Archive for January 22, 2016

We Asked School Librarians One Question…

At the American Association for School Librarians Conference (AASL) in October, 2015 – we asked School Librarians one question.

Why do you love LibGuides?

And the responses we got were as varied as they were astonishing.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Holly Bunt, Library Director at Western Reserve Academy “My students tell me that ‘LibGuides Rocks'”.
  • Amanda Smithfield, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet “It may surprise you to know that many teenagers do homework after 11pm. With LibGuides, they have everything organized right there, and they can access my content 24hrs/day.”
  • Kristen Rosebrock-Hayes, Laurel School “The teachers love it, they think it’s phenomenal.”
  • Brett Daggs, Honeoye Falls High School “LibGuides is absolutely the best thing I’ve discovered in the past 24months. It’s going to reinvent the way I instruct.”
  • Linda Swarlis, Columbus School for Girls “We’re able to personalize LibGuides for every teacher and to every class.”

Watch the full video:

Link opens in a new window

AASL 2015

 

Come See Your Springy Pals at ALA MW!

Had enough eggnog for a while? Well, don’t let the parties stop after the new year! Your Springy Pals will be at ALA Midwinter this year, at booth 922. Check out our mobile conference site, made with the new mSite builder, on your smart phones! This way, you’ll always have Springy right in your pocket, literally.

What do we have to show you? Good stuff, of course!

We’ll be doing flash presentations on some of our newest and coolest things, like:

  • Discussion Boards in LibGuides CMS!
  • The new mSite Builder- make app-like sites quickly and easily!
  • LibCal’s been working out, and it looks great!
  • LibInsight’s still the best way to organize and analyze all the data you’ve got- we’ll show off our new LibInsight Lite, too.
  • The conversation starts here- with your patrons! Attend the LibChat Flash and learn about our Real-Time Reference tool with 24/7 Backup!
  • Meet LibWizard, your new best friend for gathering responses, making tutorials, and all sorts of neat stuff!

Meet us at booth 922 for 15-minute Flash Presentations! Check in at our booth!

Friday:

  • 6:00-6:15: LibGuides: Latest Updates
  • 6:25-6:40: LibInsight: Big Data

Saturday:

  • 9:30: LibGuides: Latest Updates
  • 10:30: Migrating to LibGuides v2: Q&A
  • 11:30: LibInsight: Big Data
  • 12:30: LibWizard: Quizzes, Surveys, Tutorials & More!
  • 1:30: LibChat: New Look & Feel: Real-Time Reference with 24/7 Backup
  • 2:30: Migrating to LibGuides v2: Q&A
  • 3:30: LibCal’s New Look & Feel

Sunday:

  • 9:30: LibCal’s New Look & Feel
  • 10:30: Migrating to LibGuides v2: Q&A
  • 11:30: LibChat: New Look & Feel: Real-Time Reference with 24/7 Backup
  • 12:30: LibGuides: Latest Updates
  • 1:30: LibWizard: Quizzes, Surveys, Tutorials & More!
  • 2:30: Migrating to LibGuides v2: Q&A
  • 3:30: LibInsight: Big Data

Monday:

  • 9:30: LibWizard: Quizzes, Surveys, Tutorials & More!
  • 10:30: Migrating to LibGuides v2: Q&A
  • 11:30: LibCal’s New Look & Feel
  • 12:30: LibChat: New Look & Feel: Real-Time Reference with 24/7 Backup

Update your Profile Pic!

Nothing says “your friendly neighborhood librarian” like a friendly profile photo. Need to update yours? We have you covered! Stop by our booth at the following times to have a quality headshot taken. We’ll email it to you after the conference. 🙂

michelle headshot

Get a headshot at ALA MW, booth 922!

 

  • Friday 6:00 – 7:00
  • Saturday, 2:30 – 4:00
  • Sunday, 9:00 – 10:00

We can’t wait to see all of you in Boston, and remember, that’s booth 922 for all the Springy goodness!

 

ALA midwinter exhibit hall map

Introducing LibAuth – Authentication for Springshare Tools

We are excited to announce a new tool in Springshare’s cloud platform of apps – LibAuth. LibAuth is our implementation of patron authentication inside Springshare apps and systems. This is important new functionality which will make Springshare tools even more useful and more applicable to a wide variety of use-case scenarios within libraries. We have big plans for LibAuth and will be enhancing it further to offer innovative authentication-based solutions and services to our libraries.

But first things first. LibAuth is a free module inside our LibApps platform.  In essence, if you use any of our v2 tools (LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, LibInsight, etc.) you automatically get LibAuth. Your Springshare LibApps admin configures LibAuth to link to the authentication method used at your institution. We currently support Shibboleth, LDAP, SAML, CAS, SIP2, and a remote self-hosted script option. If your institution relies on a method not listed here, please contact us and we’ll investigate how to make it happen! Springshare is also a member of InCommon and the UK Federation which makes authentication setup even easier for institutions who are members of either of these federations.

So, if you are the super-admin of Springshare tools at your institution (we call these LibApps admins) head to LibApps Dashboard -> Admin -> Manage Authentication (see screenshot below) and configure your authentication method.

LibAuth Setup Location

 

 

Click on the “Manage Authentication” link in the navbar to enter the details of your authentication method and select attributes to release to Springshare. It is very likely that you will need to work closely with your IT folks to set this up so we recommend that you have your IT folks on good terms 😉 while setting up LibAuth. The setup form also provides testing tools to ensure you set things up correctly.

Pro tip: LibAuth also lets you define and configure any number of “rules” – for example if certain functionality should only be available to faculty or to undergraduates etc – as long as your authentication supports it and you release the necessary attributes to Springshare, you can setup all sorts of rules to be used in Springshare (and later in non-Springshare) apps.

 

libauth-setup

 

 

Once you successfully setup your authentication scheme in LibAuth, here’s what happens next.

  1. At your option, your librarians with access to a LibApps account (to work on LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibInsight etc) can login to these tools using LibAuth, i.e. using their campus/library username/pwd.
  2. Starting tomorrow, LibCal room booking functionality is ready to work with LibAuth. Once you set up and verify your authentication method via LibApps, head to LibCal > Room Bookings > Settings > Edit Group to require LibAuth authentication for that group of rooms. If you’ve previously setup room booking authentication inside LibCal, we’ll automatically transfer those settings to LibAuth so you’re all set (but check the LibAuth console to confirm and do a couple of room booking tests, just to make sure).
  3. Over the next few weeks we will turn on authentication support for Event Registrations and Librarian Appointments so you will be able to restrict these (optionally of course) to your authenticated users (or groups) only.
  4. Over the next month we will turn on LibAuth authentication in our E-reserves module (our library reserves/reading list solution). This way our ER module will not only be the most affordable Reserves/Reading solution, but also one of the most secure ones too ;).
  5. In the next 3-4 months we will add support for LibAuth inside all of our apps, wherever and whenever needed. We’d love your feedback and ideas on this – email our support or sales teams and let us know where you think we should add authentication support (inside which Springshare apps and for what use-case scenarios). This is a really exciting and really big development for us, and we truly feel that adding authentication points inside our apps will bring many more use-case scenarios which will make your Springshare tools even more useful and will make you love ’em even more!
  6. Over the next 6-12 months we will be adding new products and services based on LibAuth capabilities, and we will be releasing an API to use LibAuth anywhere. Yes, we’re going there! We believe there are many opportunities ahead for providing seamless authentication that “just works” inside other library products and services. Send us your ideas, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Last but not least – please bear with us over the next few weeks regarding support and fixing any issues you may encounter while setting up your authentication method in LibAuth. We did tons of testing but with so many different authentication setups out there the best way to test and fix any issues is to release it into the wild and invite everyone to start using it. So while this is not “beta” because the full functionality is there and it works, we appreciate your patience while we ensure that it works well for everyone.

Thank you to all our clients who helped us during LibAuth development, with your excellent feedback and suggestions. We’re starting 2016 with a bang, and we have so many new things in store for our clients this year (and beyond). Thank you all for being the best clients, ever!

-Slaven & The Springshare Team