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Recent enhancements to QuestionPoint

10 Jan 2010 New Features

(Completed: January 2010)

Qwidget continues to evolve! With this release, your users who navigate the web via their compatible mobile devices will have the ability to use an optimized Qwidget to connect with their librarian. In addition, iPhone users will be able to download a direct link to the Qwidget, onto their home screen, represented by an icon (similar to an 'App' icon). This will allow them to begin a Qwidget session without first navigating to the library website via their mobile browser.
Although it will import all of the text and other characteristics of the Qwidget built by libraries in the QuestionPoint Administration module, this new, optimized Qwidget has a standard mobile interface, size and color.
The Mobile Qwidget will be available to the following types of device:
iPhone, Android, Palm.

You can now add the Qwidget to Facebook! All you need is a Facebook account; you must also accept the Facebook application terms and conditions. A Qwidget for Facebook guide will walk you through the application creation process using Facebook Developer. Requests for the Qwidget for Facebook guide should be sent to David Leslie, at enter 'Qwidget Facebook' in the subject line.

QuestionPoint now offers your web team the ability to create a custom CSS file for the Qwidget.This will allow them to exactly match the color of the Qwidget with the rest of your website. Experience working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and access to create and add files to a public-facing website are required. For step by step instructions on implementing this capability,please consult the link on the Qwidget creation page from within your Administrator interface.
These self-created custom Qwidget 'skins' will be stored and must be maintained on your own servers. The Qwidget mechanism itself will continue to be hosted on QP servers at OCLC.

The number of Qwidget chat sessions your group, library, or librarians accepted is now a
separate line item in the Chat Service section of all activity reports.

QuestionPoint knowledge bases can now be accessed via other interfaces through the use of the web service search query and data record link. Searches can be posted and limited by any of the parameters on the QuestionPoint Advanced Search page. Search results can be rendered in xml or html for flexible implementation by various search engines. Text and json formats are also output options.

With the addition of a few simple lines of code to your existing web-based search service, you and your patrons can search the Global Knowledge Base and/or your institution’s local QuestionPoint knowledge base using a familiar interface. Each question in the list of questions retrieved from a search is hot-linked to a specific KB record, which includes the answer and whatever additional data your library has elected to store there. Any KB full record can also be retrieved directly, which enables you to populate, for example, a FAQ page on your library’s website with answers from your local KB.
For details on how to implement this flexible new option, contact David Leslie at You will need to provide him with an IT contact person at your institution.

Enhancements installed on July 29, 2007

(Completed: July 2007)

New Chat Features

NEW PATRON line shows time elapsed.

When a New patron appears in your chat monitor, you can see how long the patron has been waiting.  The Time column counts up in 10-second increments.  In the 24/7 Cooperative this helps librarians see immediately if they should wait for the home library, if monitoring, to pick up (a sixty-second wait is recommended) or pick up the patron themselves.Chat Monitor with Time highlighted

PRACTICE CHAT FORM opens for any monitoring library within the same BME.

Before this release, only the library that opened the Chat Patron Practice Form could see the patron in their Practice Queue.  With this release, multiple libraries within the same BME can practice with one another using the practice form.  Remember that you must select the Practice Queue to see "patrons" using the Chat Patron Practice Form.


Librarians can see additional information about the patron’s chat form capabilities with this release.  The patron information area for patrons using the new Chat Preview 2 displays "Chat: Text, Links" to indicate that this patron’s form can accept text and links only.  This is the first in a series of enhancements planned for patron form control.

 Chat Monitor with the link options hightlighted

User Apparent Fixes

SESSION/WAIT TIMES now sortable in Excel

Session times and wait times are now stored correctly so they are sortable when imported to an Excel spreadsheet without the need to convert the integer type.

SAVED OFFLINE REPORT holds institution selection

Group administrators wishing to run offline reports on a single institution can now save that report intact.  Heretofore, all parameters of the report were saved except the institution name.  That bug is fixed with this release.

PATRON'S ACCOUNT INTERFACE locks in-progress chat session.

In some cases, when a patron navigated away and returned to the chat monitor after being timed out (two minutes), they would use the patron account link to log into their account and continue the chat dialogue.  This could occur only if the librarian had not yet closed the chat session from the librarian monitor.  When it did occur, multiple notification messages were sent, often resulting in confusion.


Now, a session that has not yet been closed by the librarian, whether ended or not, is locked in the patron’s account the same way it is locked in the library’s Ask module.  The patron is unable to act on that session in any way until it is closed.