Archive for June 26, 2020

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

All Regions Important Code Updates

We hope that your June is going well, and that everyone working in libraries and from home are safe and healthy. COVID-19 has radically changed our landscape, but we’ve been working hard at Springy HQ to bring you some great new stuff to sip with your summer punch, or your winter drink, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.  These new features and updates are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Thursday, July 2, with the exception of the LibCal release (including Seats!), which is coming mid-month.

Read about: LibCalLibAnswersLibGuides | LibStaffer | LibCRM | LibInsight

LibCal

We’re really excited to bring you seat booking capability as well as Microsoft Teams online meetings integration and so much more! In fact, we are stuffing so much in this update that we need an extra week-and-a-bit to tuck in all the details and have things ready for you. Please expect LibCal updates in a browser near you by mid-July. Here are the deets:

Seats

As you saw last week in the first post in our Reopening Your Building Safely series, we’re adding the ability in LibCal to book individual seats in your library. Social distancing and monitoring building capacity will be incredibly important as our buildings open up during the COVID-19 pandemic. This functionality will be available from July 17. Interested? Please drop our Sales team a line.

Microsoft Teams Integration – Calendar Events & Appointments Scheduler

The much-requested integration for Microsoft teams to support online Appointments and Events is here!  An administrator will set up and enable the integration under Admin > Integrations, then each user account must authorize the integration in their User Profile.  Once enabled, when you create or edit a Calendar Event, you’ll see a new location option for Microsoft Teams online meetings.  When this location is chosen, you’ll then choose one of the users who has authorized the integration.  After the Event is saved, a shareable meeting link will be generated for Microsoft Teams, attached to the account of the user you chose.

For Appointments, if a user belongs to an online location, shareable Teams meeting URLs will be generated automatically when bookings are made. The process is similar to the current Zoom integration; the Microsoft Teams meeting link will be included in all corresponding emails and .ics calendar files and shown on the admin pages.

Please note that only one online meeting tool can be enabled at any given time.

Events

  • Zoom webinar and password creation support is here!  If the Zoom account used to create an online Event has the webinar feature enabled, you will now have the ability to choose whether your event is a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, and the option to set a password.
  • .ICS files for an online Event using the “Facebook Live (or other)” location option will now include the Event link, when no registration is required.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where sites using a non-English base language had trouble with dates when copying and creating events.
  • We have increased the number of records available for selection in the Presenter drop-down on the Event Aggregates stats report.

Appointments

  • Ever wanted to modify the colors displayed for the different statuses on the admin-side availability grid?  Now you can! Admins can go to Admin > Appointments > Settings to set this system-wide. Users can go to Appointments > My Settings > Color Settings to set it up for their own Appointments.
  • We’ve updated the Exchange and Google calendar sync processes to include the online meeting link that is automatically generated when an appointment is booked, when either the Microsoft Teams or Zoom integration is enabled.

Spaces & Equipment

  • We fixed an issue affecting display of Spaces bookings after a modification is made.
  • You can now search for Internal Notes in bookings via the Booking Explorer, for both Spaces and Equipment.
  • We’ve added Event Details and Internal Notes filters in the Spaces and Equipment Print Views. Check them out at Spaces > Availability > Print View or Equipment > Availability > Print View.
  • The Barcode search on the Equipment > Check In page is no longer case sensitive.
  • Google calendar sync failures and Microsoft Team integration failures will now be included in integration errors / failures email notifications sent to email addresses specified under Admin > System Settings > Email Settings > Integration Email Notifications.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

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

LibAnswers

This release brings you a number of our most popular feature requests, including new sound customization settings for LibChat, centralized reports for Shared Group System admins, OAuth support for Zoom account integration, and more!

New in LibAnswers & LibChat

  • LibChat Sound Settings: Good news for folks who find the “new chat” alert sound too… let’s call it “surprising.” Admins can now customize the sounds that play for each event that happens in LibChat, including new chat, new patron reply, new internal message, and new ticket. Choose from sounds like Classic New Chat and Classic New Ticket, or choose from our variety of new sounds like Triple Tap, High Chime, and Low Bell. Admins can head to Admin > LibChat Setup > Settings > Audio Alerts to customize sounds for all users of the site.
  • Ticket Preview URL: If you’ve ever needed to collaborate with a colleague on how to answer a ticket, but the ticket is currently unclaimed, good news – we’ve added a shareable ticket preview URL, so others can view the ticket’s contents without claiming the question. To grab the new preview URL, head to the LibAnswers Dashboard and select Quick Look -> Copy Preview URL.
  • Query Spy Bulk Delete: If your Query Spy data has ever been bombarded by an IP address that generated a bunch of non-human-looking searches, good news! Site Admins can now delete in bulk Query Spy results which were generated by a specific IP address. Admins can head to Stats > Query Spy to use this new feature.

LibChat Screensharing Updates

  • Updated Screensharing Settings Page: We’ve updated the format of the Screensharing settings page, so that once your site is signed up for screensharing, it’s easier to choose among screensharing options. Admins can head to Admin > LibChat > Screenshare  to view the various options.
  • OAuth Support for Zoom Integration: We’ve also added OAuth support for sites who are bringing their own Zoom accounts to use in LibChat! By using this authentication type, users with LibChat enabled will be able to connect their existing Zoom accounts with your LibAnswers system itself. To set this up, Admins will first need to head to Admin > LibChat > Screenshare > “OAuth Authentication” method. Once you choose this option, your LibChat account holders will then head to their Manage Account screen to add their Zoom account information. They’ll then log in using their existing Zoom account credentials and grant LibAnswers the ability to launch meetings on their behalf.

Shared Group System Reporting Updates

Beginning with this release, we’re adding reports to the LibAnswers system to provide aggregated reporting for Shared Group System sites.  With this release, you’ll see a new, high-level Annual report that lets admins quickly see monthly chat totals generated by and answered by each Group Member Library within your site. To view these new reports, Shared Group System admins can head to LibChat > Aggregated Stats.

But what if you also want to be able to see aggregated stats from standalone LibAnswers sites which bear a relationship to your Shared Group System via a Consortial arrangement? With this release, standalone LibAnswers sites who are connected to a Shared Group System site via Consortial Sharing will now see a new option to opt in to sharing aggregated statistics from their site with the Shared Group System. If you’re an admin of a standalone LibAnswers system that’s connected to a Shared Group System via Consortial Sharing, head to Admin > System Settings > General > Sharing Information and look for the setting for “Report Aggregated Statistics to Another Site.” Once you select this option, admins in the Shared Group System will be able to see a high-level aggregated report.

Plus, stay tuned for our next release, where we’ll add an additional report to show a more detailed breakdown of who is answering chats generated by each Group Member Library. For chats that originated from each Group Member Library or connected LibAnswers system, you’ll see how many chats were answered by that “home” library, versus how many were answered by a local Co-Op, versus how many were answered by the Global Co-Ops.

Co-Op Updates

  • Group Member Library Statistics: Institution and Co-Op Admins can now view a breakdown of the number of Co-Op chats which were answered by each participating Group Member Library. To view the new chart head to LibChat > Co-Op > Reports > Chat Statistics > Clients/Staff, or in LibAnswers, head to Admin > 24/7 Co-Op > Clients/Staff.
  • Answering Institution Filter: We’ve added a new filter to the Coop > Transcripts page that filters transcripts by which LibAnswers institution answered the chat. We’ve also added identifying information under Transcripts > Answered By, so you can easily see the LibAnswers site affiliation for the person who answered the chat.
  • Policy FAQs Update: If you’ve ever tried to open a policy FAQ in a new window, good news for you! We’ve added a simple standalone page to house these policy FAQs, so opening them in a new window using right click > Open in a New Tab/Window will function as expected.
  • Ticket Creation without an Email Address: We’ve heard feedback indicating that, when you’re creating a follow up ticket from a chat, it can interrupt the answering librarian’s flow to have to grab the patron’s email address and paste it into the “Create a Ticket” modal window, especially when you know for sure that it’s already been added to the transcript via an initial question or during the course of the chat. With this release, we’re removing the requirement to explicitly add an email address when creating a follow up ticket.

Bug Fixes and Smaller Improvements

  • If you transfer a ticket to an address book address, and that addressee replies to the transferred ticket notification, those replies will no longer generate a new ticket. They will now become threaded with the original ticket, as expected.
  • Removed iFrame Chat: To provide a better overall user experience, we’ve removed the “iFrame Chat” option from the LibChat dashboard.
  • Sites with shared chat departments will no longer see an error regarding Unknown Users.
  • We’ve restored the link to Edit Patron Record in the User History tab.
  • We’ve fixed an issue where new SMS messages displayed in the LibChat Dashboard contained time stamps that reflected UTC, instead of your local site’s timezone.
  • We’ve fixed an issue with System Status Management posts showing an incorrect date/time stamp in RSS feeds.
  • We’ve fixed an issue where, in limited cases, the button to Email Transcript to the Patron was not appearing in the LibChat Dashboard.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

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

LibGuides

As previously announced, we are rolling out an updated Rich Text Editor to LibGuides as a part of this round of code updates. This update is cleaner (and fully-functional!) and allows you to use the built-in browser spell-check capabilities. The updated editor will be live in everyone’s LibGuides system by July 15.

We have spent most of the last month doing back-end improvements to LibGuides and LibApps. Hand-in-hand with expanded use of online classes and virtual services, use of LibGuides has really shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we weathered the spring without downtime, we wanted to get under the hood and improve things even more, before back-to-school is upon us. We also have a few small fixes and features to share with you:

  • LTI: we have made our code for setting up regular expressions more flexible to accommodate additional course naming conventions.
  • We’ve updated the look and feel of accordions on the admin side of LibGuides and LibApps so that the experience is a little more intuitive. This change does not affect accordions on the public side, such as those on the LibGuides homepage.
  • We fixed an issue that was causing Font Awesome icons in guide titles in search results to display as code.
  • We changed A-Z widgets (Tools > Widgets > Search Box) to handle diacritics in the same way that the A-Z Databases page native search widgets handles them.
  • We fixed an error causing older blog posts not to display. This was related to blog posts created by users who have since been removed from the system.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

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

LibStaffer

The LibStaffer team is excited to bring you these frequently-requested features!

Features:

  • Drop Shift Functionality: Now staff members can give up shifts without still being responsible for the shift. With this option enabled, staff can drop a shift, and that shift will remain unassigned.  Schedule admins can go to Admin > Schedule Settings > edit schedule > Drop shift to view and choose an option, which also specifies how long before a shift it is allowed to be dropped.

Smaller Fixes and Features

  • We fixed an issue preventing some Schedule Admins who are Regular Users from being able to approve Time Off requests.
  • We addressed an issue preventing the removal of shifts from Outlook, if a staff member was unassigned during the Find & Replace process.
  • We resolved a sort issue with Open Shifts on the Dashboard.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

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

LibCRM

For this release, the LibCRM team is pleased to bring users the Roles & Permissions functionality. This much-requested feature set will enable admins to designate who can do what in their LibCRM system.

Roles & Permissions

With Roles & Permissions functionality, system admins can create new roles in the system, then assign them specific permissions in the People, Organizations, and Interactions modules. Also coming soon are Roles & Permissions for the Reports area. Admins can head to Admin > Roles & Permissions to get started.

Roles

The roles area is the heart of this functionality. Admins can create, edit, and delete Roles from the Roles list. The Admin role cannot be deleted, as it’s essential to the system. 🙂

Important: With this release, a Role will have to be assigned to each account created in the system. By default, Admin and Regular Roles will already be available.

Permissions

Once you have Roles created, it’s time to assign them some Permissions! For People, Organizations,  and Interactions you can assign Create, View, Edit or Delete permissions as well as allow a Role to View Statistics. A role can also be set to View Statistics for People and Organizations.

Each permission comes with the following options:

  • Owned by this user only: if active, the account holder can only see/edit/delete items that they own.
  • All (not owned by admin): if active, the account holder can see/edit/delete all the items that are not owned by an admin.
  • All: if active, the account holder can see/edit/delete all items, including those owned by admins.

[Back to Top]

LibInsight

COUNTER 5 Analysis Report Update

We have gotten a lot of feedback about how we have parsed and displayed Database and Title Master Reports. Why am I seeing Database titles in the Journals tab?? Excellent question! This is definitely not a “your chocolate is in my peanut butter” type situation!

We don’t usually get into the nitty gritty in these posts, but it turns out that Database Master Reports can include rows where the content type is “Journal.” This is indicative of the aggregated usage of all of the journal content within a database, but is unnecessary to include as database usage, since usage of those individual titles is reported in the Title Master Reports and parsed out in the Journals, Books, and Others tabs. With this release, we are ignoring rows in Database Master Reports for non-Database content. Conversely, we will now populate the Journal, Book, and Other tabs based on the Title Master Report only.

This will ensure that only Database metrics are shown in the Databases tab, only Journals metrics are shown in the Journals tab, etc. (Note: we will be removing some additional non-database metrics from Databases > Usage > Titles reports in a future release.)

Other Misc Updates

We’ve made some adjustments to the layout on the System Settings page. First of all, since Alert Boxes apply to the whole system, we are including them in these settings. We also then moved each section to its own tab, making this page more easy to use. Admins can head to Admin > System Settings to check it out.

LibInsight System Settings

Lastly, we have fixed a handful of accessibility issues, including issues on the custom dataset widget form.

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

Curbside Pickup/Contactless Checkout Options (Blog Series: Part Two)

LibCal and LibAnswers Scheduling and Communication Module for Holds Pickup

Last week’s post on LibCal Seats module generated a great response – thank you all. Our libraries are looking for solutions to help them reopen safely, and we’re excited to be helping with this process. Several current LibCal customers are helping us with the Seats module, so we are confident many of you will find the upcoming module very helpful as you navigate the use of library facilities in a post-COVID-19 world.

We hope you’ll like our curbside pickup/contactless checkout solution just as much. Depending on the particular needs for your library, you can already start utilizing what we have or wait for the upgrade release in the coming 4-5 weeks.


Three Options for Curbside/Contactless Holds Pickups

There will be three options available in LibApps regarding the curbside pickup – which one you will utilize depends on your library’s workflows. You can also start using the first option that’s already available and then expand/move to the other two options as they become available over the summer.

Option 1 – Scheduling of Pickups Only

Libraries using LibCal Spaces module can allocate dedicated spaces for curbside/contactless pickup and customize the setup to serve the need for scheduling of pickups. This functionality is already available in LibCal and you can/should start using it immediately.

We published a blog post on using LibCal Spaces for scheduling contactless/curbside pickup of library holds, and our training sessions on this have been among the most attended this year.

The setup works great and it’s free with your LibCal subscription! If you need to add a few additional Spaces to your LibCal subscription, contact us at sales@springshare.com and we’ll make it happen. If you don’t have LibCal but need a scheduling tool for curbside pickup/contactless checkout, contact us and we’ll work with you on a flexible pricing structure.

For those libraries that also want to add the communication component to holds pickups, we’ve got you covered! We’re building a new module in the coming weeks to help you meet this need.

Option 2 – Scheduling and Communication (or Communication Only) Regarding Pickups

Some of you have asked us come up with the communication process for holds pickups, too! While many libraries are happy with a tool for scheduling of holds pickups, some want to add the communication piece to the worfklows – or only focus on communication piece for holds pickups.

Great idea, we thought, so we’re busy working on an end-to-end solution for holds pickups/contactless checkouts. We are leveraging our expertise with SMS communication, email, and chat functionality from LibAnswers, to come up with a brand-new LibApps module to help libraries schedule and communicate with patrons about curbside pickups/contactless checkouts. This helps avoid miscommunication or missed pickups while also minimizing unnecessary contact with staff. Safety first!

Holds pickup workflow in the new module

  1. The library customizes the ILS holds arrival email template to include the link to LibCal’s curbside pickup scheduler.
  2. The patron receives the “your materials have arrived” email and schedules their pickup time using LibCal’s mobile-first web scheduler. The library controls how many pickup timeslots are available each day and when, to control the flow of users arriving to the library.
  3. LibCal sends a pickup confirmation email with instructions to patron how to communicate with the library when they’ve arrived for their holds.
  4. Upon arrival, the patron sends an SMS text or initiates chat to let the library know they’re here.
  5. The module automatically matches the message with the LibCal scheduled pickup so the librarian knows exactly who is picking up which materials.
  6. The librarian on duty receives the SMS or chat with the LibCal booking information and the patron info, and they drop off the materials at a pre-determined spot (parking space, outside table, front door, etc), as described in their pickup confirmation email.
  7. The system automatically records when the patron has arrived and gathers valuable statistics on patron interactions for follow ups, to help identify any pain points, and ideas for further workflow improvements.

Once you and the patrons try out this new workflow for holds pickups everyone will ask themselves why were holds pickups done any other way in the past? 🙂 We’re really excited about this new module because it will marry the best of Springshare’s technology for the purpose of truly improving the library’s workflows – not just during COVID-19 pandemic but in general, too. This new system will significantly enhance the value proposition and make it more convenient for your users to schedule and communicate with you about their holds.

We’re planning to release this new module in the first week of August, but in the meantime you can/should start using Option 1 (outlined above) because it will be an integral part of this new module, too. In other words, you will not waste any effort or lose work/customizations by starting on Option 1 now while we spend the next 4-5 weeks finalizing this exciting new module. Just like with the LibCal Seats module we’re working with several existing customers on this and if you have ideas and suggestions – please let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

Option 3 – ILS Integration (aka the Holy Grail)

This will not be ready for the early August release but rest assured that we’re not stopping our development on this module by then. We are planning the ultimate enhancement to the Curbside pickup/contactless checkout module – full ILS integration so the module will read the information about the holds directly from your ILS and write to the patron’s ILS record when the patron picks up the hold.

This upcoming ILS integration will make this new module an indispensable tool for libraries looking for a true end-to-end solution for curbside pickups/contactless checkouts. Your holds workflows will never be the same, and we’re not kidding about it, either. 🙂 We’re planning to release the ILS integration in September and if you’d like to work with us on it please contact us and let us know which ILS you use and we’ll put it on the todo list. One of the things we enjoy the most about our development process is working closely with our libraries so we cherish every opportunity we get to do this!

Learn More – Contact Us

Stay tuned to this blog, and subscribe to receive email alerts (enter your email address in the right column —>) to stay updated on when this functionality will be arriving in the coming weeks. Interested in being added to our contacts list? Email us at sales@springshare.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as this LibCal/LibAnswers module is released with pricing.

LibCal Seats Module – Safely Reopen Your Building (Blog Series: Part One)

Introducing LibCal Seats

We’re very excited to announce a new LibCal module designed to help our customers reopen buildings safely all while adhering to social distancing guidelines and prioritizing the health and safety of patrons and staff. This new tool can extend beyond the library, too! Academic campuses can use it for computer labs, media centers, student housing (e.g. washers/dryers), etc. Public libraries can collaborate with other public service departments needing an effective and affordable seat reservation system.

This is part one, of a two-part blog series, outlining new functionality we’re adding to our tools to help you reopen safely while prioritizing health and safety of everyone. There’s lots of good stuff to share so let’s get right to it…


Coming Early July – LibCal Seats

The LibCal Seats functionality is an optional module complementing the current LibCal Spaces reservations. It introduces bookable Seats inside Spaces that patrons can reserve and check-in/out of – all by using their smartphones thus reducing unnecessary contact with staff.  The new functionality also lays the groundwork for our forthcoming interactive mapping functionality for Spaces & Seats inside the library – wohoo! Here’s how the new Seats booking will work.

Seating and Spaces Setup

We’re introducing two new hierarchical layers that will help determine capacity and occupancy – Zones and Seats. With this, there will be a total of 4 layers for managing Seating and Spaces capacity in LibCal:

  1. Building/Location Capacity ->
  2. Zones within the Building/Location (new with July release!) ->
  3. Spaces Capacity ->
  4. Individual Seats (new with July release!
Quickly view Zones, Spaces, Seats – and Equipment – at each Location

Based on social distancing guidelines and the occupancy target (30%, 50%, etc.) admins can make certain Spaces and Seats active (bookable) or  inactive (non-bookable).  Each bookable Space and Seat has relevant information to help the patron reserving it (e.g. is it accessible, the description, a photo, etc.). Optionally, each Seat/Space comes with a unique QR code which can be printed and taped next to it, creating a contactless check-in/out process.

Define bookable seats within each Space. Allow users to book all seats in a Space or only one Seat at a time.

Realtime Occupancy Dashboard

The new Bookings dashboard gives admins an overview of Spaces & Seats occupancy and pending reservations. At any point in time the admin can see how many seats and spaces are occupied/booked and where these seats are – by Space, by Zone, or by Location.

Padding Between Bookings for Cleaning

Admins can setup booking rules for any group of Seats & Spaces, and adding padding around each reservation to allow staff time to clean & disinfect the Seats/Spaces (e.g. computer workstations, tables, chairs, etc.) 

Each Space is assigned to a category that details the type of Space it is (Study Room, Computer Lab, Carrels, etc.). At the Category-level, define the booking rules that apply to all Spaces/Seats assigned to the Category.

How It Works for Patrons

Patrons will browse and reserve the desired Seats/Spaces via a mobile-first interface on their smartphones. Once they’ve selected the Seat/Space and date/time, the patron fills out a booking form that the library can fully customize for its needs. LibCal admins can create as many booking forms as needed and even route bookings through a local authentication layer (CAS, Shibboleth, LDAP, Azure AD, etc.) .

Upon reserving a Seat or a Space the patron will get an email confirmation with a unique 3 character code in the email that they will use to check-in (and later, check-out), to identify their reservation. Once they reach their booked seat in the library, the patron checks-in by either scanning the QR code (if the library enables this option) or by loading a special URL on their smartphone. Libraries should encourage patrons to check-out as well, but if they do not, the user will be automatically checked-out at the end of the reservation.

This check-in/out process helps with contact tracing if needed. It’s also totally optional, and libraries can choose to disable it for privacy reasons. We’ve taken great care during development to enable libraries to abide by the privacy policies specific to their institution(s).

Each Space/Seat comes with a printable QR code for contactless check-in/out.

Excited? We Are Too!

Reopening your building in this “new normal” is a stressful and anxiety-inducing task, no doubt. With LibCal Seats, our goal is to take even just a little bit off your overburdened shoulders and help out with what we can. Contact us and we’ll work with you to make reopening a success and help ensure a safe and healthy experience for everyone!

Safe Reopening Part Two – Coming Later This Week!

Part two of our blog series, coming later this week, will knock your socks off with an awesome integration of LibCal and LibAnswers for curbside/holds pickup scheduling and communication.

If you’re looking for an end-to-end solution for hold pickups/contactless checkouts, you are going to love what we’re cooking up in our development labs – a true powerhouse combo for both the scheduling of curbside holds pickup and the communicating with patrons about it. Stay tuned for a big announcement later this week, right here on the Springy blog.

Shout Out to Our Community

These enhancements would not have happened without feedback/guidance/advice from our awesome current LibCal and LibAnswers customers who have helped us during development. We’re thankful to have such a great community of users, and we’re very excited to share the fruits of the collective efforts and collaborations with you all, to help our entire community reopen safely.

Onwards and upwards, to safe reopenings we go! Contact us anytime, for any reason – we’re here for you.

Online Learning Made Easier with LibGuides LTI & E-Reserves

After months of pandemic-related anxiety and uncertainty and two weeks of pain, turmoil, and unrest here in the United States, only one thing feels certain: the days keep ticking forward. The new school year will be here before we know it.

As colleges and universities plan for a 100% or partially remote fall semester (or even academic year), librarians are acutely aware that pandemic + economic uncertainty + personal stressors = students and staff with less mental space for learning and teaching. And for many, trying to navigate an online course using a computer adds even more anxiety and confusion.

Reducing the number of clicks required to find this week’s reading, search library materials, and reach someone to ask a question will go a long, long way in lessening a student’s cognitive load so they have the mental space to learn the class material.

Fortunately, Springshare has some options available to natively integrate library resources and course materials right into existing courseware tools!

LibGuides LTI: Guided learning pathways that reduce unnecessary noise

For those unfamiliar with LibApps Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), it allows you to embed your LibGuides CMS and E-Reserves module content right into your learning management system (LMS) like Blackboard, Canvas, or Moodle.

Your students may already be used to logging into your LMS to access their courses. They may also be familiar with heading to LibGuides to finding library information, subject guides, and databases. But combining them with LibGuides LTI provides two major advantages:

  • For students, there’s only one place they need to go to find information. This means one log in to remember and one webpage to bookmark.
  • For library staff, you can present relevant resources at the moment students are receptive to seeing them, making students more likely to remember and use them.

Students easily forget library links in their welcome emails and syllabi. With LTI integration, the database, course reading, and/or the subject guide is right there when they need it. It makes life easier for library staff, too, as there’s no need to add guide links manually to an LMS course or rely on asking faculty to add them to their courses for you.

There are two LTI integration options, and you can choose either or both!

  • Manual works just like it sounds — the LMS user selects the guide, page, box, database list, or E-Reserves course to add right to the course.
  • Automagic allows you to utilize LMS course and guide and/or E-Reserves metadata to match the relevant guide(s) and E-Reserves content to the LMS course.
    • It also comes with a handy library page where you can show matching LibGuides results and optionally embed LibAnswers chat and FAQ search widgets, LibCal Spaces and Appointment booking widgets, and subject librarians.

The E-Reserves module: Deliver online course materials & manage eDocuments

Speaking of E-Reserves content, a primarily online learning environment has created new challenges for getting course materials to students. Requests need to be processed, items need to be linked or uploaded and attached to their respective courses, and access needs to be limited.

Meanwhile, you need to manage copyright information and find a way to make the materials available right where the students need them. And provide a simple way for faculty to request E-Reserves content and manage the item’s entire life cycle.

Our E-Reserves module can be added to either a LibGuides or LibGuides CMS subscription, and it comes with some huge plusses:

  • It’s affordable. With competitive pricing, you can justify its cost for a partially online learning environment. If your campus suddenly closes, its reusable and flexible nature allows it to handle an uptick to fully online learning, too.
  • There’s no need for a new account for library staff already using LibGuides, and admins can customize access to E-Reserves for library staff and faculty.
  • You’re working within an already familiar interface — staff will access E-Reserves right from within LibGuides.
  • Seamlessly add courses to existing guides as a page. Use E-Reserves metadata to add it right your LMS course.
  • Optionally require student logins to access courses with LibAuth or use course/item passwords.
  • Allow students to find E-Reserves content with a LibGuides search. You can choose to allow course and item search indexing.
  • Easily integrate E-Reserves courses into your catalog/discovery layer using OAI-PMH harvesting.

E-Reserves can be used for eDocument management and sharing too! So don’t think of it as just being used for sharing professor-selected eresources.

For sites looking to natively integrate course readings into their LMS and their catalog, adding the E-Reserves module to LibGuides just makes sense.


While issues related to a lack of digital literacy and internet access are not new, overcoming them will now become a requirement for student success. Some questions for how to address them require long-term efforts and systemic changes. However, using available tools like LibGuides LTI and E-Reserves will reduce confusion and frustration. And help prevent student fatigue and information overload by reducing barriers to needed resources once they’re in their courses.

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