Archive for March 14, 2017

LibGuides v1 Retirement – free update to v2

On January 31, 2018, LibGuides v1 servers will be retired. All v1 sites will be updated to / live with LibGuides v2 by this date. The v1 infrastructure is 10 years old, and our hosting provider is no longer applying security or operating system updates to such an old generation of servers. This leaves LibGuides v1 potentially vulnerable to various security breaches, and in the interest of maintaining the level of security, features, and support that Springshare is known for, we must decommission these servers soon.

Never fear – LibGuides v2 is a free update, and gives you more flexibility, functionality, and focus on security and accessibility. The icing on the cake? We’re here to help with an update assistance option!

What is the timeline for v1 retirement?

All LibGuides v1 sites will be updated to v2 by January 31, 2018. After March 31, 2018, the v1 servers will be shut down.

  • December 31, 2017: Last day to select migration / go live dates yourself.
  • January 1-31, 2018: We automatically update any sites not yet in process.
  • January 31, 2018: Last selectable day to go live with v2.
  • March 31, 2018: The last day your v1 site is available behind-the-scenes.

What are the benefits of v2?

It would take too long to list all of the great functionality in v2, so we offer some highlights here, with links to related blog posts / more information wherever available. Check out a more comprehensive, yet still not exhaustive, list of v2 benefits.

  • Modern infrastructure focused on security and speed.
  • Continually updated code, to provide you with the best functionality possible.
  • https support for LibGuides CMS customers.
  • Regional servers: this year we’re bringing data centers online in Europe (April), Canada (Q2), Australia (Q3), and Asia (Q4).
  • LibApps LTI Tool (LibGuides CMS and/or E-Reserves): easily add library content into LMS systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, Moodle, and Sakai.
  • More flexibility, including:
    • having multiple content types in one box & reordering items between boxes;
    • Gallery and Tabbed boxes: do great things without having to add code;
    • customizable HTML page templates, for those who know HTML/CSS and would like more control over the page layout.
  • Improved content management, including a dedicated Database management area / automatically populated public page.
  • Completely redesigned site search and E-Reserves module.
  • System & guide blogs, so it’s easy to share library and/or subject-based news.
  • LibGuides CMS customers also get the following (and more!):

Additional FAQs / Update Assistance

Learn more about how to update, available training, support, and review additional FAQs in our Update to v2 guide! Once your v2 site has been set up and you have a shiny new v2 account, you can also access our step-by-step guide on updating in our v2 documentation site.

We know that it’s often difficult to find the time to do updates like these, whether it’s because you’re a solo librarian, many other projects also require your attention, the idea of updating feels overwhelming, or whatever other reasons you have / can imagine. As always, we’re here for you!

With our update assistance option, we take care of the technical side of the update, allowing you to focus on learning the new system…with our help, of course! (We recommend taking the Getting to Know LibGuides session first. 😉 )

We appreciate all of the years you’ve been LibGuide-ing with us, and look forward to many more!

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

..says Andrew Adler, director of the Georgetown College Library, when asked why the Library is using the entire platform of Springshare tools.

Andrew, like most librarians, wears a lot of hats. From teaching library instruction, manning the reference desk, creating training tutorials for student workers, and being available nine hours a week for one-on-one research consultations, plus being the director for the entire library – he needs their web platform tools to just work and be easy to use“.

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

The Georgetown College Library uses the entire Platform of Springshare Tools – and they use LibGuides CMS to power their Library Website.

“Things got a lot easier when we moved our website to LibGuides CMS.”

On their library homepage, an embedded LibCal Hours widget automatically updates to display today’s hours… no manual updating needed.

Their reference services are prominently showcased, with embedded LibAnswers LibChat widgets promoting their live reference assistance and a customized Ask Us form that routes all queries right into their LibAnswers ticketing queue.

All library forms, from a book purchase request form to reporting a catalog error are created and stored using LibWizard. In an effort to streamline work processes, their library student application is a LibWizard form! This way, librarians only have to go to one place, LibWizard, to view all form submissions.

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

All library student employees are trained using a combination of LibGuides with embedded LibWizard tutorials. Talk about making your tools work for you!

Circulation Student employees access the Circ Dashboard LibGuide when they sign into the circ desk computers.

From here, they can easily view their work schedules via LibStaffer, access library quick links, and take interactive training with LibWizard tutorials.

Since they’ve already used LibWizard to submit their student application forms, the process is consistent and seamless. As Andrew said, “everything they need – put in one spot”.

Andrew presented at the October 2016 SpringyCamp on training student workers using LibGuides and LibWizard. View Andrew’s presentation and download his slides.

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

Even the library’s staff directory is a product of integration.

Andrew maintains the Library Staff directory as a published LibAnswers FAQ, making it easy for anyone searching the FAQ database to find staff email addresses and phone numbers. But, what if they’re not in the FAQ database? How do they find that information?

Easy!

Simply embed that Staff Directory FAQ as a widget into any webpage, including their LibGuides CMS-powered website. This way, Andrew only has to update the directory in one place, the FAQ, and watch those updates trickle down to everywhere it’s been embedded. The same consistent information is easily syndicated across multiple platforms and is easy to maintain from one central location.

Wait, What About Faculty?

 

LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

Andrew wanted to create an online process where faculty could request library instruction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Email wasn’t cutting it, creating a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus, the Library maintains access to several IL-Classrooms so pointing faculty to a room reservation system would have required that Faculty know which room to request and when.

Using an outside-the-box solution, Andrew repurposed their LibCal My Scheduler as a tool for faculty to book library instruction. Most libraries use the My Scheduler tool to coordinate and schedule one-on-one research consultations. But Andrew saw it as a way to streamline their IL-Booking process. Faculty select their preferred date and time, and share their session preferences and class notes to ensure that the instruction is as targeted as possible – for the student’s benefit. Andrew receives the request, selects the appropriate classroom, and it’s all done…in just a few clicks. Easy-peasy.

These IL-Instruction Stats, and all stats from their Springshare tools, are automatically funneled into their LibInsight data gathering tool. From here, Andrew can run reports on how many classes were taught last semester, hits they had on their Library Website, and chats/texts/email reference questions they received.

Plus, using LibInsight’s Gate Counts Dataset, Andrew is able to view how many people are in the building – updated to the most recent hour. This data allows them to make staffing changes to their service desks based upon actual library traffic data. “It’s important for us to understand our student’s point of need and work to meet that need.”

 

LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

Every year, Andrew meets with the Georgetown College Provost to cover the library budget. As is typical at these meetings, every line item is scrutinized. Andrew makes it clear that their use of Springshare tools are an essential library service.

“The Library couldn’t function without it – it’s our website, our research guides, our reference service tool, or reservation tool, and so much more. — Andrew Adler

LibStaffer 2.3 Now Live!

We have a small LibStaffer update to share this morning, that’s packed with nice to have improvements! From preventing back to back shift scheduling to improved communication via notes and emails, to the new inactive account level, there are lots of little goodies to love!

Prevent Back to Back Shift Scheduling

Are your staff feeling overworked and tired of working shifts back to back? Then we’ve got great news – we’ve added a new setting in the Auto Scheduler to prevent staff from being scheduled for back to back shifts! Plus, we’ve added an optional “grace period” to help avoid shifts that aren’t technically back to back, but that start/end fairly close to each other. For example, if a staff member is assigned to a shift from 9-10am, and you assign a one hour grace period, that staff member won’t be assigned to another shift until after 11am. You’ll find this new setting built into the Auto Scheduler screen.

Inactive Account Level

This feature will be a huge plus, particularly for sites that manage seasonal or transitional employees (such as student employees that change from semester to semester) – we’ve added an inactive account level for LibStaffer accounts. Inactive account holders won’t be able to log in to your LibStaffer system, and they don’t count against your account subscription. However they’ll continue to display in your historic reports, so you retain an accurate picture of staffing at different times in history.

Good to know: when you set an account to inactive, the account holder will be removed from all future shifts, but they’ll remain assigned to any shifts in the past for reporting purposes. To set an account to inactive, head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account.

Expanded Shift Notes

We’ve added a couple of popularly requested features for shift notes, to help improve communication with staff. When emailing staff, admins now have the option to include relevant shift notes within the email – a great way to send out additional reminders to make sure everyone is on the same page! We’ve also corrected a small oversight – shift notes will now display to regular level users, both from the dashboard as well as from the overall schedule page. Hooray for increased communication with staff!

Email Updates

We’ve added a few key updates to the email functionality available in LibStaffer:

  • Shift Supervisors can now choose which employees should receive schedule reminder emails. Previously you could either send emails to all staff with an assigned shift, or to one specific staff member. Now we’ve included checkboxes so you can pick which staff should receive an email notification.
  • We’ve also added a cc field to schedule reminder emails, so you can email people who aren’t assigned to a schedule with information on upcoming shift staffing.
  • Shift Supervisors can also now send a general email to staff from within LibStaffer. This is a great way to make announcements to staff apart from schedule reminders – great for things like policy changes, staff reminders and the like.
  • And we’ve added a couple of new email notifications for the following situations:
    • Admin(s) now get an email notification when a time off request is submitted.
    • Schedule admins now get an email notification when an open shift has been picked up.

New Springshare Data Center: Europe – April 2017

Springshare is pleased to announce that we are bringing data centers online around the world in order to better serve all of our clients, everywhere! As of April 10, 2017, our European clients will be hosted on servers in Europe. In Q2, Q3, and Q4 we’ll bring servers online in Canada, Australia, and Asia, respectively.

These new servers host v2 products only: LibGuides v2, E-Reserves v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2 w/Equipment Booking, LibStafferLibWizard, LibInsight, and LibCRM. Once you move to this new cluster, all of your Springshare tools (current and future) are located there.

Who is moving & will there be down time?

We’re moving all v2 sites and content for customers located in Europe. For customers in other areas of the world, you will remain on U.S. servers, and there will be no down time for you while we move these sites.

European customers will experience some down time during the migration process:

  • LibGuides v2 Public side: No down time.
  • LibGuides v2 Admin side and all other apps (both public and admin sides): Up to 30 minutes of down time.

I’m in Europe – what do I need to do / know?

  • Migration Date: April 9, 2017, starting at 8pm U.S. EDT
    Time Converter – click “Add another city or time zone” to convert to your location.
  • Verify Your Move – Server Migration Check: You must verify that you are listed as moving to the European servers.
    • If you are listed as moving, your sites will be moved / you will experience some down time during the migration (see above).
    • If you are listed as not moving, but you should be moving, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we add you.
    • If are listed as moving, but you’d like to opt-out of the move, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we remove you.
  • LibGuides / LibAnswers / LibCal Custom Domains: If you have a custom domain (e.g., research.mylibrary.org, ask.myschool.ac.uk, calendar.library.myschool.ac.uk) for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and/or LibCal site(s), you’ll need to work with your IT department to update your DNS records in time for the migration. See our DNS Change FAQ for instructions.If you are not on a custom domain (e.g., mylib.libguides.com, university.libanswers.com, springylib.libcal.com), you do not need to do anything. We’ll take care of everything on our side.

If you’re on v1 for any apps and want to move to the European server cluster, you will need to move to v2 in order to do so. You do not have to move prior to the April 9, 2017 server migration date, though you’re welcome to, if you’d like! Learn more about updating to LibGuides v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2, and for LibAnalytics subscribers, LibInsight Lite.

If any questions / concerns pop up, please let us know, and as always, thanks for being on board!

LibAnswers 2.12.0 Encryption Update Now Live

Exciting news for LibAnswers subscribers, especially for those of you who are concerned about ensuring patron privacy (so, everyone, right?? 😉 ) – in today’s release, we’re rolling out encryption for key patron identifying information as it’s being stored in the LibAnswers database (aka “at rest”). This is one more step in our continuing efforts to ensure that patron data is safe and secure.

Patron Data Encrypted At Rest

Your patrons’ email address and SMS numbers are now encrypted as they’re being stored in the LibAnswers database, as long as they’re in fields that we know to contain email and SMS numbers, ie this does not yet apply to information shared in the text of a patron’s reply. There’s nothing you need to do to opt in to this change – as of this morning, all key patron email addresses and SMS numbers have been encrypted. This also won’t impact your ability to see the “history” of transactions with specific patrons or to run statistics.

Additional Bug Fixes

While testing for the big Encryption update, we ran into a few small bugs which we squashed like Godzilla. Here’s the rundown:

  • Reply Editing – Sometimes patron replies that are submitted into the system can either show up as too long (where they include the entire reply thread in a single reply), or too short (where a key piece of information gets cut off). To help with these, we’ve added a new option to edit the patron’s reply, so you can simplify or clarify individual patron replies. To do this, head to any ticket with patron replies, click the cog icon on a particular reply, and select “Edit Reply” – this will bring up the text of the original patron reply alongside a rich text editor, which you can use to edit the reply’s content.
  • Manage Assets: Edit File & Click Filename – We noted a couple of small issues on the Manage Assets screen, where clicking on an asset’s title didn’t do anything (instead of loading a preview of the file as intended), and editing a file lead to some pretty odd errors. We’ve squashed both of these issues – to see the fixes in action, head to Admin > Manage Assets.
  • Chat Widgets Now Load via HTTPS – This has been an optional setting for LibChat, but in this update we’ve streamlined things so that chat widgets now load via HTTPS by default, so patron chats load via SSL right from the get go.
  • Systems Status Management: Image Manager – We realized the image manager icon was missing from the product description field – oops! This is now back – Admins, head to Admin > System Status Management > Edit Product and you’ll see it’s back.
  • API Issues:
    • There was a minor issue where the search API was not properly returning the total number of results, which we’ve since quashed.
    • There was also an issue where adding an IP restriction for the API wasn’t being applied properly to widget – this is also fixed.
  • Accessibility Updates:
    • We’ve added an aria label to the hamburger menu (visible when viewing a site on a mobile device).
    • For screenreaders, we’ve added aria-hidden=true to the hidden input for the typeahead widget, as it was causing accessibility errors.