Archive for May 25, 2016

Springshare & ACRL Collaborate to Provide Springy Tools to Member Units

ARCL LogoThe Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is the largest division within ALA representing almost 20% of the total ALA membership with more than 11,000 members, 17 sections, 21 discussion groups, 17 special interest groups, 8 active task forces, 44 chapters, and 51 committees. To say this division is active would be an understatement!

Another understatement? How excited we were to collaborate with the ACRL offices to provide LibGuides and LibAnswers to member units to create unit-specific resources in support of ACRL’s mission. Using LibGuides and LibAnswers, ACRL units will be able to effectively and efficiently collaborate while completing association-related work.

Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL Executive Director stated, “ACRL is grateful to Springshare for making this resource available to our members to facilitate their work for the association. We are very appreciative of Springshare’s generosity and ACRL members are already using the tools to further their unit’s work.”

Slaven Zivkovic, chief Springy, added: “Many ACRL members already use our tools at their own institutions, so this is truly a win-win collaboration! Springshare gets to support the ACRL and all the wonderful work the organization does, and its members benefit from using already familiar tools to improve ACRL workflows and outreach in the same beneficial ways they use Springshare tools within their own institutions.”

We can’t wait to see the amazing content that the ACRL offices will be creating!

As our chief Springy would say, onwards and upwards!

Train Future Librarians and Request a *Free* Suite of Springshare Tools

Graduating Librarians, Information Professionals, and School Media Specialists are entering a workplace that requires more and more specialized skills, knowledge, and experience. Things like:

  • Experience at building a LibGuide;
  • Knowledge of administering & maintaining a LibGuides system;
  • Skill in using virtual chat reference tools like LibChat;
  • Know-how with coordinating, managing, and advertising library events;
  • Expertise in building and creating interactive instructional tutorials.

At Springshare, we recognize that Librarians-in-Training are the future <cue cheesy music> of Librarianship and we want to help them be as prepared as possible for what’s to come!

To that end, we’re offering a free Suite of Springshare Tools to any and all LIS Programs, School Media Specialist certification programs, or M.Ed Programs, and others. If you’re not sure your school or program qualifies, just fill out the form below and inquire!

With your LIS Suite, students will gain real-world experience using Springshare Tools. Furthermore, it can serve as a living and online archive of their student work – invaluable to future employers.

What’s in the LIS Suite of Springshare Tools?

Each LIS Suite comes with the following Springshare tools and you’re welcome to choose one, a few, or all of the tools to utilize within your program. You don’t need to get the entire Suite if you don’t need it! But, we think you might like to make use of all the tools in your proverbial toolkit!

LibGuides LogoLibGuides CMS:  Students learn to curate knowledge and build multimedia-rich guides by:

  • Creating subject, course, or topical Guides
  • Creating a mock ‘Library Website’
  • Learning about Bootstrap in a user-friendly environment
  • Creating a mock ‘Staff Policies & Procedures’ manual

LibWizard Logo​LibWizard: Students learn to create interactive tutorials, quizzes, surveys, and forms to engage patrons by:

  • Building self-paced interactive tutorials and assessments
  • Assessing patron learning with quizzes
  • Creating engaging feedback surveys
  • Replacing paper forms with mobile-friendly online forms

LibAnswers LogoLibAnswers Platform: Students develop their virtual reference and reference interview skills by:

  • Practicing a live chat exchange using LibChat
  • Creating media-rich FAQs and learning best practices for keyword optimization
  • Practicing their reference interview via email, SMS, Twitter, and more

LibCal LogoLibCal: Students learn how to create engaging library programming and events, manage space bookings, and create their own one-on-one consultation scheduler by:

  • Practicing creating a library calendar with engaging events
  • Communicating and advertising events to patrons
  • Managing library spaces, study rooms, and bookable spaces
  • Creating their own schedule for librarian consultations and advertising them to patrons

Terms of Use – All the Fun Without the Jargon

  1. Your LIS Suite of Springshare Tools may only be used within your library school, educational, or certification program to train future librarians and information professionals on the use of Springy Tools.
  2. You / your designated group of local admins are front-line support for any questions your students or faculty have about using Springshare tools. They / you can have full access to our help documentation and training, but all support questions from students/faculty are routed through you. Basically, you know them better than we do so it makes sense for their questions to be answered locally!
    • If you / your designated group of local admins have questions or need to report any issues, contact Springshare Support.
You may not use Springy Tools to provide services to patrons or end-users.

What About Content on Other LIS Systems?

Since 2011, we’ve realized the importance in providing access to LibGuides for Librarians-in-Training. If you’ve created content on these systems, we’ve outlined your options below.

Request Your LIS Suite of Springshare Tools!

Ready to get started? Request your LIS Suite of Tools today!

 

Friday Fun! New LibInsight Features

New Chart Type in Dashboards

We’ve added a new chart option in Dashboards; the new Stacked chart option lets you visualize the multi-select or single-select fields in your custom datasets in a new way. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Screenshot of a stacked column chart next to a traditional column chart

While both visualize how different answers compare to one another, stacked charts have the added bonus of indicating the rough total for each option. Stacked charts are available for Bar, Column, and Area charts. They’re only available for Custom datasets right now, but we’ll be bringing these and more to other dataset types.

To try out a Stacked chart, create or edit a Dashboard using a custom dataset that contains a Single Select or Multi-Select field, and check the optional Stacked setting:

screenshot of Edit Row dialog showing the stacked chart checkbox for a sample chart

This is just the first step toward more robust and flexible Dashboards. Watch this space for more news! 🙂

Widget Previews

Do you find it annoying to have to find and copy the URL for an LI widget to see what it’s going to look like? We did too! There’s now a preview button that will open your widgets in a new tab.

Screenshot of the Widgets / APIs screen with the preview icon highlighted. Please note that APIs by nature do not have a preview.

Attach license (and other) files to your database, e-journal and eBook platforms!

When you go to add data to your E-Journals / Databases or eBooks datasets, you’ll see a new License Files tab. There you can attach license files or other important attachments. You can also link directly to this tab from the Platform Management modal (Admin > Manage Datasets > your dataset > Edit Platforms > edit a platform > Manage License files)

Screenshot of the License Files tab on the Record Screen for an e-journal / databases dataset

Improved field creation process for Custom datasets

Before this release, the system date fields for Custom datasets in LibInsight were always named “Start Date” and “End Date.” This often added a couple of steps to the upload process, if the names of your date fields did not match these exactly. Now when you create a Custom dataset and map your date fields to the system date fields, your field names will be retained.

Screenshot of the field creation process adjacent to the fields list in the uploads process, indicating that original field names are retained

 

Beyoncé’s Lemonade – The LibGuide Heard Round the (twitter)World

Lemonade LibGuide Screenshot

Lemonade LibGuide:       http://libguides.mica.edu/lemonade

On April 28th at 9:09am, Jenny Ferretti, the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art, tweeted that she had published a LibGuide on Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album. The response, especially on Twitter, was astounding. In just 24hrs, Jenny’s LibGuide had over 14,000 views and her tweet has been retweeted and liked over 200+ times. The NYPL even got in on the buzz and tweeted Jenny’s LibGuide to their over 1.5Million followers. School Library Journal interviewed Jenny and wrote a blog post on the importance of building a LibGuide that unpacks the research behind the album. Providing much needed context so that users can make connections to and find references within the work

When we reached out Jenny to collaborate on a blog post, the first thing we discussed was, “What do we want to talk about that hasn’t already been said?“. What can we add to the conversation? Jenny, not surprisingly, had some great ideas about why she chose LibGuides, the overwhelming community feedback, and inclusion with instruction programs.

Why did you use LibGuides to create your Lemonade research portal?

I’m a fan of topical LibGuides, particularly those focused on recent events and popular culture. I’m a self-identified first generation American Latina. I have a fine art undergraduate background and I’m interested in various styles of fashion, music, television, and film. My background and interests help shape what I’m interested in discussing with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) students as the Digital Initiatives Librarian at Decker Library. I approach media and art from the perspective of an information professional. So when Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade was released, I wanted to unpack the hour-long film using resources from publications and popular websites.

I chose LibGuides as the platform to explore Lemonade because it’s a convenient tool that supports items in your library’s catalog or Worldcat, images, and gifs (which is pretty important when referencing Beyoncé). If you know the basics of how to make a LibGuide, you could make a guide right now. I have experience creating topical LibGuides after making “Understanding Civic Unrest in Baltimore, 1968-2015.” My personal research interest in Baltimore’s Civil Rights Era helped me understand that what happened in 2015 was not an isolated incident, but would our patrons know this? I wanted to create a space that had information about the history of civic unrest, community groups, and art.

When developing the Lemonade guide, I tried to accomplish a few different things. I wanted to compile articles and resources about Lemonade in one place. Articles analyzing and sharing information like all of the musical collaborators started showing up in feeds and timelines fairly soon after the visual album was released. I immediately wanted to categorize them and place them somewhere for others to find. For example, a recent addition is the #LemonadeSyllabus compiled by Candice Benbow through online suggestions.

Beyoncé samples three lines from a Malcolm X speech in the Anger chapter of the visual album. I wanted to hear the entire speech for context. I found that speech on YouTube and added it to the guide. Similarly, the Forgiveness chapter of the visual album includes three women holding photographs of their sons. Although I recognized the photos these women held as black men killed by police, I wondered if others had recognized them, or more importantly, knew their names. I sought out context and more information about the things I saw and heard in Lemonade.

Another goal of the guide was to share what is happening in the job market. If you stuck around the for the credits of the visual album, you would have seen seven directors names and seven cinematographers. Other credits, like poetry by Warsan Shire, styling, score and other music, choreography, production design, and more were also included. We can’t be Beyoncé, but we can unpack what it took to make something like Lemonade. I’d like our students to imagine working on something like the visual album if that’s what they’d like to do. It’s not a fantastical out-of-reach dream. Like many large-scale creative and artistic projects, it took a team of people to create Lemonade. For art and design students, it’s important to see who played what role.

The applications, beyond the LibGuide, are extensive. What are your thoughts on using it during library instruction?

Before Lemonade was released, I spoke with Siân Evans, Instruction Librarian at MICA, about Beyoncé’s performance at Super Bowl 50 and her Formation music video. We were both fascinated by creative choices like the nod to the Black Panther Party and the criticism Beyoncé received and controversy over copyright. In seeking to make research more exciting to undergraduate art students while also promoting critical thinking skills, Siân developed an instruction session which included a visual analysis of Formation, a discussion of Black Lives Matter, and an active learning component in which the students responded to the Super Bowl performance by researching the Black Panther Party in the library catalog, research databases, and special collections.

I sat-in on that instruction session and it occurred to me that our students might be more familiar with Beyoncé rather than the history of the Black Panthers. Engaging students through a popular point of reference is a great starting point for education. The Lemonade LibGuide includes a mix of printed books, publications, and work from popular websites. It can be used to demonstrate differences between primary, secondary, and peer-reviewed sources, as well as copyright, Creative Commons, and more.

Tell us about the response and feedback you’re getting from librarians, researchers, and activists around the world.


The feedback has been overwhelming in the best possible way. Within 24 hours the guide was viewed 17,000 times and has been viewed over 40,000 times to date. Two weeks after first publishing the guide, the shares and mentions on Twitter have started to slow down. Most of the positive feedback has been from those who work in libraries and archives. It has been shared on Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook by people like Sherrilyn Ifill, President & Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, institutions like New York Public Library, and publications like Library Journal and School Library Journal. It has it’s own hashtag: #libeyrianship.

Honestly, a lot of the comments I’m receiving are about how this LibGuide in particular is different from other LibGuides. Many people have commented that they didn’t think of LibGuides as a space for topical exploration. Hashtags like #woke, and comments that include the word “relevancy” and overall gratitude for my having created the guide usually follow retweets and shares. A lot of people want Queen Bey herself to acknowledge the LibGuide. Funny story: the night I published it and realized the impact of the guide online, I got a phone call from an unknown number with a New York City area code. For a second I thought to myself, “Bey???” but it was just my graduate school asking for a donation. 🙂

Many librarians have told me that they’ve either talked about it in instruction meetings or have intentions of copying the LibGuide. At least one library has copied the guide completely and adapted it to fit the needs of their students (with my permission and credit of course). LibGuides have always seemed like a resource for not only library patrons, but library professionals. I search for LibGuides on particular programs to get an idea of what someone else thought was an important resource or topic to mention.

My next step as far as using LibGuides goes is to develop a LibGuide Bootstrap Bootcamp with my colleagues at Decker Library. Once I realized LibGuides is based in the Bootstrap framework (after excellent support from Springshare), I realized LibGuides could be customized if you gave a few hours of your time to learning this code.

Decker Library (@deckerlibrary) will be hosting a Twitter chat about the LibGuide and instruction on Wednesday, June 8 at 2pm EST.
Follow along using #libeyrianship and @deckerlibrary
Official Announcement Coming Soon!

Quick LibGuides Update: New Layout and Export All Records for Tabular Data

UPDATE to the update: This LibGuides update went live approximately 5:22 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. We hope you enjoy the new look and the All Records Export!

We have heard from quite a lot of you that you’d like to download lists of various things in your systems and massage or share that data with Excel. We’re in the process of implementing new code that will make this much easier. Starting tomorrow, May 3, you’ll see a new “Export all Records” button on some pages with tabular data.

Click that Export All Records button to download an HTML or CSV copy of every record contained in all the pages. Starting on May 3, you’ll see this new layout for the following pages:

  • Content > Guides
  • Content > Assets
  • Content > Assets > A-Z  Database List
  • Tools > Link Checker
  • Admin > Subjects, Tags, & URLs (all three pages)
  • Admin > Groups
  • Admin > Accounts

This new and improved way of handling tables looks a bit different, so here’s a screenshot showing what’s going on:

screenshot of the assets screen  showing Export All Records button and results filtered by "science" in the asset title

Sooper-secret bonus feature!!

Go to Content > Assets > A-Z Database list and click Export All Records. That export now contains the URL, Subjects, Vendors, Types, and Friendly URLs for all your database assets.