User Information for askON

Users can access askON within their college library sites. However, additional information about the askON service is provided on this page to assist users. 

System Requirements | askON Privacy | Access to Licensed Resources 

System Requirements 

Browser Requirements 

An askON user’s browser must meet the following requirements: 

  • Must have JavaScript enabled
  • Must support SSL
  • Be connected to the internet (faster connections are better)
  • Be supported by most browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE back to 6, etc...) 


If you have a firewall enabled, you may not be able to see chat from the askON staff after you connect. If you continue to experience a problem with your firewall, please exit the service, and disable the firewall before you re-connect to the live chat. Remember to re-enable your firewall after the session is over. 

askON Privacy 

Protection of Personal Information 

Protection of your personal information is of prime importance to askON. We collect only the minimum amount of information necessary to provide effective and efficient service. We will not disclose any of the information we collect from you to any party, in any manner that would identify you, except in order to fulfill your information request.  

Here is the kind of information we may ask for when you request a chat: 

  • Profile/Status/Location 
  • Are you a student? From where are you accessing the service? This information provides useful context in answering your question. 
  • Institution 
  • Indicate the library with which you are associated. 


Tell us how we can help you. askON staff will never ask you to provide personal information (phone, email, address, library/student card number etc.) during a chat session and we strongly discourage you from offering it. 

As with other web-based services and sites, askON logs the IP address and browser type of each visitor. This information is also kept strictly confidential. It may be used to assess trends in service usage by geographic location. If necessary, askON administrators can block individual IP addresses to prevent inappropriate behaviour on the service. 

Data Transmission & Storage 

All personal data gathered during an askON chat transaction is encrypted using a Triple DES algorithm prior to transmittal and storage. The Triple DES algorithm is a well-accepted encryption method used by leading companies, including financial institutions. Chat transaction data from askON is stored on a LibraryH3lp server in Canada. Read more about LibraryH3lp’s privacy policy


Chat transaction transcripts are only used for service evaluation and analysis and are retained for a period of no longer than three years. Transcripts can be: 

  • E-mailed to you as a record of the session and a reminder of resources consulted only if you choose to provide us with your email address, which is never stored 
  • Used to monitor and improve the overall quality of service 
  • Mined for aggregated statistical data such as the number of questions received or the average length of sessions 
  • Referred to in research papers, articles, and presentations (in which cases, any personal information inadvertently contained will be stripped from the transcripts before use) 

If you do not wish to provide an email address you can choose to print your transcript before you exit your session by selecting the ‘print’ option in your browser window. askON does not store your email address. 

Exit Survey 

In order to improve the service and better understand your needs and experience we conclude each session with a voluntary exit survey. You may choose to ignore the survey. As with the transcript data, exit survey information is encrypted for transmission and storage and is used only by the Ask Ontario project team to review service quality and identify training needs. Exit survey data is also encrypted and stored and subject to the same deletion schedule as other chat transaction data. 

Access to Licensed Resources 

askON staff may transmit electronic info from proprietary databases. All copyright restrictions associated with these databases apply. In addition, certain restrictions will apply to licensed databases.  

You may be required to authenticate yourself as a cardholder for your library before you will be able to access certain resources.  

As part of an askON session, visitors may be directed toward websites on the Internet beyond their library. These sites may have privacy policies different than those of the library, and visitors are encouraged to examine those policies carefully if they have privacy concerns.  

askON and its participating libraries assume no responsibility for any direct or indirect damage arising from the use of its connection to Internet services. Clicking Submit to access the system means you consent to these conditions.