Archive for November 12, 2019

Springshare Helps You Manage Library Schedule Breaks With Ease

Just In Time! Learn How to Keep Your Calendars and Schedules Rolling Along.

Tis the Season! Between people on your staff asking for time off and adjusted Library schedules to multi-day closures and not-business-as-usual office hours, plus the occasional storm, and don’t forget the flu —  this time of the year can be a little chaotic. You have to be especially proactive, making sure to clearly communicate any changes to your patrons. Want to avoid a face-off with the Abominable Snowman? Use multiple methods to get the word out.

Learn how Springshare tools like LibStaffer, LibCal, and LibAnswers help prepare you for this season so, any surprises…will be good surprises!

LibStaffer First! Because You Want to Run Smoothly from the Inside Out.

When there are challenges ahead, get your house in order. Look internally to see what you can do to keep the library staff informed of the increased or decreased hours in the upcoming weeks and months. Follow these LibStaffer tips to ensure smiles on the library floor.

  • Connect – You can avoid the mess of pulling schedules back to revise them based on seasonal hours. Take the steps to connect LibStaffer Schedules to corresponding LibCal hours for specific locations. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > LibCal Integration > Select a Library or department from your Hours list > Save. This way, if there are modified opening and/or closing hours, you can be extra diligent by opting to overlay the current hours when you assign people to shifts.
  • Manage –  Balance allowing your team the flexibility to swap and give up shifts with providing ample time for Managers and all involved to be ready for the changes. You can set up new parameters for both swaps and give-ups effectively restricting them to a selected amount of time before the shift starts. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings >Swap or Give Up Shifts > Enable restriction > Select Amount of Time.

LibStaffer is full of super useful features to help you stay on top of who is working and when. Don’t forget these concrete ways to keep everyone informed.

  1. Customize the Admin Alert Box to broadcast any policies for requesting vacation days.
  2. In the Approvals Pending page, LibStaffer lets you know if the person requesting time off is already scheduled for that time. You will also find the ability to approve, deny, or edit the request and see the staff member’s history — so make an effort to decide their fates as soon as possible. It’s appreciated because, during this time of year, sometimes travel arrangements have to be made. 

LibCal for All Seasons!

Every day of the year, LibCal keeps your library efficient and visible. LibCal shares your vitals: the what, when, and where. To make sure it’s the authority, keep it current!

  • Hours Module – Since the October updates, the hours in your LibCal system can now be associated with an Event Calendar you have. It is likely already connected to other components of your LibCal system. Never fear this time of year! You don’t have to change everything and then change it back, you can simply add and manage exceptions.
  • Appointments – Don’t forget to think about yourself! By this we mean, have a look at your availability that you share via Appointments. Perhaps you’re taking some days off and want to stack your appointments before you go. Or, maybe you want to modify your schedule so you can get on the road to see family? No worries! LibCal makes it easy to add and delete availability times from your appointment schedule.
  • To be doubly careful you don’t get booked when you can’t be — be sure to sync your Appointments availability with your LibStaffer shifts. This way if you’re scheduled for a shift in LibStaffer, you will be marked as unavailable for an appointment. Remember with cold and flu season, the shifts might be a bit unpredictable so this is a good precautionary measure.

LibAnswers for Anticipating the Questions.

The spectacular thing about LibAnswers is that patrons can ask their questions when they feel like asking them, whether the library is open or already closed for the day. Additionally, the system also has lots of little places you can customize to make sure you are communicating masterfully. 

  • SMS Keywords – Promote your library’s SMS number heavily. Then be sure to set up a number of Keywords. This allows your patrons to text a word or phrase to your SMS number and receive a text with relevant information right away. So if they text “hours” they’d receive a reply with the library’s hours (which you have made sure is current).
  • Autoload Delay – Configure the autoload delay feature to set up a proactive chat widget. Customize the language for the text of the header to say something fun like, “Remember, the library will be closed from X to X. Would you like to chat with a librarian now?” Everyone’s getting a reminder whether they decided to take you up on the chat or not.

Springshare tools work well together so go ahead and cross announce to cover all your touchpoints. Create a LibAnswers FAQ about seasonal hours and then link to your LibCal hours in the answer. Make edits to your Using the Library LibGuide to include the modified hours information and the new FAQ. Make an FAQ on the policies for taking sick days and vacations for your LibStaffer Admin alerts box. Be creative. Have fun. Customize language where you can to remind everyone that there are changes. Then infuse the library with apple cinnamon air fresheners to keep everyone smiling and looking forward to it all.

Move your Existing Content to LibGuides

Create content rich LibGuides - A workshop on taking your existing content and turning it into a useful Libguides

This blog post is authored by our very own Springy: Jennifer Forgit.

You have great content – but it lives in many different places. Move it into LibGuides and make sure patrons have all of the tools they need in one place!

Let’s say your students have a big research project in the fall and you have a pathfinder saved as a Word document. You could upload the document to your guide, but that means one extra step for your patrons to get the information. In this workshop, we’ll look at an existing document written as a handout and talk about how to bring it into LibGuides.

When you move content into LibGuides it means:

  • Better access:
    • You decide who can access it, whether that’s the public, staff only, or a subset of either with a password or authentication (LibGuides CMS Only).
    • Turn public documents, like pathfinders, into research guides that are available to everyone 24/7 and not just those who find the brochure rack at the reference desk. Plus, no special ‘Word’ software required to view them and they’re mobile-friendly.
  • Centralized location:
    • Between cloud drives, email and websites, staff sometimes have to search through several online locations to find what they need. Move it into LibGuides, and you can keep everything in one place, and easy to find.
  • Not So Text-Heavy:
    • .Docs are text-heavy. Moving content into LibGuides allows you to take advantage of embedded video/audio media, interactive widgets, discovery layer search boxes, upcoming events, and more.

.Doc meet LibGuide

In November and December, we’re offering a workshop called Creating Content-Rich Guides. This session will look at how to take existing content, whether it is a Word document, old wiki page, blog post (or something else!) and turn it into a useful, usable LibGuide.

 

Seems straightforward, right? A little copy/paste magic and it’s in LibGuides.

If you want readers to have the best experience, you’ll need to think about how to divide your content into pages and boxes so that readers aren’t left to stare at 1000 words or more all in the same box.

Write for the Web

According to a study cited by the Nielsen Norman Group, “On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

With online users scanning so little of your content, it’s vitally important that it is broken down into chunks that can be easily skimmed and includes headings and subheadings for better wayfinding. In our Content Rich Guides workshop, you’ll learn best practices for writing for the web and make sure that any content you bring into LibGuides is optimized for your online readers.

Join us for Creating Content-Rich Guides

This session includes active discussion so you’ll need to have a microphone available.

Pick the time that works for you: