Archive for Ginna Nicolas

Springshare Support is Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving

Finding Springshare Help During Thanksgiving

As Springshare is observing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Support will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. We will be back up, running, and answering questions on Monday, December 2nd.

We look forward to spending time with our families and friends. We are grateful for so many things, including the fact that we work with some of the greatest people in the world…librarians and those who love and support them! During these two days, should you find that you have questions about our tools, we have lots of amazing help available to you!

Springshare Support Tools

Ask Springshare: Springshare Help Center

Search for help by Product or simply enter your search into the search box. Each Product homepage has a list of related topics for that product and further refining available through keywords on the right.

You’ll also find Springboards within the Ask site: FAQs on larger concepts / workflows that guide you through related tasks, pointing to the appropriate (narrower) FAQs along the way!

Ask the Community

Ask the Springy Community on the Springshare Lounge! Consulting with your peers is often the best way to get questions answered. The Lounge is organized by group (including by library type) and is a source of excellent advice.

Training

Training Recordings: We have videos on everything from Building a Guide to Restricting LibCal with LibAuth to LibInsight Custom Datasets, and more. We also have many shorter recordings on various topics in our Training Tidbits and 5 x 5 sessions! There’s a wealth of information in these videos.

Training Webinar Calendar: As you’re perusing through our documentation, watching training recordings, or talking with other clients on the Lounge, you may also want to take a peek at the upcoming live sessions on our training calendar. Now’s a great time to plan for December, including a workshop on creating content rich guides, LibWizard v2, and LibGuides winter Springy cleaning (2 times available)!

In addition to our Help Center, we also have these amazing sources of information:

  • Springshare Blog – Do you have questions about the latest updates to hit your Springy tools? Want to learn about ways people are using Springshare’s products? The blog is overflowing with good stuff. But you probably know that…because you’re here right now! Share the link with a friend.
  • Buzz Site – For heaps of information on tools you have or those your library is considering, head to the Buzz Site. You’ll also find Client Stories, Client Presentations, and our Newsletters there.

Again, we want to express an enormous amount of gratitude to our clients around the world for choosing to work with us here at Springshare. For those of you who are also observing this holiday, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Springshare Helps You Manage Library Schedule Breaks With Ease

Just In Time! Learn How to Keep Your Calendars and Schedules Rolling Along.

Tis the Season! Between people on your staff asking for time off and adjusted Library schedules to multi-day closures and not-business-as-usual office hours, plus the occasional storm, and don’t forget the flu —  this time of the year can be a little chaotic. You have to be especially proactive, making sure to clearly communicate any changes to your patrons. Want to avoid a face-off with the Abominable Snowman? Use multiple methods to get the word out.

Learn how Springshare tools like LibStaffer, LibCal, and LibAnswers help prepare you for this season so, any surprises…will be good surprises!

LibStaffer First! Because You Want to Run Smoothly from the Inside Out.

When there are challenges ahead, get your house in order. Look internally to see what you can do to keep the library staff informed of the increased or decreased hours in the upcoming weeks and months. Follow these LibStaffer tips to ensure smiles on the library floor.

  • Connect – You can avoid the mess of pulling schedules back to revise them based on seasonal hours. Take the steps to connect LibStaffer Schedules to corresponding LibCal hours for specific locations. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > LibCal Integration > Select a Library or department from your Hours list > Save. This way, if there are modified opening and/or closing hours, you can be extra diligent by opting to overlay the current hours when you assign people to shifts.
  • Manage –  Balance allowing your team the flexibility to swap and give up shifts with providing ample time for Managers and all involved to be ready for the changes. You can set up new parameters for both swaps and give-ups effectively restricting them to a selected amount of time before the shift starts. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings >Swap or Give Up Shifts > Enable restriction > Select Amount of Time.

LibStaffer is full of super useful features to help you stay on top of who is working and when. Don’t forget these concrete ways to keep everyone informed.

  1. Customize the Admin Alert Box to broadcast any policies for requesting vacation days.
  2. In the Approvals Pending page, LibStaffer lets you know if the person requesting time off is already scheduled for that time. You will also find the ability to approve, deny, or edit the request and see the staff member’s history — so make an effort to decide their fates as soon as possible. It’s appreciated because, during this time of year, sometimes travel arrangements have to be made. 

LibCal for All Seasons!

Every day of the year, LibCal keeps your library efficient and visible. LibCal shares your vitals: the what, when, and where. To make sure it’s the authority, keep it current!

  • Hours Module – Since the October updates, the hours in your LibCal system can now be associated with an Event Calendar you have. It is likely already connected to other components of your LibCal system. Never fear this time of year! You don’t have to change everything and then change it back, you can simply add and manage exceptions.
  • Appointments – Don’t forget to think about yourself! By this we mean, have a look at your availability that you share via Appointments. Perhaps you’re taking some days off and want to stack your appointments before you go. Or, maybe you want to modify your schedule so you can get on the road to see family? No worries! LibCal makes it easy to add and delete availability times from your appointment schedule.
  • To be doubly careful you don’t get booked when you can’t be — be sure to sync your Appointments availability with your LibStaffer shifts. This way if you’re scheduled for a shift in LibStaffer, you will be marked as unavailable for an appointment. Remember with cold and flu season, the shifts might be a bit unpredictable so this is a good precautionary measure.

LibAnswers for Anticipating the Questions.

The spectacular thing about LibAnswers is that patrons can ask their questions when they feel like asking them, whether the library is open or already closed for the day. Additionally, the system also has lots of little places you can customize to make sure you are communicating masterfully. 

  • SMS Keywords – Promote your library’s SMS number heavily. Then be sure to set up a number of Keywords. This allows your patrons to text a word or phrase to your SMS number and receive a text with relevant information right away. So if they text “hours” they’d receive a reply with the library’s hours (which you have made sure is current).
  • Autoload Delay – Configure the autoload delay feature to set up a proactive chat widget. Customize the language for the text of the header to say something fun like, “Remember, the library will be closed from X to X. Would you like to chat with a librarian now?” Everyone’s getting a reminder whether they decided to take you up on the chat or not.

Springshare tools work well together so go ahead and cross announce to cover all your touchpoints. Create a LibAnswers FAQ about seasonal hours and then link to your LibCal hours in the answer. Make edits to your Using the Library LibGuide to include the modified hours information and the new FAQ. Make an FAQ on the policies for taking sick days and vacations for your LibStaffer Admin alerts box. Be creative. Have fun. Customize language where you can to remind everyone that there are changes. Then infuse the library with apple cinnamon air fresheners to keep everyone smiling and looking forward to it all.

What Can Your Data Do? A Comprehensive Look At LibInsight.

Get Ready to Be a Data Miner and a Data Major!

The time for looking at LibInsight is now. Data-driven decisions aren’t just buzzwords on a hot topics list. It’s the smartest way for libraries to fortify themselves in a climate where library budgets are being examined with heavy scrutiny, line item by line item. You need good data to fight the good fight. What is good data?

  • It’s particular — to your library, to this 6-month window, to a new initiative, etc. LibInsight is flexible allowing you to make an unlimited number of custom datasets that track what you need to stay on top of today and tomorrow.


  • It’s complete. LibInsight will hold your data from years ago to years from now. You can truly manage — and make sense of — everything you’ve been collecting by putting it all in one place.
  • Good data communicates. No longer just disparate figures in spreadsheets, LibInsight data can be considered side-by-side, year-over-year, you can take it from the top (looking at highest performers), or choose the bottoms-up approach (looking at zero-use). Good data tells you things, sidelining the best guesses.

Springshare puts “Look into LibInsight” at the top of your to-do list by assembling lots of helpful, excellent information on the powerful tool here.

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming LibInsight Webinars.

Using LibInsight to “Count” Library Activity

LibInsight helps you keep track of the number of events you have at your library, the number of library cards issued and renewed, gate counts, reference questions answered, and so much more. Join us for a webinar that discusses the kinds of things you can store and how to analyze the data and make dashboards.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 — 2:00pm – 2:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Analyze E-Resources

Are your E-Resources worth what you’re paying for them? Want to see how you can use COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 compliant dataset types in LibInsight to import cost and usage data to help answer these questions? Plan to attend this webinar and learn about SUSHI integration, too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 — 12:00pm – 12:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Service Excellence 

Guest speaker, Derek MacKenzie, Head of User Services and Library Services from City, University of London joins us to share how they’re using LibInsight for service planning, internal communication, and deliver accreditation-awarded Customer Service Excellence. Don’t miss this special webinar, register today.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 — 11:00am – 11:30am ET

 

Useful Videos and Recorded Training Sessions.

Check out this five-minute overview of what data problems LibInsight solves.



Enjoy these mini-training videos designed to help you explore different dataset types.LibInsight Videos

For a Getting Started With LibInsight full training session, click here.

What People Are Saying: Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference 2019Are we even collecting the data that we need in order to make the decisions we have to make?

The Indiana University Kokomo’s Meg Galasso, the Information Services Librarian & Archivist, and Angie (Thorpe) Pusnik, the Digital User Experience Librarian, presented at this year’s ER & L Conference. Their talk, “Synthesizing Library Data with a Third Party Tool” focused on “Strategies to Collect, Analyze, and Share Data throughout the Library.” The tool they chose to add to their toolbox was LibInsight.

They stated that:

  • They tested/trialed lots of other data-analysis/statistical tools
  • None of them offered cost-per-use granularity but LibInsight does

They listed LibInsight Pluses:

  • Breadth — so many datasets.
  • Saved Money.
  • Ease — Historical data and cost-per-use data are easy to add.

Their PowerPoint presentation from the conference shares tips for creating datasets and their current dataset categories, which include: Access Services, Reference, E-Resources, and more. They also share advice on inputting data into LibInsight, Dashboard tips, and provide many examples of the kinds of charts and graphs they can analyze.

The librarians at Indiana University Kokomo’s smart work and commitment to analysis carry them toward the goal of bettering service for their patrons.

LibInsight is the tool to help you gather statistics, analyze trends, and assess services. The best way to get to know if it’s right for your library is to ask for a dedicated 30-day trial.

Until then, take advantage of the targeted resources provided here.

Your data is a critical asset. Activate your data by letting LibInsight show you an exact cost, number, or percentage, or give you the big picture you need.

Watch & Learn: Three Librarians Use LibWizard For Training & Assessment Needs

Special guest librarians share experiences with libwizard

The One to Watch.

There’s considerable buzz surrounding Springshare’s LibWizard because, like a good tool, it does the job. The full LibWizard package features custom forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials — all with an unlimited scope so you don’t have to limit your imagination or shorten your to-do list. In truth, it does many many jobs.

The surest way to cast light on what LibWizard is capable of helping you tackle — is to give working librarians a chance to present how they’ve set LibWizard to task! We featured their ideas in three recent webinars where, as special guest speakers, they were able to share their individual experiences with how LibWizard helps them address their high-level priorities. Your peer librarians provide insight into how they designed a process to

  • Train Student Workers at the University of Guelph-Humber
  • Commit to Student Assessment at Prince Georges Community College
  • and Train Staff at Wilmington University

If you didn’t get a chance to attend, we’ve got you covered! We have the recordings here for you so you can watch, learn, and begin to think of the things LibWizard can help you do at your library! You’ll soon discover that your checklist is more than doable with an efficient workhorse by your side.

Sue Hunter Extends the Training of Her Student Workers with LibWizard Components.

The University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, Ontario has roughly 5,000 undergraduate students. Sue Hunter, the Acting Manager of Library Services, oversees a Research Support Peers program. There are 10 RSPs on staff who are in their 2nd to 4th years of study and who come from all 7 academic programs on campus. They staff an information desk in the Learning Commons, which is separate from the library. They work to provide

  • Computer Support
  • Learning Support
  • Career Support
  • Research Support

Sue says,

The RSPs are really an important component of the library’s public service because they are the bridge between the students and library services and they help to extend the hours for research assistance by working in the evening and on weekends.

Watch the recording of her webinar to learn more about how she uses LibWizard to train this invaluable staff of student employees beyond their dedicated training day. Sue uses LibWizard’s surveys, quizzes, and tutorials to continue to build and reinforce the RSPs knowledge. This helps them to answer questions, provide guidance, and support the library with excellent service skills.

Marianne Giltrud Ventures Into the Wizarding World of Assessment.

Assessment of student learning ranks very high on the must-do list of many libraries. Marianne Giltrud, an Assistant Professor and Instruction Librarian at Prince Georges Community College in Maryland, notes that she began her assessment journey back in 2017 by designing a Pre-Test and Post-Test with the quiz feature in LibWizard. She then decided to embed the quizzes in a private LibGuide she built.

Learn more about how and where Marianne deployed this guide with her pre- and post-test. Plus, hear about how Marianne and her team created a Research Tutorial with LibWizard. 

Marianne shares that, what they built is

…a multimedia tutorial using Adobe Captivate and then we changed the Shockwave files into YouTube files and we embedded the YouTube in a LibGuide.

  • The tutorial is constructed so professors can cherry-pick sections they want to be taken.
  • It is designed to allow the students to re-take it up to 5 times so that learning is a process.
  • Marianne also customized it so that upon completion, certificates get sent to the professors.

Watch the recording to see how Marianne’s creativity and LibWizard come together for the library, faculty, and students at Prince Georges Community College.

Melissa Jones is Training the Library Staff with Ease.

Melissa Jones is the Learning Commons Librarian and LibGuides Manager at Wilmington University in Delaware. She has been using LibWizard forms, surveys, and tutorials for students, faculty, and staff since 2016.

Since she is so well versed in how LibWizard can be used, it wasn’t much of a leap for her to envision how she could use LibWizard in conjunction with LibGuides as a training tool and also as a knowledge base for their staff so they have something to refer back to. Melissa needed to tackle a couple of challenges:

  • She went from being the sole daytime staff member to suddenly having additional people on her team whom she needed to train with no organized training process in place.
  • The needs of the students are very situational and can change depending on what technology they’re working with, what they’re required to do for their courses and many other factors. So there was no way to prepare the new staff for every possible scenario they might face.
  • Much of the staff are part-time and they can only come to the library during their shifts. So the learning had to be accessible to staff while they are working.

Watch the recording of Melissa’s webinar to discover how she

…came up with something for training that would cover the skills for the most common tasks they needed to know, and the model needed to have assessments to check for understanding, and include a knowledge base so they would have a place to access general information and find answers in case they were working by themselves.

Springshare knows that like these awesome librarians — you, too, have a number of projects on your plate that have been brainstormed into life. See how LibWizard can help you get them off the ground.

King University Uses LibWizard To Create A Game Focused On Information Literacy

Looking For A Game-Changer?

In addition to their responsibilities in the library, many librarians also spend a substantial amount of time in the classroom. For those who tackle the incoming Freshman each year, teaching Information Literacy can be a sincere challenge. The difficulty is two-fold. How do you stay motivated and enthusiastic when you’re teaching the same material, asking the same questions and getting similar answers multiple times a day — year after year? We know if the instructor is not engaged, there’s little hope the students will be. Given that scenario, how do you instruct and prepare your students, many of whom don’t have much experience with libraries? How do you share the fundamentals that will help them with the entirety of their college careers and beyond? The answer might be… to put on your game face!

Emily Krug is an Instructional Services Librarian and Assistant Professor of Library Services at King University in Bristol, Tennessee. She shared with us her experiences as she created her game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, designed to introduce the concepts of Information Literacy. We’re inspired by her creativity and are thrilled to relay her story.

The Name Of The Game Is Innovation.

The first part of the equation is a teaching schedule that involves a lot of critical information to be shared in back-to-back sessions with 80 Freshman students in each. Complicate that with zero class transition time resulting in 45-minutes classes that are really 35 minutes. How do we make all that equal success? Shake things up. Come at the problem from a different angle. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Emily recalled, the origin story for her game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, came from the intersection of two exciting sources.2018 Battle for the Oval Kingdom Quest 1

The idea for the game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, came because of a professional development day that I participated in through the Mid-Atlantic Library Alliance. For the spring 2018 meeting, we invited Tasha Squires, who is a middle school librarian in Downers Grove, IL. She had created a game as a winter reading program for her middle school students and had won an award for the game. She presented and gave us a basic structure for how we could create something similar.

The other influencing factor was a session at the Library Collective Annual Gathering in March 2018, which takes place in Knoxville, TN, every year. At that session, participants played a game by Matt Finch called “Battle for Library Island,” which was essentially a roleplaying game designed to help libraries think through strategic planning for library services. Add to these two inspiring professional development opportunities the fact that my husband and I are avid board gamers, you can see why building a game was something I wanted to take on.

 

Her goal was to build a game “…in such a way that students could complete most of it outside class but also compete against each other for prizes.” Emily knew she needed the game to

  • introduce students to the concept of being information literate
  • and also to get students to come to the library in their first semester

In 2017, Emily was looking into LibWizard because they wanted increased “flexibility and a cleaner look for their online instructional program.” Because they were already using LibGuides, it was an easy leap to add LibWizard to build tutorials for their online courses. When the game was forming in her imagination in 2018, she was already armed with LibWizard and decided to use it as her tool for the build.

Start With A Good Game Plan.

Emily thinks back to recall the creative process and said,

I initially built the Quests for the game using Forms because the Quests themselves were simple questions. Most Quests had a short paragraph themed on the game followed by some sort of activity that the students had to complete.

Most of the Quests used text boxes for answers, but one Quest that required the students to come to the library in small groups used the file upload field so that students could upload a selfie that they took with a librarian.

One thing I particularly liked about the file upload field was that it works really well on a phone, which was how most of our students were completing the Quests.

Knowing the usage habits of your participants is key and an excellent indicator of how committed Emily and the King University Library is to having a successful outcome for this endeavor.

 

Emily wanted the forms to be embedded as an iframe widget so she used more of her creative energy to devise a workaround iframe code to put the forms into their learning management system.

Part of what made it work is that it makes nods to things like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, but it’s not using those characters. I wrote a screenplay for a short video introducing the game, and I created characters and a mythology around the game. Our villain is a Sauron-esque warrior called the Dark Lord Obfuscar whose primary goal is to make it harder to evaluate information. The citizens of the Oval Kingdom seek the help of the Order of Librarius, who have discovered the ancient practices of evaluating information in a tome called the Codex of Bibliog.

The team names are all plays on buildings around campus. That’s one of the things that I think made it work: I tried to incorporate our campus as much as possible into the game. We had a lot of support in that regard. Our Director of Student Life was in the video, our Provost agreed to play the villain, and someone from our marketing department filmed and edited the video.

As far as advertising and implementing goes, we didn’t have to do much advertising because it was tied to a class. The students received a grade for completing the main Quests, but we built in the competition through other game elements such as strategy cards and bonus cards. The Dean of Students is in charge of the course, and he’s a former librarian, so he and his team were excited about us trying something a bit new.

More Than A Numbers Game.

The Battle for the Oval Kingdom is a success. Emily shared the fact that students who participated last year have already come to ask her if they will be playing the game again. And, while she did also get some great feedback from a short survey she distributed on the awards day, we know that the high level of student engagement she cultivated is invaluable. Emily reflects on her experiences as she looks to this year’s batch of incoming Freshman. There are some changes to the set up of the Freshman Seminar at King Univesity this year that meant more sections, which results in smaller class sizes but Emily continues with the game as a solid component of their teaching strategy. She said,

While we could have more easily managed the class sizes this year, we don’t have the staffing to add 10 extra instruction sessions in the fall semester, so we decided to continue using the game as our information literacy outreach for Freshman Seminar.

Several of the Quests are the same or similar to last year’s, but we did change a few big things. For starters, I actually moved the Quests from the Forms feature of LibWizard to the Quizzes feature because I found out about the certificate of completion feature in Quizzes and Tutorials. One important piece of feedback that we received last year was that students couldn’t always tell when they had completed each Quest because it would reload if they refreshed the page in the Learning Management System. By moving the Quests to Quizzes, I was able to include a customized certificate of completion, and the students can save that certificate in case there is any question about whether they did the Quest.

We also extended the time for students to complete the game. Last year, we did the entire thing over the course of a week and a half, which included the Labor Day holiday. One thing we heard from student feedback was that it felt rushed.

Imagine students wanting to spend more time working on what is essentially an assignment! But perhaps in all the fun, they’d forgotten that part. They’ve really done it at King University Library. Emily Krug and the teaching librarians have come up with a fun way to approach Freshman Information Literacy and the winner is… everyone. 

Using LibGuides, LibCal & Equipment Booking For Makerspaces

LibCal and Equipment Booking in makerspaces

Life Is What You Make Of It!

Makerspaces are gaining popularity in academic institutions and public libraries as they emphasize the importance of creativity, problem-solving, innovation, and most importantly — rolling up your sleeves to actually make something. Some didn’t quite fall for the idea right away, even asking, “What is the point of a makerspace?” 

For some, it’s a great way to test out equipment to see which one you should purchase. Sometimes reviews aren’t enough. Others want to learn a new trade or skill to meet the technology demands of the workplace. In pedagogy, it is part of a movement to activate curiosity, engage learners and to challenge them to make the leap from theory to practice. For the crafty, this is a glorious age where the rest of society is catching up to what they already knew, which is that it feels good to make something.

As makerspaces pop up all over the country, we see the benefits. These makerspaces provide:

  • access to equipment and tools from sewing machines to 3D printers, laser cutters to film and sound equipment, etc.
  • instruction on how to use the equipment
  • mentorship, collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge between people of all skill levels

Springshare tools can help you publicize your makerspace, organize your workshops, orientations, and instruction sessions, and even make booking time on the equipment a snap — so you can focus on building excitement!

Step One: Create a LibGuide To Inform Your Patrons About The Makerspace.

The Science Library Makerspace at the University of Georgia has a LibGuide where they delve into the equipment via the tabs at the top. They’ve included excellent images, pertinent videos, and specifications of the different models they have available, plus detailed policy information. 

 

Middle Tennessee State University has its makerspace information nestled in its Technology Services LibGuide. Here they spell out who is allowed to use the makerspace, they provide contact information, and specifics on charges. Plus, they actually define makerspace and provide a list of equipment as well as let patrons know what must be reserved.

Step Two: Use LibCal To Make Sure Patrons Get Trained.

Most academic libraries require the students, staff, and faculty to participate in workshops, orientations, or training before they can use the equipment in the makerspaces. LibCal is perfect for scheduling these instruction sessions. 

Santa Cruz Public Library uses LibCal to spread the word on The Make Lab @ Scotts Valley. This branch hosts makerspace events where patrons are encouraged to bring crafts or projects, test out tools and/or come to learn and explore. LibCal makes it easy to set up recurring events, allows you to designate the audience and categories, and you can attach your related makerspace LibGuide. Once you make an event, it’s easy to create a template from the event for future use. To amplify your reach, you can share the events on social media right from inside LibCal. Patrons can click show more dates in case they’re interested but can’t make it to this one.

LibCal is flexible. You can set your events up to require registration where you may define a limit to the number of people you can accommodate. Or, like a Drop-In Makerspace at Sonoma County Library, it can be open to all who are interested.

Step Three: Add Equipment Booking to LibCal to Book Time on The Equipment.

You can add the Equipment Booking module to your LibCal system to tackle a specific use case like makerspaces. Clients use the Equipment Booking module for everything from loaning out museum and zoo passes to chargers, tablets, and laptops to things like projectors and smartboards, podiums and microphones. You can book a room in LibCal and then add equipment to that booking or book items independently. For makerspace use, it’s perfect!

Simply add the equipment you have available. The module lets you add a description and the specs, plus important details like the serial number and warranty information, service history, the cost to replace it, and more. Set up the availability for the video camera or 3D printer, etc. along with the duration and restrictions. Patrons will see a beautiful tile layout of your available equipment organized by category. They can book time on the equipment as you allowed.

 

Houston Public Library uses Equipment Booking for their Tech Link. They have an embroidery machine listed, which includes a photo, suggested applications, and the days and time slots it can be booked. 

With Springshare tools, it’s easy to educate your patrons about what to expect from your makerspace. It’s even easier to schedule safety and orientation workshops and to let patrons book that screenprinting kit they’ve been eyeing! A makerspace encourages risk-taking, cultivates perseverance, inspires deeper dives. These spaces create communities and foster apprenticeship. We’re thrilled to be part of this movement that supports the highly-engaged, innovative, let’s make something enthusiasts.

Share LibWizard Surveys With Some Fields…Pre-Filled For Ease

LibWizard. Yes! Send Surveys with Fields Already Pre-Filled

Getting Feedback Just Got A Whole Lot Easier!

Libraries mean it when they say they want patron feedback. The term gathering intelligence couldn’t be more appropriate than when considering feedback surveys. Expertly crafted instruction sessions are just the beginning of this essential relationship being built between the librarians and their patrons. How did they find out about the session? Did it deliver what was promised or marketed? What did it not cover that it should have? Would that participant recommend the session to a friend? Asking the right questions for your library is a critical piece of the puzzle. Post-instruction surveys are an invaluable source for anyone committed to customer service.


The full LibWizard system not only makes it easy to create unlimited surveys, forms, quizzes, and tutorials. Along with the many amazing new LibWizard features now, you can even elect to pre-fill some of the fields to further support ease of use.

Using The LibWizard Pre-Fill Feature in Your Surveys.

You can create surveys for website feedback, pre- and post-instruction, to gather feedback for events at your library, to learn more about what your patrons want to see more or less of in terms of services, etc. Chances are if you want to know what your users think, a survey will do the job. In many cases, it would be beneficial to both your team and the patrons themselves if some of the fields were pre-filled. It saves time. It assures a level of accuracy that might otherwise skew results or cause confusion. It allows your users to focus on the questions that serve the core purpose of the survey.

Here are some examples of fields that you might pre-fill. If you plan to send your survey to a specific subset of people, you can make things a bit easier by pre-filling, for instance, the course section.

You can pre-fill the name of the instructor, the semester, the type of event, location, etc. Some patrons hesitate to fill out surveys because they fear it will be time consuming.

In the interest of efficiency and to get as many participants as possible, make this pre-fill step part of your process. You need this information, but it can be handled nicely by this LibWizard feature.

Avoid survey fatigue! Only ask what you need to ask and pre-fill what you can.

How To Enable & Get Started With The LibWizard Pre-Fill Feature.

Our LibWizard FAQ states that,

You can pre-fill a survey’s fields by passing values in a URL, using either a custom URL string that you create, or an OpenURL link. When a user clicks on one of these links, they’ll be taken to your survey with the fields already filled out using the values passed from your URL.

The Custom URL option is just that. Values are contained inside parameters which are added to the end of the survey’s custom URL. Send that URL to your participants and the fields are pre-filled per your selections.

The OpenURL option lets you map survey fields to specific OpenURL parameters, subsequently passing citation information to your survey from, perhaps, your link resolver or catalog.

Our example here uses the Custom URL option. To get started, go to Survey Options > Advanced >Pre-Filled Survey via URL > Configure URL Settings.

Once inside the configuration screen, simply Enable the Pre-Filled Survey via URL option. Now you will see your survey questions and can proceed with deciding for which questions you want to go ahead and pre-select the answers. Make your choices. Click Generate custom URL string and voila! You can now send this URL to the ENG 101 class taught by Chester Copperpot with those fields already filled. 

To learn more about the Custom URL option, like how to swap the Field IDs used as the default identifier in the URL for the field short names, which can make it easier to know what’s in the URL string, or to look into the OpenURL option, which can be favorable for interlibrary loan request forms, for instance — make sure to read the LibWizard FAQ dedicated to this Pre-filled Fields feature.

You want patron feedback. It’s crucial to improving all your library’s efforts. Create surveys that are relevant to the patrons. Make them painless. And perhaps, more importantly, share with them the reasons their input is vital.

 

Springshare Tools: Excellent Examples You’ve Got To See!

On the lookout for Springshare Examples You will love

Librarians Are Doing Such Amazing Work — We Have To Share!

The level of energy is always pretty high here at Springshare. But, lately, we’ve been seeing such exceptionally cool work being done with our solutions, that the excitement level definitely goes up even more. We absolutely love to see smart LibGuides, super helpful LibAnswers FAQs, stunning and useful LibInsight dashboards and seamless integrations of LibCal. What do we love even more? Sharing these fine examples with you!


So, get ready to be inspired. And, remember, enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t be afraid to try new ways to help your patrons. Have fun.

Be Open To All The Possibilities With LibGuides.

There are many LibGuides out there that aim to suggest books to patrons. Some are seasonal like Summer Reads, while others help you delve into extensive collections like Graphic Novels. You’ll find recommendations by genres like Detective Fiction, Crime and Mystery Novels, for instance.

One of the things people have always done is to ask librarians for recommendations, so these guides are a great way to proactively meet this need. Could the guides go on forever? Yes? Who doesn’t have more favorites that can be included? But inclusion — and what that truly means is a conversation we should be having.

Edith Campbell, a librarian at Indiana State University, built a LibGuide that has received a lot of positive attention since she shared it on social media and with good reason. The guide focuses on Inclusive Youth Literature. She begins by saying, “Diverse Books Matter” then shares the link to an article from the National Council of Teachers of English called, Students Have A Right And A Need To Read Diverse Books.

Her guide shares general resources for good sites for finding books that address inclusion, diversity, anti-racism and more. It’s organized with tabs for Educator Resources, Disabilities, IPOC – Indigenous People and People of Color, LGBTQIA, and more. This guide is an amazing resource and we couldn’t wait to share it. 

Create The FAQs They Need — And Include Images!

Creating and publishing an FAQ from scratch is a great way to build up a healthy amount of LibAnswers FAQs. This makes your LibAnswers Platform incredibly useful as patrons can search it day or night with a greater chance of finding what they need. As you generate these FAQs consider what will be the most impactful way to answer the question. Being as illustrative as possible is always a plus.

Delaware County Community College is on the right track to serving its patrons with a very useful FAQ answered by Eleanor Goldberg that answers the question “Are my textbooks available in the library?” The content alone should make it a very popular FAQ. However, the number of hits is not the only thing that makes an FAQ a successful one.

  • They picked a great topic
  • They included the perfect screenshot
  • They added a callout to really zero in on the important part of the image
  • They included links within the answer for more information
  • They shared the FAQ on social media to proactively reach even more people.

Kudos to the attention DCCC pays to their FAQs. It’s a strong step in the direction of next-level service.

Dashing LibInsight Dashboards Stop People In Their Tracks.

Of all the powerful features in LibInsight, the ability to create dashboards is one of the showstoppers. We know that the next step for your data involves

  • The ability to hold everything you’ve got, past, present, and future
  • Multiple ways to analyze the data and look at correlations
  • Having an effective way to share your pertinent data with interested parties

Creating accessible dashboards is an invaluable way to communicate essential information. You can make them frozen snapshots of a particular time period like the 4th Quarter. Or, you can set them up so they auto-update showing the last 2 weeks, let’s say.

We had to share with you this terrific dashboard from Massasoit Libraries put together by Erin McCoy.

It is organized and designed to show, What’s Happening in Brockton – Previous 2 weeks. Titles like these are critical so that a person looking at it knows instantly what is being displayed.

Erin is able to convey Reference data like

  • User Help Totals by Day
  • Interactions by Time of Day
  • Question Type (Computer Assistance, Directional, Equipment, Homework Help, or Library Related)
  • Reference Questions (Citations, Database use/Finding Articles, etc.)

This dashboard with its charts and graphs is easily ingestible. You know exactly what is happening at the library at a glance.

The dashboard updates on its own because it’s been set to feature a rolling date range so you don’t have to keep rebuilding and rerunning stats.

Whether you want to make private or public dashboards, they are an attractive way to keep your audience involved and informed.

Seamless Integrations Keep Patrons Focused.

LibGuides and LibCal work so brilliantly together that it’s nice to see them integrated. For instance, if you’re having an author event that you put on your calendar with a sterling description and enable registration — it makes sense to build a guide on the author, too. You can include a nice photograph and add their books, and perhaps embed a video of an interview. You can easily add this related LibGuide to the event at creation. As your patrons have a look at the event listing, they will have the opportunity to check out your guide as well.

San Jose State University recognizes the value of a LibGuides + LibCal partnership. They have seamlessly integrated the Springshare solutions in their beautiful 3D Printing LibGuide. The home page of the guide delivers vital introductory information and spotlights the 3D printers with stunning photos of the machines. The second page titled Schedule Your Print allows you to do just that. You can book a time to use one of the 3 printers. It features an embedded LibCal Space Booking as an iframe that patrons can interact with right on the spot.

This thoughtful execution from SJSU is easy to achieve and goes a long way toward creating an outstanding patron experience. This is the goal, after all. These first-rate examples all show a dedication to the people you’re serving. That commitment is something that benefits us all.

 

Get Ready. SpringyCamp Is This Wednesday!

SpringyCamp July 31: 12:30pm 0 3:30pm US ET

Our Annual Virtual Conference, SpringyCamp, Is Tomorrow!

We wait all year to announce that it’s time, once again, to

  • Grab your compass and
  • Fill your canteen,
  • Find a spot near the virtual campfire and
  • Benefit from hearing about the experiences of other librarians, which is the goal of SpringyCamp!

Each year, new camp counselors from far and wide come to share ideas, best practices, tips, and most of all their stories.

Today’s libraries face many of the same challenges and are working towards similar objectives. SpringyCamp is designed to provide a forum for your peers to share with you what they have learned about, for instance,

You’ll learn about these topics and more at this year’s SpringyCamp starting at 12:30pm U.S. ET this Wednesday, July 31st. Be sure to Register NOW!

Get Your Questions (And Your Snacks) Ready!

We’ve got a terrific series of talks for you at SpringyCamp 2019 and — while it won’t be quite like a singalong — we’re forecasting a considerable amount of nodding and clapping as participants relate to some of the obstacles being identified… and get excited about the solutions presented.

For a full list of what’s in store visit our SpringyCamp Lineup.

Q: How do I register?

A: Go to the registration page and click “Begin Registration.”

Q: What happens if, upon registering, I discover the event is full?

A: At registration, you will receive instructions on how to watch SpringyCamp via Facebook Live on our Springshare Facebook page. If you haven’t already, take a minute to like our Facebook page and turn page notifications to ‘on’ so you’ll always receive our posts in your Facebook news feed.

Q: What can I expect?

A: You will be able to see the screen of the camp counselor presenting and be able to hear his/her voice.

Q: Will I be able to ask questions?

A: Yes! You will have the opportunity to type in your questions. To help facilitate, there will someone monitoring the chat box/comments area.

Q: Can multiple people from my library attend SpringyCamp?

A: Is a tent hard to put back into the bag? Yes! Just make sure each person registers unless you’re all huddled around one monitor or screen.

When The SpringyCamp Fun Ends…It’s a Keep-in-Touch Game.

You know how this goes. As you pack your flashlight and tightly roll up your sleeping bag, you and your camp friends talk about keeping in touch. Honestly, we miss you already and the event hasn’t even begun, yet!

How can you be kept in the loop regarding programs like this, product updates, and any other cool Springshare information?

It’s easy. Like our page in Facebook. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Springy news fit to type. Opt-in to receive excellent news from Springshare. Check out our newsletter. Keep reading our blog posts. We’ll be LibBFFs 4-evah and eva.

Easily Promote Events with LibCal & LibGuides

Promote Events

Getting The Word Out!

Isn’t it funny how even if you line up the hottest author for a reading, or meticulously plan your annual benefit gala, or use data to predict the best dates and times for children’s story hour — events are only considered a success if enough people show up?

You could have Aerosmith opening for Oprah to interview the cast of GOT in your garage — but if you don’t get the word out, the event would still be a bust. That’s how important it is to do some marketing.

The Easy Way To Promote Your Events.

Springshare knows that it’s not enough to make creating events in LibCal as effortless as possible. We made marketing those events, including via social media, something you can do near simultaneously. In creating your library event, besides descriptions, you can

All of these features are incorporated right into the event creation page to make it easier to advertise the makerspace orientation, or summer lunch program, etc. that your team has worked so hard to bring to your patrons.

Build A LibGuide To Supplement Your Event Page.

When you create your event in LibCal, you will see the option to include a link to a related LibGuide. It’s a great idea to build LibGuides for special events because they allow you to provide more information. If you were hosting a poetry reading,

  • you could include a photo of the poet,
  • books s/he’s published,
  • links to upcoming events where people can catch the poet again,
  • excerpts of popular or new work,
  • a bio,
  • a relevant video or podcast,
  • and a link to the registration for the event at your library.

Plus, if it’s a recurring event like toddlerobics, or a used textbook sale, or a storytellers open-mic night, you can take photos during the events and add them to the LibGuide. Don’t forget to put a LibCal widget that shows the upcoming dates in the series. Also, make sure the guide is updated regularly with fresh information.

Quality programming is something every library strives toward. It’s exciting work and, librarians are really coming through as you endeavor to have variety, while applying data-driven tailoring to your events — in order to connect with your particular patrons. To help you learn more, don’t miss the opportunity to write in the anticipated attendance. Plus, LibCal lets you go in after the event and note the actual number of attendees so you can check the stats later.

Learn More About Boosting Your Outreach

From reading to dogs to DJing classes for teens to human library night, you’re doing a great job being creative and helpful. But the work doesn’t stop there. We’ve all learned that marketing the events is something libraries must prioritize because the purpose of it all is to serve your community.

To that end, we’ve added some upcoming webinars that cover ways you can boost outreach and improve audience targeting. Register for one of these session today:

The whole point is to bring people together. LibCal and LibGuides make that easier to do. Plus, if you build those LibGuides, you can have an archive of all your stellar programming.