The LibraryH3lp webchat client
The LibraryH3lp librarians' webchat client integrates tightly with LibraryH3lp's special features. It conveniently places transfer, send file, and e-mail transcript features in the chat window. It also displays the patron's IP address, referring URL, and any optional queue avatars, which can link to profile pages. Please test it thoroughly in your network environment before committing to it, and be sure to read about things that will cause it to have problems.
Desktop Notifications provide excellent visual alerting, even if the webchat client's browser is minimized or buried in the background underneath many other application windows. Chrome has built-in support for desktop notifications, and there is an extension called Tab Notifier that will do the trick in Firefox. Search for Tab Notifier in the Firefox Add Ons Manager (Tools menu->Add Ons->Search). Desktop notifications are enabled in the webchat client's Actions menu.
Sound alerts: New message sound alerts are available in all tested desktop web browsers. Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8 require a Flash plugin. Chrome, Firefox, and IE9 will play the sound alert either with or without Flash since they can use the Ogg Vorbis sound file that is also provided. The patron's first message results in a sound alert that loops for all receiving librarians until the chat is answered by someone. Subsequent messages from the patron result in one sound alert per message.
If sound alerts suddenly stop working, it is likely that the browser's Flash player or plugin has crashed. Fully restarting the browser is suggested. Even if the browser can play the Ogg Vorbis (non-Flash) sound file, the browser may use Flash instead if Flash capability is available. And, the browser will continue to try to use the Flash file even if its Flash plugin is crashed, which silences the sound alert completely since it never tries to use the Ogg sound.
Activity tab: Use the integrated Activity tab to review system activity or locate an earlier chat from a returning patron. Use the internal refresh arrows to load chats that arrived after webchat login time. Pop out a relevant transcript and then return to the Chat tab, to conveniently consult an earlier transcript while carrying on with an active chat at the same time; the popped-out transcript will stay on top for ease of use.
Contacts (Buddy List): You can directly IM your colleages from the Contacts list. Use Manage Contacts in the admin site to easily populate the Contacts list for all of your users. Users can also buddy anyone on an XMPP (Jabber) based service, such as Google Talk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can use any web chat client that supports the XMPP (Jabber) protocol. When answering chats from these external web-based clients, you won't be able to use clickable queue avatars to access profile pages, and you will follow a link sent at the beginning of the chat in into libraryh3lp.com to do specialized LibraryH3lp things such as transfer and send files.
To sign in with your LibraryH3lp account, look for the Jabber option, with the lightbulb logo. You might be prompted for a JID (Jabber ID). Your JID or username is email@example.com.