Archive for LibGuides

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.

What are We Thankful for? Great New LibGuides Features!

We’re celebrating turkey day early with some new features that we know you’ll love: a brand new Gallery Box, new features for Patron accounts, and some accessibility improvements, too!

Patron Accounts: Import and Self-Registration Options

Patron Accounts are used in LibGuides for patron participation in Discussion Boards (CMS Only) and blog comments. Until now, Patron Accounts were created one-at-a-time, or by sending email invitations. We’ve added two new options to make creating these accounts easier: mass import for you, and self-registration for them.

Don’t want to create patron accounts by hand? No problem! LibApps Admins can head over to LibApps > Admin> Manage Patron Accounts > Settings > enable Self-Register to allow patrons to do just that. The Settings tab is also where you’ll specify the email domains from which self-registration is allowed. If you’re a little nervous about self-registering, leave that disabled and use the Import Patrons utility in LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to import any and all of your patron accounts at once.

Already using Patron Accounts? We’ve moved them into LibApps in anticipation of extending their use to other Springy apps. Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to see, edit, or delete them.

Accessibility Improvements

We’ll be making accessibility improvements in just about every upcoming release, and we’re excited to announce the latest enhancements. Here’s the list:

  • Made sure that homepage sidebar boxes (A-Z list, E-Reserves, etc.) use headings.
  • Homepage page title reflects the content’s sort order.
  • Homepage buttons for “All Guides,” “All Groups,” etc., use <button> elements.
  • Added missing Submit button for Sort Order drop-down on homepage.
  • RSS content items now use accessible popovers for descriptions.
  • Removed redundant title attributes in RSS content items that caused some text to be read aloud twice by screen readers.
  • Fully-accessible Gallery Box content.

We have a list of other improvements to make and plan to include some of them with each release. See something that needs addressing! Do let us know!

Gallery Box – More than Just Pretty Pictures

Easily bring new content to your LibGuides slide shows with the our new, accessible Gallery Box code. Already have Gallery Boxes in your guides? No problem! This code is backward-compatible, so not only will your old boxes still function, all the new features apply! (Bonus: all your slides are the same height now! 🙂 )

New Content Options!

With the new Gallery Box, you can create slides showcasing content from your LibGuides system:

  • Books from the Catalog assets
  • LibGuides
  • Databases
  • LibCal events
  • Images from the Image Manager (or on the web, via URL)

To add content to your Gallery Box, click the cog icon in the Box’s header, then simply click Add New Slide, choose your slide type, and easily search for content in your LibGuides or LibCal system.

screenshot of the Add New Slide menu containing image, book, database, LibGuide, and LibCal Event options

New Gallery Box Settings!

Also new to the Gallery Box are all sorts of settings! Use different combinations of settings to create an endless variety of slide shows. Customizable features include:

  • Auto-play: turn Auto-play on for slides to advance automatically
  • Transition type: Slide or Fade
  • Speed adjustments: Adjust the time each image is on the screen and the time each transition takes
  • Image height control: specific a height in pixels or % relative to the box it’s in
  • Slide options: Number of rows, number of slides per row, and how many slides to advance at one time
  • Navigation: Presence or absence of dots indicating the number of slides (the arrows are always present to enable manual advancing of slides)
  • Choose caption position: Top, Bottom, Left, Right, and None
  • Caption color options: caption background color and text color

Do More with Gallery Boxes!

Creating slide shows with Gallery Boxes is about more than highlighting a few images. With the new content types, settings, and text options, the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas:

  • New books displays
  • Upcoming events
  • Highlight new or popular databases
  • Text-based slideshows highlighting library hours, contact info, upcoming meetings, etc.

Here’s a sampling of different layouts created using LibGuides Gallery Boxes:

One Slide at a Time, Auto-Play ON, Captions, Dots ON

Two-row Grid, Auto-Play ON, No Captions, “Fade” Transition

Horizontal Books Carousel, Auto-play OFF, No Captions, Advance 6 at a Time

LibGuides, Literacy, and Literati Webinar

Bethany Reisch

Bethany Reisch
Librarian @ Northshore Technical Com. College

November 16, 2016: 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT

Led by Bethany Reisch, librarian at Northshore Technical Community College, this 60min free webinar will highlight using Credo Literati tools in conjunction with LibGuides to promote information literacy. Using LibGuides to power their website, Bethany worked with students to increase usage via their feedback. Student surveys helped to inform the redesign of their Library website and the adding of additional resources via Credo LibGuides.

Join Bethany as she takes you through their journey of lessons learned and successes achieved to reach and engage students at Northshore Technical Community College.

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Fall Friday Fun! A few LibGuides Updates

We are gearing up for big LibGuides updates this fall, and while you wait, we have a few smaller features to share.

We have improved the behavior of Search Boxes so that their scope can be changed based on your preferences. Folks who are using a guide as their system homepage don’t have to worry—if we detect a redirect URL, the search box on your custom guide will automatically search the entire system.

Currently, search boxes in a guide find pages just within that guide; same for groups. Go to System Settings > General > Search Options to specify the behavior of the search box in guides:

lg_default_guide_search

CMS user? We have your groups covered, too! Specify the behavior of the search box on the group homepage as well as for the guides in the group:

lg_group_searchbox_options

Accessibility Updates

Almost all—if not all—of our LibGuides updates for the rest of this year will include features that improve the web accessibility of LibGuides. In this code release, we have made book covers and the “Back to Top” page control accessible. When you’re on the A-Z page, the page title always reflects the page contents. See what we mean by clicking on a letter, or narrowing by search or filter.
We also removed H1 and H2 as heading choices in the Rich Text Editor. Why? Because header elements such as H1, H2, H3, etc., are meant to convey the hierarchy of information. Thus, the Guide title is the H1, Box titles are H2, and any headings within Rich Text content will begin with H3 to maintain that hierarchy. (Hint: if you really want to, you can click the source button and change an h3 to an h2 or h1, but we don’t recommend it.)

Private Guides Available for Copying

We’ve added a couple of frequently-requested features to the process of creating a guide based on a different guide. It’s now possible to copy a guide if you know the URL, and Private guides are also findable. We heard from a lot of you that guides are often set to the Private status so that they are still freely-accessible and for the express purpose of sharing them as templates for other libraries. To create a guide using another guide as a template, click Create Guide, then choose whether you want a guide from your system or the LibGuides community. Search by keyword, or if you know the URL, just paste it in and voila!

Bugfixes

We are swatting small bugs along the way, and this release is no different! A bug cropped up preventing the A-Z import/update from working, so we fixed that, and we’ve fixed the loophole that allowed folks to accidentally navigate away from an unsaved Discussion Board post.

Search & A-Z Management Release is Here!

Brand new to LibGuides today are some big new updates that are sure to get your fall or spring semester off to a great start! The best news is that more is yet to come! 😃
First, let’s talk search. As we announced on August 18, we’re rolling out a new and improved search that will present you and your users with links directly to the pages that match your search terms. ICYMI, here’s that list of features for our better more efficient and effective search engine:
  • In-Context Snippets – Search results show snippets of the page where the search term appears. To see snippets, use the Tabbed search page configuration.
  • Search Focus on Page vs. Guide – This helps patrons land on the correct page based on their search term rather than guessing what is the most relevant page within the guide based on the search.
  • Faster Guide Edit Indexing – Guide changes are included in the search index within 5 minutes (we are working on getting this down to 1 minute or less).
  • Search within Guides – Restrict your search to individual guides.
  • Search within LibGuides CMS Groups – Search content within groups, with proper access permissions (e.g. internal groups only for logged-in users, etc.).
  • Separate Search Indexes for Local vs. Community – Regardless of what your community-indexing setting is your local LibGuides search will always work and local content will always be indexed for local searching within your own system.
Next, let’s talk about assets. Your database assets are possibly your library’s most valuable collection, and they are certainly sought-after. With such a prominent place in your services, they deserve an equally-prominent place in your LibGuides system.

 

On the public side of things, we’ve added a Settings tab on the A-Z List page so that you can make big changes in small amounts of time. Add a LibChat widget (LibAnswers required), change the look of the page, add Permitted Uses, and manage your Vendors and Types from one place. We’ve also brought the A-Z List page into web accessibility compliance, adding information for screen readers and making sure that all the page components and contrast levels comply. Accessibility improvements include: icons (and hidden text) indicating when links open in new windows; higher contrast ratios for icons and other text; keyboard-accessible drop-down menus, navigation by letter, and Share icons.

Login fresh to your LibGuides system to see the new pages and functionality for your database assets. Not only does each asset have a full page, but we have added more fields to the database goodness. You can filter your list on any field or attribute assigned to an individual asset. Need to know how many Best Bet databases you have for Agriculture? No problem! Which business databases allow ILL? Easy! How many are New? Trials? Popular? Check, check, and check!

We’ve also added these awesome new fields and features to make your A-Z management A-maZing!
  • Import AND Update your databases – New resources? URL change? Subject Additions? No problem, include the LibGuides asset ID in your spreadsheet to update existing databases.
  • Popular – Create a quick list to direct users to the most highly-used resources.
  • Alternative Name/Keywords – Add access points to resources.
  • Internal Note – Add information useful to the library but hidden from patrons.
  • Hide Databases – Cancelled? Down? Otherwise unavailable? Just hide it!
  • Permitted Uses – Define which resources can be used for ILL, Course Packs, the LMS—whatever you need.
  • Library Review – Write a review for your patrons and contribute it to the LibGuides A-Z Community (CMS-only).

What’s this about an A-Z Community, you ask? That will be the second part of this two-part update! Don’t worry, all additional changes are going to be behind the scenes, so you will not have to alter any templates or CSS. With the A-Z Community features, you’ll be able to analyze your A-Z holdings next to those of the entire LibGuides Community. You’ll see how many institutions have a database marked as a best bet for a subject, are conducting a trial, even what other databases share that subject assignment and other institutions’ similar subject terms. Stay tuned!

A-Z Changes, A-to-Z

If you have applied a custom A-Z template or custom CSS on your A-Z page, you’re probably wondering what tomorrow’s update means for you. Well, wonder no more! We’ve whipped up this guide for you in our Springy Support Site to facilitate the changes that are coming to templates and to CSS / HTML. Log in with your LibApps account to check out the new template keywords, changes to in-page and stylesheet CSS changes, and changes made to the HTML that make the A-Z page accessible to your users.

We will be extending those web accessibility changes to the rest of the public pages in future releases, starting in September.

Miss the memo on the upcoming new tools? The A-Z updates will be coming in the evening August 30, U.S. Eastern time, and the update to the search back-end is coming the following evening.