View this presentation at askalibrarian.org/teamthink
33% of Ask a Librarian chats are from patrons using Ask a Librarian chat widgets embedded in a library website, ILS, or academic CMS.
Virtual Reference is a service, not a destination.
Widgets are embedded in your website so the patron doesn't have to leave your website to ask a librarian.
A widget on your website allows the patron to chat with you without leaving your website. Like a search box, access to Ask a Librarian should be on every page of your website to make it easy for patrons to seek assistance.
Follow Me Chat Widgets
"...if a patron navigates to a new page, as long as the new page also contains a LibChat widget, your patrons will be able to continue the conversation seamlessly, without starting a brand new chat session."
LibAnswers 2.9 Update, November 4th 2016
lyme & cybelle was an American male/female folk/pop duo formed by Warren Zevon and Violet Santangelo. The duo is best known for its moderate chart hit "Follow Me," which represented the first commercial recording of Zevon's long musical career.
Tip: Get up and Dance to Follow Me by lyme and cybelle!
- Chat and email widgets can be created in LibAnswers
- Custom widgets that can include, chat, SMS, and email are created by Ask a Librarian
- Chat widget types: Button, Embedded, Slideout
Optimize placement for small screens
Tip: Place the chat widget in the header or left column
The search box on this page is in the header.
FSU Libraries desktop view
The header remains at the top when viewed with small screens.
FSU Libraries small screen view
Mobile-friendly websites stacks columns, and the left column is viewed first.
Example from libraries with high chat performance.
Broward County Library has a link to Ask a Librarian in the left column and a widget.
Scroll down to view the link
And a widget on the Help Center page
FAMU has a slideout widget and an embedded chat widget.
Note that FAMU is using the latest version of LibGuides, which is mobile-friendly. Here are screenshots from a small screen device.
Pasco-Hernance State College has a widget on their Mango pages.
Santa Fe College has a chat button and a link to their AaL local page.
SCF's LINCCWeb pages have a slideout widget.
You can see the page the patron was viewing when chat was initiated.
SPC has a widget on their home page.
SPC has a slideout widget and a widget with chat, SMS,and email options.
St Johns County Public Library System is the first library to use the new bottom of the page slideout widget.
Five minutes after the widget was installed, St Johns got a chat patron.
UF was the first library to use an Ask a Librarian widget. They now use a slideout widget on all of their library pages.
UF also has a prominent link to Ask a Librarian.
An embedded chat widget on the UF contact page.
Pages where UF patrons began chat
Optimal chat widget placement keeps Florida State University Libraries at the top of local library chat.
February 2017 Chats by Widget
Tip: Use Data, Not Intuition
Don't rely on one person's intuition or the ideas of someone in a meeting...use the statistics available in LibAnswers to see if your new widget placement results in more chats.
Implementation of a new feature without analytics is a job half-done.
Analytics is your friend; deploy, test, revise, repeat!