Spooky LibGuides CMS Halloween Customization!

Halloween is the maker holiday event of the year. You’re carving pumpkins and hanging fake cobwebs. Baking spider-themed cupcakes and putting the finishing touches on this year’s costume. While you’re in the decorating spirit, take a minute and give your LibGuides system a spooky makeover, too!

Scott Salzman, at the Furman University Library, had this exact idea and easily added some fun Halloween customizations to their LibGuides CMS system.

This is what Scott had to say, “Through the power of LibGuides CMS, we were able to add our Halloween theme to all guides across our site just by adding two lines to our Custom JS/CSS Code section. One line each for a stylesheet and a script.”

With LibGuides CMS and the power of Groups, you can maintain your site customizations easily. Add customizations site-wide, at the group-level, or at the individual guide-level.

Get in the ghoulish spirit and decorate your LibGuides system today. And as the Furman Library put it, “Don’t Touch the Spider”!

Furman Library's LibGuides CMS  Halloween Decorations

Furman Library’s LibGuides CMS Halloween Decorations

Recent LibGuides 2 Updates

We were busy beavers at Springy HQ during the late summer and early fall!  Here are a few highlights from the features that have been added recently to LibGuides 2.  For a full list, log into your site and check out the Known Issues / Latest Code Release guide in the Help area.

New Widgets

LibGuides Subjects Widget

LibGuides Subjects Widget

  • Search boxes – create a box to search your LibGuides system or to search your A-Z list.
  • Users – create a list of accounts in your system. Each link goes to a profile page.
  • Tags – create a list or cloud of the tags in your system.
  • Groups (CMS only) – create a list of your groups. Fully Restricted groups are not included.

E-Reserves!

  • As in version 1, you can create courses and items in support of classwork at your institution.
  • New! Reuse items from course to course.
  • Go to Content > E-Reserves to get started, or contact Sales@springshare.com to inquire about adding this module.

Serials Solutions (by ProQuest) Database Import - Import and update your database assets automatically!

  1. Go to Admin > System Settings > Proxy & Library Systems and enter your Serials Solutions client ID.
  2. Go to Content > Assets > A-Z List > Import Databases to import new or update existing assets.
  3. The import is not a destructive process, but updating does overwrite the database titles, URLs, and descriptions in LibGuides. The information in your Serials Solutions Client Center should be considered the record-of-record.

Public Pages Templates – Want to experiment with the layout of your non-guide pages? With templates, you can create new layouts for your A-Z list, Subject pages, Profile pages, the Search results page, or your Homepage.  Move boxes around or add custom boxes as you see fit.

LibSurveys content type – Bring Surveys and Forms from LibSurveys into your LibGuides CMS system.

XML export – go to Tools > Data Export to retrieve an XML export of your LibGuides system.

You asked – we listened! A partial list of features requested by YOU and implemented over the last few weeks:

  • Gallery box images rotate automatically when viewing a guide (not when editing).
  • You can proxy your Google Scholar links–or not!
  • Rich Text items found in Search & Replace link to the guide in which they appear (coming soon: edit assets right from S&R!) 
  • Choose how you display database descriptions: below item, on hover, or not at all.

 

Sign up for a LibCal v2 Beta Site!

We’re happy to announce that LibCal site admins can now request a LibCal v2 beta site via your Libcal v1 Admin dashboard!

LCBetaSignUp

Inspired by the same ideas that made LibGuides and LibAnswers v2 possible, we’ve redesigned LibCal from the ground up. We’ll give you the quick breakdown of all the new features below, but trust us – the new system really has to be seen to be believed!

A few quick notes about the beta site request process:

  • Your beta site will be a “blank slate” (meaning no content in it) so you can get familiar with the system and start planning your content transition.
  • Your previous site customizations will not translate to the new site framework. You’ll need to start fresh (and thanks to the new template and customization options, this will be a whole lot easier!)
  • Once you click Submit Beta Request, we’ll do our best to install your beta site within 30 days of the original request.

But enough with the small talk – on to the v2 features!

Room Booking Made Easy

  • Authentication Support – New for v2, we’re excited to introduce user authentication support for room booking sign-ups. Powered by LDAP and Shibboleth (CAS coming soon), users are prompted for their campus/institution credentials during the room booking sign-up process. We’ll verify the user’s credentials are real – if they are, we’ll pull key pieces of information (like their name, email address, etc.) into the room booking form. Better security + better user experience = what’s not to love?!
  • Calendar Event Integration – Calendar events and room bookings are a whole lot more integrated! When you add a new event, the “event location” field is now tied directly to the spaces you create in the Room Booking module. Choose a location, and we’ll check to make sure it’s available – and if it is, we’ll add a room reservation on behalf of the event, so no one else can book it down the road. :)
  • Repeating Room Bookings – Need to reserve a space based on a repeating schedule? We’ve added the option for admins to reserve a room/space with just a couple of clicks!

Oh Scheduler, MyScheduler

  • Redesigned Scheduler Page - We’re introducing an all new way for patrons to book time with your librarians. Our all new combined MyScheduler display begins by prompting a patron for their ideal meeting time. We’ll scan MyScheduler availability for all of your librarians and match them up with a librarian available during the time they select.
  • New Registration Form Fields - We’ve added a bevy of new form options to the MyScheduler sign-up form. Prompt users for additional identifying information, their research and appointment goals, etc. using our new radio, select, and checkbox options.
  • New In-Page Widgets – Embed any librarian’s MyScheduler availability directly in-page, with our new and improved widget options.

Calendars and Events

  • Automated Email Reminders - Create automated emails to send to event registrants before and/or after any event! This makes it super simple to send out a reminder to all registered attendees before an event, send out a feedback survey after an event, etc.
  • Get Social! – Publicize your events using our integrated Facebook and Twitter options.
  • Color Code it! – Assign a color to event categories, and all events assigned to that category adopt the color you choose.
  • Late Night? Alright! – For all you night-owls out there, we’ve made it easy to create events that go past midnight.
  • Event Registration Updates – including:
    • Prevent duplicate emails from registering for the same event
    • Open Event Registrations on the date you choose
    • Limit Registrations by domain, per calendar (previously available system-wide)
    • Email Notifications for instructors/presenters, etc. when a user registers for an event (optional).

Improved Look and Feel Options

  • New Look and Feel – Responsive Design that’s beautiful from the get go – thanks to Bootstrap 3, there are no longer separate “mobile” versus “desktop” views of your calendars, events, etc. Your site adjusts to render beautifully on any device!
  • Simplified Site Customization – Customize your LibCal pages with our brand new templating engine – we’ve made it super simple to display your pages exactly as you’d like to see them!

Plus a bevy of frequently requested features:

  • Expanded Statistics, including:
    • Improved integrations between calendar statistics and the event explorer
    • Added “User Showed Up” to statistics and booking explorer
    • Room Booking Statistics now include Hourly and Daily stats
    • Added Excel Export option for all stats, and retooled the stat filtering options so you can grab exactly the fields you’re interested in
  • Hours Templates now include a free-text entry field.
  • Revamped Email Templates – our new mustache-based email options make custom emails a snap!

LibSurveys – New Kid on the Block

Hello LibraryLand!

Springshare’s got a new form/survey builder on the block and it’s a lean, mean, data-gathering machine!

LibSurveys is the next iteration of our original ‘Surveys and Forms’ module in LibGuides v1 CMS. We added so many new features, revamped the user interface, made an awesome reporting tool and… voila – LibSurveys was born.

What are some of the features of LibSurveys?

  • Field Types Galore – Create surveys/forms using text, numeric, date, radio, check-box, rating, grid field types, and more.
  • Display Options - Add pagination for longer surveys, text blocks for instructions, line separators to group ‘like’ questions together, and even white space to add visual space. These display options can help to improve survey submissions!
  • Conditional Logic – Setup complex surveys that allow you to hide and reveal specific questions based on answers that a patron provides. If they answer X, then show Y. Logic rules allows you to gather specific answers based upon a users’ response. For example, if you wanted to collect feedback on your past library events but only if that person has attended an event.
  • Drag & Drop Interface - Select the elements you want to display and drag & drop them into your Survey Builder. It really is that easy!
  • Survey Visibility – Add date-range limiters, password protection, and even a visibility status to control when and who submits survey responses.
  • Customizable Look & Feel – Customize form size by defining width & height, how field labels display, custom CSS to change colors, and more.
  • Submission Options –  What happens after the patron submits their survey? Create a custom success message or route them to a specific URL.
  • Notifications – Send a copy of each survey submission to the email address(es) you define!
  • Share & Embed – Share a direct URL, embed it directly into your v2 LibGuides using the integrated Survey content type, or embed it onto any other webpage using LibSurveys widgets! Our widget code is designed to work on both http:// and https:// pages, so whether it’s a public webpage or secure Learning Management System (LMS), we’ve got you covered!
  • J’adore Reports - Gathering survey submissions is pointless without a robust reporting tool. View the overall Data Grid, drill down to specific responses with Field Analysis, and even compare fields using the Cross Tabs Report.
LibSurveys field types

LibSurveys Field Types

 

Can I Subscribe to LibSurveys?

Yes! LibSurveys is a standalone product and you can subscribe to it alongside any of our other Springy Suite of Tools. Email us today for a trial and pricing: sales@springshare.com.

I Subscribe to LibGuides CMS – Do I get LibSurveys with my Subscription?

Yes! You’ll get LibSurveys as part of your subscription to LibGuides CMS, the platinum package of LibGuides. In LibGuides CMS v1 you had access to the ‘Surveys and Forms’ module. We are replacing this module with this LibSurveys product so all LibGuides CMS v2 clients have access to LibSurveys as part of their CMS license.

We even have a dedicated help guide just for you! Login to your LibGuides v2 site and click HELP from the command menu. On the help site, select LibSurveys help guide and voila! You’ll learn everything there is to learn including importing your LibGuides account holders into LibSurveys.

If you’re not subscribing to LibGuides CMS and you’re interested in adding LibSurveys to your Springshare subscription, we strongly recommend that you check-out the LibGuides CMS package. The CMS package bundles LibSurveys with other amazing LibGuides CMS features such as Group functionality, Access Rules, Publishing Workflows, and more. Check out all the amazing LibGuides CMS features.

I’m Using LibGuides v1 – can I use LibSurveys?

Unfortunately, No. :( LibSurveys is built on our v2 platform so it is fully integrated with v2 LibApps. So, you’ll need to update to LibGuides v2 to use LibSurveys.

Do You have LibSurveys Training?

Yes! Sign-up below:

The Future of LibSurveys – LibSurveys Plus

This initial rollout of LibSurveys is just the tip of the Springy iceberg. In the next few months we are going to offer a paid upgrade called LibSurveys Plus. You’ll be able to create quizzes and tests, embed them in LibGuides v2 (or elsewhere), grade responses, and track learning. We’re talking assessment here folks, and it’s going to be grand!

To sum it up – LibSurveys contains the Survey/Form builder functionality, and it’s a free product for all LibGuides v2 CMS clients. If you’re not subscribing to LibGuides CMS, you can purchase LibSurveys separately or upgrade to LibGuides v2 CMS and get LibSurveys in the CMS bundle. LibSurveys Plus is an upcoming paid product which adds the quizzes and assessment functionality to LibSurveys.

LibGuides: Not Just for Grown-Ups

Guides with bright primary colors? Check!
Guides with cartoon videos? Check!
Guides with links to PBS and Scholastic? Annnd check!

Did you know that libraries serving the smaller set are using LibGuides? Yes, LibGuides from Springshare can be for kids, too.

LibGuides allows school librarians and media specialists to select and share information and resources with students, parents, and even teachers. Why let students go to Google—where they’ll find everything and walk away with nothing—when they can have a professionally curated collection of resources at their fingertips. LibGuides in school libraries can also help boost the usage of the stuff the school or district already pays for. And it collects statistics to show how the library or media center adds value.

Take a peek at some of these school libraries that are using LibGuides to help their students:

Colchester Public Schools

Colchester Public Schools

Colchester Public Schools

  • Colchester schools in Connecticut use a LibGuide to highlight their Birthday Book Club. The guide includes an awesome video featuring real students. What better way to connect books and kids!

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School

Lawton School

8th Grade Mock Trial

  • When eighth graders at Lawton in Summit, New Jersey, need to prepare for mock trials, they have all the information they need at their fingertips – from constitutional history to legal precedents.

Knowles Elementary School

Knowles Library Embedded Video

Library Manners Embedded Video

  • Knowles Elementary in Cedar Park, Texas, has a brightly-colored exciting LibGuide. Check out the cute Library Manners video for first graders!

River Ridge Elementary School

River Ridge LibGuides

Primary & Secondary Resources

  • Fifth graders at River Ridge Elementary in Austin, Texas, can learn about primary and secondary sources right from their librarian – within LibGuides.

Some tips for creating LibGuides for kids:

  • Use readable, clear font
  • Keep text to a minimum
  • Use images that convey meaning
  • Embed videos
  • Use color in ways that help guide students
  • Get kids’ attention with fun polls

Do you have an awesome LibGuide for kids? Let us know about it! Share it with us at Facebook or Twitter!

LibGuides 2: MAJOR update!

As promised, we released a biggie over the weekend, including widgets, site search, connections to LibSurveys for Surveys & Forms, and an awesome new content type, LibAnswers 2 Widgets.

Widgets – bring LibGuides 2 content into any other website (including into guides) using widget embed code.  So far, you can create these widgets (known in LibGuides 1 as the API Utility) :

  • List of Guides
    • Filter your list by subject, owner, type, group (CMS only) or even by a search term!
    • Create a simple list or a framed list
  • List of Databases from your A-Z list
    • Filter by subject, database type, vendor, or by a search term!
    • Display the “Best Bets” at the top if you want
  • Embed a Guide, Page, or Content box
    • Reuse guide content ANYWHERE
    • Control height and width right from the widget create screen

Search – new, improved, mega-awesome site search is here! The search is not only shiny and improved but results now include filters!

Limit search results by:

  • Group Assignment (CMS Only)
  • Assigned subjects
  • Assigned tags
  • Guide type
  • Contains content type

Bonus: Terms searched in your site appear in your Statistics (CMS only)!

Go to Statistics > Searches to view terms searched in your LibGuides 2 system

Have a LibAnswers 2 system as well?  Search that system right from the LibGuides 2 search results, and vice-versa.

Click the LibAnswers button to execute this search in your LibAnswers 2 system

LibAnswers Widgets asset type – Speaking of LibAnswers, have you ever wanted to create an Ask Us button or question form in your guide without having to log into LibAnswers and copy code?  Well now you can!  The peanut-buttery goodness of LibAnswers 2 Widgets is available right inside the chocolaty deliciousness of your guides with the new LibAnswers Widget assets.  Add an asset and it can be reused anywhere in your guides!

Add any LibAnswers 2 widget to your LibGuides 2 system

Note that for the LibAnswers Widget asset type to appear in the Add / Reorder menu, you have to have an account in the LibAnswers 2 system that’s associated with your LibGuides 2 system.  LibGuides 2 admins, if your guide authors don’t have LibAnswers accounts, you can pre-populate your LibGuides 2 system with your LibAnswers widgets, no sweat! Your guide authors can then choose “Reuse Existing Widget” and be on their way.

Link Checker — a faster, more powerful link checker has been integrated into LibGuides 2.  As with LibGuides 1, the link checker runs every Saturday.  Click the view icon to see the list of guides in which each link appears.

LibSurveys asset type (CMS only) – We are creating LibSurveys sites for each LibGuides CMS site.  Until your LibSurveys site is set up and accounts created, you will not see surveys in your system.

Guide authors will use the LibSurveys content type to embed forms and surveys in their guides.

There were several minor bugs that we stomped as well:

  • Drop-down menu on Subject pages no longer show subjects with 0 guides
  • CMS only – Homepage templates no longer show in the templates drop-down on the Create Guide page
  • Mapped sub-pages were not clickable from Preview mode; now they are
  • Related Guides list on A-Z “by subject” pages no longer shows unpublished guides
  • Profiles page (prf.php) only shows Admin and Regular profiles that have at least 1 published guide
  • Regular users are now able to create an Editor account from the Guide Editors screen if necessary
  • Columns display properly in Internet Explorer 8 public side
  • Print icon added to default side-nav template
  • Profile boxes no longer display errors after editing a title
  • CMS only – Homepages retain the default column settings

We will be doing more updates this week as we officially launch LibGuides 2 and exit our beta status. Thanks to everyone who’s hung in with us during the beta process—your input has been invaluable!

What Happens in Vegas….Ends Up on Instagram!

Springshare’s heading to ALA – Las Vegas, and we’re getting Flashy in Booth #1447! All weekend long we’re delivering 15min Flash Presentations on hot topics, new products, and amazing features.

If you’re attending a Flash presentation or just stopping by Booth #1447 to say hi, be sure to tag us in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts with #SpringyFlash and #SpringyLove. Better yet, we’re giving out “I Got Flashed” stickers for all you lucky attendees!

ALA Flash Sticker

#SpringyFlash

Our Flash Presentation Schedule is available! Sign-Up today:

And remember:

What happens in Booth #1447, Stays in Booth #1447

Follow Us @Springshare

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LibAnswers v2 Beta Sites – Migration Sign-up Now Available!

Attention LibAnswers v2 Beta Sites: v1 – v2 migration sign-ups start today! To choose your migration date, sign in to your v2 Beta Site and click the big green button – “Information about Migrating to LibAnswers v2″.

miginfo

Excited? Us too! But remember – the migration date you select will effectively be the GO LIVE date for your v2 system – so choose carefully! Before migration day arrives, you’ll want to do a few things in advance:

  • Pre-Migrate your key content (using the handy new tools in your LibAnswers v2 Beta Site Migration page)
    • User Accounts
    • Public FAQs
    • LibChat Departments
  • Prep replacement Widgets & API calls, and be ready to swap them in place of your v1 Widget & APIs on migration day
  • If you use a Custom Domain (anything other than xxxx.libanswers.com) for your site, you’ll need to arrange a domain transfer with your local IT department for *the same day* as your site migration

For loads more information and tools to help with all your migration needs, head to our help guide - http://support.springshare.com/libanswers/migration (must be logged in to LibApps to view).

LibGuides v2 Default Template Update

Hey LibGuides v2 Admins – this one’s for you! We pushed out an update to our default templates (for both tabbed nav and side nav) today, which requires some work on your side. ;)

Our code update only updates the default templates – it doesn’t touch your custom templates since those are, well, custom, and we don’t want to do anything to mess with them. This means, of course, that if/when we make changes to the base (default) templates, you also need to update your custom templates with the new / modified info.

  • If you are using the default templates for your guides, you don’t need to lift a finger. This update has already applied to those guides!
  • If you are using custom templates for your guides, though, you’ll want to pay attention to the next section of this post so you know how to update your templates.

In this case, we removed the gray bar that has the page name / print icon on the public side of the system. (The {{guide_nav_info}} keyword.) Previously, removing that keyword meant that you also removed the incredibly important admin side functions, but not anymore! The admin functions will remain where they are on the admin side, but the public side will be that much cleaner. W00t! :)

Before:
Public view of a LibGuides v2 guide before the template change.

After:
2014-05-13_LG2PublicGuide-After

And so, fearless LibGuides Admins, here’s what you need to do to update your custom templates:

  1. Go to Admin > Look & Feel > Guide Pages Layout > Edit a custom template.
  2. Delete this line / keyword:
    {{guide_nav_info}}

    Do not delete the surrounding <div> tags (as previously mentioned, oops!) because that will remove the super-important menus from the admin side!

    See Screenshot

  3. Add the {{page_title}} keyword to your template. In the default template, we added it just after guide title, so that line now looks like this:
    <h1 id=”s-lg-guide-name”>{{guide_title}}: {{page_title}}</h1>

    See Screenshot

  4. Add the print icon to the footer. Look for the ul tag in the footer area. Add another li tag after the one for the guide’s URL:
    <li id=”s-lg-guide-print-url”>
    <a href=”{{guide_print_url}}”><i class=”fa fa-print” title=”Print Page”></i> Print Page</a>
    </li>

    See Screenshot

  5. Save your changes.

Repeat these steps for all custom templates in your system.

If you do not make this change, at least the step to delete the {{guide_nav_info}} keyword from your templates, you will see a message on the public side of your guides telling you that it needs to be removed:

Error message if you do not update a custom template.

You also now have another Keyword Parameter option! You can choose to display the guide title on all pages of the guide, or just the homepage.

Enjoy…and let us know if you have any questions. :)

Beautiful Website Design, Made Possible with LibGuides v2 CMS

Wexler_homeThe library team at Furman University has done some amazing work with customizing LibGuides v2 CMS templates to create a website for The Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University. Even though the site isn’t finished yet, and they’re still customizing their responsive design, they agreed to share it with us. We went ahead and picked their brains to share their amazing work with our community…

Q. Can you explain the Peter Wexler Project that the Furman University Library is undertaking?

A. The “Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University” is a digital collection that features the life’s work of Peter Wexler, a New York theater producer, designer, and artist. The collection will be built in CONTENTdm and use LibGuides v2 as its front end. The really cool thing about this digital collection is that Peter saved virtually every draft of every design he ever created in the last 50+ years, so that viewing those items in chronological order can offer some insight into his creative process.  Another cool thing about this project is that there are very few digital collections of theater design materials, so the theater arts community has already expressed their interest in the collection after a presentation at the annual conference of USITT earlier this year.

Q. What were you using, previously, to share & display the Wexler Project? How do you envision the LibGuides v2 role in this project? 

 But I think that the bottom line, coolest thing about LibGuides v2 is the potential for using the new template functionality to create layouts that are not only responsive but also make it easier for our content authors to create more usable LibGuides for our users.

A. We decided to use LibGuides v2 to build the front end to The Peter Wexler Digital Museum for several reasons.  First, LibGuides is currently our primary website platform so we’re very familiar with its functionality, flexibility and openness.  We’ve always been able to figure out how to do what we want to in LibGuides, no matter how “outside the box”, and once we’ve got something in LibGuides we know that we can re-use it (within LibGuides) or embed it on other platforms (using LibGuides APIs).  Second, we wanted the Peter Wexler Digital Museum front end to be responsive, and we needed to learn responsive website design, so the timing of the LibGuides v2 beta, which is built to be responsive, presented a happy confluence. [Note: LibGuides v2 utilizes Bootstrap 3.0.1] We also wanted a project to focus on to help us learn the capabilities of the new LibGuides v2 templates model.

Q. You’ve been playing with LibGuides v2 for a few months now! Which features are you most excited for and why?

A. There are so many things in LibGuides v2 that sound awesome that it’s hard to pick just a few.  It would be easy to say responsive design, enhanced content-types, the new A-Z list functionality, or single sign-on across all LibApps.  But I think that the bottom line, coolest thing about LibGuides v2 is the potential for using the new template functionality to create layouts that are not only responsive but also make it easier for our content authors to create more usable LibGuides for our users.

Q. How do you envision these features and overall flexibility and openness of v2 impacting the Furman Library? 

A. Providing a device-agnostic design is very important to us.  Like everyone else, we’re seeing increased use of mobile devices.  The university rolled out a new responsive design last summer so being able to create responsive LibGuides that better meet the needs of our users is a great enhancement.  Having more options to embed LibGuides content via APIs will help us do a better job of integrating with other university web platforms.

Q. You’re a librarian with big plans! What do you plan to do with LibGuides v2 in the future?

LibGuides has really become a core tool in our web presence.

A. Well, LibGuides has really become a core tool in our web presence.  I’m interested in finding out whether a responsive design will result in increased use of our content on small, mobile devices.  I’m also working on a bunch of Google Analytics custom event trackers that I hope will give us some insights into how our users are actually interacting with our content and how we can help them to become more successful at accomplishing their most important tasks.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about LibGuides v2, templates or loads of the other cool features, be sure to sign-up for our LibGuides v2 training sessions!

Wexler Digital Portfolio

Digital Portfolio