QuestionPoint at a glance
QuestionPoint is a unique virtual reference service, supported by global network of cooperating libraries worldwide, as well as an infrastructure of software tools and communications. QuestionPoint is also a source of unique centralized knowledge resources built by a collaborative network of member libraries.
24/7 Cooperative benefits and features
- Meet users at their point of need—provide reference service around the clock with trustworthy, real-time one-on-one reference assistance from professional librarians, right from you library Web page or other Web portal.
- Expand your reference desk hours without increasing staff. For a modest weekly contribution of staffing to the Cooperative, you can provide failsafe coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to your customers.
- Belong to several groups simultaneously, such as a local consortium and a subject-specific group. Any number of librarians may monitor the service at any time. Within the Cooperative, this means that an individual customer’s library is more likely to be monitoring.
- Q&A knowledge base that is carefully reviewed and maintained by Cooperative contributors.
- Automatic subject referral through the Global Reference Network routes your submitted question or chat session to a partner library based on criteria such as subject, language or hours of coverage.
- Pricing based on population—more locations mean a lower cost for each participating library.
- Online database searching with FirstSearch
We ensure your virtual reference service is well designed and executed delivering expected benefits to both library staff and patrons. We customize our services to fit any size library or group-from a small public library to a group of large academic libraries.
From the very beginning, we work closely with your staff and guide them through each step of the implementation process. We understand your staff is hard at work assisting patrons. We help to save their time, and leverage their knowledge of your library.
As part of the Implementation Services package you receive:
- A dedicated Implementation Manager, who is your single point of contact throughout the project. The Manager partners with you to set milestones, define key tasks, design workflows and educate library staff.
- One virtual or self-paced training program configured for your staff and their needs. There is also the option to receive further training, including live instruction, for an additional fee.
- First-line technical support during and after the implementation to help resolve any technical issues or questions that arise as you use the QuestionPoint service and participate in the 24/7 Reference Cooperative.
Benefit from step-by step support
Our implementation managers have superior understanding of the QuestionPoint solution plus an outstanding knowledge of reference services and libraries. They know the key steps and activities to effectively implement your library’s virtual reference service.
Your Implementation Manager works with you to:
- Develop your library’s goals, objectives and implementation schedule
- Create a work plan consisting of key activities
- Develop customized, virtual reference workflows
- Identify resources that will help library staff to be proactive in using the services
- Build an effective marketing and communication plan for your library’s virtual reference service
Receive a customized implementation program tailored to your library’s objectives. Quickly launch your virtual reference service and begin meeting patrons at their point of need anytime, anywhere.
Reference Management benefits & features
- Web-based chat, cobrowse and cooperative reference tools use best-in-class technology and require no special software or browser plug-ins. A librarian does not need to use Windows Operating System to do simple chat and page push (for highest-level co-browsing, Internet Explorer browser is required). A streamlined conference process allows librarians to transfer to another librarian smoothly. There is also support for multilingual reference transactions.
- Unique Customizable Messages. Instead of just one list of scripted chat messages for an entire group of libraries, each library can add their own individual scripted messages, which appear when one of their customers comes into the queue.
- Expanded Patron Link Views. This feature allows patrons, while still in session, to click on previous links sent to them by the librarian.
- Administrative Monitoring. Administrators can join any of their librarian’s chat sessions, to send private notes or suggestions unseen by patrons, or to communicate directly with the patron. In addition, librarians can add notes during (or after) a session which are visible only to other librarians. These librarian notes assist in question follow up as well as in quality control and other administrative functions.
- Customizable Surveys and Reporting Tools. Each library can customize its own unique survey for patrons and make it available after the chat session, after a follow up is complete, or after an answer is sent in response to a student email. Surveys help libraries measure user satisfaction levels and make service improvements. Librarians have the flexibility to characterize sessions and retrieve statistical information through descriptive categories such as research, business, instruction, etc. to help them identify trends and perform usage analysis.
- Flexible, institution-based pricing model, instead of per-seat; even greater savings are possible if you work cooperatively within a group of libraries.
- Fully accessible user interface that supports users with accessibility needs, including those who use screen readers.
- User customization of interface color scheme and font size and an optional chime for new messages.
- Customizable management reports.
- Reach out to users from every Web page with “Qwidget,” QuestionPoint’s chat widget. Qwidget combines the simplicity of a chat widget (on the user side) with the full features of QuestionPoint’s reference management system. Embed the link to Qwidget anywhere on the library Web site, in social networking spaces—anywhere you want to reach out to your users.