Archive for LibCal

Just out: Authenticate to view LibGuides E-Reserves with LibAuth

We have some cool updates to LibAuth-related functionality to share with you today! Need to limit E-Reserves viewing to students and faculty? Limit a LibCal room to just faculty bookings? You totally can, with LibAuth Groups. Please note: currently SAML, Shibboleth / ADFS and CAS are the only authorization protocols that support groups; if you do not see the Group Permissions, then your selected protocol does not support Groups.

More about the existing LibCal functionality in a minute; what we’re really excited about is that you can now enable LibAuth authentication with LibGuides E-Reserves. You can specify which LibAuth profile to use at the system level or at the course level; both make use of Group Permissions.

To designate a LibAuth profile that governs access to all public E-Reserves content, go to Content > E-Reserves > Settings > Authentication.

Screenshot of LibGuides E-Reserves Settings with Authentication accordion expanded

To specify a profile to provide public access to the contents of an individual course, look for the Enable LibAuth Authentication menu in the course’s settings. You can choose the System Default profile, no profile, or a different profile.

Screenshot of E-Reserves Course Settings

LibAuth authentication for E-Reserves only grants access to public pages. Access to manage E-Reserves happens through LibApps accounts and not by virtue of assigning a LibAuth profile in E-Reserves settings. Want to enable LibApps login with LibAuth? You can! Edit your LibAuth profile and enable LibApps authentication, near the bottom of the screen.

To give permission to an authentication group to a group of rooms in LibCal, go to the settings page of the group of rooms and choose the appropriate option from Enable LibAuth Authentication.

LibCal Room Group settings: Study Rooms

If you use LibCal spaces, to go Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Manage Location > Edit > General > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Screenshot of LibCal Spaces Settings

To enable LibAuth authentication for a calendar, go to Calendars > click the calendar name > Settings > Calendar Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

screenshot of LibCal Calendar settings

Note as with the above configuration: if you choose a protocol that supports groups but do not have groups defined in LibAuth, the additional drop-down to choose a group will not appear.

You can also enable LibAuth authentication for My Scheduler by going to My Scheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Need help setting up LibAuth? See our help documentation for more information.

We also squashed a few bugs and put out a few smaller features with this LibGuides code release, namely:

  • Access to v1 statistics
  • EU customer access to the Support site
  • When you clicked on a guide tag, search results weren’t limited to that tag
  • Re-enabled language options

New LibCal updates!

Summer’s here, and with that comes events you want to share. We’ve added some new ways to show off your calendar events!

Social Media Sharing

You can now post your new events to Facebook and Twitter! In your calendar settings, there’s a new “social media” setting.

social media menu location

You can use any social media account you’ve set up in your LibApps dashboard, and even create templates for your posts.

social media sharing settings

Don’t want to share every event you make on a calendar? No problem, because this is something you can choose to do per-event. Don’t want to use the template you’ve made for a single event, or need to share a single event on Facebook but not Twitter? It’s all controllable when you’re making a new event.

Better Search for Repeating Events

Your calendar search can now show more relevant results when your users are looking for repeating events.

  • Go to calendar settings>display options>public calendar page, and choose the reset to default template button to add this to your search results.
  • If you’ve got an event search on your LibCal homepage, head to admin>look and feel>homepage editor and edit any event searches you have. Again, choose the reset to default template button!
  • If you’ve customized the homepage or calendar templates, that’s ok too- use the support tab and ask for the new keyword info, and we’ll send the details to you.

show more dates link

Now your recurring events will have a “show more dates” link which reveals the next 15 times that event appears.

Language Options for Equipment and Spaces!

You can now customize the default text for your equipment booking or for your spaces, or both! Head over to admin>system settings>language options to get started. We’ve also got info on where every piece of text can be found to make it easier for you to customize.

 

Additional Fixes and Features

  • You can now add internal notes to space bookings, and mark if a user showed up to their booking.
  • Individual categories within a location can now have their own terms and conditions as well as descriptions.
  • Individual categories can now use their own partial email templates, which are inserted into the location’s emails. Email templates now display a preview of emails they’ll send.
  • My Scheduler users can now override their own free/busy settings when scheduling appointments.
  • We’ve revamped the equipment overdues tab to make it easily sortable with more useful filters.
  • You can now print a space’s bookings using the print option:
    space print button
    We’ve also added a kiosk view to the print page:
    kiosk mode button

    This button will give you a link to today’s bookings, which you can use for your room signage.

LibCal 2.7.0 Now Live!

Holy smokes, do we have a ton of new features in LibCal to share! This release brings major improvements and updates to the Equipment and Spaces modules, plus great new features for Calendars and Events.

Room Booking -> Spaces Migration

As of this release, we’re making it possible for EVERYONE to upgrade to Spaces from the existing Room Booking module, at no cost. Spaces is really the future of Room Booking – it’s built using a more flexible framework and packed with frequently requested features from folks using the Room Booking module. This includes:

  • Each reservation is a continuous block – Patrons don’t need to sign up for individual time slots anymore – each reservation is treated as a continuous block of time. Changing or cancelling a reservation is much easier now, rather than editing individual time slots.
  • Availability tied to the hours module – This is big. The new Spaces module displays availability based on the hours you define in the hours module, so you no longer have to maintain information in two places!
  • Reserve Equipment and Spaces at the same time – If you subscribe to the full Equipment module, patrons and admins can reserve everything they need in the same reservation – space and equipment at once.
  • Full Read/Write APIs – Read/Write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces. Integrate with existing room panel systems, with your mobile app, build your own front end for reservations… the possibilities are endless.

To start the migration from Room Bookings to Spaces, admins can head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces to get started. And to test drive the new Equipment module, contact sales@springshare.com for more info and a free trial!

New in Equipment Booking

  • Mediated Equipment Bookings – A hugely popular request! Now, equipment reservations can be mediated in the same way as space and room reservations. Setting up mediation is a two-step process:
    • First, choose who can approve mediated requests by going to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Who can Mediate Bookings?
    • Then, choose which item categories should be mediated by heading to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Manage Equipment > Edit Category > Mediation and choose “Patron bookings require manual approval by nominated mediators”
  • Custom Item, Space, and Category Availability – Create custom availability hours for individual equipment items, spaces, and categories throughout the Equipment Booking module. This is particularly useful if you’re managing multiple spaces or items which have different periods of availability. To customize hours, head to the relevant edit screen (edit item, edit space, or edit category) and click on “hours” to set custom hours.
  • Recurring Bookings (Admins only) – New for both Equipment and Spaces – Admins can now create recurring bookings from the admin side of the system! This is great if you have an event that repeats, like a class or book club that meets every Monday night. Set up a reservation that repeats for as long as your Equipment and Spaces are available – yay for easy!
  • Friendly URLs for Categories and Locations – Create friendly URLs for both equipment and space categories as well as locations! Head to the relevant edit screen (edit category or edit location) to choose your preferred friendly URL.
  • Add and Check Out – Create an equipment reservation and check the item(s) out in one fell swoop. You’ll see a new button on the admin booking confirmation page to “Check Out Equipment”. This will immediately check the item(s) out, so you don’t have to look up the same reservation you just created.
  • Ban a user from creating new reservations and checkout items if they have fines or overdues – If people owe too much in fines or have an item that’s overdue, prevent them from creating additional reservations and checkouts. Better yet, customize the amount of fines it will take to trigger a block. For setup, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Settings > User Banning.
  • Return time option for Daily Bookings > Booking extends to same hour next day – A new setting for patrons to choose what time they intend to return an item. Patrons are still restricted to booking only a certain number of days, but we’re defining the end of a “day” in a less literal way, so patrons can choose any time on the final day of the reservation to return the item. To use this setting, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Daily Bookings.
  • Booking Explorer Updates – The booking explorer now supports multiple search modes and full content export, including custom booking form responses. We’ve also added new ‘Grouping’ functionality, which shows things like how many minutes people have booked in certain time periods, or how many minutes a particular room has been booked. To check out these changes, head to Equipment/Spaces > Booking Explorer.

New in Spaces

  • Space Booking Widgets – Another highly requested item! We now have customizable widgets as part of the spaces module, so patrons can reserve spaces from any webpage. To start using the new spaces widgets, head to Spaces > Widgets.
  • Space Capacity – Define the capacity for each space you manage, so patrons can filter all availability views for spaces that will fit the number of people in their group! Capacity is a new setting on the edit space screen, and you’ll see capacity filters on the public spaces category and widget screens.

New in Calendars & Events

  • Setup/Teardown for Events – We made it easy to create setup and teardown padding around the events you create in LibCal, so you’ll be able to reserve a space or room for the entire time the event runs. This time doesn’t display on the public side of the system, and is used solely for calculating the location/space reservation time – so internally, people know the space is busy, but patrons will only see the actual event time.
  • Book a Space when creating an Event – Another awesome integration – you can now reserve a space when you create a new event! This will display as an option once you’ve fully migrated to the new Spaces module. Just head to the add/edit event screen and you’ll see all available spaces listed in the Location field.
  • Create an Event from a Space Reservation – When a patron requests a space (or an admin creates a space reservation on the admin side), use that space reservation to generate a new event to display on the public calendar. This is very useful for folks scheduling instruction sessions – just have your faculty members submit a space reservation, then creating a publicly-viewable event with one click, so students know where their instruction session will be held!
  • New Search API Endpoint – Perfect for integrating LibCal search results in 3rd party applications! Admins can head to Admin > API > event_search API to start using the new functionality.
  • New Search Engine – We’ve also updated the underlying search engine used for LibCal events – now, standard boolean terms (and, or, not) are fully supported.

New in MyScheduler

  • MyScheduler: Tie Duration categories to a Group – Have you tried our new MyScheduler Appointment Categories? We’re expanding that great new functionality so different “Groups” of MyScheduler users can offer different types of appointments. To customize appointment category assignments, admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Manage Groups > Associate Categories.

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

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

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

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

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

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

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

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

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

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

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

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

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

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

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

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

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

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

Easy!

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

Wait, What About Faculty?


LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

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

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

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

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


LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

Login to LibGuides (And Other Springy v2 Tools!) Using Your Authentication Layer

LibAuth Login

LibAuth Login

Early this year, we announced greater LibAuth integration with Springshare Tools. One of the components of this integration is the ability to use your own authentication method to login to your v2 Springy tools!

Basically, if you’re using LDAP, CAS, Shibboleth, SAML, ADFS, or a self-hosted authentication tool – you can use that protocol for logging into your LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, etc.

While you’ll still need to have an account in those Springshare tools, you won’t have to remember separate passwords for your Authentication layer and your Springshare apps.

Setting It Up – Cool Winter Project!

Navigate to LibApps > Admin > LibAuth Authentication. You need to be a LibApps admin in order to see this menu. Being a LibApps admin is different than being a LibGuides admin. Contact your LibApps admin if you need to elevate your account status.

On the configuration tab, set up your authentication protocol and be sure to run tests to make sure it’s working. At the bottom of the screen, click “YES” under Allow logging into LibApps using this authentication. Inside your authentication layer, you’ll need to release the email attribute.

LibAuth Authentication

Creating a lot of LibGuides Accounts?

No one wants to click ‘Add Account’ 100+ times when adding all of your LibGuides authors. But, they do need to have a LibGuides account for the authentication integration to ‘connect’. So, we’ve got a workaround that will make things much faster for LibGuides admins!

  • Setup your LibAuth login credentials (see above)
  • Login to LibGuides > Admin > Accounts
  • Click ‘Invitations’ Tab > Invite Users Button
  • Paste in email addresses for all your LibGuides authors (paste in hundreds of emails!)
  • Choose account level > hit send!
  • Authors will receive an invitation to create an account password however, their account has been ‘created’ so they can sign into LibGuides using your authentication layer!

Important Things to Note:

  • Not available with SIP2 – SIP does not contain the email attribute, so we’re not able to offer this option for SIP2 authentication services.
  • Granular Permissions – Are still managed at the Springshare Tool level. So granting access to specific tools and areas within those tools are handled inside LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, etc.

But Wait, There’s More!

Authentication in LibCalIf you haven’t had a chance to check it out, there are amazing LibAuth integrations with LibCal. You can route users through your authentication layer for Room Bookings, Calendar Event Registrations, Equipment Bookings module, and even My Scheduler Librarian appointments.

It’s Just the Beginning!

This release is just phase one of our big plans for LibAuth integration with Springy Tools. We hope to integrate authentication services inside all of our Springshare apps! Just imagine, routing LibWizard quiz takers through your authentication service. Or allowing students to post on discussion boards or comments on your blog through your active directory of users. Or using your authentication protocols before patrons can initiate a LibChat chat exchange. This is just the beginning of great things to come!