Archive for November 23, 2016

Dugan Library Saw Library Usage Increase with Introduction of LibGuides

Jeanette Parker

Jeanette Parker, Assistant Librarian

Steve Hamersky

Steve Hamersky, Library Director

During the Fall of 2015, Newman University’s Dugan Library introduced LibGuides to their community and since then, they’ve seen some amazing jumps in library usage.

Springshare sat down, virtually speaking, with Steve Hamersky (Director) and Jeanette Parker (Assistant Librarian) to get the full details.

When you say you saw a “jump in library usage” – what does that entail?

  • Door count is up from previous years by 10%
  • Individual consults/long reference exchanges are up by 100% from just one year ago
  • Number of students reached in programs, classes, workshops is up 48% from one year ago
  • Number of instruction sessions/classes/programs is up 50%
  • ILL requests are up 41% – “we feel this is due to them looking closer and searching better, not settling for just full text.”
  • Dugan Library

    Dugan Library

    Database Usage:

    • Sessions increased by 44%
    • Searches are up 40%
    • Full text downloads increased by 18%
    • Abstract views are up 25%
  • LibGuides Statistics since July 1, 2016:
    • Course Guides: 4,226 Views
    • Subject Guides: 5,283 Views
    • Other/Misc Guide: 299 Views

These results are great! Can you tell us, why did you come on board with LibGuides and what kind of guides are you building?

In 2014, the library was issued a mandate to get more involved on campus. Jeanette and Steve worked together and discovered that there wasn’t a program to equip students in research. Furthermore, the library website wasn’t structured to aid students in finding resources for assignments and the Database A-Z list was overwhelming.

Hence LibGuides!

Jeanette began by creating subject guides.

We really wanted something that would focus on a particular discipline and guide students to successfully locate good quality resources and not be using Google to search, which seems their default. We also noticed that many students were overwhelmed with the database options available, so this created a kind of barrier for their searching, they weren’t sure where to start, couldn’t remember what we’d told them, etc. So we wanted to create something that would eliminate the guesswork enabling them to focus on searching and evaluating sources.

Once the Subject Guides were complete, it was time for Steve and Jeanette to look for a professor willing to collaborate on a course-specific LibGuide. To visually differentiate course guides from subject guides, Jeanette uses tabbed navigation for subject LibGuides and side navigation for course LibGuides.

“The first course guide was definitely an experiment, trying to get the right balance of what we felt was important for students and including the elements that instructors needed.  During the spring semester (2016) we created 5 different course guides and introduced them in classes. We strongly encourage a library visit to introduce the students to the guide and the majority of faculty are on board with this.

How did you get faculty on board with building course-specific LibGuides?

Steve and Jeanette have created a pattern of visiting with faculty and presenting on the library’s “new” tools and information.

We spend about 15 minutes talking about what new library services or resources we have.  This fall we talked to them about our LibGuide stats and with samples of course guides to show them, most responded very favorably to the concept. We discovered that when we described, their initial response was that they feared we were helping students cheat on assignments. With samples to show and say Professor so and so had us show their students this, that response changed. We were able to add 12 course specific guides this fall 2016 semester.  Each of these were paired with a visit to the class or library for an introduction.

So not only are Steve and Jeanette promoting course-specific resources to reduce library anxiety, but they’re increasing usage of library resources and their instruction sessions output to boot!

What is the biggest hurdle you face and how is LibGuides helping?

Newman University is located in Wichita, Kansas and most students come from the local area high schools, which do not have librarians.

Students have not met or seen a library since middle school or even elementary school in some cases. They have no idea what we do, what we have to offer them, and how to even make use of the library resources. We have found the LibGuides have helped bridge that gap to certain extent.

Any interesting comments or responses from your users to share?

Faculty Comments:

  • “This is amazing!  Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am genuinely excited!” –Paralegal Studies professor regarding course LibGuide.
  • “This looks FANTASTIC Jeanette!  Thank you so much for putting this together.  I look forward to your class visit on Thursday!”—Criminal Justice professor regarding course LibGuide
  • “This is awesome!  I really like the characteristics of an academic, peer-reviewed article, and the list of things needed in their citations is perfect.  Thanks again for all of your work on this.”  –Biology professor regarding course LibGuide
  • “Thank you for doing this! It looks good to me and I think it will help students… I don’t know if it’s possible to overemphasize learning and finding “controlled language” in searches.” –English professor regarding course LibGuide

Student Feedback:

  • “I’m finding the resources you have made available in LibGuides and databases much more comprehensive and user friendly than my graduate school. You should be so proud of your work.  You have truly made a difference for us, and I appreciate everything you continue to do for me.” –Nursing student (alum)

What’s next for the Dugan Library?

Even though they’ve just started, Jeanette and Steve have some great advice for new users.

I would highly encourage librarians who are just getting started to create templates for different guide types, makes building new guides so much easier and consistent with your overall plan.

Overall, Jeanette and Steve are really pleased with their LibGuides and the results they’ve seen thus far.

What are We Thankful for? Great New LibGuides Features!

We’re celebrating turkey day early with some new features that we know you’ll love: a brand new Gallery Box, new features for Patron accounts, and some accessibility improvements, too!

Patron Accounts: Import and Self-Registration Options

Patron Accounts are used in LibGuides for patron participation in Discussion Boards (CMS Only) and blog comments. Until now, Patron Accounts were created one-at-a-time, or by sending email invitations. We’ve added two new options to make creating these accounts easier: mass import for you, and self-registration for them.

Don’t want to create patron accounts by hand? No problem! LibApps Admins can head over to LibApps > Admin> Manage Patron Accounts > Settings > enable Self-Register to allow patrons to do just that. The Settings tab is also where you’ll specify the email domains from which self-registration is allowed. If you’re a little nervous about self-registering, leave that disabled and use the Import Patrons utility in LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to import any and all of your patron accounts at once.

Already using Patron Accounts? We’ve moved them into LibApps in anticipation of extending their use to other Springy apps. Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to see, edit, or delete them.

Accessibility Improvements

We’ll be making accessibility improvements in just about every upcoming release, and we’re excited to announce the latest enhancements. Here’s the list:

  • Made sure that homepage sidebar boxes (A-Z list, E-Reserves, etc.) use headings.
  • Homepage page title reflects the content’s sort order.
  • Homepage buttons for “All Guides,” “All Groups,” etc., use <button> elements.
  • Added missing Submit button for Sort Order drop-down on homepage.
  • RSS content items now use accessible popovers for descriptions.
  • Removed redundant title attributes in RSS content items that caused some text to be read aloud twice by screen readers.
  • Fully-accessible Gallery Box content.

We have a list of other improvements to make and plan to include some of them with each release. See something that needs addressing! Do let us know!

Gallery Box – More than Just Pretty Pictures

Easily bring new content to your LibGuides slide shows with the our new, accessible Gallery Box code. Already have Gallery Boxes in your guides? No problem! This code is backward-compatible, so not only will your old boxes still function, all the new features apply! (Bonus: all your slides are the same height now! 🙂 )

New Content Options!

With the new Gallery Box, you can create slides showcasing content from your LibGuides system:

  • Books from the Catalog assets
  • LibGuides
  • Databases
  • LibCal events
  • Images from the Image Manager (or on the web, via URL)

To add content to your Gallery Box, click the cog icon in the Box’s header, then simply click Add New Slide, choose your slide type, and easily search for content in your LibGuides or LibCal system.

screenshot of the Add New Slide menu containing image, book, database, LibGuide, and LibCal Event options

New Gallery Box Settings!

Also new to the Gallery Box are all sorts of settings! Use different combinations of settings to create an endless variety of slide shows. Customizable features include:

  • Auto-play: turn Auto-play on for slides to advance automatically
  • Transition type: Slide or Fade
  • Speed adjustments: Adjust the time each image is on the screen and the time each transition takes
  • Image height control: specific a height in pixels or % relative to the box it’s in
  • Slide options: Number of rows, number of slides per row, and how many slides to advance at one time
  • Navigation: Presence or absence of dots indicating the number of slides (the arrows are always present to enable manual advancing of slides)
  • Choose caption position: Top, Bottom, Left, Right, and None
  • Caption color options: caption background color and text color

Do More with Gallery Boxes!

Creating slide shows with Gallery Boxes is about more than highlighting a few images. With the new content types, settings, and text options, the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas:

  • New books displays
  • Upcoming events
  • Highlight new or popular databases
  • Text-based slideshows highlighting library hours, contact info, upcoming meetings, etc.

Here’s a sampling of different layouts created using LibGuides Gallery Boxes:

One Slide at a Time, Auto-Play ON, Captions, Dots ON

Two-row Grid, Auto-Play ON, No Captions, “Fade” Transition

Horizontal Books Carousel, Auto-play OFF, No Captions, Advance 6 at a Time

LibAnswers 2.9 Update Now Live!

Exciting news, we have a slate of LibAnswers updates to share! This release is all about LibChat – we’ve introduced several “holy cow, that is awesome!” features, including chats that can follow the patron from page to page, searchable transcripts, and accessibility updates. Let’s get to the good stuff!

Follow Me Chat Widgets

It’s a common frustration – a patron is chatting with you and happens to navigate to another page in your site, causing a sudden disconnect and lost conversation. We have big BIG news – we’ve added follow-me capabilities to all LibChat widgets, so if a patron navigates to a new page, as long as the new page also contains a LibChat widget, your patrons will be able to continue the conversation seamlessly, without starting a brand new chat session.

This feature makes it much simpler to assist users as they navigate across pages. Previously the popout widget was the best answer to this conundrum (and it’s still a great resource), and we’re thrilled to be able to extend this functionality to sliding widgets and in-page embedded widgets as well!

Searchable/Filterable LibChat Transcripts

Search Transcript Filter ScreenshotThat’s right – you can search the full text of LibChat transcripts for specific keywords! This is a great way to get a read on the number of questions that are coming in on a particular topic. Plus, not only are transcripts themselves searchable, but we’ve also added a keyword search filter to LibChat statistics and reports. Use this to create a report on the number of times a particular keyword has been mentioned on a daily/hourly basis, or by staff member, etc.

LibChat Accessibility Improvements

We’ve made major strides toward fully accessible LibChat widgets, and we’re thrilled to say that LibChat is accessible right from the get go. From better focus management when the window pane, changes, to ensuring that all images have appropriate alt text links, to rewriting the slideout widget so it’s easier for screenreader software to navigate, we’ve made sure to cover accessibility in chat widgets from top to bottom. We’ve also made major improvements to the load time efficiency for all LibChat widgets. All of our chat widget scripts are now roughly 1/4 of their former size under the hood, meaning that any webpage that contains a LibChat widget will load that much faster!

Please note – it’s a good idea to take a peek at your widget today to make sure everything looks as you remember, especially folks using sliding widgets. One of our accessibility improvements updated the way that sliding widgets display – use the same image in any of the 3 page positions (left, right, or bottom). It’s possible that for folks already using an image in a sliding widget, the widget image may be rotated incorrectly. If this happens to you, head to LibChat > Chat Widgets > Edit Widget and find your widget. In most cases if your image is just text on a colored background, you can remove the image and use the existing text and color settings for the tab (that will be more accessible!). If your image is more than just text, you will need to edit the image itself. Rotate the image so the text reads normally (left to right for most of you). Our widget code will automatically rotate the image as necessary for the difference widget positions.

Chat Operator Console Updates

  • Screenshot of FAQ Search BoxFAQ Search in the LibChat Operator Window – Picture this – you’re in the midst of helping a patron answer a tricky question, and need to search your LibAnswers FAQ for an answer. We’ve got a fun new addition to the Chat Operator Window to help – now, you’ll notice a FAQ search build right in, so no more navigating to other pages to search your FAQs!
  • Improved Resizing for Chat Widgets – When you start a chat with a patron, sometimes it’s helpful to expand the size of the chat window to view more of the conversation. We’ve made improvements to the drag-to-resize functionality with this update, so you’ll find it much easier to drag the window to the size that works best for you!
  • Offline Button Colors – We’ve made it easier to customize the color of button widget when they’re offline, to give your patrons more of a visual cue when your service is online vs offline. Head to LibChat > Chat Widgets and select any button widget to customize the offline button color.

Concierge / “Can We Help You?” Popup Widgets

  • Auto-popout Button Widget – Do you love the concierge / “Can we help you” auto-slideout widgets? Us too – they’re a great way to call attention to your live chat service and prompt users to ask for help when they need it! We’ve extended this functionality beyond slide-out widgets – now you can add a concierge message using button widgets too! Just head to the widget builder and select the button widget type, scroll to the Autoload Delay setting and select how many seconds the widget should wait before popping up.
  • Dismiss “Can We Help You?” Popouts – Previously, if you had multiple “Can we help you?” concierge widgets on separate pages in your site, the prompt was displayed every time a patron loaded a new page, making it a bit hard to dismiss. There can be a fine line between offering help and pestering the user, so we’ve updated this behavior – now if a patron dismisses the message, it won’t continue to pop up on subsequent pages.

LibCal 2.6.2 Now Live!

We have a post-Halloween treat to share with all the LibCal fans out there – the 2.6.2 update is now live! This update includes all treats and no tricks, with updates to the Equipment Booking module and expanded administrative controls in the Events module, including registrations and waiting lists.

Equipment Booking Updates

  • Automatically Cancel Reservations if not picked up on time – If patrons don’t pick up equipment in a timely fashion, release it so it’s available to the public! You’ll find this setting under Admin > Equipment > Edit Location – set the amount of time the system should wait before releasing the reservation back to being publicly available, and LibCal will do the rest!
  • Adjust Due Date If Item Picked Up Early – If patrons come to pick up an item ahead of schedule (and it happens to be available at that time), LibCal Equipment Booking will automatically adjust the due date based on the time the item was actually picked up.
  • New Catalog Layout Options – We’ve added simple customizations for the new Equipment & Rooms catalog pages. Admins can head to Admin > Equipment & Rooms > Catalog Settings to access these new controls – create simple page customizations using mustache templates, and choose how many items to display per page by default.
  • Include Terms & Conditions in Emails – We’ve added a new token for automated system emails, so you can include your terms & conditions as part of email confirmations and reminders that are sent to patrons.

LibCal Event Updates

We have several popularly requested features in LibCal Events to share. Event management is getting some sweet updates this time around, including:

  • Add a new registrant from the Admin side – We’ve made it much easier to manage new registrants over the phone or at the front desk – now, you can register patrons for events from the admin side of the system. Head to the calendar and click on any event that requires registration – you’ll see a new option to “Add Registration”. When you add a new registration, the person you registered will still receive a confirmation email & any other reminders that folks who self-registered receive.
  • Waitlist order can be rearranged on the Admin side – Need to switch around the waitlist order to promote a particular user to the top of the list? Now you can! Just head to calendar and click on any event that includes a waitlist, and use the new arrow options to move someone to the top of the list.