LibGuides Accessibility Updates, AZ Page Stats, HTTPS Certificates and more!

Accessibility fixes

This week at Springy HQ we are pleased to bring you the following accessibility fixes. Our first pass of fixes in the last few months focused on “errors” on all public pages; this pass hits the E-Reserves module as well as many things classified as “alerts”—things that could technically adhere to guidelines but needed examining. See something else we need to consider? Let us know! Click the Support tab on any admin-side LibGuides page to send us a ticket.
Please include:
  • Name of the accessibility tool you’re using
  • Description of the issue, including any code snippets that trigger the alert
  • Screenshot of the accessibility tool’s overlay highlighting the issue, if possible
  • URL of the page (included automatically if you use the Support form)
To ensure that content that you add keeps your guides accessible, please see our help guide on LibGuides and Accessibility accessible as well as the upcoming training session on the topic.
E-Reserves fixes
  • We rebuilt the E-Reserves request form using plain HTML & Bootstrap select menus, eliminating several issues with keyboard and screenreader navigation.
  • We eliminated a few errors and alerts on the main E-Reserves listing page and on course pages.
  • We changed the H4 element used to mark up the number of courses shown to an H2 to maintain proper page outline.
Public Pages fixes
  • We’ve replaced the select menus on the Subject and Profiles by Subject pages with simpler HTML that eliminates several alerts and errors.
  • We changed an H4 tag on the Subjects page to H2 in order to maintain proper outline order.
  • We added a missing ARIA label on the system homepage and changed the Sort control to a <div> rather than a <form> tag.
  • We removed a hidden field that was triggering a “redundant ALT text” alert.
  • We wrapped the profile image and name together in a single link tag to eliminate the “redundant link” alerts.
Gallery boxes
  • We incorporated an updated version of the component used in Gallery boxes as it contained several accessibility updates.
  • We changed the slide title field to H3 since the box title is H2, to maintain proper outline order.
A few changes might require the updating of your system’s CSS and custom templates, but only if you make extensive use of CSS and custom templates. Most folks won’t have to worry about these! Here are the gritty details, should you need them:

CSS Changes:

System & Group Home Pages
WAS:
The element around the “Display” area, which allows you to control the order in which guide lists are displayed should not have been a <form> element.
NOW:
It is now a <div> element, so any customizations targeting the form element should be updated to use <div> instead.
Gallery Boxes
WAS:
Slide titles were <h4> elements.
NOW:
This is now an <h3>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves – er.php
WAS:
“Search for Courses” label next to the search box was a <span> element.
NOW:
This is now correctly in a <label>. Heading above the list of courses, subjects, etc., was an <h4> element. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves Request Form – er_request.php
WAS:
We had been using a component for some of the select options on the page that we determined was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “select2”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “select2” are removed. These include: select2-drop, select2-display-none, select2-with-searchbox, select2-drop-active, select2-offscreen, select2-input, etc.
Password-Protected Pages – Groups, Guides, Courses
WAS:
The message prompting users to enter the password (above the text box) was not in a <label>.
NOW:
That text correctly has a <label>, as it is associated with the password input below. Any CSS changes should target the <label> element.
Profile Landing Page – prf.php
WAS:
“By Subject” dropdown was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.
Profile names are not linked, so style changes could be made using:
div.s-lib-profile-nameProfile names are now linked to their profile (in addition to the picture being linked), so any style changes to the profile name must be adjusted to include the anchor tag:
div.s-lib-profile-name a
Subjects Pages: sb.php and individual subject pages
WAS:
Subject dropdown selection was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.  Headings above the list of guides, databases, etc., (“Showing x guides”, etc.) were <h4> elements. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.

Template Changes:

Both the Profile and Subject pages now have ARIA labels for the <section> tags. If you are using the default templates, you do not need to make any changes to implement this update. Default templates automatically update.

If you have customized these templates, however, you will need to update your template to include the accessibility update, as outlined below.

Right now, each of these is coded as simply <section>. Now they are coded as follows. You can update customized templates to reflect these changes at any time.

Profiles Templates:

Main Landing Page – prf.php:

<section aria-label=”List of Profiles”>

Individual Profile Page – prf.php?account_id=x
<section aria-label=”Profile Content”>

Subjects Templates:

Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Subject Search Bar”>Content area below Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Content by Subject”>

Manage Your Domains!

New in LibApps is the ability to view and manage your systems’ domains, including the ability to add and change custom domains and upload a custom HTTPS certificate for LibGuides. Need a certificate installed for your LibCal or LibAnswers system? No sweat! Please email us at support@springshare.com or open a ticket by clicking the Support tab from the admin side of your product. We’ll get you set up right away, and the ability to manage these certificates on your own will be coming soon.
So what can you do on the new Manage Domains page? Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Domains to:
  • View the domains for all your Springy apps
  • Add or change a Custom Domain Mapping for your LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibGuides site(s)
  • Create a Certificate Signing Request in order to request a custom HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
  • Manage the current HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
Also see our help guide on the topic.

Databases Page Stats

We’re pleased to add a long-awaited addition to your statistics interface: A-Z Databases Page hits. These stats show how many hits are made daily or monthly to your AZ list. From August 16, they also show the referring URLs, when that data exists.
Screenshot: the A to Z databases page stats include a graph and data table of hits to az.php

Other Fixes and Features

This release also included:
  • LibAuth:
    • The ability to specify a custom port for SIP2 and LDAP LibAuth configurations.
    • Automatic updating of LibAuth certification fingerprints and IdP configurations.
    • Now when you view an E-Reserves Course’s settings, you’ll see the name of the default LibAuth configuration, if one exists.
  • Resumption of the ability for customers to enter translation files for us. Interested? Please get in touch!
  • Ability to limit AZ Holdings Analysis to library type and location.

LibAnswers Update Live!

Happy August everyone! We rolled out a couple of small LibAnswers features and a handful of bug fixes today – check it out…

Features:

  • Knowledge Base Explorer: The Queues filter now has a “Select All” option…especially helpful for folks who have a lot of Queues!
  • Answer Page > Tags: For systems where tags are not locked down, when typing in a tag, the list of matching tags is now listed by popularity.

Fixes:

  • Answer Page > Rich Text Editor: Restoring a draft while there is text in the Rich Text Editor now correctly adds the draft to the existing text instead of, well, not adding it at all (it was left as a draft), which isn’t as helpful.
  • System Status Management (SSM) Fixes:
    • You can now select a keyword when opting to have a widget display FAQs by Keyword, since that’s the whole point of the option.
    • If you add a heading to your product widget, that field now displays when using the widget.
    • Have products in folders? Clicking them now appropriately brings user to the page for the product vs. just closing the folder, which isn’t as effective, from a user perspective.
    • Users no longer get stuck seeing the “Loading…” message when submitting questions, problems, or praise in product widgets. They appropriately see the confirmation message instead.
  • When downloading files in Firefox, the file is now helpfully associated with the appropriate program by default if you choose to open it, instead of needing to download it first, then open it.

LibCal Equipment Booking Update Coming Your Way

On the heels of last month’s major LibCal Spaces update, this month we’re bringing the same types of accessibility and mobile-friendly updates to the Equipment Booking module! 🙂  This required some changes to the Equipment Booking grid and the booking details / confirmation pages, so if you’ve customized those, you’ll want to check your system post-update on August 16, 2017 (U.S. time) to make sure everything looks as it should. Remember, we’re here to help if you have any questions.

Here’s what’s new:

  1. The screens for Equipment Booking (the availability grid and the checkout process) are now fully accessible and mobile-optimized. The previous version was not fully up to par in this regard. We apologize for this omission, but we worked hard to address this problem quickly.
  2. Major API improvement: check whether or not the booking will go through, before actually making the booking! (This is applicable to the Spaces and Equipment APIs.)
  3. Admins can set up LibAuth rules on a Category-level and individual Item-level for Equipment pieces.
  4. Category-level mediators and visibility settings now available in Equipment Booking. Previously, the mediation and visibility was setup at the Location level only. This update introduces the same settings on the category level, for additional flexibility in organizing your Equipment Booking rules.
  5. Availability grid colors (for available slots, booked/unavailable slots, and “your selection” slots) are now customizable via color picker. The customized colors appear on both the public and admin sides of the system. Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings to find these options.

Get Trained / Take a Tour
Note: All times listed are U.S. EDT.

Attend an Equipment Booking training webinar!

Next Sessions: Wednesday, August 16, 2017:

Don’t have Equipment Booking yet? Take a tour!

We’ve also squashed several bugs and shined up some screens:

  • When exporting lists of events via CSV, HTML is now stripped from the event description text.
  • Closing hours no longer overlap with opening hours, so there’ll be no more entering the 4th dimension of the space-time continuum!
  • The “system time” format now displays consistently in all modules (spaces, equipment booking, events, hours).
  • The “Add Item” button no longer shows when Equipment Booking is disabled.
  • Event organizer profiles now show on event pages when LibAuth is enabled.
  • My Scheduler widgets now display properly within the LibApps LTI tool.
  • You can now use calendar widgets from different locations on the same webpage.
  • Fixed an issue where recurring bookings sometimes couldn’t be created before existing bookings.
  • Fixed a display problem with the “no timeslots are available” message in widgets.

In addition to all of these changes and fixes, we’ve made further iterative improvements to the speed of the system, so the screens are now even zippier and more responsive. After August 16th, LibCal will be an even better calendaring and booking platform for libraries, but our work is not done. Your amazing feedback, suggestions, and ideas are central to our success, so please keep them coming! In the upcoming months we’ll release more updates based on customer feedback, so you can expect more good things to come LibCal’s way.

Thanks to everyone who contributed the ideas that went into this release! 🙂

-The Springshare Crew

The Importance of Having a Social Media Presence

Whether you’re on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter – social media is a powerful tool for relationship building and creating brand loyalty.

Increase Brand Recognition

Libraries are in a prime position to use social media to engage with customers, develop positive and sustaining relationships, and promote advocacy. Every opportunity you have to share and syndicate your content increases your visibility. Each social media channel is a way to broadcast your brand’s voice. Think about it this way. Let’s say you have a Twitter exchange with patron Sally. And Sally is so happy that you were able to solve her problem and answer her questions. All of Sally’s followers can see her exchange with your Library’s Twitter account – thus increasing your visibility to these potential new followers. Therefore, you’ve increased your potential inbound traffic to include users who *aren’t* your followers.

Richer Patron Experiences

Pie chart on SproutSocial Customer Care

SproutSocial Study on Customer Care

Several social media tools have evolved into more than just tools for posting your updates but now are important channels for customers to solicit and receive customer service. This concept is often referred to as ‘social care’ and it’s becoming the norm more and more. In fact, a SproutSocial 2016 Q2 study found that “90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand. And that social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service.”

What does this mean for Libraries? Well, if your catalog suddenly goes down – can patrons find outage related information on your Twitter feed? Can your Facebook followers contact you if they’re having trouble logging into their Library account?

The Power of ‘Listening’

A common misuse of social media is to use it to constantly post updates. Broadcasting events, sharing library resources, etc. And while those are very important, and valid, uses of social media – don’t forget that social media is a two-way communication platform. And with two-way communication, social listening is key. Social listening is more than just replying to your @mentions, it means paying attention to conversations around specific phrases or keywords and then leveraging those opportunities to create user-targeted content.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a keyword watch on the incoming class’ hashtag “#SpringyUnivClass2022” and you notice conversations taking place on that keyword channel about a lack of snack places on campus. And wouldn’t you know it, the library just invested in a brand new coffee and snack cart at the library. This is an opportunity to market your new cafe and reach more followers – just because you were listening.

For more information on social listening, check-out this SproutSocial article on The Importance of Social Listening.

How Can You Be Where ‘They’ Are?

Social media requires a plan, manpower, and a strategy. And Libraries are increasingly short-staffed and often pulled in multiple directions at once.

We understand the importance of social media and to that end Springshare has added several new features to Springy Tools to help you have a strong social media presence – even if you’re a library of just one staffer.

LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool

In case you missed it, we rolled out Social Media Management inside of the LibAnswers platform. Connect your library’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages and manage all three of them from one interface. Here’s what else you can do:

  • Engage in Social Listening – Setup Twitter Hashtags to watch and keep your finger on the conversation pulse occurring in your community.
  • Schedule Posts – One of the most important aspects of social media is consistent posting. To that end, schedule Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts into the future so your social feed is always buzzing.
  • Use Facebook Messenger Live – Integrate your Facebook page and you’ll be able to answer Facebook Messenger live chats right from the LibChat operator console. This is a great way to provide social customer service natively inside Facebook.
  • One View for All Stats – Never shortchange your reference stats by being able to view all your social activity from one stats interface.

Advertise Your New LibGuides and LibCal Events

We’ve integrated social posting right into LibGuides and LibCal so that way, you can easily share and post out your new events, LibGuides, etc…and keep your followers abreast of the library’s activities.

  • Advertise Your Published LibGuides – Navigate to your LibGuide and select the ‘Change Status & Share’ Button. From here, you can publish your LibGuide, snag a guide screenshot, and advertise your LibGuide on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget, your guide thumbnail is automatically included in your social posts – helping them be more visually engaging to users.
  • Announce Your Latest Blog Post – If you’re using the LibGuides Blogging functionality, for every new blog post you can seamlessly share it on social media.
  • Market Your Upcoming LibCal Events – When creating a new LibCal Calendar event, you can publish the event and advertise it on social media with one simple click. Plus, if you’ve uploaded a ‘featured image’, it will automagically display in your post to create a more visually engaging post.
Screenshot of LibGuides social media engagement screen

Advertising a Published LibGuide on Social Media

Screenshot of LibAnswers Systems and Services management tool twitter integration

LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool

Announce Library Systems Outages & Issues

Hey, it happens to everyone. Suddenly the library website goes down or your experiencing spotty outages with your catalog.

How can you let your patrons know that you’re aware of the issue and that you’re on top of it?

If you’re using the LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool, you can make use of the Twitter integration to announce issues and outages with your library systems.

Simply navigate to the Status Management button on your LibAnswers Orange Command Bar > select the tool > and ‘Add Post’.

Sign-Up For Training

If you’re using Springy Tools and you want to be more active in social media, then you’re in luck! We have a dedicated training session just for you!

We promise you, social media has the potential to be a treasure trove of opportunity for your Library’s brand. By learning to use it more, you’ll better understand your customer’s and their needs as well as ways to engage with them. They’ll be #converted before they know it.

LibCal Space Bookings Update – All About Accessibility and Mobile Access

We love collaborating closely with our clients and taking their feedback & ideas to make our tools better for the entire community. Today’s LibCal code update is the result of one such collaboration. Namely, the LibCal implementation team at the University of Arizona was getting ready to roll out the Spaces booking system using LibCal when they noticed several accessibility and usability issues with the default spaces booking screens on mobile devices.

 

So, we worked with them on fixing many Spaces booking mobile-view issues and implementing accessibility improvements as well. Given the importance of accessibility for our clients, and the fact that an increasing number of patrons use mobile devices for bookings,  we wanted to release these improvements to production servers asap. Basically, the accessibility and mobile improvements trump everything else! Today (Monday) the changes were made live on US servers, and tomorrow (Tuesday) the changes will be live on EU and Canadian servers, too.

 

What Has Changed?

The booking process for Spaces (not the old Room Bookings, but the new Spaces Bookings) is very slightly different but much improved! We did a thorough testing run to ensure that nothing broke with existing customizations. The results were encouraging but we urge all admins to check their Spaces customizations and go through a sample booking of a space, to ensure everything looks good in your system. If you need assistance with any customization tweaks, please reach out to support and we’ll take care of it asap.

It’s important to know that these changes only affect the Spaces booking. The Equipment booking is next in line for accessibility and mobile-view improvements, and we plan to release Equipment booking improvements in a few weeks (around Aug 15th). Here are the changes:

  1. The Spaces booking grid now looks good on mobile devices, with larger/more tap-able grid which can now be used to book multiple spaces. Plus, it’s accessible, too!
  2. The Dates-related buttons in the top right corner of the booking grid are now larger, for easier emphasis, and accessible / they “glow” nicely into new line on small mobile screens.
  3. The legend for color coding of the grid now looks like real legend, rather than looking like small button labels which can be confusing to users.
  4. The Spaces booking calendar now defaults to the current hour of the day as much as possible given the screen size issues. This is great for mobile screens because it minimizes the amount of scrolling required.
  5. The Info button for more information about a space is now accessible and mobile-friendly, as is the resulting modal window showing more info about a given space.
  6. The Booking Details section is now presented in a grid for better mobile layout and accessibility.
  7. Separate Terms & Conditions sections are now condensed into one shaded area so that it looks better on mobile screens.
  8. The Thank You screen is more verbose with a bit more detail on what happens next (this text is customizable as well, via language tokens).
  9. The customizable Date formats now apply consistently across the Spaces bookings screens.
  10. “Add Equipment” button no longer appears unless there is equipment a the location the user is at (duh, right? We agree, and sorry about this bug).
  11. “Submit Times” button wording is now fully customizable using the language tokens.

 

What Is New? 

Besides these mobile and accessibility changes to the existing screens, we also used this code update opportunity to introduce bunch of important new features. We know you are going to love these, and they will make LibCal even more fully featured spaces booking platform. This is the new stuff/new functionality we rolled out:

  1. LibAuth authentication booking restrictions now work (optionally, of course) on a Category level or even on individual Item level too. Imagine the possibilities – set the rules as to who can reserve a given space on an item level – this specific conference room can only be booked by Staff, or this Category of auditorium spaces can only be booked by Faculty… this new feature truly opens exciting possibilities for the utility and usefulness of LibCal at your institution.
  2. Capacity display is now optional in the booking grid/table. So many of you asked to hide this using CSS tricks. Now you can do it “the right way”  – head to admin>equipment & spaces>settings>public spaces settings>capacity information, and you can choose to hide the capacity label.
  3. Spaces can now be set to show either a single day’s worth of availability, or the multi-day slider we use right now. Change under admin>E&S>settings. This was another frequent feature request.

 

That’s it for this release! We know, it’s a lot. And all good stuff, too. Over the next 2 weeks we will work on similar changes (accessibility improvements and mobile-friendly view) for the Equipment Bookings so stay tuned… and please do not hesitate to reach out about any of the changes we have introduced today. We stand ready to help with any customization issue that may pop up.

Big thanks to the library team at the University of Arizona for their help in getting these improvements out quickly, for the benefit of the entire 1,000+ strong LibCal community.

LibGuides A-Z Community & Analysis and More!

We’re excited to bring you some great new LibGuides features this month, including the A-Z Databases Community, local database analysis, and blog widgets!

If you subscribe to LibGuides CMS, you’ll see two new tabs on your A-Z Databases List page: Analyze Holdings and A-Z Community. The first lets you delve into some subject analysis for your databases; the second is a cache of databases held across the LibGuides Community. Check the A-Z Community tab for descriptions and reviews contributed by your fellow LibGuides librarians, and see statistics for each database: How many institutions have it? How many list it as a Best Bet? How many are holding a trial?

Subject Analysis

Head over to the Analyze Holdings tab to see your databases by subject easily, along with some statistics on how many are Best Bets, Trials, or Popular.
A summary of all A to Z databases in our sample system. The summary shows the total number of databases, subjects, and vendors and shows how many databases are designated as trials, new, or popular
On the right side of the screen, you can see how your Databases are spread across the Trial, New, & Popular designations:
A to Z databases list with a filter for trial, new, and popular, and with a search box for quickly finding assets
You can also see the distribution of your databases by subject category:
A list of subjects assigned to A to Z assets in our sample system and the number of database assets assigned to each.
Click a subject name to see databases assigned to that subject:
Screenshot showing the 13 databases that are assigned the subject Genealogy
Want to see an analysis of the Community databases in a subject? Choose which community-supplied subject terms to use and click Go to see which Community databases have been assigned those terms. Here is a sample analysis of Biology and related subject names:
A to Z Subject analysis shows you which subject names have been assigned to which databases, and how many institutions label each database as Trial, New, and Popular
The ability to filter these results by library type and location is coming soon.

The A-Z Community

We’re starting out with the 500 or so databases that appear most frequently across LibGuides. We initially matched on Name, Vendor, and URL, so databases with individualized URLs may not have matched. That’s ok, you can still map your holdings to the community!
You can view and filter the list by name, vendor, or words in the description. You can also sort by how many institutions hold this database and whether your institution owns it.
The A to Z Community screen lists database names, vendors, and descriptions.
Adding databases into your LibGuides system from the AZ Community is a snap. Just click the Add to My System button in order to create a new asset in your system containing the name, vendor, and description of the Community-supplied asset.
A to Z Community screen for the J stor database, which includes the "Add database to my system" button, space for community-supplied description and reviews, and a summary of how this database is designated as trial, best bet, new, and popular across LibGuides systems

Is your database not connected to the community?

Want to map your databases to the existing community list? Please do! To link one of your local databases to the AZ Community, go to the database’s Edit screen and click the Community button next to the Database Name. You can copy the community-supplied name, vendor name, and description into your local instance if you like, or you can just make the association. Ding! Now that database is held by one more library. 🙂
Click the community button to search for and link a local database name in the A to Z Community.

Blog Widgets

Create a widget for any blog in your system, be it your system blog or a guide blog page. Go to Tools > Widgets > Blogs to generate the code you need to share links to or entire blog posts in your guides or on another website:
Screenshot of the blog widgets tab including a preview of a blog widget
Use the options on the screen to show just the post titles or the entire post, including teaser and images. You can also filter by subject or post author. Like all LibGuides widgets, you can generate a list via JavaScript code or a URL, or you can create a prettier list in an iFrame.

Other fixes and features

As with all code releases, we have include a few other small things:
  • We squashed a bug related to logging into our support site.
  • We restored editing to group Language Options.
  • We changed the buttons visible when editing an existing blog post to “Save” and “Unpublish and Save Draft.”
  • We squashed a bug that meant that guide titles from internal groups displayed on profile pages, although guides themselves were not accessible.

LibCal 2.9 is live!

Some big improvements to your spaces are here in this update!

Category-level Booking Forms

One of the most common requests we’ve gotten to improve spaces has been to allow individual categories to use their own booking forms. We’re happy to say this is now an option, and even individual equipment items can use their own booking forms!

You can set these in admin>equipment & spaces>edit location>edit category.

Booking Form Improvements

We’ve made some enhancements to make equipment and space booking forms more flexible too! Your booking forms now have a question bank, so you can store and easily reuse questions between forms. Change a question’s priority to change its position in your booking forms, even if the form’s in use!

libcal question bank Question bank

Even better, if you’re using different booking forms for your categories, LibCal will automatically combine the forms and only present the unique questions to your patrons, so don’t worry- they’ll only need to fill out name and email once!

Calendar Widget Improvements

Full calendar widgets and upcoming events widgets can now use more than one calendar for events!

multiple calendars in widgets

 

Additional Fixes and Features

  • You can now move categories between locations, and spaces between categories.
  • Booking forms can now hold more than 10 questions.
  • Improved the mobile layout for equipment & space booking
  • Improved friendly URL redirecting post-migration to spaces

LibAnswers 2.15 Update – Redesigned Chat Widgets!

You read that right, the latest LibAnswers release includes redesigned chat widgets for your patrons, a few awesome operator side updates, and a brand new widget type, to boot! You do not need to make any changes to your existing LibAnswers widgets to take advantage of the redesign. All of your widgets have automatically been updated / settings transferred, so they now display the new layout. There are two reasons you might want to edit your widgets:

  1. Take advantage of the new functionality (outlined further below), like asking for contact info or sending a LibCal My Scheduler link.
  2. If you had added Custom CSS to a widget, you’ll need to edit that widget and redo the CSS. All class names changed in the new widgets, so CSS changes need to be redone. Until you do this, your widgets should just have the default look.
    How do you know? Edit a widget in LibAnswers > LibChat > LibChat Widgets and check out the Custom CSS box. If there’s something there, you’ll want to check out the new version and redo customizations.

And with that out of the way, let’s get into more details! We’ll start with operator side changes, so you can see them in action in the widgets later. 🙂

Operator Updates / Additional Widget Options:

When you log into your LibAnswers system, you’ll see the LibChat / Stand-by Alerts area at the top looks a bit different. We redesigned this area to make it a little clearer what was happening there. LibChat is Online / Offline: see whether or not anyone in your system is online with LibChat. LibChat: You are Online / Offline: for your account, specifically; sign in or go to the LibChat dashboard, depending on your status. Stand-by Alerts toggles stand-by alert notifications on / off.

LibAnswers Dashboard - Statuses

Did you notice the profile picture there? Set a profile pic for yourself or for a LibChat Department for use with the new widgets! Click your email address in the upper right hand corner to choose your LibApps profile pic or a generic profile pic. Edit a Department (Admin > LibChat Set-up) to set a profile pic for a department. Department profile pics are used with proactive chat, in the initial proactive window. Individual profile pics are used within the chat itself.

Have you ever been logged in at one location, then moved locations, realized you forgot to log out of LibChat, and needed to log in again? Well, now you can easily log yourself out of other locations! If you’re logged in at one location and then log in again at a new location, the error page offers an option to log other locations out of LibChat.

New chat options / widget:

  • Contact Info: Make patron follow up easy by requesting contact info (email / SMS number) right on the widget login screen or anytime during the chat.
    • On the Create / Edit Widget page, look for the “Prompt for contact info” option in the “Before the Chat” section.
    • Once selected, configure additional options: Contact Request Message (message sent during a chat) and Require contact info at start (of chat).
    • LibChat: Operator - NewOptionsWhile chatting with a patron, you can use the i icon at the top of the chat box to see if they submitted their contact info. If they didn’t, use the address card icon at the top of the chat box to request it! If you don’t prompt for name, contact, etc., before a chat begins, it will also request those fields, including custom questions.
  • Follow Up Message: New setting for the message sent if patron is inadvertently disconnected (internet connection trouble, etc.) or if they get the delayed claim message, allowing them to submit a ticket for follow up.
  • Ratings & Comments Additions: Users can now check a box to email themselves a transcript or request to be contacted for follow up right in the Ratings & Comments area! If they have not already entered contact info (email / SMS), they’ll be prompted to do so. Modify the labels on these checkboxes by clicking on that area in the widget builder preview.
  • LibCal My Scheduler: Send your patrons a link to your My Scheduler page right in your chat!
    • Update your LibAnswers profile (click your email address in the top right corner) to define your personal & system level My Scheduler URLs.
    • Also (optionally) included as a button in the proactive chat / offline chat messages. Use the widget settings to set a group / personal My Scheduler as the button link.
  • LibChat Floating ButtonsFloating Widget: A new widget type that puts a chat icon at the bottom-right of your webpage. When clicked, the widget opens to full screen height, maximizing available chat space. This widget can be minimized / maximized without losing the chat, which is especially great for mobile devices, if the patron wants to see the page behind the chat again. Like other chats, it can also be popped out into its own window, so the patron can take the chat with them.

Widget Updates

Here we are – the patron-side updates! The entire look of the widgets has changed, from top to bottom.
LibChat Floating Widget

  • Left/right side messaging, so it’s easier to follow the conversation with a familiar text-message-like layout.
  • As mentioned, profile image inclusion, to create a stronger connection with your patrons.
  • Buttons for overall widget actions, like sound, are at the top and message related actions, like file attachments, are at the bottom.
  • Feedback is integrated into the end of the chat vs. taking over the window. It also includes the option to email a transcript, so patrons don’t have to click the icon separately at the end of a chat.
  • Patrons can elect to be contacted for follow up, if that’s been enabled for the widget. Their message is submitted as a ticket in LibAnswers, which provides notifications to you however you have that set up (email, LibChat, etc.).
  • As mentioned above, if a patron happens to get disconnected, they’re able to enter their contact info and submit a ticket to the system for follow up.
  • Once a chat has ended, the x (end chat) icon changes to a reload icon, allowing the patron to start a new chat, if they wish.

We also included a helpful little fix in the mix:

  • LibChat statistics export now correctly shows the total number of chats (vs. 0). You know you chatted, LibAnswers knows you chatted, the stats show you chatted…and now the total number in the export has fallen in line to show you just how much.

We hope you enjoy these LibChat updates as much as we do! <3 🙂

ALA 2017 Guest Presentations Available!

Facebook Guest PresentationsIn case you missed our awesome line-up of guest speakers at the 2017 ALA Conference in Chicago, we have the recordings and presenter materials available on our Buzz site.

All videos are hosted on our Facebook Page. 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 real-life Springshare users will get you thinking about all the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Guest Presentations:

2017 SpringyCamp Summer Series: Registration Now Open!

Day One of our 3-Day SpringyCamp Summer Series is now open for registration!

CLICK AND REGISTER

What’s SpringyCamp?

SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference where real-life Springshare users share how they’re using Springy Tools inside their library. Get inspired, receive practical tips and applications…all from the comfort of your computer. Plus the virtual s’mores are completely calorie-free. 😛

Program Details:

Date: July 11: 1pm – 3pm.
All times listed in U.S. Eastern Time

Cost: 100% Completely Free! Exclusive event for Springshare Customers only.

Audience: All user-levels and library-types are welcome to join us!

SpringyCamp works best if we all work together: We do have a limited number of seats, so be kind and computer-pool with your colleagues. If several folks at your library want to attend and you’re going to participate via a single computer, just register once. This way even more folks can attend, making SpringyCamp a truly global event! 🙂

Presenter Lineup!

Alice KalinowskiLibGuides Redesign Project Enhanced Liaison Librarian Outreach Efforts
Alice Kalinowski, Librarian for Business, University of Pittsburgh
Description:
This session will explore some unintended benefits of a comprehensive LibGuide re-design project, particularly for new liaisons or those wishing to reevaluate their outreach activities. The benefits include developing relationships with instructors, learning advanced subject-specific database features, taking advantage of new LibApps products and tools, and thinking more strategically about outreach and marketing to various groups.

 

Claire MillerShifting to a Jumpstart Model Improves Student Outcomes
Claire Miller, Librarian, South Florida State College
Description:
Shifting from a list of databases and print books to a research “jumpstart” model improves reference efficiency, enhances student research skills, and allows librarians to model what academic resources look like. Shifting our Literature LibGuide to the “jumpstart” model tripled our usage and has improved the reference transaction, student outcomes, and faculty buy-in. This presentation examines how the change in our LibGuides helps meet our students research needs without spoon-feeding them content, and the nuts and bolts of designing your own “jumpstarts”.

 

Brittany O'NeillReaching Students In-Person and Beyond
Brittany O’Neill, Assistant Professor and Librarian at Hodges University, Naples, Florida
Description:
This presentation will detail how I have integrated myself into the curriculum through faculty partnerships. Harnessing the power of several LibApps tools, I have been able to build successful relationships with on- and off-campus students and gather great feedback for future semesters. This strategy uses a combination of surveys in LibWizard, helpful guides in LibGuides, individual research consultations using LibCal, and custom chat widgets from LibAnswers to create a continuous and expanding library presence in liberal studies courses. This presentation will cover both the strategies for collaborating with faculty on this integration and examples of how I’ve used these tools for instruction, outreach, and assessment.

 

Amanda PeachCelebrating Scholarship with LibGuides
Amanda Peach, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Berea College, Kentucky
Description:
Recently Hutchins Library undertook two projects within LibGuides which celebrate the scholarship of our students and faculty. These guides serve as more than virtual placeholders for the local physical collections they represent, though – they add value to these collections. The first project was the creation of our BC Scholarship collection, which are individual profiles of campus staff and faculty members that offer insight into their expertise as well as access to their body of scholarly or creative works. The second project was the digitization of a large collection of zines donated by an alum several years ago. This collection became the inspiration for a collaboration between the library and our Graphic Design faculty members, who soon began to include a zine component in their course curriculum, requiring students to create their own original zines which were later gifted to the library and added to the online zine repository. Attendees will learn from our experience as we share insight gleaned from our process as well as tricks and tips for using the unique features in LibGuides CMS that made these projects so easy to pull off.