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Unlocking The Power of Lean Library’s Assist Messages: Effective Use Cases

Many students aren’t aware of the full extent regarding how their library can help them with their studies and research, meaning that key library messages or guidance aren’t reaching students at the point of need. Assist Messages allows your library to communicate personalised messages to patrons via the Lean Library browser extension when they visit specific websites. This tool ensures that your communication is targeted and timely, providing guidance at point of need and enhancing the overall research experience for your patrons.

An example of an Assist Message popping up to let the student know they can access New York Times via their library

You might be wondering where to start with assist messages. Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best assist messages and their most effective use cases to help you get started.

Starting simple

The most viewed assist message on the Lean Library platform illustrates how even small messages can have a big impact. 

This message appears when patrons land on Google, highlighting the Lean Library extension and reminding them of its purpose. Short, simple messages like this help ensure that students remain aware of the support available from their library. 

Saving money

Libraries play a crucial role in making sure studying is affordable and accessible for all, but our research shows that many students aren’t fully aware of the range of services provided to them by their library. In this context, patrons are reminded that the library can save them money with an assist message displayed on the New York Times homepage.

With tens of thousands of views, this message has repeatedly reminded patrons of the valuable services their library provides.

Signposting the way

It’s not always a straightforward path to the website you’re looking for, especially when trying to differentiate between commercial sites and student-facing sites. Erasmus University Rotterdam has deployed a useful assist message on the LexisNexis homepage to signpost patrons to the Nexis Uni site, keeping them on track. 

As context: the name LexisNexis is better known than the name of the database, Nexis Uni. A Google search for ‘Nexis Uni’ brings students also to a LexisNexis page (with a login option that only works when you are connected to the network of the university). The link Nexis Uni is a friendly LibGuide URL, which is an EZproxied URL, so students can easily access the database when they are off-campus.

Judith Gulpers, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Flagging alternative routes to content

One of the benefits of Lean Library is quick and seamless access to content. Even when this isn’t straightforward (for example, accessing an archive with content dating back to the 1800s), assist messages can help as demonstrated below.

Help patrons

In this use case, Lean Library users are reminded of the support available to them through an assist message deployed when they land on the ScienceDirect homepage. 

Increase traffic to resources you already pay for

Communicating the full range of services the library provides can be challenging, as the services the library pays for stretch far beyond books and journals! Zuyd Hogeschool reminds patrons landing on Primal Pictures that they have access to the Anatomy TV resource through the library. 

Lean Library is an ideal tool to show that our students do use the library. Even when they don’t always physically visit us, they get a gentle reminder of all the resources that are available to them!

Jill Penders, Zuyd Hogeschool

Direct patrons to your collections

While the role of the library continues to evolve, the collection is still a vital component of the library’s provision. Assist messages can streamline the patron experience and simplify access to the collection. 

Connect patrons with reliable sources

It’s vitally important now more than ever, to ensure that patrons are engaging with reliable, high-quality resources during their research. In our second Librarian Futures report, we found that librarians are low on the list of people that students approach for help. The challenge for librarians is reaching students to give them this support. 

Universities can display an assist message when patrons land on Wikipedia, encouraging them to access reliable resources through their institution’s library. 

Lean Library in action!

If you’re interested in seeing this feature in action and discovering how Lean Library can benefit your library, please schedule a demo with us.

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