Archive for General

LibGuides v2 Server Move And Many New Features

2016 was an action-packed year for our apps, with hundreds of new features across all products and an ever-growing platform. So, it’s fitting that we end this big year with another big update which will set the stage for even more growth and exciting new features in 2017 and beyond.

Namely, on Friday December 30th at 10pm US EST we are moving LibGuides v2 to a new, better, and more powerful infrastructure.  We anticipate no more than 5-10 minutes of downtime during the move, as we have the process down now, having moved all our other servers (LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2, LibWizard, LibInsight) in the past two months. We selected the time/date accordingly, to cause as little disruption as possible.

LibGuides v2 Server IP will change – your action may be required

If your LibGuides custom domain is setup using an A record, you must do something on your end to ensure a smooth transition. We have a handy utility for you to check whether any action is needed on your part. Simply enter your LibGuides domain and the utility tells you what you need to do. In short:

  • If you’re using a libguides.com domain = no action is required on your part;
  • If you’re using a custom domain with CNAME alias = no action is required on your part;
  • If you’re using a custom domain with A record you will need to do something – we recommend you switch to CNAME because it’s more flexible.

The utility will tell you all you need to know so please check it out asap:
http://springshare.com/dns/lg2.php.

New stuff made possible with the new infrastructure

Here are some of the things which are now going to be possible on the new infrastructure.

Load balancing for handling spikes in usage and improved backups infrastructure so that we can do up-to-the-minute backups in case any failures occur.

https support for custom domains. In January 2017 we’ll start offering our LibGuides v2CMS clients full https support – but you still need to provide the required certificate files to us. Please fill out our https interest form (note: this form is for v2 users only – v1 users please see info for v1 systems). We are starting with LibGuides v2 CMS support for custom domains first, until we reach the scale required to support https for custom domains for base LibGuides installs too.

European hosting facility. For clients who do not wish to have their data/apps on US soil, we are offering hosting in our new European hosting facility in Amsterdam. This server cluster is completely independent of our US server cluster so the data in there will not “cross” into US.  Starting in mid-January we will offer free migration to all clients who wish to be moved to the European facility. This is not just for LibGuides but for *all* Springshare apps (i.e. LibGuides/LibAnswers/LibCal/LibInsight/LibWizard/LibCRM) – when an institution decides to host in our European hosting facility, all of their Springshare apps will live there. Please fill out our european hosting interest form (note: this form is for v2 users only – v1 users please see info for v1 systems).

Write APIs for all Springshare apps. Starting in January we will release the write APIs for LibGuides v2 A-Z content and for LibCal v2 Equipment and Spaces. Then we will expand the write APIs based on users’ feedback and needs so please let us know what you want write APIs to do and we’ll put it on the to-do list. We are super excited about write APIs – it will enable your in-house library developers to develop exciting apps and functionality and turn LibGuides/LibAnswers/LibCal/LibCRM into data and content stores and distribute this data and content from our apps anywhere at the point-of-need.

LibGuides v1 systems are unaffected by this server move

We are only migrating LibGuides v2 servers so if you are still on LibGuides v1 none of this applies to your system – however we strongly urge you to upgrade to v2 asap so that you can take advantage of these amazing new features (plus hundreds of other features we built into v2 over the past couple of years). It’s a FREE upgrade so there’s no reason to wait.
Help Docs & More Info for v1 to v2 Migration:

We are super excited about this and cannot wait for 2017 and beyond because we have really big plans for the growth of Springshare apps that will benefit our client libraries. We’re just getting’ started, folks!

So, to sum it up – the LibGuides v2 server move is happening on December 30th at 10pm US EST, there will be about 5-10 minutes of downtime, and you must check whether your domain setup requires any action on your part. Please go to our utility at http://springshare.com/dns/lg2.php to test your domain.

As always we’re here for any questions or comments, please email us at support@springshare.com. Happy Holidays!

Slaven & the Springy Team

LibCal Equipment Booking is Here!

We have super exciting news to share – the Equipment Booking module of LibCal is ready to be unveiled to the world and we’re confident it will revolutionize how libraries manage equipment reservations. From advertising equipment availability, to managing the reservation process, to managing inventory and check in / check out we’ve got your needs covered.

The LibCal Equipment Booking is an optional module to our LibCal platform. It makes reserving and managing equipment streamlined and worry free. Create an attractive, tile-based public catalog to advertise available equipment, so patrons can browse available equipment at a glance. Patrons can reserve multiple items in a single reservation – whether it’s reserving the camera, tripod, and battery pack, or reserving a study room and a projector, a 3-D printer and maker space… Equipment Booking has you covered. When patrons come to collect their equipment, use the Equipment Booking module to check the item out (and back in again!), and use our handy reminder emails to remind people when items are due back. Even keep track of an item’s entire history – everything from the serial number to replacement cost, to detailed service history notes and checkout history.

There are literally too many things to go on about, so we created a short video to show you the highlights of the new Equipment Booking module:

No time for a video? Here are the top level highlights:

  • Visually Focused Public Catalog – LibCal offers an attractive, tile-based layout, making it easy to display items in an easy to digest visual layout.
  • All equipment information, all together – User manuals, terms and conditions, rules around lending, service history notes, replacement costs, lending history – all information about each item is stored together, so it’s all easy to access.
  • Reserve Multiple Items – If patrons need to reserve multiple items in a single reservation, LibCal Equipment Booking handles things with ease. Patrons add multiple items to a “cart”, and complete their reservation with just one booking form. On the back-end, view all items contained in a single reservation at a glance – no more signing up for individual time slots!
  • Check Items Out and In – LibCal offers a simple check in / check out process, so you know at a glance which items are available, and which are out with patrons. In case you’re wondering, our Check Out process even includes the following nice to have features:
    • Customized Check Out / Check In Alert Messages – Remind front desk staff to check items during check out and check in, to make sure that all pieces of a kit should be included.
    • Hot Swap items – A patron shows up to pick up equipment, but the iPad they reserved isn’t there? No problem – just swap the item for another available item, without needing to edit the entire reservation.
    • Integrated Email Notifications – We’ve included reservation confirmation messages, check out email receipts, “item due soon” reminder email, and an overdue reminder email, so patrons have all the info they need for every reservation.
  • Powerful Lending Rules – Ensure fair and equal access to all patrons by limiting both the duration and frequency of reservations.
    • Support for Hourly and/or Daily reservations – Do you have some items that circulate for 3 hours, and others that circulate for 3 days? LibCal Equipment Booking has you covered.
    • Custom Frequency Limiters – Limit the number of times a patron can reserve items of a particular type by day, week, month, or year.
  • Room Booking Integration – Migrate your existing Room Booking Rooms into the new Equipment Booking module, and your patrons will be able to reserve items and spaces in a single reservation. Hello, reserving a meeting room and projector in the same reservation!
  • Availability Governed by the Hours Module – Our new Equipment Booking module relies on the LibCal hours module to determine when items are available for pick up and return, so there’s no more managing availability on a periodic basis. Just set your lending rules, link your Equipment Location to the correct Hours Location, and you’re set to lend!
  • Integrated with Authentication – We offer SAML, CAS, Shibboleth, Active Directory, LDAP, and SIP2 integration, right out of the gate, so only permitted users can borrow items at your library.

And there you have it – a robust, attractive, and easy-to-use Equipment Booking system, built seamlessly within LibCal. It’s the best bang for your equipment buck and we can’t wait for you to start using it. To get started, contact your favorite Springy and request a trial today!

PLUS: Join us for a live 30 minute webinar to explore everything the Equipment Booking module has to offer! Choose the date that works best for you and click to register (all times listed are in Eastern time):

Fri, Sept 16: 11am – 11:30am Mon, Sept 26: 3pm – 3:30pm
Tues, Sept 20: 3:30pm – 4pm Thurs, Sept 29: 11am – 11:30am
Thurs, Sept 22: 10:30am – 11am

Awesome LibGuides A-Z and Search updates still coming – just a week later

Couple of weeks ago we announced super exciting LibGuides updates with a slew of great new functionality, from social sharing and thumbnails, to brand-new A-Z database management functionality and much-improved LibGuides search. The first part of the functionality refresh went out last week (social sharing and guide thumbnails) and just as we were getting ready to release the A-Z and Search changes we ran into a few snags which necessitate that we do more tests and tweaks before the release hits our production servers. So in the interest of minimizing any potential issues or breakages we will spend a few more days testing and release the new A-Z and Search functionality on Tuesday September 6th, in the evening hours (EST).  This extra time will be put to good use…

  1. We have a guide ready for you detailing all the css changes on A-Z page (and we will update this guide in the next 24 hours to also detailed any Search page changes and search pro tips). http://support.springshare.com/libguides/changes  This will give you ample time to plan and execute any template updates right after the update.
  2. Even more accessibility improvements. We are going to use these few extra days of development to go through additional LibGuides pages and scrub them for any accessibility issues (and fix the issues we find). We’re thrilled that you are so excited and supportive of the accessibility improvements we are making in LibGuides (and all of our apps for that matter) and we are fully committed to you in our promise to ensure that all our apps (with LibGuides as the flagship) are fully accessible both from the patron view and soon enough from the admin view as well. Accessibility trumps all and we will gladly lead the charge in ensuring all library web systems are fully accessible.
  3. Instead of splitting up the update into A-Z update and then Search update a day later (as originally planned) we were able to figure out how to do them both at the same time without causing any downtime – yay. So there will only be one code update on September 6th, introducing all the new functionality.

Thanks for your support during this development and testing process, and we look forward to September 6th, EST evening time LibGuides code update – you are going to love the new functionality as much as we loved developing it!

NCSU’s Makerspace Program Wins SLA’s Springshare Innovation Award

The winner of the 2016 Springshare Innovation Award is North Carolina State University Libraries’ Makerspace Program at the D.H. Hill Library!

The Academic Division of the Special Library Association (SLA) offers a Springshare Innovation in Libraries Award. Springshare donates this award which “recognizes a new program or service that demonstrates an innovative approach to academic librarianship”.(1)

Makerspace Lab at D.H. LibraryNCSU’s Makerspace Program is doing incredible work with 3D design and printing, 3D scanning, wearable electronics, programming with Arduinio & Rasberry Pi, and milling with CNC machines.

What’s more, they’re targeting women in the STEM fields with their ongoing “Making Spaces” event series. This series, in collaboration with NC State’s Women in Science and Engineering Village, College of Textiles faculty, and the College of Engineering’s Women in Engineering Program, aims to raise awareness among women about access to tools and technology while lowering the barrier for access and use of the Makerspace Labs.

And lastly, they’re working hard to integrate their Makerspace program into the curriculum of disciplines that aren’t normally associated with technology. For example, Ph.D. students in a Communications, Rhetoric, and Digital Media class titled “Technologies and Pedagogies in the Communication Arts” were tasked with designing and building technologies that would measure their students’ attention.

The SLA award committee acknowledged how the entire community at NC State has responded to the D.H. Library’s strong web presence, proactive training sessions, and outreach with their Makerspace program integration into the diverse curricula.

Congratulations to Adam Rogers, David Woodbury, Lauren DiMonte, and the NCSU Libraries for winning the SLA Academic Division Springshare Award for Innovation for their incredible work and outreach with their revolutionary Makerspace program!

Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers

David Woodbury

David Woodbury

Lauren DiMonte

Lauren DiMonte

  1. Congratulations to Our 2016 Awards Winners! | SLA Academic Division., 15 June 2016. Web. 01 July 2016, http://academic.sla.org/annual-conference/congratulations-to-our-2016-awards-winners.html.

It’s Hot In Orlando – Time To Get Flashy

…with our presentations, of course! </wink>

Springshare’s heading to the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, from June 24 – 27 and we’ve got an action-packed schedule of flash presentations, free giveaways, coloring time, and more. Plus, you won’t want to miss seeing how your colleagues use Springshare tools. While it might be hot outside, it will be even hotter at Booth 562.

Flash Presentations

All weekend long, we’re doing 15-min flash presentations on brand-new tools, coming updates, and more. If you attend a flash presentation, you can enter to win a *free* Kindle Fire!!

Guest Presentations

We have an amazing lineup of 14 guest presenters doing 11 separate flash presentations. They’re showing how they use Springshare tools to provide extraordinary service.

Friday, June 24: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Jeremy Hall

University of North Florida: Using LibGuides CMS to Power Our Website

5:45pm – 6:00pm

The University of North Florida uses a suite of Springshare tools to maintain their library website and services! Guest presenter Jeremy Hall, Virtual Services Librarian, will discuss how they’re using Springy Tools to provide thousands of students with access to their mobile-first library tools and services.

 


Saturday, June 25: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Moffitt Cancer Center: Creating a Virtual Nursing Journal Club

9:30am – 9:45am

Lauren Adkins will present on how the Moffitt Cancer Center uses LibGuides to setup an asynchronous online journal club to support evidence-based nursing topics and CE credit.

 

 

David Gliddon

Colorado Technical University: Using LibGuides to Manage the CTU Learning Center

12:00pm – 12:15pm

Dr. David Gliddon will provide examples of the different ways that CTU faculty members and administrators use LibGuides as a means to host articles, videos, academic resources, lectures, experiential activities, and interactive discussion.

 

 

Doug Furiato

Tampa Bay Library Consortium: Using LibAnswers for Statewide Ask a Librarian Services

1:00pm – 1:15pm

TBLC is the Florida statewide Ask a Librarian service, with over 130 Academic, School, Special, and Public Libraries participating. In early 2015, they switched to LibAnswers to provide consortial-level Ask-a-Librarian email/chat/sms reference. TBLC’er Doug Furiato will discuss their use of LibAnswers, share some eye-opening stats, and more.

 

Melissa Del Castillo

alvin dantesFlorida International University:
Using Netflix’s Visual Scrolling Style in LibAnswers

2:30pm – 2:45pm

By combining analytics and a simplified design, FIU libraries’ public facing LibAnswers platform was able to better meet the needs of our patrons. Melissa and Alvin will discuss how the design is a nod to sites like Netflix that are visually focused and intuitive.

 

Ashley Creek

University of Saint Mary: Using LibGuides to Train Student Workers

3:00pm – 3:15pm

Training student workers is repetitive, time-consuming, and covers significantly repetitious material. To provide a baseline student worker training orientation, presenter Ashley Creek constructed online interactive tutorials with embedded photos, videos, and capstone quizzes using Springshare’s LibGuides 2.0, Google Forms, & Flubaroo.

 

suzanne moore

Ashe County Library: Using LibGuides to Promote 2016 Reading Challenge

3:30pm – 3:45pm

Suzanne Moore will present on how they’re using LibGuides v.2 to show off their regional movie collection in a “Netflix” sort of browsing way and are currently designing a readers advisory tool to consolidate “all things bookish.” The 2016 Reading Challenge has been very successful as an interactive LibGuide by encouraging readers to share comments, about books they discover, as they meet each challenge in a Google form.


 

Sunday, June 26: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Latanya Jenkins

Temple University: Using LibGuides to Promote Black History Month

11:30am – 11:45am

Latanya Jenkins will present on how the Temple University Library collaborates with other departments to promote Black History Month across the campus. Using sample scans from the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American collection and books covers and resources from Temple University Library, Latanya will discuss how these integrated resources help to promote collection use.

 

Rhonda Kitchens

State College of Florida: Connecting with Distance Learners Using LibWizard

1:00pm – 1:15pm

Librarian Rhonda Kitchens understands the need to connect, engage, and instruct distance education students. Using LibWizard, Rhonda will showcase how the SCF Library will create self-paced interactive tutorials, online learning modules, gradable assessments/quizzes, and more.

 

 

Callan Bignoli

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners: Celebrating 125 Years

1:30pm – 1:45pm

In 2015, the MBLC – the oldest state library agency in the country – celebrated its 125th anniversary! Presenter Callan Bignoli will discuss how the MBLC made a “microsite” using LibGuides CMS v2 to look back on those 125 years and put our accomplishments in historical context. Combined with a social media campaign to highlight one year per day, LibGuides gave them a great platform for creating beautiful, easily customizable, responsive web content to share with library & history fans.

 

Barbara Doll

Saint Francis University: Providing Staff Learning Opportunities Using LibGuides

2:30pm – 2:45pm

Librarian Barbara Doll will present on how their using LibGuides to provide a comprehensive staff learning program called “Give Yourself An Hour”. With the support of library administration, “if you give yourself an hour”, has resulted in staff members directing their own learning while focusing on core competencies. New content is added to the LibGuide each semester. To top it off, new staff have resources available to them to quickly come up to speed with library operations.


 

Monday, June 27: View Entire Day’s Schedule

jeffery mortimore

Ruth BakerGeorgia Southern University: Managing Content Across LibGuides & LibAnswers

10:30am – 10:45am

Ruth and Jeffrey will offer simple strategies for content creation and management that maximize opportunities for repurposing content across delivery platforms while keeping maintenance to a minimum.

Springshare & ACRL Collaborate to Provide Springy Tools to Member Units

ARCL LogoThe Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is the largest division within ALA representing almost 20% of the total ALA membership with more than 11,000 members, 17 sections, 21 discussion groups, 17 special interest groups, 8 active task forces, 44 chapters, and 51 committees. To say this division is active would be an understatement!

Another understatement? How excited we were to collaborate with the ACRL offices to provide LibGuides and LibAnswers to member units to create unit-specific resources in support of ACRL’s mission. Using LibGuides and LibAnswers, ACRL units will be able to effectively and efficiently collaborate while completing association-related work.

Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL Executive Director stated, “ACRL is grateful to Springshare for making this resource available to our members to facilitate their work for the association. We are very appreciative of Springshare’s generosity and ACRL members are already using the tools to further their unit’s work.”

Slaven Zivkovic, chief Springy, added: “Many ACRL members already use our tools at their own institutions, so this is truly a win-win collaboration! Springshare gets to support the ACRL and all the wonderful work the organization does, and its members benefit from using already familiar tools to improve ACRL workflows and outreach in the same beneficial ways they use Springshare tools within their own institutions.”

We can’t wait to see the amazing content that the ACRL offices will be creating!

As our chief Springy would say, onwards and upwards!

Hello LibCat – Springshare’s Smart Cat for Libraries

We’re thrilled to announce the newest member to our Springshare Suite of Apps – LibCat! It’s a culmination of efforts by Springy programmers, veterinarians, and biologists around the world to meet a real need in today’s libraries… a smart cat designed for libraries by librarians.

With LibCat, patent-pending, enhance your feline friend’s abilities with useful features, robust statistics…all with the same furr’nominal support you’ve come to expect from a Springshare product.

Storytime Expert

Story-time Expert

LibCat features you’ll want…. starting meow:

  • Advanced Cat’aloging Knowledge: All cats love to read, and LibCat is no exception. Your LibCat will be able to hunt your library catalog, stalk the stacks for the right item, and even unpack book boxes – after she plays with it first.
  • Paypurr-less Billing: Take advantage of Springshare’s online billing with only a few strings attached. For your LibCat to play with, of course.
  • BlueCat Wireless Charging: We didn’t even want to go there with plugging in your LibCat. #justsayin
  • Weekly Status Reports: Your LibCat’s robust statistics include weekly status reports so you’ll know if LibCat is feline groovy or pawsitively terrible.
  • …and so much more!

For more information, details on how to order, and client testimonials: http://buzz.springshare.com/libcat

Twitter_logo_blue_50pxIf you’re already a proud LibCat user, tweet us your #LibCat pictures and tag us @Springshare.

Springshare’s Going Public!

Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book

Attend a Flash Presentation for a chance to win an adult coloring book!

…Libraries, that is! We’re heading to the Public Library Association Annual Conference (PLA) next week, from April 6 – 8. You won’t want to miss swinging by Booth 433. Why? Well, for starters, you’ll want to attend a 15-min flash presentation on Springshare tools for a chance to win a free cat coloring book. And speaking of coloring, we have a Springy Color Me Decal we need your help filling in. Awesome, right?

Well, we’ve got more! We have guest presentations by your colleagues showing how they’re using Springshare tools to provide extraordinary service.

Public Library Presentations

To stay in the mobile know, bookmark our mobile conference website made with the mSite Builder and follow us on Twitter – @springshare.

Integrate BrowZine Into Your LibGuides – Free Webinar!

LibGuides & BrowZine subscribers, rejoice!

ThirdIron

Makers of BrowZine

Third Iron, the makers of BrowZine, is offering a free series of webinars on how to better integrate BrowZine into your LibGuides!

So, if you’re been looking for tighter integration between these apps while simultaneously promoting usage of both your LibGuides and Journals, look no further.

In this 45min webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Browzine-Webinar-SignupCreate links to subject-specific bookshelves and add them to your guides;
  • Curate a bookshelf of titles;
  • Embed a BrowZine search box inside your LibGuides for easy search integration;

Webinar Dates:

Tues, March 29

Wed, March 30

Thurs, March 31

  • 1pm – 1:45pm
  • 8pm – 8:45pm
  • 10am-10:45am
  • 4pm – 4:45pm
  • 7am – 7:45am
  • 2pm – 2:45pm
All times listed in CDT

 

Bite-Sized Tech Tip Videos!

Have you ever wanted to learn something about your LibGuides, LibAnswers, or other Springy tool in just a few minutes?

Well, we have a collection of Springy Tech Tip videos – just for you, the avid learner.

Springy Tech Tip Video Font Awesome

Tech Tip: Using Font Awesome in LibGuides

A collection of videos, under 5min each, ranging from how to use SMS Keywords in the Classroom to Promote Interactive Learning to Optimizing Your LibGuides Organization.

New Springy Tech Tip videos are made available in every edition of our Springshare Newsletter. So check back often, we’ll be adding new ones!

Feel free to watch them all at once (hello binge watching!) or space them out for whenever you have 5 minutes. Better yet, bring a snack for a Treat & Training session. Chocolate and Tech Tip Videos at the same time? Yes please!

But, that’s not all! We also make quick videos on Springshare tools, guest presenters at conferences, and more. Check out all our videos in our Video Highlights section.

* Springy Tech Tip Videos *