We are very excited to announce a brand-new release of LibAnswers system with tons of new features and improved functionality. The updates went out this past weekend so everything is live already. Here is the rundown of the new stuff:
- LibAnalytics. We introduced a new product called LibAnalytics, which borrows from the functionality of the current Reference Analytics module. This is for libraries who require the statistics functionality of the Analytics module but do not need the rest of the LibAnswers system (public q/a, the ability for patrons to ask questions, etc). In LibAnalytics, libraries can define multiple analytics instances – each instance can track up to 10 metadata fields with up to 30 values per field. You can track anything you want with LibAnalytics, i.e. it is not just limited to reference. So, track and analyze away! 🙂 Please contact us if you would like more information on LibAnalytics.
- The Reference Analytics module has been expanded to support additional instances as well (just like the LibAnalytics product but this is integrated into LibAnswers). Now the Reference Analytics clients can define multiple analytics instances (i.e. if you’d like to track statistics at the circulation desk, info literacy sessions statistics, or media desk, etc – you can track anything you’d like). Contact us if you’d like more information on the expanded Reference Analytics module.
- The “More Ways to Contact Us” box now has icons/options for phone contact and email contact (previously it only had twitter/sms contact icons). With this enhancement your patrons can easily note how to contact you via the phone or email.
- Private questions can now have replies. Emailed answers include a link for the recipient where they can comment/leave a reply to the answer. These replies/conversations are threaded in the View/edit private answer page.
- It is now possible to “close” a question without sending an answer.
- Linked answers! They are here, at last! When answering a public question you can “link” to an existing answer, so any changes to the original entry will automatically be propagated to all “linked” answers (it works just like linked pages/linked boxes in LibGuides).
- Added privacy/access control options. Now you can put your entire system behind an IP access/address range, or you can password-protect access to the entire system. There is also a new option to disallow search engine indexing.
- Improved QuerySpy interface. QuerySpy is the unsung hero of LibAnswers – people love it and for a good reason. Now it’s easier to use – you can delete entries from the grid, set date range filters, export data to excel, etc. Check it out – it’s cool!
- Improved “Comments” for q/a pairs. Comments can now be edited directly from the admin interface. Logged in users’ comments are approved automatically, and you can automatically send an email to the original questioner, with the text of the comment.
- “Change Topic” dropdown now appears on the homepage, to enable visitors to easily browse the list of topics.
- “Featured Questions” box on the homepage – now you can customize which questions will appear on the homepage (this works just like the featured guides box in LibGuides).
- Improved mobile interface – you can now set the default text inside the “Ask us” box in the mobile interface.
- The “success” message on the question form submission page is now fully customizable.
- Emailed answers now explicitly note if there is multimedia (videos, or attached files) associated with the answer, and point the email recipient to the anchored page where they can view this multimedia.
- To see other questions from the same email address you can click on the email address in the “Unanswered” tab or click the link next to the email in the answer/edit page for the individual answer.
- Link checker! Yes, you read it correctly, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Link checker is now available in LibAnswers, too – it will periodically (twice a month) check the validity of links you included as part of your answers.
Phew, that’s a lot of new stuff, so check it out when you get a chance and, as always, please let us know what you think. Thanks to everybody who contributed their ideas, comments, suggestions, testing, and blood sweat and tears which went into developing this awesome new LibAnswers release.