Archive for LibGuides CMS

7 Tips for Making Your Case to Use LibGuides CMS to Power Your Website

Kutztown University Library Homepage

When updating the library’s website, you’re not making that decision in a vacuum. More often than not, it’s a group decision that must go through multiple layers of stakeholders and departments.

If you’re advocating moving your Library Website into LibGuides CMS, you’ll need some feathers in your quill to strengthen your position.

Here are seven tips designed to help you ‘make your case’ towards moving your library website into LibGuides CMS.

1. Streamline Interfaces…For Everyone

Your library employs many web-based services to meet the needs of your patrons. From your website to the online catalog, from your blog to your Facebook page – you have a lot of virtual touch-points to manage.

Moving your library website into LibGuides CMS helps you to streamline interfaces, for everyone. Staff only have to go to one place to access research guides and website content. Plus, with LibGuides CMS you get free access to LibWizard Lite survey and form builder. This means one less login and password to remember to create forms and surveys. And, if you setup LibAuth integration, staff only need to login to your CAS/LDAP/AD/Shibboleth or other authentication tool to login to LibGuides CMS.

Patrons only have to navigate to one URL to access their website, research guides, embedded LibWizard surveys/forms, E-Reserves content, and more.

August University Library Homepage

Augsburg University Library uses their LibGuides CMS homepage to showcase library resources and prominently display their research guides.

2. Mobile-Friendly & Accessibly Designed

The 2016 Pew Research Center Libraries Report showed that 49% of people accessed a public library website from their handheld mobile devices – smartphones and tablets. The 2017 Horizon Report highlights a 2016 StatCounter study which found that 51.3% of all web browsing worldwide took place on mobile phones and tablets, surpassing desktop web browsing for the first time.

These stats are letting you know that mobile access is not a trend, but the ‘new normal’ and it’s here to stay. But, that’s easier said than done. A mobile-first website is more than just ensuring that your website adjusts properly on all screen sizes, but it’s also important that your website’s user-interface elements change based on their screen size as well. A submit button, for example, should adjust for both desktop mouse usage and smartphone’s touchscreen ‘finger’ usage.

And, if that wasn’t already too much to consider – you also need to ensure that your website is accessible to boot. Do you have ‘skip to’ navigate for screen-readers? What about Aria tags for any JavaScript elements?

If you’re looking to make a case to move to LibGuides CMS to power your website, a mobile-first layout and built-in accessibility features can help!

Kutztown University Library Homepage

Kutztown University Library’s LibGuides CMS powered website looks great on desktop and mobile.

3. Showcase Other Libraries That Are Doing It

Sometimes, the best way to make your case is to showcase all of the other libraries that are doing it.

Our Buzz Guide showcases tons and tons (and did we say tons?) of libraries from Academic, to Special, to K-12/School Libraries that are using LibGuides CMS to power their websites. Plus, did you know that all Government of Health Libraries in Western Australia use LibGuides CMS to power their respective websites? Cool, right?!

4. Move Your Intranet Into the Cloud

So, beyond using it to power your website, and creating patron research/subject guides, you can also use LibGuides CMS to create a cloud-based staff intranet. Using Internal Groups, staff are required to ‘sign-in’ to access the protected content. Plus, you can use integrated discussion boards for collaboration and feedback and get out of your inbox.

This way, staff can access important content from anywhere…on any devicesecurely.

Albuequerque/Bernalillo County Public Library Staff Intranet

The Albuequerque/Bernalillo County Public Library created a protected CMS group called Habenero to manage internal communication across 18 branches.

 

5. Enjoy Seamless Springy App Integration

Lots of libraries who use LibGuides CMS to power their website also use LibAnswers and LibChat to power their reference services, LibWizard for all their surveys and interactive tutorials, and LibCal to promote their events, room bookings, and librarian one-on-one consultations.

It’s not just because these tools are awesome (they really are but we could be biased so you could take the University of Liverpool Library’s word for it or the University College Cork Library or even the Houston Community College Library) but also because they easily integrate with your LibGuides CMS powered website.

Plus, our unified search brings together your LibGuides CMS content, your A-Z list, LibAnswers FAQs, LibCal events, and any additional 3rd party tool (i.e. discovery layer or OPAC) that you want to add.

Walden University LibGuides Unified Search

Walden University Library integrates LibAnswers FAQs, LibGuides CMS content, and their LibGuides A-Z list plus their discovery portal inside into their LibGuides CMS Unified Search.

6. Academic Librarians – Employ Native Courseware Integration

It’s hard enough for Academic librarians to get students to navigate to, and use, the library’s website and resources. But, nowadays, students have so many other ‘websites’ that keep drawing their focus. The student portal, the activities webpage for on-campus events, Banner for grades, and now courseware tools like Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas too. How can the library compete for their attention?

LibGuides CMS has native courseware integration with any LTI-compliant courseware tool. So you can integrate your website content AND relevant courseware materials right at their point-of-need.

Plus, the LibGuides LTI Automagic tool helps you to embed your LibGuides CMS powered content across thousands of courses.

Penn State University used the LibGuides CMS LTI Builder to natively integrate relevant LibGuides, course-specific E-Reserves, and a LibAnswers LibChat widget across 33,000 courses in Fall 2016 and 32,000 courses in the Spring 2017 semester.

Was it successful? Well, in only 138 days of the Fall 2016 semester they had 80,000 hits.

Note: Penn State University Libraries does not use LibGuides CMS to power their website. 

7. Robust Training & Documentation

If you’re already using LibGuides CMS, and you want to know how to use it to power your library website – we’ve got you covered! Watch our ‘Creating a Homepage with CMS‘ training webinar series and check-out our help documentation that walks you through some key steps.

And remember, if you need help at any time, for any reason – you can contact us. Springshare Support to the rescue!

Tips for Designing LibGuides for Children

The look and design of your LibGuides will change depending on your audience. If you’re designing LibGuides for adults, graduate students, or advanced learners – you’ll focus more heavily on library resources, advanced searching techniques, and information literacy skill reinforcement.

When designing LibGuides for children, think bright, colorful, engaging, and entertaining.

No matter what children are doing online, whether its entertainment or education, they’re looking to have fun. Your LibGuide should be simple to use and exciting. If it’s not, you run the risk of them going elsewhere – to a webpage that can hold their short attention spans and fulfill their instant gratification needs.

So, when designing your LibGuide – dig deep and think back to when you were a child. Let’s cover a few tips for designing LibGuides for children.

1. Design for Appropriate Ages

Remember when you were 12 and someone gave you a gift meant for a 7 year old?! Gasp, the horror! You’re a pre-teen, not a baby!! Well, the same principle applies to your LibGuides. One size does not fit all, so consider creating different LibGuides for each age group. Furthermore, what holds the attention of a 7year old is going to be totally different than what attracts a 10year old. Create LibGuides CMS groups to customize the look & feel of each group of guides for each age group.

Example Guides Customized by Age Group

One great example that comes to mind is the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District LibGuides System. They’ve created different groups for PreK, K-5, and 6-12 age groups that all have a different look and feel.

Las Vegas County Public Library LibGuides

Las Vegas Clark County Public Library has different customizations for each age LibGuides CMS age group

2. Use Bright Colors & Images

Children respond to bright primary and secondary colors. Think red, blue, yellow, green, purple, and orange. Avoid muted colors and think bright saturated color schemes. Don’t skip over accessibility concerns, because if an adult can’t read purple text on a yellow background, then a child won’t be able to either.

3. Use Images to Create a Call to Action

Try to avoid lots of ‘copy’ and consider using images to create a call to action. There are loads of free tools you can use to create beautiful icons, and you don’t need to be a graphic designer to use them!

Examples:

Trinity Grammar School Uses Large Icons to guide Students

Canadian International School uses awesome icons to communicate library resources to students.

4. Incorporate Interactive Elements

Children want to play, plain and simple. Even when they’re learning, they learn better in a game’ified environment. Consider adding interactive polls, embedded videos, interactive widgets and activities to enrich their learning experience.

Moffat Library of Washingtonville adds interactive poll assets to every book asset to create a ‘Battle of the Books’ environment.

5. Consider ‘Characters’

Young children respond to characters and storylines. Creating a rich ‘story’ helps to create a connection between them, your content, and the learning outcomes. Consider using LibGuides blogs to create ongoing blog posts around a library character or story element.

The Harker School’s blog features the Harker Eagle, the school’s mascot.

6. HAVE FUN!

Above all, when creating a LibGuide designed for children – have fun with it! Unleash your inner child and think big, bold, bright, engaging, and entertaining.

Fall LibGuides Updates – Check ’em Out!

We released support for uploading your own HTTPS (SSL) certificates in September, and boy have you been using it! You’ve had a lot of great questions and helped us devise an improved Certificate Management page that is more intuitive to use. Haven’t uploaded a certificate yet? Need to renew and upload a new one? No problem! Just log into LibApps and head to Admin > Domains & Certificates. Click the padlock icon for the domain in question, and you’ll see information about your certificate (or lack thereof) right there.

Please note: the first step in the process is to change your domain’s DNS to point to the secure endpoint for your region. Please see our help guide for complete information.

Once you’ve done that, go to Your Certificate > Upload Certificate Files, or if you need a CSR and KEY with which to purchase a certificate, create and download those at Your Certificate > Generate and Download Certificate Signing Request & Private Key.

Once you upload your certificate file and key, the files will be installed and activated on our servers within one business day. The time of final activation depends on your region.

Screenshot

A Note on Site Cleanup

Just a friendly reminder that if you have ever switched to a custom domain or have otherwise had a domain change, including moving from a beta site to your live site, you should update any redirects and links that point to the old site.

Redirects include your custom homepage guide if you use one, group homepages, guides, and guide pages. We have redirects in place so that these bad domains will themselves redirect to the right place, but it’s best practice to eliminate these bad links by using relative URLs for your redirects. Using relative URLs means you don’t have to worry about changing redirects or links should you happen to change domains again in future.

So, if you redirect your system URL to a guide, go to Admin > Look & Feel > Page Layout > Homepage > Customization. If you’ve clicked the “Use Custom” button and have a redirect entered in the redirect field, make sure that it’s a relative URL. That would mean entering /home rather than https://mylibrary.libguides.com/home.

 

DO THIS: NOT THIS:
/home https://mylibrary.libguides.com/home

 

Screenshot

If you’re a LibGuides CMS customer and make use of groups, you should check at Admin > Groups > (edit group) > Page Layout > Group Homepage > Customization and make sure that you’re using relative URLs as redirects, if you have any.

It’s also important to check all custom templates and header and footer code for your site and groups to make sure that you aren’t using any links to old domains, including your original LibGuides v2 beta site. These can also be safely replaced with relative URLs.

Lastly, do a quick search in the Search & Replace tool for “beta” or your old domain to make sure you don’t have any guide content that needs updating. Check out our Search & Replace Tools videos for more help:

Accessibility Fixes

  • Database resource icons correctly have a blank ALT tag, as these are decorative images. Screenreaders will read a resource icon’s description aloud, so be sure to add that if the icon’s meaning isn’t otherwise conveyed in the link name.
  • The Fieldset Element has been correctly added to LibGuides search results facets.
  • The <b> tag no longer appears on search results pages.
  • The Guides and AZ list widgets have appropriate labels, when displayed as a drop-down menu

Aditional Fixes and Features

We also have a slew of smaller things to share with you:

  • Fixed! Search from a group homepage, search results are filtered to show only that group.
  • Gallery box slide titles are now easy to target with CSS.
  • The character limit for database asset internal notes has been expanded to 1,000 characters.
  • If you exceed the character limit for guide-level Custom JS/CSS, you are warned and not able to save.

Springy https-a-palooza is Go!

It’s here – the release you’ve all been waiting for: the Springy https-travaganza! 🎉
And yes, it’s “Springy” vs. a specific product, because this affects all of our products. Let’s go through the list of fun new stuff, shall we?

LibAnswers & LibCal Now Support SSL Certificates (via LibApps)

LibApps Admins can now upload security certificates for LibAnswers and LibCal custom domains! It’s not just LibGuides anymore, folks. All products that support custom domains now also support security certificates for those domains. Head to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates, and click the lock icon in the Actions column. Please read through those screens and our documentation to learn more about the process of installing certificates for your sites. This often requires coordination with your IT department so be sure to include those folks in your conversations, as well.

Don’t forget, anyone on a libguides.com, libanswers.com, libcal.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, libinsight.com, or libcrm.com domain is already covered by Springshare’s security certificates, so you can go all https at any time! (If you’re on a campusguides.com, libguidescms.com, or communityguides.com domain, please contact us about switching to a libguides.com domain to take advantage of our security certificate. In addition, if you have a domain formatted like this – guides.mylibrary.libguides.com – please contact us about changing to something like guides-mylibrary.libguides.com in order to take advantage of our security certificate.)

As we’ve mentioned before, this only covers your Springy domain, not the widgets, etc., you’ve added within any pages. If you’ve decided to use https for your sites, you’ll also want to check any widgets you’ve added to the systems (other vendor/site widgets, like those from subscription databases, social media sites, etc.) to see whether they are http or https, as non-https widgets will trigger a security warning. If they are not https, check with that vendor/site to see if they offer an https option. Springshare widgets/APIs are either protocol-less (meaning they’ll work on both http and https pages) or are already https. See our FAQ for more info.

LibApps Now Supports Wildcard and SAN Certificates

Yes! You can now upload wildcard and SAN certificates. What are wildcard certificates, you may ask? They’re certificates that cover a whole domain vs. just one subdomain. For example, a wildcard certificate might be for *.mylibrary.org, so it covers mylibrary.org, research.mylibrary.org, ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.mylibrary.org, etc., etc., all under a single certificate. Most sites likely won’t need a wildcard certificate, but for those who do, it’s now an option.

Force https is Available…

…for most apps. LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard allow you to force pages / widgets / APIs to load via https. LibInsight always loads over https. The best part? This is available to:

  • All sites on libguides.com, libanswers.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, and libinsight.com domains and
  • LibGuides and LibAnswers sites with custom domains, who have uploaded security certificates.

The ability to force https for LibCal sites (via LibApps) will be available in the not-too-distant future, and we’ll be updating LibStaffer to be all https, all the time. Keep your eyes on our blog for those announcements.

What does this actually mean? If you’ve enabled “force https,” have an http link to a guide in LibGuides or FAQ in LibAnswers (etc.) somewhere on a webpage, and someone clicks that link, they’ll automatically be redirected to https instead. Any links they click for other pages in that LibGuides / LibAnswers / etc. site will also automatically load over https. That’s it! It loads your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard pages over https no matter whether the link that brought the user there was http or https. So if you forgot to update a link…or someone has something bookmarked…or a member of your community has a link on one of their webpages…it’ll always load over https.

What does this not mean? The links you have set up in your site that go to other websites (subscription databases, books in your catalog, etc.) will not be forced to use https. Springshare does not control those other websites, so we have no control over how those sites are loaded.

Here’s how to force Springy sites to use https:

  • LibInsight: enabled by default; you don’t have to do a thing.Screenshot of "Force HTTPS" setting.
  • LibWizard: Go to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
  • LibGuides & LibAnswers:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates.
    • Click the lock icon in the Actions column for the site.
    • Under “Force HTTPS” Setting, choose Required.
      If you do not see the “Force HTTPS” Setting section, either that app doesn’t currently support it as an option (e.g., LibInsight is always https; LibCal support is coming soon) or you have a custom domain (for LibGuides / LibAnswers) and need to upload a security certificate before you can access that option.

On LibGuides v1, LibAnswers v1, or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to v2. The v2 platform is better, more secure, faster, feature-rich…so there is no reason to stay on v1. If you’d like some assistance, our support team can help you figure out how to do it in the quickest way possible. We also have dedicated training sessions and step-by-step migration guides (LibGuidesLibAnswersLibAnalytics) to walk you through the entire process. We do not support SSL certificates for custom domains for v1 systems.

Additional Features & Fixes

It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t also include an extra list of fixes & features in our releases, now would it?

  • LibGuides: A-Z Page statistics are now available in base LibGuides, in addition to LibGuides CMS.
  • LibAuth: Empty postfix field is allowed in LDAP configurations.
  • LibAnswers: LibChat accessibility adjustment – frameborder=”0″ has been replaced with CSS in chat widgets.
  • Fixed in LibGuides:
    • When creating new Database Assets, assigned Friendly URLs now stay put, as intended.
    • An ampersand in the name of an E-Reserves course no longer breaks the OAI feed.
    • The “Edit Database” modal window in guides now appropriately points people to the A-Z Database List page for editing fields…which is far more useful than pointing to an outdated location.
    • IE10 users, rejoice! (Is that a thing? 😉) The Image Manager works again within LibCal and LibAnswers.

As always, we’re here to help! Let us know if any questions pop up…

LibGuides Accessibility Updates, AZ Page Stats, HTTPS Certificates and more!

Accessibility fixes

This week at Springy HQ we are pleased to bring you the following accessibility fixes. Our first pass of fixes in the last few months focused on “errors” on all public pages; this pass hits the E-Reserves module as well as many things classified as “alerts”—things that could technically adhere to guidelines but needed examining. See something else we need to consider? Let us know! Click the Support tab on any admin-side LibGuides page to send us a ticket.
Please include:
  • Name of the accessibility tool you’re using
  • Description of the issue, including any code snippets that trigger the alert
  • Screenshot of the accessibility tool’s overlay highlighting the issue, if possible
  • URL of the page (included automatically if you use the Support form)
To ensure that content that you add keeps your guides accessible, please see our help guide on LibGuides and Accessibility accessible as well as the upcoming training session on the topic.
E-Reserves fixes
  • We rebuilt the E-Reserves request form using plain HTML & Bootstrap select menus, eliminating several issues with keyboard and screenreader navigation.
  • We eliminated a few errors and alerts on the main E-Reserves listing page and on course pages.
  • We changed the H4 element used to mark up the number of courses shown to an H2 to maintain proper page outline.
Public Pages fixes
  • We’ve replaced the select menus on the Subject and Profiles by Subject pages with simpler HTML that eliminates several alerts and errors.
  • We changed an H4 tag on the Subjects page to H2 in order to maintain proper outline order.
  • We added a missing ARIA label on the system homepage and changed the Sort control to a <div> rather than a <form> tag.
  • We removed a hidden field that was triggering a “redundant ALT text” alert.
  • We wrapped the profile image and name together in a single link tag to eliminate the “redundant link” alerts.
Gallery boxes
  • We incorporated an updated version of the component used in Gallery boxes as it contained several accessibility updates.
  • We changed the slide title field to H3 since the box title is H2, to maintain proper outline order.
A few changes might require the updating of your system’s CSS and custom templates, but only if you make extensive use of CSS and custom templates. Most folks won’t have to worry about these! Here are the gritty details, should you need them:

CSS Changes:

System & Group Home Pages
WAS:
The element around the “Display” area, which allows you to control the order in which guide lists are displayed should not have been a <form> element.
NOW:
It is now a <div> element, so any customizations targeting the form element should be updated to use <div> instead.
Gallery Boxes
WAS:
Slide titles were <h4> elements.
NOW:
This is now an <h3>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves – er.php
WAS:
“Search for Courses” label next to the search box was a <span> element.
NOW:
This is now correctly in a <label>. Heading above the list of courses, subjects, etc., was an <h4> element. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves Request Form – er_request.php
WAS:
We had been using a component for some of the select options on the page that we determined was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “select2”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “select2” are removed. These include: select2-drop, select2-display-none, select2-with-searchbox, select2-drop-active, select2-offscreen, select2-input, etc.
Password-Protected Pages – Groups, Guides, Courses
WAS:
The message prompting users to enter the password (above the text box) was not in a <label>.
NOW:
That text correctly has a <label>, as it is associated with the password input below. Any CSS changes should target the <label> element.
Profile Landing Page – prf.php
WAS:
“By Subject” dropdown was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.
Profile names are not linked, so style changes could be made using:
div.s-lib-profile-nameProfile names are now linked to their profile (in addition to the picture being linked), so any style changes to the profile name must be adjusted to include the anchor tag:
div.s-lib-profile-name a
Subjects Pages: sb.php and individual subject pages
WAS:
Subject dropdown selection was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.  Headings above the list of guides, databases, etc., (“Showing x guides”, etc.) were <h4> elements. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.

Template Changes:

Both the Profile and Subject pages now have ARIA labels for the <section> tags. If you are using the default templates, you do not need to make any changes to implement this update. Default templates automatically update.

If you have customized these templates, however, you will need to update your template to include the accessibility update, as outlined below.

Right now, each of these is coded as simply <section>. Now they are coded as follows. You can update customized templates to reflect these changes at any time.

Profiles Templates:

Main Landing Page – prf.php:

<section aria-label=”List of Profiles”>

Individual Profile Page – prf.php?account_id=x
<section aria-label=”Profile Content”>

Subjects Templates:

Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Subject Search Bar”>Content area below Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Content by Subject”>

Manage Your Domains!

New in LibApps is the ability to view and manage your systems’ domains, including the ability to add and change custom domains and upload a custom HTTPS certificate for LibGuides. Need a certificate installed for your LibCal or LibAnswers system? No sweat! Please email us at support@springshare.com or open a ticket by clicking the Support tab from the admin side of your product. We’ll get you set up right away, and the ability to manage these certificates on your own will be coming soon.
So what can you do on the new Manage Domains page? Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Domains to:
  • View the domains for all your Springy apps
  • Add or change a Custom Domain Mapping for your LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibGuides site(s)
  • Create a Certificate Signing Request in order to request a custom HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
  • Manage the current HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
Also see our help guide on the topic.

Databases Page Stats

We’re pleased to add a long-awaited addition to your statistics interface: A-Z Databases Page hits. These stats show how many hits are made daily or monthly to your AZ list. From August 16, they also show the referring URLs, when that data exists.
Screenshot: the A to Z databases page stats include a graph and data table of hits to az.php

Other Fixes and Features

This release also included:
  • LibAuth:
    • The ability to specify a custom port for SIP2 and LDAP LibAuth configurations.
    • Automatic updating of LibAuth certification fingerprints and IdP configurations.
    • Now when you view an E-Reserves Course’s settings, you’ll see the name of the default LibAuth configuration, if one exists.
  • Resumption of the ability for customers to enter translation files for us. Interested? Please get in touch!
  • Ability to limit AZ Holdings Analysis to library type and location.

LibGuides A-Z Community & Analysis and More!

We’re excited to bring you some great new LibGuides features this month, including the A-Z Databases Community, local database analysis, and blog widgets!

If you subscribe to LibGuides CMS, you’ll see two new tabs on your A-Z Databases List page: Analyze Holdings and A-Z Community. The first lets you delve into some subject analysis for your databases; the second is a cache of databases held across the LibGuides Community. Check the A-Z Community tab for descriptions and reviews contributed by your fellow LibGuides librarians, and see statistics for each database: How many institutions have it? How many list it as a Best Bet? How many are holding a trial?

Subject Analysis

Head over to the Analyze Holdings tab to see your databases by subject easily, along with some statistics on how many are Best Bets, Trials, or Popular.
A summary of all A to Z databases in our sample system. The summary shows the total number of databases, subjects, and vendors and shows how many databases are designated as trials, new, or popular
On the right side of the screen, you can see how your Databases are spread across the Trial, New, & Popular designations:
A to Z databases list with a filter for trial, new, and popular, and with a search box for quickly finding assets
You can also see the distribution of your databases by subject category:
A list of subjects assigned to A to Z assets in our sample system and the number of database assets assigned to each.
Click a subject name to see databases assigned to that subject:
Screenshot showing the 13 databases that are assigned the subject Genealogy
Want to see an analysis of the Community databases in a subject? Choose which community-supplied subject terms to use and click Go to see which Community databases have been assigned those terms. Here is a sample analysis of Biology and related subject names:
A to Z Subject analysis shows you which subject names have been assigned to which databases, and how many institutions label each database as Trial, New, and Popular
The ability to filter these results by library type and location is coming soon.

The A-Z Community

We’re starting out with the 500 or so databases that appear most frequently across LibGuides. We initially matched on Name, Vendor, and URL, so databases with individualized URLs may not have matched. That’s ok, you can still map your holdings to the community!
You can view and filter the list by name, vendor, or words in the description. You can also sort by how many institutions hold this database and whether your institution owns it.
The A to Z Community screen lists database names, vendors, and descriptions.
Adding databases into your LibGuides system from the AZ Community is a snap. Just click the Add to My System button in order to create a new asset in your system containing the name, vendor, and description of the Community-supplied asset.
A to Z Community screen for the J stor database, which includes the "Add database to my system" button, space for community-supplied description and reviews, and a summary of how this database is designated as trial, best bet, new, and popular across LibGuides systems

Is your database not connected to the community?

Want to map your databases to the existing community list? Please do! To link one of your local databases to the AZ Community, go to the database’s Edit screen and click the Community button next to the Database Name. You can copy the community-supplied name, vendor name, and description into your local instance if you like, or you can just make the association. Ding! Now that database is held by one more library. 🙂
Click the community button to search for and link a local database name in the A to Z Community.

Blog Widgets

Create a widget for any blog in your system, be it your system blog or a guide blog page. Go to Tools > Widgets > Blogs to generate the code you need to share links to or entire blog posts in your guides or on another website:
Screenshot of the blog widgets tab including a preview of a blog widget
Use the options on the screen to show just the post titles or the entire post, including teaser and images. You can also filter by subject or post author. Like all LibGuides widgets, you can generate a list via JavaScript code or a URL, or you can create a prettier list in an iFrame.

Other fixes and features

As with all code releases, we have include a few other small things:
  • We squashed a bug related to logging into our support site.
  • We restored editing to group Language Options.
  • We changed the buttons visible when editing an existing blog post to “Save” and “Unpublish and Save Draft.”
  • We squashed a bug that meant that guide titles from internal groups displayed on profile pages, although guides themselves were not accessible.

Your LibGuides Are Working Hard to Fight Fake News

Now, more than ever, there is a needed skill for identifying and fact-checking news. Librarians have rushed to fill that void creating numerous LibGuides showcasing the dangers of clickbait, the importance of research, and teaching literacy skills showing users how to identify and avoid fake news.

To that end, we’re showcasing all the amazing LibGuides you’re creating to educate your users on the importance of evaluating news resources.

Because, as Loyola Marymount University Library highlights, “Fake News can have Real World Consequences”.

 

ButtonHave a LibGuide You Want To Share?

If you have a Fake News or Information Literacy LibGuide you want us to highlight – drop us a line at news@springshare.com.

Heading to ALA Annual, Chicago?

Stop by our booth #1647 and pick up your LibGuides: Fighting Fake News Since 2007 button. These are in short-supply, so be sure to pick them up before they’re going, going, gone.

Make Your Fake News LibGuide…Community Findable

To help make your LibGuide more findable, tag it with ‘Fake News’. Then, on community.libguides.com, filter search results by the ‘Fake News’ tag. This will help retrieve the most relevant results.

 

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

LibGuides 2.1.16.0 is Here; It’s Linkalicious!

We’re super excited to announce that the LibGuides 2 v1.16.0 release has gone out to the US and EU regions. There’s some great stuff in it for you, including the new link checker, some new AZ features, and the ability to write AZ Asset information via the API. You auth nerds out there will also appreciate learning that with this API release, we’re moving to OAuth. Don’t worry, the existing API calls are still in place for backward-compatibility.

The LibGuides Link Checker has Returned!

It’s baaa-aaaaack! The LibGuides Link Checker was rewritten from scratch and is better than ever! Not only does it run every day—every 30 minutes, in fact—it also brings you new features, like the ability to dismiss links from the report and add link or domain exclusions.
LibGuides Link Checker Report screen
We’re holding off on kicking off the actual link checking to give you time to add in your own domain exclusions. What’s an exclusion? Great question! All pages for domains that you add as exclusions are skipped by the link checker. Meaning that if you add mylibcat.org as a domain exclusion, it’ll skip any link that begins with that, like mylibcat.org/bookitem-12345.html. We suggest that you add library system URLs like your proxy, discovery system, link resolver, anything that may hit a login page or otherwise appear as a “false positive” to the link checker. If you haven’t already, we recommend making use of the system-wide proxy settings for your Database Assets. More on that below.
But wait, you might say, I sent you my catalog domain yeeeeears ago. What gives? Good point! One of the improvements we’ve made is the ability to implement and track exclusions per site. Previously URLs were not associated with a site, so we had no way of parsing this list out and making sure that the right exclusion made it to your list. Make sense? We’re truly sorry about that, but think that the link checker is so much better now, you won’t mind. 😉
LibGuides Link Checker Exclusions
If you’d rather wait and see what hits your report, you can do that, too! You can add a single link to the Exclusions report with one click, or you can add an entire domain in the Exclusions tab. Links added to Exclusions will not be checked the next time around. We’ll be adding an option for Bulk-dismissing links from the report in the next week or two, so stay tuned for that!
We’ll kick off the Link Checker on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, U.S. time. You will not see links in your Link Checker report until then.
Summing things up, here’s what you should know and do to get the most bang for your buck from the new Link Checker:
  • Don’t expect to see links in your report until after Tuesday, May 16, 2017, U.S. time, when we turn the new link checker on.
  • Before May 16th, go to Tools > Link Checker > Exclusions to add library systems – particularly your proxy server – to the Exclusions list.
  • Make use of proxy settings so proxied links don’t get checked at all. Add your proxy string in Admin > System Settings, then make sure your links have the proxy Enabled.
  • Once the Link Checker starts running, monitor it regularly to update broken links and dismiss false positives.
  • Check out our documentation to learn more about the new Link Checker, dismissing links, and Exclusions!

A-Z Assets Write API 1.2 (CMS Only)

Also in this release is a brand-new set of API capabilities for creating or update your A-Z assets. You can still use GET requests to pull this content out of LibGuides, of course, and all existing 1.1 calls are supported for backward-compatibility purposes. To get started with the new Write API, go to Tools > API > Endpoints 1.2.
Also with this change comes the implementation of OAuth 2.0 rather than site keys. Want to host a hackathon for students to see what apps they can create to display your databases? No problem! Just go to Tools > API > API Authentication and create an application that only has the authority to make GET requests. Want to pull data from your ERM and push it to LibGuides? Create an application on the API Authentication tab that is allowed to create and update as well.

Export Database Information — and Update With the Same File!

Speaking of updating databases, we’ve made it easier to do this en masse. If you have a few or a bunch of changes to make, download a spreadsheet of ALL THE DATABASE THINGS by going to Content > A-Z Database List > Export All Records > TEMPLATE. Make changes in the file, then click Import / Update Databases to upload the spreadsheet. (Hint: remove assets that do not need updating at this time so you don’t have to wade through them all on the confirmation screen). Aaaaand you’re done!
LibGuides AZ Databases List with Export and Import options

A-Z Asset Login Credentials

Do you have database assets that have separate access, administration, and statistics portal URLs? Now you can track them in LibGuides! First, go to Content > A-Z Databases List > Settings > Login Credentials to set up the types of credentials you need to add. You might add Admin, Stats, or whatever other category of URL you need.
LibGuides AZ Databases Login Credential Types settings
For each type added, URL, Login, and Password fields will appear when you edit an asset:
LG AZ Database List Login Credentials

Additional Features and Fixes

  • Bug squashed! Tweets sent from a guide do not require a guide description.
  • Social posts for your blog posts contain the blog post title, not your guide or system’s.
  • Bug squashed! The posts-by-subjects list has been restored for blog pages.
  • Cover art retrieved from Syndetics is protocol-less; if you’re https, so are they!

“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