ALA-MW 2018 Guest Presentations Now Available Online

If you were #alamw18leftbehind, you not only missed out on beautiful Denver (it snowed!) but also our rocking line-up of guest speakers.

But have no fear, all guest presentations were recorded! So while we can’t bring beautiful Denver to you, you can view those presentations and presenter materials on our ALA-MW 2018 Guest Presentations Buzz Guide.

 

Facebook Notifications

While you’re there, you might notice that all videos are hosted on our Facebook Page. And hey, since you’re there anyway…why not LIKE our Facebook page? </shameless-plug> If you want to receive notifications in your Facebook Feed, you’ll also need to adjust your notifications to ON. This way, you won’t miss out on product updates, video presentations, Facebook Live streaming, and more.

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

Guest Presentations

Shhhhh, Librarians are Talking…@ Springy’s Booth at ALA-MW, Denver

Springshare’s heading to the Mile High City, February 9 – 12. And we’ve got a totally packed schedule of guest speakers, product flash presentations, and kewl schwag to giveaway.

And, we’re Facebook Live recording all our guest presentations! So even if you can’t join us in Denver, you can still participate! To watch, navigate to our Springshare Facebook page (and give us a like while you’re there) at the scheduled presentation time, and tune-in! Remember, all presentations are in Colorado local time, so be sure to adjust for your time-zone accordingly.

Submit your questions via Facebook comments, and we’ll make sure the guest speaker answers your questions… live!

BiblioEvents + Springshare Integration Demo

In case you hadn’t heard, we’ve recently announced a unique integration between BiblioEvents and LibCal’s Spaces bookings. Wanna see how it works? Swing by and watch a live demo of the integration.

Product Flash Presentations

Guest Presentations

We have an extraordinary lineup of 11 presentations by 13 guest presenters. Don’t miss out on seeing how they’re using Springshare tools to reduce workflow friction, power their library website, and provide stellar service. Can’t attend? No worries, like we said above – we’re recording all presentations live on our Facebook page.

Friday, Feb 9: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Margaret Dawson

Texas A&M Univ.: Using LibGuides CMS as our Website
6:00pm – 6:15pm
We use LibGuides CMS to power the Texas A&M University – Central Texas Library Website. I will show how and why we did it and also how LibWizard has helped us with our children’s programs.By using LibGuides and the LibWizard, we are able to be in charge of our own site, instead of letting our IT staff run it.

Lauren Martiere

Joseph Richard

Rocky Vista Univ.: Powering our Website with LibGuides

6:30pm – 6:45pm

Over the course of the last five months, the Library completely reimaged our virtual presence through a complete redesign of our Library’s website using LibGuides. We utilized new features, such as image carousels, the A-Z database page, and the system wide Blog to improve the visibility and accessibility of our collection. The Library’s team explored different avenues of ‘designing on a budget’ by integrating third-party applications using Springshare’s embedded design.


Saturday, Feb 10: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Elyssa Gould

Univ. Tennessee Knoxville: LibAnswers for ER Troubleshooting

11:00am – 11:15am

We strategized, tested, tweaked, and implemented a workflow for how we handle “eproblems” as well as what statistics we capture. We chose the LibAnswers tool and are pleased with how this tool has helped us better streamline our work with access issues, especially in tracking troubleshooting and resolution.

Lynn VanLeer

Walden Univ.: Harness LibAnswers’ Query Spy to Meet User Needs

12:00pm – 12:15pm

In 2016 I categorized and analyzed three months of unsubmitted queries (approximately 30K) for Quick Answers. I wanted to know what users were trying to find but could not. This led to insights about what users were typing into the FAQ box, the creation of new FAQs, and helped with the eventual redesign of the Library website.

Elizabeth DiPrince

Jessica Riedmueller

Univ. of Central Arkansas: Using LibGuides CMS as a Staff Knowledgebase

2:00pm – 2:15pm

We use LibGuide CMS to create a knowledgebase for faculty and staff who work the library’s Reference Desk. In our library, our Reference Desk is covered by 16 faculty and staff who work in different departments in the library and have varied schedules. Communicating information to this group to can be challenging, and the reference LibGuide gave us the opportunity to collect information in one easy-to-use location.

Brianna Buljung

Colorado School of Mines: On the Shoulders of Giants

3:00pm – 3:15pm

How do you coordinate a multi-section information literacy lesson while ensuring all students have a quality experience? With LibGuides, of course! In fall 2017, the Library used a LibGuide for the “Scholarship as Conversation” lesson in the Mines’ Freshman Success Seminar course. Roughly 1200 students, 92 peer mentors and 46 instructors rotated through a 50 minute lesson and library tour over the course of 10 days.


Sunday, Feb 11: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Kelly McCusker

Univ. of Colorado Denver: Supporting Research Workshops through LibGuides

11:00am – 11:15am

Over the past year and a half, Auraria Library has developed a series of workshops to teach research skills to faculty and students. While developing these workshops, the Library created a LibGuide for each workshop to support the workshop content as well as provide further information about the workshop topics.

Kira Litvin

NorthCentral University: Gain Insight on Patrons’ Search Habits

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Query Spy can be a helpful insight into your patrons’ questions and searching habits. I will demonstrate how I review Query Spy for search terms and question phrases that patrons use. I then will integrate the terms as Tags into existing FAQs to increase the chance that they will be discovered in new searches or create new FAQs if not in our system.

Joelle Wren

Pikes Peak Library District: LibGuides for Communication

3:00pm – 3:15pm

PPLD uses LibGuides to communicate and improve accessibility to resources and local information for both staff and patrons, including addressing common reference questions and service needs. This product has also been used to save staff time and create internal training manuals. It has served as an excellent way for us to share information in an organized, user friendly format.

Stephen Arougheti

Arizona State University: Ask-a-Librarian Program

3:30pm – 3:45pm

With a university totaling more than 100,000, ASU Library is confronted with the challenge of connecting a global community to high-quality resources and information professionals; allowing each person to recognize their potential and be successful. The ASU Library implemented the Springshare platform LibAnswers to create an institutional knowledge communication channel called Ask-a-Librarian.


Monday, Feb 12: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Mattias Olshausen

Central Washington Univ.: Innovative Uses of LibGuides

10:00am – 10:15am

A summary of innovative ways in which LibGuides is being used by the librarians, staff, and students of Central Washington University’s Brooks Library. These include use of the program to create pages on CWU yearly programming themes related to social justice, the library’s annual fundraising gala event, and a conference that took place in the library during the summer of 2017.

LibAnswers 2.18 Release – Patron Contact Cards and More

The Springy release-a-palooza continues – the LibAnswers 2.18 is on its way and will be released to all regions by the end of the day on Friday, February 2nd.  This release contains two big new features – the Patron Contact Card, and better email search indexing!

Patron Contact Card

The Patron Contact Card builds on the User History feature. Previously, User History connected tickets from the same source in a single channel – e.g. for an SMS question we connected all of the previous tickets from that SMS number. For emails, we connected all tickets from that same email. The Patron Contact Card combines different channels a single patron might use – this includes up to 2 unique email addresses, an SMS number, a Twitter handle, and a Facebook profile. With this, you can connect the communication dots for a unified view of how a single patron is communicating with your library, whether by email, SMS, chat, Twitter or Facebook. You’ll now have the full context of a patron’s conversations with your librarians, on any channel.

Whenever possible, we’ll attempt to automatically match a patron’s contact info from an existing Patron Contact Card. When auto matching isn’t possible, you can manually connect the patron’s different types of contact info via the User History screen.

How it works: SMS, Twitter, Facebook and Email

For tickets that patrons send in via SMS, Twitter, Facebook and Email, you can match these tickets to the Patron Contact Card via the User History link on the ticket answer page. Click on the User History link in the SMS ticket, select the new option to “Associate this contact with a known patron”, search for the patron’s email address, or enter a new address and click Associate. This connects their SMS number with prior questions from that email address, and you can now view the user history from both of these streams!

For Twitter, Facebook, and second Email connections, the procedure works the same way – once the patron shares their relevant contact info, head to the ticket screen, click on the User History link, and choose Associate this contact with a known person. Search for their email address, and if the patron’s email is found from prior conversations, just click Associate to connect the dots!

How it works: LibChat

If you ask for patron’s email in a pre-chat form the given LibChat transcript is automatically connected to  a Patron’s Contact Card happens automatically! If during the course of chat, the patron provides their email in the contact info field, we’ll automatically associate that transcript with the Patron Contact Card, so the full history of chats and email tickets can be viewed in one place.

A Word on Patron Privacy

The Patron Contact Card will be a powerful tool in connecting patron communication across contact streams. We also know how important preserving patron privacy is, so now may be a good time to mention the various patron privacy protections available in your system. We already take steps to ensure that patron identifying data is encrypted in our databases. But for sites that prefer an additional layer of privacy protection, you have the option to sign up for our monthly privacy scrub. You can choose to remove patron identifying information, including patron email address, phone number, IP address, and/or name. You can also choose how many months to keep data before it’s scrubbed from the server. Once this data is scrubbed from the server, scrubbed tickets will no longer display in the User History thread (as they’re no longer associated with the patron’s contact info), but the ticket itself will remain in the system (so it still counts toward aggregate stats, etc.). To sign up for a privacy scrub, contact our awesome support team and let them know how long you’d like to retain the data prior to scrubbing from the system.

Improved Email Search

You may have noticed that, when searching for prior tickets based on a patron’s email address, you have to search for an exact email address to see results. This happens because, for privacy reasons, we encrypt the email field in our database, so search indexing works a bit differently for that field. In this release, we’re introducing a new index just for email domains – now, you can run a search based on a patron’s email domain (ie everyone from mail.myschool.edu, or everyone from gmail.com) to see all users who’ve sent in tickets from that domain.

Some Impending LibGuides Updates to Warm your January!

We’ve been kindling the fires of Midwinter (will we see you there??) up here at Springy HQ by coding up some great winter features you can use to spruce up your LibGuides. Just for funsies, we’re throwing in an update to LibAuth configurations, too. 🙂 These features will be live in all regions within a few days. Check ‘em out:

LibAuth supports uploading authorized values

Screenshot

Click to Enlarge

If you use LibAuth groups, you now have a couple of ways to automate the population of the Allowed Values field for your group attributes. Head over to LibApps > Admin > LibAuth Authentication and click the edit button for your LibAuth configuration. You can either upload a CSV file containing your Allowed Values, or you can specify a URL from which we can fetch the Allowed Values, which we’ll do nightly. What does this feature do for you? You might have a group of rooms in LibCal that are only bookable by current students from a certain college, or by patrons who meet certain requirements. Use this field to let LibAuth know which people are allowed to book.

Additional customizable language keys

All of the below have been added to Admin > Look & Feel > Language Options > Language Customization. Don’t see one of these for your language? Kindly shoot us an email, and we’ll add it for you. Please include a translated phrase in your language that is as close to the English original as is possible. You can customize it further in your system if desired.

Interested in contributing translations for the public side of LibGuides in a language that’s not currently available? We’d love your help!

  • Screenshot of the AZ list

    Click to enlarge

    Key 373 is the phrase “Alt. Names/Keywords” that is used for that field in your A-Z Databases list. When you change this key, the changes will be visible on the public and admin side, for consistency.

  • Key 375 is the label “Popular” that appears next to Database assets that you’ve designated as such.
  • Key 387 is the text of the tooltip that appears when you hover over the website/blog icon in a profile box.
  • Key 376 is the word “for” in Database search results.
  • Key 275 is the word “All” that appears at the beginning of the alphabetical browse listing on your A-Z Databases page.
  • Key 123 is the phrase “Last updated” that appears when you hover over a guide’s last updated date on your system homepage.
  • Key 380 is the button text that appears next to the guide sort options on your system homepage guides list.
  • Keys 362 and 365 pertain to the Courses tab on Subject pages and apply only if you have the E-Reserves module.
  • Keys 100, 376, and 322 pertain to information shown on system search results screens in Bento Box format.
  • E-Reserves item modals now correctly display your customized language when you view an individual e-reserves item.

API response changes (LibGuides CMS only)

We’ve made some small changes to the v1.2 API used for creating and updating database assets. If you’re using these API calls, you’ll now be warned if it contains errors. If your API call is successful, we’ll let you know which fields were updated. For more information, please see the documentation for each API call in LibGuides > Tools > API > v1.2. Here is a sample successful call showing all the fields that were updated. Please note that GET requests for A-Z assets were not changed.

Screenshot of API response

E-Reserves updates!

  • When you have item search turned on, “Documents” becomes the default tab.
  • When you do a search but then click to another section of E-Reserves, your search terms are cleared, and you are presented with the entire list of available items.
  • When an item appears in more than one course, its name is spelled out in search results, rather than the phrase “View Item.”
  • In E-Reserves > Settings, you can specify whether the proxy setting is on when creating new items.
  • When adding a new E-Reserves item, required fields are marked with a red asterisk.

Other small updates

  • Email notifications sent to subscribers of your blogs will contain the blog name in the subject line.
  • We replaced the orange “loading dots” with ones that move at an accessible refresh rate.
  • If your custom SSL certificate is expiring in under 60 days, we will email you. We will email you again 7 days before it expires, if you have not renewed it. Please note that this email is sent to the person who uploaded the certificate files.

Things we fixed

  • Sites with guide titles using CJK characters display correctly when displayed in an LMS via the LTI tool.
  • Regular-level users can edit database assets that they own.
  • You can add a book to a blog post by just pasting its ISBN into the Add Book dialog.
  • When you check “Show entire post” for a blog widget, the “Show Images” checkbox works properly.
  • When you add a Database asset to a guide, the Description Display preference is preserved, unless you choose a different option.
  • When you go to a specific page in our support site and log in, you’re taken to the proper page instead of the support site home page.
  • We optimized the query behind the LTI Instances page; it’s super, super fast!
  • We fixed the “Filter by Owner” menu on the A-Z list so that it includes everyone.
  • The number of profiles listed on the profiles page matches the number of profiles displayed.

LibCal 2.13 Release Coming Soon!

New LibCal Spaces User Interface

The LibCal 2.13 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by end of the day Wednesday, January 31st (so if you don’t see the changes in your system yet, you will soon).

We’re bringing you a host of quality-of-life improvements to Equipment and Spaces, Exchange two-way sync, gCal sync, and several other improvements, too.

Read on for all the details…

Equipment and Spaces Quality of Life Improvements

We’ve improved the Equipment and Spaces screens to make pages easier to navigate and understand. More on-screen help, reduced clutter and improved navigation – these are the major themes that will make managing your equipment and spaces easier than ever. You’ll see the changes when you go to Space or Equipment links from the orange command bar. Here’s the rundown of the big changes:

Equpment Page Screenshot

 

  • Location and Category Selections “Stick” Between Tabs – We’ve moved the Location and Category selectors up into the header area of the Equipment and Spaces pages so the selections “stick” as you navigate between tabs. You’ll no longer have to select your location/category every time you switch to a different tab!
  • Streamlined Availability Tab – Cleaner look of the Availability tab for bookings makes it easier to see the existing bookings and create new ones, from this admin screen. The availability grid is now the focus of the page. The Booking Details area is also updated making it easier to view the details of the upcoming reservation(s).
  • Simplified Look for Check In / Out – We reduced the number of icons (yeah, we went a bit crazy with the icons in the past – they were so cute, we couldn’t resist!). But, they created a lot of visual noise so we streamlined all relevant tabs and tables for a cleaner presentation of the information. Some (necessary) icons are still there but many were replaced with hotlinks on relevant info.
  • Improved Onscreen Help – In the past, we overdid it with the icons but under-did it with on-screen help and instructions. This balance is changing and it’s a good thing for you, our user. We added relevant on-screen help and labels to help you figure out how to get things done quickly and efficiently on Equipment and Spaces screens.

 

GCal and Exchange Sync for Spaces

Smaller news first – in the old Room Bookings module (now replaced with Spaces) there was 1-way GCal sync but we somehow missed porting this to Spaces. This has now been fixed to achieve true parity between Spaces and old Room Bookings, i.e. Spaces now has GCal sync so now you can see all Spaces reservations in your GCal calendars.

Now the big news… Picture this – a 2-way sync between Exchange calendars and LibCal spaces – so reservations you make via Exchange will automatically block off availability in the Spaces module, and reservations made via Spaces are automatically pushed to Exchange!  Yup, we went there! This is a huge win for libraries with spaces that can be reserved both by the public (via LibCal) and by staff (via meeting requests in Exchange) – our new integration will keep your reservations in sync, no matter where a booking request originates. And your LibCal platform will become a go-to place to get awesome statistics on the usage of your spaces and equipment, no matter where the reservations are made. High-five for this big win!

Here’s another really cool thing about the Exchange support – it will make it even easier to integrate with touchscreen panels. LibCal Spaces offers full read/write APIs for integration with these types of panels, and many of these panels already support integration with Exchange – which means you can potentially integrate LibCal Spaces with these types of panels, without custom coding. This new integration means that availability stays synchronized across all possible booking points, with minimal setup effort – totally amazing!!

For this 2-way Exchange we are releasing the code to everyone but not enabling it on all systems yet – if you’d like to assist us with the final stages of testing Exchange integration (because we want to make sure we cover all different Exchange versions/scenarios) please emails us at support@springshare.com. Once we are confident that Exchange sync is working for these early testers, we’ll release it for everyone i.e. every LibCal system will have 2-way Exchange sync enabled.

Additional Updates

  • New “All Locations” View for Spaces – We’ve added a new “All Locations” view for Spaces, so patrons can browse availability at all locations in your LibCal system at a glance. To see it in action, head to the public Spaces booking page and select Location: All Locations.
  • Mediated Bookings by LibCal Users set to Confirmed: We heard from several folks that, when librarians (ie LibCal account holders) make a reservation for a mediated space/item, those reservations shouldn’t need to be approved. We’ve made this change, so now when a logged-in user reserves a space/equipment, those requests will be confirmed automatically.
  • Event Search for Logged In Users – We addressed an issue with searching for events from the Edit Calendar screen (accessed via Calendar Tab > Edit Calendar) – this should now work as expected.
  • Clarified Multi-user Registrations – We’ve improved registration management for sites that allow multiple registrations in a single form (so dad can register himself plus two children for storytime, without filling out multiple forms). Now, these multiple registrations are displayed individually on the Manage Registrations tab, and editing/deleting an individual registration doesn’t automatically edit/delete all associated registrations, so you can manage those registrations individually.

Protect the Integrity of Your Springy Websites… Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificates

hacker

In our October 2017 SpringyNews Newsletter, we informed Springy users that recent updates to web and mobile browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) mark any HTTP webpage that contains form content as insecure. Meaning that any public webpage containing a search box, LibCal booking form, or LibAnswers Question Submission form will automatically display a ‘Not Secure‘ warning to end users.

The security and privacy of your patron’s data is of prime importance to Springshare. Having any webpage, especially your Springshare-licensed tools, marked as unsecure is not good PR for us or you! You don’t want your patrons thinking your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal websites are untrustworthy.

To that end, we’ve made all v2 products hosted on a Springshare-controlled domain HTTPS enabled. For those of you on a custom domain, we’ve enabled security certificate hosting for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal!

Chrome ‘NOT SECURE’ Warning Message

And, we’ve taken it one-step further. If you have a custom domain, we’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide free, that’s right, completely free security certificates for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal v2 tools. We’ve made it as easy as 1,2,3 to ensure your Springshare tools are HTTPS secure, trustworthy, and safe for your end-users.

Why HTTPS Matters

HTTPS secures the communication and data transferred between our servers and your users’ browsers. Hackers and intruders exploit every unprotected resource between your websites and users. And every time a user interacts with your Springshare tool, whether it’s sending a search query through a LibGuides search-box or submitting a LibCal room booking request, they are sending data from that website through the interwebs to our data servers. If any part of your website is loaded over HTTP, that data is unsecure and could potentially be used to exploit other secure parts of your website. So we recommend that all pages, resources, and widgets be loaded securely over HTTPS.

Furthermore, HTTPS doesn’t just block misuse. It’s often a requirement for many browsers.

HTTPS Protects the Integrity of Your Web Presence

HTTPS helps prevent intruders from interfering with the communication between your Springshare websites and your users’ browsers. They exploit HTTP/unprotected communications to trick your users into giving up sensitive information or installing malware. Given the opportunity, they will exploit every resource that travels between your Springshare websites to your users. Resources like images, cookies, scripts, HTML… etc.

Getting a Security Certificate is Important

Security Certificates are provided by reputable and trusted third-party companies that verify your organization and your website transactions. These Certificate Authorities provide a security certificate that proves that the website/domain really belongs to you and nobody else. Essentially, the security certificate is what allows you to put the S in HTTPS.

unlock

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, and its what allows users to access webpages. When you enter in http:// in front of your web address, it tells the browser to connect, fetch, and transfer the requested webpage.

 

lock

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, which uses an encrypted connection when transporting webpage data.

 

My Domain Ends in .libguides.com, .libcal.com, .libanswers.com, etc.

If your v2 system is on a Springshare-owned domain, you’re all set! These domains already have SSL/HTTPS support built-in. So you can update all links to / within your system to HTTPS links now. Learn more about enabling HTTPS for Springshare-owned domains.

Wait, I Have a Custom Domain (ends in .edu, .org, .co.nz, etc.)

If your v2 systems have custom domains (e.g., ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.university.edu), then you must obtain and install an SSL certificate in order to avoid warnings. There are two ways in which you can obtain an SSL certificate.

1. Work with Your Local IT Department

Connect with your IT colleagues to obtain an HTTPS certificate for each custom domain. You own your domain and thereby you own the certificate, too… just install it on our servers when it’s ready.

If – gasp – you ever decide to cancel any of your Springshare tools where you have an HTTPS certificate, you still own your certificate(s) and can move it/them to any other server.

2. Use Our Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificate

We’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt, an industry-leader, to provide free and automated security certificates… right inside your Springshare tool.

LibGuides Users

We’ll do all the hard-work by requesting and installing a free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate for you! Poof, magic! Plus, we’ll automatically renew your ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate. This way, you can spend less time chasing down certificates and more time doing the stuff you need to do. And, if your IT department is going to need a few months before they can get your custom certificate, your site can still be protected with ‘Let’s Encrypt’ in the meantime.

The only thing you need to do on your end is to update your custom domain to point to the secure server. Once you’re pointing to the secure server, we’ll automagically install your free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ security certificate. Check-out this FAQ outlining the secure endpoints for your CNAME record.

If at any point you want to upload your own custom certificate, simply follow these steps.

For LibAnswers/LibCal Users

The first thing you’ll need to do is update your CNAME record to the secure server endpoints. Then, contact our support team about requesting a ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate on your behalf. It’s still free, and you can replace it anytime with your own certificate, but we haven’t fully automated the process… yet!

So, You’ve Added a Security Certificate… What’s Next?

Kudos to you – you’ve taken a huge step in ensuring that your patrons’ experience a safe web experience. But, there’s still a few more things you need to do!

1. Update All Links to HTTPS

Most likely, you’re linking to your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal systems from a variety of websites like your Library homepage, on your blog, your Facebook page, etc.

It’s imperative that you update all references to these systems with the updated HTTPS link. There’s no point in doing all this work to make your Springy tools secure if you’re still pointing to the HTTP/unsecure URL.

Update links to Springy Tools to HTTPS

2. Update Embedded Widgets to HTTPS

Although your site is configured correctly to display over HTTPS, individual pages can still be considered unsecured if they contain content from HTTP sources (such as embedded videos, search widgets, etc.). To prevent this from happening, you will either need to change the content’s source URL to HTTPS, or remove the content from the page.

Be sure to check with your database vendors about getting HTTPS widget code.

We’ve made it as easy, and free, as possible for you to ensure a secure and trustworthy experience for your end users. So, c’mon folks – let’s make sure your Springshare sites are safe and ‘Let’s Encrypt’!

LibAnswers 2.17 – iFrame Chat is Here!

We have some exciting LibAnswers features to share, including a new chat option to make the patron chat experience seamless, even while browsing between pages!

iFrame Chat

Picture this: you’re in the middle of guiding a patron on how to use a particular resource and poof, the patron suddenly disappears. Odds are the patron has clicked on a new link in the page, navigating away from the page where the chat was embedded. Here at Springy HQ we’ve been giving a lot of thought to how this experience can be prevented, and in that spirit we’re thrilled to bring you the brand new iFrame Chat feature. Walking patrons through complicated research questions and database searches has never been easier!

Here’s how it works: Patrons will now see a new icon in the chat window to Launch iFrame Chat – when clicked, this will relaunch the page they’re currently viewing in an iFrame, with the current chat session overlaid on top. Patrons can browse to any URL in the underlying page (or any URL you share with them in Chat) – no matter where they go, the chat window remains overlaid on top. This greatly reduces the disappearing patron effect, and make it heaps easier to walk patrons through complicated web or database searches.

Once a patron launches iFrame chat, this is what they’ll see – the page they were viewing loads within a frame, with the chat window overlaid on top. Patrons can search, click links within the frame or in the chat window, etc. – the chat window remains floating on top of the frame:

Worried your patrons won’t discover this new feature on their own? Fear not – we’ve also included a new button in the chat operator window to Suggest iFrame Chat. This button sends a prompt to the patron to Launch iFrame Chat. You’ll see an in-chat notification when the patron switches into iFrame mode.

Good to know: some websites employ iFrame busting software, which causes the patron to see a blank white screen within the frame. If this happens, the patron can leave iFrame chat mode, either by returning to the first page they started from, or popping the chat window out of the frame.

Dashboard View & Ticket Improvements

Filterable ViewsViews are one of the unsung heroes of LibAnswers – they make it easy to customize the tickets you see on the dashboard, by filtering to just the queues, tags, owners, etc. you’re most interested in. Previously, when you switched to a particular view, the filters on the dashboard would disappear. Now, when you click on a view, the filters will continue to display, meaning you can use each view as a starting point and continue to refine your options. And to make views even handier, we’ve added a new “My Tickets” view to all views, so it’s easy to jump to just your new and pending tickets.

User History – In this release we’ve also made it a bit easier to see the full history of a conversation with a specific patron, right from the ticket answer page. We’ve updated the link so it’s easier to find, and we’ve improved the modal window that displays past ticket information, so it’s easier to see all open/pending/closed tickets from the same person at a glance.

New Typeahead Menu – We’ve revamped the formatting for the predictive search dropdown menu, shared by all search boxes throughout LibAnswers. The new menu is fully accessible/keyboard friendly, and we’ve added search term highlighting to the results, so it’s easy to spot how a result relates to a search query.

LibGuides Update: E-Reserves Item Search, Patron Login with LibAuth, LibAuth Setup Wizard, and a Ton More Updates!

E-Reserves Search

Check out this giant present for your holiday celebrations!

Or if you’re not into December holidays, Happy 2018 from Springy to you! 🙂

There are a ton of new features for you to explore in LibGuides this month.

Log into LibApps patron accounts with LibAuth

If you head over to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron accounts = and if you see accounts listed there, those users can now sign into Discussion Boards and Blog Comments using your local authentication layer (LDAP, CAS, AD, etc.).  If you don’t see any accounts listed there, good news, you can batch import! This way, your users can actively participate and comment in your LibGuides system using their trusted and known local authentication layer and without having to remember yet another login. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to create accounts via import, or to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts > Settings to enable self-registration.
  2. Set up your LibAuth configuration.
  3. Be sure to set the “Allow logging into LibApps using this authentication?” option at the bottom of the screen to “Yes.”

LibAuth Setup Wizard

If your institution is a member of the InCommon Federation or UK Federation, you can now set up a LibAuth connection in just a few clicks. Just choose your institution name from the setup drop-down, and we’ll create a configuration for you, pasting in your metadata URL and filling in machine-readable attributes. If you’re not a member of either federation, or you wish to use a different protocol outside federation setup, no problem! Just choose to set up a configuration manually. We continue to support SAML / Shibboleth / ADFS, CAS, SIP2, LDAP, and a self-hosted script of your own creation.

Let’s Encrypt support

We are pleased to announce support for free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. Similar to the certificates that we manage for Springy domains (e.g., libguides.com), these short-term certificates for your LibGuides domains will be installed and renewed by us at no cost or bother to you. Simply change your site’s domain to your desired custom domain, and we’ll do the rest!

Already have a custom domain? No problem! We’ll be requesting and installing Let’s Encrypt certificates for LibGuides custom domains  in the coming weeks. If you prefer to upload your own SSL certificate, you can still do that, no problem! Sites that have already uploaded their own certificates will not be changed, although you are welcome to switch from your own certificate to Let’s Encrypt. Please contact support to get started: support@springshare.com.

Let’s Encrypt certificates are currently only available for LibGuides sites with custom domains but will be coming to LibAnswers and LibCal custom domain sites in the near future.

As always, we manage the SSL certificates for your LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibInsight sites.

E-Reserves item search

Now you can provide a deeper search of your e-reserves content! Go into E-Reserves > Settings > Search and enable item search to see new tabbed search results on your E-Reserves pages that includes all E-Reserves items. Search results include courses like they always have, but item search retrieves documents that are not assigned to a course as well as those that are. Visibility dates and access rules (passwords) for courses and items are also enforced.  The new enhanced display also shows you which Subjects courses are assigned to.

If you don’t want item level search, just head to E-Reserves > Settings > Search to disable the item level search.

Screenshot of e-reserves item search results

E-Reserves page URLs are “savable”

Want to send a link to your e-reserves courses by Instructor? By Subject? Now you can! Any URL that you navigate to on your public e-reserves pages is now savable and shareable. Bonus: this extends to search results, too! You can create a search retrieving exactly the desired subset of courses and documents and forward that on to the appropriate audience. Pssst, we heard you! We’ll be making this change for the LibGuides system and group home pages in a release coming up in a few short weeks.

AZ fixes and features

There are two new filters on the A-Z Databases management page: Asset Owner and Last Updated date. Use these to search for a subset of databases maintained by a certain person, or to make sure that updates have been done timely.

Screenshot of new filters on the AZ management page

Additional AZ Fixes and Features

  • Login credential updates save correctly
  • Column filters on AZ settings page work correctly
  • Counts of popular databases are correct on the Analyze Holdings page
  • Internal notes with quotation marks save correctly

Accessibility fixes

  • Added missing labels on public blog pages
  • Reference to non-existant imagemap removed
  • ALT text for Books from the Catalog

…and Even More Small Fixes!

  • Added a link back to domains page from certificate upload page
  • Image manager: replacing an image with a new image works correctly
  • Databases without a URL show properly as plain text in a guide
  • Guide Blog page RSS feed works if your site is forced to HTTPS
  • Accounts page: account type filter works correctly
  • Search:
    • EBSCO Discovery Service search results pagination works correctly
    • Punctuation inEBSCO Discovery Service search results works correctly
  • The default template for individual subject page is editable when E-Reserves module is enabled
  • Link checker
    • Exclusion list URLs with special characters filter correctly
    • All proxied assets are skipped
  • Blog widgets: new option to display post dates
  • Blog widgets display correctly for posts with more than one subject
  • Statistics: Content Summary visible when E-Reserves module is disabled
  • Updating single database asset with the API works correctly

And last but not least: we disabled the “Create Guide” button after you click on it once, so that it’s no longer possible to accidentally create more than one guide. 🙂

 

LibCal 2.12 – Hours Module Improvements and More now Live!

LibCal Hours Exceptions System-wide

We’ve been busy beavers here at Springy HQ, and we have several fun new features to share!

We’re making the hours module easier to manage and rolling out several great quality of life features, just in time for the holidays!

Hours Module Improvements

  • New Daily Hours Widget – We’ve added a new widget to the hours module to make sharing your open hours a breeze! The new Daily Hours Widget displays your library’s hours in a simple grid, and includes quick links to jump to the next day’s hours. To check out the new widget, head to Admin > Hours > Widgets > Daily Hours.
  • Universal Exceptions – We know how time consuming it can be to enter exceptions for each library and department that you manage in the Hours Module, so we’re making things easier! Now, when you create an exception for one department/library, you can choose to apply that exception either to all departments within a library, or all libraries and departments – no more duplication! Head to Admin > Hours > Exceptions and look for the new “Copy To” option.
  • Copy Hours Template – Another improvement aimed at simplifying hours management, you’ll now see an option to Copy Hours Template, instead of creating each hours template from scratch. This should make life much easier when you just have minor modifications to make to an existing template. Head to Admin > Hours > Weekly Templates to see the new option.

New in Equipment and Spaces

  • Email Digest for Mediated Bookings – We’ve added a new email digest to alert you when there are pending Equipment or Space reservations that are waiting on mediation. These emails are a “digest” of all pending requests, and are sent once an hour to all named mediators, ie those with approve/deny rights. Even better, we’re also including quick approve/deny links right in the email text, so mediators can approve/deny these requests right from their inbox! It’s a super handy way to make managing mediated Equipment & Space bookings a snap.
  • Email Notification for Admin Cancelled Bookings – If for some reason you need to cancel a patron’s existing equipment or space reservation, you’ll now see an option to send an email alert to that patron and alert them of the change.
  • Setting: User Must Cancel By: We’ve added a setting in Spaces to control when a user must give up their reservation. This is particularly handy if you have cagey students who try to get around any booking limits you may have in place by canceling their booking just before it’s set to end. To enable this setting, head to Edit Space Category > Booking Limits.
  • Setting: Limit to X number of reservations at one time –  We’ve also added a new limiter to control how many reservations a user can have at one time. This works similarly to our existing limiters but isn’t limited by time – so instead of only being able to have x number of reservations in a week, they can only have x number of upcoming registrations at one time. For your patron, this means that as soon as an existing reservation ends, they’ll then be able to create a new reservation. To enable this setting, head to Edit Space Category > Booking Limits.

Additional Improvements

  • Optimized Explorer Pages – We discovered that running reports in the Spaces and Event Explorers could take a very long time to load, so we optimized things – now running reports in the Explorer pages should be zippy!
  • Time Pickers Default to Hour-on-the-Hour – We’ve updated all of the time pickers throughout the system to default to hours on the hour. Ex say your event starts at 3pm, and you’re creating the event at 2:14pm – previously when you clicked on “3” in the time picker, the start time was entered as 3:14pm, and you had to go back and click “00” to get the event started on the hour. Now when you select a time, we’ll default to each hour on the hour, so you won’t need to explicitly click “00” to have an event start on the hour.
  • Export all Event Registration Info – For you data lovers out there, you can now export all event registration info for multiple events at one time! To see this in action, head to any Calendar’s Event Explorer page; limit your search to a specific booking form and make sure “Show Registration Responses” is set to Yes, then run the report and select Export. The resulting excel file will include registration info for each event registrant, including booking form responses!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #3: Is Your Library Holi’Ready?

Avoid Holiday Stress

A big part of holiday planning is knowing where to be, and when. You’ve got dinner plans at your friend Tina’s house on the 24th at 6pm and latkes at your cousin Tim’s abode on the last day of Hannukkah. Coordinating all of those invitations and appearances requires a lot of planning and forethought. Will the train be packed at 5pm causing you to be late? Should you take 95N instead of 93N so you can swing by your favorite wine shop for a hostess gift? Can you fit your workplace New Year’s Eve party AND your family’s party on the same night?

Planning, Planning, Planning. Stress, Stress, Stress.

And just imagine, your library guests are under the same amount of pressure as you – plus they’re trying to find time to swing by the library as well! Maybe they’re trying to pick up some light reads to enjoy during the break, or studying for exams, or even attending your super awesome’sauce events! Whatever their reason for swinging by, you want to make sure you’re alleviating and not adding to their stress.

So the question is, is your library Holi’Ready?

Tip #3: Getting Your Library Holi’Ready

Getting your library Holi’ready doesn’t mean elaborate decorations, traveling snack-carts, or tons of holiday events. Good on you if you are (seriously, awesome job!), but even the smallest things can have a big impact and help to reduce the stress your library guests are already under.

Are Your Holiday Hours…. Everywhere?

LibCal-Hours

LibCal Hours Module: Today’s Hours Widget.

Your library hours are probably available on a hundred different webpages. And if you’re updating them to reflect your special holiday schedule, there’s a good chance you’ll miss a few places. And inevitably, a library patron will find that one webpage where the hours haven’t been updated and they’ll show up at your doors at 9pm – well past closed. They’re going to be peeved, upset, and frustrated.

And rightfully so! Most likely, their entire day is planned down to the minute – so if they found a webpage that says you’re going to be open, and then you’re not, that throws their entire day (and probably subsequent days) into the lurch.

A great way to ensure that you’re updating all your webpages to reflect your current library hours is to use the LibCal Hours ModuleThe Hours module let’s you define your standard hours, special holiday hours, and even one-off exceptions like “Aaaccck, we have to close early because a Snowa’caine is coming!”. Simply define all your hours, for all future dates and then grab an hours widget and embed that widget into those aforementioned webpages. As your hours update, day-by-day, the hours module will automagically update.

Say goodbye to outdated webpages showing inaccurate hours and say hello to happy patrons!

Text ‘Holidays’ to Get Library-Related Information

Back in 2011, about 73% of American adults and nearly almost all young adults (95%) send and receive text-messages according to a Pew Research Report. Fast-forward 6 years, and those numbers can only have increased. In fact, Forbes reported in 2015 that Millennials text more and talk less because they see phone calls “as overly intrusive, even presumptuous”.

Bottomline, if they want to communicate with your library – they’d prefer to do it as efficiently as possible and preferably over text-message.

If your library is using LibAnswers, be sure to take advantage of SMS Automatic Keywords. This way, your patrons can text a keyword, like ‘Holiday’, to your library’s SMS number and receive an auto-response with all the relevant information. Navigate to Admin > Queues > Select Your Queue > SMS Tab > SMS Automatic Keywords to set those up.

It’s fast and easy for them, and no staff monitoring of your library’s SMS service to boot. This 2010 interview with Johnson & Wales University Providence shows how their using SMS keywords in the library – it’s an oldie, but goodie!

Be sure to advertise your keywords inside the library and on your webpages too.

Pro-Tip: Update the automatic response periodically to entice your users to text again, and again – always getting new information with each one.

LibAnswers SMS Automatic Responses: Each Keyword gets up to two auto-responses = 300 characters.

Do Librarians Know All Relevant Holiday Information?

If you’re anything like most Americans, you suffer from inbox fatigue. You’re inundated with emails – whether it’s newsletters, marketing emails, SPAM, or internal communication that could have been done f2f, your inbox is exploding. In fact, 205 billion emails are sent every day. Yup, that’s billion…. with a B. 

Can you remember the last time you achieved inbox zero? For some folks, that day is yet to come.

So, if you’re trying to communicate important holiday information – try and give your colleagues a break and take it outside of email. Getting your library Holi’ready means getting your staff ready too.

1. Use Your Admin Alert Boxes!

Inside your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibStaffer tools – you have access to an Admin Alert box. Head over to Admin > Admin Alert Box or System-Settings (depending on the tool).

This way, your colleagues can see custom alerts letting them know about important holiday information like hours, food drives, events, etc.

LibAnswers Admin Alert Box right on the Dashboard.

 

2. Discussion Boards in LibGuides (CMS Only)

For LibGuides CMS users, you have access to an internal discussion board. This is great for housing and storing internal discussions related to this holiday season – such as staffing schedules, holiday staff parties, and what types of events to throw at the library.

LibGuides CMS discussion boards are searchable and can be keyword tagged for sorting/filtering. So if you’re trying to remember, “What were our holiday hours last year?” you can simply login, filter on your keyword ‘Holiday’ and see the entire discussion thread and final resolution.

Remember, email was never intended to be a permanent archive – so if you’ve got saved emails in your inbox from 2008, it might be time to consider an alternative approach. 😛

LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards to Create an Internal/Searchable Staff Intranet

 

If you have any additional suggestions for getting your library holi’ready, comment below!

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing tips’! Hopefully you enjoyed Tips #1 and #2 and tune in next year when we do it again!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!