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Route LibAnswers & LibChat Through Authentication Layer!

Do any of the scenarios sound familiar?

  • Do you only want registered card holders or students/faculty to launch a LibChat?
  • Are you a hospital, government, or law library needing to restrict access to your LibAnswers FAQs to only your authorized list of patrons?
  • Do you want to restrict your LibAnswers 'Ask Us' Form from being submitted by anyone on the world wide web?

In case you missed it, LibAnswers recently integrated with LibAuth - meaning you can route your LibAnswers FAQs, LibChat widgets, and Ask Us Form (or any combination therein) - through your authentication layer! This means if you're using any of the authentication layers below, or even a self-hosted one, you can restrict access to your LibAnswers system and components.

  • SAML (including Shibboleth, ADFS, Okta, and OpenAthens), with quick-setup options for InCommon and UK Federation members
  • CAS
  • LDAP
  • OAuth 2
  • SIP2
  • SirsiDynix Symphony
  • Innovative Polaris
  • Your own self-hosted configuration (as long as it can return a text or JSON response)

What can you route through authentication?

Having LibAuth, the middleware that connects your authentication layer to LibAnswers, enabled doesn't mean your entire LibAnswers system is 'locked' to only authenticated users.... unless you want it to be! You can pick and choose which aspects of your LibAnswers system you want to require authentication.

  • All LibAnswers FAQ Groups: Including Public and Private Groups.
  • Individual FAQ Groups: Want one set of FAQs to be routed through authentication but not others? You can do that by going to the FAQ Group Settings > General Tab > Group Availability.
  • Chat Widgets: Pick and choose which chat widgets you want to route through authentication!
    • Pro-tip: Using our LTI Builder? Don't enable authentication on LibChat widgets inside your courseware tools. Students already have to login to the courseware platform.
  • 'Ask Us' Ticketing Forms: Turn on authentication for your 'Ask Us' Forms! Pick and choose which ticketing queues you want to enable it on.


Users are routed to your authentication layer before they can start chatting
Users are routed to your authentication layer before they can start chatting

Did you know you could...?

Here at Springy HQ, we like to add some pizzazz to our product releases. To that end, we've added some cool "Did you know you coulds" to the LibAuth/LibAnswers integration!

These added features will not only make your lives easier, but your users will also have an improved experience.

  • Group Rules: If your authentication layer uses Group Rules, you can restrict access to FAQ groups, LibChat widgets, or Ask Us Forms to specific groups of users! This way, only faculty can access the 'Faculty Resources' FAQ group or only Law School students can submit questions to the Law School Ask Us Form.
  • Autofill Name/Email: There's nothing more annoying for patrons to enter their authentication credentials and then have to fill in that same information (Name/Email) on the LibChat widget or Ask Us Form. As long as you pull in those attributes from your SSO, once patrons have authenticated, LibAuth will automagically fill in their name and email address into the appropriate fields.

Run, don't walk, to set up your LibAuth/LibAnswers integration!

Hopefully, we've gotten you amped up to connect LibAuth to LibAnswers. This integration is completely free with your LibAnswers subscription, there is no added cost.

And if you're thinking, LibAuth is only for end-users. Think again! Use LibAuth in LibAnswers as a way to secure a staff intranet. This way, only library staff can access your restricted FAQ content. This way, you'll rest easy knowing that only librarians can see that, "How to deal with troublesome patrons" FAQ you built in-house.

Do you have interesting use-cases for how you'll enable LibAuth with LibAnswers? Share them in the comments below!

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