Archive for Cindi Blyberg

Search & A-Z Management Release is Here!

Brand new to LibGuides today are some big new updates that are sure to get your fall or spring semester off to a great start! The best news is that more is yet to come! 😃
First, let’s talk search. As we announced on August 18, we’re rolling out a new and improved search that will present you and your users with links directly to the pages that match your search terms. ICYMI, here’s that list of features for our better more efficient and effective search engine:
  • In-Context Snippets – Search results show snippets of the page where the search term appears. To see snippets, use the Tabbed search page configuration.
  • Search Focus on Page vs. Guide – This helps patrons land on the correct page based on their search term rather than guessing what is the most relevant page within the guide based on the search.
  • Faster Guide Edit Indexing – Guide changes are included in the search index within 5 minutes (we are working on getting this down to 1 minute or less).
  • Search within Guides – Restrict your search to individual guides.
  • Search within LibGuides CMS Groups – Search content within groups, with proper access permissions (e.g. internal groups only for logged-in users, etc.).
  • Separate Search Indexes for Local vs. Community – Regardless of what your community-indexing setting is your local LibGuides search will always work and local content will always be indexed for local searching within your own system.
Next, let’s talk about assets. Your database assets are possibly your library’s most valuable collection, and they are certainly sought-after. With such a prominent place in your services, they deserve an equally-prominent place in your LibGuides system.

 

On the public side of things, we’ve added a Settings tab on the A-Z List page so that you can make big changes in small amounts of time. Add a LibChat widget (LibAnswers required), change the look of the page, add Permitted Uses, and manage your Vendors and Types from one place. We’ve also brought the A-Z List page into web accessibility compliance, adding information for screen readers and making sure that all the page components and contrast levels comply. Accessibility improvements include: icons (and hidden text) indicating when links open in new windows; higher contrast ratios for icons and other text; keyboard-accessible drop-down menus, navigation by letter, and Share icons.

Login fresh to your LibGuides system to see the new pages and functionality for your database assets. Not only does each asset have a full page, but we have added more fields to the database goodness. You can filter your list on any field or attribute assigned to an individual asset. Need to know how many Best Bet databases you have for Agriculture? No problem! Which business databases allow ILL? Easy! How many are New? Trials? Popular? Check, check, and check!

We’ve also added these awesome new fields and features to make your A-Z management A-maZing!
  • Import AND Update your databases – New resources? URL change? Subject Additions? No problem, include the LibGuides asset ID in your spreadsheet to update existing databases.
  • Popular – Create a quick list to direct users to the most highly-used resources.
  • Alternative Name/Keywords – Add access points to resources.
  • Internal Note – Add information useful to the library but hidden from patrons.
  • Hide Databases – Cancelled? Down? Otherwise unavailable? Just hide it!
  • Permitted Uses – Define which resources can be used for ILL, Course Packs, the LMS—whatever you need.
  • Library Review – Write a review for your patrons and contribute it to the LibGuides A-Z Community (CMS-only).

What’s this about an A-Z Community, you ask? That will be the second part of this two-part update! Don’t worry, all additional changes are going to be behind the scenes, so you will not have to alter any templates or CSS. With the A-Z Community features, you’ll be able to analyze your A-Z holdings next to those of the entire LibGuides Community. You’ll see how many institutions have a database marked as a best bet for a subject, are conducting a trial, even what other databases share that subject assignment and other institutions’ similar subject terms. Stay tuned!

A-Z Changes, A-to-Z

If you have applied a custom A-Z template or custom CSS on your A-Z page, you’re probably wondering what tomorrow’s update means for you. Well, wonder no more! We’ve whipped up this guide for you in our Springy Support Site to facilitate the changes that are coming to templates and to CSS / HTML. Log in with your LibApps account to check out the new template keywords, changes to in-page and stylesheet CSS changes, and changes made to the HTML that make the A-Z page accessible to your users.

We will be extending those web accessibility changes to the rest of the public pages in future releases, starting in September.

Miss the memo on the upcoming new tools? The A-Z updates will be coming in the evening August 30, U.S. Eastern time, and the update to the search back-end is coming the following evening.

Pre-ALA LibGuides Updates: HTML Validation, Remotes Scripts, LTI, & E-Reserves

Over the last few weeks, we’ve released a bunch of small updates and features that will make your (work)life much easier and fun to boot.

HTML Validation

It’s happened to all of us; you’ve got some widget code, and you paste it into your LibGuide’s Media/Widget asset type and blammo! It blows up your LibGuide. Turns out that your widget code was missing a closing HTML tag. Or, you’re working on some custom CSS code in your Admin Look & Feel area, and you used a single quote instead of a double quote, and now your system’s customization looks cray-cray. You frantically email our support team, and we fix it as quick as humanly possible, but it takes awhile to smooth out your panicked edges. Small HTML/CSS mistakes can have big consequences. So, to keep your stress level down, we’ve added in HTML validation everywhere we could!

How does it work?

Well, if you’re working with HTML code that is missing tags or is not formatted properly, we’ll inform you right then and there! You won’t be able to save it without fixing it; you won’t have to worry about crashing your LibGuide or breaking your customizations anymore. If we alert you to a problem, read the onscreen language and fix it. If you still can’t figure it out, follow the link to the W3C Validation Service and follow the prompts.

HTML Validation

LibGuides HTML Validation

Remote Script AssetRemote Scripts Asset

Drum roll, please! The Remote Scripts asset type has come to LibGuides v2! This content type allows the techies amongst you to embed external content right inside a LibGuides box. You can write scripts (on your own server, in any programming language) to display any type of data from any system without having to use iframes or other tricks. The content you display using your script will display inside a LibGuides box like any other piece of content.

New E-Reserves Features & Bug Fixes

We’ve added some nifty UI features to the E-Reserves module and squashed a few pesky bugs along the way.

  • Course-wide Password Requirement: Worry no more, admins! Turn on a system-wide setting to require password protection for all courses.
  • Easy Course Information Editing: When you’re adding or reviewing E-Reserve items inside a course, you can easily update course info at the same time.
  • E-Reserves Homepage Search: The E-Reserves search box on the LibGuides homepage is now working properly, where it previously returned all courses. Bug smashed!
  • Opening in New/Same Window: Decide whether links should open in a new/same window.
  • E-Reserve Stats Added to Statistical Content Summary: Easily view your total number of courses, items, and total item storage from Statistics > Content Summary.

E-Reserve Counts

LTI Improvements

If you haven’t checked it out already, our LibApps LTI is really the bee’s knees (if bees had knees, of course ;). And it just keeps getting better and better! Our latest round of improvements include:

  • Faster Metadata Deletion: Delete metadata from within the LTI tool directly rather than having to navigate to specific guides, E-Reserve courses, subject categories, etc.
  • Bypass E-Reserve Passwords: Students already inside their courseware tool accessing E-Reserves via LTI (whew!) shouldn’t have to enter another password, and now they won’t have to. Password-protected E-Reserve items bypass password protection since the student is already authenticated into their courseware tool.
  • E-Reserve Items Open in a New Window: When accessing an E-Reserve link or document, it will automatically open in a new tab.
  • Private Guides in the Manual LTI selector : When using the Manual LTI Selector, only private guides for the logged-in user are displayed in the list. If we cannot determine who is logged into LibGuides at the moment of selection, no private guides are shown.

Small Improvements & Fixes

  • mSite Builder & Mobile Safari: When Safari on a mobile device to access an mSite, tapping the ‘Full Site’ link works as it should.
  • Option to Skip Sending ‘Welcome’ Emails: When creating a new account, you can choose whether or not to send either a ‘Welcome’ email to the new account holder. This applies to the ‘Welcome to LibGuides’ email as well as the ‘Welcome to LibApps’ email, if you’re adding a user that does not already have a LibApps account.

Welcome to LibGuides Email

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

 

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.

New to LibInsight: Track Individual Reference Questions, and More!

Up until now, to track and analyze reference questions, a library had to create a custom dataset. That’s still possible, of course, but if you’re a librarian who likes things in the right categories (and we know you are!), you can use a new option in the Reference Dataset to track those individual transactions.

How? When you create a Reference dataset in your LibInsight installation, you’ll see three options:

Screenshot of options to create Reference Dataset. They are read in the text below this image)

If you are tracking monthly statistics from another reference system, choose “For importing aggregate count of SMS, Chats, Tickets, & FAQs from my Reference system.” To have those numbers automatically harvested for you from LibAnswers, choose the second option. To enter details about each question answered at your desk, choose the third option, “To add individual Reference Questions.”

Bonus! You can integrate a READ scale field if you use that in your library. Analysis of the READ scale values is included in the dataset analysis.

Many folks use LibAnalytics to track their reference questions, and that’s great! LibInsight goes one further and gives you the power of all the field types in the Custom Dataset, applied to your Reference service! Add select fields for items like location or the method used to ask the question; add a multi-select field for items like “Resources Used.” Did you consult the catalog, a database, and a book from the ready reference shelf? No problem! Check all that apply. 🙂 Also available are Numeric, Monetary, Scale, and Date/Time fields. You can divide fields among three columns on the entry form and include text instructions, if you so wish.

Other New Features

We’ve also added a couple of new filters to analysis. For any select field, you can choose “is not” to see records that match all options except the one(s) you choose.

screenshot of the analyze screen with "is not" as the selected filter

We’ve added a multi-select filter to the analysis page for Gate Count datasets so that you can analyze related libraries / entrances as a group:

Screenshot of the gate count analyze screen with two branches selected

Last but not least! You can now edit your Custom and Shared dataset Pre-Defined entries from the Manage Datasets > your dataset screen:

Screenshot of the Manage Pre-defined Entries tab

Spring Goodies! New Features in LibInsight

Spring is officially here in the northern hemisphere, and this year it brings a whole basket of goodies to LibInsight. We are super-excited to announce widgets for Gate Count datasets, a community-wide shared dataset for tracking your ACRL Survey answers, and a special Easter-egg–a new home screen! Here’s the rundown:

Gate Count Widgets

Now you can create forms that you can use to record counts to your Gate Count datasets. Embed a widget in an intranet webpage and your students or staff can enter gate counts without a LibInsight login. There are four types of widgets that you can create:

  • URL-based: send the link to your widget to anyone
  • Embeddable popup: use this code to add your widget as a popup to your LibGuide or other web page.
  • In-page iFrame: use this code to add the entire widget to your LibGuide or other web page.
  • Side button: use this code to create a button on the side of any webpage that will pop your widget up.
screenshot of a gate count widget

Widget for recording to a Gate Count dataset

Community-Wide Shared Dataset: ACRL Survey

Spring does not only bring flowers and showers; spring is also survey time! NSSE, IPEDS, ACRL, ARL, PLA–it’s a veritable bag full of acronyms. Well, this spring, you can enter and track your library’s ACRL Survey answers in the new shared dataset of the same name. Go to Admin > Shared Datasets to accept the share and participate in this LibInsight community dataset. Once you’ve accepted the share, you’ll see the dataset in your datasets list. Go to Record Data > ACRL Survey to enter your library’s statistics for the 2015 survey year:

screenshot of ACRL survey form

ACRL Survey FAQs

Q: What does “community-wide dataset” mean?
A: All data that is recorded to this dataset is visible to any LibInsight subscriber for analysis.

Q: Can someone else change my data?
A: Nope.

Q: What if I don’t have all the answers?
A: No worries, no one has all the answers. Just kidding! If you’re not done yet, Submit your answers. When you go back to Record > ACRL Survey, you can continue.

Q: Can I use LibInsight to submit my numbers to ACRL?
A: Unfortunately, no, but as this dataset grows over time, it will be a good tool to use in Cross-Dataset Analysis to compare to other library activity or to track your data over time. As more libraries contribute their data, you’ll be able to do deeper comparisons across institutions.

Q: Can I enter data from previous years?
A: Unfortunately, no, as the survey was substantially different in years past.

Q: My library doesn’t participate in this survey. Can I remove it from my Shared Datasets?
A: Yes, click Accept Share, then immediately click Remove Share. This action is permanent, so be careful!

New Dataset Wizard

Spreadsheets, tick sheets, COUNTER reports got you down? No problem! Click the new Dataset Wizard to help you decide what type of dataset to create. 

Screenshot of libinsight datset wizard

New Home Screen

Now for the biggest egg in the basket–a new home screen! When you log into LibInsight, you’ll see a dashboard similar to that in other Springy products. From there, you can jump to any number of common tasks, get Springy news and updates, and see your system statistics at-a-glance.

Screenshot of libinsight home screen

Click for larger image

New LibInsight Admin? There’s a bonus for you! When you log in, you’ll see a list of tasks to help get you started. You can Dismiss the list and see it again when you log in next time, or if you’re finished, you can Dismiss Forever to banish it to the land of holidays past. Don’t like it? No problem! Go to your account settings and choose what you would like to see when you log in: the Home screen, a Dataset entry form, or analysis of your favorite dataset. Regular accounts will see only datasets to which they have access.

More New Features!

Other goodies in our spring basket include:

  • Friendly URLs for widgets
  • Screen to administer friendly URLs
  • Zeroes entered in numeric fields are retained rather than kept as “null” values
  • Preview of fields while you’re building a Custom dataset
  • Dataset templates! Copy our templates for Book Request, Instruction Request, Website Feedback and more!
  • When you empty a platform in an e-Journals/Databases or eBooks dataset, the Uploads List is cleared.

LibGuides Updates: Blogs, LTI, and more, oh my!

LibGuides version 2.1.10 is here, and with it come some huge and exciting features!

Many of you have asked for a long time for blogging capability in LibGuides, and we are delighted to tell you that blogs are here! We will be adding more features to blogs in the future, but our first step is to bring you a system-wide blog and the ability to add a blog page to each of your guides. Is there a blogging feature close to your heart? Click the Support tab on any of your LibGuides admin pages to let us know!

What’s a blog? It’s a web page containing posts—pieces of text content—that are arranged in chronological order, with the newest post at the top of the page. Your LibGuides system blog or a blog in a guide is a great way to share news, announcements, and other timely information with your users.

Blog Features

  • Assign any of your LibGuides Subjects to posts
  • Add Books from the Catalog & Database Assets directly into the posts
  • Not ready to publish? No problem! Save as “unpublished”
  • User comments (requires a LibApps login)
  • Subscribe to blog posts via email
  • Connect users to your social media profiles
  • Link directly to a post or a set of posts by subject or month

System blog

Each LibGuides installation (for all LibGuides customers!) has one system-wide blog that has been added to your system. It’s disabled by default, but it’s simple to get started! Go to Content > Blog > Blog Management to enable your system blog.

screenshot of LibGuides system blog and highlighted features (in bulleted list above)

LibGuides System Blog

By default, your system blog has the URL http://your_guides_URL.edu/blog. If you already have that friendly URL assigned somewhere, don’t worry! That page will not be affected until you turn on the system blog, which will give you time to reassign the existing page or guide a different friendly URL.

Once you’ve enabled your blog and created a post or two, add it to your system homepage by going to Admin > Look & Feel > Homepage > Customization > Homepage Boxes / Redirect. Click the Blog button to add it to the homepage sidebar boxes, then drag to your preferred location. Be sure to click Save!

screenshot of homepage boxes

Custom template alert! If you’re using a custom homepage template that does not use the {{content_boxes}} keyword, you will have to add the keyword {{content_box_blog}} to your template for the blog box to show on your homepage.

Guide blog page

Guides have a new blog page type that allows you to add a blog to any of your guides. These work similarly to the system blog—you’ll create posts that are in chronological order.

screenshot of a guide with a blog page

LibGuide with Blog Page

Just like with the System Blog, users can comment and subscribe, link directly to a post or a set of posts by subject or month, and they can link to the guide owner’s social media profiles.

New in Blog content—add Books & Databases directly into the post!

Blog posts aren’t necessarily like guide box content. They’re often time-sensitive pieces of content that don’t necessarily need a permanent space in your guides. Because of this, we added a quick way to add a new or existing book or an existing database asset to your posts.

Click the Book icon to insert a book’s information into your post. You can either add a new book or an existing book. If you add a new book, it is NOT added to your assets repository.

To add an existing database, click the A-Z icon.

screenshot of the buttons to add a book or a database

New to image manager—add a one-time image and keyword searching

Want to add an image to a guide that you know you’ll never need again? Now you can! Prevent clutter in your Image Manager by unchecking the new option “Save this image in my Image Library for later use.”

screenshot of image manager checkboxes to add image to library

Accessible sub-pages!

Accessibility is important to us here at Springshare, and several of you had reported that it was difficult to navigate with the keyboard when a guide contained sub-pages. Want to see it in action? Check out the Getting Started with LibGuides guide on our Support site (login required).

Screen readers will detect a toggle menu. Arrow keys can be used to accessed subpages.

New sharing option!

When creating a guide, you can specify whether your fellow LibGuides authors can make copies of your content. “No” means Two sharing options when you create a guide: No and Internal“no,” they can’t 😃 and “Internal” means “yes” they can. Your content will only be available for copying to the LibGuides community at large if your system’s sharing setting is set to Community.

Smaller features and fixes


  • If you change the title of a mapped box, all mapped copies will get that reused title, unless a custom title has been specified.
  • When you reuse a hidden page or box, that reused copy will be hidden by default. You can un-hide it as long as you have privileges to do so.
  • Easier-to-use guide creation page: we’ve simplified the options on the Create Guide page and have added more on screen help to guide you through the process.
  • Oops! Ever accidentally delete something you really wish you hadn’t? We have changed all the delete screens in LibGuides so that “Cancel” is the default button. This means that if you click to delete a guide then just press enter, you’ll just close the window rather than actually delete the guide. Rest easy. 😉

But wait, what about LTI?

Just a teaser! We are bringing huge new functionality to the LTI tools in LibGuides CMS. You’ll be able to create a library resources page inside your LMS as well as connect guides “automagically” to every course. We plan to roll these features out to everyone in the next several days. Watch this space for more info! 🙂

LibInsight SUSHI Integration is HERE!

Fish might not go well with our American customers’ Thanksgiving Day turkey, but boy do we have a LibInsight update that we hope you’ll be thankful for—SUSHI integration.

What’s SUSHI? It’s a protocol that enables LibInsight to connect directly to your e-resources vendors for data retrieval, eliminating the middle steps of downloading files from your vendors and uploading them into your E-Journals / Databases or eBooks datasets.   Reports available currently are JR1 (r3 & r4), DB3 (r3), PR1 (r4), and BR2 (r4).

Set Up

To get started, go to Admin > SUSHI Providers to add and manage your connections:

The Add a SUSHI provider screen
For each vendor from which you’ll make requests, you’ll need this information:
  • The SUSHI web service URL
  • Your Requestor ID
  • Your Customer ID

Request a Report

Once you have your datasets and SUSHI credentials set up, head to Record Data > your dataset > choose Platform > SUSHI Harvesting. Select the provider, report type, and time period, click Get Report, and kick back while the data is retrieved for you.

screenshot of SUSHI harvesting request

Be sure to retrieve fewer than 12 months at a time, as that’s usually the maximum that providers allow. We’ll process large files on the server for you and email you when the data is available for analysis.  The data retrieved via SUSHI is included seamlessly along with other data that you add to your e-resources datasets, be they COUNTER reports, generic data, or manually-entered numbers.

Need to Undo? No Problem!

Like with other data entry to E-Journals / Databases and eBooks datasets, you can overwrite data or add to the existing values, and if you need to undo any report, you can do so by going to Record Data > your dataset > choose Platform > Uploads List.

screenshot of a platform's Uploads List demonstrating the SUSHI file naming convention in LibInsight

As with retrieval, we will email you when a file you delete is completely removed from your dataset.

Want to know more about SUSHI? Check out NISO’s General or Librarian FAQs. Also see the Datasets for Databases, E-Journals and eBooks guide in our support site (login required) for more information.

New in LibCal v2’s My Scheduler – Your Free/Busy Times from Google Calendar

You asked, we coded!  Many of you use Google Calendar for your personal calendaring, and until now, you had to manually remove availability times from My Scheduler whenever a new meeting came up.  Duplicate that effort no more!

Configure My Scheduler to check your Google Calendar, and your busy times will be removed from the public side when someone books an appointment:

Screenshot of a meeting in google calendar where the corresponding time is not available for booking from the public side of LibCal

On the Admin side, those busy times are shown to you when you click “Add New Booking”:

screenshot of times not available in My Scheduler admin side due to existing meetings in Google Calendar

Just follow the on-screen instructions for setting this up, or see the Google Calendar Sync guide for more details (authentication required).

We know you’re wondering–what about Calendars and Room Bookings?!  It’s not possible for those to sync automatically from Google Calendar into LibCal at this time due to the complexity of Events and Bookings, but we will be looking into more possibilities in the future.

Please note that all Google Calendar Sync features are not available in LibCal 3/3/3 free installations.