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CT State LibAnswers

Chat Schedule

Schools are responsible for providing adequate staff for chat on assigned days.

Schools will be assigned to 3 days, in a M/W/F or T/R/S pattern 

  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Capital, Middlesex, Naugatuck Valley, Northwestern, Quinebaug Valley, Three Rivers, 
  • Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday: Asnuntuck, Gateway, Housatonic, Manchester, Norwalk, Tunxis
  • Sunday: Naugatuck Valley will cover Sundays during the regular semester 

Hours will vary by semester. Tentative hours are as follows: 

  • Spring/Fall semesters 
    • Monday through Thursday: 9 AM – 7:30 P M 
    • Friday: 9 AM – 4:30 PM 
    • Saturday: 10 AM – 2 PM 
    • Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM (NVCC)
  • Summer/Winter sessions 
    • Monday through Thursday: 9 AM – 4 PM 
    • Friday: 9 AM – 2 PM 
    • Saturday/Sunday: offline

Schools not assigned to staff chat should still check their dashboard daily Monday-Friday for any tickets submitted to their campus queue.

Chrome and Firefox are the preferred browsers for LibAnswers. 

Tutorials from Springshare 

  • Online - status set to green, available to accept chats, will be notified of new chats, tickets, and internal communication. 
  • Offline - status set to red, cannot claim chats, will not be notified of new chats, tickets, or internal messages. 
  • Internal - status set to solid green circle, will not be notified of new chats or tickets, but can be seen as available by other LibChat users, will be notified of internal messages 
  • Set Away - status set to orange, cannot be assigned chats, but can still claim chats, and be notified of new chats and internal messages. 

Analytics/Reference analytics- lets you collect qualitative data about your online and in-person reference transactions using preset datasets

Canned message- pre-written messages that can help staff answer questions quickly and consistently, especially for answers that often include URLs, phone numbers, or other info that would take time to look up; canned messages also tag the chat with any relevant tags

  • Personal canned message- each individual user has the ability to create their own canned messages that are accessible only to them
  • System canned message- can be used by one campus or every user in the system; only admins can create system canned messages

Caret˄ symbol used in text editing to indicate the insertion of more text. In LibAnswers, click on the caret to collapse a menu. Its real name is circumflex when used in relation to computers. The opposite of a caret is a Vee.

CC Answer to- add relevant email addresses/shared mailboxes to include

Chat- when you answer an incoming question in live time (not picking it up from a ticket), you are taking part in a chat between you as Operator and the patron/user asking the question

Dashboard- you will work primarily in two dashboards--LibAnswers and LibChat. A dashboard is where you can view new, open, or pending tickets.

  • LibAnswers


  • LibChat


Department- all 12 campuses are one department. The 13th "campus" is CT State Community College Library, which is also part of that single department.

FAQ- Frequently Asked Question; a collection of questions with their answers that can be shared publicly. These can be created by any Operator, and are available to both Operators and patrons. FAQs can be searched by keyword or sorted by topic. For our purposes, each campus has its own FAQs.

Internal Note- a way to convey information about a chat or patron to other Operators. Notes are visible to all LibAnswers Operators. Internal notes don't appear in a patron's email when replying from the LibAnswers system, but DO appear in a patron's email when replying from Outlook. Please use responsibly!

LibAnswers- a Springshare product that encompasses FAQs, chat, and ticketing for receiving and answering questions from patrons/users; it is connected to LibChat.

LibChat- online chat platform that is part of LibAnswers; allows you to create and embed chat widgets in library websites that patrons/users can use to chat with library staff

Macro- pre-written response you can add to your ticket replies, notes, or transfers. Macros add canned messages and change ticket attributes on the Answer page in one step. If you answer the same handful of questions over and over again, putting your reply into a macro can save time in the future.

  • Macros are private and can be viewed only by the Operator who created them.
  • Admins can create macros for their campus or the entire system.

Operator- the librarian who is signed into LibAnswers to monitor/answer chats, create/answer tickets, etc. In other words, we are the Operators.

Patron- person asking the incoming question

Queue- a question channel; each campus has or is its own queue. Think of a queue as an inbox or pipeline for managing questions. Queues let you receive questions from different sources, such as:

  • an online form
  • an SMS number
  • a ticket created by another Operator to send you a question they have received


Shared group system- a  type of LibAnswers site specifically for a group of affiliated locations (our one instance of CT State Community College Library)  that provides staffing to answer patron questions. With a shared group system, you can still identify patrons as originating from their location/campus, but their questions can be answered by users belonging to any of the other locations.

SMS- Short Message Service, aka text

Tag- short phrase or keyword that describes a ticket; tags allow you to organize and categorize your tickets & chat transcripts, making it easier to:

  • Search and browse for tickets & transcripts on specific topics.
  • Create dashboard views for specific types of tickets.
  • Filter your statistics to analyze tickets or chats by topic or type of question.
  • Identify trends within individual ticket queues and chat departments, or system-wide.

Ticket- When a patron submits a question that is not picked up via Chat, it becomes a ticket. Tickets are the individual conversations you have a patron/user, starting with the initial question followed by your response, along with any replies and internal notes, when needed. When you reply to a ticket, note its status as one of the following to track its progress:

  • New: ticket has not been replied to
  • Openyou need to get back to the patron
  • Pending: waiting for patron to get back to you
  • Closed: no further interaction expected

Transcript- the entire readout of your conversations, including all responses by all parties; can be used to review all of the ticket's correspondence in one place

User- both patrons and operators; user of LibAnswers in any capacity

V or Vee˅  an upside-down caret. Used in LibAnswers to collapse a menu. Its real name is a caron. 

Widget- Chat widgets are what allow patrons/users to chat with you. An in-page chat widget embeds the entire chat window directly into a webpage. It helps patrons start a chat more quickly since they do not have to press a button to launch the chat window itself. Widgets can be monitored by individual staff members, or collectively using queues and tickets.

       Different types of chat widgets:

  • In-page chat: displays the chat window entirely inside the page where you embedded it
  • Button pop-out: allows users to click on a button, launching the chat window in a new browser window
  • Button widgets: ideal for times when you want to allow a user to start a chat and navigate to other pages during the chat session
  • Slide-out tab: on the left, right, or bottom of the browser window; when a user clicks on it, it expands to display the chat window
  • Floating: displays a button floating in the bottom-right corner of the browser window; when a user clicks on the button, the widget expands above it

Questions about LibAnswers? Try the Springboard Tutorials for LibAnswers, or email Matt HallDan Lewis, or Jim Patterson.