How to Add a Chat Feature on the Koha OPAC

The chat widgets are a simple tool that allows visitors to interact with website managers via instant messaging services. It is a smart way to add real-time chat functionality to your Koha OPAC.  Patrons can type text into the box and that will appear instantly to the library staff. This feature would also provide a way for librarians to interact with patrons who need reference service through the internet using a computer or mobile devices.

In order to add a chat Widget in Koha OPAC, we need to choose a chat tool. There are many Chat Widget tools available e.g. Olark, Mibew Messenger, Tawk.to, Chatra, Hubspot, ClickDesk etc. Here I use Tawk.to.(free without limitations). You can use anyone. 

Step:1

Sign up in "tawk.to" and create an account.


tawk.to chat widget

Step:2

Enter your Site Name (Library Name), Site  URL (Koha server IP), and Widget Name (e,g, How to Help)



Step:3

Create the team members with the email ID and password


Step: 4

Get the HTML Code /Javascript, Copy the code to add on the koha 

Step: 5

After getting the code you need to add it to the Koha OPAC. It depends on you where you want to add the Chat Widget on koha. You can place this on every page of the koha OPAC or home page only.

Add on the entire pages of koha OPAC

If you want to chat Widget on entire pages of Koha OPAC, then you need to add HTML code in the footer of koha opac 

Home  ➞Tools ➞News ➞ HTML customizations ➞ Add additional content (HTML customizations)

Select the opaccredits from the display location, select library,  ignore the publication and expiry date (unless you already know on which date you will discontinue the chat widget), Enter the appear in position 2 or 3 (You may have already entered 1 to give credit to the implementer of koha), Enter the Title, and add the HTML code provided by tawk.to.



Koha20.05 or Below 20.05 versions
 
Home  ➞Administration ➞system Preferences ➞ opaccredits➞Paste the HTML codes then save and Close.

Add on the Home Page of Koha OPAC Only

If you want to add a chat box on the home page only then you need to add the HTML codes on the right navigator of koha OPAC. 

Home  ➞Tools ➞News ➞ HTML customizations ➞ Add additional content (HTML customizations)

Follow the same steps only here we need to select the OpacNavRight from the display location. Paste the HTML Codes in the Html box then save and close it.

You will see the Chat Box on the bottom of the right side of the Koha OPAC. You can interact with the patrons in real-time from anywhere through the internet on the dashboard of tawk.to website. Also, you can download the tawk.to application for the smartphone from the Google Play Store or Apple Store and manage all administrative activities from anywhere. 

 Note:-This Widget configuration works only if your koha has on the internet/cloud.

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