Named Librarians of the Year by Library Journal, Elaine R. Hicks, Stacy Brody, and Sara Loree, founder and co-leads of the Librarian Reserve Corps, are helping researchers stem the tide of fake news during this global pandemic. The Librarian Reserve Corps was created in response to the World Health Organization’s need for timely and accurate COVID-19 research. Elaine, Stacy, and Sara quickly formed a group of volunteers to vet, index, and share literally tens of thousands of resources for the global medical community… all using Springshare tools.
… And We Get to Meet with Them!
Next week, join us for a webinar and meet LRC librarians Stacy Brody and Victoria Messana as they share how they’ve used LibGuides CMS, LibAnswers, LibWizard, and LibCRM to organize volunteers around the world as well as vet and share credible COVID-19 research with the global community.
We’re going fully digital at this year’s virtual ACRL Annual Conference (April 13 – 16). We’ve got 3D holograms. Be able to chat with your fave Springy using a VR headset. We’ve even got cutting edge Smell-o-Vision technology where you’ll be able to smell Mazen’s famous baklava when you come by our virtual exhibit booth! Okay, okay – none of that is true. Except the first sentence, we ARE exhibiting at this year’s ACRL virtual conference! And, and this is a big and, we have some awesome giveaways including five $20 giftcards to bookshop.org!
Finding Our Virtual Booth
First things first, make sure you can find our booth! That’s where we’ll be hanging out all week. From the ACRL virtual conference portal, click Exhibitors in the left column and scroll down (or control/cmd + F) to find Springshare. Favorite our booth so we’ll appear in your followed items. Here’s a quick video on how to find, favorite, and explore our booth!
I’m At Your Booth – Now What?
We have Offers & Giveaways!
We’re offering two giveaways if you visit our virtual exhibit booth.
Win a $20 Giftcard – If you opt-in to receive emails to our mailing list, enter a giveaway to win one of five $20 Bookshop.org giftcards. Bookshop.org is a great way to shop conveniently online for books and support your local bookstore in the process. We’ll announce the winners of our drawing next week.
Get a Discount – Who doesn’t love a bargain? If you visit our booth and fill out a form, get 10% off any Springshare tool over $499 if you buy by June 30, 2021!
Talk to a Springy!
We’ll be manning our booth during the below hours, feel free to use the Live Chat tool to ask a question. If you want a live demo, we can send along a Zoom url for a quick 5-min product overview webinar.
Booth Coverage Hours: All times listed in US Eastern Time
Tue, April 13:
12:45pm – 1:45pm
2:00pm – 3:00pm
3:15pm – 4:15pm
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Wed, April 14 + Thu, April 15:
11:00am – 12:00pm
12:30pm – 1:45pm
2:00pm – 3:00pm
3:15pm – 4:15pm
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Fri, April 16:
11:00am – 12:00pm
12:15pm – 1:15pm
Watch Videos, Download Brochures & More!
If you like browsing at your own leisure, we have uploaded brochures, videos, and links to various websites. Take a few minutes and explore our site!
Will we ‘see’ you there?
The pandemic has drastically changed how we can see people and we sorely miss our time at conferences where we got to meet many of you in-person, answer your questions, hear your suggestions (many of which made their way into our products!), and have a chit-chat. And while we still can’t do exactly that right now, we can do this! So we hope to see you this week at ACRL’s virtual annual conference!
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t do everything by ourselves… all the time. Not only is it a surefire way to burnout, but there is a high probability that things will get missed, overlooked, or steamrolled over. And that’s why Springshare is here to help. Last month we launched our new consulting services program to help you get the most out of your Springshare tools and bring your goals to fruition.
Really want a new LibGuides homepage redesign but you don’t have time to code up a new look & feel? We can help.
Doing a large scale rollout of LibCal across multiple libraries, spaces, and logistics and need help thinking about the bigger picture? We got you.
Do you need to get your LibAnswers system live ASAP and you don’t have time to learn about all the features and settings? We can set it up for you.
Do you have another plan, project, or goal and need our help? We’re here.
Bottomline, our consulting services are as robust as our tools – and our main goal is to help you succeed!
Consulting Packages – The Right Fit For Your Project
We’ll work with you to discuss your goals and ideas, explain how to configure and customize your system to meet those needs, and show you how to format data for the appropriate data imports we’ll do on your behalf.
During the project, we’ll review any existing sites or data that you’ll be adding to your system and provide prioritized email follow-up support related to the project. We’ll finish the project with a training session (with Q&A) focused on either admin or staff users.
In addition to everything in the “Setup for Success” package, we’ll also customize your site’s look and feel area with a custom header, footer, and stylesheet to coordinate with other institutional sites.
For LibGuides, we’ll also develop a customized homepage template and up to 5 different guide templates that can be used to create great looking content in your site.
Need us to do all the heavy lifting? We can set up your system, flip all the switches, and customize the look and feel so that you have a turnkey solution.
Through a series of meetings, we’ll discuss your needs and determine the setup needed. Our experts will take care of setup, build, and design. We’ll finish the project with two training sessions, one for admins and the other for staff users.
Arrange for customized training sessions for your staff, aligned to your institution’s needs or goals. Choose from one of our standard sessions or a training session completely designed around your workflows.
Get your staff solidly trained on the basics or go beyond for best practices or advanced customization.
Do you need help with a specific project outside of our packages? Our Springy experts can help you achieve any business goals at your library, so let’s talk.
Depending on your needs and requirements, we can figure out the best way to help your project succeed. Drop us a line – our experts are here for you.
All of the above options are designed with the goal of utilizing expert Springys to help you improve online engagement, navigate your community’s shift to digital, and engage users in remote learning service models!
Our interactive Seat & Space booking module is here! With this new feature, your students and patrons can now select their desired Seat or Space with interactive maps that show real-time availability. For full information on this optional module, see our recent blog post.
Navigate the building map to see bookable areas & their availability.
Clickable “hotspots” will show users real-time availability for their desired Seat or Space availability. Hostpot colors indicate the status of each field and are customizable.
When clicking on a bookable Seat or Space, an information bubble will show availability, capacity, Seat/Space image (if it exists on the Seat or Space record) and power & accessibility options (if enabled).
“Enter” a building wing by clicking on it to see its spaces, tables, computers, etc.
Users can book a preferred Space or Seat based on its location.
If a Space has bookable seats inside, clicking on its area will open a new map showing those options. Any clickable “hotspot” can be linked to open another map if desired.
Users will get a clear sense of where everything is located before even entering the building or floor.
Receive a directional map on the booking confirmation public page and email. Directional maps will be automatically generated for booked locations from your interactive maps.
Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on a desktop or on mobile, then we’ll add interactive areas to them: your defined study, event, and meeting spaces; individual armchairs or tables; or study carrels. Each hotspot area will be associated with corresponding Zones, Spaces, or Seats in LibCal. Ask us to learn how to get started!
Appointment Direction Maps
We’ve added the ability to associate a map image to Appointment locations and individual Appointment users’ Directions field. Head to Admin > Appointments > Manage Locations > Edit Location to associate a map image with an Appointment location or Appointments > My Settings > Appointment Settings to associate a map image with an Appointments user’s “Directions” field. When a patron books an Appointment on the public pages, a link to map image(s) will be displayed on the Booking form and Confirmation page next to that Appointment location and/or Directions field. It’s also possible to include links to Appointment location maps in Appointment-related emails via new Email tags.
Event Directional Maps
You can also associate a map image for Event locations! If a map image is set up for an Event Location in Admin > Events > Event Locations > Edit Location, a link to the map images will be shown on the public Event page, if that location is an “Onsite Location.” As with Appointments, map links can be added to Event-related emails with Email Tags.
But wait, there’s more! Our Online Appointments & Events Cisco Webex integration is here! The integration will work the same way our current Microsoft Teams & Zoom integrations do in LibCal. You will first need to connect the integration from the Admin > Integrations > Online Appointments & Events page. After the Cisco Webex integration is successfully connected, users will be able to authorize the integration for their account for use with Appointments and Events.
We’ve added new selections for “Patron Must Book in Advance” (36 hours, 2 weeks & 3 weeks) and “Patron Booking Window” (1 day, 2 days & 3 days) settings for Appointment users. Go to Appointments > My Settings to set these options.
A new LibAuth Event calendar type is available. When this type is chosen for a calendar, a LibAuth sign-in will be required to view the public calendar and corresponding Event pages. Head to Events > Modify/View Calendar. > Settings > Calendar Settings to choose this new calendar type.
You can now limit which Spaces are available for “Onsite Location” Event bookings! Go to Admin > Events > Space Locations or Admin > Space & Equipment > Edit Space to change whether a Space can be booked for an Event and therefore appear in the “Onsite Location” selection list.
There are new padding duration options available (5 & 10 minutes). Navigate to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Spaces & Categories > Edit Category > Booking Limits to select one of these new padding options for a Space Category.
You can now add intro text to the “New Reservation” (/r/new) page! Go to Admin > System Settings > Language Options > Custom Language > Spaces & Equipment > New Reservation Page Intro Text to set this up.
The ability to set LibAuth group level rules at the individual Space location level is now available when LibAuth is set to be used across all locations on the Admin > Spaces & Equipment > LibAuth page.
Early Check In (or not!). When checking in a patron on the admin side of LibCal, a new prompt will appear if the check in is attempted before the selected check-in window for the location. Admin users can decide to allow early check ins or cancel the action and wait until it is within the correct time frame that was set on the Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Edit Location > Seat/Space CheckIn panel.
Spaces stats reports will now display total hours rather than total minutes. Head to Stats > Spaces to see your Spaces statistical reports.
We’ve added an option to retrieve the Name & Email from Exchange (when possible) to display when using synched Exchange bookings for a Space. Go to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Edit Location > Outlook > Exchange > Outlook/Exchange Bookings in LibCal to enable this feature.
The API endpoints for Space bookings will now return the date and time bookings were created.
We’ve added Irish to the public language selections that are currently available in the page footer.
The April release is on its way, and is bringing several oft-requested features to LibAnswers! With this release we’re thrilled to bring Coverage Reports to LibChat, which will make it easy for site Admins to see the amount of chat coverage their staff provides. We’re also excited to begin introducing a series of updates intended to improve chat stability and eliminate our reliance on third party cookies during chat. For the full breakdown of everything rolling out in this release, head to the Springshare Lounge to view the release notes.
Chat Monitoring & Coverage Reports
We’re introducing a new reporting center for Chat Monitoring Activity. These reports will be available to site admins in an LA site; they’re designed to provide an in-depth breakdown of the amount of time that your staff have spent monitoring various chat departments in your LibAnswers system, and how many chats folks have claimed during those time periods. We will begin gathering data when we release the update, and the total amount of coverage time and total number of chats answered will be available beginning from this date onward. These reports will also include specific logs that represent the login and logout times of each chat staff member as they monitor various chat departments, and this portion of the data will be available on a rolling basis for up to the past 3 months, beginning on the date of release. Once the release is complete in your region, Admins will be able to view this new suite of information at LibChat > Coverage.
Chat Server Updates
With this code update, we’re releasing the first of a series of changes that will chat stability and connectivity. Over the next several releases, we will complete the process of moving all chat server traffic from their current domains (which can include libchat.com domains, as well as custom domains like libanswers.mysite.edu) to a libanswers.com domain. In doing this, our focus is on reducing and then eliminating the issues presented by third party cookies in chat, which we feel is critical as most web browsers are moving toward increased user privacy.
With our current release, all chat traffic for users in sites on a *.libanswers.com domain will move to libanswers.com, which will eliminate the use of third party cookies for these sites. In our next release, we plan to update the URL of the LibChat dashboard (and only the LibChat dashboard) for sites on custom domains to a libanswers.com domain, which will entirely eliminate the need for third party cookies.
We’re hard at work revamping several of our back-end search features, in an effort to bring you a faster and more intuitive search interface! Our first order of business is updating the chat transcript search page; in our next release, we’ll be overhauling our underlying search engine to bring you even more powerful chat transcript searching.
We’ve added the Innovative Polaris authentication to our growing LibAuth authentication protocols. Just go to your LibApps page > Admin > LibAuth Authentication and add a new Polaris configuration. Please note that Polaris integration is not yet available for Pickup Manager.
Customize the look and feel of your Schedule widgets with CSS! Set this up at Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Schedule > Widgets where you will see a new “Custom JS/CSS Code” panel.
The ability to filter the Time Clock Report by the Organizational Hierarchy is now available in your LibStaffer Reports. Head to Reports > Time Clock to make use of these new filters when running this report.
Stacked Chart Option for Numeric Fields in Dashboards
We’ve added the “Display Stacked Chart” option for Custom/Shared Datasets with Numeric field Y-Axis and Single/Multi-Select fields for Data Labels. This enables a stacked view for your Select fields so that you can see the total for each Select option.
That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more improvements in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.
Last week we had the pleasure of sitting down, albeit virtually, with three amazing librarians to talk about virtual chat reference and the importance of having support from a regional, and global, chat cooperative. Caitlin Kenney (Engagement and Education Services Coordinator at the Western New York Library Resources Council) and Cornell University Librarians Leah Dodd (Research Lead Librarian), and Virginia Cole (Archaeology, Classics, History, and Medieval Studies Librarian) joined us for a panel discussion to discuss the WNYLRC cooperative and Cornell University’s experience doing local, regional, and even global chat reference.
The benefits of creating chat fallback so patrons chatting with the library start locally but if their library isn’t available, it rolls up to the Western New York LRC regional cooperative -> and then lastly the global chat cooperative for 24/7 backup.
Using historical statistics to make sure chat staffing is optimized.
The importance of feedback for quality control and using chat transcripts for training purposes.
Using tags to tag transcripts with followed-up, reviewed, etc. to keep an accurate eye on chats for quality control.
Springing into Action – The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) Thursday, April 29, 1:00pm – 2:20pm The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) was founded in March 2020 to provide critical librarian time, skills, and resources to the growing need for quality information in response to the global pandemic. They quickly recognized the need to have a web presence to provide information to partners and volunteers and a central platform to manage projects. As librarians who used Springshare products in their home institutions, LRC’s Co-Directors thought to reach out to Springshare for support. Springshare responded quickly, donating access to a suite of products to support LRC’s response efforts. Throughout the past year, LRC has combined LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard to manage volunteers and launch new initiatives. Read more in our blog post.
Last month we asked librarians and library workers to share their #MyLibLifeReality moments with us, knowing it was a bit of a long shot even though we loved the idea.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed the absence of videos in our March newsletter. And, well, you can probably guess where this is going — sometimes things don’t pan out as you hope!
Every programming and outreach librarian can relate to how we’re feeling right now. But while we didn’t get many responses, we’re always ones to put a positive spin on things. So we wanted to post two three highlights/bits of good news:
We received a great video from Springy Will, who shared a game he played with fellow coworkers before coming on board with us. Springys for the win!
Because we believe in the important work Black Girls CODE is doing, we still made a $250 donation – the maximum amount we proposed for #MyLibLifeReality submissions.
(3/24 update) Oscar R. Lanza-Galindo matched our donation! A big thanks to you, Oscar, for expanding the impact of our project.
Contactless/curbside holds pickup started out as a method for safely delivering holds to patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic and will probably be here to stay… for good. And that’s a great thing! According to a recent Forbes article, curbside pickup is not going anywhere, even post-pandemic, because customers simply love it.
“The benefit of curbside is primarily the ability to order ahead, which should translate to no waiting. Customers don’t like to wait in line.”
(Kelso Why Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay-Even After The Pandemic Ends)
Importantly, curbside/contactless holds pickup is not just convenient and safe for patrons… it also helps staff by ensuring they don’t get overwhelmed in any one channel. By offering multiple methods for pick up (curbside/contactless, circulation desk, self-checkout kiosks, etc), it allows you to service several patrons at the same time.
What’s more, if you have a mobile platform to facilitate scheduling and SMS communication – you’ll see higher adoption and usage.
Last November, Springshare released Pickup Manager – our robust and feature-rich contactless holds pickup tool that includes scheduling and mobile chat/SMS communication.
Schedule their holds pickup once they’re ready
Communicate with the library via mobile-optimized chat or SMS/texting when they’ve arrived
Provide their feedback by filling out a follow-up survey
Receive reminders when they haven’t picked up their items
Pickup Manager has ILS Integration!
Pickup Manager integrates with a variety of ILS Tools and we even have a generic SIP2 integration… so if none of the below match your ILS, we can integrate via SIP2 if that’s an available option!
Scheduling a Pickup Time slot: When patrons go to schedule their pickup time slot, they’ll be prompted to enter in their library barcode/pin. Pickup Manager authenticates to see if they have holds available that are eligible for pickup.
Checking Out Holds During Two-Way Communication: When the patron arrives to pickup their items and initiates a mobile chat or SMS/text, during the chat exchange you can check-out items to the patron directly from the Pickup Manager dashboard. This removes an entire step – checking out the items via the ILS – from the process!
ILS Integration: Scheduling a Pickup Time Slot
ILS Integration: Checkout Items When Communicating with Patron
Ex Libris Alma
Innovative Interfaces Sierra
Don’t Have ‘Curbside’?
A lot of our academic libraries don’t have curbside pickup because they’re usually walking distance from the dorms and don’t have nearby parking lots. But, that doesn’t mean Pickup Manager isn’t right for you! Use Pickup Manager to handle *any* location where you want to schedule pickups – from a table in the lobby, a kiosk outdoors, or even at the circulation desk. It provides another channel/method for patrons to pickup their holds AND it helps you know who is coming where and when!
Attend a Webinar – Learn More!
Join us for a 30 minute webinar to see Pickup Manager in action – we’ll cover the entire process from scheduling a holds pickup, two-way chat/SMS communication, and even statistics and reports. You need to see it to believe how cool it is! Can’t attend any of the live sessions? Just register for any session below and we’ll send you the recording.
A couple of weeks ago, SpringyNews readers were treated to a sneak peek of our new, optional LibCal mapping module slated for April launch. We’re sharing more info about it today, including an awesome video below showing the maps in action.
Functional, Interactive Maps That Put Your Users First
Our mapping module adds a new “wow!” factor to the process of booking library spaces and seats. With it, students and patrons select their desired booking time and are presented with interactive maps showing real-time space/seat availabilities throughout the building.
With LibCal’s mapping features, users can:
Navigate the building map to see bookable areas & their availability.
Space/seat colors indicate availability based on the user’s time and date selection.
Information bubbles show availability, capacity, and power and accessibility options.
“Enter” a building wing to see its rooms, tables, computers, e.g.
Book a preferred space or seat based on its location in relation to other spaces and seats
If a room has bookable seats inside, clicking on its area will open a new map with those options.
Get a clear sense of where everything is located before even entering the building.
Receive a directions map in a booking confirmation email for spaces, events, and appointments so they know exactly where they are headed when they arrive.
Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on desktop or on mobile (or if you already have maps that look great, send them over and skip this step), and then we’ll add interactive areas to it – i.e. the study, event, and meeting rooms, individual armchairs, and study carrels. Each hotspot area will be associated with corresponding zones, spaces, seats, and appointment and event locations in LibCal. Ask us to learn more about this process!
Video of Booking via Interactive Maps (No Audio)
Interactive Maps = A Better Booking Experience For Users
Interactive maps not only improve the booking experience but they also help inform the user where they need to go in the library to get to their desired space. This means they will know exactly which entrance to use, what stairway or elevator to take, and where to go to reach their study or meeting room, computer, or study carrel.
Directional Maps for Events & Appointments
The LibCal mapping module also includes directional maps for events and appointments. The system automatically generates a static map showing the location of each event space, so when a user registers for an onsite event, the confirmation email also contains the link to the map showing the exact location of this space within the building.
The same is true for the appointment scheduler – the user will get the appointment confirmation email with the link to the map showing where the appointment will be held.
With these awesome directional maps, your users will always know where to go once they enter the building and can quickly locate the space once they arrive.
Our LibCal team is putting the finishing touches on the mapping code in the next few weeks, and we are super excited to share the end result with you. If you are as excited about this new module, too, have questions for us, or just generally want to learn more, please drop us a line!
Also, we want to give a special shout out to the awesome librarians at EKU Libraries who sent us their maps and allowed us to use them in our demos. Thank you!
Last but not least – send us your maps, too – if you’d like to be an early adopter and send us your existing maps please let us know.
Today’s a big day here at Springy HQ! We’re excited to announce our partnership with Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing, that delivers library services directly into the patron’s workflow via a customizable plugin. The partnership will begin by integrating LibGuides with the Lean Library browser extension – allowing librarians to deliver contextual point-of-need instruction.
And this is just the beginning! We’ll be adding more integrations soon, including LibChat, so patrons can get live help from a librarian no matter what webpage they visit.
How Does It Work?
Within the Lean Library Dashboard, configure different resources to display depending on the webpage that the patron is currently visiting. So, if the patron is on scholar.google.com > the Lean Library browser extension will display your step-by-step Google Scholar LibGuide. If they’re searching inside your EBSCOhost databases, the browser plugin will pop-out your Advanced EBSCO Searching LibGuide to provide contextual help!
All your patrons need to do is download the browser extension, and voila! They’ve got your contextual library resources right when they need it.
Increase Usage and Visibility
Putting your LibGuides, right at the point-of-need will increase usage and visibility. Don’t take our word for it – Utah State University conducted a pilot project with LibGuides and Lean Library integration. In just two months, they saw a 450% increase in usage of their Google Scholar LibGuide after it was deployed on scholar.google.com via the Lean Library browser extension. Learn more about Utah State University’s pilot program at ER&L annual conference today, March 10, 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET.
You Build a Lot of LibGuides – – Make Sure They’re Seen!
To date, over 200,000+ librarians at 5,500 institutions have built millions of LibGuides at over 80 countries around the world. These guides, undoubtably, take significant time and effort to create. With the Lean Library browser extension, you’ll be able to get more eyeballs on your LibGuides and increase your ROI by embedding them directly into the patron’s workflows. Plus, with the upcoming LibChat integration – patrons can launch a live chat no matter what website they’re on.
Want to Learn More?
The LibGuides/Lean Library integration will be available as an upgrade to existing LibGuides or Lean Library customers or as part of the new service Lean Library Futures.
Special guest speakers, Mikala Narlock and Abby Shelton, discussed a University of Notre Dame project on virtual usability testing using LibWizard. The Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art celebrated Usability Day 2020 by collaborating on a virtual user experience testing activity: participants had the chance to offer feedback on Marble, a collaborative digital collections platform, or CurateND, the institutional repository. Mikala Narlock, Digital Collections Librarian at Hesburgh Libraries, and Abby Shelton, former Outreach Specialist at the Snite Museum, discuss their approach to virtual user testing and how they improved the user experience of both platforms as a result.
Feedback was helpful for redesigning the CurateND website, improving navigability, adding geographic metadata for Marble and improving jargon’y metadata.
Run through your own testing modules first! It helps to see where the roadblocks are.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.
Have a facilitator on deck and send a follow-up email to participants.
Creating Your Own Local Co-Op with LibChat 1:00pm – 2:20pm Wednesday, March 24, 2021 Did you know you can create your own local Co-Op? Join us for a Learning Lab where will be joined by Caitlin Kenney of the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) who will share her experience running two local Co-Ops and Virginia Cole and Leah Dodd, from Cornell University as they share what it’s like being a member library.