Archive for July 20, 2020

SpringyCamp 2020 Registration Opens Tomorrow!

Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, which means two things: we’ve swapped comfy pants for comfy shorts; and we’re getting close to SpringyCamp!

In a year unlike any other when services dramatically changed (and are still changing), the Springy team wanted to host an extra special virtual conference for our customers. To that end, we’re bringing you two exciting days of camp with an expanded list of presenters! Plus, new ways to engage and interact with other Springy users!

SpringyCamp 2020 – August 5th & 6th
The New Now: Promoting Access & Redefining Services

This year’s camp will explore four themes:

  • Using Springshare Tools to Manage & Record COVID-19 Information
  • New Partnerships: Using Springshare Tools Outside of the Library
  • We’re All Distance Learners Now: Using Springshare Tools to Share Information with Staff and Patrons
  • Connections: Your Library & Social Justice – Amplify Black Voices with Springshare Tools

SpringyCamp Registration & Sneak Peek

Registration opens tomorrow, and we’ll have all of SpringyCamp’s details in our training newsletter – landing in inboxes at 12pm US ET!
Not currently a subscriber? Sign up on our website.

Updated: You can now view the full lineup and register from our SpringyCamp 2020 guide!

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into what some of our camp presenters are cooking up to share with attendees:

  • Real-World Readiness: Using LibGuides to Wade Through the COVID-19 FloodPoster Session!
    Carrie Price and Katie Lobner, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University
  • Empowering Staff and Facilitating Remote Work with LibAnswers
    Amanda Scull, Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries
  • Using LibGuides and LibWizard to Create Online Escape Rooms
    Rachel Valentine, Blinn College Library
  • Creating & Hosting OER using LibGuides CMSPoster Session!
    Nikki Rech and Jeff Mortimore, Georgia Southern University
  • Lessons Learned from Moving to LibGuides and LibCalPoster Session!
    Sam Torrez, Dickinson Public Library
  • LibGuides and Digital Literacy for the New Online Student: An Academic Reference Librarian’s Approach to Faculty Collaborations
    Kimberly Michelle Gay, John B. Coleman Library, Prairie View A&M University
  • LibGuides Beyond the Library
    Nadine Bailey and Stephen Taylor, Western Academy of Beijing

All of us have learned a lot this year, and we’ve still got a lot left to figure out. While SpringyCamp always provides a great opportunity for Springys to come together and share ideas, we’re feeling the importance of this community event more acutely than ever. We hope you’ll join us!

More Seats for LibCal Seats!

More Webinars Added

When we announced that LibCal Seats was right around the corner with six webinars to view this add-on module, we fully expected that all six webinars would sell out. What we didn’t expect is that all six webinars would sell out in less than a week, with hundreds more registrations on our waiting lists.

So, we’ve added more webinars to our schedule! You have four two more chances to view the LibCal Seats module this month.

Can’t attend any of the webinars? Don’t worry – pick one webinar, even if it’s sold-out, and register anyway. We’ll send along the recording to everyone.


Four Two More Chances to View LibCal Seats Module

We recommend you sign-up quickly, as these sessions are filling up fast!

All sessions below are listed in U.S. Eastern Time. Convert to your time zone.

  1. Thursday, July 23. 1:00pm – 1:30pm. (event registration full)
  2. Monday, July 27. 11am – 11:30am. (event registration full)
  3. Wednesday, July 29. 2pm – 2:30pm.
  4. Friday, July 31. 10am – 10:30am.

LibCal Seats Is Just Around the Corner!

Here at Springy HQ we’re buzzing with excitement over our upcoming LibCal seat reservations module and building capacity management features. We’re launching this week, yay!

Today, let’s take a look at how the new LibCal Seats module will work using a specific library example.

The scenario: A two-branch library with multiple reservable areas

I’m responsible for managing the comings and goings for two libraries — East Library and West Library. In our East Library we have two reading areas, 10 quiet study tables, a set of 15 computers, and three study rooms. I need to:

  • Ensure my building does not exceed 50% capacity so that users can be in the library safely while complying with social distancing policies.
  • Provide staff with the ability to easily assist users who forget their booking information.
  • Keep track of building capacity stats and historical booking information for contact tracing purposes.
  • Implement a long-term, flexible solution we can use at every reopening stage, even when we’re back to full capacity.

Let’s take a look at how I can achieve all of the above using the East Library’s Lounge seating area as an example!

Configuring Seats from the admin side

First, I’ll create my LibCal Spaces Locations: one for East Library, one for West Library. Then I’ll create my Zones. In my library, there are two distinct building areas – two floors. I’ll add a Zone for each:

  • First Floor (stacks, periodical reading chairs, computers, reference & circulation desks)
  • Second Floor (study rooms and carrels, lounge seating)

Next, I’ll add different categories of Spaces that will determine booking limits (like reservation durations and restrictions). Since we’ll need to clean/disinfect seats and computer stations after each use, I’ll add padding between reservations.

After defining categories, I’ll add my individual Spaces to them. Spaces can be booked as a whole (e.g. study rooms, meeting rooms) or individually as seats (like a computer, table chair, lounge armchair, you name it). I can also indicate if the space is accessible.

To ensure I do not exceed 50% capacity at any time, I can indicate a Spaces’ current capacity vs maximum capacity and set the proper number of active/inactive Seats. If I was setting up the entire East Library Location, it could look something like:

  • Lounge seating space (capacity: 9, 6 active seats, 3 inactive seats)
  • Periodical reading space (capacity: 6, 2 active, 4 inactive)
  • Computer space (capacity: 15, 8 active, 7 inactive)
  • Quiet study tables (capacity: 10, 6 active, 4 inactive)
  • Study room 1 (capacity: 4, 1 person currently allowed)
  • Study room 2 (capacity: 4, 1 person currently allowed)
  • Study room 3 (capacity: 2, 1 person currently allowed)

Next, I’ll create my reservable Seats for my Spaces! I could add Seats in bulk by specifying the variable for the naming convention (e.g. Armchair-1 through Armchair-6). By adding all of them now, I can set them to active or inactive, to quickly adjust their availability based on our capacity restrictions, cleaning schedules, and reopening plans.

Here are ten reading chair seats. Based on their location, a total of six can be reserved.

I can provide each Seat/Space with a description and image to help users find it. In this case, I also gave each chair its own name so it’s easily identifiable. If I choose to enable QR codes, I’ll print each one and post it next to its corresponding chair along with the seat name and reserving information. If I didn’t want to start with QR codes, that’s fine too – users can check-in/checkout using a simple URL that I’ll advertise throughout the library (and in the booking confirmation emails, too).

Now, I’m all set up for patron reservations!

Booking Seats from the patron side

Let’s switch to a user who’s looking to spend a couple of hours to do some quiet reading in the library on Friday.

  1. First, they’ll head over to the library’s LibCal site and view available Seats and times. They’ll select the time, the Seat they prefer, and enter their email and other information (the booking form is fully customizable).
    1. This is where I can also enable a LibAuth connection, to authenticate patrons against my authentication layer before they can book their Seat/Space.
  2. They’ll receive a confirmation email with a unique three-character confirmation code.
  3. At the booking time, they’ll arrive at the library, find their Seat, and either scan the QR code (if available) or enter the check-in URL, and type in the three-character confirmation code from the email.
  4. At the end of the reservation period, they will check out – again either by scanning the QR code next to the seat (if available) or by entering the short URL.
    1. If the patron does not check out by themselves, the system will automatically check out on their behalf right at the end of the reserved time.

Managing bookings on the admin side

At any time, my staff can view upcoming Seats bookings as well as monitor the current capacity from the new Location Capacity Utilization dashboard. If a patron can’t remember their unique three-digit code, we can click on their unique booking record on the dashboard and manually check them in/out.

As a staff member, I can quickly see how the Second Floor’s Space/Seats are currently being utilized.

Additionally, building managers can access any previous booking records organized by Zone or Space, if needed for contact tracing purposes. To protect patron privacy, we also have the option to enable personal data scrubbing which periodically erases all identifiable booking information (but keeps the general booking record for statistical purposes).


Easy-peasy. We have exciting plans for LibCal Seats too (e.g. interactive mapping/reservations is coming soon) so this is just the beginning of something really great when it comes to Seats bookings in LibCal! We also look forward to implementing your feedback and suggestions as soon as you start using the new module.

In case you haven’t heard yet, we have several dates where you can see this new add-on module in action!

Product Demo Days

For those who are considering adding LibCal Seats to your subscription, we have some product demos lined up just for you:

We added more dates! See available seats on our calendar.

For those unable to make one of these dates/times, we’ll share the recorded video on Twitter and Facebook as soon as it’s available!

If you have any questions about LibCal Seats, please drop our sales team a line!

Customer Training Days

For those who have already added LibCal Seats and will be ready to dive into the nitty-gritty details, our LibCal Seats – Get Your Library Ready to Reopen Safely training sessions are already posted! Sign up for:

  • Monday, August 10, 2020 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET – Register!
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2020 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET – Register!
  • Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET – Register!

As always, we will add a video of our recorded session to our training video library as soon as it’s ready!

We have exciting plans for LibCal Seats (like mapping!), and we’ve been touched by the overwhelming response we’ve had to this new, needed functionality. In a time when we don’t feel like we have a lot of control over our lives, it’s been helpful to channel this energy into something we firmly believe will help others. Thank you, as always, for being on board with us. Contact us anytime, for any reason – we’re here for you.

Preparing for a Virtual Semester

Are you ready for a virtual semester?

Academic and School librarians, if you’re feeling uncertain as to what is going to happen this upcoming 2020-2021 academic year… imagine how your students feel. Anxiety and uncertainty are emotions that are part of this ‘new normal’. Will there be f2f classes? Will classrooms be fully or partially virtual? How will assignments be submitted and graded? How will group projects be handled? Where are the classroom, and library, resources? Like you, students have a ton of questions – most of which just can’t be answered right now… except one. Using Springshare’s LTI Tool – you can natively integrate library resources right inside student’s online courses. So the question, “Where do I find the library’s resources?” The answer is, “Right inside your online course!”


Last month we held a virtual webinar showcasing how you can natively integrate library content right inside your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, Desire2Learn, or other LTI-compliant courseware tool. Reducing the amount of clicks a student has to take to find the relevant library resources can not only help to reduce their cognitive load but also their stress and anxiety. And if there’s anything that we all need right now, is one less stressor in our lives.

Library Resources Page inside of Canvas using Springshare LTI Tool

With Springshare’s LTI Tool, natively integrate:

  • Course-specific LibGuides
  • Subject-specific LibGuides Databases
  • Course-related reading materials with LibGuides E-Reserves
  • Subject-expert LibGuides Profiles
  • Live chat widget from LibAnswers (with optional 24/7/365 chat coverage)
  • Book a virtual librarian appointment using LibCal
  • Search library FAQs using LibAnswers
  • … and more.

Is there a recording?

There sure is! This 30 minute recording shows how you can integrate library resources right inside the courseware tool. And the best part, minus a few things your Office of Online Learning needs to setup, all of the controls of what displays are controlled by you! Yes, you get to choose which LibGuides display, which E-Reserves, which subject-databases, and more!

Are you ready for a virtual fall semester webinar

But wait, does this scale across hundreds/thousands of online courses?

Yes it does! If you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of online courses this upcoming semester and wondering, am I going to have to click ‘Add library resources’ thousands of times? The answer is no. Our automagic tool matches on metadata making it easier to integrate library resources across thousands of classes. Don’t believe us – Penn State University uses the Springshare LTI Tool across 30,000 online courses each semester.

Want to learn more?

If you’re interested in learning more, we have loads of resources for you!

  • Training Videos – If you already subscribe to LibGuides CMS or E-Reserves and want to learn how to setup the LTI Tool, these training videos have you covered.
  • Help Documentation – Whether you’re using Blackboard, Canvas, or another LTI-compliant courseware tool… our help documentation has you covered.
  • Get Pricing & Free Trial – If you don’t already subscribe to LibGuides CMS, LibGuides E-Reserves module, or other Springy Tools that integrate with the LTI Tool… contact us for pricing or a free 30-day trial.