Archive for January 31, 2017

ALA-Midwinter Guest Presentation Recordings Now Available

Guest Presentation Recordings Available on FacebookFeeling #alaleftbehind? In case you missed our awesome line-up of guest speakers at the ALA-Midwinter Conference in Atlanta, we have the recordings available on our Facebook page!

And while you’re there, like our Facebook page to have our posts display in your Facebook Feed. This way, you won’t miss out any product update announcements, video presentations, and more.

These 15-min guest presentations by Springshare users will get you thinking about all the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Perhaps you’ll want to setup a ‘Ghosts in the Library’ LibGuide like SUNY New Paltz or use LibGuides CMS as a course management system like the University of Florida. Or take a page from Goldey-Beacom College and Cleveland State University and consider using LibGuides and LibWizard as on-boarding tools for new hires.

So take a minute (or two or three) and learn from your fellow colleagues on the endless possibilities of Springy tools.

Forget about being #alaleftbehind – it’s time to get #springyinspired!

Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby

SUNY New Paltz: Ghosts in the Library

Using LibGuides v2 as a platform for content delivery, student voting and resource sharing, students in an introductory English Composition class play a learning game. In the game, teams of students must use library tools to research information about a ghost whose legacy has been underrepresented in the historic record.

cindi craig

Cindi Craig

University of Florida: Using LibGuides for Portfolio Management

When I taught a section of a small, in-person information skills course, I used LibGuides as a course management system. I also had each student create a personal LibGuide and update it with library resources on a chosen topic throughout the course.

Denise Gergetz

Denise Gergetz

Milwaukee School of Engineering: Managing & Scheduling Molecular Models

Download PowerPoint Slides

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Model Lending Library has a unique collection of physical models and materials designed to assist in molecular learning. The library makes these models available for short-term loan, using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module.

Karoline Manny

Karoline Manny

Midway University: Using LibGuides & LibAnswers for Communication and Collaboration

Download PowerPoint Slides

The Center@Midway for Teaching Excellence and Innovation promotes ongoing academic program enhancement and faculty development. The Center quickly found itself in need of an efficient way to communicate with faculty and students regarding their immediate and future needs. We turned to LibGuides and LibAnswers.

Monica Rysavy

Monica Rysavy

Russell Michalak

Russell Michalak

Goldey-Beacom College: Onboarding with LibGuides

Download Presentation PDF

These onboarding tutorials comprise the required onboarding components for student workers, paraprofessionals, and professional library staff on library services topics such as cataloging procedures, circulation procedures, serials procedures, WorkFlows (Library Management System) procedures, opening/closing duties, in addition to other library policies and procedures.

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett

Cleveland State University: Building Online Workshops with LibGuides & LibWizard

By embedding outside tools like Office Mix, Google Forms, and Adobe Captivate into a LibGuide, I created gradable tests and quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials, all of which are accompanied by digital badges. I  used LibWizard and a tool called TubeChop to add assessment to YouTube videos and make them more engaging.

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Troy University: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Programming Grants

Download PowerPoint Slides

Use LibGuides to promote your library programming grants! Troy University Libraries used LibGuides to promote their 2016 Banned Books Week grant activities and we have also created a LibGuide to promote our NEA Big Read events.

LibCal: MyScheduler Updates Now Live

Exciting news for LibCal users – we’re introducing a slew of updates to make MyScheduler the easiest and most flexible way to book an appointment with a librarian. Our new MyScheduler Appointment Categories will make it easy for patrons to book exactly the amount of time they need, and we’re also bringing you several great updates for MyScheduler Groups and emails. Here we go!

MyScheduler Appointment Categories

SelectstaffWe’re thrilled to introduce the all new Appointment Categories in MyScheduler. With Appointment Categories, you can support different length appointments for different appointment “types”. Ex. you might create categories for “Research Review (30 minutes)”, “Citation Assistance (30 minutes)”, and “In-depth Research Question (60 minutes)”. Patrons can then select the type of help they need, and MyScheduler will create an appointment for the amount of time you’ve set for that category. We’re thrilled to add this layer of flexibility for appointment types, as patrons will now be able to select exactly the amount of time they need to get the help they require.

Good to know: This is an opt-in update. Switching to the new Appointment Categories will change how your staff manage their MyScheduler availability – they’ll still define the times that they’re available, but they’ll no longer define their appointment durations or padding between appointments (those will be defined by the Appointment Categories). To take the new Appointment Categories for a spin, Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Appointment Categories and Durations.

MyScheduler Groups Update

By popular request, we’ve added customizable text areas to the top of the MyScheduler Groups page, to make it easier to display your library’s terms and conditions for booking meetings with librarians. Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Page Description to add a custom terms and conditions statement, which will appear at the top of the Groups page as well as in the Groups widgets.

We’ve also added a customizable text area for each MyScheduler Group, so if different groups have different policies, you can create custom text for each group. To customize this area, Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Manage Groups > Edit Group > Description/Info Text.

MyScheduler Email Updates

  • We’ve added a new email template for the Confirmation email that’s sent to librarians when someone creates a new appointment, so this email is now customizable! Head to MyScheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Confirmation Email to Admin template to give it a spin.
  • Even better, we’re including a “Cancel this appointment” link in the email sent to librarians, so if you need to cancel the appointment, you’ll have a link available right in your inbox.
  • We’re also updating the email tokens used in various MyScheduler emails by separating “Location” from “Date and Time”, which makes the emails sent to patrons a bit more flexible.

 

LibAnswers 2.10.0 Now Live!

We’re continuing the update party throughout January, and this week we’re bringing you the LibAnswers 2.10 release. From drag and drop file uploads to a new bulk edit / delete / apply macro option, there’s lots to love in this update! Let’s get to it…

Bulk Updates for Tickets

BulkEditThis has been a hugely popular request, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it to you just in time for Spring – Administrators can now make bulk edits to LibAnswers tickets from the Dashboard and from the Knowledgebase Explorer! This impacts all sorts of edits and changes – everything from adding a new tag to a group of tickets, to sending several patrons the same message by applying a Macro, to changing the status of a group of tickets from “Open” to “Pending” – our new bulk changes feature will have you updating tons of tickets in no time. 🙂 To start making mass updates, Admins can head to the Dashboard or Knowledgebase Explorer and select the Actions dropdown.

Temporary Trash Bin

TrashCanOne of the elements of the new Bulk Ticket Update feature is the ability to delete multiple tickets at once en masse – an exciting feature for sure, but one that could use a bit of a safety net to help cover itchy trigger fingers. That’s why we’ve also added a new Trash Can feature, to help with those potential accidental deletions.

Here’s how it works: Any ticket deleted from the Dashboard or Knowledgebase Explorer is sent to the temporary Trash Can. Tickets will remain in the Trash Can for 30 days before being automatically (and permanently) deleted. Admins can access this Trash Can by heading to Admin > Manage Trash Can – from there, you can view all trashed tickets, recover tickets (which rescues them from the Trash Can), or permanently delete tickets.

Drag and Drop File Uploads

DragDropContinuing the theme of convenience, we’ve got another big feature in this update – we’re adding drag and drop file uploads on both the public and administrative sides of the system! We’re reducing the number of clicks required when uploading files for both patrons and librarians by adding a super simple drag and drop file uploader to all of the places where you can upload files in LibAnswers, including the Question Form, Ticket Reply pages, and in LibChat for both patrons and chat operators. To upload a file up to 20 MB, just grab the file from your desktop and drag it into the uploader. Of course if you prefer, you can still click on the uploader to choose a file from your desktop.

Additional Updates

  • We’ve made it a bit easier to view the history of interactions with a patron on the ticket answer page. At the top of the page, you should now see a link for (History) next to the patron’s name – click it to view all past interactions with that patron.
  • We’ve made a couple of minor adjustments to how search works, to ensure that all content in a ticket is indexed, and to make sure that the autocomplete functionality is working properly.
  • We now support SPF DNS records for sending email using custom email domains (ie non-*.libanswers.com email domains) out of LibAnswers. Admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > Email > Custom Outgoing Email Address for more information on the new options.
  • We fixed a minor bug where clicking “Add Question” from QuerySpy wasn’t auto-populating the question information into the Create FAQ page (now it does!).

“Count” on LibInsight to kick off ALA Midwinter week 2017 with a bang!

Springys will be heading to Atlanta this week for ALA Midwinter 2017, but Springy HQ is still rocking and rolling out new features this week! First up is LibInsight 0.15, now available in a browser near you! Here’s the rundown:

Counts/Aggregate Dataset Type

As librarians, we count a lot of stuff! Whether tracking the number of visitors to the library, the number of questions answered at your desk, the number of attendees at your awesome programs, or the number of times your group study spaces are used, there are a lot of numbers you can use to demonstrate the value of your library to your university or board. While LibInsight does some aggregate counting, until now, its power has been in tracking and analyzing transactional data–think individual instruction sessions vs monthly instruction statistics. Weep no more, spreadsheet lovers!

We’re so pleased to bring you the Counts/Aggregate dataset type. Monthly collection counts? Check! Daily headcount? Check! Annual event attendance or instruction numbers? Check and check! Stack any and all of your regularly-counted numbers together in one or more Counts/Aggregates datasets.

Screenshot of the data entry screen for the Springy Hometown Library Monthly Stats dataset

As with all LibInsight datasets, you get analysis for your Counts, too. View your numbers in tables, view dataset statistics, chart one or more variables, or even use the Trends tab to show how the counts change over time.  Compare data from your Counts datasets with other datasets using Cross-Dataset Analysis to boot! Ready to show off your library’s numbers? Add your Counts dataset to a Dashboard for easy access. Ready, set, get counting! 🙂

Screenshot of the analysis of the Springy Hometown Library Monthly Stats dataset

Custom Datasets Get Trendy!

Do you use the Trends tab in your other datasets? Well, now you can analyze trends for the numeric fields in your custom datasets, too! See how the totals of your numeric fields change year-over-year, graphically and in tables. In the screenshot below, we see that use of the Springy Hometown Library Reading Room was up by almost 6% in 2015 over 2014 but slipped by just over 1% for 2016.

Screenshot of 3-year trends for the Springy Hometown Library Headcount dataset

Have suggestions for additional Trends or other analysis for Custom Datasets? Click the Support tab on any page in your LibInsight site to drop us a line.

Additional Features and Fixes

Widgets

  • Add the “Entered by” field to your dataset widgets to record who’s entering data.
  • If Required Fields aren’t completed on Submit, these are highlighted.

Gate Count Datasets

  • Allow “Null” values in Gate Count hourly datasets–no zeroes required!
  • Added a date/hour picker for the Multi-Gate option in Gate Count widgets.
  • You can now download your Gate Count data.

And more…

  • More flexibility with setting your preferred fiscal year dates for analysis. Set this up in Admin > System Settings.
  • Field order of CSV Exports now reflects your custom field order.
  • We squashed a bug that was preventing 5-step scale fields from working properly
  • We made SUSHI error messages easier to read.

Raising the Heat in Hotlanta!

booth 1056Springshare’s heading to the ALA-Midwinter Annual Conference in Atlanta, January 20 – 23. And, we’ve got a totally rocking schedule of flash presentations, coloring time, team Libe vs. Lib buttons, and more. Plus, you won’t want to miss out on seeing how your fellow librarians use Springshare tools at Booth 1056.

Flash Presentations

Guest Presentations

We have an extraordinary lineup of 8 guest presenters doing 7 separate flash presentations. Don’t miss out on seeing how they’re using Springshare tools to provide stellar service.

Friday, Jan 20: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby

SUNY New Paltz: Ghosts in the Library

5:45pm – 6:00pm

Using LibGuides v2 as a platform for content delivery, student voting and resource sharing, students in an introductory English Composition class play a learning game. In the game, teams of students must use library tools to research information about a ghost whose legacy has been underrepresented in the historic record.

cindi craig

Cindi Craig

University of Florida: Using LibGuides for Portfolio Management

6:00pm – 6:15pm

When I taught a section of a small, in-person information skills course, I used LibGuides as a course management system. I also had each student create a personal LibGuide and update it with library resources on a chosen topic throughout the course.


Saturday, Jan 21: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Denise Gergetz

Denise Gergetz

Milwaukee School of Engineering: Managing & Scheduling Molecular Models

10:00am – 10:15am

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Model Lending Library has a unique collection of physical models and materials designed to assist in molecular learning. The library makes these models available for short-term loan, using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module.

Karoline Manny

Karoline Manny

Midway University: Using LibGuides & LibAnswers for Communication and Collaboration

1:00pm – 1:15pm

The Center@Midway for Teaching Excellence and Innovation promotes ongoing academic program enhancement and faculty development. The Center quickly found itself in need of an efficient way to communicate with faculty and students regarding their immediate and future needs. We turned to LibGuides and LibAnswers.

Monica Rysavy

Monica Rysavy

Russell Michalak

Russell Michalak

Goldey-Beacom College: Onboarding with LibGuides

2:30pm – 2:45pm

These onboarding tutorials comprise the required onboarding components for student workers, paraprofessionals, and professional library staff on library services topics such as cataloging procedures, circulation procedures, serials procedures, WorkFlows (Library Management System) procedures, opening/closing duties, in addition to other library policies and procedures.


Sunday, Jan 22: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett

Cleveland State University: Building Online Workshops with LibGuides & LibWizard

1:00pm – 1:15pm

By embedding outside tools like Office Mix, Google Forms, and Adobe Captivate into a LibGuide, I created gradable tests and quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials, all of which are accompanied by digital badges. I  used LibWizard and a tool called TubeChop to add assessment to YouTube videos and make them more engaging.

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Troy University: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Programming Grants

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Use LibGuides to promote your library programming grants! Troy University Libraries used LibGuides to promote their 2016 Banned Books Week grant activities and we have also created a LibGuide to promote our NEA Big Read events.

LibWizard 1.7.8 Update Now Live

It’s a new year, and the hits just keep coming! Last night the LibWizard 1.7.8 release went live, and we have lots of fun features to share. Read on for the latest!

Rich Text Question and Answer Text

question-rteIn this update, we’re adding simple rich text formatting for question and answer text in LibWizard. The new rich text editor is simple but powerful – use it to add standard text formatting (like bold/italicize/underline text), add a simple bulleted or numeric list, or even insert a link, to open in a new window. This makes it much easier to add clearly formatted text to any question or possible answer in LibWizard – perfect for quizzing students about the correct formatting for different types of citations, or adding a link to an external resource for additional context.

Workpad Usability Improvements

For those of you who manage long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, we have great news – we’ve made several improvements to the workpad area, which makes building assets even easier! We’ve added a scrollbar to the content area, so adding new questions anywhere in the asset is a breeze. We’ve also adjusted the behavior of the page on save – now, when you save an asset, the screen will return to the previous location, rather than refreshing to the top of the page. These changes should make it much easier to work on long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, by keeping the list of questions and control panel together on screen!

Encrypt Assets & Patron Responses At Rest

For security conscious folks out there, we have big news – users on the full LibWizard platform can optionally encrypt all LibWizard data, including all assets (forms, surveys, quizzes, and assessments) and patron responses, at rest. This option must be used in combination with our new HTTPS support. To give it a spin, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings and select the options for HTTPS and Encryption.

Flexible Correct Answers

We’re adding more flexibility to the way correct answers are defined in free text fields. Previously, free text fields relied on an exact answer match in order to count as correct – you could add multiple possible correct answers, but patrons had to exactly match one of those responses in their answer. Now, this is much more flexible – we’re adding support for correct keywords, so if a patron mentions that keyword in their response, the answer is counted as correct! This is great for quizzing students on high level concepts while still maintaining the convenience of auto-grading.

And More…

  • Switch Question Type – We know how it is – sometimes you create a new question and after adding the possible answers, you realize that that radio field should really be a checkbox option, or a dropdown. Never fear – we’ve added a simple switcher, so you can switch that dropdown question to a radio field with ease. 🙂  To try this out, edit any radio, dropdown, checkbox, or text field and use the switcher at the top of the page.
  • banksaveAdd Existing Questions to the Question Bank – if you’re an admin in your LibWizard site, you can now add existing questions to the question bank right from within an existing asset! You’ll see the new option when you add or edit any question – select “Save to Bank” to save any question to your site-wide reusable question bank.

LibCal 2.6.4 Now Live!

It’s a whole new year, and with it we’re bringing a host of new LibCal features! This update brings the much requested Fines support functionality to the Equipment and Spaces module, plus a great new feature for booking multiple Rooms when creating a new event. Lots to share, let’s get to it!

Equipment and Spaces: Fines are Here!

finetemplate3For folks using the Equipment and Spaces module, we have exciting news – we’ve added full fines support for Equipment, to help motivate patrons to return their items on time. 🙂

Create templates (like the one on the right) for the different fine structures you need, then apply those fine templates to item categories. The fines module will automatically calculate the amount to assess if an item is returned late. Librarians can easily view the amount owed by patrons, and view a full history of all fines owed by a particular patron. LibCal even includes basic patron communication tools, so you can send email notifications and reminders and generate simple invoices, lickety split.

To get started with the all new fines module, Admins can head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Fine Templates.

Plus a Bonus: Read API for Fines

No fines module would be complete without a way to report fines to your central billing system, and LibCal’s fines module is no exception! A full read API is included as part of the fines module, so you can easily feed the information on fines currently owed to your central billing system, library catalog, etc.

Add Event: Reserve Multiple Rooms

If your library employs flexible Room Booking Rooms (where more than one room can be reserved at a time), we have great news – you can now reserve multiple Rooms when creating a new event! We know this is a key feature for those of you with flexible meeting rooms, like rooms that can be separated by a divider into rooms A and B, or combined into a single larger AB room. To try out this new feature, head to the add/edit event screen and select the locations you’d like to reserve.