LibCal v2.4.6.1 – Equipment and Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

With this update, we’re bringing you several updates to the Equipment and Spaces module. We’ve made some adjustments to the public side of the system to give “Spaces” a look and feel that’s more similar to the previous Room Booking module, and we’ve made lots of adjustments on the admin side of the system to help separate these elements out a bit. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to book Spaces and Equipment in the same reservation! We’ve also added lots of nice to have elements to Equipment and Spaces, including iCal feeds, QR code support, and several key bug fixes. Read on for the deets!

New Public Interface for Spaces

After hearing lots of feedback from several early adopters of the Equipment and Spaces module, we heard your feedback that the first iteration of reserving Spaces wasn’t quite in keeping with what your users had become accustomed to in the old Room Booking module. To help with this, we’ve updated the look and feel for Spaces – check it out:

NewSpacesUI

The big emphasis for the new design is to reduce the number of clicks that a user has to execute to create a new booking – rather than starting out with a catalog-type interface (where the user has to start off by making a selection before seeing any availability), users will now jump straight to current availability. We also wanted to ensure that the new design is mobile-friendly right out of the box (check!). And of course, we also made sure that Spaces and Equipment can still be reserved as part of a single reservation – once a patron reserves a room, they’ll then see the option to Add Equipment to that reservation.

Good to Know: Now that Spaces and Equipment both have their own landing pages, if you’re linking to these from your LibCal homepage, you’ll need to make a quick adjustment to provide a link to the new Spaces page. Admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor > Add Item > Equipment Book Space to add this link to the homepage.

Updated Space and Equipment Admin Settings

Now that we’ve separated out elements of the public Equipment and Spaces UI, we also wanted to tease out some of the settings for this module on the Admin side of the system. We’ve separated “Equipment” and “Spaces” into their own upcoming bookings and booking explorer pages, so you can view each of these with ease. We’ve also adjusted some of the Admin settings for these modules to make things a bit easier to navigate – you’ll now find separate tabs within each Location to manage “Equipment” and “Spaces” within that location.

We’ve also added a frequently requested feature to the Equipment and Spaces explorers – you’ll now see a “View All” option on these pages, so you’ll no longer need to browse through separate categories in order to view past and upcoming reservations.

And last, we’ve added another highly requested feature to the admin settings – now, when you upload an image for a piece of equipment, those images will be adjusted to a standardized size, so your catalog pages will display in a more uniform manner. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference!

New Method for Selecting Return Time

In keeping with our drive to simplify the booking pages for patrons, we’ve also redesigned the method used for selecting the end-time for a reservation. This impacts both Equipment reservations as well as Space reservations – now, instead of displaying a list of possible return times, patrons will see a simple date and time picker. This makes it easy for patrons to select the date and time they’d like to return an item, and is especially helpful when the list of possible return times would have been exceptionally long (ex. for hourly loans that span multiple days, where the list of possible return times could grow into hundreds of possible choices).

iCal Feeds and QR Codes

QRCodesWe’ve added support for iCal feeds and QR codes for both Equipment and Spaces! The new iCal feeds will make it that much easier to integrate your upcoming Equipment and Space reservations with a third party calendar system (like Outlook or Google Calendar) – you can now subscribe to your Equipment or Space reservation feed from within any 3rd party calendar application, so information on upcoming reservations will flow to that calendar with ease.

Plus, we’ve also added QR code support for Equipment and Spaces. This is a fantastic way to share information on how to reserve a space or piece of equipment with patrons at point of need. Just post the QR code next to the available resource, and when patrons scan that code, they’ll go right to the public item reservation screen – no remembering or typing in URLs required! To start using QR codes and iCal feeds, head to Spaces/Equipment > Availability.

Bug Fixes

  • We’ve fixed an issue with the public and admin-side availability grid display – now these will always go straight to the current day’s availability when the page is initially loaded.
  • We’ve also fixed an issue with daily reservations where, in certain circumstances, a patron could select an end date that wasn’t allowed (usually because the library was closed on that day), which generated an error message. We’ve adjusted things so patrons can no longer select a return date that isn’t allowed.

ALA-Midwinter Guest Presentation Recordings Now Available

Guest Presentation Recordings Available on FacebookFeeling #alaleftbehind? In case you missed our awesome line-up of guest speakers at the ALA-Midwinter Conference in Atlanta, we have the recordings available on our Facebook page!

And while you’re there, like our Facebook page to have our posts display in your Facebook Feed. This way, you won’t miss out any product update announcements, video presentations, and more.

These 15-min guest presentations by Springshare users will get you thinking about all the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Perhaps you’ll want to setup a ‘Ghosts in the Library’ LibGuide like SUNY New Paltz or use LibGuides CMS as a course management system like the University of Florida. Or take a page from Goldey-Beacom College and Cleveland State University and consider using LibGuides and LibWizard as on-boarding tools for new hires.

So take a minute (or two or three) and learn from your fellow colleagues on the endless possibilities of Springy tools.

Forget about being #alaleftbehind – it’s time to get #springyinspired!

Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby

SUNY New Paltz: Ghosts in the Library

Using LibGuides v2 as a platform for content delivery, student voting and resource sharing, students in an introductory English Composition class play a learning game. In the game, teams of students must use library tools to research information about a ghost whose legacy has been underrepresented in the historic record.

cindi craig

Cindi Craig

University of Florida: Using LibGuides for Portfolio Management

When I taught a section of a small, in-person information skills course, I used LibGuides as a course management system. I also had each student create a personal LibGuide and update it with library resources on a chosen topic throughout the course.

Denise Gergetz

Denise Gergetz

Milwaukee School of Engineering: Managing & Scheduling Molecular Models

Download PowerPoint Slides

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Model Lending Library has a unique collection of physical models and materials designed to assist in molecular learning. The library makes these models available for short-term loan, using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module.

Karoline Manny

Karoline Manny

Midway University: Using LibGuides & LibAnswers for Communication and Collaboration

Download PowerPoint Slides

The Center@Midway for Teaching Excellence and Innovation promotes ongoing academic program enhancement and faculty development. The Center quickly found itself in need of an efficient way to communicate with faculty and students regarding their immediate and future needs. We turned to LibGuides and LibAnswers.

Monica Rysavy

Monica Rysavy

Russell Michalak

Russell Michalak

Goldey-Beacom College: Onboarding with LibGuides

Download Presentation PDF

These onboarding tutorials comprise the required onboarding components for student workers, paraprofessionals, and professional library staff on library services topics such as cataloging procedures, circulation procedures, serials procedures, WorkFlows (Library Management System) procedures, opening/closing duties, in addition to other library policies and procedures.

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett

Cleveland State University: Building Online Workshops with LibGuides & LibWizard

By embedding outside tools like Office Mix, Google Forms, and Adobe Captivate into a LibGuide, I created gradable tests and quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials, all of which are accompanied by digital badges. I  used LibWizard and a tool called TubeChop to add assessment to YouTube videos and make them more engaging.

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Troy University: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Programming Grants

Download PowerPoint Slides

Use LibGuides to promote your library programming grants! Troy University Libraries used LibGuides to promote their 2016 Banned Books Week grant activities and we have also created a LibGuide to promote our NEA Big Read events.

LibCal: MyScheduler Updates Now Live

Exciting news for LibCal users – we’re introducing a slew of updates to make MyScheduler the easiest and most flexible way to book an appointment with a librarian. Our new MyScheduler Appointment Categories will make it easy for patrons to book exactly the amount of time they need, and we’re also bringing you several great updates for MyScheduler Groups and emails. Here we go!

MyScheduler Appointment Categories

SelectstaffWe’re thrilled to introduce the all new Appointment Categories in MyScheduler. With Appointment Categories, you can support different length appointments for different appointment “types”. Ex. you might create categories for “Research Review (30 minutes)”, “Citation Assistance (30 minutes)”, and “In-depth Research Question (60 minutes)”. Patrons can then select the type of help they need, and MyScheduler will create an appointment for the amount of time you’ve set for that category. We’re thrilled to add this layer of flexibility for appointment types, as patrons will now be able to select exactly the amount of time they need to get the help they require.

Good to know: This is an opt-in update. Switching to the new Appointment Categories will change how your staff manage their MyScheduler availability – they’ll still define the times that they’re available, but they’ll no longer define their appointment durations or padding between appointments (those will be defined by the Appointment Categories). To take the new Appointment Categories for a spin, Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Appointment Categories and Durations.

MyScheduler Groups Update

By popular request, we’ve added customizable text areas to the top of the MyScheduler Groups page, to make it easier to display your library’s terms and conditions for booking meetings with librarians. Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Page Description to add a custom terms and conditions statement, which will appear at the top of the Groups page as well as in the Groups widgets.

We’ve also added a customizable text area for each MyScheduler Group, so if different groups have different policies, you can create custom text for each group. To customize this area, Admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Manage Groups > Edit Group > Description/Info Text.

MyScheduler Email Updates

  • We’ve added a new email template for the Confirmation email that’s sent to librarians when someone creates a new appointment, so this email is now customizable! Head to MyScheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Confirmation Email to Admin template to give it a spin.
  • Even better, we’re including a “Cancel this appointment” link in the email sent to librarians, so if you need to cancel the appointment, you’ll have a link available right in your inbox.
  • We’re also updating the email tokens used in various MyScheduler emails by separating “Location” from “Date and Time”, which makes the emails sent to patrons a bit more flexible.

 

LibAnswers 2.10.0 Now Live!

We’re continuing the update party throughout January, and this week we’re bringing you the LibAnswers 2.10 release. From drag and drop file uploads to a new bulk edit / delete / apply macro option, there’s lots to love in this update! Let’s get to it…

Bulk Updates for Tickets

BulkEditThis has been a hugely popular request, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it to you just in time for Spring – Administrators can now make bulk edits to LibAnswers tickets from the Dashboard and from the Knowledgebase Explorer! This impacts all sorts of edits and changes – everything from adding a new tag to a group of tickets, to sending several patrons the same message by applying a Macro, to changing the status of a group of tickets from “Open” to “Pending” – our new bulk changes feature will have you updating tons of tickets in no time. 🙂 To start making mass updates, Admins can head to the Dashboard or Knowledgebase Explorer and select the Actions dropdown.

Temporary Trash Bin

TrashCanOne of the elements of the new Bulk Ticket Update feature is the ability to delete multiple tickets at once en masse – an exciting feature for sure, but one that could use a bit of a safety net to help cover itchy trigger fingers. That’s why we’ve also added a new Trash Can feature, to help with those potential accidental deletions.

Here’s how it works: Any ticket deleted from the Dashboard or Knowledgebase Explorer is sent to the temporary Trash Can. Tickets will remain in the Trash Can for 30 days before being automatically (and permanently) deleted. Admins can access this Trash Can by heading to Admin > Manage Trash Can – from there, you can view all trashed tickets, recover tickets (which rescues them from the Trash Can), or permanently delete tickets.

Drag and Drop File Uploads

DragDropContinuing the theme of convenience, we’ve got another big feature in this update – we’re adding drag and drop file uploads on both the public and administrative sides of the system! We’re reducing the number of clicks required when uploading files for both patrons and librarians by adding a super simple drag and drop file uploader to all of the places where you can upload files in LibAnswers, including the Question Form, Ticket Reply pages, and in LibChat for both patrons and chat operators. To upload a file up to 20 MB, just grab the file from your desktop and drag it into the uploader. Of course if you prefer, you can still click on the uploader to choose a file from your desktop.

Additional Updates

  • We’ve made it a bit easier to view the history of interactions with a patron on the ticket answer page. At the top of the page, you should now see a link for (History) next to the patron’s name – click it to view all past interactions with that patron.
  • We’ve made a couple of minor adjustments to how search works, to ensure that all content in a ticket is indexed, and to make sure that the autocomplete functionality is working properly.
  • We now support SPF DNS records for sending email using custom email domains (ie non-*.libanswers.com email domains) out of LibAnswers. Admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > Email > Custom Outgoing Email Address for more information on the new options.
  • We fixed a minor bug where clicking “Add Question” from QuerySpy wasn’t auto-populating the question information into the Create FAQ page (now it does!).

“Count” on LibInsight to kick off ALA Midwinter week 2017 with a bang!

Springys will be heading to Atlanta this week for ALA Midwinter 2017, but Springy HQ is still rocking and rolling out new features this week! First up is LibInsight 0.15, now available in a browser near you! Here’s the rundown:

Counts/Aggregate Dataset Type

As librarians, we count a lot of stuff! Whether tracking the number of visitors to the library, the number of questions answered at your desk, the number of attendees at your awesome programs, or the number of times your group study spaces are used, there are a lot of numbers you can use to demonstrate the value of your library to your university or board. While LibInsight does some aggregate counting, until now, its power has been in tracking and analyzing transactional data–think individual instruction sessions vs monthly instruction statistics. Weep no more, spreadsheet lovers!

We’re so pleased to bring you the Counts/Aggregate dataset type. Monthly collection counts? Check! Daily headcount? Check! Annual event attendance or instruction numbers? Check and check! Stack any and all of your regularly-counted numbers together in one or more Counts/Aggregates datasets.

Screenshot of the data entry screen for the Springy Hometown Library Monthly Stats dataset

As with all LibInsight datasets, you get analysis for your Counts, too. View your numbers in tables, view dataset statistics, chart one or more variables, or even use the Trends tab to show how the counts change over time.  Compare data from your Counts datasets with other datasets using Cross-Dataset Analysis to boot! Ready to show off your library’s numbers? Add your Counts dataset to a Dashboard for easy access. Ready, set, get counting! 🙂

Screenshot of the analysis of the Springy Hometown Library Monthly Stats dataset

Custom Datasets Get Trendy!

Do you use the Trends tab in your other datasets? Well, now you can analyze trends for the numeric fields in your custom datasets, too! See how the totals of your numeric fields change year-over-year, graphically and in tables. In the screenshot below, we see that use of the Springy Hometown Library Reading Room was up by almost 6% in 2015 over 2014 but slipped by just over 1% for 2016.

Screenshot of 3-year trends for the Springy Hometown Library Headcount dataset

Have suggestions for additional Trends or other analysis for Custom Datasets? Click the Support tab on any page in your LibInsight site to drop us a line.

Additional Features and Fixes

Widgets

  • Add the “Entered by” field to your dataset widgets to record who’s entering data.
  • If Required Fields aren’t completed on Submit, these are highlighted.

Gate Count Datasets

  • Allow “Null” values in Gate Count hourly datasets–no zeroes required!
  • Added a date/hour picker for the Multi-Gate option in Gate Count widgets.
  • You can now download your Gate Count data.

And more…

  • More flexibility with setting your preferred fiscal year dates for analysis. Set this up in Admin > System Settings.
  • Field order of CSV Exports now reflects your custom field order.
  • We squashed a bug that was preventing 5-step scale fields from working properly
  • We made SUSHI error messages easier to read.

Raising the Heat in Hotlanta!

booth 1056Springshare’s heading to the ALA-Midwinter Annual Conference in Atlanta, January 20 – 23. And, we’ve got a totally rocking schedule of flash presentations, coloring time, team Libe vs. Lib buttons, and more. Plus, you won’t want to miss out on seeing how your fellow librarians use Springshare tools at Booth 1056.

Flash Presentations

Guest Presentations

We have an extraordinary lineup of 8 guest presenters doing 7 separate flash presentations. Don’t miss out on seeing how they’re using Springshare tools to provide stellar service.

Friday, Jan 20: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby

SUNY New Paltz: Ghosts in the Library

5:45pm – 6:00pm

Using LibGuides v2 as a platform for content delivery, student voting and resource sharing, students in an introductory English Composition class play a learning game. In the game, teams of students must use library tools to research information about a ghost whose legacy has been underrepresented in the historic record.

cindi craig

Cindi Craig

University of Florida: Using LibGuides for Portfolio Management

6:00pm – 6:15pm

When I taught a section of a small, in-person information skills course, I used LibGuides as a course management system. I also had each student create a personal LibGuide and update it with library resources on a chosen topic throughout the course.


Saturday, Jan 21: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Denise Gergetz

Denise Gergetz

Milwaukee School of Engineering: Managing & Scheduling Molecular Models

10:00am – 10:15am

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Model Lending Library has a unique collection of physical models and materials designed to assist in molecular learning. The library makes these models available for short-term loan, using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module.

Karoline Manny

Karoline Manny

Midway University: Using LibGuides & LibAnswers for Communication and Collaboration

1:00pm – 1:15pm

The Center@Midway for Teaching Excellence and Innovation promotes ongoing academic program enhancement and faculty development. The Center quickly found itself in need of an efficient way to communicate with faculty and students regarding their immediate and future needs. We turned to LibGuides and LibAnswers.

Monica Rysavy

Monica Rysavy

Russell Michalak

Russell Michalak

Goldey-Beacom College: Onboarding with LibGuides

2:30pm – 2:45pm

These onboarding tutorials comprise the required onboarding components for student workers, paraprofessionals, and professional library staff on library services topics such as cataloging procedures, circulation procedures, serials procedures, WorkFlows (Library Management System) procedures, opening/closing duties, in addition to other library policies and procedures.


Sunday, Jan 22: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett

Cleveland State University: Building Online Workshops with LibGuides & LibWizard

1:00pm – 1:15pm

By embedding outside tools like Office Mix, Google Forms, and Adobe Captivate into a LibGuide, I created gradable tests and quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials, all of which are accompanied by digital badges. I  used LibWizard and a tool called TubeChop to add assessment to YouTube videos and make them more engaging.

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Troy University: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Programming Grants

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Use LibGuides to promote your library programming grants! Troy University Libraries used LibGuides to promote their 2016 Banned Books Week grant activities and we have also created a LibGuide to promote our NEA Big Read events.

LibWizard 1.7.8 Update Now Live

It’s a new year, and the hits just keep coming! Last night the LibWizard 1.7.8 release went live, and we have lots of fun features to share. Read on for the latest!

Rich Text Question and Answer Text

question-rteIn this update, we’re adding simple rich text formatting for question and answer text in LibWizard. The new rich text editor is simple but powerful – use it to add standard text formatting (like bold/italicize/underline text), add a simple bulleted or numeric list, or even insert a link, to open in a new window. This makes it much easier to add clearly formatted text to any question or possible answer in LibWizard – perfect for quizzing students about the correct formatting for different types of citations, or adding a link to an external resource for additional context.

Workpad Usability Improvements

For those of you who manage long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, we have great news – we’ve made several improvements to the workpad area, which makes building assets even easier! We’ve added a scrollbar to the content area, so adding new questions anywhere in the asset is a breeze. We’ve also adjusted the behavior of the page on save – now, when you save an asset, the screen will return to the previous location, rather than refreshing to the top of the page. These changes should make it much easier to work on long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, by keeping the list of questions and control panel together on screen!

Encrypt Assets & Patron Responses At Rest

For security conscious folks out there, we have big news – users on the full LibWizard platform can optionally encrypt all LibWizard data, including all assets (forms, surveys, quizzes, and assessments) and patron responses, at rest. This option must be used in combination with our new HTTPS support. To give it a spin, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings and select the options for HTTPS and Encryption.

Flexible Correct Answers

We’re adding more flexibility to the way correct answers are defined in free text fields. Previously, free text fields relied on an exact answer match in order to count as correct – you could add multiple possible correct answers, but patrons had to exactly match one of those responses in their answer. Now, this is much more flexible – we’re adding support for correct keywords, so if a patron mentions that keyword in their response, the answer is counted as correct! This is great for quizzing students on high level concepts while still maintaining the convenience of auto-grading.

And More…

  • Switch Question Type – We know how it is – sometimes you create a new question and after adding the possible answers, you realize that that radio field should really be a checkbox option, or a dropdown. Never fear – we’ve added a simple switcher, so you can switch that dropdown question to a radio field with ease. 🙂  To try this out, edit any radio, dropdown, checkbox, or text field and use the switcher at the top of the page.
  • banksaveAdd Existing Questions to the Question Bank – if you’re an admin in your LibWizard site, you can now add existing questions to the question bank right from within an existing asset! You’ll see the new option when you add or edit any question – select “Save to Bank” to save any question to your site-wide reusable question bank.

LibCal 2.6.4 Now Live!

It’s a whole new year, and with it we’re bringing a host of new LibCal features! This update brings the much requested Fines support functionality to the Equipment and Spaces module, plus a great new feature for booking multiple Rooms when creating a new event. Lots to share, let’s get to it!

Equipment and Spaces: Fines are Here!

finetemplate3For folks using the Equipment and Spaces module, we have exciting news – we’ve added full fines support for Equipment, to help motivate patrons to return their items on time. 🙂

Create templates (like the one on the right) for the different fine structures you need, then apply those fine templates to item categories. The fines module will automatically calculate the amount to assess if an item is returned late. Librarians can easily view the amount owed by patrons, and view a full history of all fines owed by a particular patron. LibCal even includes basic patron communication tools, so you can send email notifications and reminders and generate simple invoices, lickety split.

To get started with the all new fines module, Admins can head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Fine Templates.

Plus a Bonus: Read API for Fines

No fines module would be complete without a way to report fines to your central billing system, and LibCal’s fines module is no exception! A full read API is included as part of the fines module, so you can easily feed the information on fines currently owed to your central billing system, library catalog, etc.

Add Event: Reserve Multiple Rooms

If your library employs flexible Room Booking Rooms (where more than one room can be reserved at a time), we have great news – you can now reserve multiple Rooms when creating a new event! We know this is a key feature for those of you with flexible meeting rooms, like rooms that can be separated by a divider into rooms A and B, or combined into a single larger AB room. To try out this new feature, head to the add/edit event screen and select the locations you’d like to reserve.

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.

LibCal 2.6.3 – Equipment & Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

We’re adding more great reasons to try out the new Equipment and Spaces module, including the extremely exciting, much anticipated read/write API for both Equipment and Spaces! Read on to learn more about the latest and greatest…

Read/Write APIs in the Equipment and Spaces Module

Full read/write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces, which makes it possible to view availability and create a new reservation from anywhere! What makes these read/write APIs so exciting? Simple – it enables your in-house library developers to create exciting apps and functionality that will take your LibCal data and content and distribute that data wherever you need it.

A major first use we’re expecting to see with LibCal’s read/write APIs are integrations with existing room panel systems, i.e., touchscreen panels located outside of a space in your library. Our new read/write APIs make it possible to both view upcoming meeting reservations and create a brand new reservation right from that panel. We can’t wait to see what else the LibCal community dreams up for these new read/write APIs, so please don’t hesitate to share what you plan to do with the new tools! To take the new APIs for a spin, admins can head to Admin > API > Equipment / Spaces.

Admins Create Bookings of any Length

adminduedateWhile following the rules is important, we know there are times when librarians just need to break the mold and allow loan periods that extend past normal due dates. We’ve got you covered – now you can create reservations of any length, and renew existing reservations so they’re due back at any time in the future you specify.

Plus more Equipment and Spaces Updates

  • We’ve added a new report for viewing Overdue Items, so you can see everything that’s overdue at a glance.
  • Speaking of overdues, we’ve also adjusted the public display so that if an item is currently overdue, it will not display as currently available for the current day on the public side of the system.
  • We added a new setting to control whether new reservations should default to the longest or shortest possible loan period. Currently, Equipment and Spaces always default to the longest possible loan period when a patron creates a new reservation; with this setting, you can now choose to make the default the shortest possible loan period. You’ll find this setting under Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Booking Default.