Create your Qwidget
When you add the Qwidget (QuestionPoint widget) on your
library web pages, patrons can easily enter your service. The patron
simply sends a message through the Qwidget if chat is available.
For librarians, Qwidget sessions appear in the QuestionPoint chat
monitor, along with other patron sessions.
In the Qwidget, the patron sees that chat is available
a librarian whose primary queue matches the patron's
primary queue is monitoring chat. Librarians see Qwidget sessions
- the patron's primary queue matches the librarian's
primary queue; and
- if the Qwidget queue management permissions are set to rollup to librarians monitoring your group, regional or national cooperative, (or the 24/7 Reference Cooperative under certain conditions.)
In the librarian's chat monitor, "Qwidget" appears
in front of the patron's question if the patron is using
Custom Qwidget options
Your web team can create a custom Cascading Style Sheets
(CSS) file for the Qwidget to match the color and look of the Qwidget
with the rest of your web site. This requires experience with CSS
files and with creating and adding files for a public-facing web
site. The CSS file will be stored and maintained on your servers. The
Qwidget is hosted on QuestionPoint servers at OCLC. For more information, see
Qwidget Custom Color Skin Instructions.
Patrons who navigate the web via compatible mobile devices
can use your Qwidget to connect to a librarian if the Qwidget was
created or changed and pasted into web pages after August 25, 2013.
No special setup steps are needed for the Mobile Qwidget. For a list of supported mobile browsers, please see: Qwidget Mobile Browser Support
Configure Qwidget messages that
patrons see while waiting for a librarian
You can select and customize up to five messages that
the patron sees while waiting for a librarian to join the session.
See step 5 below for more information about the messages.
If you have already created your Qwidget and now want
only to select and customize the patron waiting messages, do steps
1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10. Repeat steps 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10 for each
language in which you provide the Qwidget.
Steps to create your Qwidget
- Go to Administration > Institution > Forms > Forms
- Click Create Qwidget.
- Select a language for which you want to provide a Qwidget
and click Submit.
- On the Qwidget Configuration page for the selected language,
enter and select option values on the left and see their effect
displayed on standard size Qwidget example on the right.
Notes about the available
options for Qwidget configuration:
Language shows the language that you selected for the Qwidget.
- Qwidget Name is text that appears in the
banner at the top of the Qwidget.
- Offline Message is the message that a patron
sees when chat is not available because no one is monitoring your
primary queue. Coordinate this message with the Email Option that
you select. If you do not provide a message, the patron sees no
message when chat is not available. You can include the HTML code
for a link in the message. Example: Go to QuestionPoint for
Although you can create an offline message of any length, we recommend that you not exceed 127 visible characters in the message, so as not to affect the display if you also choose to enable the Email Option described below.
You can see how your offline message will appear in the standard size Qwidget if you mouse over the offline message field in the Qwidget creation field as you are working on setting up the options.
- Email Option lets you offer or not offer
e-mail question service to the patron in the Qwidget when no one
is monitoring your primary queue. If you offer it, boxes are provided
for the patron to type and send an e-mail address and a question.
They go to your library's QuestionPoint account as an e-mail
question. The patron receives an e-mail acknowledgement. If you do
not offer it, the patron cannot send a question in the Qwidget when
chat is not available.
- Customize "Thank you your question has been submitted" message..(Offline email submittal confirmation) lets you customize the text of the message that patron sees after submitting an email question (if that feature has been turned on). If you do not enter custom text, the patron sees "Thank you your question has been submitted." If you customize the text, we recommend that you limit the length of the text to 55 or fewer characters.
- Qwidget Size lets you select the size of
the Qwidget. The Fill (100%) option fills
all the space that you make available for the Qwidget on your web
page. If you use the Fill option, the available space (the parent
element of the Qwidget container) must be at least 230 pixels high.
- Qwidget Color lets you select one of the
seven standard colors of the Qwidget.
- Customize "librarian is typing" lets
you customize the text of the message that a patron sees when the
librarian is typing. This option controls the text for the Qwidget
and for chat. If you do not enter text in this option, the patron
sees "librarian is typing." The message appears
when the librarian starts typing and disappears when the librarian
stops. The message is located at the bottom of the Qwidget and above
the patron entry box in the patron chat window. If you customize
the text, we recommend that you limit the length of the text to
25 or fewer characters.
patron is typing, "is typing" appears
following the patron's name above the transcript in the
librarian chat monitor and "!" appears at the
beginning of the patron's name in the list under the My
- Mask patron IP addresses lets you mask or
not mask the patron's IP address. If you select No,
the patron's IP address is available when you review transcripts
in the Ask module. If you select Yes, the patron's
IP address is not available. (The patron's IP address is
not available in the chat monitor or in Full Questions in the Ask
module whether you select Yes or No.)
- Require Email for Qwidget Chat lets you require
or not require that the patron submit an e-mail address in order
to chat with a librarian. If you select No, the
patron is not required to submit an address and can check a box
to remain anonymous when submitting one. If you select Yes,
the patron must submit an e-mail address after sending a first message
in order to chat with a librarian. The new chat request does not
appear in the chat monitor unless the patron submits an e-mail address.
- Required Email Prompt is the message that
a patron sees in the Qwidget before sending a first chat message
if you require that the patron submit an e-mail address in order
to chat with a librarian. Provide a message that informs the patron
about the requirement. If you do not provide a message, the patron
sees the default message shown on the Qwidget Configuration page.
- Nudge patron to enter email address lets
you nudge (remind) the patron at the beginning of the session to
submit an e-mail address. (This option and Nudge Message are
not available if you require the patron to submit an e-mail address.)
If you select No, the nudge message is not displayed.
If you select Yes, it is displayed.
- Nudge Message is the message that a patron
sees after sending a first chat message if you choose to nudge the
patron to submit an e-mail address. Provide a message that encourages
the patron to submit one. The message appears for a few seconds
in place of the envelope button that the patron can click during
the session to submit an e-mail address. If do not provide a nudge
message, the patron sees the default message shown on the Qwidget
Configuration page. If the patron does not submit an e-mail address
during the session, the patron can click a link after the session ends
to request a transcript. If the link is clicked, the patron is prompted
to enter an e-mail address.
- Enter and select the option values for the Qwidget patron
Notes about the available options
for patron waiting messages:
can select and customize up to five messages that the patron sees while
waiting for a librarian to join the session. The five are: Initial
Message; First Message; Second Message; Third Message; Fourth Message.
- The Initial Message always appears when the patron connects
to chat. You can use the default text or provide custom text. To
use the default text for the Initial Message, check the Use Default
box. To use custom text, uncheck the Use Default box and type the
custom text in the text box.
- The other four messages are optional. You can use none, one,
two, three, or four of them.
- If you use the First Message, it appears when the patron has
been waiting for 50 seconds.
- If you use the Second Message, it appears when the patron
has been waiting for 80 seconds.
- If you use the Third Message, it appears when the patron has
been waiting for 120 seconds.
- If you use the Fourth Message, it appears when the patron
has been waiting for 190 seconds.
- You do not need to use the messages in order. For example,
you could use the Second and Fourth Messages and exclude the First
- To use a message, check the Include box. To exclude a message,
uncheck the Include box.
- To use the default text for a message, check the Use Default
box. To use custom text, uncheck the Use Default box and type the
custom text in the text box.
- If there is custom text in the text box for a message when
you check the Use Default box, the custom text is removed. If you
had previously saved (submitted) the custom text, you can restore
it by clicking the Cancel button.
- After you click the Submit button, you can
click the View Other Messages button to display
the Patron Waiting Messages page on which you can view or print
your patron waiting messages. The messages for each language in
which you provide the Qwidget are included so you can review the
messages for all languages and determine the languages for which
you still need to provide messages. Click the Close button
to return to the Qwidget Configuration page.
- Click Submit.
you make changes to the Qwidget, you must click Submit before you
click Test or copy the Qwidget code.
- Click Test.
A separate test window
containing the Qwidget opens. If someone is monitoring your primary
queue, you can test chat. If no one is monitoring your primary queue,
you can see what the patron sees in that case.
- Repeat steps 4–7 as needed to make changes based
on your test results.
- When the Qwidget for the selected language is ready for use
on web pages, click anywhere in the Code box to select all of the
code, copy the code, and paste it in web pages.
- The Qwidget code contains UTF-8 encoding so any foreign language diacritics
display correctly regardless of the encoding on the rest of your web
- If you make changes to the Qwidget after you paste the Qwidget
code into web pages, you must replace the code in the web pages
if you change Qwidget Language, Qwidget Size, or Qwidget Color.
You do not need to replace the code in web pages if you change only
- Click Return to Forms Manager.
- Repeat steps 2–10 as needed for each language in
which you want to provide a Qwidget.
Putting multiple Qwidgets on
a web page
You can place up to 5 Qwidgets on any webpage. The Qwidgets
can be from different institutions, and/or in different
languages, and in differing sizes and/or styles.To place
additional Qwidgets on a page, you must uniquely identify each Qwidget by
customizing or adding elements to the code. For instructions, see
Embed a Qwidget using CMS.
For instructions in placing a Qwidget in Drupal, Blackboard, Facebook or Sharepoint, see: Qwidget Embedding Options.
If you experience difficulties with embedding the Qwidget in database products or other CMS products, please contact OCLC Support at email@example.com, and explain in detail what product you are using and what problem occurred when you attempted to embed the Qwidget. Depending upon the product and the difficulty reported, we may be able to provide you with alternate code that will solve the issue.