Archive for November 18, 2009

Updates Regarding the Support Form

Several LibGuides users have had questions about our support form recently, specifically asking who receives the emails when a user clicks the “report a tech support issue” link at the bottom of a LibGuides page.  Since this question was becoming fairly common, we figured it would be a good idea to post a reminder on the support blog about how the form is configured.

If the visitor selects the first option on the form – “I am a student or library patron in need of assistance from the library” – the question is sent directly to the primary administative email for your LibGuide site. In most cases, this will be the email address of the first account holder in your LibGuides system, although that can be changed to point to another user or distribution list as needed.

If the visitor selects the second option – “I am a librarian or LibGuides account holder in need of technical support” – the email is sent to the Springshare support account, as well as the primary admin for the site.  This is the preferred way for librarians and administrators to request help from Springshare, but users are also welcome to email us directly or call our tech support line as well.  We have also added the Springshare support email address to the support form itself, just in case a user is unable to use the form or would prefer to send a direct email.

On a related note, we have found that some messages submitted via the support form over the last week may not have been delivered properly.  If you had submitted a support request recently, and have not yet received a response from our support team, please resend your question to and we will respond to your question as soon as possible.

New QuerySpy Statistics Reports in LibAnswers

The QuerySpy feature is probably the unsung hero of the LibAnswers system. It enables you to see the question/query activity in your system, i.e. what people  are typing and searching for, in real time.

Seeing the QuerySpy in action reveals its amazing benefit. Many clients tell us the QuerySpy feature itself is worth the whole price of LibAnswers. After all, knowing what questions people don’t submit and what they are searching for is just as important as the questions they do submit, because then you can have the full picture about the information your visitors want to know, and add those missing questions/answers to the knowledge base. This way, future visitors will be able to find this information and your LibAnswers knowledge base will be that much better and more targeted. This is the main point of LibAnswers – for everybody to benefit from knowing answers and information which was previously asked/searched for in LibAnswers.

Today we are announcing even more query analysis tools – the full Query Spy Statistics Reports. Under the Statistics tab select “Query Spy Statistics” to see the new reports. Now you can see the breakdown of queries by month, as well as the daily and hourly query distribution. This information tells you when your system is being used the most, in addition to knowing exactly how many queries were entered every month, and how many were successful (direct matches), unsuccessful (the information was not found), and also how many queries resulted in question submissions.

Here is the sampling of the new reports:

Monthly Breakdown of Queries

Monthly Breakdown of Queries

Daily Distribution of Queries

Daily Distribution of Queries

Hourly Distribution of Queries

Hourly Distribution of Queries

For those of you who do not have LibAnswers yet, but want to see the new QuerySpy features in action, send us an email to and we will create an admin account for you on our live trial/demo system at

New Statistics Reports in LibAnswers

We have retooled our LibAnswers statistics pages which now include a new layout and beautiful, interactive flash-based charts. We also added a few new reports which provide even better insight into how and when your LibAnswers system is being used. Here are all the new features/reports:

  1. General System Report (accessible via Admin Console -> Statistics Tab -> General System Report.)
    It shows  the breakdown of questions by the source, total number of views for all questions, and the number of queries performed. There is also the Community Ranking figure, i.e. how your system stacks up against other LibAnswers sites.
  2. Query Analysis Chat (accessible via Admin Console -> Statistics Tab -> General System Report.)
    Graphical (and numeric) representation of the breakdown of queries – how many queries (and what percentage) were successful queries (people find the answer they needed) vs how many did not find the answer they were looking for.
  3. Monthly Question Count(accessible via Admin Console -> Statistics Tab ->Monthly/Daily/Hourly Statistics.)
    Number of questions submitted and answered by month. Available in numerical representation and as a cool bar chart.
  4. Daily/Hourly Question Distributions(accessible via Admin Console -> Statistics Tab ->Monthly/Daily/Hourly Statistics.)
    Graphical representation of the daily and hourly distribution of questions, i.e. you can  see on what days (and at which hours) do people ask most questions. Really neat and useful tool which will help with staffing scheduling decisions.

For those of you who do not have LibAnswers yet (what are you waiting for, lol?) you can see the new charts in action in our screenshot tour of the Statistics package, which is available at (click on the “take the screenshot tour” graphic). You will be impressed.

Last but not least, in the next few weeks we are going to unveil the first optional module for LibAnswers – Reference Analytics module. The module will enable you to keep track of *all* reference statistics in LibAnswers, i.e. not just web-based reference but also Live Reference, Telephone, Email, IM, Sms, etc. You will be able to create your own categories and fields for record keeping, and then record and keep track of any reference transaction from within LibAnswers system. Optionally, the transactions can be included into the LibAnswers knowledgebase, to be searchable by patrons. Best of all, you will be able to create all kinds of useful, beautiful, and interactive reports and charts on your reference service usage patterns,  giving you an unprecedented statistical and analytical insight into your online vs. offline reference. In short, it’s going to be awesome. 😉

As always, thanks very much for your feedback, input, and feature suggestions. Keep it up!

Major LibGuides/CampusGuides update

Last night we updated our production servers with the new code for LibGuides/Campusguides, that we’ve been working on for the past few months. This was a major code update and it fixed all outstanding bugs, in addition to introducing several important new features:

  1. Better (much better) full-text search capability with real relevance-based ranking and search syntax highlighting. In other words, when you perform a search in your system and jump to any of the guides which are listed as search results, the search string will be highlighted on the page. Yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds 😉 For example, check out and note the search term highlighted in yellow.
  2. The ability to search within a guide only. Yes, it’s here – finally!
  3. Search-and-replace function for admins (when updating many links at once) can now be case-sensitive, if chosen.
  4. Several new API functions and performance improvement in API in general (all API functions can be found under the “Widgets & API” tab on the Admin screen.
  5. Support for using Syndetics images for book covers in the “Books from the Catalog” option, if your library already subscribes to the Syndetics service.

The features above are available for both LibGuides and CampusGuides (or CommunityGuides, for our non-higher ed clients). We also added several CampusGuides/CommunityGuides – specific new features.

  1. Added IP-based authentication rules. Now you can limit access to the whole system, or to certain Groups, or to individual guides, based on IP addresses for the visitors. This is a major, major new feature for CampusGuides.
  2. Added user-based authentication. At the option of the system administrator, access to the entire system can be limited to users who have an account. In other words, to access anything you would have to have an account in CampusGuides. This is an ideal situation for staff-only or intranet-based usage scenarios, where only people who have an account in the system should be able to access content. Another major new functionality for the system.
  3. We added Group homepage links to the main CampusGuides homepage.

As always, we’d like to thank our Community for the great ideas – most of the new features in our systems come as a direct result of customer input and suggestions. So, keep up the good work, and we’ll do our part to make these into reality. We’re here if any questions pop up –

Monthly LibGuides Stats – October 2009

Community Sites: 952
Librarian Accounts: 16,083
Total Guides: 61,643
Total Pages: 389,578
Unique Visitors: 1.20 million
Page Views: 34.20 million