Archive for June 30, 2021

Improve Your LibGuides ROI – Lean Library Webinar (EU-Optimized Timezone)

In case you missed it, in March we announced an exciting partnership with Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing, that delivers library services directly into the patron’s workflow via a customizable plugin. We’ve kicked off this partnership by integrating LibGuides with the browser plugin – allowing you to deliver contextual point-of-need help. You spend a lot of time creating and maintaining your LibGuides – maximize the return on your investment by delivering LibGuides content when and where they need it the most.

Here’s How it Works

  1. Your patrons download the Lean Library Plugin for their Chrome, Firefox, and other compatible web browsers;
  2. Inside your Lean Library Admin Dashboard – you control which LibGuides display on specific websites;
  3. So, if your patron navigates to scholar.google.com > your Google Scholar Advanced Searching LibGuide pops-up!
  4. Patrons can read, dismiss, and continue on with their Google Scholar searching, with a better understanding on how to get full-text or peer-reviewed results. Talk about delivering library instruction right when they need it!
Google Scholar LibGuide displaying as a pop-up in Chrome via the Lean Library Browser plug-in

Increase your LibGuides Usage – Utah State Saw a 450% Increase

Utah State University launched a pilot program with Lean Library to explore whether or not this integration would increase their LibGuides’ usage. And boy, did it.

They saw a 450% increase in views, in just one LibGuide, during their pilot study.

This is Just the Beginning

We started with LibGuides, but this is just the beginning. We plan on working with Lean Library to integrate LibChat into their browser plugin-in so patrons can not only receive instructional support at point-of-need… but with a simple click, they can get help from your staff right when they need it.

Explore the Lean Library Workflow for LibGuides

Join us for a live webinar on Thursday, July 1 at 9am US ET / 2pm London BST / 3pm Prague CEST.

Can’t attend the live session?

Watch the recording! Explore Lean Library and hear from special guest speaker Jason Folkman from Utah State University on how they saw a 450% increase when implementing the Lean Library Workflow for LibGuides.

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

June is here, and we’re so excited to bring you a bevy of new features! From our new interactive mapping tool in LibCal, to introducing LTI 1.3 support in LibApps, to chat stability improvements and a full ticket JSON export in LibAnswers, we truly have something for everyone! 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, July 2, 2021.

This post highlights our major features of this release. For details of all features and bug fixes included in the current release, head to the Springshare Lounge for the full release notes.

Read about: LibCal | LibGuides | LibAnswers | LibStaffer | LibInsight

LibCal

Mapping

You may remember us talking about LibCal’s new interactive mapping module back in April, and now we’re happy to announce the general availability of this exciting new LibCal add-on. For a full walkthrough of all of the functionality our new Mapping add-on has to offer, head to https://blog.springshare.com/2021/06/16/libcal-mapping-has-arrived/.

While we’d like to think we love all of our new features equally, sometimes there’s one that makes us sit back and say, “Woah, this is pretty awesome.” The new mapping module adds a “wow!” factor for booking library spaces and seats and finding in-person events – and gives users a visual map/directions for their upcoming events and research appointments. And, as cool as this is, it really is just the start! We have big plans to create a complete interactive mapping layer for everything in the library, including mapping your holdings, subject areas, and the like.

You could say we’re a little excited about the new mapping module, and we hope you are, too. If you’d like to learn more about getting started with LibCal’s optional interactive mapping, just ask!

Seats/Spaces

  • We’ve added pagination support to the API for the /bookings endpoint! Previously, the API would only return one page of results with a maximum of 500 bookings. Now, you can update these API calls with pagination parameters, so you can control the number of pages of bookings to return in each call. Head to Admin>API>Endpoints V1.1>Spaces (also available for Equipment – Admin>API>Endpoints V1.1>Equipment) to find the bookings endpoints and instructions on how to use the new pagination options.
  • We’ve added the LibAuth account ID as a search option in the Spaces Booking Explorer! If you’re using LibAuth and bringing across the userID/accountID attribute, you can now search for bookings via this value. Head to Spaces>Booking Explorer to use this new search option.

Appointments

  • We’ve modified the Booking Explorer CSV export to include all associated booking form data. Each booking form question will appear as a column header in the export, and the corresponding answers for each booking are listed below. Head to Appointments>Booking Explorer to use the newly formatted export.
  • You can now select multiple Appointment users when generating Booking Explorer reports. Previously, you could only run the Booking Explorer for one or all users; now, you can select a group of users and view their bookings with just one report. Go to Appointments>Booking Explorer to search for multiple users at once.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibCal release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibGuides

LTI Tool Builder Makeover and LTI 1.3 Support for Canvas LMS

In this release, we’re excited to introduce LTI 1.3 support for the Canvas LMS! LTI 1.3 offers enhanced privacy and security benefits over the 1.0 framework, and offers more flexibility to boot. We also took the opportunity to spruce up the LTI admin interface, to help showcase all of the options that our LTI tools provide. In the coming months we’ll be updating our integrations for all LMS systems to support the LTI 1.3 framework.

But wait – you may be asking yourself, why is LTI integration so exciting? It’s simple – with our LTI integrations, you’ll be able to take content from your LibGuides system – including guides, E-Reserve Courses, and/or your A-Z list – and integrate them within your institution’s course management system. Our LTI tools offer two main methods for integration – Single Course (previously “Manual”) gives LMS course instructors/editors the ability to select a piece of LibGuides content when editing the course from within the LMS. Automagic is just as magical as it sounds – this gives you the ability to add a Library Resources link to all courses in your LMS, and dynamically serve targeted LibGuides content whenever that page is accessed. Best of all, our LTI tools are included as a standard part of LibGuides CMS, making it super easy to broadcast targeted library resources right at the main point of need!

The first thing you’ll notice in the new LTI Tool Builder interface is that we’ve gotten rid of the four tabs (LTI Manual Mode, LTI Automagic, LTI Instance Details, and Metadata) – now, you’ll see a listing of all currently available tools in your system. Initially, you’ll see two tools listed: Automagic 1.0 and Single-Course 1.0 – these tools will house the 1.0 configurations you’ve previously created using the LTI tool. To modify and make adjustments, just click edit in the actions column – this will take you to the relevant edit screen. For Single Course tools, you’ll find the Tool Settings, Configuration, and Placements pages. For Automagic tools, you’ll see Tool Settings, Automagic Matching, Library LTI Page, Configuration, and Placements pages.

LTI Tool Builder Placements table

With LTI 1.3, you can create multiple LTI 1.3 tools, instead of only relying on one Single Course and one Automagic tool that applies to all courses. This is a key feature for sites with more complex LMS and LibGuides setups, like Universities with multiple schools and programs, or Consortial arrangements where a single LibApps configuration is attached to multiple LibGuides sites. You’ll now have the opportunity to create multiple automagic and single course tools, and use different LibGuides metadata for each, so the information you display to users is more targeted to them based on their area of study, affiliated school, branch library, etc. As we’re moving to support multiple LTI 1.3 tools, we’ve also adjusted our approach to displaying Placements (previously known as Instance Details) – these are now displayed from within each tool’s configuration pages, so you can view placement info that’s relevant to each tool you create.

With this release we’re thrilled to introduce LTI 1.3 support for the Canvas LMS. In the coming months we’ll be updating our integrations for all LMS systems to support the LTI 1.3 framework.

Pronouns

We’re introducing a new field in the default LibApps profile for Pronouns, making it easy for folks to know which pronouns you use. We’re very excited to introduce this change, as it represents an opportunity to make your virtual space more inclusive and welcoming to all users. Your pronouns will appear right under your name in your LibGuides Profile, and will be visible to everyone who views your profile. To add your pronouns, head to LibApps -> My Profile -> Profile Box -> Title / Pronouns / Image -> Pronouns.

Pronouns

Update Login Page to use LibAuth Authentication automatically

We’ve updated the LibAuth authentication logic so that if there is a single LibAuth config set for your site, LibGuides group, or guides, instead of seeing the traditional LibApps login page, you will see the configured authentication single sign-on screen.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions (all times listed in ET):

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibGuides release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibAnswers

The June release is on its way and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you a number of updates and new features! With this release, we’re adding the ability to do Full Ticket JSON Exports, so it’s possible to export the full history of ticket replies in one export! We’re also bringing Co-Op users a new 2-Way Feedback option, via the QA Feedback page in the Cooperative Dashboard, so it’s now possible for Co-Op operators to reply to feedback they’ve received from LibAnswers Admins.

Not only are we adding new features, but we are always working away to improve on stability and connectivity in LibChat! To see all the details of this release, head to the Springshare Lounge to view the full release notes.

Chat Server Updates

With this code update, we’ve completed the work required to move all LibChat users to a libanswers.com domain when accessing the LibChat dashboard. Over the next few months, we’ll move all users over to this new URL format in batches. Just as with our last release in April, our focus is to reduce, if not eliminate issues presented by third party cookies in chat, in keeping with modern web browsers which are moving towards increased user privacy and less reliance on third party cookies.

Following this release, we’ll begin the process of updating the URL of the LibChat dashboard (and only the LibChat dashboard) for sites on custom domains (I.E. those that do not end In *.libanswers.com); this will be a gradual transition run in batches over the course of the summer. The vast majority of LibChat users will not need to do anything as part of this transition. However, users in highly restrictive IT environments may want to contact their local IT department and ask them to add libanswers.com to your institution’s list of trusted domains. Admins can also determine their site’s specific libanswers.com subdomain by heading to Admin>Queues>Edit Queue>Email> Receiving Email, where you’ll see a note that says “This addresses must end with one of the following: @mysite.libanswers.com“. This is the same domain we’ll use when serving your LibChat dashboard in the future.

Good to know: If your site has previously added our chat server url (cascade.libchat.com) to an approved domain list at your institution, now is an ideal time to also ask your IT department to add our new server address. These vary depending on the region you’re in: chat-us.libanswers.com (US region, which includes South America and Africa), chat-ca.libanswers.com (Canada), chat-eu.libanswers.com (European region), or chat-au.libanswers.com (Australia/Pacific Region).

In addition to these changes, we’re happy to report that we’ve improved our chat reconnection logic! Now, if an operator’s network connection temporarily blips, patron chats will enter a “pending” state, so the librarian operator has more of an opportunity to reconnect to the chat once their connection is reestablished. In addition, we’ve fixed a bug that could impact a chat operator’s ability to view the contents of internal chats following a temporary network interruption.

Full Ticket JSON Exports

For folks who’ve been looking for the ability to export and process the contents of their tickets in 3rd party systems, we have great news – we’re introducing a full ticket export option! This export generates a JSON file of the full ticket history, including all back and forth messages, as well as associated ticket metadata like dates/times and tags. This is useful if you’re ingesting ticket data into 3rd party systems, like AI/machine learning tools. You’ll be able to find this export by heading to Answers > Tickets > Export.

Chat Cooperative QA Feedback

With this release, we’re expanding the conversations that can happen between LibAnswers and Co-Op Admins, and Co-Op Operators! Since the inception of Co-Ops, we’ve supported a simple mechanism for participating LibAnswers institutions to leave feedback for Co-Op chat operators on chats they’ve answered – this has been a great way to share feedback and praise. With this release, we’re excited to expand this communication mechanism to be 2-way, so, LibAnswers and Co-Op admins can leave feedback, and Co-Op operators can now reply!

If you’re the operator of a chat or the original admin who provided feedback, you’ll be able to see and reply to responses on that transcript from within the QA Feedback page by clicking on the “View Full Thread” link. This is in addition to being able to do so on the Cooperative Dashboard > Transcripts page! Co-Op and Institutional Admins will also be able to see the full thread of feedback and replies via the new “View Full Thread” link on the QA Feedback page.

And coming soon…

Keep an eye out in the coming months, because we’re hard at work adding the ability to use LibAuth Authentication in your LibAnswers systems! Our new LibAuth options will give you far more control over who can access your LibAnswers content and who can submit questions using your question forms and chat widgets. We’re introducing a new host of authentication options, so you can require your users to authenticate against your Single Sign-On systems in order to start a chat via LibChat, and/or submit tickets via your question form, and/or even restrict access to all or a portion of your LibAnswers public FAQ content! And better yet, when users authenticate using LibAuth, we’ll pull in the key data from your SSO and use it to pre-fill relevant patron data fields, like Name and Email. We’re hard at work on this new functionality for our August release. 🙂

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibAnswers release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

We have a couple of quality of life improvements that we’re excited to bring you in this LibStaffer release:

  • We’ve added the ability to include the Time Off Overlay in both single and multi-schedule view widgets. Head to Admin>Schedule Settings>Edit Schedule>Widgets (single view) or Admin>Widgets>API>Widgets (multi schedule view) to add the Time Off Overlay to your widgets.
  • We’ve added a new option when choosing how far in advance your staff need to request swaps and/or splits. Now, in addition to the previous options, you can require folks to make these requests at least 15 minutes before the shift begins. Navigate to Admin>Schedule Settings>Edit Schedule>Name & Info>Shift Swapping / Split Shifts to use this new option.

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Display chart values in Dashboard

You can now display chart values for dashboard charts with the new “Display values in chart” setting within the Dashboard chart options. Simply go to your Dashboard -> Edit Dashboard Row -> Select Chart to Edit -> Check Display values in chart

Check out the LibInsight release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [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 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Think Outside the ‘Seat’

For many of you, LibCal Seats was the solution for helping you reopen your buildings safely. With built-in occupancy measurements and check-in/out functionality, it allowed you to reopen your buildings with capacity restrictions and functionality for track & trace.

Now that life is slowly starting to return to normal after 500+ days of uncertainty, fear, and stress – many of you might be thinking of other ways you can use your LibCal Seats subscription as restrictions ease.

Well, we wouldn’t be Springshare if we didn’t have some ‘outside the Seat’ examples for you! Read on for other ways you can use LibCal Seats in your buildings.

Reserving Speciality In-Building Hardware/Software

Do you have Bloomberg terminals in your Library? What about a 3D printer? Do only some computers have Photoshop on them? Do you have a green screen room or editing suite? As libraries add more and more technology services to their in-house collections, it might be time to consider a reservation system for managing who can use what technology and when.

Consider using LibCal Seats to manage bookings for speciality hardware or software that’s only accessible on specific computers.

Coveted Spots – The Friends’ Couch

Let’s be honest, if the Friends’ couch existed in real-life, there would be a long line outside that coffee shop as people waited for that coveted spot. There are spaces in your libraries that are the ‘money spot’. Whether it’s those powered comfy chairs by the window, the cafe tables ideal for people watching, the bean bag chairs for lounging, etc. We see our patrons making a beeline for those spots. We see them stalking the occupied seats like lions eying a herd of gazelle. We’ve heard complaints when those spots are “never available” and may even have had to intervene when these coveted spots aren’t being dispensed fairly (“so and so has been there for hours!”).

It’s a-okay to make those coveted spots “reservation only”. If you’re going to transition making these spots reservation only, some suggestions:

  • Display clear signage that these seats are reservation-only. Even if a seat is empty, they still have to reserve it!
  • Consider adding a computer or an iPad nearby so patrons can easily view availability and make on-the-spot reservations.

Enforcing Time-Limiting

Whether its speciality equipment, computers, hardware, or software – LibCal Seats can help you better enforce time limits by requiring reservations. So consider making those ‘time-limited’ items reservable first! The automated emails also help reinforce your time-limit policies so patrons are well-aware that their reservation is limited to a specific window.

The Movie Theater Effect

Does anyone remember what it was like to go to the movies before you could reserve your specific seats? Having to get there 30 minutes early so you could be at the front of the line. Trying to save seats for your friends by throwing whatever item of clothing you had on you on the adjacent seats. Getting there right before showtime and having to sit in the front row.

Now, we don’t have that stress. Whether we arrive 20 minutes early or 15minutes late, we know exactly where we’re going to sit because when we booked our movie tickets – we picked our seats. Plus, we know, before we go, if the movie theater is completely full or half-empty so we can pick and choose exactly when we want to go because we’ll know how busy its going to be before we even get there. This gives us feelings of control and reduces unwanted anxiety and stress around unknowns – and if anything, we need to reduce our anxiety and stress nowadays.

How often have your patrons arrived expecting their favorite spot to be available and it’s not? Or if they want the whole 3D printer lab to themselves but then found out they’re going to have to share it with three other patrons?

Allowing your patrons to reserve seats beforehand not only gives them the control that they’ve come to expect in all other aspects of their life but it also allows them to mediate their comfort. Not everyone is comfortable in crowded spaces and probably even more so now with post-pandemic anxiety. So, by having a reservation system, patrons can see when you’re busy (and when you’re not) so they can pick and choose which times they want to visit the building.

What About OUTSIDE The Building?

When we think of library services and resources, we tend to think inside the building. But, that’s not always the case…. especially in the warm weather months.

Ideas:

  • Prime Parking Spots: Have you thought about making prime parking spots reservable? When Springy Talia was an undergrad, as a young female student, walking to the campus library at night wasn’t always a safe option…. so she didn’t visit the library at night… ever! Having a reservable parking spot in a well-lit area near the building would have made her feel much safer going/leaving the library during the late evening hours.
  • Outdoor Picnic Benches: Do you have beautiful shady trees and some picnic benches? Nothing is more relaxing than enjoying your lunch outside in the summer months. Even better, knowing that you’ve got picnic bench #1 for an entire hour on Friday afternoon… #heaven.
  • Outdoor Movie Screenings: In New York City, Bryant Park shows free movies during the summer right behind the NYPL’s main branch. You have to arrive hours beforehand and when they open the park gates, it is complete bedlam as everyone runs to the center of the park to lay down their blanket and claim their spot. What would have been better? Designated spots that you can reserve in advance so you can enjoy your evening summertime movie without all that stress.

Now with Interactive Mapping

What’s even better than reserving your spot? Seeing a map of exactly where your spot is located! We recently announced that LibCal Interactive Mapping is here! So not only can you offer reservable spots for any place inside, or outside, your building – you can even show them exactly what they’re booking and where. Plus, our consulting team is on deck to help you create beautiful and informative maps.

What Are Your ‘Outside the Seat’ Ideas?

Like your other Springshare tools, flexibility and versatility are at your fingertips. We’ve seen you do some amazingly creative things with your tools like using LibGuides to power your website, using LibAnswers to troubleshoot Electronic Resource access issues, and using LibWizard to create an ‘Escape the Room’ experience.

We have no doubt that some of you are already coming up with some pretty cool ideas for LibCal Seats… and we’d love to hear them! If you’re using LibCal Seats, tell us your creative use-cases via the comments below.

LibCal Mapping Has Arrived!

You may remember us talking about LibCal’s new interactive mapping module back in April, and now we’re happy to announce the general availability of this exciting new LibCal add-on.

And while we’d like to think we love all of our new features equally, sometimes there’s one that makes us sit back and say, “Woah, this is pretty awesome.” That’s how we feel about the new mapping module. It adds a new “wow!” factor for booking library spaces and seats and finding in-person events – and gives users a visual map/directions for their upcoming events and research appointments. And, as cool as this is, it really is just the start! We have big plans to create a complete interactive mapping layer for everything in the library, including mapping your holdings, subject areas, and the like.

Book Seats/Spaces & Find Events Interactively

With this new add-on feature, your students and patrons can now select their desired seat or space or quickly see what’s happening in the building with maps that:

Interactive floorplan map example
  • Highlight resources – Showcase all of your library’s study rooms, reservable computers, and reading areas in a beautiful, scalable map.
  • Book interactively – Customize a new mapping homepage so users can easily see available maps – or just one overview map – and navigate to a building, floorplan/zone, or space. Zoom in and out to get a bird’s-eye or detailed view.
  • Visually share information – Clickable “hotspots” show real-time availability, capacity, and accessibility and power status for linked seats and spaces.
    • Create hotspots that share information about other areas of the building, too – so when a user clicks on an outline of the circulation desk, they could access your checkout policies and information.
  • View events happening in-building – Quickly see where and when events are happening right from the interactive map.
    • Coming soon! We’re working on adding holdings and subject mapping features so you can share one interactive map for everything available in the library!
  • Show relationships –  Nest maps, so users can click on a building wing to see a map of its spaces, tables, and computers. Any clickable hotspot can be linked to another map.
  • Reduce confusion – Share a directional map directly with students/patrons when they book on the confirmation page and in corresponding emails. Individual seat/space maps are automatically generated from your interactive maps!

Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on desktop or on mobile. (Already have high-quality maps? Send them our way and skip the first step.) Then we’ll add interactive hotspots to it – i.e. the study, event, and meeting rooms, individual armchairs, and study carrels. Each hotspot will be associated with corresponding zones, spaces, and seat locations in LibCal. Ask us to learn more about this process!

See a Quick Preview [No Audio]

Share Event and Appointment Location Maps Automatically

While the interactive mapping module is an optional add-on, all full LibCal subscribers can take advantage of a new exciting feature also related to mapping: static directional maps for in-person events and appointments! 

Upload location-specific map images for your Event and Appointment locations. The system will automatically share them on the event’s public page or appointment confirmation page and corresponding booking confirmation and reminder emails. LibCal users can add map images to the following places:

Share appointment maps automatically
  • An Appointment’s location in Admin > Appointments > Edit Location
  • Personal appointment directions in Appointments > My Settings
    • Note: If you’re using customized email templates and want the system to automatically email your Appointment maps, just be sure your template(s) includes the {{LOCATION_MAP}} and {{DIRECTIONS_MAP}} tags.
  • Event locations in Admin > Events > Event Locations
    • Note: If your calendar uses customized email templates, and you want the system to automatically email your event location maps, just be sure your calendar’s template(s) includes the {{LOCATIONS}} and {{map}} tags.
    • Using Spaces locations for your events? Individual space maps will be linked to events as part of the above interactive space/seat mapping add-on module!

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

Get Started

Helping libraries and users with scheduling is at the heart of LibCal, and the ‘where’ of a room, desk, event, or meeting reservation is just as important as the ‘what’ and ‘when’. There’s no better way to show the ‘where’ than with a map!

You could say we’re a little excited about the new mapping module, and we hope you are, too. If you’d like to learn more about getting started with LibCal’s optional interactive mapping, just ask!

Learning Lab Streaming Live on Facebook

We were not surprised at all when our upcoming Learning Lab, Ain’t No Party Like a LibGuides Party, reached full max registration in just a few days. We were not even surprised when the numbers of the waitlist started ticking up and up and up. I mean, it’s a LibGuides party – everyone wants to attend, right? 🙂

So the training team got together to try and solve this problem. How can we expand access to this webinar? People want to attend, but we do have a limit on the number of Zoom seats available. What to do, what to do?!?

Springy Laura came up with a great idea. What if we live-streamed the webinar on our Facebook page? This way, folks who really want to attend live… can! And so, we’ve made it possible.

If you want to attend Wednesday’s Learning Lab, Ain’t No Party Like a LibGuides Party, from 1:00pm – 2:20pm US EST, just navigate to our Facebook page! You’ll be able to watch live and ask questions in the comments area. We’ll have a Springy on deck watching the comments and feeding those back to the presenters.

Do I need to have a Facebook account and login to watch?

Nope! Our Facebook page is open and public, so you don’t need to have a Facebook account/login to watch the webinar. So just ignore the prompts asking you to sign-in or create an account. If you want to comment or ask a question, however, you will need to login or create a Facebook account to do so.

I don’t want to watch it on Facebook, is there another way?

If you want to watch the session LIVE, watching it on Facebook or if you managed to snag a coveted seat in our Zoom webinar room are the only ways. However, we will record the session and have it available for watching on our Buzz site by the end of the week.

We hope to see you there on Wednesday and if not, stay tuned for the recording. We’ll be recapping the session including a link to the recording on this blog.