Archive for Anna

We’re Looking for A Springy Trainer!

Hello Springyverse – we’ve got some exciting news: we’re currently looking for an awesome new Springy to become part of our training team, delivering webinars about implementation and use of our products!

Training Specialist

As part of our Community team, a Training Specialist is literally the voice of the company, embodying our commitment to set our customers up for success through online and recorded training sessions. Duties include: development and delivery of online, webinar-style training sessions; conference attendance, including delivering in-booth presentations and potential for in-person training workshops. Additional duties may include coordinating with customers for virtual user conferences and joint presentations or assisting with specialized onboarding for new customers.

Qualifications:

  • Experience conducting webinars and virtual meetings.
  • Strong communication and investigation skills.
  • A healthy dose of curiosity.
  • Ability to understand our technology/software, learn quickly, and self-manage / learn on your own.
  • Knowledge of HTML and CSS.
  • Excellent organization and multi-tasking skills (like, really, really excellent!).
  • A sense of humor is a must!
  • Ability to work with and as part of a remote, distributed team.
  • Previous Admin level experience with our products strongly preferred.
  • Project management experience helpful.
  • Some travel required.
  • Residency in one of the following states (current or willingness to relocate): CA, FL, KY, MA, NY, PA.

Interested?
Send your cover letter and resume to jobs@springshare.com. We’re excited to hear from you!

New Data Center: Australia / Asia-Pacific – February 2019

Springshare is pleased to announce that we are bringing data centers online in Australia on February 11, 2019! All Asia-Pacific customers will be hosted on these servers. (See below for the list of countries moving to these servers.)

These new servers host v2 products only: LibGuides, E-Reserves, LibAnswers v2, LibCal w/Equipment Booking, LibStaffer, LibWizard, LibInsight, and LibCRM. Once you move to this new cluster, all of your Springshare tools (current and future) are located there.

Who is moving & will there be down time?

We’re moving all v2 sites and content for customers located in the Asia-Pacific region. If you are located in one of these countries, your data is moving to the Australian servers: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Heard Island & McDonald Islands, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna.

Customers not located in one of the above countries are unaffected. There will be no down time for customers on servers in the U.S., Europe, or Canada while we move these sites.

Asia-Pacific customers will experience some down time during the migration process:

  • LibGuides Public side: No down time.
  • LibGuides Admin side and all other apps (both public and admin sides): Estimated 15 minutes of down time; may be up to 30 minutes.

I’m in the Asia-Pacific region – what do I need to do / know?

  • Migration Date: Monday, February 11, 2019 starting at 7pm U.S. EST (Melbourne time: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11am AEDT)
    Time Converter – click “Add another city or time zone” to convert to your location.
  • LibGuides / LibAnswers / LibCal Custom Domains: If you have a custom domain (e.g., research.mylibrary.org, ask.myschool.edu, calendar.library.myschool.edu.au) for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and/or LibCal site(s), you’ll need to work with your IT department to update your DNS records in time for the migration. We’ll send you instructions / more details in early January.
    If you are not on a custom domain (e.g., mylib.libguides.com, university.libanswers.com, springylib.libcal.com), you do not need to do anything. We’ll take care of everything on our side.
  • We’ll email you in early January with more information about what to expect and what you need to do to prepare for the move.

If you’re using LibAnswers v1 or LibAnalytics and want to move to the Australian server cluster, you will need to move to v2 in order to do so. LibAnswers v1 customers will be live with v2 prior to this server move. If you are using LibAnalytics, please update to LibInsight Lite.

If any questions / concerns pop up, please let us know, and as always, thanks for being on board!

HTTPS for All and All for HTTPS!

(Past HTTPS posts: Aug 24, 2017  |  Sept 28, 2017  |  Jan 25, 2018  |  June 7, 2018)

All major browsers are now flagging HTTP pages as “not secure” as a matter of course. This move toward web-security-by-default is something we at Springshare agree with, so we’ve implemented several things to help all of you ensure that your users are always enjoying a secure experience with Springy Apps – security certificates, forcing HTTPS, and removing TLS1.0 support, to name a few – and we’ll continue to roll out security options in future. In addition, we’re always vigilant in making sure that our code and our servers are safe and secure.

You may be wondering…why should I care if my pages are loading over HTTPS? Well, it’s all about your users’ security & privacy! With data leaks and cyber attacks on the rise, it just makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity to give your users the most secure web experience possible, and HTTPS is the baseline. Also, if you’d like to use the forthcoming LibCal billing functionality (online payments FTW!), an HTTPS connection is required.

Many of our customers have already made the move to HTTPS-only, and found it easy to do! There is no downtime or cost when moving to HTTPS (unless you choose to purchase your own security certificate) and it ensures a better, more secure experience for all of your users. In fact, we have issued over 2,000 certificates (for free!) so that all you need to do is push one button to switch to all secure access, all the time. It’s a win for everyone!

What We Do / What We’re Going to Do:

  • We provide free, automatically renewed Let’s Encrypt security certificates, in addition to the ability to upload your own security certificates.*
    • Load your page using https to double check whether or not your site has a valid, active security certificate.
    • Simply click in your address bar and type https://yoursiteURL.
  • We offer the ability for sites to force all of their pages to load over HTTPS. It is not enabled by default (yet), because there may be some content on your site that you need to update prior to making that move. (See below for more info on mixed content.)
  • We offer HTTPS access for all APIs, so you can ensure security of any information transferred via API.

What You Can Do Now:

  • Check your site for “mixed content“: content embedded in your page that is loaded over HTTP instead of HTTPS.
    Why does this matter? If your overall page is loading over HTTPS, but an embedded item on the page is trying to load over HTTP, the embedded item will not display on the page. Although Springshare has supported HTTPS for a long time, this is the primary reason we have not enforced it yet: giving you time to update your widgets and ensure all content continues to load on your pages.

    • This content could be a search widget, a video, or anything else you’ve embedded. If it’s embedded in your site, it must be embedded via HTTPS.
    • Notes on how to find mixed content in your site is below in the “Searching for Mixed Content” section.
    • If your widget is loading over HTTP, check the site where you got the widget to see if they offer an HTTPS version.
    • If your widget is from a Springy app, it’s easy! Just add https: to the beginning of the “src” to require that it load via HTTPS.
    • If you use Springy APIs anywhere, make sure you’re using them over HTTPS. If not, update your calls by adding that s.
  • Force your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibWizard sites to load over HTTPS.
    • This ensures a secure experience for your users when using those apps.
    • LibInsight, LibStaffer, and LibCRM are designed to always load over HTTPS, so there’s nothing to change for those systems.
    • This will be enabled for all sites by the end of Q1 2019.

Searching for Mixed Content:

  • In LibGuides:
    • Rich Text items: use the “Search” portion of our Search & Replace tool, and search on http: (with the colon at the end). Then review the list for embedded content. If the item is simply a link out to another website, you do not have to update that (unless the other site supports HTTPS and you want to update it). (This might be the majority of the list.) You’re looking for content embedded in the page, JavaScript, calls to stylesheets, etc. You can use CTRL+A to highlight the results, copy them, and paste them into a program like Excel for easier scanning, if you wish.
    • Widget items: use the filtering options in the Content > Assets area. Once on that page, limit Type to Widgets, enter http: in the Description / Metadata field, and click Filter. Click the edit icon for each item and review as noted above.
  • In LibAnswers you can use the “Search” part of the Admin > Assets > Search & Replace Links tool to find all instances of http: in your FAQ answers (yes, even though it says Search & Replace Links 😉 ). Be sure to check off the “Perform a search only” checkbox when using this tool. The first section will list any Public FAQ Links that contain http: – which may be just fine (though if there is an https equivalent, then it’s a good thing to update). The second section lists Public FAQ content that contains http:. Be sure to check this second area, as it’s likely where you may have embedded something. Also remember to check your Embedded Media / Widgets in your Public FAQs!
  • Load your page over HTTPS and use your Browser’s developer tools (usually something along the lines of: right click on the page > select Inspect > select the Console tab) to see what it marks as “mixed content” on each page. This may take a while, considering the number of pages you may have on your site, but it’s an option.
  • Another option is to use one of the myriad of tools that have popped up to help with this very thing! Do a web search on “mixed content check” (or similar keywords) and you’ll find options like “Why No Padlock?”, etc. (We’re not endorsing any particular thing; that site is simply noted as an example.) Continuing with using that site as an example, it works like this: you enter your https link into the tool and it scans that page (and any page that it links out to), notes any mixed content, and reports back to you with a list. It’s a great way to find all mixed content at once and/or as a check before forcing HTTPs for your site.

* Using a custom domain and seeing that your site does not have a security certificate?

Your DNS records could be pointing to the wrong place or there could be a Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) in place that is preventing us from getting a Let’s Encrypt certificate on your behalf. We’ve contacted the handful of sites where we know this is a problem. If you’re seeing that you do not have a security certificate, contact your IT department with this information:

  1. Check that your DNS records are pointing to the right place.
  2. Check to see if CAA is enabled. If so, either:

If you do not either allow us to successfully obtain a security certificate on your behalf or purchase one on your own, your site will be unreachable when we require all pages be loaded via HTTPS (by the end of Q1 2019). Let us know if you have any questions!

Planned Server Maintenance: December 26, 2018

Server maintenance is planned for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal in all regions on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, which may cause brief downtime (no more than 15 minutes in the worst case) for a subset of our customers.

There are no changes or actions required on your side, by anyone, for any product. So you don’t have to lift a finger! This is simply a notification of the expected downtime while we update our servers. We will remind you again (via a message when you log into your system) as we approach the maintenance date.

This work is necessary to strengthen our load balancing infrastructure for all of our customers. As a reminder, we use load balancing so that any sites attempting to connect to a disrupted server automatically move to a healthy server while we replace the disrupted server. A minority of customers, however, opted to be tied to a single server due to the nature of the setup of their custom domain. Those customers will also be load balanced upon completion of this update. (If this does not sound familiar to you, you are likely not part of that minority of customers.)

We chose Wednesday, December 26, 2018 for this maintenance / brief downtime based on usage logs, which show this is one of the lowest usage periods in the entire year. We will further mitigate any disruptions by performing this server work either early in the morning or late at night in each server region’s time zone.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Living in an HTTPS World

We’ve sent out all of our GDPR notices, so now it’s time to get into a different security conversation: HTTPS and browsers! Good security as a baseline is important, and with browsers also working toward that goal, it’s time to really dive into the HTTPS action with all of your sites.

Remember last year when we posted about Chrome’s changes to mark any webpages that load over HTTP and contain form fields as “not secure”? Well, in case you haven’t heard, they’re continuing to raise their security game, working toward their end goal of all HTTP webpages having a “Not Secure” indicator vs. HTTPS pages having a green lock/Secure indicator, since security ought to be the standard. Springshare agrees with this impending move, which is why we have made it very easy for our customers to make this transition.

In addition, the end of life deadline for TLS 1.0 (an older security protocol) is rapidly approaching (June 30, 2018), so we are removing that protocol from our code. This will not affect most of you, as it is a protocol mainly left in place to accommodate older browsers. (…and none of you are using older browsers, right? 😉 ) What this amounts to is that we are no longer supporting outdated browsers, such as IE10 (which Microsoft stopped supporting in October 2016).

Of course, the big question in all of this is: what does it all mean for you? Well, in terms of your Springshare apps, we’ve got you covered! While there are still a few things for you to think about / do / keep in mind, we’ve been working hard over here at Springy HQ to make this transition to an HTTPS world as easy as possible for all of your Springshare apps.

First, let’s talk security certificates.

In order to load a webpage over HTTPS, you need to have a security certificate (a.k.a., a cert). This tells the interwebs that it’s okay – this site can be trusted. If you don’t have one and try to load your pages over HTTPS, you end up getting a rather scary sounding notice on the screen. Certs are provided by Certificate Authorities: reputable, trusted third-party companies that verify your organization. These certs are what allow you to put the S in HTTPS. 😉

If your site uses a Springshare domain (e.g., mylibrary.libguides.com), you’re all set! You can use the security certificate we have in place for each of our main product domains (e.g., libanswers.com, libcal.com, etc.). If you’re using a custom domain with your LibGuides, LibAnswers, or LibCal sites (e.g., ask.yourinstitution.org), those domains need their own security certificate.

In January, we announced that we’re using Let’s Encrypt as a method to obtain free security certificates for all LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal sites with custom domains. This required some work on your side…really, on your IT colleagues’ side…before the certs were requested.

Well, we just made things even easier: we’ve updated our infrastructure to automatically request Let’s Encrypt certificates for all custom domains without you or your IT colleagues having to lift a finger! Woo hoo! This means that everyone can load their Springshare apps over HTTPS no matter which app or domain!

Step 1: Obtain a cert. CHECK!

Next, let’s talk HTTPS-only.

Since you can load your site over HTTPS (without having to lift a finger), the next step is to require loading of your sites over HTTPS. After all, if you don’t require it, your users could end up loading your page over an HTTP connection (from an explicitly written HTTP-based link on the page, for example). But if your site is working well in HTTPS mode, you can force it to always load via HTTPS with the click of a button, so that users will always load your pages securely.

There are two things you need to do in order to require HTTPS for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibWizard sites:

  1. Review your sites for mixed content (anything embedded on the page via HTTP) and update anything that can be updated to load via HTTPS instead. (Remove / replace anything that can’t load via HTTPS.)
  2. Once that’s done, enable the “Force HTTPS” setting in your systems.

What does “mixed content” even mean? If you’ve embedded something in your webpages, like an image, a YouTube video, anything loaded via an iframe, or calls to JavaScript or style sheets, you need to verify it was added using an HTTPS-based URL. If the URL is HTTP, that will cause a “mixed content” error when you try to load the overall page via HTTPS, and that HTTP-based content will not load on the screen because you are trying to load items that are not secure over a connection that is secure.

It is important to note that simply changing HTTP to HTTPS does not guarantee that the embedded item will load over HTTPS. The website where you got the code for that embedded item must support HTTPS in order for it to load over HTTPS.

It is also important to note that Springshare has no control over whether other vendors / websites allow their content to load via HTTPS. That is at the sole discretion of that other vendor / website. So your mileage may vary as you take a look at your sites to ensure that all embedded content loads via HTTPS. You may find that you can no longer embed an item from another site, because they do not yet support loading that item over HTTPS. You will either need to remove that item from your page or find an alternate item to embed. (You can also appeal to that other vendor / site to allow that item to load via HTTPS.)

Once again, for Springshare related things, we’ve got you covered! Our images (uploaded via the Image Manager), widgets, and APIs are already set to roll for HTTPS action (meaning they’ll all load via HTTPS).

So how do you find these HTTP embedded things in your site, so you can update them? You have a few options!

  • In LibGuides:
    • Rich Text items: use the “Search” portion of our Search & Replace tool, and search on http: (with the colon at the end). Then review the list for embedded content. If the item is simply a link out to another website, you do not have to update that (unless the other site supports HTTPS and you want to update it). (This might be the majority of the list.) You’re looking for content embedded in the page, JavaScript, calls to stylesheets, etc. You can use CTRL+A to highlight the results, copy them, and paste them into a program like Excel for easier scanning, if you wish.
    • Widget items: use the filtering options in the Content > Assets area. Once on that page, limit Type to Widgets, enter http: in the Description / Metadata field, and click Filter. Click the edit icon for each item and review as noted above.
  • In LibAnswers you can use the “Search” part of the Admin > Assets > Search & Replace Links tool to find all instances of http: in your FAQ answers (yes, even though it says Search & Replace Links 😉 ). Be sure to check off the “Perform a search only” checkbox when using this tool. The first section will list any Public FAQ Links that contain http: – which may be just fine (though if there is an https equivalent, then it’s a good thing to update). The second section lists Public FAQ content that contains http:. Be sure to check this second area, as it’s likely where you may have embedded something. Also remember to check your Embedded Media / Widgets in your Public FAQs!
  • Load your page over HTTPS and use your Browser’s developer tools (usually something along the lines of: right click on the page > select Inspect > select the Console tab) to see what it marks as “mixed content” on each page. This may take a while, considering the number of pages you may have on your site, but it’s an option.
  • Another option is to use one of the myriad of tools that have popped up to help with this very thing! Do a web search on “mixed content check” (or similar keywords) and you’ll find options like “Why No Padlock?”, etc. (We’re not endorsing any particular thing; that site is simply noted as an example.) Continuing with using that site as an example, it works like this: you enter your https link into the tool and it scans that page (and any page that it links out to), notes any mixed content, and reports back to you with a list. It’s a great way to find all mixed content at once and/or as a check before forcing HTTPs for your site.

Once you’re done updating your sites and have no mixed content, you’re ready to require that your Springy app pages load over HTTPS! (Note: This does not affect links out to other webpages, only pages within your Springshare apps.) This helps in a couple of situations: someone types the URL of your site, but doesn’t explicitly type HTTPS at the beginning OR there’s a link on one of your site’s pages that goes to another page in the site and it hasn’t been updated to use HTTPS; in either case, the user will be automatically redirected to HTTPS, ensuring their connection remains secure.

How do you require HTTPS in Springshare apps?

LibApps screen where you set HTTPS as required.

  • LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains and Certificates.
    • Click the padlock icon in the Actions column.
    • Go to the “Force HTTPS” tab and choose “Required”.
  • LibWizard:
    • Go to LibWizard > Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
    • Check off the “Load Site in HTTPS?” option and click Save.
  • LibStaffer, LibInsight, and LibCRM operate solely via HTTPS; there is nothing to change.
  • If you are using any APIs from any products, be sure to explicitly load them via HTTPS.

HTTP is dead. Long live HTTP! HTTPS is the new normal for all websites, all around the world, so in the coming months, we will completely disable HTTP (i.e., loading pages via HTTPS will be forced automatically) and make other important security upgrades for all products (such as enabling HSTS and other security related headers). Here at Springy HQ we are working (and will continue to work) tirelessly to ensure the security and privacy of all of our users and their patrons in their online activities.


Still on LibAnswers v1 or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to LibAnswers v2 or LibInsight / LibInsight Lite (respectively) in order to ensure that your systems are taking advantage of the latest options for security, including ensuring loading of sites over HTTPS. We do not support security certificates for v1 products.

On a Domain Other than libguides.com for your LibGuides site? (e.g., campusguides.com, communityguides.com, libguidescms.com, etc.)

Please contact our support team to discuss changing your domain to one on libguides.com so you can use our security certificate. We are not supporting certs for those other domains.

Springy https-a-palooza is Go!

It’s here – the release you’ve all been waiting for: the Springy https-travaganza! 🎉
And yes, it’s “Springy” vs. a specific product, because this affects all of our products. Let’s go through the list of fun new stuff, shall we?

LibAnswers & LibCal Now Support SSL Certificates (via LibApps)

LibApps Admins can now upload security certificates for LibAnswers and LibCal custom domains! It’s not just LibGuides anymore, folks. All products that support custom domains now also support security certificates for those domains. Head to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates, and click the lock icon in the Actions column. Please read through those screens and our documentation to learn more about the process of installing certificates for your sites. This often requires coordination with your IT department so be sure to include those folks in your conversations, as well.

Don’t forget, anyone on a libguides.com, libanswers.com, libcal.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, libinsight.com, or libcrm.com domain is already covered by Springshare’s security certificates, so you can go all https at any time! (If you’re on a campusguides.com, libguidescms.com, or communityguides.com domain, please contact us about switching to a libguides.com domain to take advantage of our security certificate. In addition, if you have a domain formatted like this – guides.mylibrary.libguides.com – please contact us about changing to something like guides-mylibrary.libguides.com in order to take advantage of our security certificate.)

As we’ve mentioned before, this only covers your Springy domain, not the widgets, etc., you’ve added within any pages. If you’ve decided to use https for your sites, you’ll also want to check any widgets you’ve added to the systems (other vendor/site widgets, like those from subscription databases, social media sites, etc.) to see whether they are http or https, as non-https widgets will trigger a security warning. If they are not https, check with that vendor/site to see if they offer an https option. Springshare widgets/APIs are either protocol-less (meaning they’ll work on both http and https pages) or are already https. See our FAQ for more info.

LibApps Now Supports Wildcard and SAN Certificates

Yes! You can now upload wildcard and SAN certificates. What are wildcard certificates, you may ask? They’re certificates that cover a whole domain vs. just one subdomain. For example, a wildcard certificate might be for *.mylibrary.org, so it covers mylibrary.org, research.mylibrary.org, ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.mylibrary.org, etc., etc., all under a single certificate. Most sites likely won’t need a wildcard certificate, but for those who do, it’s now an option.

Force https is Available…

…for most apps. LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard allow you to force pages / widgets / APIs to load via https. LibInsight always loads over https. The best part? This is available to:

  • All sites on libguides.com, libanswers.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, and libinsight.com domains and
  • LibGuides and LibAnswers sites with custom domains, who have uploaded security certificates.

The ability to force https for LibCal sites (via LibApps) will be available in the not-too-distant future, and we’ll be updating LibStaffer to be all https, all the time. Keep your eyes on our blog for those announcements.

What does this actually mean? If you’ve enabled “force https,” have an http link to a guide in LibGuides or FAQ in LibAnswers (etc.) somewhere on a webpage, and someone clicks that link, they’ll automatically be redirected to https instead. Any links they click for other pages in that LibGuides / LibAnswers / etc. site will also automatically load over https. That’s it! It loads your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard pages over https no matter whether the link that brought the user there was http or https. So if you forgot to update a link…or someone has something bookmarked…or a member of your community has a link on one of their webpages…it’ll always load over https.

What does this not mean? The links you have set up in your site that go to other websites (subscription databases, books in your catalog, etc.) will not be forced to use https. Springshare does not control those other websites, so we have no control over how those sites are loaded.

Here’s how to force Springy sites to use https:

  • LibInsight: enabled by default; you don’t have to do a thing.Screenshot of "Force HTTPS" setting.
  • LibWizard: Go to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
  • LibGuides & LibAnswers:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates.
    • Click the lock icon in the Actions column for the site.
    • Under “Force HTTPS” Setting, choose Required.
      If you do not see the “Force HTTPS” Setting section, either that app doesn’t currently support it as an option (e.g., LibInsight is always https; LibCal support is coming soon) or you have a custom domain (for LibGuides / LibAnswers) and need to upload a security certificate before you can access that option.

On LibGuides v1, LibAnswers v1, or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to v2. The v2 platform is better, more secure, faster, feature-rich…so there is no reason to stay on v1. If you’d like some assistance, our support team can help you figure out how to do it in the quickest way possible. We also have dedicated training sessions and step-by-step migration guides (LibGuidesLibAnswersLibAnalytics) to walk you through the entire process. We do not support SSL certificates for custom domains for v1 systems.

Additional Features & Fixes

It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t also include an extra list of fixes & features in our releases, now would it?

  • LibGuides: A-Z Page statistics are now available in base LibGuides, in addition to LibGuides CMS.
  • LibAuth: Empty postfix field is allowed in LDAP configurations.
  • LibAnswers: LibChat accessibility adjustment – frameborder=”0″ has been replaced with CSS in chat widgets.
  • Fixed in LibGuides:
    • When creating new Database Assets, assigned Friendly URLs now stay put, as intended.
    • An ampersand in the name of an E-Reserves course no longer breaks the OAI feed.
    • The “Edit Database” modal window in guides now appropriately points people to the A-Z Database List page for editing fields…which is far more useful than pointing to an outdated location.
    • IE10 users, rejoice! (Is that a thing? 😉) The Image Manager works again within LibCal and LibAnswers.

As always, we’re here to help! Let us know if any questions pop up…

LibAnswers Update Live!

Happy August everyone! We rolled out a couple of small LibAnswers features and a handful of bug fixes today – check it out…

Features:

  • Knowledge Base Explorer: The Queues filter now has a “Select All” option…especially helpful for folks who have a lot of Queues!
  • Answer Page > Tags: For systems where tags are not locked down, when typing in a tag, the list of matching tags is now listed by popularity.

Fixes:

  • Answer Page > Rich Text Editor: Restoring a draft while there is text in the Rich Text Editor now correctly adds the draft to the existing text instead of, well, not adding it at all (it was left as a draft), which isn’t as helpful.
  • System Status Management (SSM) Fixes:
    • You can now select a keyword when opting to have a widget display FAQs by Keyword, since that’s the whole point of the option.
    • If you add a heading to your product widget, that field now displays when using the widget.
    • Have products in folders? Clicking them now appropriately brings user to the page for the product vs. just closing the folder, which isn’t as effective, from a user perspective.
    • Users no longer get stuck seeing the “Loading…” message when submitting questions, problems, or praise in product widgets. They appropriately see the confirmation message instead.
  • When downloading files in Firefox, the file is now helpfully associated with the appropriate program by default if you choose to open it, instead of needing to download it first, then open it.

LibAnswers 2.15 Update – Redesigned Chat Widgets!

You read that right, the latest LibAnswers release includes redesigned chat widgets for your patrons, a few awesome operator side updates, and a brand new widget type, to boot! You do not need to make any changes to your existing LibAnswers widgets to take advantage of the redesign. All of your widgets have automatically been updated / settings transferred, so they now display the new layout. There are two reasons you might want to edit your widgets:

  1. Take advantage of the new functionality (outlined further below), like asking for contact info or sending a LibCal My Scheduler link.
  2. If you had added Custom CSS to a widget, you’ll need to edit that widget and redo the CSS. All class names changed in the new widgets, so CSS changes need to be redone. Until you do this, your widgets should just have the default look.
    How do you know? Edit a widget in LibAnswers > LibChat > LibChat Widgets and check out the Custom CSS box. If there’s something there, you’ll want to check out the new version and redo customizations.

And with that out of the way, let’s get into more details! We’ll start with operator side changes, so you can see them in action in the widgets later. 🙂

Operator Updates / Additional Widget Options:

When you log into your LibAnswers system, you’ll see the LibChat / Stand-by Alerts area at the top looks a bit different. We redesigned this area to make it a little clearer what was happening there. LibChat is Online / Offline: see whether or not anyone in your system is online with LibChat. LibChat: You are Online / Offline: for your account, specifically; sign in or go to the LibChat dashboard, depending on your status. Stand-by Alerts toggles stand-by alert notifications on / off.

LibAnswers Dashboard - Statuses

Did you notice the profile picture there? Set a profile pic for yourself or for a LibChat Department for use with the new widgets! Click your email address in the upper right hand corner to choose your LibApps profile pic or a generic profile pic. Edit a Department (Admin > LibChat Set-up) to set a profile pic for a department. Department profile pics are used with proactive chat, in the initial proactive window. Individual profile pics are used within the chat itself.

Have you ever been logged in at one location, then moved locations, realized you forgot to log out of LibChat, and needed to log in again? Well, now you can easily log yourself out of other locations! If you’re logged in at one location and then log in again at a new location, the error page offers an option to log other locations out of LibChat.

New chat options / widget:

  • Contact Info: Make patron follow up easy by requesting contact info (email / SMS number) right on the widget login screen or anytime during the chat.
    • On the Create / Edit Widget page, look for the “Prompt for contact info” option in the “Before the Chat” section.
    • Once selected, configure additional options: Contact Request Message (message sent during a chat) and Require contact info at start (of chat).
    • LibChat: Operator - NewOptionsWhile chatting with a patron, you can use the i icon at the top of the chat box to see if they submitted their contact info. If they didn’t, use the address card icon at the top of the chat box to request it! If you don’t prompt for name, contact, etc., before a chat begins, it will also request those fields, including custom questions.
  • Follow Up Message: New setting for the message sent if patron is inadvertently disconnected (internet connection trouble, etc.) or if they get the delayed claim message, allowing them to submit a ticket for follow up.
  • Ratings & Comments Additions: Users can now check a box to email themselves a transcript or request to be contacted for follow up right in the Ratings & Comments area! If they have not already entered contact info (email / SMS), they’ll be prompted to do so. Modify the labels on these checkboxes by clicking on that area in the widget builder preview.
  • LibCal My Scheduler: Send your patrons a link to your My Scheduler page right in your chat!
    • Update your LibAnswers profile (click your email address in the top right corner) to define your personal & system level My Scheduler URLs.
    • Also (optionally) included as a button in the proactive chat / offline chat messages. Use the widget settings to set a group / personal My Scheduler as the button link.
  • LibChat Floating ButtonsFloating Widget: A new widget type that puts a chat icon at the bottom-right of your webpage. When clicked, the widget opens to full screen height, maximizing available chat space. This widget can be minimized / maximized without losing the chat, which is especially great for mobile devices, if the patron wants to see the page behind the chat again. Like other chats, it can also be popped out into its own window, so the patron can take the chat with them.

Widget Updates

Here we are – the patron-side updates! The entire look of the widgets has changed, from top to bottom.
LibChat Floating Widget

  • Left/right side messaging, so it’s easier to follow the conversation with a familiar text-message-like layout.
  • As mentioned, profile image inclusion, to create a stronger connection with your patrons.
  • Buttons for overall widget actions, like sound, are at the top and message related actions, like file attachments, are at the bottom.
  • Feedback is integrated into the end of the chat vs. taking over the window. It also includes the option to email a transcript, so patrons don’t have to click the icon separately at the end of a chat.
  • Patrons can elect to be contacted for follow up, if that’s been enabled for the widget. Their message is submitted as a ticket in LibAnswers, which provides notifications to you however you have that set up (email, LibChat, etc.).
  • As mentioned above, if a patron happens to get disconnected, they’re able to enter their contact info and submit a ticket to the system for follow up.
  • Once a chat has ended, the x (end chat) icon changes to a reload icon, allowing the patron to start a new chat, if they wish.

We also included a helpful little fix in the mix:

  • LibChat statistics export now correctly shows the total number of chats (vs. 0). You know you chatted, LibAnswers knows you chatted, the stats show you chatted…and now the total number in the export has fallen in line to show you just how much.

We hope you enjoy these LibChat updates as much as we do! <3 🙂

New Springshare Data Center: Canada – July 2017

Springshare is pleased to announce that we are bringing data centers online in Canada on July 9, 2017! All Canadian customers will be hosted on these servers. In Q3 & Q4 we’ll bring servers online in Australia and Asia, respectively.

These new servers host v2 products only: LibGuides v2, E-Reserves v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2 w/Equipment Booking, LibStafferLibWizard, LibInsight, and LibCRM. Once you move to this new cluster, all of your Springshare tools (current and future) are located there.

Who is moving & will there be down time?

We’re moving all v2 sites and content for customers located in Canada. European customers remain on the European servers; for customers in other areas of the world, you will remain on U.S. servers. There will be no down time for customers on U.S. or European servers while we move these sites.

Canadian customers will experience some down time during the migration process:

  • LibGuides v2 Public side: No down time.
  • LibGuides v2 Admin side and all other apps (both public and admin sides): Estimated 15 minutes of down time; may be up to 30 minutes.

I’m in Canada – what do I need to do / know?

  • Migration Date: July 9, 2017, starting at 10pm U.S. EDT
    Time Converter – click “Add another city or time zone” to convert to your location.
  • Verify Your Move – Server Migration Check: You must verify that you are listed as moving to the Canadian servers.
    • If you are listed as moving, your sites will be moved / you will experience some down time during the migration (see above).
    • If you are listed as not moving, but you should be moving, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we add you.
      • You do not need to fill this out if you are listed as moving.
    • If are listed as moving, but you’d like to opt-out of the move, fill out the form on the results screen, requesting we remove you.
  • LibGuides / LibAnswers / LibCal Custom Domains: If you have a custom domain (e.g., research.mylibrary.org, ask.myschool.edu, calendar.library.myschool.ca) for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and/or LibCal site(s), you’ll need to work with your IT department to update your DNS records in time for the migration. See our DNS Change FAQ for instructions.

    If you are not on a custom domain (e.g., mylib.libguides.com, university.libanswers.com, springylib.libcal.com), you do not need to do anything. We’ll take care of everything on our side.

    The “Verify Your Move” check will tell you whether or not you have a custom domain.

If you’re on v1 for any apps and want to move to the Canadian server cluster, you will need to move to v2 in order to do so. You do not have to move prior to the July 9, 2017 server migration date, though you’re welcome to, if you’d like! Learn more about updating to LibGuides v2, LibAnswers v2, LibCal v2, and for LibAnalytics subscribers, LibInsight Lite.

If any questions / concerns pop up, please let us know, and as always, thanks for being on board!

LibGuides v1 Retirement – free update to v2

On January 31, 2018, LibGuides v1 servers will be retired. All v1 sites will be updated to / live with LibGuides v2 by this date. The v1 infrastructure is 10 years old, and our hosting provider is no longer applying security or operating system updates to such an old generation of servers. This leaves LibGuides v1 potentially vulnerable to various security breaches, and in the interest of maintaining the level of security, features, and support that Springshare is known for, we must decommission these servers soon.

Never fear – LibGuides v2 is a free update, and gives you more flexibility, functionality, and focus on security and accessibility. The icing on the cake? We’re here to help with an update assistance option!

What is the timeline for v1 retirement?

All LibGuides v1 sites will be updated to v2 by January 31, 2018. After March 31, 2018, the v1 servers will be shut down.

  • December 31, 2017: Last day to select migration / go live dates yourself.
  • January 1-31, 2018: We automatically update any sites not yet in process.
  • January 31, 2018: Last selectable day to go live with v2.
  • March 31, 2018: The last day your v1 site is available behind-the-scenes.

What are the benefits of v2?

It would take too long to list all of the great functionality in v2, so we offer some highlights here, with links to related blog posts / more information wherever available. Check out a more comprehensive, yet still not exhaustive, list of v2 benefits.

  • Modern infrastructure focused on security and speed.
  • Continually updated code, to provide you with the best functionality possible.
  • https support for LibGuides CMS customers.
  • Regional servers: this year we’re bringing data centers online in Europe (April), Canada (Q2), Australia (Q3), and Asia (Q4).
  • LibApps LTI Tool (LibGuides CMS and/or E-Reserves): easily add library content into LMS systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, Moodle, and Sakai.
  • More flexibility, including:
    • having multiple content types in one box & reordering items between boxes;
    • Gallery and Tabbed boxes: do great things without having to add code;
    • customizable HTML page templates, for those who know HTML/CSS and would like more control over the page layout.
  • Improved content management, including a dedicated Database management area / automatically populated public page.
  • Completely redesigned site search and E-Reserves module.
  • System & guide blogs, so it’s easy to share library and/or subject-based news.
  • LibGuides CMS customers also get the following (and more!):

Additional FAQs / Update Assistance

Learn more about how to update, available training, support, and review additional FAQs in our Update to v2 guide! Once your v2 site has been set up and you have a shiny new v2 account, you can also access our step-by-step guide on updating in our v2 documentation site.

We know that it’s often difficult to find the time to do updates like these, whether it’s because you’re a solo librarian, many other projects also require your attention, the idea of updating feels overwhelming, or whatever other reasons you have / can imagine. As always, we’re here for you!

With our update assistance option, we take care of the technical side of the update, allowing you to focus on learning the new system…with our help, of course! (We recommend taking the Getting to Know LibGuides session first. 😉 )

We appreciate all of the years you’ve been LibGuide-ing with us, and look forward to many more!