Librarians Are Doing Such Amazing Work — We Have To Share!
The level of energy is always pretty high here at Springshare. But, lately, we’ve been seeing such exceptionally cool work being done with our solutions, that the excitement level definitely goes up even more. We absolutely love to see smart LibGuides, super helpful LibAnswers FAQs, stunning and useful LibInsight dashboards and seamless integrations of LibCal. What do we love even more? Sharing these fine examples with you!
So, get ready to be inspired. And, remember, enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t be afraid to try new ways to help your patrons. Have fun.
Be Open To All The Possibilities With LibGuides.
There are many LibGuides out there that aim to suggest books to patrons. Some are seasonal like Summer Reads, while others help you delve into extensive collections like Graphic Novels. You’ll find recommendations by genres like Detective Fiction, Crime and Mystery Novels, for instance.
One of the things people have always done is to ask librarians for recommendations, so these guides are a great way to proactively meet this need. Could the guides go on forever? Yes? Who doesn’t have more favorites that can be included? But inclusion — and what that truly means is a conversation we should be having.
Edith Campbell, a librarian at Indiana State University, built a LibGuide that has received a lot of positive attention since she shared it on social media and with good reason. The guide focuses on Inclusive Youth Literature. She begins by saying, “Diverse Books Matter” then shares the link to an article from the National Council of Teachers of English called, Students Have A Right And A Need To Read Diverse Books.
Her guide shares general resources for good sites for finding books that address inclusion, diversity, anti-racism and more. It’s organized with tabs for Educator Resources, Disabilities, IPOC – Indigenous People and People of Color, LGBTQIA, and more. This guide is an amazing resource and we couldn’t wait to share it.
Creating and publishing an FAQ from scratch is a great way to build up a healthy amount of LibAnswers FAQs. This makes your LibAnswers Platform incredibly useful as patrons can search it day or night with a greater chance of finding what they need. As you generate these FAQs consider what will be the most impactful way to answer the question. Being as illustrative as possible is always a plus.
Delaware County Community College is on the right track to serving its patrons with a very useful FAQ answered by Eleanor Goldberg that answers the question “Are my textbooks available in the library?” The content alone should make it a very popular FAQ. However, the number of hits is not the only thing that makes an FAQ a successful one.
- They picked a great topic
- They included the perfect screenshot
- They added a callout to really zero in on the important part of the image
- They included links within the answer for more information
- They shared the FAQ on social media to proactively reach even more people.
Kudos to the attention DCCC pays to their FAQs. It’s a strong step in the direction of next-level service.
Of all the powerful features in LibInsight, the ability to create dashboards is one of the showstoppers. We know that the next step for your data involves
- The ability to hold everything you’ve got, past, present, and future
- Multiple ways to analyze the data and look at correlations
- Having an effective way to share your pertinent data with interested parties
Creating accessible dashboards is an invaluable way to communicate essential information. You can make them frozen snapshots of a particular time period like the 4th Quarter. Or, you can set them up so they auto-update showing the last 2 weeks, let’s say.
We had to share with you this terrific dashboard from Massasoit Libraries put together by Erin McCoy.
It is organized and designed to show, What’s Happening in Brockton – Previous 2 weeks. Titles like these are critical so that a person looking at it knows instantly what is being displayed.
Erin is able to convey Reference data like
- User Help Totals by Day
- Interactions by Time of Day
- Question Type (Computer Assistance, Directional, Equipment, Homework Help, or Library Related)
- Reference Questions (Citations, Database use/Finding Articles, etc.)
This dashboard with its charts and graphs is easily ingestible. You know exactly what is happening at the library at a glance.
The dashboard updates on its own because it’s been set to feature a rolling date range so you don’t have to keep rebuilding and rerunning stats.
Whether you want to make private or public dashboards, they are an attractive way to keep your audience involved and informed.
Seamless Integrations Keep Patrons Focused.
LibGuides and LibCal work so brilliantly together that it’s nice to see them integrated. For instance, if you’re having an author event that you put on your calendar with a sterling description and enable registration — it makes sense to build a guide on the author, too. You can include a nice photograph and add their books, and perhaps embed a video of an interview. You can easily add this related LibGuide to the event at creation. As your patrons have a look at the event listing, they will have the opportunity to check out your guide as well.
San Jose State University recognizes the value of a LibGuides + LibCal partnership. They have seamlessly integrated the Springshare solutions in their beautiful 3D Printing LibGuide. The home page of the guide delivers vital introductory information and spotlights the 3D printers with stunning photos of the machines. The second page titled Schedule Your Print allows you to do just that. You can book a time to use one of the 3 printers. It features an embedded LibCal Space Booking as an iframe that patrons can interact with right on the spot.
This thoughtful execution from SJSU is easy to achieve and goes a long way toward creating an outstanding patron experience. This is the goal, after all. These first-rate examples all show a dedication to the people you’re serving. That commitment is something that benefits us all.