Showcase – Alexandria Library

Showcase – Alexandria Library

Case Study

Alexandria Library

Alexandria Library is a four branch library servicing Alexandria, Virginia, with 2MM in annual circulation

Alexandria Library is a four branch library with 2MM annual circulation in Virginia that understands their website is more than just a postcard of information about their physical locations. The library’s “virtual branch” provides virtual only events and patron support while hosting information about all the great in-person activities happening across all 4 locations.


Virtual Branch Support


Knowing what patrons need additional information on can be difficult to track on your website. There are no desks or roaming staff members to provide immediate support. A modern, branded, floating chat widget that works for both desktop and mobile users was needed. Staffing would be another responsibility on top of the first-class services the library already provided.



Unique stepped in to provide an info desk style live chat service on Alexandria’s virtual branch. Unique’s modern widget checked all the branding and ease of use boxes, while Unique’s patron services team was ready to answer patron questions as an extension of the library. This partnered approach allows the most service to patrons at the least cost to staff. Unique’s customer service team accurately captured Alexandria’s customer service approach and maintains a knowledge base with all the details patrons may need.


Unique’s integrated chat consistently provides great customer service, providing the real-time support patrons expect. Over the past two years, there has been only one complaint about the information provided. Unique’s total transparency in providing all transcripts allowed the library and Unique to update the out-of-date policy quickly.  As a bonus, the month-end reporting identifies what information is most requested by patrons, allowing staff to adjust where information appears on the website enabling the virtual branch to serve its patrons proactively.

Built-in feedback tools allow patrons to let us know how we are performing, and the comments show how the service is received:

  • Fast, courteous, correct and on a Sunday!
  • glad you are here Adam and team
  • Great service and advice keep up the work!
  • great response time
  • So helpful this evening.


From the Staff:

“Unique’s live chat service is both useful and used. The reports and transcripts provide the information I need to update our virtual branch according to the patron’s needs. It’s easy to identify what information is trending and make the adjustments needed.”

-Cary Sommiler – Virtual Branch Manager

How can Unique help your library be an essential resource?

Are there underserved parts of your service area you’d like to reach out to? How are you informing new community members of their library resources? This custom service is another example of Unique furthering the strategic initiatives of our partner libraries. Contact us today to chat about how Unique can help with your new patron engagement.

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