Archive for July 30, 2019

Get Ready. SpringyCamp Is This Wednesday!

SpringyCamp July 31: 12:30pm 0 3:30pm US ET

Our Annual Virtual Conference, SpringyCamp, Is Tomorrow!

We wait all year to announce that it’s time, once again, to

  • Grab your compass and
  • Fill your canteen,
  • Find a spot near the virtual campfire and
  • Benefit from hearing about the experiences of other librarians, which is the goal of SpringyCamp!

Each year, new camp counselors from far and wide come to share ideas, best practices, tips, and most of all their stories.

Today’s libraries face many of the same challenges and are working towards similar objectives. SpringyCamp is designed to provide a forum for your peers to share with you what they have learned about, for instance,

You’ll learn about these topics and more at this year’s SpringyCamp starting at 12:30pm U.S. ET this Wednesday, July 31st. Be sure to Register NOW!

Get Your Questions (And Your Snacks) Ready!

We’ve got a terrific series of talks for you at SpringyCamp 2019 and — while it won’t be quite like a singalong — we’re forecasting a considerable amount of nodding and clapping as participants relate to some of the obstacles being identified… and get excited about the solutions presented.

For a full list of what’s in store visit our SpringyCamp Lineup.

Q: How do I register?

A: Go to the registration page and click “Begin Registration.”

Q: What happens if, upon registering, I discover the event is full?

A: At registration, you will receive instructions on how to watch SpringyCamp via Facebook Live on our Springshare Facebook page. If you haven’t already, take a minute to like our Facebook page and turn page notifications to ‘on’ so you’ll always receive our posts in your Facebook news feed.

Q: What can I expect?

A: You will be able to see the screen of the camp counselor presenting and be able to hear his/her voice.

Q: Will I be able to ask questions?

A: Yes! You will have the opportunity to type in your questions. To help facilitate, there will someone monitoring the chat box/comments area.

Q: Can multiple people from my library attend SpringyCamp?

A: Is a tent hard to put back into the bag? Yes! Just make sure each person registers unless you’re all huddled around one monitor or screen.

When The SpringyCamp Fun Ends…It’s a Keep-in-Touch Game.

You know how this goes. As you pack your flashlight and tightly roll up your sleeping bag, you and your camp friends talk about keeping in touch. Honestly, we miss you already and the event hasn’t even begun, yet!

How can you be kept in the loop regarding programs like this, product updates, and any other cool Springshare information?

It’s easy. Like our page in Facebook. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Springy news fit to type. Opt-in to receive excellent news from Springshare. Check out our newsletter. Keep reading our blog posts. We’ll be LibBFFs 4-evah and eva.

Feature Spotlight: LibCal Spaces Parent/Child Relationship

LibCal Parent/Child Spaces Tool

Today’s blog post is all about highlighting an awesomely powerful little feature in LibCal – the Parent/Child relationship in Spaces.

Let’s break it down.

Let’s say that you have a large room that patrons are allowed to reserve… let’s call it Room 110. That room can also be divided into smaller spaces, for example, Room 110A, Room 110B, and Room 110C. You want to allow patrons the ability to reserve the entire room 110, or one or more of those smaller spaces… for example just 110A and 110B, but not 110C. If someone reserves just 110A and 110B, they can no longer reserve the entire room 110… only 110C is available to them.

Cue the LibCal Spaces Parent/Child feature that allows you set a large space (Parent) and then each individual sub-space (Child). With this feature, patrons are able to book one of the divided spaces, two of the divided spaces, three (or more of the divided spaces, depending on your setup), or the entire large space.

This smart feature takes away accidental double-bookings. If a patron reserves the entire space, all the sub-spaces automagically become unavailable. On the flip-side, if a patron reserves a sub-space, the ‘entire space’ is subsequently unavailable for booking.

But wait, I don’t have a large space – can I still use this feature?

Yes – this feature isn’t just for large rooms! It can be used to divide up any sized room or space.

Let’s say you have a normal-sized space with two tables inside. Create the Parent Space, the entire room, and create two child spaces for each of the two tables. This way, patrons can reserve Table A, or Table B, or the entire Room… Tables A + Table B.

Let’s see it in action!

First, create your Location, and the Spaces Category.

Tip: for spaces that can be divided up, it’s recommended they get their own category. For example, “Connected Spaces”.

Then:

  • Add Your ‘Parent Space’.
  • Tip: If you want your parent space to appear at the top of the alpha-ordered listing of rooms, add an * to the front of the space title to jump it to the top of the list of rooms.
  • Next add your child spaces and be sure to select, “Is Child/Partial Space of Parent Space”.
  • … and you’re done!

On the patron’s side…

If they book the entire/parent space, it automagically marks the subspaces as unavailable.

Reserving the *Entire Space (parent) removes the child/sub-spaces from the availability calendar.

 

If they book a child space, it removes the Entire Space from booking, but still leaves the other child/sub-space available for reservation.

Booking the child/sub-space removes the entire parent space from the availability schedule.

 

Think of all the ways you can use it!

The flexibility of this feature allows you to rethink all the different ways that patrons can reserve spaces in the library.

  • Reserve an entire room… or just specific tables within that room, great for class projects;
  • Reserve a single seat… or an entire table of seats, ideal for a study group;
  • Reserve a library computer… or a table of library computers;
  • … the possibilities are endless!

Easily Promote Events with LibCal & LibGuides

Promote Events

Getting The Word Out!

Isn’t it funny how even if you line up the hottest author for a reading, or meticulously plan your annual benefit gala, or use data to predict the best dates and times for children’s story hour — events are only considered a success if enough people show up?

You could have Aerosmith opening for Oprah to interview the cast of GOT in your garage — but if you don’t get the word out, the event would still be a bust. That’s how important it is to do some marketing.

The Easy Way To Promote Your Events.

Springshare knows that it’s not enough to make creating events in LibCal as effortless as possible. We made marketing those events, including via social media, something you can do near simultaneously. In creating your library event, besides descriptions, you can

All of these features are incorporated right into the event creation page to make it easier to advertise the makerspace orientation, or summer lunch program, etc. that your team has worked so hard to bring to your patrons.

Build A LibGuide To Supplement Your Event Page.

When you create your event in LibCal, you will see the option to include a link to a related LibGuide. It’s a great idea to build LibGuides for special events because they allow you to provide more information. If you were hosting a poetry reading,

  • you could include a photo of the poet,
  • books s/he’s published,
  • links to upcoming events where people can catch the poet again,
  • excerpts of popular or new work,
  • a bio,
  • a relevant video or podcast,
  • and a link to the registration for the event at your library.

Plus, if it’s a recurring event like toddlerobics, or a used textbook sale, or a storytellers open-mic night, you can take photos during the events and add them to the LibGuide. Don’t forget to put a LibCal widget that shows the upcoming dates in the series. Also, make sure the guide is updated regularly with fresh information.

Quality programming is something every library strives toward. It’s exciting work and, librarians are really coming through as you endeavor to have variety, while applying data-driven tailoring to your events — in order to connect with your particular patrons. To help you learn more, don’t miss the opportunity to write in the anticipated attendance. Plus, LibCal lets you go in after the event and note the actual number of attendees so you can check the stats later.

Learn More About Boosting Your Outreach

From reading to dogs to DJing classes for teens to human library night, you’re doing a great job being creative and helpful. But the work doesn’t stop there. We’ve all learned that marketing the events is something libraries must prioritize because the purpose of it all is to serve your community.

To that end, we’ve added some upcoming webinars that cover ways you can boost outreach and improve audience targeting. Register for one of these session today:

The whole point is to bring people together. LibCal and LibGuides make that easier to do. Plus, if you build those LibGuides, you can have an archive of all your stellar programming.

 

Using LibAnswers for Library Security

Keeping Track of Safety Issues Just Got Easier.

Libraries get their fair share of incidents that happen involving the safety of the staff, students and/or include the compromise of the building. Many institutions piece together a way to keep track of these via various reporting tools that range from spreadsheets to pen and paper recording, etc. You want to be able to take down what happened. It’s important to be able to add detailed information as you learn more. Ideally, it would be advisable to keep it all in a secure place.

Everyone cares. Everyone takes it seriously. But not everyone knows that there’s a great way to log and manage this safety incident reporting in the LibAnswers Platform.

Queue Up The Solution.

The system comes with one queue. It’s possible to have multiple queues in the back end of the LibAnswers Platform. You can contact sales@springshare.com to add a queue and designate this queue for logging library security incidents. By utilizing the features in LibAnswers, you can easily

  • Assign appropriate people to the special queue you’ve made to manage access to it.
  • Create a ticket — this will be the way you keep a manageable record of the incident.
  • Type up what happened in a quick customizable form. For Nature of Incident you can make options that include: Accident, Theft, Vandalism, etc.
  • Add details along the way. To the ticket, you can add — immediately or at a later date — photos, links to policies that apply or need to be referenced, a case number, internal notes, etc.
  • Add tags to tickets to help you and others find them, as necessary.

The LibAnswers Features That Make Active Recording and Alerting Possible.

Sometimes you can record an incident that’s already been resolved. A student employee had an accident and cut her finger. She was treated with soap and a bandage and she’s fine. Easy peasy. However, there are times when there is a lot more to it and this is when LibAnswers features come in handy.

Library Security is not written on to-do lists each day, rather, it should be a steady pursuit. You want to be able to record in as much detail as possible what happened. A patron came to the reference desk to say her laptop is missing. A staff librarian noticed a window is broken. A student ran into the library in a panic to tell a librarian she is being followed by a stranger. There was a verbal altercation that included inappropriate language between a patron and a librarian about admission to an event. Many incidents will need to be reported and then revisited with further details and status updates on the process toward resolution. LibAnswers can help you do that.

However, more than being able to add pictures, case numbers, and updates, the LibAnswers Platform has features that can help you diligently stay on top of incidents so you are always aware of these critical safety issues.

  • You can manually assign and transfer tickets — make sure they’re not bottlenecking or waiting for attention.
  • The Question Routing Field allows you to route a ticket to a specific person when field conditions you designate are met. For instance, you can route all incidents marked Accident to the Library Director. Talk about expediting!
  • You can create customized ticket alerts for a queue. Your queue — Library Security Incidents Log — is a crucial piece of the puzzle at your library. We provide 3 options for alert thresholds. First, a number of unclaimed tickets over a designated period of time. Set it at 5 in 120 minutes and the system will send an alert if it happens. Second, a keyword you choose is used. You can enter keywords like police or ambulance, etc. and then enter the email or phone number of the person you want to be alerted when those words are found in a new ticket. Third, automatic reminder emails can be set to remind a person, set of people or the ticket owner of open tickets, or unclaimed tickets or when it’s been days since the ticket was updated.

(Efficiently) Take Safety Seriously!

Keeping your staff and patrons safe is paramount. Libraries truly care about this. The LibAnswers Platform is flexible enough in design to help you record, track, and update your Library Security incidents efficiently. Alerts help you stay informed and focused. And, with statistics like turnaround time, date and time, source and form field ticket stats, and the ability to export stats — you’ll have data to analyze, too!