Archive for LibGuides

The Importance of Having a Social Media Presence

Whether you’re on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter – social media is a powerful tool for relationship building and creating brand loyalty.

Increase Brand Recognition

Libraries are in a prime position to use social media to engage with customers, develop positive and sustaining relationships, and promote advocacy. Every opportunity you have to share and syndicate your content increases your visibility. Each social media channel is a way to broadcast your brand’s voice. Think about it this way. Let’s say you have a Twitter exchange with patron Sally. And Sally is so happy that you were able to solve her problem and answer her questions. All of Sally’s followers can see her exchange with your Library’s Twitter account – thus increasing your visibility to these potential new followers. Therefore, you’ve increased your potential inbound traffic to include users who *aren’t* your followers.

Richer Patron Experiences

Pie chart on SproutSocial Customer Care

SproutSocial Study on Customer Care

Several social media tools have evolved into more than just tools for posting your updates but now are important channels for customers to solicit and receive customer service. This concept is often referred to as ‘social care’ and it’s becoming the norm more and more. In fact, a SproutSocial 2016 Q2 study found that “90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand. And that social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service.”

What does this mean for Libraries? Well, if your catalog suddenly goes down – can patrons find outage related information on your Twitter feed? Can your Facebook followers contact you if their having trouble logging into their Library account?

The Power of ‘Listening’

A common misuse of social media is to use it to constantly post updates. Broadcasting events, sharing library resources, etc. And while those are very important, and valid, uses of social media – don’t forget that social media is a two-way communication platform. And with two-way communication, social listening is key. Social listening is more than just replying to your @mentions, it means paying attention to conversations around specific phrases or keywords and then leveraging those opportunities to create user-targeted content.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a keyword watch on the incoming class’ hashtag “#SpringyUnivClass2022” and you notice conversations taking place on that keyword channel about a lack of snack places on campus. And wouldn’t you know it, the library just invested in a brand new coffee and snack cart at the library. This is an opportunity to market your new cafe and reach more followers – just because you were listening.

For more information on social listening, check-out this SproutSocial article on The Importance of Social Listening.

How Can You Be Where ‘They’ Are?

Social media requires a plan, manpower, and a strategy. And Libraries are increasingly short-staffed and often pulled in multiple directions at once.

We understand the importance of social media and to that end Springshare has added several new features to Springy Tools to help you have a strong social media presence – even if you’re a library of just one staffer.

LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool

In case you missed it, we rolled out Social Media Management inside of the LibAnswers platform. Connect your library’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages and manage all three of them from one interface. Here’s what else you can do:

  • Engage in Social Listening – Setup Twitter Hashtags to watch and keep your finger on the conversation pulse occurring in your community.
  • Schedule Posts – One of the most important aspects of social media is consistent posting. To that end, schedule Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts into the future so your social feed is always buzzing.
  • Use Facebook Messenger Live – Integrate your Facebook page and you’ll be able to answer Facebook Messenger live chats right from the LibChat operator console. This is a great way to provide social customer service natively inside Facebook.
  • One View for All Stats – Never shortchange your reference stats by being able to view all your social activity from one stats interface.

Advertise Your New LibGuides and LibCal Events

We’ve integrated social posting right into LibGuides and LibCal so that way, you can easily share and post out your new events, LibGuides, etc…and keep your followers abreast of the library’s activities.

  • Advertise Your Published LibGuides – Navigate to your LibGuide and select the ‘Change Status & Share’ Button. From here, you can publish your LibGuide, snag a guide screenshot, and advertise your LibGuide on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget, your guide thumbnail is automatically included in your social posts – helping them be more visually engaging to users.
  • Announce Your Latest Blog Post – If you’re using the LibGuides Blogging functionality, for every new blog post you can seamlessly share it on social media.
  • Market Your Upcoming LibCal Events – When creating a new LibCal Calendar event, you can publish the event and advertise it on social media with one simple click. Plus, if you’ve uploaded a ‘featured image’, it will automagically display in your post to create a more visually engaging post.
Screenshot of LibGuides social media engagement screen

Advertising a Published LibGuide on Social Media

Screenshot of LibAnswers Systems and Services management tool twitter integration

LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool

Announce Library Systems Outages & Issues

Hey, it happens to everyone. Suddenly the library website goes down or your experiencing spotty outages with your catalog.

How can you let your patrons know that you’re aware of the issue and that you’re on top of it?

If you’re using the LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool, you can make use of the Twitter integration to announce issues and outages with your library systems.

Simply navigate to the Status Management button on your LibAnswers Orange Command Bar > select the tool > and ‘Add Post’.

Sign-Up For Training

If you’re using Springy Tools and you want to be more active in social media, then you’re in luck! We have a dedicated training session just for you!

We promise you, social media has the potential to be a treasure trove of opportunity for your Library’s brand. By learning to use it more, you’ll better understand your customer’s and their needs as well as ways to engage with them. They’ll be #converted before they know it.

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!

New this week in LibGuides: New Blog Features and an OAI Overhaul

We’ve hit the ground running here at Springy HQ after a lively January 2017! Here’s a rundown of big new LibGuides features, now available in a browser near you.

OAI Rewrite

We initially implemented OAI-PMH harvesting for LibGuides in July 2015, and since then, you’ve given us some great feedback for changes and new features.  We’re pleased to announce that we’ve rewritten our implementation from the ground up and have incorporated your ideas!

Sensible URL. We changed the structure of the URLs used for harvesting to make them easier to remember. Your old URL will continue to work, so you have time to update your identifiers (see below) and your URLs. To grab your OAI-PMH URL, go into LibGuides > Tools > Data Exports > OAI-PMH.

Updated Identifiers. In order to support sets and additional content in the feed, the identifiers for guides were modified slightly. For example, oai:libguides.com:27066 becomes oai:libguides.com:guides/27066. If you rely on these identifiers for harvesting, clear out the LibGuides content before updating your OAI-PMH URL, otherwise you may end up with duplicate guide content.

Real-time updating. Newly-published and -edited metadata will be available in your OAI feed immediately.

New metadata! Now you can harvest more than just your guides:

  • Sets support. LibGuides now supports sets of objects. View the ListSets output with “?verb=ListSets” for a list of available sets. The verbs ListIdentifiers and ListRecords support limiting results to a particular set by passing that set‘s query parameter. If the set parameter is left off, ListIdentifiers and ListRecords will return objects in all sets. This is a change in behavior from previous the version, which returned only guide content. If you would like to maintain this behavior (only harvesting guides), be sure to use the ‘guides’ set parameter.
  • A-Z Assets: One of the new sets available in the feed is your collection of A-Z Databases. All A-Z assets are included as long as they are not hidden. Information exposed for A-Z is: title, description, the ‘more info’ field (if filled in), subjects, vendor, creation date, and URL (proxied if the ‘proxy’ checkbox is checked). To grab your databases metadata, use the ‘az’ set parameter: &set=az.
  • E-Reserves Courses (Reserves module required): The courses available are limited to courses with unassigned terms or with terms with start and end dates for the current period. Information exposed for E-Reserve Courses is: title, description, instructor, term, URL, and course number. To grab just the E-Reserve Courses set, use the ‘er_courses’ set parameter: &set=er_courses.
  • Guide Custom Metadata (LibGuides CMS only): If you would like to include additional information in your feed, any supported Dublin Core fields entered in the Guide Metadata tab will be exposed. Entries in the Guide Metadata pane are exposed as additional fields and do not replace content in the feed. Field names must be in the format of dc.{field name}. For example, if you wish to add a contributor, enter “dc.contributor” as the field, and “Jane Smith” as the value.

Want to harvest your OAI-PMH data for your catalog? No problem! Check out this video for using MarcEdit’s OAI Harvester to create MARC records and get that job done:

Also see this post for a great introduction to OAI and links to additional resources.

New Blog Features

Featured Post. Now you can “pin” a post to the top of your blog by designating it your Featured Post. Note that there can be only one!

Screenshot of a guide blog with a featured post

Related Blog Posts & E-Reserves Courses on Subject Pages. Give additional exposure to your system and guide blog posts by assigning Subjects to them. Blog posts with Subjects assigned will appear under the Blog Posts tab on their respective Subject pages:

Screenshot of a Subject Page with the Blog Posts tab selected

…And More!

We wouldn’t be Springy if there weren’t a couple more goodies in this basket! Also new as of this release is are:

More ALT Text Options for Images. All non-decorative images in your LibGuides System should have accompanying ALT text to assist those who use screen readers. You’ll see new Alternative Text fields in a few places throughout the system.

Screenshot of adding ALT text to an image (meta!)

Add ALT text when uploading an image to your Image Manager

screenshot of an existing image in image manager

Add ALT text to existing images in image manager

screenshot of the Add Thumbnail image pane

Add ALT text when adding a thumbnail image to Links, Documents/Files, or Database Assets

Small Fixes

Just a couple more things to include!

  • LTI. The “customer secret” is validated when a tool is launched.
  • Search & Replace. We swatted a bug preventing Guide Name & Description searches from working.

 

Exciting LTI and LibAuth Updates, and Some LibGuides Fixes, Too

The year may be winding down, but here at Springshare we’re still moving full steam ahead! This latest release provides some great new features for LTI and LibAuth, and some key LibGuides fixes to boot. Let’s get started with the LTI updates…

LTI Updates

Just in time for spring semester planning/course building, we’re rolling out a few updates to LTI that make it easier to set up and provide more options for Automagic display behavior! Everyone does things just a little differently, so we’ve been tweaking and tweaking over time (thanks to your feedback!) to provide as much flexibility with setup as possible, while still using the same overall code for everyone. (We’d particularly like to thank Linda, Chris, and Amanda at Penn State for their invaluable feedback, which resulted in many of the improvements in this update! 🙂 )

Quick reminder:

  • Who can use LTI?
    LibGuides CMS customers; LibGuides customers who subscribe to the E-Reserves module (for E-Reserves content only)
  • Where would I add this tool?
    So far, this is mainly used by Learning Management (LMS) / courseware systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai…though it can be used in any software that supports the LTI framework.

Metadata Importing / Updating

Show of hands…how many of you have been holding off on implementing LTI Automagic because you had to manually add metadata to each guide, course, and/or subject you wanted to pull into your course site? Mmmm hmmm…that’s what we thought. Well, wait no more! And for those of you who have done it already and need to add/update items, rejoice! Metadata importing & updating is here!

Import Metadata

  • Just download the import template, fill it in, and upload to add metadata to guides, courses, and subjects simultaneously. Awesome, right?
  • Even better? Either keep that file handy or do an export of all metadata (use the Template export option) and use that file to update your metadata using that same import function!
  • Head to LibGuides > Admin > Metadata & URLs (previously Subjects, Tags & URLs) to review metadata currently in your system and run your import!

Automagic Matching & Display

Over the past year & a half of LibApps LTI availability, we’ve expanded what you can do with the Manual and Automagic tools greatly, thanks to your feedback. We realized the Automagic content matching options are no longer relevant…matching happens largely in the same way for all 3 original options – it was only the display options that differed. So we made some adjustments to the Setup Options area to reflect the display options instead. We also added a second “failover guide” option!

Content Display BehaviorFor matching, if a single guide or course matches (only one, not one of each), the tool automatically displays that one item. Otherwise, the Library LTI page displays, with all matches listed (if any). You can alter this behavior using the following options…and you can use them in any any combination you wish:

  • When no matches are found, display the following guide. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    This option automatically displays a specific guide instead of the Library LTI page if nothing (no guides, courses, or subjects) matches the parameter value sent from the LMS.
  • Display the Library LTI page when a single matching guide or course is found.
    Basically, always display the Library LTI page – single match, multiple matches, or no matches.
  • (New Option!) When displaying the Library LTI page, display a link to this guide if no matching guides are found. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    Anytime the Library LTI page is displayed, if there is no matching guide to display, the selected guide will display instead.

We’ve mapped your original selections to these new options, so you don’t have to worry about going in to make changes, unless you want to check out / change the options, of course! Here’s how we mapped the old to the new:

  • Option 1 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: No additional options are selected.
  • Option 2 was: “Always load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: “Display the library LTI page when a single matching guide / course is found.” is selected.
  • Option 3 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load this pre-selected guide.”
    Now: “When no matches are found, display the following guide.” is selected, with the appropriate guide selected from the dropdown.

Translation Table Updates

LTI Translation Table TemplateIf you use the Translation Table option, especially if you subscribe to E-Reserves, get ready for some great news… The template has been updated to allow matching on different metadata for guides, courses, and subjects for a single entry! For example, if you want to populate the Library LTI page for any given LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.) course section with a general guide and subject, but a specific E-reserves course (for that specific section/instructor), this is perfect! Simply add the different metadata for the guide, course, and/or subject to the template, and you’re good to go! (For example, for my LMS course number 2017S-12345, I might add ENG100 for the related guide, 2017S-12345 for the course, and ENG for the subject.)

And since you can use this in conjunction with the matching options in the previous section, you could also set a general guide (general research, library, or even LibGuides info) to display if there is no matching course-related guide!

As with the matching section above, we’ve mapped your existing Translation Table files to this new format on the back end so it continues to work as before: guide, course, and subject fields all contain the same value.

Other LTI Updates:

  • Manual Tool - Custom NameManual tool + Canvas users: You can now customize the name of your Manual tool so it’s easier to find when adding links in Canvas courses! Go to LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool > Manual > Setup Options to customize yours.
    Important: If you already have the Manual tool installed in Canvas, you must reinstall it to use this feature, which will break existing connections.
  • Desire2Learn customers: LTI should be working (and has been for a little while now). As is true for other LMSes, D2L Admins need to configure the tool to enable sending the user role (Faculty, Student, etc.) & that should do it! The role tells the tool whether or not the user can edit the item, which is required by the Manual tool to initially select the guide / course / database(s) to display to students.
  • Automagic matching no longer returns published Internal or Template guides. In fact, we also removed matching on friendly URL to further ensure this type of thing doesn’t happen in future.
  • Profile pictures on the Library LTI page are now linked to that user’s profile page in LibGuides. (The link will open in a new window.)
  • When an instructor-level user clicked the Automagic link in the LMS course site and the Library LTI page was displayed, there was a note at the top in a yellow box that should’ve only appeared the first time the link was clicked…but appeared every time. That was confusing (and annoying 😉 ), so we removed it.
  • Guides with only one page now display the nav button, as they do when accessed from your LibGuides site.

LibAuth - Add ConfigurationLibAuth Update

We heard from some of you that you have more than one authentication system available at your institution, so we’ve added the capability to utilize any and all of those in LibAuth. Even if you already have an authentication method added in LibAuth, you’ll see the Add Configuration button to get you started on another.

LibGuides Updates

Admin Menu ChangeRemember the Metadata Import news in the LTI section? Well, since LibGuides CMS allows for metadata for more than just LTI, you can use that functionality for any metadata you’d like to add, without having to go to every guide (etc.) to add it! If you skipped that section, scroll back up to learn more…then come on back here to continue reading about LibGuides updates. 😉

Also, this new functionality resulted in an Admin menu name change: Subjects, Tags & URLs is now Metadata & URLs…because otherwise, we’d end up with a crazy-long menu name!

Lastly, there are a few small bugs that we’ve swatted here at Springy HQ to make your LibGuides experience even more awesome!

  • We added a character counter for Twitter posts so that you’ll know when you’re approaching that magic 140 character limit.
  • Patron accounts will no longer be recorded as [Deleted] if they write a long discussion board post and their cookie expires in the meantime.
  • Permitted Uses fields in A-Z Assets now save and delete properly.
  • We changed the text options that you see when editing an RSS asset to reflect the current behavior: show item under title / click on (i) icon.
  • It’s now possible to delete custom metadata from a guide.
  • We’ve fixed the link to E-Reserves contained in E-Reserve Request notification emails.
  • E-Reserves pages in guides with friendly URLs no longer prevent E-Reserve item pop-ups from displaying.

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!

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

Dugan Library Saw Library Usage Increase with Introduction of LibGuides

Jeanette Parker

Jeanette Parker, Assistant Librarian

Steve Hamersky

Steve Hamersky, Library Director

During the Fall of 2015, Newman University’s Dugan Library introduced LibGuides to their community and since then, they’ve seen some amazing jumps in library usage.

Springshare sat down, virtually speaking, with Steve Hamersky (Director) and Jeanette Parker (Assistant Librarian) to get the full details.

When you say you saw a “jump in library usage” – what does that entail?

  • Door count is up from previous years by 10%
  • Individual consults/long reference exchanges are up by 100% from just one year ago
  • Number of students reached in programs, classes, workshops is up 48% from one year ago
  • Number of instruction sessions/classes/programs is up 50%
  • ILL requests are up 41% – “we feel this is due to them looking closer and searching better, not settling for just full text.”
  • Dugan Library

    Dugan Library

    Database Usage:

    • Sessions increased by 44%
    • Searches are up 40%
    • Full text downloads increased by 18%
    • Abstract views are up 25%
  • LibGuides Statistics since July 1, 2016:
    • Course Guides: 4,226 Views
    • Subject Guides: 5,283 Views
    • Other/Misc Guide: 299 Views

These results are great! Can you tell us, why did you come on board with LibGuides and what kind of guides are you building?

In 2014, the library was issued a mandate to get more involved on campus. Jeanette and Steve worked together and discovered that there wasn’t a program to equip students in research. Furthermore, the library website wasn’t structured to aid students in finding resources for assignments and the Database A-Z list was overwhelming.

Hence LibGuides!

Jeanette began by creating subject guides.

We really wanted something that would focus on a particular discipline and guide students to successfully locate good quality resources and not be using Google to search, which seems their default. We also noticed that many students were overwhelmed with the database options available, so this created a kind of barrier for their searching, they weren’t sure where to start, couldn’t remember what we’d told them, etc. So we wanted to create something that would eliminate the guesswork enabling them to focus on searching and evaluating sources.

Once the Subject Guides were complete, it was time for Steve and Jeanette to look for a professor willing to collaborate on a course-specific LibGuide. To visually differentiate course guides from subject guides, Jeanette uses tabbed navigation for subject LibGuides and side navigation for course LibGuides.

“The first course guide was definitely an experiment, trying to get the right balance of what we felt was important for students and including the elements that instructors needed.  During the spring semester (2016) we created 5 different course guides and introduced them in classes. We strongly encourage a library visit to introduce the students to the guide and the majority of faculty are on board with this.

How did you get faculty on board with building course-specific LibGuides?

Steve and Jeanette have created a pattern of visiting with faculty and presenting on the library’s “new” tools and information.

We spend about 15 minutes talking about what new library services or resources we have.  This fall we talked to them about our LibGuide stats and with samples of course guides to show them, most responded very favorably to the concept. We discovered that when we described, their initial response was that they feared we were helping students cheat on assignments. With samples to show and say Professor so and so had us show their students this, that response changed. We were able to add 12 course specific guides this fall 2016 semester.  Each of these were paired with a visit to the class or library for an introduction.

So not only are Steve and Jeanette promoting course-specific resources to reduce library anxiety, but they’re increasing usage of library resources and their instruction sessions output to boot!

What is the biggest hurdle you face and how is LibGuides helping?

Newman University is located in Wichita, Kansas and most students come from the local area high schools, which do not have librarians.

Students have not met or seen a library since middle school or even elementary school in some cases. They have no idea what we do, what we have to offer them, and how to even make use of the library resources. We have found the LibGuides have helped bridge that gap to certain extent.

Any interesting comments or responses from your users to share?

Faculty Comments:

  • “This is amazing!  Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am genuinely excited!” –Paralegal Studies professor regarding course LibGuide.
  • “This looks FANTASTIC Jeanette!  Thank you so much for putting this together.  I look forward to your class visit on Thursday!”—Criminal Justice professor regarding course LibGuide
  • “This is awesome!  I really like the characteristics of an academic, peer-reviewed article, and the list of things needed in their citations is perfect.  Thanks again for all of your work on this.”  –Biology professor regarding course LibGuide
  • “Thank you for doing this! It looks good to me and I think it will help students… I don’t know if it’s possible to overemphasize learning and finding “controlled language” in searches.” –English professor regarding course LibGuide

Student Feedback:

  • “I’m finding the resources you have made available in LibGuides and databases much more comprehensive and user friendly than my graduate school. You should be so proud of your work.  You have truly made a difference for us, and I appreciate everything you continue to do for me.” –Nursing student (alum)

What’s next for the Dugan Library?

Even though they’ve just started, Jeanette and Steve have some great advice for new users.

I would highly encourage librarians who are just getting started to create templates for different guide types, makes building new guides so much easier and consistent with your overall plan.

Overall, Jeanette and Steve are really pleased with their LibGuides and the results they’ve seen thus far.