Archive for February 20, 2017

LibCal 2.6.4.2 Equipment Booking Update Now Live

Lots more updates for the Equipment and Spaces module coming your way! With this update we’re focusing on the admin side of Equipment and Spaces, so managing items and loans is as seamlessly easy as one could imagine. From redesigned loan management screens with all new editing and emailing functionality built in, to reconfigured item and category management screens, plus a sprinkling of new features on top – this update has a ton to love, so let’s dive in!

Redesigned Checkin/Checkout/Overdue Tabs

We’ve updated the look and feel of the Equipment Checkin, Checkout and Overdue tabs, with a dual goal of adding more functionality and making the page easier to use. The new layout should make it easier to manage large numbers of items on the same page, by moving from a tile based layout to something more streamlined. In addition, we’re adding a quick “email patron” function right to these pages, so it’s easy to stay in touch with folks who have upcoming and overdue reservations! Plus, we’ve added simple edit and cancel booking function to the Checkin and Overdue tabs, so you can edit relevant information from any of the admin tabs. Check it out:

In addition to updating the Checkout, Checkin and Overdue tabs, we’ve also updated the Booking Explorer page – you can now edit or cancel bookings and email patrons from the Booking Explorer.

Redesigned Edit Item and Category Screens

We also took the opportunity to greatly simplify the navigation of the Admin Edit Item and Edit Category screens by consolidating the “Manage Categories” and “Manage Items” functionality into a single page, organized by panels. These two features were previously presented on two separate screens, which felt a bit disconnected. With these changes, the relationship between Categories and Locations should be much clearer, and hopefully it will be easier to keep track of which items belong to which categories.

Plus Bonus Features – We couldn’t leave the Edit Item and Category pages without adding some new functionality, so we also added a couple of nice to have features, including:

  • Reorder Categories & Sort Categories By Name – You can now customize the order in which categories display in Equipment and Spaces! This is a great option if you’d like to feature a few items at the top of the list, or sort by most popularly requested item category. To sort, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Equipment > Re-order Categories.
  • New Minimum Duration Setting – We’ve added a new setting so you can control the minimum length of time required to book a reservation. This is particularly useful for folks who may not be lending items locally, ie if you need time to mail an item out and back, you can now ensure that a reservation must last a certain number of days to make transit possible.

Support for Public Nicknames in Spaces

New for the “Spaces” portion of Equipment and Spaces, we’re adding support for public nicknames. A public nickname is essentially a public moniker that a person signing up for a space might give their group – this displays on the public side of the system, so group members can efficiently look for where their group might be meeting. This is an ideal way to make relevant information about a booking display on the public side of the system without exposing any personal identifying information for group members. To enable this setting for your spaces, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Spaces > Edit Category > Enable Public Nickname.

Even better, we’ve added some great new features to the way nicknames display on the public side of the system. We’ve added a whole new “Confirmed Bookings” landing page, which patrons can use to filter and search for their upcoming reservation – pretty sweet! And of course, the public nickname information is included as part of all API calls, so if you’re using the all new Read/Write APIs available in Equipment Booking, you can grab the public nickname for each group and display it on tablets and display panels throughout the library!

ConfirmedBookings

LibWizard 1.7.9 Update Now Live

We have a post-Valentine’s day gift for the LibWizard community – the 1.7.9 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you enhanced feedback options, which ensure patrons get the maximum amount of feedback for better learning outcomes. Read on for the new features that are making our hearts flutter!

Redesigned End-of-Quiz & End-of-Assessment Options

We’ve made a few changes and updates to the options available at the end of Quizzes and Assessments, with a goal of giving learners the most comprehensive feedback possible. This includes:

  • NewEndOptionsShow All Questions & Answers on the Thank You page – When patrons finish a quiz or assessment, wouldn’t it be nice to give them immediate feedback on all of the questions they answered? With this update, now you can! Head to the Thank You screen to see the new option for “Display correct answers and patron answers”. When you use this feature, we’ll display all of the responses that the patron provided at the end of the quiz or assessment, alongside the correct answer for each question and any question-related feedback you may have provided in the quiz or tutorial. This provides the patron with the full picture of how they performed on their quiz or assessment, and provides easy take-away info for continuous learning improvement.
  • Not Requiring a Correct Answer to Provide Feedback – Previously, it was only possible to give a learner correct/incorrect answer feedback by requiring an answer to be correct in order to move on. We realized that this was a bit limiting, so we’ve changed things – from now on, these are treated as separate settings, so it’s still possible to require a correct answer to continue, but you can still provide feedback on correct and incorrect answers to the patron without this requirement.
  • Display Grade as a Percentage, OR as Number of Questions Right/Wrong – A small yet popular feature request – if you choose to display a grade to the patron when they finish a quiz or assessment, you can now choose what form that grade should take. You’ll see this option on the Thank You screen, listed as Grade Display Type – choose whether you’d like to display the grade as a percentage (ie “You scored 80%”) or as the number of questions correct (ie “You answered 7 out of 9 questions correctly”).

File Upload Updates

We have a couple of new features to share for the file upload option:

  • DragDropNew Drag and Drop File Uploads – In a big move for convenience, we’ve added a super simple drag and drop file uploader, which reduces the number of clicks required to upload files on both the public and administrative sides of the system! To upload a file (up to 20 MB), just grab the file and drag it into the uploader. Of course if you prefer, you can still click on the uploader to choose a file from your computer.
  • File Uploads Included in Email Confirmations – We now include a link to uploaded files in the email confirmation messages sent to patrons / anyone on the email notification list, so you’ll no longer have to head to the reports area to view files.

Updated Look for the Edit Question Screen

We’ve adjusted the look of the edit question screen – now, instead of relying on accordions for the 3 main editing sections (Display Properties, Answer Properties, and Advanced Customization), we’ve moved these sections into 3 separate tabs. Hopefully this will make the various editing options a bit more obvious.

Tweaks and Bug Fixes

  • Previously, the file upload option could sometimes fail on the public side of the system, especially in cases where you had more than one file upload on a page, or a file upload was a required question. We’ve squashed these critters so the file upload will work reliably for patrons.
  • We’ve updated the option to “Use Spam Control” so it’s in use by default. Our spam control uses a honeypot method – it includes a field that is intentionally hidden so that humans don’t enter data in it. If the field is empty, as it should be, then the user can continue to the next page. Spam robots, however, will still detect that field and try to enter data in it (or in other words, stick their hand in the honeypot). When this happens, this prevents the robot from proceeding.
  • There were a couple of bugs that cropped up with the new Rich Text question and answer entries, where including HTML in the question or answer text could cause issues with questions being saved to the question bank, and certain fields were not saving correctly if they included HTML. These issues have been resolved in this update.

New this week in LibGuides: New Blog Features and an OAI Overhaul

We’ve hit the ground running here at Springy HQ after a lively January 2017! Here’s a rundown of big new LibGuides features, now available in a browser near you.

OAI Rewrite

We initially implemented OAI-PMH harvesting for LibGuides in July 2015, and since then, you’ve given us some great feedback for changes and new features.  We’re pleased to announce that we’ve rewritten our implementation from the ground up and have incorporated your ideas!

Sensible URL. We changed the structure of the URLs used for harvesting to make them easier to remember. Your old URL will continue to work, so you have time to update your identifiers (see below) and your URLs. To grab your OAI-PMH URL, go into LibGuides > Tools > Data Exports > OAI-PMH.

Updated Identifiers. In order to support sets and additional content in the feed, the identifiers for guides were modified slightly. For example, oai:libguides.com:27066 becomes oai:libguides.com:guides/27066. If you rely on these identifiers for harvesting, clear out the LibGuides content before updating your OAI-PMH URL, otherwise you may end up with duplicate guide content.

Real-time updating. Newly-published and -edited metadata will be available in your OAI feed immediately.

New metadata! Now you can harvest more than just your guides:

  • Sets support. LibGuides now supports sets of objects. View the ListSets output with “?verb=ListSets” for a list of available sets. The verbs ListIdentifiers and ListRecords support limiting results to a particular set by passing that set‘s query parameter. If the set parameter is left off, ListIdentifiers and ListRecords will return objects in all sets. This is a change in behavior from previous the version, which returned only guide content. If you would like to maintain this behavior (only harvesting guides), be sure to use the ‘guides’ set parameter.
  • A-Z Assets: One of the new sets available in the feed is your collection of A-Z Databases. All A-Z assets are included as long as they are not hidden. Information exposed for A-Z is: title, description, the ‘more info’ field (if filled in), subjects, vendor, creation date, and URL (proxied if the ‘proxy’ checkbox is checked). To grab your databases metadata, use the ‘az’ set parameter: &set=az.
  • E-Reserves Courses (Reserves module required): The courses available are limited to courses with unassigned terms or with terms with start and end dates for the current period. Information exposed for E-Reserve Courses is: title, description, instructor, term, URL, and course number. To grab just the E-Reserve Courses set, use the ‘er_courses’ set parameter: &set=er_courses.
  • Guide Custom Metadata (LibGuides CMS only): If you would like to include additional information in your feed, any supported Dublin Core fields entered in the Guide Metadata tab will be exposed. Entries in the Guide Metadata pane are exposed as additional fields and do not replace content in the feed. Field names must be in the format of dc.{field name}. For example, if you wish to add a contributor, enter “dc.contributor” as the field, and “Jane Smith” as the value.

Want to harvest your OAI-PMH data for your catalog? No problem! Check out this video for using MarcEdit’s OAI Harvester to create MARC records and get that job done:

Also see this post for a great introduction to OAI and links to additional resources.

New Blog Features

Featured Post. Now you can “pin” a post to the top of your blog by designating it your Featured Post. Note that there can be only one!

Screenshot of a guide blog with a featured post

Related Blog Posts & E-Reserves Courses on Subject Pages. Give additional exposure to your system and guide blog posts by assigning Subjects to them. Blog posts with Subjects assigned will appear under the Blog Posts tab on their respective Subject pages:

Screenshot of a Subject Page with the Blog Posts tab selected

…And More!

We wouldn’t be Springy if there weren’t a couple more goodies in this basket! Also new as of this release is are:

More ALT Text Options for Images. All non-decorative images in your LibGuides System should have accompanying ALT text to assist those who use screen readers. You’ll see new Alternative Text fields in a few places throughout the system.

Screenshot of adding ALT text to an image (meta!)

Add ALT text when uploading an image to your Image Manager

screenshot of an existing image in image manager

Add ALT text to existing images in image manager

screenshot of the Add Thumbnail image pane

Add ALT text when adding a thumbnail image to Links, Documents/Files, or Database Assets

Small Fixes

Just a couple more things to include!

  • LTI. The “customer secret” is validated when a tool is launched.
  • Search & Replace. We swatted a bug preventing Guide Name & Description searches from working.

 

LibCal v2.4.6.1 – Equipment and Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

With this update, we’re bringing you several updates to the Equipment and Spaces module. We’ve made some adjustments to the public side of the system to give “Spaces” a look and feel that’s more similar to the previous Room Booking module, and we’ve made lots of adjustments on the admin side of the system to help separate these elements out a bit. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to book Spaces and Equipment in the same reservation! We’ve also added lots of nice to have elements to Equipment and Spaces, including iCal feeds, QR code support, and several key bug fixes. Read on for the deets!

New Public Interface for Spaces

After hearing lots of feedback from several early adopters of the Equipment and Spaces module, we heard your feedback that the first iteration of reserving Spaces wasn’t quite in keeping with what your users had become accustomed to in the old Room Booking module. To help with this, we’ve updated the look and feel for Spaces – check it out:

NewSpacesUI

The big emphasis for the new design is to reduce the number of clicks that a user has to execute to create a new booking – rather than starting out with a catalog-type interface (where the user has to start off by making a selection before seeing any availability), users will now jump straight to current availability. We also wanted to ensure that the new design is mobile-friendly right out of the box (check!). And of course, we also made sure that Spaces and Equipment can still be reserved as part of a single reservation – once a patron reserves a room, they’ll then see the option to Add Equipment to that reservation.

Good to Know: Now that Spaces and Equipment both have their own landing pages, if you’re linking to these from your LibCal homepage, you’ll need to make a quick adjustment to provide a link to the new Spaces page. Admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor > Add Item > Equipment Book Space to add this link to the homepage.

Updated Space and Equipment Admin Settings

Now that we’ve separated out elements of the public Equipment and Spaces UI, we also wanted to tease out some of the settings for this module on the Admin side of the system. We’ve separated “Equipment” and “Spaces” into their own upcoming bookings and booking explorer pages, so you can view each of these with ease. We’ve also adjusted some of the Admin settings for these modules to make things a bit easier to navigate – you’ll now find separate tabs within each Location to manage “Equipment” and “Spaces” within that location.

We’ve also added a frequently requested feature to the Equipment and Spaces explorers – you’ll now see a “View All” option on these pages, so you’ll no longer need to browse through separate categories in order to view past and upcoming reservations.

And last, we’ve added another highly requested feature to the admin settings – now, when you upload an image for a piece of equipment, those images will be adjusted to a standardized size, so your catalog pages will display in a more uniform manner. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference!

New Method for Selecting Return Time

In keeping with our drive to simplify the booking pages for patrons, we’ve also redesigned the method used for selecting the end-time for a reservation. This impacts both Equipment reservations as well as Space reservations – now, instead of displaying a list of possible return times, patrons will see a simple date and time picker. This makes it easy for patrons to select the date and time they’d like to return an item, and is especially helpful when the list of possible return times would have been exceptionally long (ex. for hourly loans that span multiple days, where the list of possible return times could grow into hundreds of possible choices).

iCal Feeds and QR Codes

QRCodesWe’ve added support for iCal feeds and QR codes for both Equipment and Spaces! The new iCal feeds will make it that much easier to integrate your upcoming Equipment and Space reservations with a third party calendar system (like Outlook or Google Calendar) – you can now subscribe to your Equipment or Space reservation feed from within any 3rd party calendar application, so information on upcoming reservations will flow to that calendar with ease.

Plus, we’ve also added QR code support for Equipment and Spaces. This is a fantastic way to share information on how to reserve a space or piece of equipment with patrons at point of need. Just post the QR code next to the available resource, and when patrons scan that code, they’ll go right to the public item reservation screen – no remembering or typing in URLs required! To start using QR codes and iCal feeds, head to Spaces/Equipment > Availability.

Bug Fixes

  • We’ve fixed an issue with the public and admin-side availability grid display – now these will always go straight to the current day’s availability when the page is initially loaded.
  • We’ve also fixed an issue with daily reservations where, in certain circumstances, a patron could select an end date that wasn’t allowed (usually because the library was closed on that day), which generated an error message. We’ve adjusted things so patrons can no longer select a return date that isn’t allowed.