Archive for December 23, 2019

Springshare Support is Closed as We Celebrate the Holidays.

Springshare Support is Closed for the Holidays…But We Have Fun Stuff in Case You’re Open!

We’re taking some days off to celebrate the holidays. You can expect Springshare Support to be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th. While we’re at it, looking into the future a bit, we will also be closed on January 1st.

But, we know that some libraries will be open and are working hard to get the word out. For those of you with a skeleton crew holding down the fort, we’ve got some fun stuff to get you and your team through the quiet stretches. You’ll pass the time between patrons, learn new skills, and accomplish some super cool things.

Make the Most of Your Time

  • SpringyU – We recently launched SpringyU. It’s all about self-paced learning. You can choose to learn with Blocks or beef up your skills to take on your library’s priorities with Courses. If you’ve got 5 minutes or a lot more than that, you can attend SpringyU right from your chair. 
  • SpringyNews – Find yourself in the midst of a slow period at the desk? Peruse our latest newsletter. It’s full of tips and tricks for optimizing your use of LibGuides and our other tools. You’ll be able to catch up on the latest announcement regarding the LibAnswers 24/7 Co-Op, and more.
  • Springshare Buzz – Want to watch a short overview of LibCRM? Or perhaps you’ve been hearing a lot about the LibAnswers Co-Op but don’t know what it is? Does a LibWizard 3-minute at-a-glance video sound exactly like what you’re capable of handling today? Check out the Product Highlights page on the Springshare Buzz Site for quick looks and more. 
  • Catch up on Updates – It’s really helpful to keep up with all the new features and fixes for Springshare tools that are now available to you. You can read the blog post on the updates from the November code release. Or, to catch up on October and November highlights, take a look at the updates page in the most recent newsletter.
  • Opt In – for the gift that keeps on giving. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can check out the stories we’re sharing all year long.

Springshare is so grateful for the opportunity we have to work hard to make library life wonderful and to help you make the patron experience better and better. Thank you for sharing with us your extraordinary feedback, suggestions, wishlists — and for the positive example of true dedication. See you in the New Year!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #2: Keep Patrons Informed

Tip #2 – Keep Patrons Informed

We’re getting down to the part of the season where there are atypical hours and even closures either due to inclement weather or observed holidays. Just as important, there are some libraries that are anxious to let patrons know that they will, in fact, be open. LibAnswers has so many features in place that let you get ahead of the questions by taking a few proactive steps to keep your patrons in the know.

 

Honor Your Social Obligations 

The LibAnswers system has a Social Media Management tool built into it. Most libraries use it to broadcast details on all the fun happening at the library, but don’t forget, besides reminders, it’s designed to help you plan ahead, too! You can create and schedule Tweets, Pinterest pins, and Facebook posts — all from right inside LibAnswers. So, make sure to utilize these channels to let your patrons know:

  • About any changes to services at your library
  • If you’ll have adjusted or abbreviated hours
  • And, share any days you will be closed

Just go to Social > Create >  Select the Channel (Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest). Customize your message and schedule it to post at a future date and time. You can do this to maintain a social media presence even when you’re not open, or just to keep ahead of your to-do list. It doesn’t have to be critical FYIs… schedule any post!

Get Proactive About Your Answers

The beauty of LibAnswers is that — no matter which channels a patron prefers to use to communicate with your library, you can be there just by signing into the LibAnswers Platform. To save you and your team a lot of time during these weeks, write out the answers to your super popular FAQs of the season and then place them everywhere you need them.

  • FAQs – Wish you had Seasonal FAQs for those who like to search for answers? You can have them with the Status Change feature! Create the FAQ > select Change Status > opt to Schedule a Status Change. This means you can change the status to published just at the beginning of the season so that it’s not in the system all year confusing people. Instead the seasonal FAQ can be published when you want and then also be unpublished at a date you choose, as well. These can also be useful for extended hours during finals, etc. 
  • Macros – Create a few macros for tickets and SMS messages. When those queues fill up with questions like, “How late are you open today?” you can effortlessly tackle them one by one with your macros in place.
  • Canned Messages – LibChat allows for system-wide canned messages. So, Admins, go ahead and create some ready-to-go answers for your whole staff to use when chatting. Label them Thanksgiving Hours, Exam Hours, Holiday Closings, etc. Just be sure they’re clear at-a-glance because chat is a speedy endeavor, then let the team know they’re available for use! These canned messages can be easily re-ordered so that you can move them to the top when the time is right!

Have a Backup Plan

Some libraries operate with minimal staff during these last weeks of the year. Find out who is going to be part of that skeleton crew and see if they’d be willing to be set up as a fallback monitor to be designated in your LibChat widget. For instance, if the Reference Department monitors the widget for questions that come in, see if Circulation would be okay to have new chats sent to them in case the Reference Department is offline. It’s also possible to select specific operators. LibStaffer could help you know who’s working.

This time of year, doesn’t have to be so unpredictable. When you are open, use the Internal Notes field in Reference Analytics to leave a tag like “Holidays”. It will help you search for all the transactions — for which you recorded analytics from live ones to chats to tickets, etc. — that happened during the holiday season. This data will help you see if your patrons are engaging pretty heavily or even at a normal level with the library, or if it’s really quite slow at this time like you imagine it would be. Let the data replace the guesswork.

From all of us at Springshare, “Enjoy the rest of 2019 and we’ll see you in the new year!”

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

Interested in looking ahead? We have a recording of the LibAnswers 24/7 Co-Op Sneak Peek session for you to view. To watch, click here.

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing — Tip #1: The Eventful Library

Tip #1 — The Eventful Library

What’s on the schedule for these next three weeks? Is it chaos, or cookies? This time of year, most libraries have event calendars that are jam-packed! LibCal is just as full of tremendous features — as your libraries are of eager patrons. Let’s make a list (and check it twice) of the ways you can ensure that you’re doing your level best to keep your library eventful and jolly.

Everything’s Better When You Make it from Scratch

While we do have options in place to make it easy for you to set up repeating events, December calendars tend to have a lot of unique offerings. Start from the beginning by taking advantage of the integrated space and equipment booking feature. At event creation, go ahead and reserve the auditorium for the Winter Poetry Reading and, while you’re at it, reserve a podium, microphone, and that projector to mimic falling snow behind your readers. Don’t forget to use the setup and teardown padding, if there’s a lot to do.

 

 

The More the Merrier

Marketing can be an intimidating concept. Just remember that there’s a reason people judge a book by its cover. A picture’s worth a thousand words. LibCal allows you to draw your patrons in with featured images — both in the Daily List view and, more recently, the Daily Card view. This can be done even after the event has been created. So, put your best photo forward and pull in those attendees! With the right image, that Ugly Knitting Party could easily become a hot ticket.

Don’t Cut Off the Tags

Tags are good when you’re creating events. Want to ensure the tags work for you? You’d have to always remember to add the Audience and Category right from the start. To establish this as part of the process, you can make the fields required for all new events. The Audience can be adult or all ages, faculty or first-year students. Have as many as you like. They’re easy to create and manage. Categories allow for even more filtering. LibCal has System-Level Categories and also Calendar-Level Event Categories. These designate the kind of event like Book Club, Crafts or Holiday, etc. Using these tags will help your patrons find events that might be of interest to them. One might be looking for a craft event for teens. Someone else might be looking for database help for transfer students. You’ve got all this excellent programming lined up, make sure your patrons can find events and get excited about them.

If registration is required, make sure that you encourage patrons to register by creating an Event Button that you embed on your library website, in a related LibGuide, or anywhere you know your patrons are visiting.

 

Enjoy Top Billing

The Billing feature in LibCal allows you to have integrated online payments natively built right into the system to collect payment online via card or in person. If you’ll charge patrons to attend some of the special events at your library this month, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to push folks out to some other external site when it’s time to pay. Having a 3D Printer event where people make snowflakes? They can pay for the event right at the moment of registration or opt to pay at the event.

In our October update, we modified the status and processing of refunds for in-person payments. Now, if a booking or registration that was paid for in-person is canceled, the status will change to “refund due”. The Springshare team has worked very hard to make sure you and your patrons feel comfortable with the whole process. Not having to go to out into the cold to, yet, another interface is part of that. Billing currently supports five currencies and you can, of course, see a record of all completed payments, refunds, and cancelations. You know how frustrating it can be to untangle a string of lights. LibCal keeps your records straight.

 

So, go ahead and promote those “Hot Cocoa Mixers” and your “Hit the 2020 Ground Running” resume workshop. LibCal features make it easy to have successful events time and Father Time, again. And, if you really want to be a star, send out a LibWizard survey afterward!

 

Practical LibInsight Use-Cases To Deliver Data Success

In case you missed our webinar series last month on LibInsight, you can watch the recordings!

We discussed practical use-cases covering targeted ways you can use LibInsight to transform your data into powerful intelligence. Plus, we had one guest speaker covering how they’re using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence.

These short recordings will deliver a lot of helpful information in only 30 minutes… talk about getting the most use out of your limited time.

Using LibInsight to County Library Activity (32minutes)

Are you ‘counting’ things at your library? Like how many library cards were issued last month? Or events you had last year? Or total gate counts last quarter? This recording covers ways you can use LibInsight to keep track of things you’re counting, plus ways you can use it to do calculations for you!



Analyzing COUNTER r5 eResources with LibInsight (31minutes)

This recording does a quick overview of how LibInsight ingests and displays COUNTER r5 eResource data plus cost/invoice data to boot. Working with a vendor who isn’t COUNTER r5 compliant? No worries, the recording covers that too!


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence (34minutes)

Want to see how a library is using LibInsight? Guest Speaker Derek Mackenzie, Head of User Services at the City, University of London Library joins us and shares his experiences using LibInsight for library planning. Plus, he discusses how the library won the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) award using data from LibInsight.


If you’re looking for more in-depth LibInsight training, check out our training recordings!