Archive for March 29, 2021

Creating a Regional Chat Cooperative – Learning Lab

Last week we had the pleasure of sitting down, albeit virtually, with three amazing librarians to talk about virtual chat reference and the importance of having support from a regional, and global, chat cooperative. Caitlin Kenney (Engagement and Education Services Coordinator at the Western New York Library Resources Council) and Cornell University Librarians Leah Dodd (Research Lead Librarian), and Virginia Cole (Archaeology, Classics, History, and Medieval Studies Librarian) joined us for a panel discussion to discuss the WNYLRC cooperative and Cornell University’s experience doing local, regional, and even global chat reference.

In case you missed it, you’re in luck! We recorded the session, along with presenter slides, so you can watch and download all from the Springshare Learning Lab website.

Takeaways

  • The benefits of creating chat fallback so patrons chatting with the library start locally but if their library isn’t available, it rolls up to the Western New York LRC regional cooperative -> and then lastly the global chat cooperative for 24/7 backup.
  • Using historical statistics to make sure chat staffing is optimized.
  • The importance of feedback for quality control and using chat transcripts for training purposes.
  • Using tags to tag transcripts with followed-up, reviewed, etc. to keep an accurate eye on chats for quality control.

Watch Now!

More Learning Labs Coming Up!

Our goal is to host a Springshare Learning Lab every single month! Our next Learning Lab:

  • Springing into Action – The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC)
    Thursday, April 29, 1:00pm – 2:20pm
    The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) was founded in March 2020 to provide critical librarian time, skills, and resources to the growing need for quality information in response to the global pandemic. They quickly recognized the need to have a web presence to provide information to partners and volunteers and a central platform to manage projects. As librarians who used Springshare products in their home institutions, LRC’s Co-Directors thought to reach out to Springshare for support. Springshare responded quickly, donating access to a suite of products to support LRC’s response efforts. Throughout the past year, LRC has combined LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard to manage volunteers and launch new initiatives. Read more in our blog post.

A Short #MyLibLifeReality Follow-Up

Last month we asked librarians and library workers to share their #MyLibLifeReality moments with us, knowing it was a bit of a long shot even though we loved the idea. 

Watch Springy Will’s #MyLibLifeReality video

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed the absence of videos in our March newsletter. And, well, you can probably guess where this is going — sometimes things don’t pan out as you hope!

Every programming and outreach librarian can relate to how we’re feeling right now. But while we didn’t get many responses, we’re always ones to put a positive spin on things. So we wanted to post two three highlights/bits of good news:

  1. We received a great video from Springy Will, who shared a game he played with fellow coworkers before coming on board with us. Springys for the win!
  2. Because we believe in the important work Black Girls CODE is doing, we still made a $250 donation – the maximum amount we proposed for #MyLibLifeReality submissions.
  3. (3/24 update) Oscar R. Lanza-Galindo matched our donation! A big thanks to you, Oscar, for expanding the impact of our project.

You can watch Springy Will’s video on YouTube, and we hope it brings a little smile to your face! And if you’re looking to support the future of women of color in STEM fields, you can also donate to Black Girls CODE from their website.

We hope you all have a great week! And, as always, we are here for you if you have any questions.

Easier Contactless Pickups for Everyone

Contactless/curbside holds pickup started out as a method for safely delivering holds to patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic and will probably be here to stay… for good. And that’s a great thing! According to a recent Forbes article, curbside pickup is not going anywhere, even post-pandemic, because customers simply love it.

“The benefit of curbside is primarily the ability to order ahead, which should translate to no waiting. Customers don’t like to wait in line.”

(Kelso Why Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay-Even After The Pandemic Ends)

Importantly, curbside/contactless holds pickup is not just convenient and safe for patrons… it also helps staff by ensuring they don’t get overwhelmed in any one channel. By offering multiple methods for pick up (curbside/contactless, circulation desk, self-checkout kiosks, etc), it allows you to service several patrons at the same time.

What’s more, if you have a mobile platform to facilitate scheduling and SMS communication – you’ll see higher adoption and usage.

Pickup Manager: Scheduling & Communicating Holds Pickups

Last November, Springshare released Pickup Manager – our robust and feature-rich contactless holds pickup tool that includes scheduling and mobile chat/SMS communication.

Patrons can:

  • Schedule their holds pickup once they’re ready
  • Communicate with the library via mobile-optimized chat or SMS/texting when they’ve arrived
  • Provide their feedback by filling out a follow-up survey
  • Receive reminders when they haven’t picked up their items

Pickup Manager has ILS Integration!

Pickup Manager integrates with a variety of ILS Tools and we even have a generic SIP2 integration… so if none of the below match your ILS, we can integrate via SIP2 if that’s an available option!

  • Scheduling a Pickup Time slot: When patrons go to schedule their pickup time slot, they’ll be prompted to enter in their library barcode/pin. Pickup Manager authenticates to see if they have holds available that are eligible for pickup.
  • Checking Out Holds During Two-Way Communication: When the patron arrives to pickup their items and initiates a mobile chat or SMS/text, during the chat exchange you can check-out items to the patron directly from the Pickup Manager dashboard. This removes an entire step – checking out the items via the ILS – from the process!
ILS Integration:
Scheduling a Pickup Time Slot
ILS Integration:
Checkout Items When
Communicating with Patron
SirsiDynix SymphonyYesYes
SirsiDynix HorizonYesYes
Ex Libris AlmaYesYes
KohaYesNo
Innovative Interfaces Sierra YesNo

Don’t Have ‘Curbside’?

A lot of our academic libraries don’t have curbside pickup because they’re usually walking distance from the dorms and don’t have nearby parking lots. But, that doesn’t mean Pickup Manager isn’t right for you! Use Pickup Manager to handle *any* location where you want to schedule pickups – from a table in the lobby, a kiosk outdoors, or even at the circulation desk. It provides another channel/method for patrons to pickup their holds AND it helps you know who is coming where and when!

Attend a Webinar – Learn More!

Join us for a 30 minute webinar to see Pickup Manager in action – we’ll cover the entire process from scheduling a holds pickup, two-way chat/SMS communication, and even statistics and reports. You need to see it to believe how cool it is! Can’t attend any of the live sessions? Just register for any session below and we’ll send you the recording.

All times listed in U.S. Eastern Time

Citation

Kelso, Alicia. “Why Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay-Even After The Pandemic Ends.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/aliciakelso/2020/09/22/restaurant-chains-rushed-to-add-curbside-pickup-during-the-pandemic-heres-why-theyll-keep-the-channel-after-it-ends/.

Coming Soon: LibCal Interactive Mapping!

A couple of weeks ago, SpringyNews readers were treated to a sneak peek of our new, optional LibCal mapping module slated for April launch. We’re sharing more info about it today, including an awesome video below showing the maps in action.

Functional, Interactive Maps That Put Your Users First

Book an available study room from a map

Our mapping module adds a new “wow!” factor to the process of booking library spaces and seats. With it, students and patrons select their desired booking time and are presented with interactive maps showing real-time space/seat availabilities throughout the building.

With LibCal’s mapping features, users can:

  • Navigate the building map to see bookable areas & their availability.
    • Space/seat colors indicate availability based on the user’s time and date selection.
    • Information bubbles show availability, capacity, and power and accessibility options.
  • “Enter” a building wing to see its rooms, tables, computers, e.g.
    • Book a preferred space or seat based on its location in relation to other spaces and seats
    • If a room has bookable seats inside, clicking on its area will open a new map with those options.
  • Get a clear sense of where everything is located before even entering the building.
  • Receive a directions map in a booking confirmation email for spaces, events, and appointments so they know exactly where they are headed when they arrive.

Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on desktop or on mobile (or if you already have maps that look great, send them over and skip this step), and then we’ll add interactive areas to it – i.e. the study, event, and meeting rooms, individual armchairs, and study carrels. Each hotspot area will be associated with corresponding zones, spaces, seats, and appointment and event locations in LibCal. Ask us to learn more about this process!

Video of Booking via Interactive Maps (No Audio)

Link a zone map to a space, seat, event or
appointment location, or another map

Interactive Maps = A Better Booking Experience For Users

Interactive maps not only improve the booking experience but they also help inform the user where they need to go in the library to get to their desired space. This means they will know exactly which entrance to use, what stairway or elevator to take, and where to go to reach their study or meeting room, computer, or study carrel.

Directional Maps for Events & Appointments

The LibCal mapping module also includes directional maps for events and appointments. The system automatically generates a static map showing the location of each event space, so when a user registers for an onsite event, the confirmation email also contains the link to the map showing the exact location of this space within the building.

The same is true for the appointment scheduler – the user will get the appointment confirmation email with the link to the map showing where the appointment will be held.

With these awesome directional maps, your users will always know where to go once they enter the building and can quickly locate the space once they arrive.

Learn More

Our LibCal team is putting the finishing touches on the mapping code in the next few weeks, and we are super excited to share the end result with you. If you are as excited about this new module, too, have questions for us, or just generally want to learn more, please drop us a line!

Also, we want to give a special shout out to the awesome librarians at EKU Libraries who sent us their maps and allowed us to use them in our demos. Thank you!

Last but not least – send us your maps, too – if you’d like to be an early adopter and send us your existing maps please let us know.

Help Where Patrons Need It: A Partnership With Lean Library

Today’s a big day here at Springy HQ! We’re excited to announce our partnership with Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing, that delivers library services directly into the patron’s workflow via a customizable plugin. The partnership will begin by integrating LibGuides with the Lean Library browser extension – allowing librarians to deliver contextual point-of-need instruction.

And this is just the beginning! We’ll be adding more integrations soon, including LibChat, so patrons can get live help from a librarian no matter what webpage they visit.

How Does It Work?

Within the Lean Library Dashboard, configure different resources to display depending on the webpage that the patron is currently visiting. So, if the patron is on scholar.google.com > the Lean Library browser extension will display your step-by-step Google Scholar LibGuide. If they’re searching inside your EBSCOhost databases, the browser plugin will pop-out your Advanced EBSCO Searching LibGuide to provide contextual help!

LibGuides Integration with Lean Library Browser Extension

All your patrons need to do is download the browser extension, and voila! They’ve got your contextual library resources right when they need it.

Increase Usage and Visibility

Putting your LibGuides, right at the point-of-need will increase usage and visibility. Don’t take our word for it – Utah State University conducted a pilot project with LibGuides and Lean Library integration. In just two months, they saw a 450% increase in usage of their Google Scholar LibGuide after it was deployed on scholar.google.com via the Lean Library browser extension. Learn more about Utah State University’s pilot program at ER&L annual conference today, March 10, 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET.

Utah State University LibGuides Usage

You Build a Lot of LibGuides – – Make Sure They’re Seen!

To date, over 200,000+ librarians at 5,500 institutions have built millions of LibGuides at over 80 countries around the world. These guides, undoubtably, take significant time and effort to create. With the Lean Library browser extension, you’ll be able to get more eyeballs on your LibGuides and increase your ROI by embedding them directly into the patron’s workflows. Plus, with the upcoming LibChat integration – patrons can launch a live chat no matter what website they’re on.

Want to Learn More?

The LibGuides/Lean Library integration will be available as an upgrade to existing LibGuides or Lean Library customers or as part of the new service Lean Library Futures.

To find out more visit leanlibrary.com/casestudies/utah or contact your Lean Library or Springshare representative.