Archive for Ginna Nicolas

How They Did It: Gwinnett Technical College Welcomes Fall 2020 with LibCal Seats

2020 has been a difficult year, for sure. Most of us are likely ready for it to end so we can flip a page of sorts. However, for the world of Academia, Fall is kind of a new beginning. This fall every student in the country is starting a new year – the academic year – some for the first time and some for their final year of college.

This fall term is brimming with excitement — mixed with anxiety. For the institutions that serve these students, faculty, and staff, there is hope bolstered by careful planning and thoughtful execution. And, while they tell you in school to keep your eyes on your own paper, these days, we need all the great examples we can get. Sharing knowledge in the days of COVID-19 is how we’re going to strategize against its spread and prudently move forward.

Gwinnett Technical College Prioritizes Health & Safety

Director of Library Services, Deborah George, and the library staff at Gwinnett Technical College share answers, valuable experiences, and tips in this LibCal Seats Q&A. You’ll learn how they worked together to welcome everyone back to campus with the knowledge that this fall, like no other, providing peace of mind had to be added to the to-do list.

Gwinnett Technical College Fall 2020 Opening Day

A New Look at Creating a Safe Space

When did you launch your LibCal Seats system? Please share, to date, how many reservations you’ve handled with it.

Gwinnett Technical College (GTC) is a long-time subscriber to Springshare’s LibGuides and other applications. We finalized access to LibCal Seats on August 7, 2020, and launched it to our students on the first day of our Fall, 2020 semester, August 10. As of September 15, we have had over 914 bookings!

What is the main goal you have for your library and what is its big message as you begin the 2020 Fall Term in the midst of this global pandemic?

We want the students to know that their health and safety is important to us. Using a reservation system such as LibCal Seats allows us to monitor the usage of library space and maintain compliance with college-wide, CDC-based safe use requirements. Being able to allow students to visit the library provides much-needed access to library staff and on-campus technology. Faculty refer students to the library for test-taking and library workshops. The email and reservation data can be shared with faculty as necessary.

What are the new challenges the library sees in supporting students and faculty this academic year? Share a bit about the problem-solving process that went into devising your re-opening plans.

GTC already provided remote services with phone, email, and chat. In response to the increased demand necessitated by the pandemic-related campus closures, we were able to greatly increase one-to-one remote services with our Learning Management System and Springshare’s Appointments features. Students can now schedule dedicated reference interviews from any location.

Even with these remote services, several of our students want or need to use the library in person. LibCal Seats allows us to provide access to computers/webcams, printers, and study rooms to those students requesting these services while giving us the ability to monitor overall capacity and adhere to social distancing requirements.

Setting Up Seats & Setting New Expectations

There’s a lot of change this academic year and not just for the incoming Freshmen. How are you sharing the information that appointments and reservations are now required? How is this being enforced?

We are using a multi-faceted approach to marketing our new services. We encourage our department heads to communicate via email with classroom instructors, and we promote access options through the library’s blog post, Facebook entries and signage within and outside of the library spaces. Students are greeted as they enter the library and are asked to confirm or make reservations. Staff roam the library regularly to confirm students are using reserved spaces and following safety measures (masks in place, not moving furniture, etc.) Compliance is near 100%.

QR Codes at the GTC Library

Which features in LibCal Seats are you finding the most useful as you encourage social distancing and monitor the occupancy of your spaces in real-time?

The Booking Explorer provides an overview of space availability for staff and allows us to adjust reservations as necessary throughout the day. The Single Seat viewing grid is displayed on a large monitor just inside the library, so staff and students can easily determine availability.

How did you decide what sorts of booking limits you wanted to impose and what’s the strategy or goal behind them? Are you using padding between reservations? If so, how and why?

Capacity of space was considered when setting booking limits, as well as anticipated foot traffic. Currently, we are adjusting our limits to meet the students’ needs. We started with a one-hour default session length but found that several students were taking online exams and needed longer periods of time. The library is not reaching full capacity, so we extended the default to two hours, to minimize the amount of time spent manually extending sessions. Additional adjusting is easy, and we can make modifications on the spot. We do use the padding between sessions, which allows for cleaning of the stations between use.

Which reports or dashboards are you keeping a close eye on and how are they informing your day-to-day/week-to-week decisions?

We consistently view the Booking Grid to keep an eye on availability and expected use. Occupancy data also gives us an idea of what times the library is being used the most. We expect to use more reporting data as we move through the semester, and really appreciate having the ability to track computer usage and foot traffic now.

Response to LibCal Seats, Tweaks & Tips

What has been the response to LibCal Seats from the library team, the students, the faculty?

GTC Students Book “On the Fly”

Faculty are impressed with the ease of use and are comfortable sharing reservation information with students. Returning students, used to popping into the library and using space on a first-come, first-served basis, initially expressed some frustration with the reservation requirements and multi-step process. Most students use their phones to book, and the screens are not as easy to navigate on smaller devices. However, once the students have made a few reservations the process becomes less time-consuming.

As students understand the reservation process is required to keep our building open for student use, they gladly comply with the expectations. As they realize the process can be completely self-serve, they love being able to check-in by phone.

We simply ask, “Did you get your email?” and most give us a thumbs up and move on to the reserved space.

What sorts of tweaks and adjustments did you make in the first few weeks after implementing LibCal Seats to make it work better for you and your students?

We needed to adjust the default reservation session length since many students have ended up needing to come to campus to take tests since some were not able to use secure testing software on their home computers. Additionally, some student club interviews were scheduled in library study rooms, which allows students without webcams at home to participate in virtual face-to-face interviews.

What sorts of tips would you like to share for those libraries who are at the beginning of setting up LibCal Seats?

Keep in mind your closing time; you may not want to have students making reservations right up to when you lock the doors. Consider how often students can make reservations, and how far in advance. Get feedback and be flexible!


We are grateful for the opportunity to share this interview with Deborah George and her diligent, caring library staff. To say 2020 has been a hard year is an oversimplification to be sure. But sometimes the clearest language is the truest.

Reopening your institutions is a real challenge this year, one that no one is taking lightly. How do we keep your spaces at the library, and all over campus, from unsafely filling with people? Ask them to make a reservation, monitor the occupancy numbers, and make adjustments as necessary. The GTC library shared their experience that — students gladly cooperate because they know it means they can use the library.

They want to use the library. You want to welcome them back. LibCal Seats is instrumental in helping you stay (safely) booked in the days ahead.

Using LibCal Appointments & Events to Stay Engaged Online

It’s National Library Week! Springshare applauds the hard work librarians everywhere are putting in during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their libraries operating and serving patrons. It may seem like an impossible task to keep the library — especially those whose doors are closed — engaged with the community, but your ingenuity and resourceful natures have been making it happen!

We’ve collected some examples of how libraries are using LibCal to effectively continue to provide help and to “gather” online. When I’ll meet you there veers to become Meet up from anywhere — it’s a pretty creative pivot.

Virtual Events at Mesa County Libraries Keep Fun on the Menu

In Colorado, Mesa County Libraries comprises 9 branches, all of which are closed until further notice. But from home, the librarians have been busy making a lemonade stand to share all of their lemonade! By hosting a series of virtual events in place of their popular on-site programming, they can still engage their patrons via new channels.

Using LibCal, they share the pertinent details for their Virtual Creative Fiber Arts Club, which happens via Google Hangouts, a Virtual Story Time, which is carried out in their social media channels, a poetry reading aimed at adults is highlighted, and so much more. Instead of enabling registrations, they’re promoting a sign-up button that allows patrons to get notified of upcoming programs and classes.

The virtual events are shared via their YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram TV as they navigate this time and combat closed doors with open minds.

Birmingham City University’s Library Staff Makes a Beeline…to Online Services

The Library and Learning Resources department at the United Kingdom’s Birmingham City University wants its students and faculty to be aware that the library staff is available online and is ready to help.

They’re answering questions via LibAnswers and they’re even geared up to meet! LibCal Appointments allows the BCU Library team to meet for tutoring sessions. They even have peer mentors available for student support to help with developing library skills to make searching a better experience.

Letting people know this is a full-time job these days and BCU has taken to social media to get the word out. Many libraries tweet several times a day to reinforce the news that they are, in fact, operational.

Beyond social media, this outreach is supported with messaging on their website, LibGuides pages feature Book-a-Tutorial buttons, and you can even access the Appointments link on their LibAnswers home page. Let your students know they’re not alone. Use as many channels as you can to reach out.

Being There for Students — Salve Regina’s Library Gets the Word Out

The McKillop Library at Salve Regina University is making sure that students and faculty know that they’re ready and able to help with some clever cross-promotion of services.

The enterprising librarians also added a link to their appointments right below their LibAnswers chat widget so students can easily see it.

So — not only are they ensuring patrons that they can ask questions from anywhere — they also take the opportunity to offer appointments for those who’d prefer to have a block of one-on-one assistance. It’s true the doors are closed for now. But help is still available!

University of Pittsburgh Librarians Stay Connected

The Greensburg Campus librarians at the University of Pittsburgh are determined to stay engaged despite the distance. The best way to combat the isolation is to get together…albeit virtually. Staying connected, building relationships, assisting students and faculty is always a top priority but it can be challenging today.

This library staff decided to build a tabbed box in their LibGuides system to prominently share information about each of the team members. They’ve included photos and a button that connects students and faculty with the librarian’s LibCal Appointments availability or email.

There is no more accurate word for this time than unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced academic, public, school, and special libraries around the world to move services entirely online. While it is a daunting task to provide excellent service to patrons virtually, librarians have answered the call. The innovation, out of the box (and onto the screen) thinking, and the absolute willingness to successfully shift to stay engaged that librarians are displaying is inspiring to us all here at Springshare.

Using LibGuides to Swiftly Address Current Events

LibGuides for current events

Librarians Don’t Miss a Beat!

Librarians in 96 countries have built more than 719,000 LibGuides. They build subject guides and course-specific guides. Some guides serve as the library’s website. There are how-to guides and guides that reach out to specific demographics. Using LibGuides to share knowledge is easy and that is never handier than when librarians must build guides to respond to current events. When you have to address the matters that your patrons find most pressing and which are, in a way, imminent like tax season or a holiday, a census, a hurricane or a particularly dangerous outbreak, it’s critical that the tool you’re using doesn’t get in the way.

When There’s an Outbreak…Break Out the Information!

The word “epidemic” hits the airwaves and the soundbites travel so fast, it’s a wonder that librarians can keep up. But that’s exactly what they do. We’ve seen LibGuides built on SARS and the H1N1 Swine Flu. You’ll find guides on MERS, which is caused by a coronavirus and some built on the Zika virus, transmitted by mosquitos. Whether the guides and pages were built right at the beginning in response to the need for information or after the fact in order to help people study and learn about the epidemics, LibGuides allows librarians to add:

  • Images of maps showing the affected countries
  • Links to the Center for Disease Control
  • Videos of how to wash your hands
  • Infographics with tips on how to put on a mask
  • Access to useful articles, websites, and recommended databases to learn more

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is in the news today. Springshare has already found LibGuides popping up, many of them with notes stating they are works-in-progress because the librarians are currently assembling the information. The patron focused New York University Health Sciences Library has an excellent example whose subheading reads,

In recognition that people are interested in learning what is currently known about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak, we have gathered the following information

The Western Academy of Beijing Red Scroll Library has a Middle School Parents LibGuide to which they’ve added a brilliant page on the 2019 Coronavirus. Along with a lot of useful information, it features an infographic with symptoms, another with ways to reduce your risk, and even includes a video of questions being answered by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization.

The Cleveland Clinic has labeled this an evolving situation and added a page on the 2019-nCoV to its Infectious Disease guide that includes a downloadable toolkit. The American Embassy School in New Delhi, India has added a Wuhan Coronavirus page to their Current Events and Fake News LibGuide built by the school librarian. It shares articles about how the virus is reported, recommended databases and subscription magazines for news, government/NGO information sites about the virus, and more. Being able to pull a LibGuide together quickly to share vital information and curate ways to further delve into epidemics and pandemics is invaluable. These guides can continue to be updated keeping them, and their patrons, current.

Building LibGuides for the Census.

The upcoming census is something you can certainly shed some light on for your patrons, even if your patrons are…libraries. The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council built a LibGuide called Census 2020 for New York Libraries.

  • It shares key roles for libraries and contains information that is specifically tailored for Public, Academic, and School libraries.
  • There is also information on how to be a census site.
  • You’ll find a page on training sessions

Loyola University Chicago has a guide on the census that features an infographic called Census 101: What You Need to Know. It also contains census history and information on why the census is necessary, which may sound like the most basic question of all — but it needs to be answered.

If the 2020 Census hasn’t come up yet, it will and libraries have a vested interest in making sure people understand how important it is and aren’t afraid of it. LibGuides can help you share information about how the census impacts the community and many libraries are sharing what sorts of questions will be asked and even what won’t be. Like any survey you might share with LibWizard, more people tend to participate if they know what the information they provide will be used for and roughly how many questions there will be. They like to know it will make a difference if they take the time to do it. You can even add a discussion board to your guide or embed a LibChat widget so patrons know you are there to help with further questions.

Get Up to Speed with LibGuides on Current or Upcoming Events.

Whether you want to build a guide on the approaching Election complete with ways to see if you’re registered and important dates,  information on what a caucus is, candidates, and anything else you choose to add, or if you want to build a page on the Academy Awards, or create a guide for a visiting author or whatever you have on the horizon, Springshare can help you strategize the best ways to do it.

Here are some upcoming free training sessions. All the times listed are U.S. ET.

We also have some recorded sessions you can watch at your convenience.

Check out all our live training sessions.

 

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.