Prank calls represent a very small percentage of the calls that we receive on Answerland. The majority of the kids and teens who use the service are responsive and eager to learn from us. These guidelines are intended for chatting with those patrons who may test our boundaries and exhibit inappropriate behavior.
- If it is unclear as to the patron’s motives, conduct a reference interview. If it is still unclear, try sending the patron an informative website.
- If the patron exhibits inappropriate language or behavior, use the “Obscene warning” script to provide a warning.
- If the behavior continues, use the “Obscene disconnect” script and end the session. Upon ending the session, add the descriptive code Prank.
For good examples of managing prank calls with patience and humor, see:
- Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can? Or, When Bored Tweens Use Chat Reference by Nicollette Sosulski.
- There’s an Elk in the Living Room: How to Handle Prank Calls by Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen (presentation from 2014 Oregon Virtual Reference Summit)
Feel free to report any pranks to the Answerland Coordinator.
Do not give out any personal information to patrons. If you ever feel that a patron is harassing, stalking, or threatening you in any way, please report the situation immediately to the Answerland Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-378-6506). Your safety and well-being is important to us.