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LibAnswers Update: Chat Improvements and More Coming Soon!

The LibAnswers release is on its way and will be released to all regions by the end of the day on Thursday August 9th. This release is chock full of chat dashboard stability and UI improvements – read on for the full scoop!

New Chat Dashboard Updates

We’ve heard your early feedback from using the new and improved Chat Operator Dashboard, and are excited to bring you several key updates and new features, including:

  • FAQ Search – It’s back! We’ve added the ability to search FAQs and share them with patrons and internal chats. You’ll see this FAQ search ability available from any chat area, including all internal and personal chats – this offers a quick way to search for existing help documentation from your site, and share it with patrons lickety split. And even better, we’ve improved the “share a link” functionality – now, instead of needing to copy and paste the link, you can just click the link icon from within the list of results and you’re off to the races.
  • Current Operator Shown In All Operators List – We heard from several folks that it felt more intuitive to show the current operator in the all operators list, so we made it happen! Even better, in addition to just showing your name in the operators list (which makes it easy to keep an eye on your current chat status), when you click on your name, you’ll find a chat entry area that’s personalized for you! Use this space as your personal notes area – you can use it to create draft messages, or search FAQs, or write yourself reminders, etc.
  • Responsive Design Elements were improved with this update, so the new chat dashboard will respond better for tablets and other smaller screens. Optimizing the chat dashboard for mobile devices will be coming in a future release.
  • Less Clicks Required to Close Chat – We’ve updated the various end chat behaviors to reduce the number of clicks – now, when you go to end a chat, you’ll have just one click to end, instead of needing to navigate through an additional dropdown menu.

Improved Chat Stability

In this release we’ve made several big under the hood improvements to help make the LibChat infrastructure as reliable and fault tolerant as possible. One of the biggest visible improvements is something we’re very excited about – in the new chat dashboard, if something inadvertently causes the chat operator to go offline for a moment – ex if the internet blips out momentarily, or if you accidentally navigate away from the chat pane and then hit the back button – you won’t lose any current chats in progress.

Full Admin Side HTTPS Support – No Action Required!

In this update we’re also introducing full HTTPS support for the admin side of your system, for all sites! This change means all of the admin side interactions in the system – from replying to tickets to answering chats to viewing statistics and running reports, every action you take on the admin side is now run via HTTPS enabled pages, so all system communication is more secure.

Please note that this update automatically updates every site’s admin-side pages to HTTPS. To update your public side pages to HTTPS (which we highly recommend doing!), check out our instructions available at https://ask.springshare.com/libapps/faq/596.

Plus Bug Fixes and More!

  • Accessibility Improvements have been implemented for chat widgets – we’ve made them more screen reader friendly, so users with all types of assistive devices will have a smooth chat experience. We’ve also updated aria information in several key places
  • Remove the “Welcome to the New Chat Dashboard” message – For sites that have chosen to upgrade to the new chat operator screen, you’ll no longer see the “Welcome to the New Chat Dashboard” message each time you log in.
  • Character Escaping Improvements were made in a couple of places – now, if a patron shares a URL that contains an & in the pre-chat questions, or if you create a “Contact Us” link that contains an &, these will be rendered properly right from the get go.
  • Chat Links Open in New Window – We discovered a bug with the new chat operator interface where, if a patron shared a URL in one of the pre-chat question areas, those URLs were not opening in a new window. Now, all URLs shared via chat will open in a new window, so you won’t inadvertently navigate away from the chat pane.

LibStaffer 2.9 Release Coming This Week

The LibStaffer 2.9 release is headed your way this week, and will be released to all regions by the end of the day on Thursday August 9th. We’re bringing you a refreshed UI with easier to navigate pages, plus improved Auto Scheduler functionality and a whole lot more! Read on for all the deets.

Page Navigation Updates

We’ve updated many of the screens throughout LibStaffer to improve your site navigation experience and give the system a more polished look and feel. In this update we’ve concentrated on the Edit Schedule pages – we’ve improved the layout of all settings so they’re more intuitive, and added a quick switching element to the top of the page so it’s easier to jump between schedules. We’ve also polished functionality and improved help text on all modals on this page, including Clear/Delete Shifts, Auto Scheduler, Email Scheduled Shifts, and Edit Schedule, to help clarify all of the available functionality and make navigation smooth sailing!

Auto Scheduler Improvements

We’ve heard several comments from folks that the Auto Scheduler was in need of improvement – it could be slow to run, and in certain scenarios, shifts weren’t being distributed among all available staff members as equitably as they could be. In this release, we’ve completed a major update of the Auto Scheduler functionality – now, it will both run faster and distribute shifts among available staff members in the most equitable way possible, even across large date ranges. To see it in action, admins can head to Edit Schedule > Auto Scheduler.

Additional Improvements

  • Time Off Request Emails have been updated to be more informative – they now include all details about the time being requested, so you have more information on the time off being requested right in your inbox.
  • Pending Swaps and Given Up Shift Reports have been combined into a single report, so it’s easier to see all shifts that may need coverage, all from one screen.
  • And we’ve added several Accessibility Improvements, including:
    • It’s now possible to navigate to every shift in a schedule using just the keyboard and/or screenreader software, no mouse required.
    • We’ve added a separate “Add Shift” button, so you can create new shifts without requiring a keyboard. To add a shift, head to Edit Schedule > Cog Icon > Create Shift.

LibCal 2.16 Release Coming Soon – Hello Appointments Module

The LibCal 2.16 update is coming to you this week, and will be released to all regions by end of the day on Thursday August 9th. This refresh is so complete and chock full of new features that we’re renaming the old MyScheduler to Appointments, to more accurately reflect its full capabilities.

New Appointments Module

The old My Scheduler module will be renamed Appointments going forward, inside all LibCal screens. One of the most frequent requests we heard from users is for the ability to mark themselves as “available” for booking appointments in different locations at different dates and times. We made this happen, plus a whole lot more. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features:

  • New “Location” Option for Appointments – We added a new, high-level option to create Locations – these are meant to represent physical spaces/locations where Appointments happen (including Online). Each location contains one or multiple Groups of librarians. When patrons first view the All Users Appointments landing page, they choose the location where they’d like to meet, and then see the groups/librarians associated with that Location. To define “Locations” for your site, admins can head to Admin > Appointment Settings.
  • Reworked Availability Settings – In the new Appointments, a librarian can define availability for themselves in specific locations/groups at specific times. In addition, you can now add (or edit/delete) availability in any recurring pattern you choose. What were previously considered “conflicts” (like prior availability or existing appointments) will no longer prevent you from creating or editing/deleting availability. To take the new availability settings for a spin, head to Appointments > Availability.
  • Friendly URLs – To create a friendly URL for your personal Appointments landing page, head to Appointments > Settings > Friendly URL. To create a friendly URL for a Location, admins can head to Admin > Appointments > Edit Location.
  • File Uploads – You can enable file uploads for your Appointments so patrons to share files that may be needed during the course of a meeting – e.g. for help tracking down references from a bibliography, have them upload the bibliography ahead of time. Head to Appointments > My Settings > Appointment Form File Uploads to enable this.
  • Public Personal Nickname – Choose a nickname to display on the public side of the system, e.g. instead of booking an appointment with Sarah, patrons can book an appointment with the Science Liaison, and all communications coming from LibCal will use that nickname. To choose a nickname, head to Appointments > My Settings > Nickname.
  • Public Group Nicknames – We’re also adding support for group public nicknames. This essentially acts as an extension to the “No Preference” setting, so a patron can ex book an appointment with any available Peer Tutor. For groups set up this way, we won’t display individual librarian names/availability on the public side, so the patron is only aware that they have an appointment with a Peer Tutor at XYZ time. To enable a group nickname, admins can head to Admin > Appointments > Edit Group > Group Member Display.
  • All Appointments View – A new report to list/display all upcoming and past appointments for all Appointments users, so if a patron shows up at the front desk needing directions, it’s easy to see who their appointment is scheduled with, and where, and when. To see the all appointments view, head to Appointments > Booking Explorer.
  • Revamped Statistics – We’ve completely overhauled Appointments statistics, so it’s easy to view and export all statistics on all Appointments for all users, and get a full breakdown of bookings and availability by Group, User, etc. We’ve also added a number of lovely charts and graphs to help illuminate the wealth of information now available. To check out the new stats, head to Stats > Appointments.

Equipment and Space Improvements

  • Exchange + Spaces Integration is Live! -Picture this: a 2-way sync between Exchange calendars and LibCal spaces, so that reservations you make via Exchange will automatically block off availability in the Spaces module, and reservations made via Spaces are automatically pushed to Exchange. With this release, we’re rolling out full Exchange integration for all Spaces users – huzzah! For full details on setting up this integration, check out our documentation.
  • Equipment: Inventory Reports – We’re also adding a brand new report to Equipment module to view and export a list of all inventory in the system. The report can be customized to display the fields that you’re most interested in seeing, including item name, barcode, current status, and total checkouts.
  • Booking Date Created/Submitted – We’ve added a few minor improvements to the Booking Details to make the info more clear. Now, you’ll see the date that the booking was submitted displayed as part of the Booking Details, so it’s easy to see how long ago a booking was submitted by the patron. To see this in action, head to either the Equipment or Spaces tab, then click on a booking.
  • Mediated Bookings Show 1 Year In Future – We’ve updated the Mediation tab in Equipment and Spaces – previously we only displayed tentative requests for the current week, but now, we’ll show all pending requests for up to the next year, so it’s easy to see the full picture of upcoming requests for your mediated equipment and spaces.

Calendar & Events New Features

  • Revised Publishing Workflow – We’re updating the flow and function of the event publishing workflow to make it easier on event reviewers who need to communicate changes to an event creator. Now, when an event is submitted, the event reviewer can:
    • Just publish the event with no changes, or
    • Make edits to the event themselves, then publish the event, or
    • Send an email to the event creator from the admin UI stating what needs to be changed; the event creator can then make the updates themselves and then resubmit the event for review
  • Embed Full Calendar on the Homepage – we’re adding a quick way to embed the full monthly calendar view on the LibCal homepage. To embed your full calendar on your homepage, admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor.

 

As always, the ideas and suggestions for the vast majority of these awesome new features came from you, our clients who use LibCal day in and day out, for all your library’s calendaring needs. We’re sending a huge thank you to all users who contributed their ideas, suggestions, testing, etc. to make this big new release happen. Let’s keep the conversation going… Let us know if any questions pop up, contact our support team or your regional sales manager.

LibAnswers Update – New Chat Operator Interface is Here!

The new LibChat Operator console will be released to all regions by the end of the day on Friday June 29th, 2018. But, keep in mind that we are not changing the current console to this new version just yet – we’re making the new chat operator console available to everyone to test it out, try things, get accustomed… and then when you are ready to switch to the new console on the system level, your LibAnswers system administrator can make the new console the default for everyone, in system settings.

When you login to LibChat, you will still see the current/existing console by default. To use this new console instead, head to LibChat -> New Chat Dashboard and you can switch back and forth between the current and the new chats on different days – until you are fully comfortable making the new chat interface the only one to use for the entire site.

The new Chat Operator console makes it easier to hold multiple chats with patrons, to chat with individual colleagues – or all colleagues from a department – all from one place! Words don’t do justice to this new console, so instead let’s just take a look:

 

  • List View of All Chats – The new chat UI utilizes a standardized list view of all ongoing chats, so it’s easy to keep track of all of your conversations without having to move and resize boxes.
  • Expanded Chat Pane – Now you have a much more spacious area for each chat conversation you’re part of. We’ve also made a number of quality of life improvements inside the chat pane for operators, including left-orienting all of the chat conversations, adding clearer indicators of who said what, better timestamps and improved “Patron is typing” notifications, etc.
  • Conversation history with Patrons – If you choose to do so, you can view the history of conversations (both chats and tickets) from the patron you’re chatting with. Of course we’re fully aware of the privacy concerns as well, so this tool will only return chat and ticket history from the time period inside your privacy scrub window. The privacy scrub is a standard feature of LibAnswers – it’s run on a monthly basis, and you get to choose the number of months for which you’d like to retain data prior to the scrub – contact our support team to set this up for your site.
  • Dedicated Department Chats – We’ve added dedicated chat channels for each department you monitor, so everyone who monitors a department can be part of the same ongoing internal conversation. Use these new department chats to discuss and strategize around chat question trends, staffing coverage issues, or the latest departmental happenings – it’s up to you!
  • New Internal Note Field for a Chat – A new operator-side internal note feature displays at the end of each chat session. It’s a handy way to communicate high level information about the chat with admins or other staff members who may be reviewing the chat transcript after the fact. Any internal note you add will be appended to the chat transcript itself, keeping all the information in one tidy place.
  • Answer Tickets from the LibChat Interface – As with the existing chat interface, you can respond to SMS, Twitter and Facebook messages right from the new chat dashboard, so it’s super easy to keep on top of all instantaneous methods of communication. In the future we’ll also be working on a way to answer all tickets from this pane, making LibChat a one stop shop for all communication!

To give the new chat interface a spin head to the orange command bar and choose LibChat > New Chat Dashboard. The new chat dashboard is fully linked to your existing department affiliations, so it’s easy to try out answering patron questions right from the get go. Just be aware, internal department chats between users on the old and new chat dashboard won’t work (though you can still talk with individual librarians between the old and new chat). Once you’re ready to fully make the switch for your whole site, admins can head to Admin > LibChat Setup > Settings to switch everyone over to the new dashboard.

Additional Updates and Features

But why stop there – we have several additional LibAnswers updates and features to share, including:

  • SMS Macros – We’ve added the option to create macros that are specific for SMS messages – these macros don’t contain any HTML, so they’re perfect for sending to SMS users! To create an SMS macro, head to Admin > Macros > Create SMS Macro.
  • Edit FAQ Info from the Knowledge Base Explorer – We’re adding the ability to edit high-level information about an FAQ – including its group assignment, assigned topics, keywords, and status – right from the KBE, instead of having to navigate to each individual FAQ. Head to the FAQ Knowledge Base and click the edit icon to give it a spin.
  • FAQ Topic Multi-Select – We’re making it loads easier to apply multiple topics to an FAQ – now, instead of selecting each topic individually from a drop down list, we’ve updated these menus to support multiple selections and easy keyboard navigation. To see it in action, head to the edit FAQ page.

LibStaffer 2.8 Release – Clock In/Out and More

The LibStaffer 2.8 release is on its way, and will be released to all regions by the end of the day Thursday, June 28, 2018. There’s a lot of great stuff in this release: a super exciting new clock in / out functionality, color coding for schedules in multi schedule view and new email management settings to help you control which automated emails you receive. Let’s get to it!

Clock In/Out

Holy macaroni, we’re doing it! Now the staff has the ability to clock in/out for their scheduled shifts. Highlight reel includes:

  • Clock In/Out Enabled per Schedule – Each schedule in the system will have its own time clock settings. To enable it, admins can head to Admin > Individual Schedule Settings > Time Clock.
  • Clock In/Out Only when Scheduled – Folks can only clock in within an hour of when they’re scheduled to work.
  • Clock In/Out Limited by IP Address – Limit staff to clocking in/out only on workstations within a specific IP range. To add an approved IP range for clocking in, admins can head to Admin > Individual Schedule Settings > Time Clock.
  • (Future Feature) Clock In/Out on Mobile, limited by Geolocation – Later this summer we’ll introduce the ability to limit clocking in and out for shifts only if they’re within X feet of their work location using mobile phone.
  • Schedule Location – Related to the above feature, we’re introducing a new “Location” object for schedules. This new setting gives you the ability to input the address where work should occur, and automatically determines the longitude and latitude coordinates related to that address. If you need to refine the location where work happens further (to get closer to ex the location of your Front Desk within the building), these coordinates can also be customized to target exactly the location you want to specify. To add a location for your schedules, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Location.
  • Admin Clock In/Out Overrides – Sometimes it happens – staff can sometimes forget to clock in or out for a shift. Admin dashboard shows “Currently Clocked In Users” box and admins have the ability to clock users in or out, right from the dashboard.
  • Clock In/Out Notes – A new notes field that displays to the staffer when they clock in/out for a shift, giving them an opportunity to share any relevant check in/out notes with admins.
  • Clock In/Out Reports – No clock in/out tool would be complete without full featured reports! The Clock In/Out reports show all info for each clock in/out e.g. dates, times, and shift duration. Admins can also view clock in/out notes. If  adjustments to clock in/out times need to be made, admins can make those right from the reports page.

Additional Updates

We have a number of additional quality of life improvements to share, including:

  • Customize Email Notifications – The ability to opt out of certain email notifications that LibStaffer sends. For example, if you’d rather not receive emails when people Give Up shifts or request Time Off, you can now opt out of receiving these emails. To customize the notifications you receive, head to Manage Account > Email Alerts.
  • Color Code Schedules in Multi-Schedule View – Assign a color to each schedule in your site, so that when you’re viewing multiple schedules in Multi-Schedule view, each schedule will display using the color you’ve assigned. To assign a color to a schedule, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Calendar Settings > Color in Multi-Schedule View.
  • Dashboard Updates – We’ve polished the look of the Dashboard page to bring you a cleaner, more streamlined look when you first log in to LibStaffer. Head to the Dashboard to check out these improvements!

LibAnswers 2.20 Coming Soon

The LibAnswers 2.20 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by end of the day on Thursday May 24th. We have several great features to share, including GDPR privacy updates and an exciting announcement about upcoming changes to the Chat Operator screen!

GDPR & Privacy Related Updates

We’ve worked on a number of issues to help get LibAnswers ready for the impending GDPR changes. In case you missed it, check out our full GDPR post. Here are the tools we’re rolling out in this update:

Public Cookie Notice and Privacy Statement – We’re adding an optional, dismissible notice to alert users about the use of cookies and IP address collection on LibAnswers public pages. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.

Data Submission Notices – We’re also adding an optional data submission notification, to help you alert your patrons to what personal information you collect in order to submit a question or idea to LibAnswers. This gives you an opportunity to let your patrons know why you collect particular data in forms, what that data is used for, etc. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.

Expanded Privacy Scrub – We’re expanding our current privacy scrub options so that now, in addition to scrubbing patron name and email address, you can also choose to scrub all possible identifying information from both ticket interactions and/or LibChat transcripts on a rolling basis.

This new privacy scrub option will remove the entire contents of a ticket conversation and/or chat transcript – all of the messages that were exchanged between librarian and patron will be removed, and replaced with a short indicator message: [Removed during Privacy Scrub]. This option will also remove all of the patron’s responses to question and chat forms, so all possible identifying information will be removed.

With this new scrub option, your site will still retain usage data, so you’ll still be able to see things like how many chats or tickets came in by month, day, and hour. All potential identifying information will be removed and cannot be restored. Once the scrub is run, your tickets and/or chat transcripts will look like the following:

To enable the privacy scrub for your site, get in touch with our awesome support team and let them know whether you’d like to scrub just name, email, and SMS number, or whether to scrub the entire contents of the conversation for tickets and/or chat transcripts. Please also let us know how many months of data you’d like to retain before running the scrub.

Additional Updates and Fixes

  • We’ve added a new “Link to FAQ” option on the Add/Edit FAQ page, so it’s easier to add links to related FAQs when building an FAQ. To use this option, head to the Add/Edit FAQ page > Add/Edit Links.
  • We’ve added a Keyword Filter on the FAQ Entries Knowledge Base Explorer page, so it’s easy to filter results by a particular keyword. To try it out, head to the Knowledge Base Explorer and filter by Keyword.
  • We fixed a bug where Topic List Widgets weren’t opening links in a new window when that option was selected (now they will!).
  • We fixed a bug with the Helpful Tools search box on the Ticket Answer page – now, if you search for a public FAQ on this page, the results will open in a new window so you can easily browse existing FAQs.

And Coming Soon…Chat Operator Redesign!

We’re also hard at work behind the scenes to bring you a really exciting update – this summer, we’ll be rolling out a brand new interface for Librarians monitoring and responding to chats! This new interface will completely streamline the process of responding to patron chats – we’re moving away from having each chat open in its own window, and moving toward a list view of all of your chats in progress. Active chats are listed on the left, and each chat conversation is displayed on the right, so it’s worlds easier to manage multiple conversations without needing to rearrange chat windows. We’re also adding a host of frequently requested chat features with this update, including things like improved Group chats, improved alerts (including a nicer alert tone when new messages arrive), better integrated user history, and so much more!

Needless to say, we are super excited for the new chat update, but we also recognize that the new UI is a big departure from the existing chat UI. For this reason, the new chat UI will initially be an opt-in update – once it rolls out, all librarians at your site will be able to try it out live before you make the switch. Once your site is ready, your site admins can officially switch everyone to the new interface. If you have ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see in the new LibChat Operator screen, please let our support crew know and they will relay the message to the LibAnswers product team.

LibStaffer 2.7 Release Out Now!

The LibStaffer 2.7 release is live and brings tons of great features, including a public view of schedules (and a widget, too!), plus Google Calendar sync, a new email digest for open shifts, and a whole lot more.

Public Views of Schedules (and Widgets too!)

Have you ever wanted to quickly check a schedule / your shifts without having to log into LibStaffer? Now you can with public schedules! These new public schedules offer a great way to share information about who’s working when, even with folks who don’t have a LibStaffer account. To set a schedule to have a public view, admins can head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Schedule and assign the schedule a friendly URL. Then share that friendly URL however you’d like!

And of course, no public view would be complete without a widget version to easily embed in any website, so we’ve included those too. 🙂 Better yet, with the widget you can even choose the default initial view of the schedule, so it’s easy to start the page in Day, Week, Month, or Timeline view. To view the new widgets, admins can head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Widgets.

Google Calendar Sync

With this release we’re also upping LibStaffer’s integration points with all new Google Calendar Sync! This integration offers a 2-way sync, so shifts you’re assigned to in LibStaffer will automatically appear in your Google Calendar, and events in your Google Calendar will mark you as unavailable to work a shift in LibStaffer. To get sync’ing, head to Edit Profile > Google Calendar. Please note, this integration requires a Google Service account – check out our FAQ on Syncing your Schedule with Google Calendar for more help!

Available Shifts Email Digest

We’ve heard from several folks who’d like more streamlined and targeted emails from LibStaffer, so we’re making it happen! We’ve introduced a new batched email digest for available shifts in LibStaffer. Now, instead of getting multiple emails when someone gives up several shifts, we’ll batch these notifications into a single email, sent on the hour. We’ve also included a handy “claim shift” link right in that email, so available shifts can be claimed with just one click.

Edit Time Off Requests

We know how it is – sometimes when people request time off, you may need to edit or adjust the request before approving it. In this release, we’re addressing this pain point – admins can now edit time off requests prior to approval! To see this in action, head to the Time Off Approval tab – you’ll now seen an option to Edit Time Off alongside any new time off request:

Admin Shift Notes

We’ve added a handy new option to help communicate with other admins about interesting happenings that took place during a shift. Head to the Edit Schedules > Edit Shift modal window, and you’ll see a new area for Admin Shift Notes. Whether it’s that one of your staff members did an awesome job at a routine task, or you have an interesting story about a patron to share with other admins, you can use this field to share that information, and other schedule admins can view it via the reports tab.

Additional Updates

  • We’ve updated the look of all Schedule Settings Pages: We’ve moved all of the functionality that was previously found in modal windows into individual tabs, so it’s easier to manage a schedule’s settings.
  • We fixed a bug with splitting shifts that spanned days (i.e., shifts that run past midnight). In some cases this was throwing an error message, which we’ve corrected.
  • We’ve added more specific alert messages when overriding a shift conflict. If you find the need to override a shift clash, we’ll display more information about the clash, so you’ll know whether the conflict is that the person is scheduled to work on another schedule already, or they’re listed as busy in their Outlook or Google Calendar schedule, or the shift is outside of their working hours, etc.

LibCal 2.15 Release Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.15 release is on its way to you this week, and will be rolled out to all regions by the end of the day Thursday May 17th. We have tons of goodies to share in this release, including a brand new Card View, plus new filter layouts for upcoming events, and several GDPR related updates. Read on to learn about all the great new features coming your way this week!

Card View and Flexible Filter Layouts

Searching for public calendar events is about to get a whole lot more flexible – Card View and flexible Filter layouts are here! We’re adding two new public side options to make your events stand out from the crowd:

Card View – We’re introducing a new “card” layout to show your upcoming events in style. In this new view, each event is represented as a card – the event’s date, time, and location are displayed at the top of each card for easy scanning, and each event’s title and description are displayed inside the card, with categories and audiences displayed at the bottom. This new layout is integrated into all public calendar views, so your patrons can switch to the view that works best for them with just a click.

Flexible Filter Layouts – With such a lovely new view of upcoming events, we realized it would be great to get even more flexible – we’re introducing a new display option so you can choose whether your calendar event filters display on the left side of the screen (as in the above screenshot) or across the top. This new top view for filters gives the various event layouts much more room, and works a treat for mobile users.

To choose the default view and filter layout that works best for you, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Settings.

Good to Know: In order to make these new features possible, we had to centralize the Calendar Display templates at the system level vs. individual calendar-level. It used to be possible to customize the monthly view and list view templates for each calendar, via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Display Settings. Once the release is live, these templates will no longer be part of individual Calendar settings, and will be located under Admin > Calendar > Settings with only a single template for each view (Event Listing and Monthly), which will apply to all calendars in your system.

Internal Tags

In addition to the great new event views mentioned above, we’re also adding a new classification option to help manage and view your events – Internal Tags are here! These optional tags provide a way to classify your events for internal statistics and data gathering purposes, and are never shown to the public. When events have been tagged with these new internal tags, you’ll be able to filter all statistical reports and booking explorer pages by this parameter, which makes it easy to view ex all of the events tagged with “New Ideas” or “Funded by STEM Grants”.

To create Internal Tags, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Internal Tags. Once these have been created, they will display on the Add/Edit Event page, in the Booking Explorer for each calendar, and in our super cool new Calendar Statistics pages.

GDPR & Privacy Related Updates

We’ve also worked on a number of issues to help get ready for the impending GDPR changes. In case you missed it, you can check out our full GDPR post here: https://blog.springshare.com/2018/04/25/gdpr-your-data-new-privacy-tools-so-much-good-stuff/. Here are a few additional tools we’re rolling out in this update:

  • Public Cookie Notice and Privacy Statement – We’re adding an optional, dismissible notice to alert users about the use of cookies and IP address collection on LibCal public pages. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Data Submission Notices – We’re also adding an optional data submission notification, to help you alert your patrons to what personal information you collect in order to create a booking. This gives you an opportunity to let your patrons know why you collect particular data on registration forms, what that data is used for, etc. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Expanded Privacy Scrub – We’re expanding our current privacy scrub options so that now, in addition to scrubbing patron name and email address, you can also choose to scrub patron responses to all registration form questions. When the privacy scrub has been enabled, we still retain an overall usage statistic – so for example, if a space booking is being scrubbed, we retain the booking’s start and end time, but remove all identifying information about the person who created the booking. To enable the privacy scrub for your site, get in touch with our awesome support team and let them know which module(s) you’d like to scrub, whether to scrub just name and email or include registration form questions too, and the number of months for which you’d like to retain data (choose from 1-12 months).

Additional Calendar Updates

  • We’ve added an easy way to Migrate from Calendar level Categories to the new System-wide Categories and Audiences. We’ve added a new option to Transfer a Calendar-Level Category to the system level Category and Audience pages, so switching to the new system-wide options is a breeze – head to Admin > Calendars > Audiences/Categories to see it in action. In addition, if you delete a calendar level category (via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Categories), you’ll see an option to migrate existing events to the system level Categories and Audiences.
  • We’ve updated the Add/Edit Event Page so all of the menu selectors have the same look and feel, and and all of the help text has been updated as well.
  • We’ve updated the Mini Calendar Widget so that, if there are no events happening in the current month, the widget will display events from the next month.

Additional Spaces and Equipment Updates

  • We’ve fixed a bug with editing a patron’s equipment or space booking – previously, if you were changing an existing reservation to a different date (both before and after the original booking date), the alert messages that check for booking clashes weren’t updating to the newly selected date, which could create incorrect booking clash notices.
  • We’ve added the ability to Export Equipment and Spaces Statistics.
  • We’ve updated the Equipment and Spaces public pages to better alert patrons when they attempt to create a booking that exceeds the amount of time they’re permitted to book. Previously we only alerted users to these issues after they had begun to fill out the registration form; now, we’ll alert issues as soon as they attempt to select timeslots that exceed what a person can reserve in a single booking, before they reach the registration form.
  • We’ve fixed a bug that prevented selecting “User Showed Up” when a space reservation spanned days.

Additional MyScheduler Updates

  • We’ve made a number of accessibility improvements to the public MyScheduler Appointments page, so it’s easier for users with assistive devices to navigate the page and know that something has changed when they select a librarian, date, and time.
  • We’ve fixed a bug with MyScheduler Appointment Categories that contained padding – previously, patron email confirmations weren’t taking this padding into account, but now they do.

And speaking of MyScheduler, we are working on a major overhaul and tons of new MyScheduler functionality in the next couple of months. If you have ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see in MyScheduler, please let our support crew know and they will relay the message to the LibCal product team.

LibStaffer 2.6 Update Coming Soon!

Continuing with our bevy of updates, the LibStaffer 2.6 update will be rolled out to all regions by end of day Thursday, March 15th. This update brings:

  • LibCal/LibStaffer Integration
  • Split Shift Feature
  • Expanded Working Hours
  • App Performance Improvements
  • Additional Quality of Life Improvements

Want to see these new features in action? Join us Thursday, March 22nd at 12:30pm ET for our Brunch & Learn series!

LibCal/LibStaffer Integration

Don’t you love it when the tools you use every day talk to each other seamlessly? Us too, which is why we’re thrilled to introduce the new LibCal/LibStaffer integration. With this release, you can now sync your “busy” times – ie times when you’re scheduled for a shift in LibStaffer, and/or times when you have an appointment booked via MyScheduler – between the two platforms, so scheduling conflicts are prevented from the get-go! Here’s how it works:

In LibStaffer: To bring your busy MyScheduler times from LibCal into LibStaffer, head to Edit My Account > Enable LibCal MyScheduler Sync. Once enabled, any appointments that are booked with you via MyScheduler will be reflected in LibStaffer, so admins will be alerted to the existing appointment as they assign staff to shifts, and the auto-scheduler will not assign you to shifts that occur at that same time.

In Libcal: To bring your scheduled shifts from LibStaffer into MyScheduler, in Libcal, head to MyScheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Enable LibStaffer Shift Sync. Once enabled, your assigned shifts from LibStaffer will automatically block out your availability in MyScheduler, so patrons can’t book time with you when you’re scheduled for a shift. Your assigned shifts will also display as “Busy” in your MyScheduler availability grid on the admin side, similar to “Busy in Outlook” or “Busy in Google Calendar”.

Split Shifts

Huge news for folks who’d like to allow staff members to give up or swap a portion of an assigned shift – we’re adding a new schedule-level setting to “split” an assigned shift into 2 shifts. Now, instead of needing to give up or swap that entire shift, a staff member can split their shift in two, so they can give up or swap just the portion that needs coverage. On the admin side, the shift will then be represented as 2 separate blocks in the schedule, so it’s easy to keep track of who’s working which portion of the shift. To enable this setting for your schedules, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Modify Schedule > Allow Staff to Split Shifts.

Expanded Working Hours

Working hours are what allow your staff members to input their own availability time into LibStaffer, so ex you’re available to work between 9am-12pm and then again from 1pm-5pm. Previously, we’ve capped working hours at 2 “blocks”, but we’ve heard your feedback that this can be too restrictive. In this release we’re expanding working hours to support up to 5 blocks, to give your staff the flexibility to define the hours that are right for them. To edit your working hours, head to Edit Account > Manage Working Hours.

App Performance Improvements

We’ve been hard at work on LibStaffer’s performance behind the scenes, and in this release we’re implementing a number of improvements designed to ensure LibStaffer is responsive and snappy, even in the largest systems.

Additional Quality of Life Updates

More protections when deleting/clearing shifts – We’ve updated the delete/clear shift modal windows, so it’s more clear exactly what will change once the delete action occurs. Now, when you choose to delete or clear a shift, we’ll display a full list of all of the impacted shifts and shift assignments for you to review before fully committing to the action.

Mobile Optimization for the Dashboard – We’ve also updated the tables in the LibStaffer Dashboard, so users logging in with a mobile device can view their upcoming shift assignments and claim/swap shifts with ease.

LibCal 2.14 Release Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.14 release is coming to all server regions by end of day Thursday, March 15th, 2018. This release brings possibly the most important/biggest new features in the past 12 months. To wit:

  • System-wide Categories for Event Calendars, including 2-level deep category structure
  • Age/Audience filter when browsing/searching for Events
  • Revamped Calendar & Event Statistics with loads of useful indicators
  • Improved Spaces & Equipment Statistics with updated occupancy ratios, and more
  • Fully accessible version of Spaces bookings page
  • Qualify-of-life improvements throughout the system

Want to see these new features in action? Join us Thursday, March 22nd at 12:30pm ET for our Brunch & Learn series!

System-wide Categories for Calendars & 2-level Deep Structure

Now you can define Categories on the system level and make them apply to every Calendar you define. With these System-wide categories you can also run category statistics for events spanning multiple calendars. Head to Admin > Calendars > Categories to define the list of system-wide categories. On the statistics reports, the system-wide category statistics will collect event stats across all relevant calendars. Tres cool and incredibly useful!

2-level Categories – For example, you can now create a top-level category for “Languages” with sub-categories for “French”, “Spanish”, “Italian”, etc. In the public UI, system-wide categories are seamlessly integrated with your existing categories, so patrons can target exactly the events they’d like to attend, across all calendars in your system. And of course, these new categories can be used to filter data in the new Calendar & Event Statistics mentioned above, so you can view information on total number of events and event registrations by category, in one calendar or across all calendars in your system.

Age/Audience Calendar Filters

In addition to our new 2 level categories, we’re also adding a new system-wide Age/Audience category, to help target your events for a particular age group or audience (like children vs teens vs adults, or faculty vs first-year students vs all students, etc). Age/Audience categories can be applied to events in public calendars across your site, and are also included as part of the stats update, so you can filter statistics on total events and event registrations for a particular Age/Audience category.

Please Note: If you’ve previously customized your calendar and event templates, you’ll need to update your customized template to include the new Age/Audience filters and tags, or they won’t display on the public side of the system. To do this, head to Calendar > Settings > Display Options > Public Calendar Settings and add the following code in the template where you’d like the Audience tag/filter to appear (or just click “Restore Default Template”):

Event Listing/Search Results Template:

{{#audiences.0}} <dt>Audience:</dt> <dd>{{#audiences}} <span class=”label” style=”background-color:{{color}}”> <a href=”{{calendar_url}}&t=d&cal%5B%5D={{calendar_id}}&audience%5B%5D={{id}}”>{{name}}</a> </span>   {{/audiences}} </dd> {{/audiences.0}}

Monthly Calendar Template:

{{#audiences.0}} <dt>Audience</dt> <dd>{{#audiences}}<span class=’label’ style=’background-color:{{color}}’>{{name}}</span> {{/audiences}}</dd> {{/audiences.0}}

Revamped Calendar & Event Statistics

We’ve completely revamped the event and calendar statistics areas and added new reports and additional charts and tables to give you an in-depth view of your event attendance, registrations, and interest levels. There are extensive charts and graphs to display things like number of events per month, by day of the week, and by hour of the day, as well as event registrations per month, by day of the week, and by hour of the day, etc. We’ve also added distribution data for site-wide data points, including things like Category, Audience, and Campus/location distribution, so you can see high level information about all of your events at a glance. We’re also including robust filters as part of these new stats pages, so you can drill down and view the above statistics by date range, or for a specific category, audience, campus, presenter, etc. To check out the all new stats once the update goes live, head to Stats > Calendars & Events.

Improved Equipment & Spaces Statistics

We’ve retooled the statistics for Equipment and Spaces, making them easier to navigate and adding new reports to boot. We’ve expanded reporting for Occupancy statistics (Spaces) and Availability statistics (Equipment), to give the full picture of resource usage vs availability – and even better, these are no longer limited to just the past 2 weeks of data, so you can view Occupancy and Availability statistics for any date range. To check out the new stats, head to Stats > Equipment/Spaces.

Other Improvements/New Features

Updated Equipment/Space Booking Forms – We’re updating the way in which we handle creating an equipment or space booking form. We realized that the previous priority ranking-based method of question ordering caused a fair bit of cognitive overload to determine the order of questions. So we’ve simplified things – we’ve removed the notion of priority ranking and moved toward a more GUI approach, so the order of questions is determined by the order they appear on the edit booking form page. We still support adding questions that should be shown only if a particular item or space is booked (like ex, if someone reserves the proton laser, then include the question “Have you been trained on how to use the proton laser?”), but these will now display in a more defined order, ie we’ll show location level questions first, then questions associated with the category, then questions associated with an item or space.

Accessible Version of Spaces page – For users navigating your site using screen readers, navigating the graphic interface of the availability grid can present a challenge. To help make things easier, we’ve added a new accessible-friendly version of the Spaces availability page, so users can book a space without needing to navigate through each cell in the availability grid to determine what’s available. Users accessing your site with a screenreader will see a link displayed at the top of the page for an Alternate Page for Screenreader Users. This page will present your space availability in a format that’s easier to navigate – instead of the availability grid, the patron will see a series of dropdown filters and then a list view of available times

Updated Hours Management for Equipment/Spaces – We’ve updated the Location level hours page, to make the process of assigning custom hours (aka hours that differ from the overall Location level hours) more streamlined, so all hours within a Location can be managed from one place. To see this in action, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Manage Hours.

Smarter caching for the hours module – Now, if you edit the hours for a library or department, those changes will be reflected in the hours widgets right away, instead of needing to wait for the cache to expire.

Upcoming Events Widgets: Events will now expire/disappear from upcoming events widgets based on the time that the event ends, instead of at the event start time

Preview for Events in Draft Mode, so you can view what an event page will look like prior to fully publishing the event. To view the event preview, head to Calendars > Click the event to bring up the event modal > Select the eye icon.