Archive for March 27, 2020

Code Release: New LibCal, LibAnswers, LibGuides, LibWizard, LibStaffer, LibCRM & LibInsight features coming your way!

Spring 2020 certainly has been an interesting beast thus far, and we at Springy HQ hope that you and yours are safe and healthy! We are an all-remote workplace, and as such have continued to chug along in our jobs (albeit with new office mates in a lot of cases!), supporting so many of you in your newly-remote work, and coding up exciting new features that we hope will make your jobs a bit easier.

We are trying something new with this release-related blog post. Below you will find the features that we think are most exciting and important in all our apps. We feel it important to let you know about all the features we’ve worked on, though, so we are also going to start publishing Release Notes. You will need an account on the Springshare Lounge to view the notes. These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, April 3, 2020.

One last thing before we get to those features! We’ve updated the Support widget that is displayed on every admin-side page. We’re connecting you directly to documentation in this widget, so that you can get help even faster. Search through our comprehensive FAQs to find concise help on any topic. If you don’t find your answer, scroll to the bottom of the FAQ page to submit a question: *

screenshot

*With apologies to U2. And no, it wasn’t Cindi’s idea, but it might be why she took this job. 🙂

Read about: LibAnswersLibCalLibGuides | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibCRM | LibInsight

LibAnswers

With this release we have more fun new features and key chat and Co-Op improvements to share!

New LibAnswers Features

  • Ticket Countdown Alerts – If your site requires responding to a patron reply within a specific timeframe, use the new “Reply Timer” feature to give your site a visual indication of the amount of time remaining to reply to the patron. When this feature is enabled, a color coded (green / yellow / red) timer label is shown within the Dashboard and Tickets Knowledge Base Explorer to help notify your staff of time remaining to reply. Admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > General Settings to enable this feature.
  • Bulk Edit FAQs – For sites who manage a lot of FAQs, we’ve added a new “bulk edit” feature, which allows you to publish and unpublish FAQs and/or change their group affiliation. Head to Answers > FAQ Entries, use the checkboxes to indicate which FAQs you want to change, and choose the action you’d like to take.
  • Policy FAQ Preview links – Admin-level users who maintain your site’s policy FAQs will now see a “preview” option on the browse FAQs and edit Policy FAQ pages. This option allows them to see how the FAQ will display within the LibChat operator screen when cooperative librarians respond to chats from your library’s patrons.
  • Institution Coverage Reports Update – In addition to displaying Co-Op chat monitoring activity, Institution Coverage Reports now also display the total number of chats that were claimed and answered during each shift. Co-Op and Institution Admins can head to the Co-Op > Reports > Chat Monitoring Activity to see this report.

Updates for Shared Group Systems

  • Group Member Admin account level – Good news for admin users in Shared Group Systems – we’ve added a new account level in Shared Group Systems for Group Member Library Administrators. This account level is currently able to add / edit / delete accounts, but only within their assigned Group Member Library. In the future, this account level will also be able to edit the policy FAQs for their Group Member Library and leave feedback on chat transcripts that are associated with their library. To assign someone to a Group Member Admin account, System Account holders can head to the edit account screen > Add/Edit Account > Account Type: Group Member Admin.
  • Adjusted Chat Transcript Visibility: We’ve adjusted our approach to chat transcript visibility in Shared Group Systems for librarians who are assigned to a Group Member Library. Now librarians who are assigned to a Group Member Library will be able to view all chat transcripts that originated from chat widgets affiliated with their library, as well as transcripts that were answered by librarians from that Group Member Library. Users in Shared Group Systems can see this change by heading to LibChat > Transcripts.

QuestionPoint Data Portal

With this release, former QuestionPoint clients will now see a special portal page for viewing historical QuestionPoint data. This portal page includes the top level Institution Stats report for viewing stats on the total questions answered by each institution. We’ve also included a portal for each site’s previous QuestionPoint Service History, which provides access to the past 3 years’ worth of chat and email interactions from your QuestionPoint system. Admins can head to Admin > QuestionPoint Data and select a report or transcript to view.

Smaller fixes and Miscellany

  • Co-Op Duplicate Operators – We’ve fixed an issue where, in some cases, some operators from other systems were displaying more than once.
  • Co-Op Users Going Offline – Related to the above issue, we’ve also fixed an issue causing operators from other systems to show as online when they had gone offline.
  • Policy FAQs Jump – We’ve fixed a display issue that affected chat operators viewing the policy FAQ from another library.
  • New Window Link Targets – We fixed window targets in the question form and in System Status Management posts so that they open in a new window if set that way.
  • Searching Public FAQs from Internal Chats – We’ve fixed a problem that prevented searching public FAQs from within internal/1:1 chats in the new chat dashboard.
  • Institution Activity Date/Time Reports – We’ve adjusted the way we display data in Institution Activity Reports to display in the user’s local timezone, instead of always displaying in UTC.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibCal

We’re thrilled to bring you some great new LibCal features!

Appointments

We’ve added a calendar view that will display all currently-booked appointments.  Filter this new view by individual or all users, hover over an appointment to view details, or click details in the bottom pane to edit. Head to Appointments > Calendar to check out this new view!

We also have a few Accessibility fixes for Appointments:

  • We corrected contrast errors and addressed keyboard navigation issues for headings and buttons when making a booking.
  • We fixed an issue causing keyboard focus to be lost inside the information modal in appointments.

Calendars/Events

You can now attach files to events! A limit of 5 files (20MB per file) can be attached to a calendar event.  The file attachments will display on the public event page(s) as downloadable links.

Registration form responses are now viewable on the Registrations and Waitlist tabs, when managing an event. To change which fields are displayed in the table, click the ‘Columns’ button. 

  • When deleting a location, you can now choose “No Location” as its replacement. Once your location is deleted, any events using that location will be changed to “No Location.”
  • When adding a full registrant to a series linked event on the admin side, you can now add that registrant to all events in the series or to the selected event and all future events in the series.
  • We added a language customization option for the ‘More’ link on public event cards.

Equipment/Spaces

Make your Availability grid stand out! Now you can add patterns/stripes to the admin and public page availability grid.  Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings to add patterns to your statuses.

  • Granular Locations Access: We’ve added a new permission at Equipment & Space > Manage Locations, so that you can grant Regular users access to each location.
  • View check-in information: The Equipment Booking Explorer will now display which user Checked In or Checked Out an item, along with the date and time of these actions.  Head to Equipment > Booking Explorer to view this new functionality.
  • We’ve added support for email tags in the email templates subject line.
  • We’ve added the ability to copy equipment bookings from the ‘Check Out’ & ‘Check In’ pages.
  • A language customization has been added for the public page(s) error when a user exceeds their weekly booking limit.
  • The ability to post past equipment & space bookings through the API when using the ‘adminbooking’ parameter has been added.

We also have these accessibility fixes to bring you:

    • We mitigated errors on the public equipment page.
    • Headers on an individual Spaces pages were skipping from h1 to h4 to h2.
    • Keyboard navigation issues.

Miscellaneous

We’ve added an email notification for Exchange/Google sync/auth failures.  Currently, this email will alert any emails that are added for  Appointments OAuth and EWS connection errors and Spaces OAuth connection errors.  Future support is coming for Spaces EWS and Appointments, Calendars & Spaces Google connection errors.

Accessibility fixes have been completed for the following on multiple public pages:

  • Public pages that had nonconsecutive h1, h2, h3, h4 elements
  • Color Contrast errors

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibGuides

LibGuides and LibApps started our release-week party early! Check out last week’s blog post for what’s in this release, which is also expected to be complete by April 3.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibWizard

Privacy Scrub Tool

The long-awaited Privacy Scrub tool is is available now! With this new functionality, you can specify which fields in your LibWizard items are scrubbed on a rolling, monthly basis. Admin users head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Data Scrub page to complete the form to activate this feature for your site. There are also a few fields that you can optionally set to scrub for your system as a whole, since every form has the potential to save IP addresses and information about the submitter (name, email, phone).

Once it’s activated, admin-level users can also see when the scrub was enabled, and what it’s set to scrub, from this location.

Admin Privacy Scrub

In individual items, find this new setting by editing any item in the system and going to Options > Advanced > Configure Privacy Scrub. For each field that appears in the list, select whether or not you’d like to scrub that field.Privacy Data Scrub Settings

Additional Improvements

  • We fixed the issue where individual feedback wasn’t being saved properly for existing fields.
  • We’ve fixed the Pre-filled URL for time for date fields.
  • Pre-filled URL works with LibAuth authenticated forms.
  • The ‘Jump To Slide’ function when previewing standalone slides now works as expected.
  • Data Submission Notices are displayed properly for all tutorials.
  • We’ve fixed the issue where the banner header was still being displayed for widgets in pages that have the ‘Do Not Display Banner Header’ checked.
  • Last Updated and Last Updated By information is available in the F/S/Q/T list page.
  • We’ve updated the behavior for ‘Require correct answer to continue’ fields by adding in a new language text that will be displayed if that field does not have any feedback (individual, wrong/correct) enabled.
  • The Standalone Tutorial iframe has been updated so that it will behave as the ‘top’ window, allowing any embedded websites to behave as if it were the top window. This helps when embedding third party sites that may check to see if it’s the top window. For example, the World Health Organization page has a logic to redirect itself from the iframe if it is not the top window.

We also have these accessibility fixes to bring you:

  • We’ve added additional color settings for feedback styling. This includes wrong, correct, and informational feedback looks.
  • We’ve fixed “Link Purpose” errors on the Form, Survey, Quizzes, and Tutorials (F/S/Q/T) list pages.
  • We’ve added appropriate descriptive labels for the F/S/Q/T list pages, field editor modals, Admin pages. Text input fields have the appropriate descriptions via aria-label tags.
  • The ‘title’ on public forms has the proper ‘title’ tags.
  • Tutorial > Select/Edit slide breadcrumb color has been updated to conform to W3C’s color contrast criteria.
  • We fixed an error coming from the top navigation menu.

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibStaffer

We have the following LibStaffer features and fixes ready to deliver to you next week!

Schedules/Shifts
  • We’ve corrected an issue when editing shifts that have been previously synced to Outlook. Any edits will correctly reflect changes in Outlook.
  • We fixed an issue causing the end date to not appear when editing a recurring shift using the ‘From This Date Forward’ option.
  • The 24-hour time format correctly displays in the Schedules calendar view, shift details time display, and picker.
  • Accessibility fixes have been done for the ‘Copy Shifts’ page.
Time Off
  • Elevated Regular users who have the ability to approve Time Off will only see accounts associated with the schedules where they have that permission.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where the ‘All Day Event’ was not working properly at the start of Daylight Savings Time.
  • The 24-hour time format correctly displays on the Time Off calendar view and Time Off record entry time picker.
  • Accessibility fixes have been completed for the Time Off calendar and staff timeline view.
Misc.
  • You can now enter Holidays using a date range vs. adding the days one-by-one! Head to Admin > Holidays to check out this new feature.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibCRM

This LibCRM release brings Custom Fields for Interactions and some improvements to the dashboard and navigation bar, as well as a bunch of small changes and fixes.

Custom Interactions

We’ve reworked the way interactions were set up in the system. Interactions can be completely personalized by showing / hiding system fields and adding / removing custom fields (as you do for profiles)

Interaction Types tab: since they have similar behavior as profiles now, interaction types are no longer in the Manage Form Fields / Categories & Terms tab. Instead, Interaction Types has its own tab at the top of the page.

In this “Interaction Types” tab, you can create new types of interactions.

Important:  this is a required field. When this feature goes out, all interactions will be given the type “Unknown.” You can customize your types from here, but this default type cannot be deleted or edited.

Fields for Interaction Types tab: Create custom fields that will be displayed when creating/viewing an interaction. Custom fields for interactions present the same level of flexibility as the ones in profiles (view, create, delete, edit). As in other places, the system will provide some basic “Interaction System Fields” that can’t be deleted or edited, to ensure your data stays organized.

  • Improved interaction performance: we have tweaked the way the system works in order to make working with interactions faster.
Additional changes
  • We have turned the At a Glance panel into a way to quickly navigate to the information presented. Clicking the link redirects you to the specific module of the system.
  • We removed the “New” dropdown from the navigation bar. Go to the respective areas to create new content.
  • Also note that the Help link is no longer a question mark. Click “Help” to jump to documentation.
  • Search filters selected by default: when using the search box in the navigation bar all the search filters are selected by default, effectively searching the entire system.

Profiles
  • We have increased the “Description” character limit from 255 to 1000 characters.
  • We have added a link to create a new type right next to the “Select Type” option when creating a Person/Organization profile or and Interaction. That way the user won’t have to leave the creation process to create a new type from the Manage Form Fields page and then come back to the create entity process and complete it.

[Back to Top]

LibInsight

We’ve updated our Cross Dataset Analysis codebase to be more efficient and manageable! We’ve also included two new aggregate types for cross dataset analysis: Hourly (up to two days) and Daily (up to one month).

Fixes and Improvements
  • We’ve fixed the issue where admins could not access Shared datasets via Admin > Manage Datasets page. Clicking the Shared dataset name will take you to the Record Data screen and not the LibInsight Home landing page.
  • The ‘View Statistics’ link has been fixed for Shared datasets.
  • The broken link ‘+ Add new SUSHI Credential’ on the Counter 4 datasets edit platform page has been fixed.
  • If you have LibCRM, then LibCRM will be available in the top navigation menu links (in the blue dropdown left of ‘Home’).
  • The Created Time for COUNTER 5 datasets has been updated to Local Time Zone format from UTC format.
  • Better handling of invoice file uploads by checking to see if the file actually uploaded successfully.
  • Cross Dataset Analysis will include two new aggregate types: Hourly and Daily.
Accessibility
  • All charts are now fully accessible.
  • The required fields for any dataset that has a form for data input have the proper aria-required properties.

[Back to Top]

That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more improvements throughout 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

A few updates for LibGuides

LibGuides Update
We here at Springy HQ have been hearing from you that you’re working from home, staying safe, and supporting your patrons just as well as you did in-house. As an all-remote company, we have all made this transition at one point, and so we know it can be tough! We continue to work hard to bring you features and updates for all the Springy apps that you depend on, now more than ever. We’ve got your back!
To that end, here are a few important updates coming to LibGuides in the coming weeks, and some reminders about additional changes planned for the summer months. These first two items will take effect by the end of next week, when we put out our next code release.
Updated Rich Text Editor – We’re making an upgrade to our Rich Text Editor available to those who would like to try it out early! It is not only cleaner (and still fully-functional!), but it takes advantage of the spell-check capabilities that are built into your web browser, for faster spell-checking. Just scan your text for words underlined in red, highlight one, then press ctrl+right-click (Windows) or Cmd+ctrl+right-click (Mac) to view suggested corrections:
screenshot
If you would like to update and get a sneak-peak of the newer version, please fill out this form. We will roll this out to everyone by the end of Summer 2020.
Removal of Image Mappings – After our code release next week, you might notice that we have removed the numeric indicators in the Image Manager. These numbers were intended to show you where each image was used throughout Springy Apps. However, this intent was never fully-realized. Rather than continue to show you inaccurate information, we decided to take this down so that we can dream it all up again and create a media manager that is better than ever. Stay tuned to our blog for more announcements. 🙂
You may also notice that the Image Manager lives solely in LibApps now. Adding an image inside a guide has not changed at all, but if you navigate to Content > Image Manager, be aware that you’re jumping to LibApps. Use your browser’s back arrow to get back to LibGuides, or choose your LibGuides site from the blue menu at the top left.
Edit! This is happening next week: Removing the option to add book covers from Amazon. First, rest assured: if you have added any book covers to your guides or Gallery Boxes using the Amazon cover option, those are going to continue to work for several months, until we move to all HTTPS for LibGuides.  Amazon images in LibGuides are HTTP-only, and there’s not an HTTPS equivalent for the images in place, or for the API that we have been using for this. We are removing the option from the Books from the Catalog interface for security reasons, since the images cannot load over HTTPS. The Syndetics, “Other,” and blue and white default cover options will remain. After internal discussion, we decided not to provide this option using Amazon’s newer “Product Advertising API,” because advertising is not the business we’re (or you’re) in. 🙂

More to Come – Summer or Earlier Updates

We’re doing some housecleaning and updating – Here are a few more updates that will be coming soon that you should be aware of. Most of these changes are related to security updates of one stripe or another.
Secure by default with HTTPS. As we’ve mentioned in the past, browsers are starting to enforce the requirement that all web content use the secure HTTPS protocol rather than the original, insecure HTTP protocol. We will be moving all sites to “HTTPS required” this summer, and we will be contacting you several times with tips, tricks, and reminders to prepare your LibGuides site for this all-secure, all-the-time approach. If you’d like to go ahead and make your site secure 24/7, go to LibApps > Admin > Certificates & Domains > Click the padlock for your domain > HTTPS > Required.
Deprecation of API v1.0. Also this summer, we will be deprecating the older v1.0 LibGuides API in favor of the v1.1 API (guides, assets, accounts, subjects) and the v1.2 API with OAuth2 (database assets). If you have website content that is currently using the 1.0 API, please update your calls to use one of the newer versions. If you’re retrieving A-Z Database List assets, check out the v1.2 API, which uses OAuth2 authentication. In LibGuides, go to Tools > API to get started.
Moving tabbed boxes to Bootstrap. Tabbed boxes in your guides currently use a software library that is in need of replacing, for security reasons. We will begin powering tabbed boxes with Bootstrap rather than jQuery-ui, for a more modern look and feel. If you use tabbed boxes, but you have never written any custom CSS to change their look and feel, you can totally ignore this item. 🙂 If you use CSS to customize the look of your tabbed boxes, watch for additional announcements, since you will need to update the CSS to refer to the Bootstrap selectors. (Note: jQuery will be unchanged; this specifically refers to jQuery-ui.)
Further changes for Amazon book cover images.  Next week we are removing the option to add new book covers using the Amazon option.  This summer, we will replace any Amazon HTTP-only cover image with the blue “Default” cover image so that these can be made secure, and so that the layout of any book assets using them does not change. Stay tuned to this blog for more information.
Thanks as always for being on board! Let us know if you have questions or other needs. Your Springy peeps are at the ready!

Resource Sharing with Patrons (and Fellow Springshare Users)

It’s an uncertain time for everyone, and while we’re all in this together as a community, some of us are literally in this together, sharing the same work and living space, for the foreseeable future. Parents (including our own Springys) may find themselves with children suddenly at home who may or may not have lesson plans or structured activities.

As schools are closing, people are hunkering down, and libraries find themselves grappling with the best way to serve and protect their patrons; sharing informational, educational, and entertainment resources online has become more important than ever.

To that end, we wanted to share some resources with you! These are for any fellow parents looking for kiddo distractions that encourage learning and librarians looking for guide inspiration and virtual programming ideas.

Here’s our list of interactive at-home learning sites our Springy parents have discovered or had recommended to them:

Do you have any sites to recommend? Add them as a comment. 😀

Sharing resources with Springshare tools

As you’re finding sites, videos, and other helpful resources for your patrons, here are just a few ways you can use Springshare’s tools to get the word out to your patrons:

Sharing resources with fellow Springshare users

For library staff able to work from home, now may be the time to update LibGuides and LibAnswers sites, create virtual programs and appointments using LibCal, and shift services in general. We’re here for you during this time! And our support ticket numbers tell us that you’ve found us, too. 😉

With many of us former librarians ourselves, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out all of the online resources we have available for you and your fellow coworkers.

Here’s what we have freely available to our customers 24/7:

Springshare Help Center

Springshare Help Center

  • The searchable Springshare Help Center is great for finding answers to individual questions.
    • For those looking to complete multi-step tasks, like setting up LibChat widgets and the LibCal Appointments module, take a look at our Springboards that combine FAQs with step-by-step guidance and planning considerations.
  • Our training video library of past sessions also includes help guides and resources. We regularly update videos with our newest sessions!
  • SpringyU, our self-paced learning platform, currently features bite-sized Blocks and full Courses for LibCal and LibAnswers FAQs The team is adding more content as it’s being completed!

Our training team is also hard at work creating new sessions for librarians adjusting to the recent shift to online services. Here are some upcoming training sessions specifically for digital services:

  • Teaching Online: Webinar Tips from the Springys – Here at Springshare we do the bulk of our training online. Join us for a 20-minute session where we will share some tips and tricks we have learned to make online teaching easier for you to do and easier for your users to follow.
    • Date: Thursday, March 19, 2020, from 1:00pm – 1:20pm U.S. ET (UTC -4)
  • Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions – With the changes in how we are interacting with patrons, learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments.
    • Date: Thursday, March 19, 2020, from 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET (UTC -4)
  • Keeping Important Info Up-to-Date with LibAnswers – We will look how to manage important information about your library, school, university or business, etc, in relation to the current crisis by creating a Covid-19 FAQ Group in LibAnswers.
    • Date: Friday, March 20, 2020 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm U.S. ET (UTC -4)
  • Build-a-LibGuide for a Class That’s Just Gone Digital! – With changes to how classes are being conducted, we need to adapt our methods for sharing information and resources. Join us for a 40 minute session where we will look at creating a guide to support a course that’s recently just gone online.
    • Date: Monday, March 23, 2020 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm U.S. ET (UTC -4)

You can find all sessions related to online learning in response to COVID-19 on our training calendar.

Finally, we have a couple of resources for librarians to help each other!

  • The LibGuides Community site – searchable guides, institutions, and librarians
  • The Springshare Lounge – a dedicated place for Springshare customers to ask each other questions and share information
    • Current LibApps users can request access to the lounge by clicking Sign Up

Many of us are just beginning to adjust the new reality, and we hope these will help you in the process of getting information out to the community and moving library services online. Again, we’re here with you every step of the way. 🙂

Tips & Tricks for the Remote-First World

As more and more schools are closing, events are being canceled, buildings are shutting their doors, and people are remote-working where possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve… your organization is facing a critical and time-sensitive situation. How do you provide virtual services to your patrons?

Here at Springshare, we know you’re under a lot of pressure and we’re here to help you adjust quickly and ensure that your library can provide effective support to online learners and community members that cannot physically be in the library. But first things first, we want to assure you that your Springshare Service will continue uninterrupted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Academic & K12 Institutions

With most, if not all, courses at your institution being taught online, it’s important for your library to be where your students are. Whether that means embedding library services and content in courseware or providing remote research consultations…. if they’re remote, you need to be remotely accessible too.

Courseware Integration – Adding LibGuides, LibAnswers Live Chat, and LibCal Scheduling Services

We’ve written this stellar FAQ on three different ways you can embed your LibAnswers and LibChat content in your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, and other LTI-compliant courseware tools.

The first method outlines using LibGuides CMS’ LTI-integration which allows you to embed not only a LibAnswers FAQ search box and a live LibChat widget, but also links to related LibGuides, LibCal appointment scheduler for online/remote research consultations, content-specific library databases, and more.

LibGuides CMS LTI Tool – creating a Library Resources page in Canvas with LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal.

If LibGuides CMS is not in the cards, don’t worry – the other two ways outlined in the FAQ provide detailed instructions for embedding LibAnswers and LibChat widgets using either Javascript or non-Javascript methods. Bottom-line, if you need to integrate the library’s virtual reference services into your courseware tools… we’ve got you covered.

LibAnswers Screensharing + LibCal = Booking Virtual Appointments

If classes have gone virtual, your students still need research consultations – albeit virtually. Use LibCal Appointments to setup, manage, and communicate online appointments and conduct those sessions using LibAnswers Screensharing. LibCal Admins, learn how you can setup the Appointment Scheduler for optimal usage. We even have a dedicated training session available to show you how you can use LibCal for booking virtual help.

  • Training Session – Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions: Learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET

Public / State Libraries

Though your buildings are closing their doors, there is a need now, more than ever, to effectively communicate and share extremely important public safety information with your community. We’ve seen an uptick in the creation of COVID-19 LibGuides, especially as it relates to sharing information on what public services are available, what’s closed, and more. Your LibGuides help shatter myths about the virus and communicate real facts and tips. Here are some of our favorites.

COVID-19 LibGuides:

 

All Libraries – Virtual Reference & Instruction Services

No matter what type of library you’re from, if your doors are closing for two weeks, a month, or longer, you might be exploring ways to provide virtual reference & instruction services to your patrons from the comfort and safety of your home to the comfort and safety of their home.

LibAnswers Virtual Reference Platform

If you need assistance with quickly pivoting to remote-only virtual reference service we can help with that. If you do not have an effective online chat platform with email reference capability, FAQ creator, live chat with screensharing & webinars functionality, and social media monitoring, or if you haven’t yet set some of these options up in your system, we can get you up and running on our LibAnswers platform quickly, including plenty of training / online help: live and recorded sessions, Springboards, and SpringyU courses on FAQ Groups (limit to LibAnswers).

  • Pro-tip Idea: You can use the LibAnswers Systems and Status Dashboard to share the status of various institution, city, or community services. Is the dining hall closed till further notice? Mark it as closed in your Status Dashboard. Is city hall accepting only pre-booked appointments? Note that in your Status Dashboard.

LibWizard Self-Grading Quizzes & Interactive Tutorials

Some of you are getting word out that your doors are closing and that you’ll switch to online services exclusively with just a few hours or maybe even a full day of notice…if you’re lucky. If you’re scrambling to develop lesson plans or instruction packets for K-12 students who are facing school closures for 2 – 5 weeks or college-level students who are going 100% virtual through the end of the semester, create LibWizard self-grading quizzes and/or interactive tutorials.

LibWizard quizzes and tutorials:

  • Work on all devices from tablet to computer;
  • Allow you to create an unlimited number of self-grading quizzes and tutorials;
  • Provide real-time formative assessment with correct/incorrect help text;

For public and K-12 libraries, consider liaising with your local K-12 schools to assist teachers in creation of tutorials and quizzes. Academic libraries, reach out to faculty and consider embedding a tutorial or quiz inside courseware. Public librarians, your patrons are self-quarantining and really want to download some ebooks. Create an interactive tutorial teaching them how to search, find, and download ebooks.

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial on Downloading eBooks

 

All Libraries – Bulk Canceling LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment Reservations

If your building is closing suddenly, there’s a good chance that patrons have scheduled in-person appointments and reserved spaces/rooms & equipment via your LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment modules. Now you have to cancel a lot of upcoming reservations and appointments…quickly. We’ve coded and released a new bulk delete feature for the LibCal Appointments, Spaces, and Equipment modules to help you with that process. This feature will be available to all regions by Tuesday, March 17.

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

If you need extra (online) hands to staff and monitor chat to ensure after-hours, regular hours, or full 24/7 coverage, we can help with that, too. Our LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative is the largest virtual reference cooperative in the world and our co-op librarians can lend a helping hand.

For those libraries who are already members of the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative, you might be noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc. We want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.

COVID-19 Dedicated Training Series

Quickly pivoting to working from home might be new territory for you, so we’ve created several training sessions that cover: ways you can communicate important information to your community, building a LibGuide for a class that’s gone completely digital, and more. Can’t attend any of the below sessions? Don’t worry, all sessions are recorded and available online shortly after the session is held.

  • Keeping Important Info Up-to-Date with LibAnswers Widgets – manage important information about your library, school, university or business, etc, in relation to the current crisis. By creating a COVID-19 FAQ Group in LibAnswers embedding and updating important information will be easier. With widgets you will only need to update information in one location and it will automatically be updated everywhere your widgets have been used.

    •  Monday, March 16: 1:00pm – 1:45pm U.S. ET

  • Build-a-LibGuide for a Class That’s Just Gone Digital – with changes to how classes are being conducted, we need to adapt our methods for sharing information and resources. Join us for a 40 minute session where we will look at creating a guide to support a course that has just gone online.  This session assumes a base knowledge of LibGuides. If you are new to LibGuides we recommend that you watch or attend the Building a Guides Session prior to this one.
    • Wednesday, March 18: 2:00pm – 2:40pm U.S. ET
  • Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions –  learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET
  • Engaging Online Learners with Quizzes & Tutorials – with the move to online instruction across the world, learn how you can create online quizzes and tutorials using LibWizard to supplement your instruction programs.

    • Tuesday, March 24: 2:00pm – 3:00pm U.S. ET

Bottom-line: we know that this is a very stressful and unnerving time-period. Both you and your patrons are going through a drastic shift, and we want you to know that we’re with you each and every step of the way. Springshare has you covered.

Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Your Springshare Service will Continue Uninterrupted

We at Springshare see our mission as twofold: First, as a software company we provide web-based SaaS solutions to help libraries with their communication, outreach and user engagement efforts. Second, we strive to provide you with amazing support to help you accomplish your goals of assisting patrons with their research and information needs through our software. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many institutions are canceling programs, classes, and events, while at the same time putting more emphasis on online teaching and learning (online-only classes and the like). Subsequently, the demand for your online & virtual services, online outreach, and online communication in general will certainly increase, too.


To that end, you have questions about how Springshare will be able to support you during this time. Rest assured we are ready to help and we’ll do what it takes to get you the assistance you need.

The Springshare Team – No Disruption of Service

UC San Diego’s LibGuide on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Springshare is a remote-first workplace and we do not anticipate any disruptions in our operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as most employees work from their home offices. We also have ample staff resources available, so if some staff members were to contract the virus and are unable to work, other staff members would take over their duties to ensure no interruptions to the Springshare service or our company workflows.

Our cloud-based server infrastructure is located in various data centers around the world, hosted by AWS (Amazon Web Services), and we have no reason to believe that there would be server outages and/or connectivity problems due to COVID-19.

Therefore we believe that Springshare services and the availability of our apps will not be impacted by this outbreak.

Attendance at Upcoming Conferences & Shows

There are several upcoming conferences where Springshare has planned to attend. We currently intend to go to all upcoming conferences, unless they are canceled.

  • SCELCapalooza Vendor Day: March 12
  • Computers in Libraries (Booth #315): March 31 – April 2
    • UPDATE: This event has been canceled. Official statement from CIL.
  • ELUNA Annual Meeting: May 5 – 8
  • ALA Annual Conference: June 26 – 29

LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative – We are Prepared for Potential Increases in Chat Traffic

On February 28, the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative launched! For those of you noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc…we want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.

Our mission is to help you succeed – by providing great service to your users. To that end, since the Cooperative is staffed not only by Springshare 24/7 Librarians but also by libraries around the world who contribute hours to the Cooperative, we ask that you send any contribution hours changes here. We also request that you honor your contribution schedule during these uncertain times. We will continue to monitor the chat activity across the Global Cooperative and make adjustments, and communicate information, as appropriate.

PLA Conference Recap Including Guest Presenter Recordings

PLA-Recap

What’s not to love about Nashville? Great food? Check. Energetic vibe? Check. Amazing live music everywhere you turn? Check and check. We had a great time at the Public Library Association’s Annual Conference last week in Nashville. Springshare’s booth, not unlike the Grand Ole Opry, was absolutely jamming – we got to experience several amazing guest presentations, chat with clients and answer their questions, and munch on a few of those mini-tacos opening night (okay, maybe more like 15 – but who’s counting?!). In case you were #PLAleftbehind, we recorded our amazing guest speakers and a few of our own Springshare-led presentations. So kick back, relax, grab a mini-taco (or 15), and enjoy our post-conference wrap-up!

While we had a great time during PLA in Nashville, our thoughts go out to this vibrant city that suffered a devastating tornado just days after the conference ended. Many lives were lost and we are saddened by the destruction this wonderful city experienced. You’re in our thoughts.

Guest Speakers (15 minutes or less)

Sara-Nielsen

Ask Us: Using LibAnswers for Online Reference in a Multi-Branch Library

Sara discusses how they use LibAnswers for supporting online reference at the St. Charles City-County Library system.

Watch Presentation & View Resources



Managing Public Library Room Reservations with LibCal

Brigid and Katie explore how they use LibCal to manage the public room reservations at the John P. Hold Brentwood Library.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


LibCal is the Foundation for my Programming

Victor showcases how he is using LibCal as the foundation for his different programming activities. Using examples from his work with graduate students, he shows how LibCal can be used to develop, coordinate, and manage programming at any type of library, and across various locations/campuses.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


Scheduling Staff at a Large Public Library with LibStaffer

Gianna showcases how the Boston Public Library system schedules 300+ staffers across 20+ branches inside one LibStaffer system.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


Springshare-Led Presentations (15 minutes or less)

These amazing presentations are led by Springys! Not only do they contain really helpful info but also sneak-peeks at coming-soon functionality! Be on the cutting edge by checking them out below.

Want to Be a Springy Presenter?

If you’re looking at Victor’s, Gianna’s, or Sara’s presentations and thinking to yourself, “I have cool stuff to share, too!”… then you’re in luck! We’re looking for guest speakers for the ALA Annual Conference (June 26 – 29)! Take a minute and fill out our Springy Rockstars Wanted form.