Archive for LibGuides

New in Best Of: Guides to Health and Wellness (and so much more!)

By now, most of you know about our Best Of site. It houses a collection of guides considered “Best” for one reason or another – best page layout, best collection of resources, best use of images… you get the idea. ūüôā

The best part of Best Of? We’ve already contacted the original guide authors and asked them if they’re willing to share their awesome content, so you’re free to copy any featured guide into your own site and reuse / remix it to your hearts content!

This week, we’ve added a new group of awesome guides to Health & Wellness Resources. These guides were compiled by the experts at Eugene Public Library and Berkeley Public Library, & showcase resources that cover everything from Fitness & Exercise to Nutrition, and from Alternative & Complimentary Medicine to Men’s & Women’s Health. Check them out – they’re sure to put a spring in your step!

We’re always looking for new guides to feature in Best Of. If you’ve created or know of a guide that makes you go “Whoa, that’s awesome!”, let us know!

LibGuides & CampusGuides Updates Now Live!

Here at Springshare, we really do love librarians – so we whipped up a little Valentine’s gift for all our libraries. Check out these new-and-awesome features, and let us know – will you be our Valentine?

  • Enhanced Content in Books from the Catalog box*
    Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enter an ISBN and automatically retrieve information for any book? Now you can! Just enter an ISBN, and we’ll automatically pull in the item’s title, author, and cover art.
    CampusGuides Mega Bonus: Our CampusGuides clients can also pull book descriptions, bestseller lists, Subject Categories, Publisher information, and other enhanced content from Bowker Рfor free, to be used in your guides! 
  • Translate Public Screens
    LibGuides en Espanol? Francais? Italiano? Libraries can now customize the hard-coded text on public screens in their local language. If your local language is English, you can also customize the text to meet your needs. For example, change the search box drop-down to read “This Site” instead of “All Guides”. To customize your language file, email support@springshare.com¬†to get started!
  • New “Edit Box”¬†menu
    You’ll love the consolidated menu in the “edit box” area. We combined all box edit functions into one screen. Just click “edit box”, and you’ll be able to change the box title, type, colors, etc. Even better, you can grab each box’s direct link, as well as an API call for any box, all in the same screen!
  • Add Longer Descriptions to the Links & Lists box
    We get it. 500 characters for description in the Links & Lists box wasn’t enough, so we’ve upped the length of the description field to 1,000 characters.
  • Using the Serials Solutions A-Z Import Tool?
    Now you can update the 3-letter Serials Solutions ID for any previously imported link! Just head to your A-Z import guide and select “edit link”. You’ll see a new tab for “Serials Solutions” – click it to change the Serials Solutions Database Identifier.
  • CampusGuides clients can now upload files up to 10MB in size
    CampusGuides folks – we’ve doubled your file upload size from 5MB to 10MB.
  • Update to AddThis Button
    The email function in the AddThis button on public screens is back up and working properly!
  • Guide Status Notification on all screens
    Seriously – sometimes it’s all about the little things. We’ve added a note to the edit guide screen that lets you know the guide’s current status – Unpublished, Published, or Private.

* Please remember – free use of Syndetics cover art and Bowker content is limited to use within LibGuides and CampusGuides

Mobile Site Builder: Now in Multiples!

Things that are good on their own but better in multiples:

  • Winning Lottery Numbers
  • Ice Cream Scoops
  • Vacation Days
  • Donuts
  • Roses
  • When your hometown wins the Superbowl, Stanley Cup, World Series and NBA Finals all in the same year (Not this year Boston!)
  • …. and Springshare’s Multiple Mobile Sites Builder!

If you’ve been looking for a way to create multiple mobile sites for your institution, here’s your opportunity: subscribe to Springshare’s multiple Mobile Site Builder sites! Now other departments within, or outside, of your library can create a mobile presence as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What else is new? We’ve integrated all mobile aspects of LibGuides and CampusGuides, so all of your mobile functionality can be found in one place: Admin Stuff > Mobile Settings:

Admin Stuff Menu

Our Admin Stuff menu has changed a bit - Mobile Settings are now located under the "Customize" heading.

Once there, you’ll be able to modify your mobile settings for your LibGuides/CampusGuides site as well as create/modify your hierarchies for your Mobile Site Builder sites.

LibGuides & CampusGuides – SEI Update is Live!

The new LibGuides & CampusGuides SEI update is live! Thanks go out to everyone who offered feedback that led to this major redesign of the back end interface. For a full walkthrough of the organization changes, check out: http://help.springshare.com/lgcg-sei. Here are some of our favorite highlights:

  • The new Dashboard screen (you’ll see it when you first log in) is clean and (we hope!) easy to navigate. You can always get back to the Dashboard from any screen, thanks to the link in the top-left corner of the menu bar.
  • Admins – the Admin Alert Boxes are here! You can create system messages, reminders, links to your help and style guidelines, etc. and display them right on the screen where your content creators are! You have 2 alert boxes available – one on the Dashboard, and another on the Create Guide screen.
  • RSS Feeds – The Tools menu has all the tools you know and love (API, Widgets, Link Checker & Bookmarklet), plus the new RSS Feeds tool! Instead of hunting around through guides, user profiles, etc. to find the RSS Feeds for your site, we figured we’d make things easy on you and put all the feeds in one spot.
  • Add-on Module – The Modules menu has a new link for Add-on Module users – this offers a quick way to upload images and manage your image library, and gives you a quick way to access your site’s XML export and individual Guide Backups (HTML)

As you’ll quickly notice, the biggest change in this update is organization. The administrative organization of the system hasn’t changed since LibGuides was introduced in 2007. In that time, we’ve added hundreds of features and tools, and the administrative interface was reaching a critical mass. We really hope you’ll find the new interface intuitive, and we’re excited to hear what you think!

-Slaven and the Springy Team

As an aside, we know that many folks are experiencing issues with Syndetics images displaying in guides. This issue is not related to yesterday’s update – thanks to an unseasonable Nor’easter that hit the East Coast over the weekend, Syndetics servers appear to be down. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we know our friends at Syndetics are working hard to get things back online as soon as they can!

LibGuides & CampusGuides Code Update Coming Soon!

As you may already know from the last couple of newsletters (June and September), we’re getting ready to release a new version of the system, with significantly updated dashboard and management screens. The current dashboard hasn’t changed since the system’s inception in 2007, and we’ve added hundreds of new features, so… things were getting a little cramped back there, if you know what we mean. ūüôā

This update will affect all content creators in LibGuides & CampusGuides – System Administrators, Librarians, and anyone with an account in the system. We put together a guide –¬†http://help.springshare.com/lgcg-sei – to help you with the transition.¬†It has detailed information about the new stuff and a screenshot tour of the new interface. Please read it carefully to get acquainted with the new look and organization.

The actual code update will occur over the weekend of October 29-30. There will be no system downtime during this code update.

As always, we’re excited to hear what you think – if you have any questions, ideas, or kudos, don’t be shy – let us know!

http://help.springshare.com/lgcg-sei 

New LibGuides and CampusGuides Updates

Hey Hey Hey – we released an update for LibGuides & CampusGuides this weekend! Check out the new features & improvements:

  • New Slider option to control column widths
    Sick of resurrecting your math skills every time you want to create custom column widths? Us too! In any guide, head to Add/Edit Pages –> Resize Columns to see the new slider.
  • Add a customized message on your site’s support form
    Every LibGuides and CampusGuides site includes a link in the footer to “Report a Tech Support Issue”, which triggers an email to our Springy Support team ¬†and cc’s your primary site administrator. If there are different help channels that your patrons should be using, you can add a custom note to the “Report a Tech Support Issue” form! Check out Hillsborough Community College for an example. To add custom text to your site’s form, email Springy Support and let us know what you’d like to add!
  • CampusGuides – New API option lets you filter by group
    We’ve added a new filter for API calls! To filter an API call to return results from a specific group, add the term “&gid=xxx” (where xxx is the ID of the group you want to filter by). With this new feature, you can dynamically generate a list of guides, list of authors, list of subject categories, or tag cloud for an individual group in your system – neato!
  • CampusGuides – Add a note to your IP rules
    Having trouble keeping track of your CampusGuides IP rules? We’ve added a new “note” field – now, you can keep track of what those random-looking IP strings actually do. ūüôā To view this new option, Admins can head to System Wide Settings –> Access Rules.
  • E-Reserves – New course visibility options
    This one’s for folks using the E-Reserves module. We’ve added a visibility option to E-Reserves courses. By assigning a course visibility date, you can show/hide courses (and all the e-reserve content they contain) by date. To edit your course visibility dates, head to E-Reserves –> E-Reserve Course List; click the “Course Visibility” drop-down to choose a custom date range for your course’s visibility.

LibGuides & CampusGuides Updates

Let’s hear it for code updates! We can’t wait to share the latest features & updates with you, so without further ado…

Simpify. Eliminate. Integrate. (Part 1).
Check out the latest edition of Springy News for a great visual walkthrough the new SEI changes! Here’s the highlights reel:

  • Guide Index Screen – Say hello to the new central management hub for your ‘guides. ūüôā We brought the heat, and revamped the Guide Index – now, you can view and edit guide info, editors & co-owners, tags, & subject categories for your guides all in one page. There’s also a wealth of new filter, sort, & export options from the guide index screen – it’s bonkers!
  • Guide Editing Toolbar – Scroll, and the toolbar scrolls with you!
  • Change Guide Info – We’ve reorganized the guide settings menu – now, everything is in one screen, separated by tabs, so the function you want is easier to find! We’ve moved lots of things to this screen, including the Guide Publishing options, Subject Categories, and Friendly URL.
  • Add Box screen – We’ve added so many new box types over the years that the “Add Box” window was screaming for reorganization. Check out the Box Types Explorer, which outlines the box features. Added bonus: for all our Netbook users, you won’t have to zoom out to add a box!
New Features for LibGuides & CampusGuides
Check out this month’s Springy News for screenshots & more info!
  • RSS & Podcast Feeds – These box-types will now update more frequently, so the feed content you present will now be fresher than fresh.
  • New Mobile Display – We’ve optimized the mobile version of your guides – users will now be presented with a guide’s tabs as options, rather than automatically expanding the 1st tab.
  • Delete Link Info – When you go to delete a link from one of the “Links” box-types, you’ll see a list of the pages where the link has been reused, so it’ll be easy to see the impact on your guides!
  • Admins: Rich Text Editor update – Admins can now hide elements in the Rich Text Editor (such as “Font family”, “Font size”, etc) – this can help minimize inline styles that your guide authors may be adding. Email us and let us know what you’d like to hide!
As always, these new features & updates wouldn’t have been possible without feedback from the Springshare Community. Have fun taking a look around, & as always, let us know what you think!

Announcing Mobile Site Builder and LibAnalytics

After we gave a sneak peek to our clients via last week’s newsletter,¬†today I am pleased to announce that the Mobile Site Builder and LibAnalytics systems are now available¬†for anybody to¬†check out. These two new tools expand our Springshare web platform in two important directions – mobile web¬†and statistical analysis. Both of these are hot topics¬†for libraries,¬†and since our goal is to¬†bring the latest and greatest web¬†technologies to our clients this is a natural extension of our product lines.

Mobile Site Builder (http://springshare.com/mobile) works with LibGuides¬†or CampusGuides¬†and it enables libraries to effortlessly create and maintain a professional-looking mobile website. We handle the coding, the automatic redirects for mobile devices, hosting, etc. – you just log on, create menus, submenus, add content and voila – your mobile users have information on the go. Mobile Site Builder is offered as a module¬†to LibGuides/CampusGuides so our¬†clients will feel right at home in terms of the ease of use and familiar interface. Oh, and did we mention it costs only $299/year? You won’t find a better deal¬†for a comparable mobile tool, so get in while the going is hot. ūüėČ For more information, check out¬†http://springshare.com/mobile, and let us know if any questions pop up.

LibAnalytics (http://springshare.com/libanalytics) is our new platform for recording, tracking, and analyzing data at your library. LibAnalytics¬†grew out of our Reference Analytics module in LibAnswers. We took Reference Analytics, which was targeted for gathering reference statistics only, and added tons of new features, more fields (up to 30 metadata fields to track) and data types (multi-choice, numeric, & free-text), improved filtering, better charts and reports, greater flexibility, and¬†…¬†LibAnalytics was born.

If you like statistics and data (who doesn’t, right?) LibAnalytics will feel like data-Nirvana. Instruction Statistics, Reference Statistics, Workflow Statistics, … literally any type of statistical information can be recorded, tracked, and analyzed in LibAnalytics. And the pricing starts at $299/year for a single instance. Yes, you read that right¬†– it’s affordable, it’s powerful, it’s great looking, it’s¬†easy to use, it’s… a typical Springshare¬†web-app. ūüôā Take the first step toward becoming a Data Ninja:¬†http://springshare.com/libanalytics.

Developing these tools wouldn’t have¬†been possible without our awesome client libraries¬†who are always giving us fresh ideas and great feedback, so big thanks to everybody who contributed their comments, feedback, and ideas which resulted in these two really neat, and really useful new¬†tools. Onwards and upwards!

Spring Is In The Air!

I’ll tell you a secret; Spring is my favorite time of year. It’s not the fresh-faced daffodils and tulips, or the Sparrow’s returning song, nor is it the return of reasonably priced berries in the grocery store. Hands down, the absolute best part of Spring is the super energizing phenomenon of Spring Cleaning. If you’re like me (giddy about cleaning and passionate about lists), read on for ideas on doing a bit of Spring Cleaning in your guides!

  • Are you using the same content over and over in your guides? Now’s a great time to come up with a Reusable Content Strategy for your links to resources, content boxes, and even entire pages.
    • Create a centralized “Storage“, or “Template” guide, and create “linked” versions of that content throughout your guides
    • Any future changes to your storage content will automatically update in all the “linked” versions across your site!
  • Thinking about a site redesign? Check out the Best Of Customizations for a bit of inspiration!
  • Been holding on to outdated, unpublished content? Spring is a great time for weeding and decluttering!
  • Looking for ideas on new goodies to embed in your guides? Check out Using Interactive Tools in your Guides for some fresh ideas!

Have more ideas for bringing the Spring Cleaning mindset to your guides? Share them in the comments!

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 ‚Äď Contact Information? Lists of databases? Etc.
  • What LibGuides tools ‚Äď 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?