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LibStaffer Update Coming Soon!

A really big – and important – LibStaffer update is on its way to production servers on Monday, October 15th, 2018 (US Eastern Time), and will be live in all regions by the end of the day. Why is this release so big and important? Two words: Workflow Forms.

Workflow Forms

This new functionality in LibStaffer has the potential to greatly streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms. Everyone agrees collecting info via forms is useful – there are tons of use-cases for forms when it comes to staffing: Forms for Job (or Volunteer) application, Equipment requests, Professional Development requests, Travel requests, Consent forms, Onboarding forms, Staff suggestions forms, Vacation/Time off request forms… we could go on and on, but you get the idea. It’s easy to whip up a basic form using any number of online tools. But what happens after the form is filled out? That part is still largely manual and prone to errors, delays, confusion, inaction, etc. That’s where our new Workflow Forms functionality comes in.

Workflow Forms enable LibStaffer admins to create a customized online form for staff use, and then goes further to facilitate the entire lifecycle of the form after the initial submission. The form sends automatic email notifications to various staff members based on selected values within form fields. You can create “stages” for each Workflow Form so different staff are notified whenever a form reaches a given stage. You decide who can review submissions, and then those staff members can leave notes and communicate internally regarding the content of form submissions… At the end of this you have a full history and audit trail of each form submission and the workflow/history around it – who assigned which stage to a given form, who left notes about it, etc. For compliance and record keeping reasons itself this Workflow Forms functionality is worth its weight in gold.

Let’s take one obvious use-case scenario – an online application for a student workers or volunteers. Create your customized form with any number of fields/options, and even include a file upload field so applicants can submit their resume as part of the form submission. Tres cool! One of the fields could be a list of checkboxes indicating which position the person is interested in, and each checkbox could alert a different staff member of the submission – circulation desk applications go to jane@, the archives application interest can go to john@, info desk applications go to michelle@ etc.  You would then assign “Stages” that each submission goes through e.g. “New Application / In Review / Qualifications Match / Interview Conducted / Accepted / Denied” and each Stage has its own notifications setup, too. As reviewers put applications through its paces they can leave notes on each “touch” and communicate/exchange info and thoughts about the application. The full notes history and Stages changelog is there for for all authorized users see, for audit compliance and transparency.

Then, upon successfully hiring new student workers or volunteers, you can create another Workflow Form to be used for onboarding them! There are so many potential use-cases to put Workflow Forms to good use at your library. We’re incredibly excited about this functionality and we know you will be as well, once you start playing with it. You’ll arrive at many a-ha moments after you realize how many of your current form-based workflows can be moved online and improved upon with the LibStaffer’s new Workflows Forms.

Additional Updates

In addition to the all new Workflows functionality, we have even more features to share with you in this release.

  • Clock In/Out Dashboard – We’ve added a high level overview to show all staff members the current clock in/out status for every user in your system, so everyone is on the same page about their colleague’s current status. To view the new Dashboard, select View Staff Current Status from the LibStaffer dashboard.
  • Updated Regular-level Schedule View – We’ve updated the schedule view that regular level users see when they log in, so the selector menus for viewing other dates, schedules, etc. will now look the same for both admin and regular level users.
  • Scheduled Shifts Report Update – We’ve made a small tweak to the Scheduled shifts report and will now display the total number of hours a user has been assigned to within the time period you specify. To see this in action, admins can head to Reports > Scheduled Shifts.
  • Time Clock Report Updates – We’ve added an “All Staff” view to time clock reports, so you can view a report for all staff members who are part of a particular schedule. We’ve also updated the way that time displays in these reports – rather than just displaying information in minutes, we’re now displaying in hours and minutes, so it’s easier to understand how much time you’re looking at.
  • Elevated Regular Level Users can now edit and delete approved time off for users on schedules they manage. To see this in action, these users can now head to the Time Off page and will be able to see, edit, and update requests that have been approved.
  • Updated Working Hours – We’ve updated the way Working Hours are entered, so it’s now possible to fully clear out hours that you’ve previously entered. To manage your working hours, head to Manage Account > Working Hours.
  • And we have a couple of Bug Fixes to share:
    • Auto Scheduler will no longer schedule staff members who previously belonged to a schedule, were favorited for particular shifts, but have since been deleted from the schedule.
    • We’ve fixed an issue where, in specific circumstances, the Auto Scheduler would sometimes assign the same person to the same shift twice

Upcoming Training

To learn about the all new Workflow Forms, or get a refresher on using LibStaffer, sign up for our upcoming training sessions!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:00-3:00pm (ET) LibStaffer: Setting up Your System with Workflow Forms

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 2:00-2:45pm (ET): LibStaffer for Employees

LibAnswers 2.23 Update Coming Soon!

The LibAnswers 2.23 update is on its way to you this week, and will be released in all regions by the end of the day on Thursday October 11th, 2018. This update is all about refinements to the new chat operator interface. We’ve been listening to your feedback and are implementing several great features to streamline answering and keeping track of chats. Read on for the details!

New Chat Dashboard Updates

  • Pop-out Chat View – We’re adding a new viewing option that makes it easier to view multiple chats at the same time – the new Multi Chat View option displays all incoming and internal chats “popped out” in the chat operator screen, so you can move windows, resize, and keep an eye on multiple conversations at once. To use the new view, head to the Settings tab in the Operator Console and select “View Chats in Multi Chat Overlay”. To make this your default view every time you log in, head to Edit Account > Chat Settings and choose “View Chats in Multi Chat Overlay”.
  • Smoother Chat Claiming – We’ve added a handy “Claim” button in the lefthand list of chats, to both help indicate which chats need to be claimed, and make it easier to claim a chat with just one click. In addition, chats waiting to be claimed will always be displayed at the top of the chats list, so they’re more obvious.
  • Departments: Who’s Online – Department chats now include a full list of “Who’s in this chat”, so you know everyone who could be part of a department chat along with their current online/offline status. To see who’s online, click on the department chat then select Department Members.
  • Chat Styles – We’ve updated the Chat Operator typing pane to support basic HTML styles (bold, italic, and underline) without needing to type in the actual HTML. Use the new button options in the chat pane to style your text and make your chats more expressive.
  • Scrub Internal Chat Messages – If you’d prefer not to save and display internal chat history indefinitely, you now have the option to clear the internal chat history after X days. To set this option, Admins can head to Admin > LibChat Set-up > Scrub Internal Chat Messages. By setting this option, all internal chats (include sitewide chat, department chats, and op-to-op chats) will be deleted and cannot be retrieved. Also note that this does not impact patron chats – to scrub patron chats, contact our support team.
  • Chat Transcripts Include Custom Pre-Chat Questions – Now when you view and/or export chat transcripts, we’ll include the contents from any pre-chat questions the patron may have answered before the chat began.
  • Updated Dashboard Notifications – We’ve tweaked the dashboard notification messages to clarify between new chats and new tickets.
  • And we have a couple of Bug Fixes to share:
    • Now, when you add a chat to Reference Analytics, the chat question and answer fields will be included in the correct Reference Analytics fields, rather than both being added to the Question field
    • New chat sound notifications will now sound for both chats you’re looking at currently as well as chats that you’re not currently looking at.
    • We’ve fixed an issue where Internal Notes added when a chat is closed were not being appended to the chat transcript.
    • And we’ve fixed an issue on the new chat dashboard where Idle Messages weren’t being displayed in the proper time period – now they’ll display as expected.

Ticket & FAQ Updates

  • Edit Patron Contact Info – We’ve added a simple editing interface so you can now edit the patron information (including name, email address, or SMS number). This is particularly helpful for patrons that prefer to go by a different name, or have multiple email addresses that should be considered part of the same record. To edit a patron’s contact info, on the ticket answer page, select User History > Patron Contact Info.
  • Replies to Really Old Tickets = New Tickets – We’re here to help you in the fight against zombie tickets – now, you can choose to treat a new reply to a ticket from X months ago as a new ticket. This is meant to help particularly with email ticket chains, where the patron may be replying to an old email thread with a brand new question. Breaking the ticket out into its own ticket is helpful both for your site statistics (because odds are these are truly new questions and should be counted as such) as well as equitable question distribution (so the same person doesn’t wind up owning a ticket that could potentially span years). To set this new setting, Admins can head to Admin > System Settings > General > Break Replies into New Tickets.
  • File Uploads When Transferring – We now support file uploads when transferring a ticket to another user.
  • Bug Fix for Required Ticket Fields – Previously, in some limited circumstances, it was possible for the patron to submit a new ticket to your system without completing a required field (such as the Question field). We’ve fixed this issue so you should no longer see the occasional ticket that doesn’t include a question.
  • Save FAQ Content While Editing – We’re improving the FAQ creation experience by automatically saving the content you enter in the RTE, while you edit. This is super useful if, like our own Springy Tim, you have a habit of accidentally navigating away from the Create FAQ page in the midst of editing your content – now, if this happens, just return to the FAQ page you were working on and your content will still be there.

Register for LibAnswers Training or watch training recordings to learn more about the new LibChat interface & all LibAnswers functionality!

LibCal 2.17 Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.17 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day Thursday September 20th, 2018. This release brings loads of usability improvements, including a new bulk event publishing option, refinements for the new Appointments functionality, and so much more!

Calendars/Events:

  • Bulk Event Publishing – We’ve added several new features to the Event Explorer page, including an all new bulk publish function! Bulk publish or unpublish multiple events at once, and use the handy new publication status filter to easily find the events you need to update. To check out this new option, head to the Event Explorer page within your Calendar.
  • Event Templates Update – We’re adding additional information to the Event Templates screen, so you can see at a glance which templates have particular categories/audiences assigned and search by these parameters. Admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Event Templates to check out the new format.
  • Updated Event Location Selector – We’ve updated the Location selector menu on the add event page so it’s clearer which Space Location is associated with each category. Now, instead of just seeing the category name listed, you’ll see the format Location Name – Category Name, followed by the relevant spaces. To check this out, head to the add/edit event page and choose a location.

Appointments Updates

  • Upcoming Appointments – We’ve updated the Upcoming Appointments area  to more clearly distinguish between past and future appointments, and we’ve added a quick switch button so you can easily swap between past and future view. To check this out, head to your Appointments landing page.
  • Low Availability Alerts – You’ll now see an alert message on the LibCal homepage when your availability is about to run out, so there are no gaps in availability for your patrons.
  • Clarified Appointment vs Padding: We’ve updated several spots in the Appointments UI to more clearly distinguish between the amount of time assigned to a specific appointment with a patron vs the padding time around that appointment.
  • Export Booking Form Responses – We’re updating the export in the Appointment Booking Explorer so, if you’ve limited to viewing just one person, exporting the results will include any booking form responses. To export this info, head to the Appointment Booking Explorer.
  • Outlook Sync’d Events now include the patron’s booking form responses as well.
  • We’ve fixed a bug on the Appointments Group Landing Page – previously the group description wasn’t displaying as expected, this should now be back to normal.

Spaces/Equipment:

  • Switch Space/Equipment Reservation – We’re adding support for switching an existing space/equipment reservation to another space/piece of equipment. To access this feature, head to the Equipment or Spaces page, select an existing booking, and click the edit button – you’ll now have an option to switch this reservation to a similar item or space.
  • Booking Overlap Prevention – We’ve fixed an issue that made it possible to double book events that included setup/teardown padding in a particular space – availability is now being checked properly, and you’ll see a number of alert messages to prevent these accidental double bookings.
  • We’ve fixed a bug with Exchange Sync’d Spaces where, in a very particular set of circumstances, exchange bookings could duplicate themselves in LibCal. This is now resolved and any former duplicate bookings have been cleaned up.
  • And we’ve fixed a bug on the Spaces Booking Explorer – the Group by Room filter wasn’t returning the correct results, and now it will!

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.