In May, 2019, OCLC announced the sale of QuestionPoint and the 24/7 Reference Cooperative to Springshare. Since then Minitex and AskMN libraries have been preparing for the migration from the QuestionPoint software to Springshare’s LibAnswers and LibChat systems. Throughout the past year AskMN libraries staff have had several training sessions on the new systems and getting a better sense of how work flows and follow ups with patrons will change.
LibAnswers and LibChat products bring a more streamlined approach to managing patron inquiries from several different access points and the ability to create a variety of different chat widgets to be used in different ways to best meet patron needs. Many librarians have commented that the LibChat tool is easy to use and did not require a learning curve to begin using the product.
In March and April AskMN experienced nearly a 40% increase in usage of the service from MN patrons over the same period last year. The last three months have also seen the added challenge of work from home transitions in delivering training, support, and communication to AskMN libraries. However, we were still able to stay on track to meet our Go Live deadline. AskMN went live with the new software on May 27th with no disruption to service for patrons.
I want to thank all AskMN libraries for their continued support of the program and the work they did to make the migration to Springshare’s LibAnswers and LibChat a success!