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AskAway Library Commitment Models

The AskAway Advisory Committee has endorsed the following cost-sharing and staffing commitment models to support the AskAway chat reference service. These models enable BC post-secondary libraries to provide 73 hours of AskAway service per week.

These models are based on funded FTEs. BC ELN uses funded FTEs for all its FTE models and these numbers are obtained from the budget letters released annually by the Ministry of Advanced Education. 

Service Support Fee Cost Sharing Model

To support AskAway, participating libraries contribute service support fees and flexible support contributions.

Service Support Fees

Participating libraries contribute a service support fee to help cover the service's infrastructure costs. Service support fees include an annual inflationary increase of 2% to 5%. The amount of this increase is set each year by the Advisory Committee. This increase applies only to the base service support fee, which is capped at $10,000.

Flexible Service Support Contributions

Flexible service support contributions were instituted in 2014, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee with the agreement of all participating libraries, to manage the transition to a fully member-supported service. Flexible support contributions may be made either in funds or by contributing additional evening or weekend staffing. Each additional evening or weekend hour contributed in any section reduces the flexible fee by $250.

Flexible support contributions are a permanent part of libraries' AskAway commitment. Institutions may handle allocation of hours and funds differently from year to year.

April 2020 to March 2021

Tier FTE Range Base service support fee, per library Flexible support
1 0 - 2,999 $980.00 $865.00
2 3,000 - 7,999 $1,625.00 $1,435.00
3 8,000 - 14,999 $2,274.00 $2,010.00
4 15,000 - 24,999 $5,196.00 $4,595.00
5 25,000 + $10,000.00 $4,975.00

Base Staffing Commitment Model

For scheduling purposes, the year is divided up into four Sections.

Update: For Section 1 (Sep-Dec) 2020, there has been an AskAway Advisory Committee approved increase to Base Staffing Commitments to respond to COVID-19 related increases in usage as follows:

Tiers 1 and 2: Two additional hours per week*
Tiers 3, 4, and 5: Three additional hours per week*
*For all Tiers, at least one of the additional hours must be an evening or weekend hour.

Weekly staff hours per library

Tier FTE Range Section 1 (Sep-Dec) Section 2 (Jan-Apr) Section 3 (May-Jun) Section 4 (Jul-Aug)
1 0 - 2,999 3 3 2 0
2 3,000 - 7,999 5 5 3 2
3 8,000 - 14,999 7 7 5 5
4 15,000 - 24,999 16 16 14 14
5 25,000 + 34 34 30 34

Tier 1

Alexander College
Coast Mountain College
College of the Rockies
Columbia Bible College
Columbia College
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Justice Institute of BC
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
North Island College
Northern Lights College
Quest University Canada
Selkirk College
Trinity Western University
University Canada West
Yukon University

Tier 2

Camosun College
Capilano University
College of New Caledonia
Langara College
Okanagan College
Thompson Rivers University
University of Northern British Columbia
University of the Fraser Valley
Vancouver Community College
Vancouver Island University

Tier 3

British Columbia Institute of Technology
Douglas College
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Tier 4

Simon Fraser University
University of Victoria

Tier 5

University of British Columbia