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Ask A Librarian: Home

The LibGuide for UF staff involved with Ask A Librarian

News and Reminders

New LibChat Dashboard and Chat Interface

As you have likely noticed, LibChat looks different! While most of the functionality remains the same, some things are different locations on both the dashboard and in the active chat window. Please review the LibChat Dashboard Guide tab on this libguide - thank you to Tiffany Esteban for posting that information in a hurry! - along with these brief training guides, courtesy of our fiends at Springshare:

How to use the new LibChat Dashboard

How to share your screen during a chat - One new and potentially useful feature is the ability to screenshare with patrons during chats. If you've ever attempted to walk a patron through a catalog or database search, this might make things a LOT easier from now on. 

If you have any questions, please let me know!


Information on COVID-19 

With the news that classes are beginning to move online, we will likely see a big jump in questions related to COVID-19 on Ask A Librarian. There is now a general canned message that directs patrons to general news and information from the CDC and UF. Here are a few more links that will likely be helpful to our students in the coming days/weeks:

**A big thank you to Ginessa Mahar for locating these resources!


**3/18/20 - Effective Immediately - Proctoring booth at Library West are inactive until further notice. HSCL is still an option for ProctorU!

**3/19/20 - When fielding questions regarding loaned materials: "UF-owned books and media should be renewed online using the online renewal service accessible from "My Accounts" on the Smathers Libraries home page.  If you cannot come to campus to return items, return them when you return to campus. Overdue fines will be waived."

**I have added a canned message regarding loans through ILL and UBorrow. If inquiries get too specific, refer the patron to the ILL office.

Automatic Slide-out Chat Widget 

The current 'Ask Us!' widget featured on many Libraries web pages has been recently changed to slide out after a period of 60 seconds. The intention is to make access to the Ask A Librarian service at UF more accessible to our patrons. You might see an increase in the number of questions on your shifts, as well as some more complex questions. If you have any issues or concerns, please let me know.

Shift Coverage Procedures

If you find you are unable to cover your scheduled shift, please send an email requesting coverage to our Ask A Librarian email list at

If you are at the end of your shift and your relief is late or does not show up, do not hesitate to send out a call for emergency coverage to the email list so that you can get on with your workday. Alternatively, you can email or call me and I will send out the emergency call.


Robin Fowler - University of Florida's picture
Robin Fowler - University of Florida
L401a, Marston Science Library
352-273-2888/352-281-3279 (cell)

Ask A Librarian Supplemental Schedule

This schedule is effective Friday, March 20, 2020 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

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