LibGuides v1 Retirement – free update to v2

On January 31, 2018, LibGuides v1 servers will be retired. All v1 sites will be updated to / live with LibGuides v2 by this date. The v1 infrastructure is 10 years old, and our hosting provider is no longer applying security or operating system updates to such an old generation of servers. This leaves LibGuides v1 potentially vulnerable to various security breaches, and in the interest of maintaining the level of security, features, and support that Springshare is known for, we must decommission these servers soon.

Never fear – LibGuides v2 is a free update, and gives you more flexibility, functionality, and focus on security and accessibility. The icing on the cake? We’re here to help with an update assistance option!

What is the timeline for v1 retirement?

All LibGuides v1 sites will be updated to v2 by January 31, 2018. After March 31, 2018, the v1 servers will be shut down.

  • December 31, 2017: Last day to select migration / go live dates yourself.
  • January 1-31, 2018: We automatically update any sites not yet in process.
  • January 31, 2018: Last selectable day to go live with v2.
  • March 31, 2018: The last day your v1 site is available behind-the-scenes.

What are the benefits of v2?

It would take too long to list all of the great functionality in v2, so we offer some highlights here, with links to related blog posts / more information wherever available. Check out a more comprehensive, yet still not exhaustive, list of v2 benefits.

  • Modern infrastructure focused on security and speed.
  • Continually updated code, to provide you with the best functionality possible.
  • https support for LibGuides CMS customers.
  • Regional servers: this year we’re bringing data centers online in Europe (April), Canada (Q2), Australia (Q3), and Asia (Q4).
  • LibApps LTI Tool (LibGuides CMS and/or E-Reserves): easily add library content into LMS systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, Moodle, and Sakai.
  • More flexibility, including:
    • having multiple content types in one box & reordering items between boxes;
    • Gallery and Tabbed boxes: do great things without having to add code;
    • customizable HTML page templates, for those who know HTML/CSS and would like more control over the page layout.
  • Improved content management, including a dedicated Database management area / automatically populated public page.
  • Completely redesigned site search and E-Reserves module.
  • System & guide blogs, so it’s easy to share library and/or subject-based news.
  • LibGuides CMS customers also get the following (and more!):

Additional FAQs / Update Assistance

Learn more about how to update, available training, support, and review additional FAQs in our Update to v2 guide! Once your v2 site has been set up and you have a shiny new v2 account, you can also access our step-by-step guide on updating in our v2 documentation site.

We know that it’s often difficult to find the time to do updates like these, whether it’s because you’re a solo librarian, many other projects also require your attention, the idea of updating feels overwhelming, or whatever other reasons you have / can imagine. As always, we’re here for you!

With our update assistance option, we take care of the technical side of the update, allowing you to focus on learning the new system…with our help, of course! (We recommend taking the Getting to Know LibGuides session first. 😉 )

We appreciate all of the years you’ve been LibGuide-ing with us, and look forward to many more!

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

..says Andrew Adler, director of the Georgetown College Library, when asked why the Library is using the entire platform of Springshare tools.

Andrew, like most librarians, wears a lot of hats. From teaching library instruction, manning the reference desk, creating training tutorials for student workers, and being available nine hours a week for one-on-one research consultations, plus being the director for the entire library – he needs their web platform tools to just work and be easy to use“.

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

The Georgetown College Library uses the entire Platform of Springshare Tools – and they use LibGuides CMS to power their Library Website.

“Things got a lot easier when we moved our website to LibGuides CMS.”

On their library homepage, an embedded LibCal Hours widget automatically updates to display today’s hours… no manual updating needed.

Their reference services are prominently showcased, with embedded LibAnswers LibChat widgets promoting their live reference assistance and a customized Ask Us form that routes all queries right into their LibAnswers ticketing queue.

All library forms, from a book purchase request form to reporting a catalog error are created and stored using LibWizard. In an effort to streamline work processes, their library student application is a LibWizard form! This way, librarians only have to go to one place, LibWizard, to view all form submissions.

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

All library student employees are trained using a combination of LibGuides with embedded LibWizard tutorials. Talk about making your tools work for you!

Circulation Student employees access the Circ Dashboard LibGuide when they sign into the circ desk computers.

From here, they can easily view their work schedules via LibStaffer, access library quick links, and take interactive training with LibWizard tutorials.

Since they’ve already used LibWizard to submit their student application forms, the process is consistent and seamless. As Andrew said, “everything they need – put in one spot”.

Andrew presented at the October 2016 SpringyCamp on training student workers using LibGuides and LibWizard. View Andrew’s presentation and download his slides.

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

Even the library’s staff directory is a product of integration.

Andrew maintains the Library Staff directory as a published LibAnswers FAQ, making it easy for anyone searching the FAQ database to find staff email addresses and phone numbers. But, what if they’re not in the FAQ database? How do they find that information?

Easy!

Simply embed that Staff Directory FAQ as a widget into any webpage, including their LibGuides CMS-powered website. This way, Andrew only has to update the directory in one place, the FAQ, and watch those updates trickle down to everywhere it’s been embedded. The same consistent information is easily syndicated across multiple platforms and is easy to maintain from one central location.

Wait, What About Faculty?


LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

Andrew wanted to create an online process where faculty could request library instruction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Email wasn’t cutting it, creating a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus, the Library maintains access to several IL-Classrooms so pointing faculty to a room reservation system would have required that Faculty know which room to request and when.

Using an outside-the-box solution, Andrew repurposed their LibCal My Scheduler as a tool for faculty to book library instruction. Most libraries use the My Scheduler tool to coordinate and schedule one-on-one research consultations. But Andrew saw it as a way to streamline their IL-Booking process. Faculty select their preferred date and time, and share their session preferences and class notes to ensure that the instruction is as targeted as possible – for the student’s benefit. Andrew receives the request, selects the appropriate classroom, and it’s all done…in just a few clicks. Easy-peasy.

These IL-Instruction Stats, and all stats from their Springshare tools, are automatically funneled into their LibInsight data gathering tool. From here, Andrew can run reports on how many classes were taught last semester, hits they had on their Library Website, and chats/texts/email reference questions they received.

Plus, using LibInsight’s Gate Counts Dataset, Andrew is able to view how many people are in the building – updated to the most recent hour. This data allows them to make staffing changes to their service desks based upon actual library traffic data. “It’s important for us to understand our student’s point of need and work to meet that need.”


LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

Every year, Andrew meets with the Georgetown College Provost to cover the library budget. As is typical at these meetings, every line item is scrutinized. Andrew makes it clear that their use of Springshare tools are an essential library service.

“The Library couldn’t function without it – it’s our website, our research guides, our reference service tool, or reservation tool, and so much more. — Andrew Adler

LibStaffer 2.3 Now Live!

We have a small LibStaffer update to share this morning, that’s packed with nice to have improvements! From preventing back to back shift scheduling to improved communication via notes and emails, to the new inactive account level, there are lots of little goodies to love!

Prevent Back to Back Shift Scheduling

Are your staff feeling overworked and tired of working shifts back to back? Then we’ve got great news – we’ve added a new setting in the Auto Scheduler to prevent staff from being scheduled for back to back shifts! Plus, we’ve added an optional “grace period” to help avoid shifts that aren’t technically back to back, but that start/end fairly close to each other. For example, if a staff member is assigned to a shift from 9-10am, and you assign a one hour grace period, that staff member won’t be assigned to another shift until after 11am. You’ll find this new setting built into the Auto Scheduler screen.

Inactive Account Level

This feature will be a huge plus, particularly for sites that manage seasonal or transitional employees (such as student employees that change from semester to semester) – we’ve added an inactive account level for LibStaffer accounts. Inactive account holders won’t be able to log in to your LibStaffer system, and they don’t count against your account subscription. However they’ll continue to display in your historic reports, so you retain an accurate picture of staffing at different times in history.

Good to know: when you set an account to inactive, the account holder will be removed from all future shifts, but they’ll remain assigned to any shifts in the past for reporting purposes. To set an account to inactive, head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account.

Expanded Shift Notes

We’ve added a couple of popularly requested features for shift notes, to help improve communication with staff. When emailing staff, admins now have the option to include relevant shift notes within the email – a great way to send out additional reminders to make sure everyone is on the same page! We’ve also corrected a small oversight – shift notes will now display to regular level users, both from the dashboard as well as from the overall schedule page. Hooray for increased communication with staff!

Email Updates

We’ve added a few key updates to the email functionality available in LibStaffer:

  • Shift Supervisors can now choose which employees should receive schedule reminder emails. Previously you could either send emails to all staff with an assigned shift, or to one specific staff member. Now we’ve included checkboxes so you can pick which staff should receive an email notification.
  • We’ve also added a cc field to schedule reminder emails, so you can email people who aren’t assigned to a schedule with information on upcoming shift staffing.
  • Shift Supervisors can also now send a general email to staff from within LibStaffer. This is a great way to make announcements to staff apart from schedule reminders – great for things like policy changes, staff reminders and the like.
  • And we’ve added a couple of new email notifications for the following situations:
    • Admin(s) now get an email notification when a time off request is submitted.
    • Schedule admins now get an email notification when an open shift has been picked up.

New Springshare Data Center: Europe – April 2017

Springshare is pleased to announce that we are bringing data centers online around the world in order to better serve all of our clients, everywhere! As of April 10, 2017, our European clients will be hosted on servers in Europe. In Q2, Q3, and Q4 we’ll bring servers online in Canada, Australia, and Asia, respectively.

These new servers host v2 products only: LibGuides v2, E-Reserves v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2 w/Equipment Booking, LibStafferLibWizard, LibInsight, and LibCRM. Once you move to this new cluster, all of your Springshare tools (current and future) are located there.

Who is moving & will there be down time?

We’re moving all v2 sites and content for customers located in Europe. For customers in other areas of the world, you will remain on U.S. servers, and there will be no down time for you while we move these sites.

European customers will experience some down time during the migration process:

  • LibGuides v2 Public side: No down time.
  • LibGuides v2 Admin side and all other apps (both public and admin sides): Up to 30 minutes of down time.

I’m in Europe – what do I need to do / know?

  • Migration Date: April 9, 2017, starting at 8pm U.S. EDT
    Time Converter – click “Add another city or time zone” to convert to your location.
  • Verify Your Move – Server Migration Check: You must verify that you are listed as moving to the European servers.
    • If you are listed as moving, your sites will be moved / you will experience some down time during the migration (see above).
    • If you are listed as not moving, but you should be moving, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we add you.
    • If are listed as moving, but you’d like to opt-out of the move, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we remove you.
  • LibGuides / LibAnswers / LibCal Custom Domains: If you have a custom domain (e.g., research.mylibrary.org, ask.myschool.ac.uk, calendar.library.myschool.ac.uk) for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and/or LibCal site(s), you’ll need to work with your IT department to update your DNS records in time for the migration. See our DNS Change FAQ for instructions.If you are not on a custom domain (e.g., mylib.libguides.com, university.libanswers.com, springylib.libcal.com), you do not need to do anything. We’ll take care of everything on our side.

If you’re on v1 for any apps and want to move to the European server cluster, you will need to move to v2 in order to do so. You do not have to move prior to the April 9, 2017 server migration date, though you’re welcome to, if you’d like! Learn more about updating to LibGuides v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2, and for LibAnalytics subscribers, LibInsight Lite.

If any questions / concerns pop up, please let us know, and as always, thanks for being on board!

LibAnswers 2.12.0 Encryption Update Now Live

Exciting news for LibAnswers subscribers, especially for those of you who are concerned about ensuring patron privacy (so, everyone, right?? 😉 ) – in today’s release, we’re rolling out encryption for key patron identifying information as it’s being stored in the LibAnswers database (aka “at rest”). This is one more step in our continuing efforts to ensure that patron data is safe and secure.

Patron Data Encrypted At Rest

Your patrons’ email address and SMS numbers are now encrypted as they’re being stored in the LibAnswers database, as long as they’re in fields that we know to contain email and SMS numbers, ie this does not yet apply to information shared in the text of a patron’s reply. There’s nothing you need to do to opt in to this change – as of this morning, all key patron email addresses and SMS numbers have been encrypted. This also won’t impact your ability to see the “history” of transactions with specific patrons or to run statistics.

Additional Bug Fixes

While testing for the big Encryption update, we ran into a few small bugs which we squashed like Godzilla. Here’s the rundown:

  • Reply Editing – Sometimes patron replies that are submitted into the system can either show up as too long (where they include the entire reply thread in a single reply), or too short (where a key piece of information gets cut off). To help with these, we’ve added a new option to edit the patron’s reply, so you can simplify or clarify individual patron replies. To do this, head to any ticket with patron replies, click the cog icon on a particular reply, and select “Edit Reply” – this will bring up the text of the original patron reply alongside a rich text editor, which you can use to edit the reply’s content.
  • Manage Assets: Edit File & Click Filename – We noted a couple of small issues on the Manage Assets screen, where clicking on an asset’s title didn’t do anything (instead of loading a preview of the file as intended), and editing a file lead to some pretty odd errors. We’ve squashed both of these issues – to see the fixes in action, head to Admin > Manage Assets.
  • Chat Widgets Now Load via HTTPS – This has been an optional setting for LibChat, but in this update we’ve streamlined things so that chat widgets now load via HTTPS by default, so patron chats load via SSL right from the get go.
  • Systems Status Management: Image Manager – We realized the image manager icon was missing from the product description field – oops! This is now back – Admins, head to Admin > System Status Management > Edit Product and you’ll see it’s back.
  • API Issues:
    • There was a minor issue where the search API was not properly returning the total number of results, which we’ve since quashed.
    • There was also an issue where adding an IP restriction for the API wasn’t being applied properly to widget – this is also fixed.
  • Accessibility Updates:
    • We’ve added an aria label to the hamburger menu (visible when viewing a site on a mobile device).
    • For screenreaders, we’ve added aria-hidden=true to the hidden input for the typeahead widget, as it was causing accessibility errors.

LibCal 2.6.4.2 Equipment Booking Update Now Live

Lots more updates for the Equipment and Spaces module coming your way! With this update we’re focusing on the admin side of Equipment and Spaces, so managing items and loans is as seamlessly easy as one could imagine. From redesigned loan management screens with all new editing and emailing functionality built in, to reconfigured item and category management screens, plus a sprinkling of new features on top – this update has a ton to love, so let’s dive in!

Redesigned Checkin/Checkout/Overdue Tabs

We’ve updated the look and feel of the Equipment Checkin, Checkout and Overdue tabs, with a dual goal of adding more functionality and making the page easier to use. The new layout should make it easier to manage large numbers of items on the same page, by moving from a tile based layout to something more streamlined. In addition, we’re adding a quick “email patron” function right to these pages, so it’s easy to stay in touch with folks who have upcoming and overdue reservations! Plus, we’ve added simple edit and cancel booking function to the Checkin and Overdue tabs, so you can edit relevant information from any of the admin tabs. Check it out:

In addition to updating the Checkout, Checkin and Overdue tabs, we’ve also updated the Booking Explorer page – you can now edit or cancel bookings and email patrons from the Booking Explorer.

Redesigned Edit Item and Category Screens

We also took the opportunity to greatly simplify the navigation of the Admin Edit Item and Edit Category screens by consolidating the “Manage Categories” and “Manage Items” functionality into a single page, organized by panels. These two features were previously presented on two separate screens, which felt a bit disconnected. With these changes, the relationship between Categories and Locations should be much clearer, and hopefully it will be easier to keep track of which items belong to which categories.

Plus Bonus Features – We couldn’t leave the Edit Item and Category pages without adding some new functionality, so we also added a couple of nice to have features, including:

  • Reorder Categories & Sort Categories By Name – You can now customize the order in which categories display in Equipment and Spaces! This is a great option if you’d like to feature a few items at the top of the list, or sort by most popularly requested item category. To sort, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Equipment > Re-order Categories.
  • New Minimum Duration Setting – We’ve added a new setting so you can control the minimum length of time required to book a reservation. This is particularly useful for folks who may not be lending items locally, ie if you need time to mail an item out and back, you can now ensure that a reservation must last a certain number of days to make transit possible.

Support for Public Nicknames in Spaces

New for the “Spaces” portion of Equipment and Spaces, we’re adding support for public nicknames. A public nickname is essentially a public moniker that a person signing up for a space might give their group – this displays on the public side of the system, so group members can efficiently look for where their group might be meeting. This is an ideal way to make relevant information about a booking display on the public side of the system without exposing any personal identifying information for group members. To enable this setting for your spaces, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Spaces > Edit Category > Enable Public Nickname.

Even better, we’ve added some great new features to the way nicknames display on the public side of the system. We’ve added a whole new “Confirmed Bookings” landing page, which patrons can use to filter and search for their upcoming reservation – pretty sweet! And of course, the public nickname information is included as part of all API calls, so if you’re using the all new Read/Write APIs available in Equipment Booking, you can grab the public nickname for each group and display it on tablets and display panels throughout the library!

ConfirmedBookings

LibWizard 1.7.9 Update Now Live

We have a post-Valentine’s day gift for the LibWizard community – the 1.7.9 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you enhanced feedback options, which ensure patrons get the maximum amount of feedback for better learning outcomes. Read on for the new features that are making our hearts flutter!

Redesigned End-of-Quiz & End-of-Assessment Options

We’ve made a few changes and updates to the options available at the end of Quizzes and Assessments, with a goal of giving learners the most comprehensive feedback possible. This includes:

  • NewEndOptionsShow All Questions & Answers on the Thank You page – When patrons finish a quiz or assessment, wouldn’t it be nice to give them immediate feedback on all of the questions they answered? With this update, now you can! Head to the Thank You screen to see the new option for “Display correct answers and patron answers”. When you use this feature, we’ll display all of the responses that the patron provided at the end of the quiz or assessment, alongside the correct answer for each question and any question-related feedback you may have provided in the quiz or tutorial. This provides the patron with the full picture of how they performed on their quiz or assessment, and provides easy take-away info for continuous learning improvement.
  • Not Requiring a Correct Answer to Provide Feedback – Previously, it was only possible to give a learner correct/incorrect answer feedback by requiring an answer to be correct in order to move on. We realized that this was a bit limiting, so we’ve changed things – from now on, these are treated as separate settings, so it’s still possible to require a correct answer to continue, but you can still provide feedback on correct and incorrect answers to the patron without this requirement.
  • Display Grade as a Percentage, OR as Number of Questions Right/Wrong – A small yet popular feature request – if you choose to display a grade to the patron when they finish a quiz or assessment, you can now choose what form that grade should take. You’ll see this option on the Thank You screen, listed as Grade Display Type – choose whether you’d like to display the grade as a percentage (ie “You scored 80%”) or as the number of questions correct (ie “You answered 7 out of 9 questions correctly”).

File Upload Updates

We have a couple of new features to share for the file upload option:

  • DragDropNew Drag and Drop File Uploads – In a big move for convenience, we’ve added a super simple drag and drop file uploader, which reduces the number of clicks required to upload files on both the public and administrative sides of the system! To upload a file (up to 20 MB), just grab the file and drag it into the uploader. Of course if you prefer, you can still click on the uploader to choose a file from your computer.
  • File Uploads Included in Email Confirmations – We now include a link to uploaded files in the email confirmation messages sent to patrons / anyone on the email notification list, so you’ll no longer have to head to the reports area to view files.

Updated Look for the Edit Question Screen

We’ve adjusted the look of the edit question screen – now, instead of relying on accordions for the 3 main editing sections (Display Properties, Answer Properties, and Advanced Customization), we’ve moved these sections into 3 separate tabs. Hopefully this will make the various editing options a bit more obvious.

Tweaks and Bug Fixes

  • Previously, the file upload option could sometimes fail on the public side of the system, especially in cases where you had more than one file upload on a page, or a file upload was a required question. We’ve squashed these critters so the file upload will work reliably for patrons.
  • We’ve updated the option to “Use Spam Control” so it’s in use by default. Our spam control uses a honeypot method – it includes a field that is intentionally hidden so that humans don’t enter data in it. If the field is empty, as it should be, then the user can continue to the next page. Spam robots, however, will still detect that field and try to enter data in it (or in other words, stick their hand in the honeypot). When this happens, this prevents the robot from proceeding.
  • There were a couple of bugs that cropped up with the new Rich Text question and answer entries, where including HTML in the question or answer text could cause issues with questions being saved to the question bank, and certain fields were not saving correctly if they included HTML. These issues have been resolved in this update.

New this week in LibGuides: New Blog Features and an OAI Overhaul

We’ve hit the ground running here at Springy HQ after a lively January 2017! Here’s a rundown of big new LibGuides features, now available in a browser near you.

OAI Rewrite

We initially implemented OAI-PMH harvesting for LibGuides in July 2015, and since then, you’ve given us some great feedback for changes and new features.  We’re pleased to announce that we’ve rewritten our implementation from the ground up and have incorporated your ideas!

Sensible URL. We changed the structure of the URLs used for harvesting to make them easier to remember. Your old URL will continue to work, so you have time to update your identifiers (see below) and your URLs. To grab your OAI-PMH URL, go into LibGuides > Tools > Data Exports > OAI-PMH.

Updated Identifiers. In order to support sets and additional content in the feed, the identifiers for guides were modified slightly. For example, oai:libguides.com:27066 becomes oai:libguides.com:guides/27066. If you rely on these identifiers for harvesting, clear out the LibGuides content before updating your OAI-PMH URL, otherwise you may end up with duplicate guide content.

Real-time updating. Newly-published and -edited metadata will be available in your OAI feed immediately.

New metadata! Now you can harvest more than just your guides:

  • Sets support. LibGuides now supports sets of objects. View the ListSets output with “?verb=ListSets” for a list of available sets. The verbs ListIdentifiers and ListRecords support limiting results to a particular set by passing that set‘s query parameter. If the set parameter is left off, ListIdentifiers and ListRecords will return objects in all sets. This is a change in behavior from previous the version, which returned only guide content. If you would like to maintain this behavior (only harvesting guides), be sure to use the ‘guides’ set parameter.
  • A-Z Assets: One of the new sets available in the feed is your collection of A-Z Databases. All A-Z assets are included as long as they are not hidden. Information exposed for A-Z is: title, description, the ‘more info’ field (if filled in), subjects, vendor, creation date, and URL (proxied if the ‘proxy’ checkbox is checked). To grab your databases metadata, use the ‘az’ set parameter: &set=az.
  • E-Reserves Courses (Reserves module required): The courses available are limited to courses with unassigned terms or with terms with start and end dates for the current period. Information exposed for E-Reserve Courses is: title, description, instructor, term, URL, and course number. To grab just the E-Reserve Courses set, use the ‘er_courses’ set parameter: &set=er_courses.
  • Guide Custom Metadata (LibGuides CMS only): If you would like to include additional information in your feed, any supported Dublin Core fields entered in the Guide Metadata tab will be exposed. Entries in the Guide Metadata pane are exposed as additional fields and do not replace content in the feed. Field names must be in the format of dc.{field name}. For example, if you wish to add a contributor, enter “dc.contributor” as the field, and “Jane Smith” as the value.

Want to harvest your OAI-PMH data for your catalog? No problem! Check out this video for using MarcEdit’s OAI Harvester to create MARC records and get that job done:

Also see this post for a great introduction to OAI and links to additional resources.

New Blog Features

Featured Post. Now you can “pin” a post to the top of your blog by designating it your Featured Post. Note that there can be only one!

Screenshot of a guide blog with a featured post

Related Blog Posts & E-Reserves Courses on Subject Pages. Give additional exposure to your system and guide blog posts by assigning Subjects to them. Blog posts with Subjects assigned will appear under the Blog Posts tab on their respective Subject pages:

Screenshot of a Subject Page with the Blog Posts tab selected

…And More!

We wouldn’t be Springy if there weren’t a couple more goodies in this basket! Also new as of this release is are:

More ALT Text Options for Images. All non-decorative images in your LibGuides System should have accompanying ALT text to assist those who use screen readers. You’ll see new Alternative Text fields in a few places throughout the system.

Screenshot of adding ALT text to an image (meta!)

Add ALT text when uploading an image to your Image Manager

screenshot of an existing image in image manager

Add ALT text to existing images in image manager

screenshot of the Add Thumbnail image pane

Add ALT text when adding a thumbnail image to Links, Documents/Files, or Database Assets

Small Fixes

Just a couple more things to include!

  • LTI. The “customer secret” is validated when a tool is launched.
  • Search & Replace. We swatted a bug preventing Guide Name & Description searches from working.

 

LibCal v2.4.6.1 – Equipment and Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

With this update, we’re bringing you several updates to the Equipment and Spaces module. We’ve made some adjustments to the public side of the system to give “Spaces” a look and feel that’s more similar to the previous Room Booking module, and we’ve made lots of adjustments on the admin side of the system to help separate these elements out a bit. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to book Spaces and Equipment in the same reservation! We’ve also added lots of nice to have elements to Equipment and Spaces, including iCal feeds, QR code support, and several key bug fixes. Read on for the deets!

New Public Interface for Spaces

After hearing lots of feedback from several early adopters of the Equipment and Spaces module, we heard your feedback that the first iteration of reserving Spaces wasn’t quite in keeping with what your users had become accustomed to in the old Room Booking module. To help with this, we’ve updated the look and feel for Spaces – check it out:

NewSpacesUI

The big emphasis for the new design is to reduce the number of clicks that a user has to execute to create a new booking – rather than starting out with a catalog-type interface (where the user has to start off by making a selection before seeing any availability), users will now jump straight to current availability. We also wanted to ensure that the new design is mobile-friendly right out of the box (check!). And of course, we also made sure that Spaces and Equipment can still be reserved as part of a single reservation – once a patron reserves a room, they’ll then see the option to Add Equipment to that reservation.

Good to Know: Now that Spaces and Equipment both have their own landing pages, if you’re linking to these from your LibCal homepage, you’ll need to make a quick adjustment to provide a link to the new Spaces page. Admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor > Add Item > Equipment Book Space to add this link to the homepage.

Updated Space and Equipment Admin Settings

Now that we’ve separated out elements of the public Equipment and Spaces UI, we also wanted to tease out some of the settings for this module on the Admin side of the system. We’ve separated “Equipment” and “Spaces” into their own upcoming bookings and booking explorer pages, so you can view each of these with ease. We’ve also adjusted some of the Admin settings for these modules to make things a bit easier to navigate – you’ll now find separate tabs within each Location to manage “Equipment” and “Spaces” within that location.

We’ve also added a frequently requested feature to the Equipment and Spaces explorers – you’ll now see a “View All” option on these pages, so you’ll no longer need to browse through separate categories in order to view past and upcoming reservations.

And last, we’ve added another highly requested feature to the admin settings – now, when you upload an image for a piece of equipment, those images will be adjusted to a standardized size, so your catalog pages will display in a more uniform manner. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference!

New Method for Selecting Return Time

In keeping with our drive to simplify the booking pages for patrons, we’ve also redesigned the method used for selecting the end-time for a reservation. This impacts both Equipment reservations as well as Space reservations – now, instead of displaying a list of possible return times, patrons will see a simple date and time picker. This makes it easy for patrons to select the date and time they’d like to return an item, and is especially helpful when the list of possible return times would have been exceptionally long (ex. for hourly loans that span multiple days, where the list of possible return times could grow into hundreds of possible choices).

iCal Feeds and QR Codes

QRCodesWe’ve added support for iCal feeds and QR codes for both Equipment and Spaces! The new iCal feeds will make it that much easier to integrate your upcoming Equipment and Space reservations with a third party calendar system (like Outlook or Google Calendar) – you can now subscribe to your Equipment or Space reservation feed from within any 3rd party calendar application, so information on upcoming reservations will flow to that calendar with ease.

Plus, we’ve also added QR code support for Equipment and Spaces. This is a fantastic way to share information on how to reserve a space or piece of equipment with patrons at point of need. Just post the QR code next to the available resource, and when patrons scan that code, they’ll go right to the public item reservation screen – no remembering or typing in URLs required! To start using QR codes and iCal feeds, head to Spaces/Equipment > Availability.

Bug Fixes

  • We’ve fixed an issue with the public and admin-side availability grid display – now these will always go straight to the current day’s availability when the page is initially loaded.
  • We’ve also fixed an issue with daily reservations where, in certain circumstances, a patron could select an end date that wasn’t allowed (usually because the library was closed on that day), which generated an error message. We’ve adjusted things so patrons can no longer select a return date that isn’t allowed.

ALA-Midwinter Guest Presentation Recordings Now Available

Guest Presentation Recordings Available on FacebookFeeling #alaleftbehind? In case you missed our awesome line-up of guest speakers at the ALA-Midwinter Conference in Atlanta, we have the recordings available on our Facebook page!

And while you’re there, like our Facebook page to have our posts display in your Facebook Feed. This way, you won’t miss out any product update announcements, video presentations, and more.

These 15-min guest presentations by Springshare users will get you thinking about all the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Perhaps you’ll want to setup a ‘Ghosts in the Library’ LibGuide like SUNY New Paltz or use LibGuides CMS as a course management system like the University of Florida. Or take a page from Goldey-Beacom College and Cleveland State University and consider using LibGuides and LibWizard as on-boarding tools for new hires.

So take a minute (or two or three) and learn from your fellow colleagues on the endless possibilities of Springy tools.

Forget about being #alaleftbehind – it’s time to get #springyinspired!

Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby

SUNY New Paltz: Ghosts in the Library

Using LibGuides v2 as a platform for content delivery, student voting and resource sharing, students in an introductory English Composition class play a learning game. In the game, teams of students must use library tools to research information about a ghost whose legacy has been underrepresented in the historic record.

cindi craig

Cindi Craig

University of Florida: Using LibGuides for Portfolio Management

When I taught a section of a small, in-person information skills course, I used LibGuides as a course management system. I also had each student create a personal LibGuide and update it with library resources on a chosen topic throughout the course.

Denise Gergetz

Denise Gergetz

Milwaukee School of Engineering: Managing & Scheduling Molecular Models

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The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Model Lending Library has a unique collection of physical models and materials designed to assist in molecular learning. The library makes these models available for short-term loan, using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module.

Karoline Manny

Karoline Manny

Midway University: Using LibGuides & LibAnswers for Communication and Collaboration

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The Center@Midway for Teaching Excellence and Innovation promotes ongoing academic program enhancement and faculty development. The Center quickly found itself in need of an efficient way to communicate with faculty and students regarding their immediate and future needs. We turned to LibGuides and LibAnswers.

Monica Rysavy

Monica Rysavy

Russell Michalak

Russell Michalak

Goldey-Beacom College: Onboarding with LibGuides

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These onboarding tutorials comprise the required onboarding components for student workers, paraprofessionals, and professional library staff on library services topics such as cataloging procedures, circulation procedures, serials procedures, WorkFlows (Library Management System) procedures, opening/closing duties, in addition to other library policies and procedures.

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett

Cleveland State University: Building Online Workshops with LibGuides & LibWizard

By embedding outside tools like Office Mix, Google Forms, and Adobe Captivate into a LibGuide, I created gradable tests and quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials, all of which are accompanied by digital badges. I  used LibWizard and a tool called TubeChop to add assessment to YouTube videos and make them more engaging.

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Troy University: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Programming Grants

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Use LibGuides to promote your library programming grants! Troy University Libraries used LibGuides to promote their 2016 Banned Books Week grant activities and we have also created a LibGuide to promote our NEA Big Read events.