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Ask A Librarian Instant Invite: Getting Started...

Explanation and introduction of SCF's Ask A Librarian Instant Invite Service.

Confusion to Connection





Presentation given at the 2011 Florida Library Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Instant Invite : Introduction & User Support Service Points


The State College of Florida Libraries (SCF) has Oracle Corporations ATG Click to Chat technology on most of its Library Resource pages.Provided through a collaboration with statewide Ask A Librarian, SCF’s Instant Invite became the first automated Click to Chat technology available to students in the state of Florida.

Library Resources include:
1- Main Library Website - ExLibris Primo Hybrid Discovery Tool
2- SCF Connect Portal - Sungard Luminous Platform IV - Sign in required
3- SCF Subject Guides & Tutorials - Springshare subscription, content management and information sharing system
    Example of AAL Doug Fugiato created javascript code as used in SCF's Subject Guides:


Instead losing students in Library Resources both on and off
campus silently, this technology solution allows stalled users to have support appear on their page in context with their research. 

On a digital level, it takes the Librarian from behind the
reference desk to be available anywhere the student
may be. Students sitting at on campus computers or distance
learners working far away both receive just in time user support. 

Instant Invite avoids pop-up blockers by using the DIV Layer
invitation option. This allows the Invite floats across the page as a visually distinct element. It is friendly to a variety of common browsers.


In the months preceding the use of Instant Invite, statistics, mouse move heatmaps and web page analytics showed that the Library page was losing users. This information was not only used to create a better user focused design, but also to set the most critical factor in the Instant Invite service – the when.  When and what conditions would we use to effectively deploy this user support solution? The Instant Invite appears when Librarians are signed in to the Ask A Librarian service, when a user stays on a Library Resource page for a minute and ½ and it will appear only once per page.

At the time of the first Instant Invite deployment, the SCF content management system was unable to allow the script to work.  We secured Springshare LibGuides to rebuild both our web presence and build out more interactive technological user support.  As we upgraded into a new Library Resource Discovery tool, ExLibris PRIMO3, the Instant Invite service was incorporated so that most Library Resource pages can also deliver a just-in-time solution.

The value of the ATG Click to Chat system is Oracle’s report building function.  All transactions on the platform are recorded including raw transcripts from user/Librarian interactions.  SCF has used these transcripts to identify key questions.  These questions have become FAQS available to users on SCF Libguides. Introduced this June 2011, already these FAQs collectively have generated over 3500 hits and also positive feedback.

·         What having an interactive digital presence has done:
--turned user confusion into connection
--upsell users to better resources
--lead users to other support systems
--extend value of existing resources
--help in context and time of need
--provides a true interactive Library web presence
--creates Instant Invite embedded resources for Faculty to use in our LMS
--Makes relevant data, skills, knowledge and help available at the point of need
--Serves as remote Reference Desk when physical Reference Desk at another location isn’t covered/is busy/doesn’t exist

·         Unexpected results from the Instant Invite service: 
     --Service issues/outages are quickly identified
     --Real time interaction shows how users are actually using site/resources
     --Development of ongoing online support and even mentoring opportunities with users
     --Real life feedback on how users are lost and/or how they interpret navigation tools/content

Image of the SCF Instant Invite DIV layer