Hey Cindy,

Welcome! Glad to see your question here, we like new people.

Here at NC State we've set up a (mostly semi-working) system for requesting
backup using LibraryH3lp webchat. Basically we have a staff webpage that
has a chat box in it. If you type something in the box, say "Backup!" or
"jkgfasdkl;", that message will get broadcast to everyone who's logged into
their "backup help" account in Pidgin. Recently we've also been
experimenting with "canned" messages that you can broadcast just by
clicking on a button in the web browser.

You could theoretically set this up for -- and distinguish -- separate
service points by having a different queue for each service point. The
backup people would see where the request was coming from based on the name
of the queue. And you could set up each backup account to only monitor
requests from the appropriate service points.

If you're not familiar with LibraryH3lp, it's a very lightweight (and
inexpensive) library patron chat system. We use it for our patron IM as
well as several internal staff purposes. I'm sure there's lots of LH3 users
on code4lib, so if you're not familiar with it, but interested in exploring
it, you'll be bound to get opinions. There are also other similar services
that people might recommend as well.

Good luck! This sounds like a good -- but definitely solvable -- problem.

Andreas Orphanides
NCSU Libraries

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM, Greenspun, Cindy <[log in to unmask]
> wrote:

> Hello -
> I'm a newbie to this listserv.  I'm not a librarian, nor am I a coder.   I
> primarily do systems related work with our library management system, run
> SQL reports as needed and project management.  I also work for Access
> Services and even though I'm considered IT, I'm not in the library IT
> department.  This is a new position in my department and we're still
> figuring things out as we go along.
> I work in one of the many libraries at Yale University.  In the department
> I work in, we have three busy service points - two circulation desks and a
> privileges/registration office.  There are about 50/60 staff members and
> roughly 50+ student employees who rotate at these service points.  There
> are times when there are students who are late reporting to a service
> point, no-shows, or suddenly there's a long line and only one person at a
> staffed service desk.  At a meeting recently, I was listening to a work
> leader lament how, if she is the only person there, she is just too busy to
> make a phone call or send an email asking for help - a common occurrence.
>  After I heard her, I wondered how possible it would be to create some sort
> of desktop 'app'.  One that requires only one click and is smart enough to
> know its service desk location and is sent to the right folks who could
> come assist right away, upon demand.  These would be on Windows
> workstations.
> Recently, I've seen many encouraging responses to the latest 'getting
> started...' emails and feel motivated to write to this listserv as I'm
> eager to learn and to try to do this myself.  I hope that this will be a
> simple enough project for me but I'm just not sure where to start or what I
> should be looking at.  So, here I am, not a librarian, nor a coder.  I
> write to this listserv seeking suggestions, ideas and encouragement.  :)
> Thank you -
> Cindy