Archive for June 20, 2018

Days with Beignets! Springshare is jazzed about ALA 2018 in NOLA

Forget the mumbo jumbo… we’re all about the mumbo gumbo in New Orleans — June 21-26 where ALA Annual 2018 brings librarians to The Big Easy. Before you get too wrapped up in the excitement, make a note that Springshare will be in Booth 3920. Come by, say hello, and check out our brilliant Flash Presentations given by us and… “bayou.” We’re thrilled about our guest speakers and can’t wait for you to see how they use our tools in their libraries.

If coming to NOLA is not in the tarot cards for you this year, you can still catch the Flashes on Facebook Live as we will be recording the guest sessions. Make your way to the Springshare Facebook Page at the scheduled local New Orleans time and it will be like you were there. In fact, you can even ask questions in the comments section. We’ll be sure to get those over to the speaker so we can get you your answers.

BiblioEvents and Springshare Integration Demo

Back by popular demand, we have teamed up with the BiblioCommons folks to show the special integration between LibCal spaces booking and BiblioEvents. Curious? Come to Booth 3920 and see exactly how it works.

Product Flash Presentations

Guest Presentations

We know you’ll be out catching beads in the French Quarter! Make sure to catch these inspiring presentations, too. Springshare clients will take the stage and share the innovative ways they’ve been using our solutions in their institutions. It’s always amazing to see how a different use can come into the world and how imagination and fearless librarians can push tools beyond even our original vision. Don’t forget, we will be recording all the guest presentations live on our Facebook page.

Friday, June 22: View Entire Day’s Schedule

 

Kelly Wilson

Rachel Hooper

Troy Univ. Library: LibGuides Outside the Classroom

6:00pm-6:15pm

The Troy University Librarians use LibGuides to help train library student workers, provide access to Government Documents, and help professors for specific classes by using both bibliographic and subject-specific styles. This presentation will showcase the various ways Troy University has utilized LibGuides as well as ways we intend to use them in the future.

 
 

Ashley Creek

Ashley Creek

Univ. of Saint Mary: Active Learning in the Library

6:30pm-6:45pm

As part of our campus active learning initiative, the library now checks out equipment for audiovisual projects using the LibCal Equipment Manager. In order to provide training and support for both students and faculty, the Emerging Technologies Librarian also creates tutorials, technology overviews, and customized project instructions using LibGuides. By combining the two platforms, students are supported from project assignment to completion, and faculty can collaborate with librarians to develop projects, assessment tools, and experiment with flipped classroom and other learning technologies.
  

Saturday, June 23: View Entire Day’s Schedule

 

Mary Weppler

San Joaquin Delta College: Adding Emaze to LibGuides

9:30am-9:45am

This LibGuide presentation covers how to incorporate a virtual environment into your LibGuide. When used effectively within the LibGuide homepage, Emaze presentations can provide a visually engaging user experience, one that may enhance and reiterate the content within the LibGuide.

 

 

Lisa Campbell

Univ. of Florida: LibGuides Remix

12:00pm-12:15pm

Learn how Lisa remixed their LibGuide with LibWizard (and other cool embedded tools) to coordinate, teach, and assess library instruction for first-year writing students.

 

 

 

Kristin Conlin

Sean Hogan

Univ. of Baltimore: Developing Finding Aids w/ LibGuides

2:30pm-2:45pm

Learn how the University of Baltimore Langsdale Library student staff from Access Services, Achievement and Learning Center, Integrated Digital Services, and Acquisition & Discovery Services departments collaborated to develop a mobile-friendly finding aid in basic LibGuides for use at a single service point.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, June 24: View Entire Day’s Schedule

 

Sally Stieglitz

Adelphi Univ. Libraries: #TrendingNow: LibGuides to Promote Current Events

9:30am-9:45am

This presentation will share the development of three Adelphi University LibGuides on trending topics and how they impacted outreach and instruction. Best practices for developing similar guides will also be discussed.

 

 

JoAnn Krzeminski

Henry Ford Hospital: Using LibGuides CMS to Create a Library Website

11:30am-11:45am

This presentation will describe the use of the Springshare product LibGuides CMS to create a hospital library website. In the spring of 2017 our Web Services department began the final stages of migrating institutional webpages, including the library website, to a new web content management system (CMS). When the new web CMS template failed to meet the needs of the library, we were given special permission by Web Services to use our existing LibGuides CMS instance to create the library website.

 

Jeanette Sewell

Rice University: LIS is for Everyone

3:30pm-3:45pm

As the new LIS Subject Specialist at Rice University’s Fondren Library, I decided to create my first ever LibGuide. To be honest, it’s actually something that’s been on my librarian bucket list. My goal in designing this LibGuide was to promote Fondren’s collection of LIS books and journals as well as to provide resources that are freely available and of interest to LIS students and practitioners in general.

These Libraries Are Fully-Equipped < /pun>

Pardon the pun, but we just couldn’t keep ourselves in check. We were too busy checking out these awesome uses of LibCal’s Equipment booking module, and we just couldn’t reserve our excitement.

Cue the groans. 😛

But in all seriousness, we get lots of folks asking us for examples of libraries using our tools. So, we’d like to highlight a few different types of libraries, from all over the world, using the LibCal Equipment Booking module.

 

Academic Library: Milwaukee School of Engineering

Circulating Molecular Models

The Walter Schroeder Library at the Milwaukee School of Engineering was an early adopter of the LibCal Equipment Booking Module, and their use-case is absolutely fascinating. They use it to manage online reservations of their molecular models, which they ship all over the country to their students. Their loan time is three weeks, which includes two weeks of expected shipping time. They’re able to manage these reservations and the additional padding all from within the Equipment Module. Additionally, their custom reservation form includes all the important mailing information, so the library can cut down on the back-and-forth and get right to the business of shipping out the models.

Want to hear more about how the Walter Schroeder Library manages these long-distance reservations? Check out their ALA-MW 2017 flash presentation lead by librarian Denise Gergetz. You can also download her presentation slides.

Circulating Molecular Models…Long Distance!

 

Public Library: Pioneer Library System

Circulating Costumes, Blue Blocks, & More

Just looking at the super-cool stuff the Pioneer Library System is circulating with their LibCal Equipment Module makes me want to be a patron of this library! Not only can their patrons reserve maker space items like littleBits and access to their 3D printer, but they also have button makers, jewelry making tools, and costumes! With the ability to manage different reservation timeframes for each type of item and with big, colorful images to advertise the cool stuff they have at the library, we can see why the Pioneer Public Library System’s LibCal Equipment Booking Module is busy busy busy!

The Pioneer Public Library has amazing usage of their Equipment. Look at all that red!

 

Public Library: Tiverton Public Library

Circulating Museum Passes

When you think of ‘Equipment’ it’s easy to get hung up on physical stuff. But, that’s not always the case! The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Education Center has a ton of museum and zoo passes that are available to their patrons. They’re using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module to manage circulation of those items.

Using Equipment Bookings to Manage Circulation of Library & Museum Passes!

 

K12 Library: Scotch College in Australia

Circulating Media Equipment… with a Twist

Although Scotch College School for Boys in Australia might be using LibCal Equipment Bookings to circulate more “traditional” library items, their customizations are anything but traditional. Using LibCal’s built-in code libraries and flexible customization features, the librarians at Scotch College are able to put a little pizazz on their visual equipment catalog. Simply hover over any of the pieces of equipment; notice how the item just jumps off the page? Its that little bit extra that makes their LibCal Equipment Booking catalog pop, literally.

Gorgeous hover effect adds a pop of pizazz to Scotch College’s Equipment Catalog.

 

If you’d like to learn more about LibCal’s Equipment Booking Module or more examples of Libraries using it, please contact us.

Living in an HTTPS World

We’ve sent out all of our GDPR notices, so now it’s time to get into a different security conversation: HTTPS and browsers! Good security as a baseline is important, and with browsers also working toward that goal, it’s time to really dive into the HTTPS action with all of your sites.

Remember last year when we posted about Chrome’s changes to mark any webpages that load over HTTP and contain form fields as “not secure”? Well, in case you haven’t heard, they’re continuing to raise their security game, working toward their end goal of all HTTP webpages having a “Not Secure” indicator vs. HTTPS pages having a green lock/Secure indicator, since security ought to be the standard. Springshare agrees with this impending move, which is why we have made it very easy for our customers to make this transition.

In addition, the end of life deadline for TLS 1.0 (an older security protocol) is rapidly approaching (June 30, 2018), so we are removing that protocol from our code. This will not affect most of you, as it is a protocol mainly left in place to accommodate older browsers. (…and none of you are using older browsers, right? 😉 ) What this amounts to is that we are no longer supporting outdated browsers, such as IE10 (which Microsoft stopped supporting in October 2016).

Of course, the big question in all of this is: what does it all mean for you? Well, in terms of your Springshare apps, we’ve got you covered! While there are still a few things for you to think about / do / keep in mind, we’ve been working hard over here at Springy HQ to make this transition to an HTTPS world as easy as possible for all of your Springshare apps.

First, let’s talk security certificates.

In order to load a webpage over HTTPS, you need to have a security certificate (a.k.a., a cert). This tells the interwebs that it’s okay – this site can be trusted. If you don’t have one and try to load your pages over HTTPS, you end up getting a rather scary sounding notice on the screen. Certs are provided by Certificate Authorities: reputable, trusted third-party companies that verify your organization. These certs are what allow you to put the S in HTTPS. 😉

If your site uses a Springshare domain (e.g., mylibrary.libguides.com), you’re all set! You can use the security certificate we have in place for each of our main product domains (e.g., libanswers.com, libcal.com, etc.). If you’re using a custom domain with your LibGuides, LibAnswers, or LibCal sites (e.g., ask.yourinstitution.org), those domains need their own security certificate.

In January, we announced that we’re using Let’s Encrypt as a method to obtain free security certificates for all LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal sites with custom domains. This required some work on your side…really, on your IT colleagues’ side…before the certs were requested.

Well, we just made things even easier: we’ve updated our infrastructure to automatically request Let’s Encrypt certificates for all custom domains without you or your IT colleagues having to lift a finger! Woo hoo! This means that everyone can load their Springshare apps over HTTPS no matter which app or domain!

Step 1: Obtain a cert. CHECK!

Next, let’s talk HTTPS-only.

Since you can load your site over HTTPS (without having to lift a finger), the next step is to require loading of your sites over HTTPS. After all, if you don’t require it, your users could end up loading your page over an HTTP connection (from an explicitly written HTTP-based link on the page, for example). But if your site is working well in HTTPS mode, you can force it to always load via HTTPS with the click of a button, so that users will always load your pages securely.

There are two things you need to do in order to require HTTPS for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibWizard sites:

  1. Review your sites for mixed content (anything embedded on the page via HTTP) and update anything that can be updated to load via HTTPS instead. (Remove / replace anything that can’t load via HTTPS.)
  2. Once that’s done, enable the “Force HTTPS” setting in your systems.

What does “mixed content” even mean? If you’ve embedded something in your webpages, like an image, a YouTube video, anything loaded via an iframe, or calls to JavaScript or style sheets, you need to verify it was added using an HTTPS-based URL. If the URL is HTTP, that will cause a “mixed content” error when you try to load the overall page via HTTPS, and that HTTP-based content will not load on the screen because you are trying to load items that are not secure over a connection that is secure.

It is important to note that simply changing HTTP to HTTPS does not guarantee that the embedded item will load over HTTPS. The website where you got the code for that embedded item must support HTTPS in order for it to load over HTTPS.

It is also important to note that Springshare has no control over whether other vendors / websites allow their content to load via HTTPS. That is at the sole discretion of that other vendor / website. So your mileage may vary as you take a look at your sites to ensure that all embedded content loads via HTTPS. You may find that you can no longer embed an item from another site, because they do not yet support loading that item over HTTPS. You will either need to remove that item from your page or find an alternate item to embed. (You can also appeal to that other vendor / site to allow that item to load via HTTPS.)

Once again, for Springshare related things, we’ve got you covered! Our images (uploaded via the Image Manager), widgets, and APIs are already set to roll for HTTPS action (meaning they’ll all load via HTTPS).

So how do you find these HTTP embedded things in your site, so you can update them? You have a few options!

  • In LibGuides:
    • Rich Text items: use the “Search” portion of our Search & Replace tool, and search on http: (with the colon at the end). Then review the list for embedded content. If the item is simply a link out to another website, you do not have to update that (unless the other site supports HTTPS and you want to update it). (This might be the majority of the list.) You’re looking for content embedded in the page, JavaScript, calls to stylesheets, etc. You can use CTRL+A to highlight the results, copy them, and paste them into a program like Excel for easier scanning, if you wish.
    • Widget items: use the filtering options in the Content > Assets area. Once on that page, limit Type to Widgets, enter http: in the Description / Metadata field, and click Filter. Click the edit icon for each item and review as noted above.
  • In LibAnswers you can use the “Search” part of the Admin > Assets > Search & Replace Links tool to find all instances of http: in your FAQ answers (yes, even though it says Search & Replace Links 😉 ). Be sure to check off the “Perform a search only” checkbox when using this tool. The first section will list any Public FAQ Links that contain http: – which may be just fine (though if there is an https equivalent, then it’s a good thing to update). The second section lists Public FAQ content that contains http:. Be sure to check this second area, as it’s likely where you may have embedded something. Also remember to check your Embedded Media / Widgets in your Public FAQs!
  • Load your page over HTTPS and use your Browser’s developer tools (usually something along the lines of: right click on the page > select Inspect > select the Console tab) to see what it marks as “mixed content” on each page. This may take a while, considering the number of pages you may have on your site, but it’s an option.
  • Another option is to use one of the myriad of tools that have popped up to help with this very thing! Do a web search on “mixed content check” (or similar keywords) and you’ll find options like “Why No Padlock?”, etc. (We’re not endorsing any particular thing; that site is simply noted as an example.) Continuing with using that site as an example, it works like this: you enter your https link into the tool and it scans that page (and any page that it links out to), notes any mixed content, and reports back to you with a list. It’s a great way to find all mixed content at once and/or as a check before forcing HTTPs for your site.

Once you’re done updating your sites and have no mixed content, you’re ready to require that your Springy app pages load over HTTPS! (Note: This does not affect links out to other webpages, only pages within your Springshare apps.) This helps in a couple of situations: someone types the URL of your site, but doesn’t explicitly type HTTPS at the beginning OR there’s a link on one of your site’s pages that goes to another page in the site and it hasn’t been updated to use HTTPS; in either case, the user will be automatically redirected to HTTPS, ensuring their connection remains secure.

How do you require HTTPS in Springshare apps?

LibApps screen where you set HTTPS as required.

  • LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains and Certificates.
    • Click the padlock icon in the Actions column.
    • Go to the “Force HTTPS” tab and choose “Required”.
  • LibWizard:
    • Go to LibWizard > Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
    • Check off the “Load Site in HTTPS?” option and click Save.
  • LibStaffer, LibInsight, and LibCRM operate solely via HTTPS; there is nothing to change.
  • If you are using any APIs from any products, be sure to explicitly load them via HTTPS.

HTTP is dead. Long live HTTP! HTTPS is the new normal for all websites, all around the world, so in the coming months, we will completely disable HTTP (i.e., loading pages via HTTPS will be forced automatically) and make other important security upgrades for all products (such as enabling HSTS and other security related headers). Here at Springy HQ we are working (and will continue to work) tirelessly to ensure the security and privacy of all of our users and their patrons in their online activities.


Still on LibAnswers v1 or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to LibAnswers v2 or LibInsight / LibInsight Lite (respectively) in order to ensure that your systems are taking advantage of the latest options for security, including ensuring loading of sites over HTTPS. We do not support security certificates for v1 products.

On a Domain Other than libguides.com for your LibGuides site? (e.g., campusguides.com, communityguides.com, libguidescms.com, etc.)

Please contact our support team to discuss changing your domain to one on libguides.com so you can use our security certificate. We are not supporting certs for those other domains.