We've been so encouraged to see all the amazing implementations of LibCal's Interactive Mapping tool across many different libraries from large public libraries to small academic ones. But one really interesting implementation at the Northeast State Community College Library had us going, "wow, now that's cool"! So we reached out to their librarian, Amy Lippo, with some questions, and she sent us her answers below. Spoiler alert: the interesting implementation that Northeast State Community College has setup in their interactive maps is to highlight staff offices, including staff pictures, contact information, and more! This isn't a complicated or high-tech usage, but something small like this can be really impactful. It connects the library space with the staff and simplifies the process of contacting staff for students and faculty.
Thanks for chatting with us Amy! First question, why LibCal Interactive Maps?
I attended a webinar on the product and fell in love! Wayfinding on campus leaves something to be desired, and I saw this as an elegant solution. Regular maps are good, but interactive maps take it to a whole other level, allowing for customization of what I displayed for various spaces.
The integration with LibCal Spaces was a bonus – now people can book rooms directly from the maps instead of having to go through a separate link. Being able to add links and images, and basically anything you want, formatted as you want it, is great. I wanted to implement interactive maps across campus but have only been able to do the library maps and campus map so far.
You went with our consulting route to create your maps. Our in-house team, in consultation, created the maps for you. Can you tell us why you went this route?
I just didn’t have the expertise to create the hotspots myself without having to figure out how to learn how to do it. The quote we got to do the library and campus maps was in line with the budget, so my dean went ahead and chose to go the consulting route. It made things a lot faster and more streamlined.
You did some cool stuff with your maps, particularly the highlighting of staff offices and contact information. Can you tell us why you did this?
I wanted to be as transparent about the library as possible. As I mentioned before, wayfinding on campus is not the best. I wanted people who use the library or visit any of its occupants to be able to find them easily, as well as contact information. I added pictures of all that I could so that people who use the maps in advance of coming to the library will be more familiar with what and who they see.
Everything is designed to highlight what and who is available in the library and make finding people and places as easy as possible.
Anything else you'd like to share? Any tips or suggestions?
I just love LibCal Interactive Maps, and really anything Springshare! They were so easy to work with, and the results are fabulous.
A couple of tips.
- Watch your code. I ran into problems with extraneous code in my boxes, and it caused a bit of a problem, which the Springys were able to fix.
- Pro-tip: Put your code into an HTML editor, like Notepad ++, to validate your code and ensure all your opening tags have corresponding closing tags.
- Also, be very careful to save twice. The changes you make in boxes aren't saved when you finish with them. You must hit save at the bottom of the main page for any changes to stick.
Overall, I would highly recommend Interactive Maps and the consulting team. I will be working with them again soon to make some changes to our rooms that happened after we finalized our maps, and I am looking forward to the experience.
Thanks so much Amy, for chatting with us about your LibCal Interactive Maps and your experience working with our in-house consulting team! When NSCC is ready to set up maps for the rest of campus, you know where to find us!