The LibGuides 2.1.12 update has rolled out, and we have several big updates aimed at helping you unify the user experience across Springshare’s tools! Our huge new LTI update is now available for LibGuides CMS clients – it’s ready to help you deploy targeted guide and help content across hundreds of courseware pages, all from a central and easy to use interface. Our Unified Search has also rolled out and is available to all clients, so you can present search results from across your Springshare tools, plus integrate search results from 3rd party sources like your library catalog and discovery service. We’re stoked to see how folks use these new tools in the wild, so enough with the small talk – on to the updates!
We’ve revamped our LTI tool so that you can offer tailored subject-specific resources inside courseware pages across hundreds or thousands of courses. Use the new LTI tool to deliver a customized library landing page displaying subject-specific LibGuides, Databases, E-Reserves, and subject-expert librarians right inside your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, or any LTI-compliant LMS platform.
Take it one step further, and integrate point-of-need help with LibChat and LibAnswers FAQs. And then knock it out of the park with the ability for students reserve study rooms and book consultations with librarians using LibCal integration. All of this, with full usage statistics, on one scalable, customized, auto-generated Library Resources page inside your LMS. LibApps admins can head to LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder to see all the new LTI features!
Curious how this works? Check out a great video that explains all of the new functionality!
Our new search interface options are now available in both LibGuides and LibAnswers, and can show a unified search results view . You can also include search results from any 3rd party source – such as your library catalog, individual databases, etc. – any resource that offers an open search API can be integrated directly in your LibGuides and LibAnswers system!
Even better, you’ll be able to select from multiple layout options for this search. Choose whether to show search results from multiple sources either in multiple tabs on the search results page (1 tab per resource), or use a bento search display, where results from each source are displayed in an individual box on a single page. We’re confident these new options will revolutionize the way users search your Springshare resources – and best of all, all of these great new search features are included as a standard part of every LibGuides and LibAnswers subscription!
Setting Up Unified Search
LibApps admins can configure their search settings and integrate 3rd-party tools by going to LibApps > Admin > Manage Search Sources. We’ve automatically added all of your Springshare apps, including LibGuides, LibAnswers, your A-Z list of databases, and even LibCal events; use the Manage Search Sources page to customize the title and description of each of these resources. You can even control the relative search weight of fields within each of these resources, ex for your A-Z resources, you can assign a higher “weight” to your Best Bet resources so they appear earlier in the list.
Plus, use the new Manage Search Sources tool to configure custom search sources. Any resource that offers an open search API is fair game, and anyone familiar with using these APIs will be able to set up custom search results from your library catalog, discovery sources such as EBSCO EDS, and many more! Select your source type, fill in the required fields, and voilà: your unified search is configured. Use our on-screen help language to walk you through the process and remember to consult with your library IT department for information on 3rd-party APIs.
Once you’ve configured your search sources, head to the Search Template customization area to set up your new custom search page! In LibGuides, admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Page Layout > Search; in LibAnswers, head to Admin > FAQ Groups > Edit Group Settings > Pages > Search Page.
SEARCH PAGE TEMPLATE CHANGE
If you’ve created a custom template and want to take advantage of this new functionality, you’ll need to make a quick update to your template code.
|Change this:||To this:|
|<div id=”s-lg-srch-cols” class=”row”>
<div id=”col1″ class=”col-md-4 center”>
<div id=”col2″ class=”col-md-8 center”>
|<div id=”s-lg-srch-cols” class=”row”>
A-Z Search Improvements
While your A-Z search results page won’t look any different on the outside, we’ve rolled out some great under the hood features to improve the results returned. Our new search engine will address many frequently requested improvements to the A-Z database search results, including:
- Increased field indexing – We now index more Database fields, including Subjects, Database Types, Vendors/Providers, and the More Information field.
- Custom field weighting – Thanks to the new search customization options available to LibApps admins in LibApps > Admin > Manage Search Sources, you can now customize the search weights of different fields for even better results.
- Improved wildcard searching – Search terms will no longer need to occur in the precise order entered to retrieve results – a search for the phrase “ebook mobile” will now return results that include “Mobile friendly ebooks”, etc. Plus, a search for agr* or agr will now return results for agriculture, agricultural, etc.
- Support AND/OR search – Include AND or OR in your search phrases, and LibGuides will handle the terms accordingly.
This is looking great, but I can’t find the documentation for defining my custom search sources. In particular, the Item Template info button says to click help for information on the template mustache codes, but doing so only goes to the Springshare Support home page.
When will this documentation be provided, please (or is it just somewhere else)?
Hi, Mike! Documentation is coming early next week for search, including the template information. Apologies for the delay; we’ll publish is as soon as we can. -Cindi
Hey Springshare, love the work your doing with this update, the unified search is great and the custom display is even better! it will be in our Scotch libguides very soon!
The unified search feature is an exciting development, although I suspect I will encounter a steep learning curve implementing external searches such as EbscoHost and Proquest. We can’t afford Summon or EDS at the moment, so I was going to cobble something together using VuFind, but this looks like a better option!
Anyone tried to add Proquest Summon? Not familiar with the item template parameter, so looking for anyone who might have advice.
Hi, Ken! If you haven’t already, I would recommend asking this question in the Springshare Lounge, our social network for Springy clients. The academic library group is very active. Good luck! 🙂
Any update on the documentation for Unified Search?
Hi Shane – I just checked in with our documentation folks and they’re anticipating it will be ready this week. Thanks for following up!
Thanks Sarah, I’ll look forward to it.
For anyone looking for the Unified Search documentation: http://support.springshare.com/libapps/search