Archive for February 26, 2016

LibGuides Updates: Blogs, LTI, and more, oh my!

LibGuides version 2.1.10 is here, and with it come some huge and exciting features!

Many of you have asked for a long time for blogging capability in LibGuides, and we are delighted to tell you that blogs are here! We will be adding more features to blogs in the future, but our first step is to bring you a system-wide blog and the ability to add a blog page to each of your guides. Is there a blogging feature close to your heart? Click the Support tab on any of your LibGuides admin pages to let us know!

What’s a blog? It’s a web page containing posts—pieces of text content—that are arranged in chronological order, with the newest post at the top of the page. Your LibGuides system blog or a blog in a guide is a great way to share news, announcements, and other timely information with your users.

Blog Features

  • Assign any of your LibGuides Subjects to posts
  • Add Books from the Catalog & Database Assets directly into the posts
  • Not ready to publish? No problem! Save as “unpublished”
  • User comments (requires a LibApps login)
  • Subscribe to blog posts via email
  • Connect users to your social media profiles
  • Link directly to a post or a set of posts by subject or month

System blog

Each LibGuides installation (for all LibGuides customers!) has one system-wide blog that has been added to your system. It’s disabled by default, but it’s simple to get started! Go to Content > Blog > Blog Management to enable your system blog.

screenshot of LibGuides system blog and highlighted features (in bulleted list above)

LibGuides System Blog

By default, your system blog has the URL http://your_guides_URL.edu/blog. If you already have that friendly URL assigned somewhere, don’t worry! That page will not be affected until you turn on the system blog, which will give you time to reassign the existing page or guide a different friendly URL.

Once you’ve enabled your blog and created a post or two, add it to your system homepage by going to Admin > Look & Feel > Homepage > Customization > Homepage Boxes / Redirect. Click the Blog button to add it to the homepage sidebar boxes, then drag to your preferred location. Be sure to click Save!

screenshot of homepage boxes

Custom template alert! If you’re using a custom homepage template that does not use the {{content_boxes}} keyword, you will have to add the keyword {{content_box_blog}} to your template for the blog box to show on your homepage.

Guide blog page

Guides have a new blog page type that allows you to add a blog to any of your guides. These work similarly to the system blog—you’ll create posts that are in chronological order.

screenshot of a guide with a blog page

LibGuide with Blog Page

Just like with the System Blog, users can comment and subscribe, link directly to a post or a set of posts by subject or month, and they can link to the guide owner’s social media profiles.

New in Blog content—add Books & Databases directly into the post!

Blog posts aren’t necessarily like guide box content. They’re often time-sensitive pieces of content that don’t necessarily need a permanent space in your guides. Because of this, we added a quick way to add a new or existing book or an existing database asset to your posts.

Click the Book icon to insert a book’s information into your post. You can either add a new book or an existing book. If you add a new book, it is NOT added to your assets repository.

To add an existing database, click the A-Z icon.

screenshot of the buttons to add a book or a database

New to image manager—add a one-time image and keyword searching

Want to add an image to a guide that you know you’ll never need again? Now you can! Prevent clutter in your Image Manager by unchecking the new option “Save this image in my Image Library for later use.”

screenshot of image manager checkboxes to add image to library

Accessible sub-pages!

Accessibility is important to us here at Springshare, and several of you had reported that it was difficult to navigate with the keyboard when a guide contained sub-pages. Want to see it in action? Check out the Getting Started with LibGuides guide on our Support site (login required).

Screen readers will detect a toggle menu. Arrow keys can be used to accessed subpages.

New sharing option!

When creating a guide, you can specify whether your fellow LibGuides authors can make copies of your content. “No” means Two sharing options when you create a guide: No and Internal“no,” they can’t 😃 and “Internal” means “yes” they can. Your content will only be available for copying to the LibGuides community at large if your system’s sharing setting is set to Community.

Smaller features and fixes…

  • If you change the title of a mapped box, all mapped copies will get that reused title, unless a custom title has been specified.
  • When you reuse a hidden page or box, that reused copy will be hidden by default. You can un-hide it as long as you have privileges to do so.
  • Easier-to-use guide creation page: we’ve simplified the options on the Create Guide page and have added more on screen help to guide you through the process.
  • Oops! Ever accidentally delete something you really wish you hadn’t? We have changed all the delete screens in LibGuides so that “Cancel” is the default button. This means that if you click to delete a guide then just press enter, you’ll just close the window rather than actually delete the guide. Rest easy. 😉

But wait, what about LTI?

Just a teaser! We are bringing huge new functionality to the LTI tools in LibGuides CMS. You’ll be able to create a library resources page inside your LMS as well as connect guides “automagically” to every course. We plan to roll these features out to everyone in the next several days. Watch this space for more info! 🙂

Bite-Sized Tech Tip Videos!

Have you ever wanted to learn something about your LibGuides, LibAnswers, or other Springy tool in just a few minutes?

Well, we have a collection of Springy Tech Tip videos – just for you, the avid learner.

Springy Tech Tip Video Font Awesome

Tech Tip: Using Font Awesome in LibGuides

A collection of videos, under 5min each, ranging from how to use SMS Keywords in the Classroom to Promote Interactive Learning to Optimizing Your LibGuides Organization.

New Springy Tech Tip videos are made available in every edition of our Springshare Newsletter. So check back often, we’ll be adding new ones!

Feel free to watch them all at once (hello binge watching!) or space them out for whenever you have 5 minutes. Better yet, bring a snack for a Treat & Training session. Chocolate and Tech Tip Videos at the same time? Yes please!

But, that’s not all! We also make quick videos on Springshare tools, guest presenters at conferences, and more. Check out all our videos in our Video Highlights section.

* Springy Tech Tip Videos *

Introducing LibWizard

We’re thrilled to announce the newest member of our Springy Software Suite – LibWizard. It’s a culmination of our effort to extend the existing LibSurveys tool and add fully interactive tutorials and assessment modules. Our current LibSurveys product has been renamed “LibWizard Lite”, so LibGuides CMS folks will continue to have access to the Forms Wizard and Surveys Wizard. The Quiz Wizard and Assessments Wizard are available with the full LibWizard platform.

LibWizard Lite

With LibWizard Lite, you’ll create amazing custom forms and embed them anywhere – in your website, LibGuides, and any webpage where you need form-based input from users. With the Surveys Wizard, you’ll administer and analyze surveys. Surveys lie at the heart of any customer-facing organization, and with our Surveys Wizard, libraries can efficiently conduct surveys and get actionable feedback from patrons and from the community as a whole. Key features include:

  • Drag & Drop Interface – Select the elements you want to display and drag & drop them into your Survey Builder. It really is that easy!
  • Robust Field Types – Create surveys and forms with text, numeric, date, radio, check-box, rating, grid field types, and more.
  • Conditional Logic – Setup surveys that hide and reveal specific questions based on answers that a patron provides. Logic rules allows you to serve separate questions based on a user’s prior response.
  • Grouping – Group sets of questions together to create question branches.
  • Submission Options –  Create a custom thank you message to show to users, plus send a copy of each submission to the addresses you choose.
  • Customizable Look & Feel – Customize every aspect of your forms and surveys with ease.

LibWizard Complete – Quizzes

The full LibWizard tool adds two powerful components – The Quiz Wizard and the Tutorials/Assessment Wizard. This is where things get very interesting…

Need to test your students and patrons on their understanding of key research concepts? Create a Quiz, embed it in your LibGuides and voila – assessment made easy. There are a multitude of options for Quizzes – everything from timers and page controls to auto-grading functionality. The Quiz Wizard has it all – it’s an easy to use tool with so many great features, including:

  • Automated Grading – Designate the correct answer for each question in your quiz, and the system will automatically grade each new entry. We’ll even email you the results!
  • Self Grading for Instant Feedback – Display quiz results when a user finishes a quiz, so they know at a glance how they did.
  • Require correct answer – Force quiz-takers to answer questions correctly, and add custom help text when wrong answers are entered to help folks get to the right solution.
  • Timers and Page Controls – Set a time limit requirement for finishing the quiz, and control access to the back button.
  • Advanced Reporting – Highlight correct and incorrect answers, customize the columns that display, filter the results, and drill down to individual quiz submissions.

LibWizard Complete – Tutorials & Assessments

And then there’s the Tutorials/Assessments Wizard! Create interactive tutorials to show patrons how to use library’s tools and library’s services, and embed them directly at point of need. Create assessment modules to complement the instruction taught via LibGuides – automatically embed any LibGuide, and turn it into an Assessment – questions on the left, content on the right – just like the screenshot below.

lwz-libguide1

We could go on and on about how awesome this new tool is for all your tutorials/assessments/surveys/forms needs, but don’t take our word for it – check out this brief teaser video (ok, ok, it’s us who created the video, too, but it’s pretty cool and it will give you a very good idea of the usefulness of LibWizard, so do check it out).

And of course, we saved the best for last – a very “meta” demo straight out of Springy Labs. We created a pretty slick Interactive Tutorial which showcases the features and the potential of LibWizard, and the tutorial itself is created in – you guessed it – LibWizard. Mind. Blown! 😉

Interactive LibWizard Tutorial

As always, this wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing input, ideas, and suggestions from our clients so thank you all very much. LibWizard is a perfect complementary tool to LibGuides – the possibilities are truly endless so do drop us a note asap at sales@springshare.com or contact your favorite Springy and get started on LibWizard.