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University of Utah Library Guides

Email Reference using Kayako: Home

Email Reference

The University of Utah Libraries uses Kayako to receive and answer email reference questions.  Our basic reference question web form can be found on the Marriott Library home page under Ask a Librarian, or here:

Service Goals

Online patrons should be treated as well as in-person patrons.  Questions should be answered in a timely fashion.  During the work week between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm it is our service goal to send an initial answer to each research assistance request within 4 hours.  There is admin coverage between the hours of 6 pm and 10 pm, and on weekends.  Questions allocted to specific groups or individuals over the weekend should be promptly handled on Monday morning.

Assistance with Email Reference via Kayako

If you (a librarian) are having difficulties with theKayako system, please contact Online Services at

Lorelei Rutledge and Robin Reid are the service coordinators.  Brian McBride is the System Administrator.

E-mail Reference Best Practices

Email Reference Best Practices

I.                    Picking up Emails in Kayako

a.       If you begin working on a question in Kayako, make sure that you change that question status to “Closed” or “In Progress” so that others know you are working on it, and that you change the owner to yourself.


II.                  Response Times

a.       Our goal is to answer all questions in one full business day.

b.      When you see a question, respond to the patron letting them know that you are working on the question. Give them an estimate of when you will get back to them and let them know that they can call you directly or call the reference desk if they need the information sooner.


III.                Structuring the E-mail

a.       Every email should welcome the patron to the Ask the Library Service, show your full contact information,  let the person know that they are free to contact you or the library for additional assistance, and thank the patron for using the Ask the Library service. Once you set up an automatic signature, you will no longer need to type this by hand.

b.      Use complete sentences, proper grammar, and proper capitalization.

c.       If you suggest a specific  search to the patron, copy and paste the search so that they have it exactly as you entered it and remind them that they can copy and paste directly into the catalog or the database you used

d.      If you need more information from the patron, ask for clarification, then change the question status to “In Progress.”

e.      Keep in mind that community patrons may need to come to the library to use some resources, so try to make sure you let them know if there is an item that they will not be able to access on their own.

For Assistance Ask

For Assistance Ask

Alfred Mowdood's picture
Alfred Mowdood

Ask the Library

  • 801-581-6273
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The University of Utah
J. Willard Marriott Library
Head of Faculty Services,
Representative, Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), and
Adjunct Assistant Professor in Kinesiology
295 South 1500 East #2110 R
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860
(801) 585-7125

Pronouns: he, him, his

For Assistance Ask

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