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Chat with a Librarian - General

Site Coordinator Responsibilities

As local site coordinator, your role is extremely important to Chat with a Librarian (CWAL) as you are the primary contact between our service and your library/patrons. Your time and effort help to ensure that the CWAL service remains a reliable, consistent, helpful resource for not only your local patrons, but for all residents of the Commonwealth. 

The Chat with a Librarian Participation Application presents a list of Site Coordinator duties which all site coordinators must agree to in order for their library to participate in CWAL. That list has then been further expanded in the CWAL documentation found on the POWER Library:  For Librarians portal.  It’s estimated that these duties will take approximately 1 hour per week to perform—in addition to any time the Site Coordinator may spend actively staffing the service.

The following list of responsibilities is taken from the Chat with a Librarian Participation Application, with additional details given to help clarify and contextualize. Please note that the list of responsibilities is intended to provide guidance, but may not be exhaustive of all the things CWAL may ask of its Site Coordinators as the service expands and adapts.


- Site Coordinator Responsibilities:

  1. Promotes Chat with a Librarian
    1. Advocates within the library for CWAL to ensure that:
      1. CWAL widgets/links are added in prominent, visible locations on the library’s website
      2. CWAL widgets/links are included on pages and in places where patrons are likely to need access
    2. Works with local staff to ensure that:
      1. All local staff are aware of the library’s CWAL participation
      2. All local staff are able to recommend CWAL to their patrons and can give directions on where/how to access the service
    3. Keeps the library administration and staff informed about any major updates to the CWAL service


  1. Coordinates Scheduling
    1. Works with the CWAL coordinator to plan the library’s regularly scheduled chat shifts by:
      1. Responding to quarterly staffing emails on any permanent schedule changes
      2. Identifying days/times that the library will be closed and/or unavailable to cover its regularly scheduled shifts
    2. Uses CWAL’s scheduling software to assign shifts to local operators as needed
    3. Ensures that all scheduled shifts are covered and that local operators are successfully logging/clocking in


  1. Staff Management and Training
    1. Oversees local library staff who provide CWAL and/or local chat service
    2. Administers training needs that can/should be met locally
    3. Identifies staff that will need training from the statewide service and communicates that need with the CWAL coordinator
    4. Alerts the CWAL coordinator of contact or staff changes


  1. Supports the Quality of the Service
    1. Keeps the library’s FAQ documents in LibAnswers up‐to‐date by:
      1. Reviewing the information in the FAQs on a regular basis
      2. Adding to and editing the information as needed
    2. Verifies that the quality of the service is being maintained by:
      1. Regularly reviewing a representative sample of transcripts and tickets answered by local operators to ensure operators are providing the best possible reference services
      2. Regularly reviewing a representative sample of transcripts answered by cooperative librarians to ensure that their patrons’ questions are being answered appropriately
    3. Sends transcript/ticket information for any chat sessions in need of improvement to the CWAL coordinator
    4. Ensures that all email tickets and chat follow-ups are responded to in a timely manner


  1. Is an Active Member of the CWAL Community
    1. Responds to emails and meeting requests from the CWAL coordinator in a timely manner
    2. Answers questions and participates in discussions at meetings and online via the CWAL listservs

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This project is made possible in part by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and
through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Library Access funds administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries.  

The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Pennsylvania Department of Education                         Institute of Museum and Library Services