Archive for Ginna Nicolas

The LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative Your Patrons Will Love!

Launching Soon! Going Live Feb 28, 2020 Add 24 7 or custom coverage hours

The 24/7 Chat Cooperative is Near-Ready for Take Off!

It’s an exciting time for us here at Springshare as we prepare to launch the LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative. It’s going live on February 28, 2020. To answer the demand for a look at how the Cooperative will work, we’ve set up more sneak-peek webinar dates in case you missed the first round because they were booked solid or the times didn’t work out for you.

Since our acquisition of QuestionPoint in May of 2019, we’ve been diligently working to build the infrastructure for the Global Chat Cooperative. We wouldn’t be Springshare if we didn’t add some super fun features. Plus, we’ve created opportunities for you to participate in the ways that make the most sense for your particular library needs.

The best part? Your patrons are the real winners as they get the help they need — when they need it. That’s a mission statement at its simplest and we’re geared up to help you make that a reality.

Just Now Hearing About the 24/7 Global Cooperative?

First things first! If you’re not a LibAnswers user yet, here’s a short overview video that gives you a tour and includes a deep dive into the LibChat features.

The LibAnswers Global Reference Cooperative can be added to an existing LibAnswers system and includes hundreds of participating librarians and 20+ Springshare MLS librarians, delivering the highest quality co-op reference coverage for libraries.

  • The LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative allows librarians across multiple LibAnswers systems to provide collaborative chat reference.
  • Librarians answer patron chats on behalf of all member libraries within the cooperative.
  • This means, all of your patrons can get library help, even when your physical doors are closed.

The Flexibility to Serve Your Patrons.

Having options is the key to this 24/7 Cooperative unlocking possibilities for your patrons. There will be two global cooperatives to start, one for academic libraries and one for public libraries. We plan to add more down the line, for instance for law libraries, medical libraries, etc. You can also exercise the option to create your own local cooperative for your consortium, state, etc.

  • You will have the option to decide your coverage levels. You may want coverage 24/7, you may not. You can decide which hours you need a hand with based on your library and patrons.
  • You can participate in the Co-op or just get the backup coverage without participating.
  • You can get help with more than just chat services if you need it.

Prioritizing the patron experience is critical to creating a library that your community turns to and needs and loves. Anticipating the needs of patrons is a challenge because people are the ultimate variable. The LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative helps you provide answers to questions

  • for the students who are in class all day and then work jobs to help pay for school and subsequently must do their research at odd hours.
  • for patrons who work evenings or the graveyard shift or start their days pre-dawn.
  • for library users who need to reach you during holidays or snow days or when they’re up late with a young baby and need recommendations for books on sleep training.

It’s hard to know when someone is going to need your help with research — because their teen just remembered an assignment on Ancient Rome is due tomorrow. Nor can we know when someone is going to suddenly find a need to see sample resumes and cover letters. We can’t anticipate what they’ll ask.

But there’s a chance they might want to talk with a librarian… after your doors are closed. Springshare’s 24/7 Global Cooperative can help you be prepared for that — and get them the answers they need. Come to a sneak-peek session and learn how it all works.

New Sneak-Peek Sessions Added!

All times listed below are in U.S. Eastern Time.

Can’t attend? Don’t worry. Just go ahead and register for any session and select ‘Watch the Recording’ on the sign-up form. We’ll send you the link to view the recording as soon as it’s available. To ask questions now or to get more information, contact us.

Webinar Schedule:

Get Tips, Ideas & Early Looks at Springshare’s ALA MW Booth!

We’ll Be There with Bells On!

The Springshare team is gettin’ Philly with it — packing bags, researching places to eat, and gearing up to meet you in Philadelphia, January 24-28 for ALA Midwinter. Our guest presenters are ready to rock. We’re focused on all the exciting tips, ideas, and strategies we’ve been prepping to share. Plus, you’ll get a special look at the new LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative. So make a plan to stop by Booth 1056. Our goal is to have you walk away with ideas you look forward to sharing… with the very next person you see!

If you’re not at liberty to make your way to Philly this year…you can be more than in our thoughts. You can be in tune and involved via our Facebook Page. We’re streaming select presentations LIVE. They will also be archived and available after the events on our Facebook Video Page.

Good to know:

  • You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the videos… just ignore the login/sign-up information and continue.
  • If you LIKE our page, you won’t miss out on future streams of guest speakers, etc.
  • If you adjust your Springshare notifications to ON, you’ll receive notifications in your Facebook feed for product updates, videos we share, and more!

Guest Speakers – Streaming LIVE on Facebook.

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time.

 

Taking LibGuides Beyond the Library

Presenter: Jen Hasse, University of the Sciences

Friday, January 24 – 5:45pm to 6:00pm

Jen will discuss using LibGuides as a tool for cross-campus partnership and community building. From guides created to promote and facilitate authors visits, book clubs, and film screenings to resources guides that support advising, student health and wellness, and other student support departments, LibGuides can go beyond the library!

 

 

March Mammal Madness & LibGuides: The Bracket for Animal Lovers

Presenter: René Tanner, Arizona State University

Friday, January 24 – 6:15pm to 6:30pm

When you think of March, you automatically think of March Madness. At ASU, they’re doing things a bit differently. March Mammal Madness is an educational opportunity to learn all about our planet’s species interwoven with a ‘sporting’ bracket to serve as a thrilling competitive experience. The entire tournament is housed in a LibGuide with a downloadable bracket and Rounds are narrated on Wakelet.

This flash presentation will discuss March Mammal Madness and hopefully get you inspired to get in the game at your Library this coming March.

 

Reaching Them Where They Are: Put the Library Where Students are Learning with LibGuides / LMS Integration

Presenter: Olivia Given Castello

Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 11:00am to 11:15am

Temple University recently established a “Library” button in the navigation menu of all courses in Canvas that shows an automatically matched guide from TU Libraries LibGuides system. By bringing library resources and services to students at their point of need, the Library button gives them easier access to these supports.

This flash presentation will show Temple’s Library button in Canvas, discuss takeaways from a pilot study on Library button usage, and highlights of the process of getting the integration approved with campus stakeholders.

Product Flashes: Overviews, Tips, and Ideas.

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time

LibStaffer:
LibStaffer: Staffing Workers, Volunteers, & Pages

Whether juggling multiple service points with different staffing needs and duties or handling restrictions on who can work when and for how long, LibStaffer takes the hard work out of staffing and scheduling so you have time for more important projects.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 9:30am to 9:45am
LibGuides:
Build-a-LibGuide: Census

Your patrons, students, and other library users will have questions about the 2020 United States Census – from why a national census is held, to how they will be counted. Be ready with all of the information they need. We’ll look at examples of guides all about the U.S. Census and partially build a LibGuide together.

  • Friday, January 24, 2020 – 6:30pm to 6:45pm
Build-a-LibGuide: 2020 Elections / Streaming on Facebook Page 

Looking to build a 2020 Election LibGuide? Join us as we’ll look at examples for 2020 US Election Guides.  From there we’ll do a partial build based on best practices for this guide type.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 10:30am to 10:45am
Customizing LibGuides with Google Fonts / Streaming on Facebook Page 

Explore customizing your system fonts in LibGuides using Google Fonts. For this session, it’s recommended that you have a basic understanding of CSS.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 11:30am to 11:45am
Using LibGuides to Promote Social Issues With Timely Responses / Streaming on Facebook Page 

All teaching librarians know – the most successful teaching sessions are based around an assignment, or project, or task. Why? Because contextual learning = long-term learning. That same equation applies when you connect learning resources with topical, current events. Users are far more likely to engage with and deep-dive into material when the subject matter is topical and relevant to them.

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 11:30am to 11:45am
LibWizard:
LibWizard: Create Self-Paced Learning Tutorials / Streaming on Facebook Page

Teach Patrons to use eBooks, Databases, and Your Catalog. Literacy extends beyond your front doors. Create engaging, self-paced learning tutorials with live interactive websites, embedded videos, and more. Your patrons can engage with the library and expand their information literacy skills at the same time.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 12:00pm to 12:15pm
LibAnswers:
24/7 Chat – Join the LibAnswers Community

The LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative allows librarians across multiple LibAnswers systems to provide collaborative chat reference. Librarians answer patron chats on behalf of all member libraries within the cooperative. This means, all of your patrons can get library help, even when your physical doors are closed. The 24/7 Cooperative is staffed by contributing member libraries and dedicated Springshare MLIS reference librarians.

LibChat: Meet them where they are with Screensharing

Need to see what the patron sees? Want to share your screen with them? Now you can!

LibAnswers: General Overview

Be Where They Are… On EVERY Device. LibAnswers is your multi-channel communication platform that empowers you to assist your patrons where they are (Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Chat) on every device.

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 9:30am to 9:45am
LibCal:
LibCal: Calendars + Spaces + Equipment… Oh My!

LibCal – All The Components Work… Together. Make use of seamless integration within LibCal. Learn to Create an Event + Book Spaces & Equipment. Plus check out how to use Billing, Payments, and Discount Codes.

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 3:00pm to 3:15pm
LibCal: Appointments: Meeting Your Users

See how LibCal Appointments help you promote and manage your time. See how to use appointments for Research Consultations. Explore the Sync with Outlook and Google feature. Envision using LibCal for your Student Tutors, too!

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 – 3:30pm to 3:45pm
LibCal: Reservation Confirmed: Spaces and Equipment

Whether you have a few study rooms or tons! Join us for a 15-minute look at how easy it is to allow patrons to book spaces, places, and equipment!

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 3:30pm  to 3:45pm
LibInsight:
LibInsight – COUNTER 5 / Streaming on Facebook page

See how COUNTER 5 and LibInsight work together to get you your data.

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 1:30pm  to 1:45pm
LibCRM:
LibCRM: A CRM for Outreach Librarians w/ New Operational Emailing Functionality!

LibCRM is a Customer Relationship Management platform built for the specific needs of libraries. Offer a superior customer experience by gaining a better understanding of your users and their needs.

Ten Springshare Blog Posts of 2019 to Remember

A Quick Look Back…

Have you been writing the date and messing up? Yes, it’s 2020! Your muscle memory will give in soon enough but as we gear up to launch full scale into the new year, here’s a look at the ten Springshare blog posts of 2019 that deserve a second read. Looking back is more than nostalgic, it’s a great way to get excited about what’s to come.

Happy New Year, everyone! We wish you all the very best and look forward to working with you on your new goals.

 

 

1. Insights into LibInsight: The LibInsight Experience at two University Libraries

January 16, 2019

 

A piece of feedback that we consistently get from librarians is how much they love to hear stories from peers. Getting a glimpse of what amazing work is being done in other libraries is inspirational but furthermore, it’s instructive. It can also help teams see if they’re focusing on the same priorities as others.

This post showcases the work being done with LibInsight. Featured are the libraries at, both, City, University of London and the University of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about how they successfully streamline data workflows.

 

2. Arizona State Uses LibGuides for their March Mammal Madness

March 27, 2019

 

If you didn’t play March Mammal Madness last year, you have to read this blog post. It’s sure to have you counting the days until the 2020 event!

Founded by Dr. Katie Hinde, its superfans would argue that this tournament is far more exciting than the basketball counterpart. Read about the brackets, the wealth of information that’s shared, and the way it all goes down in the wild!

The enthusiasm for MMM is truly a phenomenon. Anali Perry shares how they use LibGuides CMS to organize the madness.

 

3. LibCRM Goals at UCSD Include Improved Patron Communication

March 22, 2019

 

Adele Barsh and Karen Heskett from the University of California, San Diego share how they’re using LibCRM, having imported 30,000 profiles into the system!

ICYMI, take this chance to have a look at how UCSD tackles cross-team communications and looks to better reporting to help them examine their outreach programs.

 

 

 

 4. Here’s A Real News Feed. Springshare Brings You LibFoods!

April 1, 2019

LibFoods Market

 

You know how much it means to us to develop the tools your library needs. The launch of LibFoods in 2019 was the highlight of our tech team’s year.

LibFoods means you and your patrons could be no more than 200 feet from food when you choose to set up our LibFood Pop-Up Stores. Have an Edgar Allen Poe-Boy or enjoy the Girl with the Dargon Tofu.

Or, if you need to stay put, get your food delivered via InstaBookCart. Those Game of Scones can easily be brought to your next meeting.

 

5. Guest Presentations from ACRL 2019 are Available!

April 22, 2019

 

The ACRL 2019 conference was in Cleveland and Springshare had an amazing lineup of Guest Presentations.

In this blog post, you’ll find links to the recordings of 13 presentations. Your fellow librarians discuss their use of Springshare tools like LibCal, the LibAnswers Platform, LibWizard, and, of course, LibGuides and LibGuides CMS.

Be sure to grab a snack and check them out. They’re informative and heaps of fun.

 

 

 

6. LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative aka QuestionPoint Acquisition

June 4, 2019

 

Detailing our biggest news of 2019, this blog post followed the press release announcing Springshare’s Question Point Acquisition.

It summarizes the main points regarding transitioning existing Question Point customers onto the LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative.

You’ll also learn more about why Springshare is so excited about this acquisition and what our vision is for the future of the Co-Op.

 

 

7. Using LibAnswers for Library Security

July 8, 2019

 

Sharing interesting additional uses for our tools is one of our favorite things to do here at Springshare. The tools are so flexible. Focus on the features and you’ll think of many applications!

This post does exactly that. You’ll discover how to use the LibAnswers system as a tool to record and keep track of incidents that happen in the library.

Perhaps you discovered a broken window. At times there are altercations either between patrons or involving a patron and someone on your staff. Did someone report a stolen laptop?

Read about how LibAnswers is a great solution for handling security issues in your library.

 

8. Letters From SpringyCamp – Recordings Available!

August 8, 2019

SpringyCamp 2019, Watch Recording

 

This year, our SpringyCamp virtual conference took place on July 31, 2019. We look forward to SpringyCamp every year because it’s full of fun, knowledge sharing, and community building.

Here, we include the recordings of the SpringyCamp presentations — in case you’re feeling nostalgic for the campfire songs or if you forgot to write home about them!

 

 

 

 

9. Using LibGuides, LibCal & Equipment Booking For Makerspaces

September 25, 2019

LibCal and Equipment Booking in makerspaces

 

Supporting people’s desire to roll up their sleeves and make something, we have a blog post dedicated to the Makerspaces popping up in libraries everywhere.

With step-by-step advice on how to use LibGuides, LibCal, and the Equipment Booking module to get the word out, organize and schedule your makerspaces, this is an excellent how-to read.

 

 

 

 

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

October 16, 2019

 

If you’re looking for a game-changer to help you teach Information Literacy, we share a story that does the trick! Emily Krug at King University created a game called the Battle for the Oval Kingdom designed to introduce the concepts of Information Literacy.

We’re inspired by her creativity and are thrilled to share how she put it all together.

Springshare Support is Closed as We Celebrate the Holidays.

Springshare Support is Closed for the Holidays…But We Have Fun Stuff in Case You’re Open!

We’re taking some days off to celebrate the holidays. You can expect Springshare Support to be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th. While we’re at it, looking into the future a bit, we will also be closed on January 1st.

But, we know that some libraries will be open and are working hard to get the word out. For those of you with a skeleton crew holding down the fort, we’ve got some fun stuff to get you and your team through the quiet stretches. You’ll pass the time between patrons, learn new skills, and accomplish some super cool things.

Make the Most of Your Time

  • SpringyU – We recently launched SpringyU. It’s all about self-paced learning. You can choose to learn with Blocks or beef up your skills to take on your library’s priorities with Courses. If you’ve got 5 minutes or a lot more than that, you can attend SpringyU right from your chair. 
  • SpringyNews – Find yourself in the midst of a slow period at the desk? Peruse our latest newsletter. It’s full of tips and tricks for optimizing your use of LibGuides and our other tools. You’ll be able to catch up on the latest announcement regarding the LibAnswers 24/7 Co-Op, and more.
  • Springshare Buzz – Want to watch a short overview of LibCRM? Or perhaps you’ve been hearing a lot about the LibAnswers Co-Op but don’t know what it is? Does a LibWizard 3-minute at-a-glance video sound exactly like what you’re capable of handling today? Check out the Product Highlights page on the Springshare Buzz Site for quick looks and more. 
  • Catch up on Updates – It’s really helpful to keep up with all the new features and fixes for Springshare tools that are now available to you. You can read the blog post on the updates from the November code release. Or, to catch up on October and November highlights, take a look at the updates page in the most recent newsletter.
  • Opt In – for the gift that keeps on giving. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can check out the stories we’re sharing all year long.

Springshare is so grateful for the opportunity we have to work hard to make library life wonderful and to help you make the patron experience better and better. Thank you for sharing with us your extraordinary feedback, suggestions, wishlists — and for the positive example of true dedication. See you in the New Year!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #2: Keep Patrons Informed

Tip #2 – Keep Patrons Informed

We’re getting down to the part of the season where there are atypical hours and even closures either due to inclement weather or observed holidays. Just as important, there are some libraries that are anxious to let patrons know that they will, in fact, be open. LibAnswers has so many features in place that let you get ahead of the questions by taking a few proactive steps to keep your patrons in the know.

 

Honor Your Social Obligations 

The LibAnswers system has a Social Media Management tool built into it. Most libraries use it to broadcast details on all the fun happening at the library, but don’t forget, besides reminders, it’s designed to help you plan ahead, too! You can create and schedule Tweets, Pinterest pins, and Facebook posts — all from right inside LibAnswers. So, make sure to utilize these channels to let your patrons know:

  • About any changes to services at your library
  • If you’ll have adjusted or abbreviated hours
  • And, share any days you will be closed

Just go to Social > Create >  Select the Channel (Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest). Customize your message and schedule it to post at a future date and time. You can do this to maintain a social media presence even when you’re not open, or just to keep ahead of your to-do list. It doesn’t have to be critical FYIs… schedule any post!

Get Proactive About Your Answers

The beauty of LibAnswers is that — no matter which channels a patron prefers to use to communicate with your library, you can be there just by signing into the LibAnswers Platform. To save you and your team a lot of time during these weeks, write out the answers to your super popular FAQs of the season and then place them everywhere you need them.

  • FAQs – Wish you had Seasonal FAQs for those who like to search for answers? You can have them with the Status Change feature! Create the FAQ > select Change Status > opt to Schedule a Status Change. This means you can change the status to published just at the beginning of the season so that it’s not in the system all year confusing people. Instead the seasonal FAQ can be published when you want and then also be unpublished at a date you choose, as well. These can also be useful for extended hours during finals, etc. 
  • Macros – Create a few macros for tickets and SMS messages. When those queues fill up with questions like, “How late are you open today?” you can effortlessly tackle them one by one with your macros in place.
  • Canned Messages – LibChat allows for system-wide canned messages. So, Admins, go ahead and create some ready-to-go answers for your whole staff to use when chatting. Label them Thanksgiving Hours, Exam Hours, Holiday Closings, etc. Just be sure they’re clear at-a-glance because chat is a speedy endeavor, then let the team know they’re available for use! These canned messages can be easily re-ordered so that you can move them to the top when the time is right!

Have a Backup Plan

Some libraries operate with minimal staff during these last weeks of the year. Find out who is going to be part of that skeleton crew and see if they’d be willing to be set up as a fallback monitor to be designated in your LibChat widget. For instance, if the Reference Department monitors the widget for questions that come in, see if Circulation would be okay to have new chats sent to them in case the Reference Department is offline. It’s also possible to select specific operators. LibStaffer could help you know who’s working.

This time of year, doesn’t have to be so unpredictable. When you are open, use the Internal Notes field in Reference Analytics to leave a tag like “Holidays”. It will help you search for all the transactions — for which you recorded analytics from live ones to chats to tickets, etc. — that happened during the holiday season. This data will help you see if your patrons are engaging pretty heavily or even at a normal level with the library, or if it’s really quite slow at this time like you imagine it would be. Let the data replace the guesswork.

From all of us at Springshare, “Enjoy the rest of 2019 and we’ll see you in the new year!”

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

Interested in looking ahead? We have a recording of the LibAnswers 24/7 Co-Op Sneak Peek session for you to view. To watch, click here.

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing — Tip #1: The Eventful Library

Tip #1 — The Eventful Library

What’s on the schedule for these next three weeks? Is it chaos, or cookies? This time of year, most libraries have event calendars that are jam-packed! LibCal is just as full of tremendous features — as your libraries are of eager patrons. Let’s make a list (and check it twice) of the ways you can ensure that you’re doing your level best to keep your library eventful and jolly.

Everything’s Better When You Make it from Scratch

While we do have options in place to make it easy for you to set up repeating events, December calendars tend to have a lot of unique offerings. Start from the beginning by taking advantage of the integrated space and equipment booking feature. At event creation, go ahead and reserve the auditorium for the Winter Poetry Reading and, while you’re at it, reserve a podium, microphone, and that projector to mimic falling snow behind your readers. Don’t forget to use the setup and teardown padding, if there’s a lot to do.

 

 

The More the Merrier

Marketing can be an intimidating concept. Just remember that there’s a reason people judge a book by its cover. A picture’s worth a thousand words. LibCal allows you to draw your patrons in with featured images — both in the Daily List view and, more recently, the Daily Card view. This can be done even after the event has been created. So, put your best photo forward and pull in those attendees! With the right image, that Ugly Knitting Party could easily become a hot ticket.

Don’t Cut Off the Tags

Tags are good when you’re creating events. Want to ensure the tags work for you? You’d have to always remember to add the Audience and Category right from the start. To establish this as part of the process, you can make the fields required for all new events. The Audience can be adult or all ages, faculty or first-year students. Have as many as you like. They’re easy to create and manage. Categories allow for even more filtering. LibCal has System-Level Categories and also Calendar-Level Event Categories. These designate the kind of event like Book Club, Crafts or Holiday, etc. Using these tags will help your patrons find events that might be of interest to them. One might be looking for a craft event for teens. Someone else might be looking for database help for transfer students. You’ve got all this excellent programming lined up, make sure your patrons can find events and get excited about them.

If registration is required, make sure that you encourage patrons to register by creating an Event Button that you embed on your library website, in a related LibGuide, or anywhere you know your patrons are visiting.

 

Enjoy Top Billing

The Billing feature in LibCal allows you to have integrated online payments natively built right into the system to collect payment online via card or in person. If you’ll charge patrons to attend some of the special events at your library this month, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to push folks out to some other external site when it’s time to pay. Having a 3D Printer event where people make snowflakes? They can pay for the event right at the moment of registration or opt to pay at the event.

In our October update, we modified the status and processing of refunds for in-person payments. Now, if a booking or registration that was paid for in-person is canceled, the status will change to “refund due”. The Springshare team has worked very hard to make sure you and your patrons feel comfortable with the whole process. Not having to go to out into the cold to, yet, another interface is part of that. Billing currently supports five currencies and you can, of course, see a record of all completed payments, refunds, and cancelations. You know how frustrating it can be to untangle a string of lights. LibCal keeps your records straight.

 

So, go ahead and promote those “Hot Cocoa Mixers” and your “Hit the 2020 Ground Running” resume workshop. LibCal features make it easy to have successful events time and Father Time, again. And, if you really want to be a star, send out a LibWizard survey afterward!

 

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.