Ask a Librarian Toolbox News

What should I do if my library is closing?

Holiday or Hurricane closures coming up and you’re not sure what to do about Ask a Librarian?

Here are two important questions to ask yourself:

Will my library miss a collaborative desk shift (Statewide or Academic) because of the closure?

NO – If the collaborative desk is also closed and no one will be monitoring your local chat desk, no further action is needed. When no chat desks are online and monitored, the chat widget displays an Offline message with the option to submit an email ticket instead.

YES – If the collaborative desk will be open and your closure means missing a shift, please email the listserv (askref@askref.simplelists.com) with the date, time and collaborative desk that needs coverage.

Do I need to notify patrons submitting email or SMS questions that we’re not available?

NO – If you use your own email form outside of Springshare or don’t need to signify your closures through email, there are no further action needed.

YES – There are two options for site coordinators to indicate a delay in response due to closures: Edit your Question Form Header and/or change the success message displayed when a question is submitted. These options are not available if you use your own email form outside of Springshare. You can also set up an auto-reply for SMS questions.

**If you change these Queue settings, don’t forget to reset them once your library opens again!

Don’t forget, site coordinators can kick library staff accounts linked to your local department off of the chat dashboard. This feature is helpful if someone forgets to log out before a long break.

October 2020-September 2021 Holiday Closings

The Ask a Librarian collaborative desks (Statewide and Academic) will close on the following days. You will not see the option to staff these desks until we reopen them the next day. Your library’s local desk will remain available to staff if you choose to do so during these closures.

November 2020

*Special Academic Desk Closure November 26 through January 1*

11/11 (Wednesday) Veterans Day

11/26-11/28 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) Thanksgiving


December 2020

12/23-1/1 (Thursday through the next Saturday) Winter Break


January 2021

*Academic Desk Reopens on 1/2 along with Statewide after the Winter Break*

1/18 (Monday) MLK Jr. Day


April 2021

4/4-4/5 (Sunday and Monday) Easter and Passover


May 2021

5/31 (Monday) Memorial Day


July 2021

7/4 and 7/5 (Sunday the 4th and Monday the 5th) Independence Day


September 2021

9/6 (Monday) Labor Day

If your library will close outside of these dates, please seek coverage help from the AskRef ListServ: askref@askref.simplelists.com

APR, MAY, and JUN 2019 Exemplary Reference Award Winners

The Ask a Librarian Quality Assurance Workgroup is pleased to announce the April, May, and June 2019 Exemplary Reference Award Winners!

April

BRIEF CHAT – Lauri R. (FAU Libraries)

DETAILED CHAT – Kristy P. (FAU Libraries)

May

BRIEF CHAT – Kayla K. (Pasco-Hernando State College)

DETAILED CHAT – Riva W. (Hodges University)

 June

BRIEF CHAT – Margaret L. (Seminole County Public Library)

DETAILED CHAT – Diana M. (Santa Fe College)

 

Please join us in congratulating our winners as they set the bar for providing exemplary virtual reference services for Ask a Librarian! Want a look at what a winning chat transcript looks like? Click here for this month’s winning chat

October 2019-September 2020 Holiday Closings

The Ask a Librarian collaborative desks (Statewide and Academic) will close on the following days. You will not see the option to staff these desks until we reopen them the next day. Your library’s local desk will remain available to staff if you choose to do so during these closures.

November 2019

*Special Academic Desk Closure November 28 through January 1*

11/11 (Monday) Veterans Day

11/28-11/30 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) Thanksgiving


December 2019

12/23-1/1 (Monday through the next Wednesday) Winter Break


January 2020

*Academic Desk Reopens on 1/2 along with Statewide after the Winter Break*

1/20 (Monday) MLK Jr. Day


April 2020

4/12 (Sunday) Easter Sunday


May 2020

5/25 (Monday) Memorial Day


July 2020

7/3 and 7/4 (Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th) Independence Day


September 2020

9/7 (Monday) Labor Day

 

If your library will close outside of these dates, please seek coverage help from the AskRef ListServ: askref@askref.simplelists.com

OCT, NOV, and DEC 2018 Exemplary Reference Award Winners

The Ask a Librarian Quality Assurance Workgroup is pleased to announce the October, November, and December 2018 Exemplary Reference Award Winners!

October

BRIEF CHAT – Casey D. (Marion County Public Library System)

DETAILED CHAT – Madison B. (AAL Intern)

November

BRIEF CHAT – Judy K. (University of Central Florida)

DETAILED CHAT – Shannon S. (Polk State College)

December

BRIEF CHAT – Lauri R. (Florida Atlantic University)

DETAILED CHAT – Casey A. (Pasco County Libraries)

Please join us in congratulating our winners as they set the bar for providing exemplary virtual reference services for Ask a Librarian! Want a look at what a winning chat transcript looks like? Click here for this month’s winning chat