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August 2010 Code Update

July and August are (we’re told) the “Dog Days” of summer – apparently for some, the heat and humidity of the season is supposed to cause stagnation and inactivity. Frankly, we think it’s a bunch of hooey – librarians are as busy as ever, and so are we! So while some folks are out there are wasting afternoons on front porches, sipping iced tea and fanning sweat from their brows, we’ve spent our “summer vacation” thinking up some really cool new features. Hold on to your wide-brimmed hats and prepare to be blown away!

To start off with a bang, we have two exciting additions to CampusGuides/CommunityGuides to annouce:

  • Our Assessment Tool is ready for prime-time! You can now integrate surveys and quizzes directly into your guides – collect formal feedback from your users about your programs and services, website, guides, or… anything else you can think of – and get tallied reports on user responses right in the system! As an added bonus, any survey created in Campus/CommunityGuides can be linked anywhere outside of the system – just embed the unique survey URL and get instant feedback from your users from anywhere! Best of all, the assessment tool comes standard for all Campus/CommunityGuides systems!
  • Academic Libraries will freak out about our new E-Reserves module! This optional module allows you to securely integrate reserve materials directly into your CampusGuides system, and will allow your students to access reserve materials right alongside your course and research guides. This module truly makes CampusGuides a one-stop-shop for all library-related research needs – and did we mention that the E-Reserves module costs orders of magnitude less than your current e-reserve solution? It’s true – ask us, and you’ll see for yourself!

We’ve also got quite a few upgrades and changes to the existing LibGuides/CampusGuides interface:

  • Resource Icons – This new functionality integrates custom icons alongside your database/resource links (without having to hack your links with img tags). You can create a standard set of “meaningful” icons and easily deploy them across your resources. Create icons to represent trial databases, offsite/home-accessible resources, recommended resources, or any other info you want to convey to your users, and integrate them with your database links through a simple check-box!
  • A-Z database import tool (for Serials Solutions clients) – We’ve added new options to the import tool – now, you can “check-all”, “uncheck-all”, and “restore defaults”. We’ve also updated the tool and made it easier to maintain any custom database descriptions you create in LibGuides – now, blank descriptions in SS won’t overwrite descriptions in LG, and you can use our new checkbox option to prevent description updates in subsequent imports.
  • Librarian Profiles have seen a number of upgrades, including an improved layout to the profile page, a new “LinkedIn” field, and better CSS customization options
  • The API now offers more layout control on subject links, and options to return guides sorted by popularity or publication date
  • We’ve updated the Rich Text Editor to a more recent version of TinyMCE, which should fix the issue of stripped FORM tags when using IE

LibAnswers has also received a number of improvements:

  • Statistics including segmentation between private and staff-entered questions, and now offer statistics on questions transferred between systems
  • Export (to excel/CSV format) is available for data in the Reports Wizard / Knowledge Base Explorer
  • Filtering options – the “words” filter in the “My Home” tabs now search the answer as well as the question. You’ll also see new pagination links on many administrative pages
  • Email notification options – you can now send system emails via SMTP, and librarians can create unique email signatures through their LibAnswers profile. Librarians can also create an “Address Book” for storing non-account holder emails
  • New LibAnswers users can login via their LibGuides account, which will automatically generate a LibAnswers account

Frankly, there are too many things to tell you about in just one blog post – so if you want more information, grab an iced beverage and check out this month’s edition of Springy News!

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