LibChat is the built-in chat reference module for LibAnswers. It allows you to create and embed chat widgets that patrons can use to chat with library staff. Widgets can be monitored by individual staff members, or collectively using departments. With the screensharing add-on module, you can share & annotate your screen with patrons in real-time using Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
When a staff member signs into LibChat, they can monitor their assigned departments, claim & reply to chats, and even keep an eye on incoming tickets, SMS messages, and Facebook messages. Chats can easily be transferred to other online staff members or departments, too, so you can ensure that patrons are matched with the right people to answer their question.
You can even use LibChat to chat with other online staff members, entire departments, or all online staff at once -- no need to use a separate messaging app like Slack, Google Hangouts Chat, or Microsoft Teams to keep up with your team.
In order to begin monitoring LibChat and chatting with patrons, you must first sign into the LibChat dashboard. Once signed in, you will see the Settings tab, where you can adjust which departments and queues you want to monitor, as well as what types of notifications you'd like to receive. Any widgets that are assigned to you or one of your monitored departments will appear as online to patrons.
At the top of the LibAnswers dashboard, you'll see two areas that indicate LibChat's status.
Here are a few things to check:
In addition to chatting with patrons, you can also use LibChat to chat with other online staff members! Internal chats can be one-on-one with another user, or you can chat as a group with an entire department or all online users. All a user needs is a LibAnswers user account in order to access LibChat.
Whether you're done for the day, or just stepping away for a minute, LibChat makes it easy to set your status accordingly.