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 a few options for site coordinators to indicate a delay in response due to closures: Edit your Question Form Header, change the success message displayed when a question is submitted, AND/OR enable and edit an automated email response once 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.

Embedding local library information with LibAnswers FAQs

Ask a Librarian has been adding local library FAQs to LibAnswers. These FAQS are embedded on a page that is linked to the local library logo and “Find out more about [your local library]” on the local Ask a Librarian pages of member libraries to replace the direct links to your local library web page. All of the currently available local library FAQs are also listed under “Ask a Librarian Member Libraries” on the TBLC LibAnswers site. The FAQs are embedded on an Ask a Librarian container page, like this FAQ page for Jacksonville Public Library System.

Screen Shot JPL FAQ
Screen Shot JPL FAQ

It’s easy to embed these mobile-friendly FAQs on any web page.

Login to LibGuides

Go to Admin > Widgets & API

Find your library’s FAQ widget, select View Widget Code

Copy the JavaScript and HTML snippets

Paste the code into the place on your LibGuides page where you want the FAQs to appear

These local library FAQs replace the Drupal-based local library info that we used before the migration to Springshare. The local library FAQs are being created in the order of pageviews that our Ask a Librarian local pages receive. If you would like to experiment with embedding FAQs on your web pages and don’t see a FAQ widget for your library yet, contact the Ask a Librarian Help Desk.