Archive for July 31, 2018

SpringyCamp 2018: Recordings Available & Sign-Up for Session 3!

SpringyCamp Summer Series 2018 is in full-force! And while Sessions One and Two are over (we’ll never forget the times we sang around the campfire), there is still more ‘Camp to be had!

What’s SpringyCamp?

SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference where Springshare users share how they’re using Springy Tools inside their library. Get inspired, receive practical tips and applications…all from the comfort of your computer.

Learn about best practices for building LibGuides, embedding the library into the curriculum, setting up a virtual badge program, and more. And bonus, the virtual s’mores are calorie-free!

Register for SpringyCamp 2018 Session 3 August 15 1pm to 3:15pm US Eastern Time

  • Date: Wed, August 15 – 1:00pm – 3:15pm U.S. ET
  • View Presenter Lineup: Summer Session 3 Basecamp
  • Register for Session 3: Sign-Up today, it’s free!
  • Cost: 100% Completely Free! Exclusive event for Springshare Customers only.
  • Audience: All user-levels and library-types are welcome to join!

‘Camp Lives On… In Our Memories

Missed Summer Session 1 and 2? No worries, all SpringyCamps are recorded! Access presenter materials, recommended websites, and more.

Tips for Promoting Internal Staff Communication, Collaboration, and Community

Are you engaged?

It’s funny to say, but people are always talking about communication. In every relationship dynamic, the secret…is always communication — with your child, with your clients, with pets, with other countries, with your barista. Are you communicating effectively? Even more to the point, how can you communicate better?

This has always been a trending topic and it’s even more of a challenge now. With so many ways to reach out and because the traditional work environment is morphing with flex hours and telecommuting, virtual possibilities, it helps to reboot the conversation.

The one thing you will learn quickly is that it’s all about engagement. You have to be engaged in the solutions you put forth or the team won’t be either. So, if you really care about boosting internal staff communication to improve collaboration and create a sense of community, then you’re already on the right track. You care. The sooner we stop talking about communication and make improving it a real priority, the sooner we will see the wonderful effect it has on team productivity and morale.

The leaders have to lead.

If you want to encourage active internal communication amongst the staff, you’ll want to get in the mix. There are teams all over the world who find themselves with new directives sprinkled with enthusiastic words about the new intranet tool that has been licensed — so the company can better connect. It improves efficiency, they’re told. And, while this may be true, so many of those sharing the new mandate will never be seen actively participating in the intranet. They say the best way to lead is by example. Well, whether you intend to or not, you’re always leading by example. So get in there and show them how it’s done!

LibGuides CMS has Groups functionality. Combine that with its Access Controls feature and you can create a locked down group and use it as a staff intranet! Many libraries are starting to do this as it’s super convenient.

  • Your internal group in LibGuides CMS can be a place where you get to know each other better. You can have each team member build a guide where s/he shares not just education and work experience, but also hobbies and interests, favorite TV shows and go-to Karaoke songs, photos of family or pets or a favorite vacation vista and more.
  • You can facilitate collaboration on projects that should be tackled next or get feedback on your latest instruction session idea by enabling Discussion Boards. You can engage with your team right in your site by encouraging open discussions or you can post specific questions. Remember, you can enable Discussion Boards on as many guides in your intranet group as you wish!

  • Cultivate a fun internal voice by using the blogging tool. Maybe your library organized a particularly successful event recently. Or, maybe you had excellent reviews on a recent class you offered. Have the folks in charge write a blog post about it. This gives staff a chance to share and shine!
  • It’s your intranet, what do you want to use it for? Ensuring an actively accessed intranet is about making it a “place” you’d want to hang out. Of course, you can build guides that hold documents and files and links and images pertaining to a current project. But alongside those, be creative about your guides. Perhaps the Director wants to build a guide about what’s on the horizon with tabs for each quarter? Give your retiring colleague an opportunity to build a farewell guide! Maybe you should start a staff book club or book review guide! Have fun! This is where communication leads to community.

The new water cooler.

Do offices even have the proverbial water cooler anymore? At Springshare, we’re chatting all the time, but from our desks or devices. Don’t curtail the chatting. Instead, foster it. It’s much faster than opening/sending/replying to emails. LibChat, a component of the LibAnswers Platform, not only helps you answer your patrons efficiently, it also allows you to chat amongst yourselves.

  • You can transfer questions from patrons to another operator. This is useful if there is someone better suited to answering the question online with you or in case you are about to go on your break and you need to start feeding questions to the next person on duty.
  • You can ask a colleague a question — behind the scenes — to help you answer the patron.
  • You can chat with all LibAnswers colleagues that are online at the time or initiate a chat with someone in particular.

A mixed bag is good. People will chat with each other about projects, ask for feedback, share an experience. But they’ll also send a birthday shout out and ask each other about playlists that move the day along. The important thing is that it’s a happy work environment. People who know and like each other want to collaborate.

Plus, the LibChat Operator Console was just updated with an entirely new interface making internal/staff-only chats that much easier.

Check in — so they don’t check out.

You can set up tools and you can implement strategies to improve communication in your workplace, but one of the best things you can do is frequently check in with the team. Use LibWizard to create an anonymous survey and ask folks if something is missing from the intranet. See if there’s a page they never use. Use the multi-select checkbox field to ask them which portions of the intranet they find most useful or interesting.

Not only will it help you improve by filling in the blanks or kicking out stuff that’s just taking up space, but it lets your team know you really do care about nurturing a productive and supportive and — dare we say — fun workplace.

How LibAnswers Helps You Provide Excellent Customer Service

It all begins with a question.

You’ve got someone inside your doors. (If you use your imagination, this exercise will work for brick and mortar or virtual examples.) Perhaps she’s looking around at your signage. Maybe he even walks up to the bulletin board to see the flyers you’ve designed, written and posted about your thoughtful programming. If you’re lucky, in a little while your patron will ask you a question.

We say lucky because it is a truly excellent thing to have that person engage you and your library team. To initiate interaction is not always something people feel encouraged to do. Patrons might come to your website, look around a bit, and then navigate elsewhere. Or, they might come and spend time in the library but never learn about all of the resources and events and instruction that exist there. This is why — when a patron asks a question, librarians are excited by the opportunity it presents.

The LibAnswers Platform is designed to help you handle all the questions that come into your library, no matter which avenue your patrons prefer to use to ask them! Whether they choose to call, email, tweet or maybe they like the immediacy of chat or prefer face-to-face interactions or — it’s highly likely they are all about texting, LibAnswers helps you answer them. Plus, you can build an FAQ that works 24/7 and you get incredibly useful statistics and data.

Baltimore County Public Library puts their patrons first.

Academic libraries have been using the LibAnswers Platform to help their students, faculty, and library staff get the answers they need since we launched LibAnswers. Public libraries have begun doing some really inventive things with the system in order to prioritize internal efficiency and provide exemplary customer service.

Cynthia Dennis is the Information Specialist in the Virtual Services and Media Creation Department at Baltimore County Public Library. She and the staff in her department came up with the brilliant idea to add 19 additional LibAnswers queues — one for each of their branches — to their system so they could create what amounts to a communication nerve center for BCPL.

This is what Cynthia said about the project:

We used a lot of your Springy help pages to do the training so not too much time was spent on reinventing the wheel! Now we use LibAnswers instead of traditional email to manage email questions from customers. We also use it to quickly communicate with each other about questions and/or to transfer questions to the best group or person to answer the customer. This has solved a lot of our communication problems that revolve around getting our customers served quickly and efficiently since we often need to either consult with or transfer to another department or branch. Of course, we had used the phone and regular email for this but phone calls can wind up in telephone tag and email can fill up quickly with things of lesser importance. So, using LibAnswers keeps the customer front and center and it keeps stats for us so – It’s a win, win!

 

Springshare loves Baltimore County Public Library’s commitment to their patrons. Moreover, we think it’s fantastic that they — driven by the goal to answer their customers efficiently — examined the internal day-to-day behind the scenes operations that go into answering a question. By doing that, they created a dynamic 19-branch internal hub that facilitates communication so well that they’re answering patron questions with ease. It’s inspiring!

Learn more about using the LibAnswers Platform to maximize staff efficiencies.

Join us for some special webinars. Remember, if you can’t attend these, just register and select the option to “watch video.” We will send the recording as soon as it’s available. For more information about the LibAnswers Platform, contact sales@springshare.com.

LibAnswers Webinar: Productivity Tactics for Enhancing Customer Service

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 11:30am ET

Thursday, July 26, 2018, at 3:30pm ET

New LibAuth US Hardware Coming Your Way!

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Just a quick post to let you know that on Wednesday, July 18, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, we will be moving the US LibAuth server to new hardware. We’ve chosen this time because it seems to be the slowest time for all our US and Australian customers using this server. There will be up to 5 minutes of downtime while we make this change, which means that logging in via LibAuth for US customers may be unavailable during this time. No other application or function will be affected. The IP address of the server will NOT change, so if your use of LibAuth relies on letting a certain IP address through the firewall, you can rest assured; that will still work.

See How Libraries Use LibInsight Datasets

Getting a handle on your data is a big deal.

More and more people are having conversations about the next steps for their data. People have been collecting it for years and years. This was the major focus for some time. It was the pressing priority. We have to track things. This led to — let’s just track everything…in case we need that data. This exchange surrounding data is an ever-evolving one and at Springshare we are dedicated to propelling our libraries beyond recording to real reporting. LibInsight allows your data the ability to matter, to perform.

We’re highlighting the inspiring dig into the data attitudes of two terrific clients. Check out the types of datasets they’ve made, what they’re able to see with their data all in one place, and in what way the data can be used. It’s off the charts exciting!

Datasets to love.

Buffalo State started out using Springshare’s LibInsight Lite (formerly LibAnalytics) in 2012. They upgraded to the full LibInsight system in 2016. Before our tools, they were primarily using spreadsheets for their data. Joe Riggie, the Information Systems Librarian said that the deciding factor in moving forward with the upgrade was the fact that LibInsight has “cross-dataset analysis, SUSHI support, and enhancements (cost data, file uploads, etc.).”

The first datasets they made were for Gate Counts, ILL Lending, Circulation, etc. As they worked on, they learned valuable things that can benefit others. Joe said, “Our original database metric dataset only used SUSHI and so we ended up with usage data at the vendor (Gale, ProQuest, etc) level. We wanted more granular results so we set up a new dataset that used uploaded COUNTER reports to get usage data at the platform level (Academic Search Complete, ARTSTOR, etc).” Now, the most popular datasets are ones for Database usage, Circulation and EBook usage.

Today, capturing the right data and being able to generate the reports you need is the most efficient way to get the most out of your efforts to analyze. Joe said, “We have produced reporting for accreditation…” This is thrilling for us at Springshare. Joe says the Butler Library at Buffalo State uses LibInsight to “compare the changing patterns of book/ebook usage. We can compare traffic (gatecount) to the use of library services (circulation). We can easily obtain cost per download data for ejournals and databases. We have used LibInsight for collection development and weeding.”

And they’re generous enough to offer a tip to everyone. “We have noticed that many vendors add hidden columns into COUNTER reports and the uploads will fail until you find and remove them.”

We’re so excited about how Buffalo State has raised their dataset game in just the last 2 years with the full LibInsight system.

Unlimited datasets = unlimited experimenting.

Also having started out with LibInsight Lite (back in 2014), Greta Valentine, the Research and Data Analyst of the University of Kansas Libraries said they upgraded to the full LibInsight in 2016. Greta said, “We liked that it allowed for cross-dataset comparisons, and that it included the ability to upload large batches of data ourselves. We also liked that we could create unlimited datasets so we could test various collection use cases on an experimental basis. We also found the automatic import of data via SUSHI harvesting appealing, and are now in the beginning stages of implementing this since the tool we were using to ingest COUNTER data previously is no longer supported.”

Greta explains that they first began to use LibInsight Lite to create datasets necessary for their ARL (Association of Research Libraries) Annual Statistics report. These stats have been collected and published annually since 1907. Now, they’re using LibInsight to get some of the pertinent numbers. Greta said, “These included our Service Desk Statistics dataset (all transactions at our circulation/reference desk plus chat questions), Instruction (information about instruction sessions), and Consultations (information about research consultations performed off the reference desk.) When we transferred to [Lib]Insight we added more datasets that included a much higher volume of data, such as data from our Voyager ILS about Interlibrary Loan and Circulation transactions.”

Springshare knows it’s not just Reference Service these days, it’s Customer Service. Serving their patrons is one of the highest ranking priorities at the University of Kansas. This is exhibited in their dataset popularity. Greta notes, “The most-used dataset continues to be our Service Desk Statistics dataset, which includes all interactions at our combined reference/circulation desk, as well as reference questions/referrals answered via chat. Late in 2016, we began using LibAnswers to record chat questions since it provided the interface to capture both walk-up and chat questions directly, as well as the ability to create tickets for questions received via e-mail. This also allows us to track referrals. We use [Lib]Insight primarily as a repository to hold this data (we upload it from LibAnswers quarterly) so we can view the number of transactions longitudinally along with older data.”

What else are the KU Libraries doing with LibInsight? Greta answered that “In addition to providing the numbers for our ARL Annual Statistics, the Libraries is participating in a longitudinal study with the Greater Western Library Association (GWLA) to see how library instruction affects student success.

And, this is exactly what makes the data discussion important. What is not up for debate here is how collecting the data is the first step. Libraries are doing that — have been doing that. But it would be amazing if you could make data-driven decisions! It’s exciting to be able to use LibInsight to analyze the data in a meaningful way so that you can see how library instruction affects student success. This is what you need today and going forward — to have the ability to examine relationships and test possible correlations, and to cut through that data to what you want to extract quickly so you can get to the answers.

Upcoming Webinars

LibInsight: Empower Staff to Make Data-Driven Decisions

Monday, July 16 — 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday, July 24 — 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

If you can’t attend these dates and times, register so you can opt to receive the recording. To get more information on LibInsight, contact sales@springshare.com.

Fetch, LibInsight, Fetch! Good LibInsight!

LibInsight Update

It’s nearly Independence Day here in the U.S., and your friends at Springy have a firecracker of an announcement for you: SUSHI scheduling! You can now schedule the automated harvesting of supported SUSHI reports, on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annual basis, to your E-Journals / Databases or eBooks datasets. Gone will be the days of retrieving one file at a time (but you still can, if you want to!). Just set it, and forget it, until it’s time to analyze. You will receive an email each time a file is successfully harvested and added to your dataset, or if a fetch fails for any reason.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Your SUSHI credentials from e-resources vendors.
  • The list of reports that are supported by each vendor. We support DB1(r4), DB3 (r3), PR1 (r4), JR1 (r4), BR2 (r4), but not all vendors make all of these available via SUSHI.
  • A LibInsight E-Journals / Databases dataset, or an eBooks dataset, with platforms added.
    Protip: Be sure to specify your SUSHI provider in your platform information. This will mean that the SUSHI provider is pre-selected when you set up a new SUSHI schedule. To get to Platform Information quickly, click Datasets in the orange command bar and look for the cog icon.
To set up a new schedule, go to that dataset’s Record Data page, choose a platform, click Schedule Future SUSHI Harvesting, and click Add New.
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Please see our help documentation for E-Journals / Databases and eBooks datasets for complete information on when your scheduled SUSHI files will be harvested and added to your system. If you’re not signed up for today’s Getting Started with LibInsight training session, check out past recordings, and keep an eye on our training calendar for more upcoming sessions.

ICYMI – Other Recent Updates

Here are some additional features and fixes we’ve added to LibInsight:
E-Journals / Databases & eBooks Datasets
  • It’s now possible to add Cost Data for future years.
  • Regular users with a dataset Admin permissions are now able to add platforms.
  • We added support for SUSHI harvesting from Thieme, Adam Matthew Digital, Lexis/Nexis, and Springer Nature.
Custom Datasets
  • If your custom dataset’s timestamp is set to “Show One Date Only,” and the field is set to “Show Time,” a time picker is displayed rather than a date picker.
  • We fixed a couple of issues with chart labels.
  • We now accept dash-delimited data in addition to slash-delimited data. (Slash dot dash dot!)
Dashboards
  • You can add a chart to a Dashboard graphing “Entered by” for the records in a dataset. Useful if Reference transactions or Instruction session data are entered by lots of different people.
  • Numeric fields used in Dashboard charts are SUMmed rather than COUNTed.
  • If a field is used in a Dashboard, you will not be able to delete it from its dataset until you remove it from the Dashboard.
  • LibInsight now uses HSTS, and all API endpoints are HTTPS.
Other Stuff
  • If you delete custom chart colors in System Settings, we’ve restored the defaults for you.
  • You can now download all library data from your Gate Count dataset in Analysis, rather than one library at a time.