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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.

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.

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!).

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.

LibCal 2.6.3 – Equipment & 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.

We’re adding more great reasons to try out the new Equipment and Spaces module, including the extremely exciting, much anticipated read/write API for both Equipment and Spaces! Read on to learn more about the latest and greatest…

Read/Write APIs in the Equipment and Spaces Module

Full read/write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces, which makes it possible to view availability and create a new reservation from anywhere! What makes these read/write APIs so exciting? Simple – it enables your in-house library developers to create exciting apps and functionality that will take your LibCal data and content and distribute that data wherever you need it.

A major first use we’re expecting to see with LibCal’s read/write APIs are integrations with existing room panel systems, i.e., touchscreen panels located outside of a space in your library. Our new read/write APIs make it possible to both view upcoming meeting reservations and create a brand new reservation right from that panel. We can’t wait to see what else the LibCal community dreams up for these new read/write APIs, so please don’t hesitate to share what you plan to do with the new tools! To take the new APIs for a spin, admins can head to Admin > API > Equipment / Spaces.

Admins Create Bookings of any Length

adminduedateWhile following the rules is important, we know there are times when librarians just need to break the mold and allow loan periods that extend past normal due dates. We’ve got you covered – now you can create reservations of any length, and renew existing reservations so they’re due back at any time in the future you specify.

Plus more Equipment and Spaces Updates

  • We’ve added a new report for viewing Overdue Items, so you can see everything that’s overdue at a glance.
  • Speaking of overdues, we’ve also adjusted the public display so that if an item is currently overdue, it will not display as currently available for the current day on the public side of the system.
  • We added a new setting to control whether new reservations should default to the longest or shortest possible loan period. Currently, Equipment and Spaces always default to the longest possible loan period when a patron creates a new reservation; with this setting, you can now choose to make the default the shortest possible loan period. You’ll find this setting under Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Booking Default.

LibWizard 1.7.7 Update Now Live!

Some fun end-of-the-week news – the LibWizard 1.7.7 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you easy color customization for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes and Assessments, plus optional HTTPS support. For sites using the full LibWizard platform, we also have exciting news – file uploads are now available across all modules! Read on for deets on all the latest…

Simplified Color Customization

blueformHave you ever wanted to change the colors of a form, survey, quiz or assessment so it’s snazzier and more eye catching? Then do we have big news for you – we’ve added super simple color pickers to all LibWizard modules! Previously, customizing the colors of elements in LibWizard could take a bit of doing and required a good amount of CSS knowledge for optimal results. But no more – we’ve added simple color pickers for individual system assets, as well as for the site as a whole via the system settings.

Customize any major element of any quiz, survey, etc. – from background colors to fonts and font colors to the all new optional border, our color pickers have you covered. To start customizing a survey, quiz, etc., head to the builder and select Options > Look and Feel > Page Fonts and Colors. To customize colors across your site, Admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Custom Colors.

 

File Upload Support

Have you ever wanted to include a file upload as part of your surveys, quizzes, etc.? Perhaps you’re collecting documents for your institution’s IRB, or collecting proposals for an upcoming conference. Whatever the reason, we have great news for you – file uploads are now available as part of the full LibWizard platform! Whether it’s collecting a list of works cited as part of an Assessment or taking submissions for your “Why I love the Library” photo essay, you can keep track of all of this and more with the LibWizard platform.

Enable file uploads in your LibWizard assets by heading to the builder and choosing the new File Upload content type. Good to know: File uploads are currently limited to 20mb per upload, and are retained until the form, survey, etc. is deleted.

HTTPS Support

Do you frequently find yourself embedding forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments in https based websites (like a course management system, or perhaps your main library website)? Then this feature is for you – we’re introducing optional HTTPS support for all LibWizard sites. If you’re ready to make the switch to force all LibWizard content (both the builder as well as individual forms, assessments, etc.) to load via HTTPS, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc. Settings and select Enable HTTPS.

Good to know: Enabling this setting means that all content added to your site must also be loaded via HTTPS. This will impact all content that librarians create in the site – all page URLs shown in Assessment & Tutorial slides, as well as image uploads, etc. must also load via HTTPS in order to avoid mixed content error messages.

Additional Fixes and Features

  • Spaces Can’t Bypass Required Questions – Previously, required questions could be bypassed by entering a space (or spaces) instead of a “real” answer. We’ve changed this behavior so responses that just contain spaces won’t pass the required check.
  • Print Individual Responses – We’ve added a Print button to the “preview” view of individual patron responses, so they’ll print with ease.
  • We fixed a bug in Numeric fields, where initial responses that fell outside of the required minimum/maximum setting were being recorded. This now generates an error message, and the response is not recorded within the reports.
  • We addressed an issue with Account Permissions, where making an asset “public” made it both visible and editable for all regular level users in your LibWizard site. Now, setting an asset to “public” will make the asset and any responses visible to other regular users, but they won’t be able to edit its contents.

As always, thanks so much for your great feedback. We hope you’re as excited for these new LibWizard features as we are – don’t hesitate to drop us a line and let us know what you think!

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.