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New Platform, Same Award-Winning Service: AskAway is Moving to LibraryH3lp

May 8, 2019

Burnaby, British Columbia - The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is pleased to announce that LibraryH3lp has been selected as the new software platform to support AskAway, B.C.’s award-winning post-secondary chat reference service. Beginning May 13, 2019, students, educators, and researchers across the province will be able to access the AskAway service via LibraryH3lp.

In late 2017, the AskAway Advisory Committee prioritized an investigation of chat reference software options for the service. In 2018, a Software Evaluation Committee – comprised of representatives from five participating B.C. post-secondary institutions – issued a Request for Quote (RFQ) to selected vendors. The Committee worked diligently over five months to evaluate RFQ responses and assess community feedback. Ultimately, LibraryH3lp emerged as the strongest candidate. The Committee’s recommendation to select LibraryH3lp for AskAway was unanimously endorsed by the AskAway Advisory Committee in early 2019.

LibraryH3lp is an exciting new platform for a well-established service and is software we can grow with. AskAway will now be hosted on Canadian servers and promising features such as screen sharing and proactive chat (actively inviting a visitor to chat after they have been on a webpage for a set period of time) are options that will allow AskAway to reach students and researchers in new ways. We are joining a community of Canadian post-secondary services that use this software, and we can build on these connections to share knowledge about the platform, request enhancements, and develop effective policies and best practices. 
- Gregg Currie, College Librarian at Selkirk College and Chair of the AskAway Advisory Committee

askON has been with LibraryH3lp since 2015, and we are very happy with how it has increased student engagement at our participating libraries. LibraryH3lp offers our students low-barrier access to chat support. When we first migrated to LibraryH3lp and again when we implemented proactive chat, we noticed a significant increase in traffic at all of our participating institutions. When we need support, the LibraryH3lp team goes the extra mile to answer our questions and meet our needs for a software that is up to speed with current trends.
- Siobán Linnen, Virtual Reference and Accessibility Associate at the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS)

For more information, please contact:

Anita Cocchia
Executive Director, BC ELN

Gregg Currie
Chair, AskAway Advisory Committee
College Librarian, Selkirk College

About AskAway

AskAway is an award-winning collaborative chat reference service that provides convenient and expert research support to post-secondary students, faculty, instructors, and researchers across the province. AskAway is administered by the BC Electronic Library Network, guided by the AskAway Advisory Committee, and funded and staffed by participating libraries. Learn more about AskAway.

About BC ELN

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is a partnership between the Province of British Columbia and 33 private and public post-secondary libraries. BC ELN develops, promotes, and maintains system-wide mechanisms that allow post-secondary libraries to meet the expanding information needs of the province’s learners, educators, and researchers at the lowest possible cost. Learn more about BC ELN.

About LibraryH3lp

LibraryH3lp powers virtual reference at over 800 libraries, non-profits, and educational institutions worldwide. Based in North Carolina and supported and developed by Nub Games, LibraryH3lp is a flexible, feature-rich, affordable, and privacy-first platform with a proven track record supporting Canadian post-secondary virtual reference collaborations such as askON from the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS), Live Help from Novanet, and Scholars Portal’s Ask a Librarian from the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). Learn more about LibraryH3lp.