Archive for May 20, 2020

Using LibCal to Schedule Curbside Pickup

You might have heard of LibCal or perhaps you’re already an avid user. If you’ve never heard of it at all, LibCal is our web-based calendar & event management tool helping you:


But…. have you thought about using LibCal Spaces for scheduling and managing curbside pickup of library holds? Yes! LibCal Spaces is so flexible, it can be used to schedule any type of space whether it’s a parking space, a table outside the library, or any area you’d like to designate for contactless/curbside delivery.

Plus, by creating a booking schedule that you control – you can help to protect the safety of patrons by limiting and staggering when patrons pick up their holds. This ensures that there’s only one patron pickup request per designated time-period… eliminating crowds, lines, and potential ways for patrons to spread COVID-19 to each other, and to you and your staff. Protecting patrons and staff health and safety? It’s a win, win. Read on as we give a brief overview of how you can use LibCal Spaces to schedule and communicate curbside pickup of library holds.

Want to Learn More? Watch a Recording or Attend a Live Webinar!

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Attend a live session – click to view dates below.

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Setting Up a Holds Pickup Location

It all starts by creating a Location, “Holds Pickup” or “Curbside Pickup” under Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Create Location. Within your location, navigate to Spaces Tab > add a Category.

Create different categories for different areas that you’d like to designate for curbside pickup. Create categories for:

  • Parking Spaces
  • Tables Outside the Library
  • Entrances

Each category has unique spaces and you can define rules within each category relating to booking duration, booking window, and more.

Timeslot Settings

Within each Spaces Category, you can customize booking duration, booking lead time, padding between bookings. We recommend the following settings:

  • Booking Maximum Duration, Booking Minimum Duration, Booking Default Duration – should all be the same value, 10-15 minute timeslots.
  • Add Padding Between Bookings – give yourself a bit of a breather so you’re not running back and forth into the building.
  • Single Booking Multiple Rooms and Single Booking Same Room Multiple Times – set these options to not allowed.
  • Duration Limit – how many minutes a day a patron is allowed to book for? If you’ve setup 10min timeslots and you only want to allow patrons 1 curbside pickup/day > set this value to 10 / day.
  • Frequency Limit – How many bookings do you want to allow in a week? Can patrons come every day for a pickup?
  • Window Limit – How far in Advance can they book? We suggest 10 days or less

Defining Spaces

Upload pictures of each space and define where that space is in the directions area. This way patrons know exactly where they’re supposed to go to pickup their holds. When patrons receive confirmation of their curbside booking, the space’s directions {{{ROOM_DIRECTIONS}}} are included.

Customize the email confirmation to include instructions for curbside pickup, what happens if they miss their timeslot, and instructions on how to reschedule.

Create a Customized Booking Form

Setup a Custom Booking Form (Locations > Booking Forms) – to gather information about the user so you can be better prepared for their pickup. Examples include Car Make/Model/Color, Library Barcode Number so you can check out the items to them once they’ve arrived, and information on how to checkout items for other family members.

Creating a Booking Schedule

Does each Spaces category have a different schedule? Are parking spaces pickup only available from 10am-2pm Monday – Friday? Outdoor table pickups available weekends only from 9am-1pm? Each Spaces Category can have a different schedule of booking availability.

Routing Patrons to Curbside Pickup Scheduling

Add a link to scheduling curbside pickup to your ILS Holds Confirmation Email. Once patrons’ holds have arrived in the library, instruct them through the process of scheduling contactless pickup.

Tip: Add friendly URLs to your Curbside Delivery Location! This makes the URL much more accessible in the ILS Holds Confirmation Email.

Communication During Curbside Pickup

Is your patron running late? Are they in a different car than the one they specified on the form? Have they been waiting outside for 15 minutes and you haven’t seen them? Here are ways you can communicate with them during their curbside pickup.

Add Instructions for Texting the Library

If you’re a LibAnswers user, you might be using the SMS/Text-a-Librarian option therein. Your LibAnswers system has the ability to have a custom SMS number and you can even create SMS automatic keywords. When patrons text ‘PICKUP’ to your SMS number, it sends them an automated response with instructions. When they reply back, you’ll know that they’re outside, in which vehicle, and picking up holds for confirmation #123. Don’t have LibAnswers and want to learn more? Contact us!

Include this information in:

  1. In the ILS Holds Confirmation Email
  2. In the LibCal confirmation email they receive once they’ve booked their Spaces curbside timeslot
  3. On the LibCal Spaces webpage > description area

Don’t Have SMS/Text-a-Librarian Service?

Follow the same instructions above but include other ways they can contact you, from calling the library to let you know that they’re outside, to your email address, or all of the above.

We hope these steps provide you with some helpful guidance! Difficult decisions are being made at every level of library service, and COVID-19 has changed the way you can safely interact with your patrons. We’re working on adding functionality to help you service patrons remotely, create a schedule of curbside pickup for the safety of patrons and staff, and more. Stay tuned, this is just the beginning – we’ll have new features announce in the coming months!

LibCRM, LibAnswers, and LibStaffer Updates!

All Regions Important Code Updates

These releases are on their way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, May 22.

Read about: LibCRM | LibAnswers | LibStaffer

LibCRM

We’re pleased to bring you a new interface for Reports in LibCRM. Click Reports in the orange Command Bar and click New Report to get started. Keep an eye on the Reports landing page; we’re going to be adding a lot of functionality here in the coming weeks that will make this your LibCRM Reports hub!

New Report

When you create a new report, you’ll have the option to start with a template. You can save any report as a template for ease of running this report in the future.

Once you generate your report, you can refine it further with Additional Filters. For example, you could narrow a report on all of your faculty to show just a certain Interaction Type (a consultation, a tour, a research appointment) or an Interaction Source (LibCal Spaces, E-mail, Webinar).

Also on the New Reports page, you’ll find:

  • How Filters Work, which explains how filters and options inside filters are combined in a report.
  • Basic Filters, which let you choose how you will narrow down your People or Organization Profiles for your report. The most common ones are displayed when you arrive at the page; click “Add/Delete Filters” to customize.
  • Selecting Custom Fields using the “Add/Delete Filters” option lets you include these fields as filters in your report.
  • Additional Filters let you get very specific by filtering using information from Interactions, Projects, and Tasks in your LibCRM system.
  • Save as Template allows users to save the current filters configuration as a report template. Once you save your template, these filters can be reused from the New Report dialog. Go to Reports > Report Templates to manage these.
  • Once you run a report, use Set Report Data Fields to select the data fields you want to print/display in the report. By default, all the fields are selected.
  • Download your report by clicking Export XLS.

LibAnswers

The LibAnswers 2.35.0 release is on its way! This release brings a big update for the LibAnswers question form builder. We’ve overhauled the interface for building question forms, and added more flexibility in terms of the number and type of questions that can be added. We’re also bringing you some great chat updates, including the ability to add internal notes for LibChat chats at any time during the conversation, more options for sending the transcript to the patron during and after the chat, plus some fun updates for tags. Read on for all the deets!

LibAnswers Question Form Update

We’ve made major updates to the LibAnswers question form, with the goal of making it much more flexible and easy to use! With the new question form builder, you are no longer limited to 3 multiple choice and 3 free text fields. Now you’ll be able to create a question form with up to 15 “custom” questions, which can be any of our available types. These types now include 3 types of multiple choice selections (dropdown, radio button, or checkbox fields) and 2 types of free text entry fields (single line or multi-line).

We’ve also completely revamped the question form builder itself. Now, instead of creating “sections” within the form, we’ve added a separate “header” form element, which lets you create header text and rich text areas within the form, and reorder them in the same way you’d reorder any of the other question fields. This also meant moving our old setting for form label positions (i.e., does the label show to the left or above the entry/selection field) out of the old “sections” area, so there is now one label position setting which will apply to the entire form.

In addition, as part of this update, we wanted to address a longstanding pain point with embedding question forms in external sites. If your form includes the ability to upload a file, this file upload will now be available anywhere you embed the widget, even across domains! Just create a question form widget via Admin > Widgets and APIs and embed it wherever you’d like, and the option to upload files will appear.

LibAnswers, LibChat, & Co-Op Improvements

We have several nice-to-have features for LibAnswers, LibChat and Co-Ops!

  • Screenshot of Internal Note functionInternal Notes for LibChat. It’s now possible to add an internal note to a chat transcript at any time during a chat interaction! These internal notes are not displayed to the patron, but they become part of the transcript that admin/librarian users are able to view. This will be a really helpful feature for communicating with folks who may be reviewing the transcript after the fact, and we hope it will make it easier to communicate things like resources consulted during the course of the interaction, or comments about policy page information that needs updating, or really anything! You’ll see this new feature when chatting with patrons; select the “Note” label to switch the typing area into Notes mode. Click the “Message Patron” label to switch back. Happy noting!
  • Email Chat Transcripts to the Patron. We’ve expanded the options in the system for emailing chat transcripts to patrons. You’ll now see a button within the chat UI itself that allows you to email the current transcript to the patron at any time during or after the chat interaction. We’ve also added an option to email the transcript to the patron from within a Coop > Transcripts tab, so you can email the patron with the transcript after the chat concludes.
  • Tags Color Picker. We’ve added a handy color picker option for internal tags, the tags which can be applied to tickets and chat transcripts. Admins can now customize the colors of these tags, to help impart more meaning where they’ve been applied. Admins can head to Admin > Metadata > Tags > Edit Tag to customize the background and/or font color of tags in your system.
  • Tag Chart for LibChat Transcripts. We’ve also added a handy tag distribution chart to LibChat reports, so you can quickly see the distribution of tags which have been applied to chat transcripts in your system. Head to LibChat > Statistics > Clients/Staff in order to view the distribution of applied tags.
  • Tags and Initial Question In List of Transcripts. We’ve also tweaked the display of chat transcripts in their overall list; we’ve replaced the prior “IP Address” column with a new column dedicated to displaying the chat initial question text and associated tags. This way, it’s easy to see at-a-glance which chats have been tagged. To see this in action head to LibChat > Transcripts.

Bug Fixes and Miscellany

  • We’ve fixed a couple of bugs related to viewing transcripts in the Co-Op, including:
    • Librarian names will now display for users outside of your home region, instead of displaying “Unknown.”
    • Chat Transcripts from users outside your home region will now display as expected.
    • Transcripts will now display all results, instead of showing a limited number of transcripts when using certain filter combinations.
  • We’ve fixed a bug in the Admin > 24/7 Co-Op tab, where in some sites this page would render an error message.
  • We’ve fixed a bug where the QuestionPoint stats data was not updated correctly in limited cases.
  • We’ve fixed a bug where sometimes, Co-Op Feedback could show duplicate records.
  • We’ve made many improvements to our initial internationalization translations for the LibAnswers admin interface.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

LibStaffer

We have a super exciting announcement for you from the LibStaffer team: We are in the process of implementing time zone support! This is just a sneak peek announcement; as there are quite a large number of moving parts in which we need to add time zones. But watch this space for more information in the near future!

In addition to diligently working on supporting the ability to set different time zones for user accounts we have the following updates in this release:

  • We’ve added a filter for Position, when viewing shifts. This applies to schedules that have been set to assign shifts by position.
  • An issue has been corrected for the LibCal Hours integration that caused opening hours to not display on the schedule view.
  • We’ve fixed a problem on the ‘Staff’ report where in some scenarios, regular user accounts had access to the admin clock in/out functionality.

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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 in 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Librarian Reserve Corps Fighting COVID-19’s Infodemic

At this point, you’ve likely heard that we’re battling an ‘infodemic’ in addition to a pandemic. Misinformation abounds and some of it is costing people their health and, unfortunately, their lives. But what you might not know, is that even the world’s top researchers, scientists, doctors, and specialists are also battling the infodemic. Sifting through the massive amount of data that is being published almost daily, identifying valuable and credible research studies from others, and trying to make hay out of the mountain of straw laid at their feet.

So, who did they call on to help them manage the 400+ new COVID-19 informational records being published each day? You guessed it, librarians. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes once said, “Data, data, data. I can’t make bricks without clay”. And the World Health Organization (WHO) needed librarians to separate the clay from the dirt so that researchers can get busy making those bricks.

It all started when Dr. Lina Moses, an epidemiologist and disease ecologist at Tulane University, was deployed to the WHO’s Geneva headquarters as part of their Global Outreach Alert & Response Network (GOARN) in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Lina began sifting through all of the COVID-19 resources and identifying and sharing the information most reliable and helpful to response teams. With hundreds and hundreds of new COVID-19 records being published each day, how you do identify, select, and disseminate the right information to doctors and researchers on the front-lines? Lina quickly realized she needed help and called on Elaine Hicks, Tulane University’s Health Sciences librarian, for her expertise.

Elaine Hicks quickly formed the Librarian Reserve Corps and put out a call for volunteers on the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) MEDLIB-L listserv. And boy, did she get them! A group of 130 librarians from around the world offered to pitch in.

For more details on how the effort began, take a look at Library Journal’s May 11, 2020, article “Librarian Volunteers Help WHO Make Sense of COVID Information.”

The original need revolved around a daily publication list she receives, reviews, and disseminates to WHO Operational Pillar leads. The list grew from a mere 8 articles to regularly including 400 or more. Our services have since expanded to include literature searching and facilitating collaborations among information providers. The sheer volume of literature hinders the response effort. Low quality evidence and a flood of commentary make it difficult to identify the most important, impactful literature. Our responders need help in this infodemic-pandemic. As librarians we have the skills to locate and curate information to help responders fight the pandemic.

Librarian Reserve Corps, Stacy Brody & Sara Loree

LRC volunteers Sara Loree and Stacy Brody reached out to us here at Springshare to see if we could help the Librarian Reserve Corps with their charge, and we sure did – in less than 48 hours – by installing free LibGuides CMS, LibAnswers Platform, LibCRM, and LibWizard systems for the LRC to accomplish their charge.

Sara Loree
Stacy Brody

We are using LibAnswers to receive and respond to requests for information from WHO and GOARN partner organizations. We also use it to post search strategies and results. We are using LibGuides CMS as a website and to build instructional guides for our volunteers. And, we are starting to explore additional opportunities to use this tool, e.g. sharing daily publication lists with GOARN-Research. We may use LibWizard to share surveys with and collect information from other information providers. By collecting the data in one place, we hope to be able to identify opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. We are new to LibCRM, but are hoping to use it for volunteer management. We are in need of a hosted, relational database that our leadership team can access to help engage our many fantastic librarian volunteers! Our current state of spreadsheets and surveys has been a significant challenge preventing us from staying connected to those interested in participating.

Stacy Brody & Sara Loree

We asked Sara and Stacy why they reached out to us here at Springshare for this very important responsibility.

Because so many of us use Springshare products in our daily work to share information and track reference requests, it was an obvious choice. It is a familiar, user-friendly, and trusted product that aligns with our services and is supported by a great team and training materials. Because your products are so flexible and intuitive, it is a platform that can grow and change as the organization evolves.

Stacy Brody & Sara Loree

Sara, Stacy, Elaine, and all the Librarian Reserve Corps volunteers, we are so honored to be part of the immeasurable and invaluable efforts that the LRC is undertaking. We’re all doing what we can to help each other during this crisis and we’re grateful to play a small part in the life-saving work you’re doing. You can never truly know when your expertise can help make a difference.

Code Release: New LibGuides & LibInsight features coming your way!

All Regions Important Code Updates

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, May 15, 2020. May is a busy month for us here at Springy HQ! In addition to the new LibGuides and LibInsight features heading your way next week, the following week we will be bringing you a new Reports interface for LibCRM, as well as additional updates for LibAnswers. Keep your eyes here on our blog for more info about that release, coming soon.

Before we get to release details, we have a couple of exciting updates / announcements:

  • We are switching all remaining LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibGuides sites to HTTPS-required this summer, starting in mid-June. We are 90% of the way there! This final push for the remaining sites will get us to 100%. If you are currently not requiring HTTPS for your site, we will be changing your site to required. Please stay tuned to your inboxes for more information, by around mid-June.
  • Also upcoming to LibGuides, we are deprecating support for LibGuides API 1.0. If you are using LibGuides API 1.0, you will be contacted before this change is made. If you are not, you do not need to do anything.

Read about: LibGuides | LibInsight

LibGuides & LibApps

This month we’re excited to bring you a few changes to LibGuides, including the ability to require SSO login for LibApps, and an update to Tabbed Boxes.

Limit LibApps Login via SSO

Many of you have asked if you can pair your LibApps logins with your SSO, and now you can! With this release, you can do two things:

  • Require SSO authentication for LibApps login.
  • Limit that LibApps login to a group defined in your SSO.

In practice, this means that you can direct anyone who clicks “Login to LibApps” to your SSO login screen, which hides the LibApps login form from your users. If you further limit LibApps login to a group defined in your SSO, you can immediately remove someone from that group in order to revoke access to the admin side of all Springy apps. This is especially useful for larger institutions who need to revoke access when someone leaves, but who may not have time to remove all accounts at the drop of a hat.

Tabbed Boxes Now Powered by Bootstrap

We are in the process of retiring the jQuery-ui library for security reasons, and as part of that process have swapped it out for Bootstrap, for Tabbed Boxes on guides.

If you have never written custom CSS or Javascript to act on your Tabbed Boxes, you can safely ignore this update; just know that their look and feel will change slightly when this code is released.

If you have written custom CSS or Javascript to act on your Tabbed Boxes, please look at this FAQ explaining which CSS selectors have changed. If you have written extensive Javascript and would like to take a peek at Tabbed Boxes before the code is released, please drop us a line.

Here’s a screenshot preview of a new Tabbed Box:

screenshot

Additional Features and Fixes

  • We fixed an issue that caused guides in Internal Groups to be missing from the public guides list for people who are logged into LibApps. This fix also ensures that search results for guides in Internal Groups are displayed for people who are logged into LibApps.
  • To help prevent accidental deletion of guides, we removed the option to delete a guide while on the editing screen. Go to Content > Guides to delete a guide. Protip: make and double-check an HTML backup first!
  • To help prevent accidental breakage of LibGuides pages, we are introducing code that will examine Guide, Page, and Box title content to make sure that what is included there will not break the page. You can still include tags to make these titles bold or italicised, and you can still use a FontAwesome icon at the beginning of a title.
  • To help prevent accidental breakage of LibGuides pages, we changed the way that Content Box and Blog Widgets are generated. Now, if you wish to use a Content Box Widget or a Blog widget outside of Springy products, you’ll check the box below to include jQuery.
Screenshot
  • We fixed an issue affecting proper display of language keys for Books from the Catalog assets on guides in a group, where the group’s language differs from the system’s language (whew!).
  • Lastly, we have a few accessibility fixes to bring you:
    • Now when you navigate through a guide via the keyboard, your cursor will stop on the description fields for non-database assets.
    • We fixed an issue preventing the saving of Alt Text when creating a new or editing an existing Book from the Catalog asset.
    • We made the User Privacy Alert more accessible by making sure it is the element in the page first encountered by screen readers.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

For this round of releases, we’ve been working behind the scenes once more on our code for LibAnswers, LibCal, LibGuides, and Google Analytics datasets! We’ve also fixed a couple issues, including one that caused user sessions to be fetched improperly in a LibGuides dataset.

Fixes and Improvements
  • User sessions data is now fetched properly for the LibGuides dataset.
  • In COUNTER 5 dataset analysis, we have changed the way that the Top 100 Databases / Journals / Books / Others Titles Report is generated, to ensure that you’re seeing the Top 100 Titles for each individual metric. Formerly, we pulled the Top 100 Titles by Total Item Investigations then sorted by other metrics.
  • We fixed the issue with deselecting affecting the “Include Cost-Per-Use-Analysis” checkbox for COUNTER 5 analysis.
  • The Daily Time-Based Analysis report no longer fails for date ranges beyond 364 days.
  • The widget summary report (custom datasets) now lists the fields in their original order instead of alphabetically.
  • The Custom Dataset Search and Replace tool now works with field data that contains slashes (‘/’).
  • We’ve addressed a couple of color contrast accessibility issues throughout the app.

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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 in 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

LibAnswers’ Reference Analytics Research Study

Now, more than ever, we’re helping people. Helping family, helping neighbors, and even helping strangers. To that end, Springshare is helping Casey Roberson with his research study on how Academic Libraries use LibAnswers’ Reference Analytics “Add a Transaction” form. So if you have 20 minutes to spare and you’re an Academic Librarian using LibAnswers’ Reference Analytics – fill out Casey’s survey.

We’ve asked Casey to introduce himself and explain his study and its goals. Take it away Casey! 🙂

I’m Casey Roberson, a research & instruction librarian at the University of Georgia. I am conducting a study on how Academic Libraries utilize Springshare’s LibAnswers’ Reference Analytics “Add a Transaction” form. My hope is to discover commonalities/differences across institutions as well as best practices, with a goal of publication in a peer-reviewed library science journal.

Participation in this study is voluntary, and you are in no way obligated to complete the linked survey. You could even stop reading this blog post right now, if you wanted! But please don’t.

The survey asks 30 questions about your library’s use of the LibAnswers’ Ref. Analytics transaction form, what information you capture about reference interactions, and how you decided to capture that information. The survey shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to complete. But, hey, it’s not a race.

If you choose to complete the survey, your answers will be recorded anonymously, and your participation will be our little secret. If any of your answers do contain information that could identify you or your institution, none of the identifying information will be made known to anyone or published.

You may withdraw from participating in the survey at any time, and leave it uncompleted. You may decline to answer any questions in the survey and still submit it with those unanswered. If you really wanted to, you could submit it with just one question answered, but honestly I’d probably have to throw out your response. You could start the survey, do some of the questions, save your progress, and then come back. It’ll be up for a month, so you’ve got plenty of time!

If you have questions about this study, send them over to casey.roberson@uga.edu.

Thanks in advance for your time and — I hope — participation in this study!