can we be logged into the microboard, but logged out of Chat?
Absolutely. Look in the upper right of the microboard for Support Tab Admin – that’s where you log in and out of chat (see image above).

 

* What other features are coming?
- “I Got It” for Chat:
When a new chat starts, it will post to everyone who is logged in for someone to claim.

 - Chat Widget Pop Out: When a patron starts a web chat from the widget, it will pop into a new window to give them more freedom to click around your website or databases.

 - Email Response: Patrons will be able to choose Email when they decide how they want to be contacted.

 - Choose Your Channel: Patrons will be able to choose any channel to be responded to, even if librarians are online and ready to conduct a Web Chat. This means a patron who has a question, but might not have time for a web chat can type their question and be contacted later, much better than having the, leave the website with their question unasked.

* When are all of these new features going live?
All of the features listed above are being worked on currently and have been during customization. We will be posting target launch dates for each very soon.

We’ll send more updates and feature announcements soon!

Thanks and have a great day!

The Mosio Team

Log In to Text a Librarian

 

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Mosio’s Patron Support and Help Desk Software for Libraries [VIDEO]

Hello!

This video explains all of the great reasons why more librarians choose Mosio. Our patron support software for libraries enables you to help more patrons wherever they are, faster. We offer simple copy/paste widget code for your website, blogs, content management systems and online resource areas. When patrons have questions, they click the tab, type in their question and choose their communication channel of choice: Web Chat, Text Messaging or Email.

Based on our popular Text a Librarian platform, patrons can also send/receive text messages from their mobile phones with your library, giving them communication access when they are online or on the go. Or you can just watch the video which does a great job! :)

To sign up for a webinar or get a quote for your library, visit us at www.textalibrarian.com

See the Next Generation of Library to Patron Communications with Mosio @ ALA Midwinter

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Mosio has something fun planned for all that visit our booth #2701 at ALA Midwinter this year and you really won’t want to miss it! Come see us and get your picture taken with one of America’s favorite literary giants and find out why Mosio is leading the way in Library Helpdesk Software. You can also learn about all of our great new features and functionality that make Mosio the only Patron Support Tool you should be considering for your college, university or public library as well as the discount being offered to all of those that stop by to see us.

Not attending ALA? No problem, we have also scheduled some informative webinars in the months of January and February and anyone that attends a webinar will be eligible for a free implementation fee. This will be a 30 minute demo to give you an in-depth look at why Mosio’s Communication Platform is the future of library communication. Attend the webinar to learn about:

  • Why TAL is the leading Library Helpdesk Software solution serving public and academic libraries.
  • The new chat feature which allows us to provide libraries with a time saving, all-in-one, communications tool.
  • Details of the Mid-Winter ALA Discount offered only to those attending the webinars or stopping by our booth #2701

There are a variety of days and times to choose from. Click here to sign up now, space is limited!

If for some reason you cannot make the webinars give one of us a call and we can schedule a quick personalized demo.

Take care,

The Mosio Accounts Team

Support Tabs for Library Websites – Mosio offers 70 different colors and types!

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We just created a gallery of 70 support tabs for our customers to use and will be including the source file so you can make your own. They come in different colors, formats and text treatments to create a tab best suited for your website, blog or content management system.

Mosio has created the best web-based help desk software for libraries. Help more patrons everywhere more efficiently, in real-time or on your time. Whether they are online or on the go, Mosio makes it simple to communicate with them.

Contact us now for a free consultation and quote.

Mosio's Text a Librarian - As seen in TIME

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Library Guide: Setting up Holiday Auto Responders with Mosio for Libraries

Setting up Holiday Auto Responders

Happy Holidays!

Here’s a quick tutorial on setting up holiday auto responders using Mosio.
You’ve spent time creating great auto responders and with the holidays approaching you want to let patrons know your hours have changed, but don’t want to undo what you’ve already created. No problem! Set up holiday auto responders!

 

Click on Auto Responder (in the Microboard Administration module, see the above image for help). Then click on New Holiday Auto Responder and you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:

Now…
1) Enter your message.
2) Pick your dates.
3) Click save.
You’re done! :)

And while we have your attention…
Have you added a support tab to your site yet?

We are launching new features that make it even easier to provide support to more patrons while saving you time. If you aren’t ready to launch chat yet, you can still install the support tab. In your microboard, look for the Widget/Tabs/Chat Admin module (above Microboard Administration) and you’ll have directions on how to add a support tab or embeddable widget to your website. As always, if you need any help in setting things up, please let us know by emailing support[[at]]textalibrarian[[dot]]com!

 

Happy Holidays from the Mosio Team!