Archive for Ginna Nicolas

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.

 

Using LibAnswers for Library Security

Keeping Track of Safety Issues Just Got Easier.

Libraries get their fair share of incidents that happen involving the safety of the staff, students and/or include the compromise of the building. Many institutions piece together a way to keep track of these via various reporting tools that range from spreadsheets to pen and paper recording, etc. You want to be able to take down what happened. It’s important to be able to add detailed information as you learn more. Ideally, it would be advisable to keep it all in a secure place.

Everyone cares. Everyone takes it seriously. But not everyone knows that there’s a great way to log and manage this safety incident reporting in the LibAnswers Platform.

Queue Up The Solution.

The system comes with one queue. It’s possible to have multiple queues in the back end of the LibAnswers Platform. You can contact sales@springshare.com to add a queue and designate this queue for logging library security incidents. By utilizing the features in LibAnswers, you can easily

  • Assign appropriate people to the special queue you’ve made to manage access to it.
  • Create a ticket — this will be the way you keep a manageable record of the incident.
  • Type up what happened in a quick customizable form. For Nature of Incident you can make options that include: Accident, Theft, Vandalism, etc.
  • Add details along the way. To the ticket, you can add — immediately or at a later date — photos, links to policies that apply or need to be referenced, a case number, internal notes, etc.
  • Add tags to tickets to help you and others find them, as necessary.

The LibAnswers Features That Make Active Recording and Alerting Possible.

Sometimes you can record an incident that’s already been resolved. A student employee had an accident and cut her finger. She was treated with soap and a bandage and she’s fine. Easy peasy. However, there are times when there is a lot more to it and this is when LibAnswers features come in handy.

Library Security is not written on to-do lists each day, rather, it should be a steady pursuit. You want to be able to record in as much detail as possible what happened. A patron came to the reference desk to say her laptop is missing. A staff librarian noticed a window is broken. A student ran into the library in a panic to tell a librarian she is being followed by a stranger. There was a verbal altercation that included inappropriate language between a patron and a librarian about admission to an event. Many incidents will need to be reported and then revisited with further details and status updates on the process toward resolution. LibAnswers can help you do that.

However, more than being able to add pictures, case numbers, and updates, the LibAnswers Platform has features that can help you diligently stay on top of incidents so you are always aware of these critical safety issues.

  • You can manually assign and transfer tickets — make sure they’re not bottlenecking or waiting for attention.
  • The Question Routing Field allows you to route a ticket to a specific person when field conditions you designate are met. For instance, you can route all incidents marked Accident to the Library Director. Talk about expediting!
  • You can create customized ticket alerts for a queue. Your queue — Library Security Incidents Log — is a crucial piece of the puzzle at your library. We provide 3 options for alert thresholds. First, a number of unclaimed tickets over a designated period of time. Set it at 5 in 120 minutes and the system will send an alert if it happens. Second, a keyword you choose is used. You can enter keywords like police or ambulance, etc. and then enter the email or phone number of the person you want to be alerted when those words are found in a new ticket. Third, automatic reminder emails can be set to remind a person, set of people or the ticket owner of open tickets, or unclaimed tickets or when it’s been days since the ticket was updated.

(Efficiently) Take Safety Seriously!

Keeping your staff and patrons safe is paramount. Libraries truly care about this. The LibAnswers Platform is flexible enough in design to help you record, track, and update your Library Security incidents efficiently. Alerts help you stay informed and focused. And, with statistics like turnaround time, date and time, source and form field ticket stats, and the ability to export stats — you’ll have data to analyze, too!

How The LTI Integration Tool Embeds Its Way Into Your Hearts

When Point Of Need Is Where It’s At!

You know where you ought to be. Point of Need has become one of those phrases that sounded awkward at first — but is now a philosophy that’s the foundation of a strategy. In the library’s effort to provide excellent service, meeting your patrons where they are certainly works toward anticipating their needs and reducing friction. It helps boost usage and your stats will provide supporting evidence to show your team is focused on getting people the help they need.

 

Read on to learn how George Hart at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang from Marymount University are using the LTI Integration Tool in LibGuides CMS at their institutions to be… on point!

What Is The LTI Integration Tool?

LibGuides CMS is the advanced version of LibGuides. It does everything that a LibGuides system can do, plus a whole lot more. One of the features that’s included is the LTI Integration Tool. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability – it’s a standard for integrating tools from third-party services into a Learning Management System (LMS) like Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace / Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai, etc. If your courseware tool is LTI compliant then it will be compatible with our tool to seamlessly integrate content from your LibGuides CMS system into your LMS.

It’s not just about guides. You can customize your user’s experience by showing the relevant guides, librarians with the appropriate subject specialty, specifically chosen A-Z database results (for instance just those tagged Economics), plus library hours, the ability to book study rooms, and book appointments. You can even include your LibAnswers LibChat widget and search box! The most important thing is it all displays natively on the desired page.

Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware.

Library Director, George Hart of UMass — Lowell, with a LibGuides CMS system that boasts 836 guides, stopped into the Springyverse recently to be our special guest speaker for a webinar detailing how they’re using Springshare’s E-Reserves module inside their courseware tool to great success.

  • He talks about how they use the LTI automagic feature, which he calls “phenomenally powerful” because it “scales so well.” They used it for 92 sections of college writing.
  • They are mapping specific E-Reserves items for each section of the course.
  • You’ll learn they mapped 361 LibGuides to individual courses.

George says, “It’s an ideal way to integrate everything we have to share into the student’s experience. It’s complete integration. It’s just when they need it, where they need it, anytime.” For a little how to and to learn more about what George and his team are doing at the library at UMass — Lowell, watch the recording of this webinar Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware. You can also supplement that with additional stories on this topic.

Increase Resource Usage With LTI.

Marymount University’s Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang carved some time out of their schedules to be our special guest speakers for their webinar on how the LTI tool is boosting everything from awareness of the library to their usage of ebooks and reference services. 

  • This is a story whose foundation is data. You’ll discover what they’ve accomplished in 3 years.
  • Their intention was to decrease the number of clicks to get to library resources and increase collaboration with teaching faculty, increase chat usage, ebook usage, and student & faculty awareness of LibGuides.
  • Discover how they’re using a “four-tier guide system.”
  • You’ll enjoy their awesome infographics that tell the tale of how their strategy to be efficient  — and to find opportunities to act on their data — helped them toward their goals.

Don’t miss this recording of the webinar Increase Resource Usage with LTI. You’ll start imagining how the LTI tool can work for your library. Making sure you are where you are needed most sounds like the mission statement on a superhero’s website. But it also sounds like something everyone should be prioritizing. Libraries provide an incredible service, but in this case — your superpower should be VISIBILITY.

Feed Your Data Cravings — With Springy Stats That Are Off The Charts!

Get Me Some Actionable Data…STAT!

This is the world we live in. We need proof to try the pudding. 15 years ago, people simply went to a restaurant, chose a vacuum, or took a gym class. Now, most people spend a considerable amount of time doing research before major and even minor purchases. Just think about how many reviews you’ve read lately for a mobile phone case. How many stars does it take for you to choose a taqueria? Forbes says, “82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store.” Librarians have known for a long time that keeping statistics is important. Having actionable data is key.

Grid And Bear It.

Springshare understands how valuable metrics are to libraries. You’re in the service industry. It’s critical for you to keep track of usage, to measure growth, and to gather feedback. You have to be able to make assessments about which efforts are yielding positive results and which programs or classes are no longer popular. Springshare has statistics built into every tool. Since the love of data is now a very cool thing, we wanted to geek out and share some great charts and graphs you can dazzle people with at the staff meeting.

LibWizard allows you to easily build custom forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials. If you choose the Grid Field, you can get feedback on a number of related questions all at once. Looking at the data through the varied chart options can quickly help you make some decisions about, in this case, improvements to library instruction sessions. As we can see from this Post-Instruction Survey, the attendees thought the class was maybe a bit short. And, while they thought it had great content and examples, it didn’t have enough hands-on exercises and there wasn’t enough time for questions. How incredible would it be for your team to have this kind of evidence?

It’s All About The Filters.

LibCRM is our Customer Relationship Management tool designed specifically for libraries. It’s amazing what this system helps you keep track of from projects and tasks to the complexities of relationships and memberships to recording all the work you’re doing to be of service and build a rapport.

But this system isn’t just wowing people because of what it can hold. It’s surprising folks with what you can extract. You choose the filters and get the intelligence you need.

Here’s a report on Adjunct Faculty Who Don’t Communicate with the Library. Being able to run a report that can filter through scores of records to display these specifics is beneficial. You could then spearhead a project to boost your outreach that gives you a real place to begin.

Don’t Just READ Into It.

The READ Scale or Reference Effort Assessment Data has been around since about 2002 when an ARL (Association of Research Libraries) survey was conducted and unearthed the problem that the READ Scale solves.

They had determined that it was necessary to spell out the efforts being made by librarians to help answer patrons. This ensures an accurate assessment of the work each interaction entailed.

Since inception, the LibAnswers Platform has provided librarians with the ability to select the READ Scale number that corresponds with the activity when recording the transaction. If you’re not already using it. You should! Data is most helpful when it is quantitative — in this case measuring effort. It justifies the need for professional librarians and their invaluable expertise. Plus, having this knowledge helps with scheduling. It’s easy to look at the time stamp in the stats. When the most difficult questions are being asked, you can make sure there’s a manager around.

Now, go ahead and check out the Stats and Reports features in all your Springshare tools to get the data that you need!