Archive for December 28, 2009

Using Syndetics Book Covers in LibGuides

We are very excited to announce a partnership with Syndetics Solutions, to enable you to use Syndetics book covers in LibGuides “Books from the Catalog” content boxes. You do not have to be a Syndetics subscriber to use this new functionality. We are thankful to our friends at Syndetics for working with us to make this a core LibGuides feature.

As an added bonus, if utilizing Syndetics book covers you can also select the size of the book cover image to use (small/medium/large).

Besides book covers, Syndetics offers a whole range of high quality content to enhance library online catalogs, so you should check out their offerings – Your catalog will spring to life, and your patrons will love it!

As always, we are here if any questions pop up –

New LibAnswers Report Helps with Reference Staffing

We have added another statistics report to the already sizable Reference Analytics module functionality – the “Daily/Hourly Question Distribution” table. The report is available from the “Reference Statistics” and “Reports Wizard” screens in the Reference Analytics Tab.

Daily/Hourly Question Distribution

The report shows the number of questions asked each hour, for all Mondays, all Tuesdays, all Wednesdays, etc. during a specified time period. Since the daily reference patterns can vary greatly depending on the days of the week, this report is really helpful in determining what are the busy periods for reference, so that you can staff accordingly.

With this new report in the LibAnswers Analytics module you can even get the daily/hourly distributions at specific reference service points, i.e. at any number of service points you define in the Analytics module.

If you think of any other reports ideas for the Analytics module, please do let us know. Props to Susan @ LMU for giving us the idea for this report.

1500+ Questions Answered via LibAnswers Already

We were going to celebrate the 1000-th question answered via LibAnswers, but before we could say “cheese”, we realized this number already stands at 1547. Wow! Given that the system was released only recently, this speaks volumes about how popular and useful the system is going to be, and how easy it is for patrons to submit their questions and get timely responses from librarians. They’ve already done it 1547 times in the past couple of months.

So, thank you to all the early adopters of LibAnswers, keep up the good work! To everyone else – come join the party. To see why LibAnswers is the next big thing in Online Reference, check out our brief intro video at and then also take a look at the Analytics module.

Introducing LibAnswers Analytics (Beta)

Since we introduced LibAnswers at the Chicago ALA, pretty much everybody who has seen the system has been blown away (in a good way 😉 ).  LibAnswers is the new, web 2.0 approach to online reference. Patrons can ask questions using natural language and the system will automatically suggest answers, the knowlege base can be queried and the questions can be asked from anywhere via widgets (i.e. from any web page, from courseware systems, from any blog, even from Twitter). The patron is notified via email when their submitted question has been answered. Librarians can embed videos and attach documents to answers. People can comment and improve answers. The statistics reports give a real-time insight into what questions are being asked (the super-awesome QuerySpy) etc. In short, the list of jaw-dropping features is impressive, and the positive buzz is well deserved.

But, what if you could combine LibAnswers web reference with other means of reference (in person, telephone, IM, sms, etc)? What if you could get an in-depth insight into the overall reference usage patterns and the types of questions being asked across all your reference service points? What if you could build a knowledge base of *all* reference transactions, regardless of the method or where the questions are asked? What if, with just a few clicks, you can see how many questions were asked by undergraduates at the Information Commons area in October? Or, How many questions were asked by faculty, for equipment request, during the last semester? How many Catalog Help questions were asked at the Reference Desk? How many questions are asked on weekends? At 8pm on weekdays? What if you could not only know how many questions were asked for any given set of parameters, but also see *what the questions were*?

And, what if all this was available in one easy to use, affordable, web based system which unifies all your online and off-line reference? You know where we’re going with this…  Santa’s been good to you this year… because all this is now possible with LibAnswers Analytics. Yes, Virginia, LibAnswers can now be your one-stop-shop for all reference statistics, complete reference knowledge base, analytics reports, and more. A whole lot more!

We have prepared a LibGuide (what else?) describing the new LibAnswers Analytics module in detail, so please jump to and check it out. Then, log on to your LibAnswers system, click on the Analytics tab and prepare to be impressed. We should mention that this is the Beta release of the Analytics module so if you encounter a bump or two please let us know and we’ll take care of it asap.

The module will be available for licensing to all our existing and future LibAnswers clients starting in January. As always, we are eager to incorporate your feedback and make the Analytics module even more powerful, so let us know what you think –

Monthly LibGuides Stats – November 2009

What library will have the honor of being LibGuides member #1000?  Stay tuned for an announcement coming in the next few days!

Community Sites: 995
Librarian Accounts: 16,669
Total Guides: 64,500
Total Pages: 400,208
Unique Visitors: 1.18 million
Page Views: 30.10 million