Archive for LibStaffer

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

..says Andrew Adler, director of the Georgetown College Library, when asked why the Library is using the entire platform of Springshare tools.

Andrew, like most librarians, wears a lot of hats. From teaching library instruction, manning the reference desk, creating training tutorials for student workers, and being available nine hours a week for one-on-one research consultations, plus being the director for the entire library – he needs their web platform tools to just work and be easy to use“.

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

The Georgetown College Library uses the entire Platform of Springshare Tools – and they use LibGuides CMS to power their Library Website.

“Things got a lot easier when we moved our website to LibGuides CMS.”

On their library homepage, an embedded LibCal Hours widget automatically updates to display today’s hours… no manual updating needed.

Their reference services are prominently showcased, with embedded LibAnswers LibChat widgets promoting their live reference assistance and a customized Ask Us form that routes all queries right into their LibAnswers ticketing queue.

All library forms, from a book purchase request form to reporting a catalog error are created and stored using LibWizard. In an effort to streamline work processes, their library student application is a LibWizard form! This way, librarians only have to go to one place, LibWizard, to view all form submissions.

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

All library student employees are trained using a combination of LibGuides with embedded LibWizard tutorials. Talk about making your tools work for you!

Circulation Student employees access the Circ Dashboard LibGuide when they sign into the circ desk computers.

From here, they can easily view their work schedules via LibStaffer, access library quick links, and take interactive training with LibWizard tutorials.

Since they’ve already used LibWizard to submit their student application forms, the process is consistent and seamless. As Andrew said, “everything they need – put in one spot”.

Andrew presented at the October 2016 SpringyCamp on training student workers using LibGuides and LibWizard. View Andrew’s presentation and download his slides.

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

Even the library’s staff directory is a product of integration.

Andrew maintains the Library Staff directory as a published LibAnswers FAQ, making it easy for anyone searching the FAQ database to find staff email addresses and phone numbers. But, what if they’re not in the FAQ database? How do they find that information?

Easy!

Simply embed that Staff Directory FAQ as a widget into any webpage, including their LibGuides CMS-powered website. This way, Andrew only has to update the directory in one place, the FAQ, and watch those updates trickle down to everywhere it’s been embedded. The same consistent information is easily syndicated across multiple platforms and is easy to maintain from one central location.

Wait, What About Faculty?


LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

Andrew wanted to create an online process where faculty could request library instruction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Email wasn’t cutting it, creating a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus, the Library maintains access to several IL-Classrooms so pointing faculty to a room reservation system would have required that Faculty know which room to request and when.

Using an outside-the-box solution, Andrew repurposed their LibCal My Scheduler as a tool for faculty to book library instruction. Most libraries use the My Scheduler tool to coordinate and schedule one-on-one research consultations. But Andrew saw it as a way to streamline their IL-Booking process. Faculty select their preferred date and time, and share their session preferences and class notes to ensure that the instruction is as targeted as possible – for the student’s benefit. Andrew receives the request, selects the appropriate classroom, and it’s all done…in just a few clicks. Easy-peasy.

These IL-Instruction Stats, and all stats from their Springshare tools, are automatically funneled into their LibInsight data gathering tool. From here, Andrew can run reports on how many classes were taught last semester, hits they had on their Library Website, and chats/texts/email reference questions they received.

Plus, using LibInsight’s Gate Counts Dataset, Andrew is able to view how many people are in the building – updated to the most recent hour. This data allows them to make staffing changes to their service desks based upon actual library traffic data. “It’s important for us to understand our student’s point of need and work to meet that need.”


LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

Every year, Andrew meets with the Georgetown College Provost to cover the library budget. As is typical at these meetings, every line item is scrutinized. Andrew makes it clear that their use of Springshare tools are an essential library service.

“The Library couldn’t function without it – it’s our website, our research guides, our reference service tool, or reservation tool, and so much more. — Andrew Adler

LibStaffer 2.3 Now Live!

We have a small LibStaffer update to share this morning, that’s packed with nice to have improvements! From preventing back to back shift scheduling to improved communication via notes and emails, to the new inactive account level, there are lots of little goodies to love!

Prevent Back to Back Shift Scheduling

Are your staff feeling overworked and tired of working shifts back to back? Then we’ve got great news – we’ve added a new setting in the Auto Scheduler to prevent staff from being scheduled for back to back shifts! Plus, we’ve added an optional “grace period” to help avoid shifts that aren’t technically back to back, but that start/end fairly close to each other. For example, if a staff member is assigned to a shift from 9-10am, and you assign a one hour grace period, that staff member won’t be assigned to another shift until after 11am. You’ll find this new setting built into the Auto Scheduler screen.

Inactive Account Level

This feature will be a huge plus, particularly for sites that manage seasonal or transitional employees (such as student employees that change from semester to semester) – we’ve added an inactive account level for LibStaffer accounts. Inactive account holders won’t be able to log in to your LibStaffer system, and they don’t count against your account subscription. However they’ll continue to display in your historic reports, so you retain an accurate picture of staffing at different times in history.

Good to know: when you set an account to inactive, the account holder will be removed from all future shifts, but they’ll remain assigned to any shifts in the past for reporting purposes. To set an account to inactive, head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account.

Expanded Shift Notes

We’ve added a couple of popularly requested features for shift notes, to help improve communication with staff. When emailing staff, admins now have the option to include relevant shift notes within the email – a great way to send out additional reminders to make sure everyone is on the same page! We’ve also corrected a small oversight – shift notes will now display to regular level users, both from the dashboard as well as from the overall schedule page. Hooray for increased communication with staff!

Email Updates

We’ve added a few key updates to the email functionality available in LibStaffer:

  • Shift Supervisors can now choose which employees should receive schedule reminder emails. Previously you could either send emails to all staff with an assigned shift, or to one specific staff member. Now we’ve included checkboxes so you can pick which staff should receive an email notification.
  • We’ve also added a cc field to schedule reminder emails, so you can email people who aren’t assigned to a schedule with information on upcoming shift staffing.
  • Shift Supervisors can also now send a general email to staff from within LibStaffer. This is a great way to make announcements to staff apart from schedule reminders – great for things like policy changes, staff reminders and the like.
  • And we’ve added a couple of new email notifications for the following situations:
    • Admin(s) now get an email notification when a time off request is submitted.
    • Schedule admins now get an email notification when an open shift has been picked up.

LibStaffer 2.1 Update Now Live

The LibStaffer 2.1 update went live early this morning – check out all the cool new features we’ve added!

Site Admins please note: now that the 2.1 update is live, you have the option to merge your current LibStaffer accounts with your existing LibApps accounts. You don’t need to do this right away (it can wait, really!), but once you click the update users button and merge accounts, you’ll gain these three big benefits for your staff:

  • One account to rule them all – Staff will use the same login to access all of Springshare’s v2 apps.
  • Staff-Defined Weekly Schedule – Admins and Staff can edit their LibStaffer profiles and define their weekly schedules. Schedulers are discouraged from scheduling a staff member outside of these hours, and the auto-scheduler will also respect the hours they set. They can even add break times to account for lunches and the like!
  • Outlook Integration – Staff can enter their Outlook credentials to sync their LibStaffer work schedules with their Outlook calendars.

Ready to merge your LibStaffer and LibApps accounts? Admins, log in to LibStaffer and click the green button on the dashboard labelled “Update your accounts into LibApps.” In the meantime, check out the rest of the new LibStaffer features. There is a whole lot to love in this update! 🙂  New options for bulk changing and deleting shifts, expanded permissions for schedule-level admins, plus lots of Time Off updates. Happy schedulin’!

LibStaffer Update Coming Your Way August 24th

Our summer of updates continues! We’re planning to release a LibStaffer 2.1 update on August 24th. This update will include many frequently requested features and improvements, as detailed below.

One important point of clarification for all you admins out there – LibStaffer has been a “v2” product since its original creation (it was our first product to be fully bootstrapped), and because of this, you won’t need to worry about migrating your content to a “v2” platform (like in LibGuides, LibCal, and LibAnswers). We’re rolling out many frequently-asked-for updates and tweaks to the way calendars and schedules display, but the new interface is not a jarring/significant change compared to what you currently see. So just to be super duper clear, you don’t have to worry about migrating your LibStaffer content to v2 – you’ve been v2 from the get go. 🙂

New Tools

  • Schedule-level Administrators – We’re adding granular user permissions, so site admins can now elevate a regular level user to administer a single schedule (or schedules) within your system. These new permissions mean you can grant administrative oversight over the shifts and users associated with a single schedule, without granting administrative access to the system as a whole.
  • Staff Defined Work Hours – Individual staff members can now define their standard weekly work schedule as part of their LibStaffer profile. This helps to show your real working availability when admins are scheduling shifts, so you won’t be scheduled for shifts when you’re not in the office. You can even define multiple blocks of working hours per day to take lunch and other breaks into account!
  • Integration with LibApps Accounts – use the same login to access LibStaffer that you use for accessing all of Springshare’s v2 applications.
  • Outlook integration – We’re making it easy to sync your LibStaffer schedule with your Outlook calendar! Once this update is live, you’ll need to authorize the connection to Outlook from within your LibStaffer account – once authorized, LibStaffer will push your schedule info to Outlook seamlessly.

Calendar Management Updates

  • Schedule Display Improvements – We’re adding many enhancements to the schedule view, so it’s easier for admins to see at a glance which shifts have been given up, which may need coverage, and which have pending swap requests.
  • New Tools Menu – We’re adding several administrative schedule tools aimed at making bulk changes easy. The new Tools menu will include options for deleting shifts and shift assignments – either for a single day, or for a range of future dates, and you’ll also have the option to change all future shift assignments while editing a shift.
  • Auto Scheduler Updates – We’re adding a new control for the Auto Scheduler to limit the number of shifts per day that a staff member can work.
  • Holidays – Admins will see a new option to define “Holidays” – ie days when the regular schedule doesn’t apply. Holidays are excluded from the Auto Scheduler (so no one is automatically scheduled), and are prominently displayed in all schedule and time off views.
  • Printable Schedules – We’ve updated the print views, so schedules you print and post now look fantastic right out of the box.
  • New Timeline Views – We’ve added several new views designed to give you a high level overview of the staffing and schedules at your library.
  • Set Default Calendar – Each user can also choose which schedule they want to see by default.

Time Off Updates

  • View All Time Off – We’re making it easy for all LibStaffer users to view the approved time off for all staff associated with a schedule! Both Admins and Regular level users will see a new dropdown menu in the Time Off area, which will enable switching between viewing your own time off, and approved time off for anyone associated with a schedule.
  • Approval Not Required – Site admins will have the option to not require administrator approval for new time off requests. This will be a site wide setting found under Admin > System Settings.
  • Edit & Delete Time Off – both Admins and Regular level users can now delete future time off requests.

Important for Admins – Merging With LibApps Accounts

Once the update goes live on August 24th, Site Admins will want consider merging your current LibStaffer accounts with your LibApps accounts. You’ll see this option displayed on the Dashboard following the update – it’s not something you have to do right away (or even within the next year – it can wait!), but once you’ve merged accounts, the following will happen:

  • The login page for your LibStaffer site will change:
    • ex for our training site, our URL will change from https://libstaffer.com/login.php?iid=2 to https://springylib.libapps.com/libapps/login.php
    • Your site’s base URL (ex springylib.libstaffer.com) will automatically redirect to the proper login page, but bookmarks that point to the direct login URL will need to be updated
  • Logins for LibStaffer accounts will change:
    • If the LibStaffer account holder already has a LibApps account (matched based on email address), they’ll use that same username/password for LibStaffer
    • If the LibStaffer account holder doesn’t already have a LibApps account, we’ll create a new account in LibApps for them. These account holders will need to keep an eye out for a LibApps notification email, which will prompt them to log in and create a new password

And last but certainly not least, here’s a sneak peek of the new Schedule Management Page:

New Schedule

Meet LibStaffer – Web-based Staff Scheduling Management for Libraries

We love creating tools that make (professional) lives of busy librarians a little easier, a tad more efficient, and much more pleasant. As the saying goes, time is money so if we can save you time – especially when doing mundane tasks that “just need to be done” – that’s a big win in our book.

Let’s talk about one of these types of tasks: staff scheduling for various service points and departments. It’s all about spreadsheets, post it notes, endless back-and-forth about who can work when, where, how to swap shifts when needs arise, who to staff at which desk, how to let everyone know of any changes, etc. To add complication, most academic libraries have student assistants who have limited schedule and can only work a certain number of hours,  public libraries have volunteers who can commit only a certain number of hours as well, and school libraries have parents and other volunteers who’d love to help if things can work around their already-busy schedules.

“There must be a better way”, we thought. How about a simple web-based system that takes into account the availability of each staff member, their other responsibilities, the max # of hours they can work, their shift preferences… and it makes it easy to change things when needed, i.e. swap shifts, and organize everything in one place, with awesome statistics to boot. Meet LibStaffer – a web-based staff scheduling system for Academic, Public, School, and Special libraries. With LibStaffer you can:

  • Define and Develop Schedules for:
    • Desk staffing 
    • Services staffing (virtual reference, telephone support, etc.)
    • Department coverage
    • Student Employees
    • Library Volunteers
  • Get the Whole Picture
    LibStaffer shows you the schedules for all your services and departments in one place, with a variety of view options (daily/weekly/monthly, Timeline-based views, etc.). Filter those views to target shifts that still need coverage, filled shifts, shifts by staff member, etc.
  • Effortlessly Create Repeat Shifts
    Set up shifts once, and repeat them for as long as you like! Label and color-code your shifts for clarity, set the number of staff required to fill the shift, and even add notes so people know what to do during that shift.
  • Auto Schedule Shifts
    Assign each staff member “Favorite” shifts to create a repeating schedule in a snap! Plug in a date range, and Auto Scheduler takes care of assigning staff to shifts. We automatically resolve things like:

    • Assigning staff to preferred shifts
    • Scheduling conflicts across calendars
    • Time-off requests
    • Weekly / Monthly maximum work hours per staff member
  • Manage Time-off Requests Online
    Staff can request time off using categories that you define (Vacation, Sick leave / Dr.’s appointments, Conference Travel, etc.). Admins can approve & deny these requests, and leave notes for clarification.
  • Shift Swaps
    Optionally allow staff to swap assigned shifts automatically, or require Admin approval.

LibStaffer is only a month or so from official release, so we’re looking for a few forward-thinking libraries to participate in our “Fast-track Beta” to help us figure out the last few details before release.

Update: Thanks to overwhelming interest, we are no longer accepting beta site applications. To sign up for LibStaffer updates and be the first to know when it’s available, email us at sales@springshare.com.