Archive for LibGuides

LibGuides & Learning Management Systems: Share Your Story!

There’s a conversation on the Springshare Lounge about integrating information from guides into learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard, Moodle, &Desire2Learn. We know there are a lot of experts on this topic in the LibGuides community, so we’re reaching out to you! How are you integrating your LibGuides content into your LMS? Share your story in the Lounge, or in the comments below!

Here’s a few questions to help get the ball rolling:

  • What LMS does your school use?
  • How does your library gain access to your school’s LMS? (partnerships with faculty, direct access through IT, etc.)
  • What kind of content do you integrate into the LMS – Contact Information? Lists of databases? Etc.
  • What LibGuides tools – the API Utility, widgets, etc. – do you use to help streamline this process?
  • Tell us something you wish everyone knew about integrating content into an LMS
  • If other people have questions, can they contact you?

Tab Enhancement

A quick update – we’re rolling out a small enhancement to the public display of guides. If your guide only contains one page, the “Home” tab will no longer display in the public view. You’ll still see it when editing in admin mode, but your patrons will see a cleaner page view. A big thanks to everyone who requested this enhancement!

Monthly LibGuides Stats – December 2010

A relaxing December put a cap on a very exciting 2010, where our LibGuides community grew by 800 member libraries and over 11,000 librarians!  Thank you very much to all the LibGuides, CampusGuides, CommunityGuides, and LibAnswers users out there – it has been a pleasure working with all of you in 2010, and we look forward to another great year of collaboration and innovation!

Community Sites: 1802
Librarian Accounts: 27,069
Total Guides: 132,019
Total Pages: 856,025
Unique Visitors: 1.39 million
Page Views: 31.51 million

A-Z Import Now Pulls in Custom Database Names

This past weekend our friends at Serials Solutions announced that custom database names are available via their API, so we are now able to import those custom values into LibGuides!

The way it works is as follows – if your resource has been assigned a custom name in the Serials Solutions interface, we will import the resource into LibGuides using that custom name. For any resources that do not have a custom name assigned, we will use the default resource name provided by Serials Solutions as we have done in the past.

If you have already imported your resource list and would like to update your existing links to use the custom names, just run the A-Z import tool from within LibGuides and be sure to check the box for all links you wish to update. Any links that were previously imported using the default name will be updated to use your local, custom name – it couldn’t be easier! 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about this tool, check out our guide: A-Z Resource List Management

LibAnswers helps libraries win the race!

Here’s a “too good not to share” story from our friends at Albuquerque/Bernalillo County (ABC) Libraries, who published a LibAnswer that received 11,000+ views in 5 days.

An online trivia contest (“Outwit the West” – top prize: $1 million dollars) recently caused an internet sensation, and a patron submitted one of the questions from the contest to ABC Librarians via LibAnswers’ SMS service. The question was:

What horse won the 800 yard Christmas Day race between Perico and Dude in Fairview NM in 1886?

Before they could respond to the original SMS, ABC Librarians started seeing the question crop up in multiple channels – through LibAnswers, phone calls, and emails. And the answer was ambiguous: The race was scheduled in Fairview, NM on Christmas Day, 1866 – but was won, by Perico, on January 10th, in Chloride, NM – and the library’s considerable archives offered no information on what happened in between.

What happened next is a great example of jumping head first into social media. Using LibAnswers, ABC Librarian Anne Lefkofsky was able to quickly publish the info the library had on the race. The answer’s URL was shared in contest discussion forums, and it spread like wildfire. As trivia hunters asked for more details, library staffers updated the answer with more source materials. When patrons called the library, staff emailed them the answer with two clicks. Meanwhile, LibAnswers’ built-in Search Engine Optimization meant the answer quickly rose to the top of internet search rankings.

The real-time statistics in LibAnswers let the ABC Librarians know how popular the question had become. Within a few hours of posting, the answer had 500 hits; by the next day, 5,000. Driven by the popularity of this topic, ABC Librarians created a new LibGuide that compiled links to climate data, maps of the towns involved, images, and user link submission. Not long afterward, a librarian from the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library in Santa Fe, NM submitted a link to a photo of the elusive newspaper that explained exactly what happened on Christmas Day, 1886 in Fairview, NM. Pretty amazing, right!?

The end result? Eleven thousand people found the ABC Libraries LibAnswer, which now linked them to a resource only available at another library. Talk about librarians using technology to improve services and collaboration! When we contacted David Hurley (Digital Services Manager at the ABC Library System) about the story, he put things in context: If those 11,000 hits saved the time spent answering a hundred phone calls or emails to our Special Collections library, then LibAnswers paid for itself with one question. And us? We’re really pleased that LibAnswers and LibGuides got to play a small part in a success story like this. Way to go, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Librarians – you rock!

Monthly LibGuides Stats – November 2010

Community Sites: 1764
Librarian Accounts: 26,386
Total Guides: 128,272
Total Pages: 829,040
Unique Visitors: 2.08 million
Page Views: 51.75 million

Monthly LibGuides Stats – October 2010

This month we are happy to report that the LibGuides / CampusGuides community has surpassed two million unique visitors in a month for the first time! Combine that with our highest ever monthly page-view total, and its easy to see our community is growing faster than ever!

Community Sites: 1710
Librarian Accounts: 25,521
Total Guides: 122,421
Total Pages: 790,532
Unique Visitors: 2.10 million
Page Views: 57 million

Monthly LibGuides Stats – September 2010

In September the LibGuides community surpassed 50 million page views for the first time. Yikes – that’s a lot of page views!

Community Sites: 1663
Librarian Accounts: 24,499
Total Guides: 116,034
Total Pages: 748,598
Unique Visitors: 1.85 million
Page Views: 52.89 million

New Features for LibGuides/CampusGuides and LibAnswers

Over the weekend we successfully completed another major code update (without any system downtime – kudos to our tech team!) and rolled out many new features. Watch for the full details of all new features in our upcoming October newsletter, but here is the summary:

LibGuides/CampusGuides:

  1. Mobile interface for your guides! The system auto-detects mobile devices and serves the mobile version. It’s pretty cool, check it out. Also, we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too soon, but watch for a super-major announcement in a few weeks – a cool new tool which lets libraries easily build mobile websites. The process will be as easy and as fun as creating guides!
  2. Including non-LibGuides guides in the LibGuides index. Now you can create “placeholder” guides in the system which can point to non-LibGuides pages, and display those pages alongside your LibGuides/CampusGuides content. Say you have a page which you want to make accessible/searchable from LibGuides. Now, you can place that page’s URL in your system, assign it all the standard LibGuides markup (title/description/tags/subject categories/etc.), and display it alongside your LibGuides/CampusGuides. This way your LibGuides/CampusGuides can aggregate *all* research and guide-related content at the library. The potential of this is far-reaching, to say the least!
  3. Unique CSS class for each box type. Now you can customize the look and feel of individual box types to your heart’s content.
  4. Folder support for E-Reserves (CampusGuides-only).
  5. More streamlined way to import your course lists into E-Reserves module (CampusGuides-only). We can help you import your course lists into our E-Reserves module simply by populating a simple Excel spreadsheet.
  6. Updated Asset Management screen (now includes “Books from the Catalog”) and Guide Index screen (more/better filtering options for finding guides).
  7. Custom Homepage Redirect – now you can assign a custom guide to act as your LibGuides/CampusGuides homepage (rather than the system default) by using the “Custom Homepage Redirect” option in your Customize Homepage screen.

LibAnswers:

  1. Keywords for enhanced searching/better auto-suggest matches. Now you can include up to 5 keywords with each Q&A pair. These are hidden fields (for the patron) but they will greatly enhance searching/finding answers).
  2. Much improved SMS Module. It now includes “Send a follow-up” option for librarian to send a follow-up message to the patron, to make sure their question has been answered. We  also have new and improved SMS Statistics with detailed charts for auto-responders, keyword-responses, turnaround time, “direct messages”, and more!
  3. The new LibAnswers html widget. Fully customizable html widget which can be embedded into any webpage, to make searching the knowledge base available from anywhere – literally.
  4. The Reference Analytics module can now track up to 10 fields (up from 6) and each field can have up to 30 values (vs 25 in the old version)
  5. Librarians can record Analytics information right on the “answer” page, without having to be redirected to the Analytics module screens. This makes recording analytics a snap!
  6. Improved Statistics screens – more charts and graphs, more statistics options, and the ability to filter statistics range by day (as opposed to monthly statistics in the old version).
  7. You can now use the handy “Edit Answer” link on the public question/answer screen to edit/update questions (rather than searching for the question in the Admin interface).

There are many other “small improvements and fixes” for both products, but we wanted to give you the heads-up on the most important changes in this post. The full details will follow in our Newsletter next month.

Many of these new features were developed as a direct result of your suggestions and feedback, so here’s a big THANKS to everyone who contributed ideas and helped with testing. Please let us know what you think!

Monthly LibGuides Stats – August 2010

Viewing the numbers from last month, its pretty clear that our community is ramping up for another school year with LibGuides and CampusGuides!  In August we saw the creation of our 100,000th research guide, and very soon our page total will go over the 700,000 mark and our membership will grow to over 1600 libraries worldwide.  Quite an accomplishment for our community members to say the least!

Community Sites: 1598
Librarian Accounts: 23,342
Total Guides: 107,769
Total Pages: 693,256
Unique Visitors: 1.12 million
Page Views: 31million