Archive for Talia

LibGuides Courseware Integration with Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle and more!

In 2016, 6,359,121 students took at least one online class (Digital Learning Compass: Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017, Babson Survey Research Group).

This figure represents 31.6% of all higher education enrollments and has increased 17.2% since 2012.

All signs indicate that this figure will continue to grow – more and more students will be taking online courses.

Does the library have a presence in your courseware tool?

From SnapChat to Email… from Instagram to student portals… your students have a lot of web resources that they access. They are so inundated with text-messages, emails, announcements, snaps, instas, and posts that they’ve streamlined the websites they access to only the most important, the most relevant, to get their work done. And if they’re taking an online course, their course portal page is probably at the top of a very short list.

If your library doesn’t have a native presence right inside their course pages… do you think they’ll visit the library website externally to get their assignments done? If you’re lucky, then yes! …but most students seek the path of least resistance. The easiest, most ‘Google-like’ resources to get their assignment done.

If you want to put the library front and center, both in their mind’s eye and in front of their literal eyeballs, then having a presence right inside their course pages is the way to go. It’s a win-win for everyone! Promote course-specific resources natively inside their course pages. Students see easy-to-access library resources right when and where they need them the most, and you get to boost your usage stats by embedding the library right at point of need.

Not Just for ‘Online-Only’ Students

More than just ‘online-only’ students are accessing a courseware tool, like Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, Desire2Learn, or Canvas. More often than not, they’re accessing them as part of a hybrid class (half virtual/half face-to-face) or even as a supplemental tool in face-to-face classes for professors to share resources and receive assignment submissions.

All their course-specific resources are right inside their courseware tool. From assignments, syllabi, discussion boards for online discussions, even the ability to ask their professor a question and upload their assignments. Everything they need is right there. Is your library right there, too?

The Library at Their Fingertips, Literally

The LTI Tool Builder allows you to embed your LibGuides content natively inside courseware, so students can easily find your content right inside their Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Canvas, or Sakai course.

LibGuides CMS customers can embed Guides, Database Assets, and E-Reserves Courses (if they subscribe to the E-Reserves module).

LibGuides customers who also subscribe to the E-Reserves module can embed E-Reserves Courses.

There are two ways to integrate content:

1. Manual Method

The Manual LTI method allows you to embed Guide content, Database A-Z links, and/or E-Reserves Courses (with E-Reserves Subscription) right into a Course. You’ll have various customization options along with the ability to embed an entire LibGuide, a page within a Guide, or even a single box (great for embedding a discovery layer search box or a LibChat widget!).

The Manual LTI Method, is well, manual. So you’ll have to navigate to each course and choose which Guide content you want to display.

2. Automagic Method

The Automagic method is nothing short of magical. Once the Automagic tool and your courseware platform have ‘shaken hands’, your Springshare content automagically displays in each course. Exactly what displays for each course depends upon the metadata you’ve added to your LibGuides site (in order to match courses to guides, etc.) & the customization options you’ve selected in LibApps. So the content that displays inside the course pages is controlled by you, right from your LibGuides CMS system.

Plus, the Automagic method allows you to share much more than just Guide content! You’ll have the option to create an entire Library Resources page right inside your Courseware tool and embed a variety of Springshare resources:

  1. Guide content
  2. Subject-specific A-Z Databases & Subject Expert Profiles
  3. E-Reserves Courses (E-Reserves Subscription required)
  4. Ask-a-Librarian LibChat Widget (LibAnswers subscription required)
  5. FAQ Search Box (LibAnswers subscription required)
  6. Book a Study Room / Request one-on-one Librarian Appointments (LibCal subscription required)

The best part of the Automagic tool is that it’s scalable. Work with your courseware administrators to embed it right into the course shell(s) and then control what displays for each individual course right from your LibGuides CMS system via metadata. Each time the course shell is copied for a new course, your Library Resources page is automatically created and updated to reflect the new course information via the metadata.

The Automagic tool has a few options, so be sure to spend time on the LTI Automagic page inside LibApps. Choose from either the Stepped Search or the Translation Table. Customize your Library Landing Page and be sure to Preview it to see how it will look in your LMS.

Working with a specific courseware tool? We have some FAQs to help!

Who’s Using the LTI Tool?

If you’re looking for examples of Libraries using the Automagic LTI Tool, we’ve got em! Learn how Penn State University embedded the Library into over 30,000 online courses each semester. They’ve even written about this project in the July 2018 issue of Library Technology Reports (Vol. 54 Iss.5).

Marymount University Librarians recently presented at the July 25 SpringyCamp (Springshare’s Virtual User Conference) on how they used the LibGuides CMS LTI Tool to increase student usage, foster collaboration, and support online programs.

Need Help?

Springshare always has your back – which is why we’ve setup a custom group of FAQs to address all your LTI (both Manual and Automatic) questions.

Plus, we have recordings available of our online training sessions. So be sure to watch, and rewatch if needed, to see the LTI tool in action.

SpringyCamp 2018: Recordings Available & Sign-Up for Session 3!

SpringyCamp Summer Series 2018 is in full-force! And while Sessions One and Two are over (we’ll never forget the times we sang around the campfire), there is still more ‘Camp to be had!

What’s SpringyCamp?

SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference where Springshare users share how they’re using Springy Tools inside their library. Get inspired, receive practical tips and applications…all from the comfort of your computer.

Learn about best practices for building LibGuides, embedding the library into the curriculum, setting up a virtual badge program, and more. And bonus, the virtual s’mores are calorie-free!

Register for SpringyCamp 2018 Session 3 August 15 1pm to 3:15pm US Eastern Time

  • Date: Wed, August 15 – 1:00pm – 3:15pm U.S. ET
  • View Presenter Lineup: Summer Session 3 Basecamp
  • Register for Session 3: Sign-Up today, it’s free!
  • Cost: 100% Completely Free! Exclusive event for Springshare Customers only.
  • Audience: All user-levels and library-types are welcome to join!

‘Camp Lives On… In Our Memories

Missed Summer Session 1 and 2? No worries, all SpringyCamps are recorded! Access presenter materials, recommended websites, and more.

These Libraries Are Fully-Equipped < /pun>

Pardon the pun, but we just couldn’t keep ourselves in check. We were too busy checking out these awesome uses of LibCal’s Equipment booking module, and we just couldn’t reserve our excitement.

Cue the groans. 😛

But in all seriousness, we get lots of folks asking us for examples of libraries using our tools. So, we’d like to highlight a few different types of libraries, from all over the world, using the LibCal Equipment Booking module.

 

Academic Library: Milwaukee School of Engineering

Circulating Molecular Models

The Walter Schroeder Library at the Milwaukee School of Engineering was an early adopter of the LibCal Equipment Booking Module, and their use-case is absolutely fascinating. They use it to manage online reservations of their molecular models, which they ship all over the country to their students. Their loan time is three weeks, which includes two weeks of expected shipping time. They’re able to manage these reservations and the additional padding all from within the Equipment Module. Additionally, their custom reservation form includes all the important mailing information, so the library can cut down on the back-and-forth and get right to the business of shipping out the models.

Want to hear more about how the Walter Schroeder Library manages these long-distance reservations? Check out their ALA-MW 2017 flash presentation lead by librarian Denise Gergetz. You can also download her presentation slides.

Circulating Molecular Models…Long Distance!

 

Public Library: Pioneer Library System

Circulating Costumes, Blue Blocks, & More

Just looking at the super-cool stuff the Pioneer Library System is circulating with their LibCal Equipment Module makes me want to be a patron of this library! Not only can their patrons reserve maker space items like littleBits and access to their 3D printer, but they also have button makers, jewelry making tools, and costumes! With the ability to manage different reservation timeframes for each type of item and with big, colorful images to advertise the cool stuff they have at the library, we can see why the Pioneer Public Library System’s LibCal Equipment Booking Module is busy busy busy!

The Pioneer Public Library has amazing usage of their Equipment. Look at all that red!

 

Public Library: Tiverton Public Library

Circulating Museum Passes

When you think of ‘Equipment’ it’s easy to get hung up on physical stuff. But, that’s not always the case! The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Education Center has a ton of museum and zoo passes that are available to their patrons. They’re using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module to manage circulation of those items.

Using Equipment Bookings to Manage Circulation of Library & Museum Passes!

 

K12 Library: Scotch College in Australia

Circulating Media Equipment… with a Twist

Although Scotch College School for Boys in Australia might be using LibCal Equipment Bookings to circulate more “traditional” library items, their customizations are anything but traditional. Using LibCal’s built-in code libraries and flexible customization features, the librarians at Scotch College are able to put a little pizazz on their visual equipment catalog. Simply hover over any of the pieces of equipment; notice how the item just jumps off the page? Its that little bit extra that makes their LibCal Equipment Booking catalog pop, literally.

Gorgeous hover effect adds a pop of pizazz to Scotch College’s Equipment Catalog.

 

If you’d like to learn more about LibCal’s Equipment Booking Module or more examples of Libraries using it, please contact us.

GDPR, Your Data, New Privacy Tools… So Much Good Stuff

We live and breathe libraries, so we know very well how important privacy issues are to you, our clients. Even before GDPR-related conversations sprung (no pun intended 😉 to the forefront, Springshare has always been very careful with handling our customers’ data. We’ve never used customer data for profit or shared it with any third party. We are pleased that the rest of the world (well, at least the EU part of the world) is catching up and valuing user privacy with the same vigor and care as libraries have done all along.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced on May 25, 2018. We took this opportunity to review our privacy policies, procedures, and functionality to ensure that Springshare – and our client institutions – are in full compliance.

This is what we’re doing to that effect:

  • GDPR Compliance. Our GDPR Compliance Plan explains our relationship with our customers and users, and the specific steps we’re taking to ensure compliance – both for Springshare and our client libraries.
  • Emails You Receive from Springshare. Your privacy extends to the emails you receive from us. We will continue to send important operational emails to users, but communications including the Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements will only come to you if you explicitly opt-in.
    • You do not need to do anything now. We’ll contact you in the coming weeks on ways you can opt-in to receive Springshare emails.
    • If you don’t respond to the forthcoming opt-in emails, don’t worry. We’ll consider that you opted-out of these emails, but you’ll be able to opt-in at any time on your “My Account” page (after May 25).

New Privacy Control Features Extend to All Clients

It’s worth emphasizing that these new “GDPR features”, as explained in our GDPR Compliance Plan, will be available to all our client institutions around the world, come May 25. In other words, we are not limiting the GDPR-related privacy features of our tools to our EU clients only. Any library using Springshare tools anywhere in the world can take advantage of these new privacy-related features.

Thank you for trusting Springshare to handle your data with transparency and care. If you have any questions about these changes to our products or our policies, please feel free to contact our support crew or email your Springshare account manager directly. Interacting with our clients is the best part of our day.

Springshare’s California Dreamin… and Giveaway’in

The Mamas and the Papas aren’t the only ones dreaming about California, we are too! Springshare’s heading to two, count them two, conferences in the sunny state.

We’re not only exhibiting, but we’re also hosting several workshops.

If you’re attending either of these conferences, be sure to check out Springy Michelle’s presentation/workshop schedule. You’ll learn a ton and have fun…what’s not to love?

And, we’re giving away a free registration to the CARL conference for one lucky Springy user.


SCELC Vendor Day

When: March 8, 2018

Where: Loyola Marymount University

Springy Michelle will present on two awesome Springshare tools, in Room 1222, so don’t miss out!

  1. Getting More Out of LibGuides / LibGuides CMS: 10am – 10:40am in Room 1222
    • Find out about new LibGuides features! Using the A-Z Database List provides a powerful interface for your patrons to browse, sort, search, and share your library’s research databases. Behind the scenes, it also gives you helpful tools to make managing your databases easier than ever before.
  2. LibCal: Equipment, Events, and Spaces. Oh My!: 10:50am – 11:30am in Room 1222
    • Make Reserving Equipment, Spaces and Managing Events Easy. Looking to check out more than books? Our Equipment Module lets you check out anything to your users! From laptops to cameras to cables to cookie sheets. Want to make your rooms easier to access and reserve? Our new Spaces Module lets you check out a space and the equipment to go along with it.

CARL 2018 Conference

When: April 13-15, 2018

Where: Pulman San Francisco Bay Hotel

Free Registration Giveaway! We are giving one lucky Springshare client FREE registration to attend the CARL 2018 conference. Email us at news@springshare.com to be entered in the drawing. All entries must be received by March 8th and we will draw the winning name on Friday March 9th. The small print, the giveaway covers only the cost of conference registration and not housing. You must attend the conference and share the highlights in an upcoming Springy Webcast.

Pre-Conference Workshop: LibGuides Best Practices Boot Camp: 8am – 12pm, April 13 in the Grand Salon. Conference registration required to attend.

It’s time to get your LibGuides site in shape! Get ready to get down and dirty as we take apart LibGuides and see how to build better, more organized, and more visually appealing guides. We will even discuss using LibGuide CMS to power your website. You will need to be a System Admin to access all of the tools we will be covering in the session. A basic understanding of CSS and HTML is recommended.

2018 Is All About… You!

While some companies might have a customer appreciation month, Springshare is all about having a customer appreciation year.

2018 is all about you… our awesome’sauce Springy rockstar users. We want to hear how you’re using Springshare tools, and we want to promote, broadcast, and shout-out your amazing’ness to the entire Springy Universe.

However, we can’t put the proverbial bullhorn to work if we don’t even know how you’re using Springy Tools!

Drop Us a Line And Tell Us What You’re Doing!

To that end, we’ve created a handy-dandy form for you to fill out and let us know how you’re using Springy Tools in your organization.

Submit a Springy Rockstar Proposal

If you’re asking yourself, what kinds of innovative uses of Springy Tools we’re looking for… here are some ideas!

How are you using Springshare v2 Tools to:

  • Communicate library information?
  • Reimagine your Library website?
  • Reach out to users in new & innovative ways?
  • Assess learning?
  • Streamline workflows & processes?
  • Promote interactive & engaging learning experiences?
  • Create a staff intranet or knowledgebase?
  • Save time and money?

How Will You Be Featured?

Well, that depends on you! We have a variety of ways you can be featured from a dedicated client story, to a blog post, to being featured on our website, or hosting a Brunch & Learn, presenting at an upcoming conference (PLA, ALA 2018), or being a SpringyCamp Presenter!

When you fill out the form, just let us know how you want to be featured and we’ll work with you!

Presentation Descriptions

  • Client Story: In-depth interview where we feature your use of Springy Tool(s).
  • PLA Flash Presentation: 15 minute in-person presentation at the PLA Conference. The presentation will be shared via Facebook Live.
  • ALA Flash Presentation: 15 minute in-person presentation at the ALA Conference in New Orleans. The presentation will be shared via Facebook Live.
  • Brunch & Learn: 20 minute virtual presentation (held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at Noon EST). You will work with a Springy to create a tips sheet for attendees.
  • SpringyCamp: 15-20 minute virtual presentation held during our Summer SpringyCamp (June, July & August).
  • Blog/Website: Be featured on our website either a video, testimonial, interview or how-to.
  • ACRL 2019 Flash Presentation: 15 minute in-person presentation at the ACRL Conference in New Orleans. The presentation will be shared via Facebook Live.

ALA-MW 2018 Guest Presentations Now Available Online

If you were #alamw18leftbehind, you not only missed out on beautiful Denver (it snowed!) but also our rocking line-up of guest speakers.

But have no fear, all guest presentations were recorded! So while we can’t bring beautiful Denver to you, you can view those presentations and presenter materials on our ALA-MW 2018 Guest Presentations Buzz Guide.

 

Facebook Notifications

While you’re there, you might notice that all videos are hosted on our Facebook Page. And hey, since you’re there anyway…why not LIKE our Facebook page? </shameless-plug> If you want to receive notifications in your Facebook Feed, you’ll also need to adjust your notifications to ON. This way, you won’t miss out on product updates, video presentations, Facebook Live streaming, and more.

These 15-minute guest presentations by real-life Springshare users will get you thinking about the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Guest Presentations

Shhhhh, Librarians are Talking…@ Springy’s Booth at ALA-MW, Denver

Springshare’s heading to the Mile High City, February 9 – 12. And we’ve got a totally packed schedule of guest speakers, product flash presentations, and kewl schwag to giveaway.

And, we’re Facebook Live recording all our guest presentations! So even if you can’t join us in Denver, you can still participate! To watch, navigate to our Springshare Facebook page (and give us a like while you’re there) at the scheduled presentation time, and tune-in! Remember, all presentations are in Colorado local time, so be sure to adjust for your time-zone accordingly.

Submit your questions via Facebook comments, and we’ll make sure the guest speaker answers your questions… live!

BiblioEvents + Springshare Integration Demo

In case you hadn’t heard, we’ve recently announced a unique integration between BiblioEvents and LibCal’s Spaces bookings. Wanna see how it works? Swing by and watch a live demo of the integration.

Product Flash Presentations

Guest Presentations

We have an extraordinary lineup of 11 presentations by 13 guest presenters. Don’t miss out on seeing how they’re using Springshare tools to reduce workflow friction, power their library website, and provide stellar service. Can’t attend? No worries, like we said above – we’re recording all presentations live on our Facebook page.

Friday, Feb 9: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Margaret Dawson

Texas A&M Univ.: Using LibGuides CMS as our Website
6:00pm – 6:15pm
We use LibGuides CMS to power the Texas A&M University – Central Texas Library Website. I will show how and why we did it and also how LibWizard has helped us with our children’s programs.By using LibGuides and the LibWizard, we are able to be in charge of our own site, instead of letting our IT staff run it.

Lauren Martiere

Joseph Richard

Rocky Vista Univ.: Powering our Website with LibGuides

6:30pm – 6:45pm

Over the course of the last five months, the Library completely reimaged our virtual presence through a complete redesign of our Library’s website using LibGuides. We utilized new features, such as image carousels, the A-Z database page, and the system wide Blog to improve the visibility and accessibility of our collection. The Library’s team explored different avenues of ‘designing on a budget’ by integrating third-party applications using Springshare’s embedded design.


Saturday, Feb 10: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Elyssa Gould

Univ. Tennessee Knoxville: LibAnswers for ER Troubleshooting

11:00am – 11:15am

We strategized, tested, tweaked, and implemented a workflow for how we handle “eproblems” as well as what statistics we capture. We chose the LibAnswers tool and are pleased with how this tool has helped us better streamline our work with access issues, especially in tracking troubleshooting and resolution.

Lynn VanLeer

Walden Univ.: Harness LibAnswers’ Query Spy to Meet User Needs

12:00pm – 12:15pm

In 2016 I categorized and analyzed three months of unsubmitted queries (approximately 30K) for Quick Answers. I wanted to know what users were trying to find but could not. This led to insights about what users were typing into the FAQ box, the creation of new FAQs, and helped with the eventual redesign of the Library website.

Elizabeth DiPrince

Jessica Riedmueller

Univ. of Central Arkansas: Using LibGuides CMS as a Staff Knowledgebase

2:00pm – 2:15pm

We use LibGuide CMS to create a knowledgebase for faculty and staff who work the library’s Reference Desk. In our library, our Reference Desk is covered by 16 faculty and staff who work in different departments in the library and have varied schedules. Communicating information to this group to can be challenging, and the reference LibGuide gave us the opportunity to collect information in one easy-to-use location.

Brianna Buljung

Colorado School of Mines: On the Shoulders of Giants

3:00pm – 3:15pm

How do you coordinate a multi-section information literacy lesson while ensuring all students have a quality experience? With LibGuides, of course! In fall 2017, the Library used a LibGuide for the “Scholarship as Conversation” lesson in the Mines’ Freshman Success Seminar course. Roughly 1200 students, 92 peer mentors and 46 instructors rotated through a 50 minute lesson and library tour over the course of 10 days.


Sunday, Feb 11: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Kelly McCusker

Univ. of Colorado Denver: Supporting Research Workshops through LibGuides

11:00am – 11:15am

Over the past year and a half, Auraria Library has developed a series of workshops to teach research skills to faculty and students. While developing these workshops, the Library created a LibGuide for each workshop to support the workshop content as well as provide further information about the workshop topics.

Kira Litvin

NorthCentral University: Gain Insight on Patrons’ Search Habits

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Query Spy can be a helpful insight into your patrons’ questions and searching habits. I will demonstrate how I review Query Spy for search terms and question phrases that patrons use. I then will integrate the terms as Tags into existing FAQs to increase the chance that they will be discovered in new searches or create new FAQs if not in our system.

Joelle Wren

Pikes Peak Library District: LibGuides for Communication

3:00pm – 3:15pm

PPLD uses LibGuides to communicate and improve accessibility to resources and local information for both staff and patrons, including addressing common reference questions and service needs. This product has also been used to save staff time and create internal training manuals. It has served as an excellent way for us to share information in an organized, user friendly format.

Stephen Arougheti

Arizona State University: Ask-a-Librarian Program

3:30pm – 3:45pm

With a university totaling more than 100,000, ASU Library is confronted with the challenge of connecting a global community to high-quality resources and information professionals; allowing each person to recognize their potential and be successful. The ASU Library implemented the Springshare platform LibAnswers to create an institutional knowledge communication channel called Ask-a-Librarian.


Monday, Feb 12: View Entire Day’s Schedule

Mattias Olshausen

Central Washington Univ.: Innovative Uses of LibGuides

10:00am – 10:15am

A summary of innovative ways in which LibGuides is being used by the librarians, staff, and students of Central Washington University’s Brooks Library. These include use of the program to create pages on CWU yearly programming themes related to social justice, the library’s annual fundraising gala event, and a conference that took place in the library during the summer of 2017.

Protect the Integrity of Your Springy Websites… Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificates

hacker

In our October 2017 SpringyNews Newsletter, we informed Springy users that recent updates to web and mobile browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) mark any HTTP webpage that contains form content as insecure. Meaning that any public webpage containing a search box, LibCal booking form, or LibAnswers Question Submission form will automatically display a ‘Not Secure‘ warning to end users.

The security and privacy of your patron’s data is of prime importance to Springshare. Having any webpage, especially your Springshare-licensed tools, marked as unsecure is not good PR for us or you! You don’t want your patrons thinking your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal websites are untrustworthy.

To that end, we’ve made all v2 products hosted on a Springshare-controlled domain HTTPS enabled. For those of you on a custom domain, we’ve enabled security certificate hosting for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal!

And, we’ve taken it one-step further. If you have a custom domain, we’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide completely free security certificates for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal v2 tools. We’ve made it as easy as 1,2,3 to ensure your Springshare tools are HTTPS secure, trustworthy, and safe for your end-users.

Chrome ‘NOT SECURE’ Warning Message

Why HTTPS Matters

HTTPS secures the communication and data transferred between our servers and your users’ browsers. Hackers and intruders exploit every unprotected resource between your websites and users. And every time a user interacts with your Springshare tool, whether it’s sending a search query through a LibGuides search-box or submitting a LibCal room booking request, they are sending data from that website through the interwebs to our data servers. If any part of your website is loaded over HTTP, that data is unsecure and could potentially be used to exploit other secure parts of your website. So we recommend that all pages, resources, and widgets be loaded securely over HTTPS.

Furthermore, HTTPS doesn’t just block misuse. It’s often a requirement for many browsers.

HTTPS Protects the Integrity of Your Web Presence

HTTPS helps prevent intruders from interfering with the communication between your Springshare websites and your users’ browsers. They exploit HTTP/unprotected communications to trick your users into giving up sensitive information or installing malware. Given the opportunity, they will exploit every resource that travels between your Springshare websites to your users. Resources like images, cookies, scripts, HTML… etc.

Getting a Security Certificate is Important

Security Certificates are provided by reputable and trusted third-party companies that verify your organization and your website transactions. These Certificate Authorities provide a security certificate that proves that the website/domain really belongs to you and nobody else. Essentially, the security certificate is what allows you to put the S in HTTPS.

unlock

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, and its what allows users to access webpages. When you enter in http:// in front of your web address, it tells the browser to connect, fetch, and transfer the requested webpage.

 

lock

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, which uses an encrypted connection when transporting webpage data.

 

My Domain Ends in .libguides.com, .libcal.com, .libanswers.com, etc.

If your v2 system is on a Springshare-owned domain, you’re all set! These domains already have SSL/HTTPS support built-in. So you can update all links to / within your system to HTTPS links now. Learn more about enabling HTTPS for Springshare-owned domains.

Wait, I Have a Custom Domain (ends in .edu, .org, .co.nz, etc.)

If your v2 systems have custom domains (e.g., ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.university.edu), then you must obtain and install an SSL certificate in order to avoid warnings. There are two ways in which you can obtain an SSL certificate.

1. Work with Your Local IT Department

Connect with your IT colleagues to obtain an HTTPS certificate for each custom domain. You own your domain and thereby you own the certificate, too… just install it on our servers when it’s ready.

If – gasp – you ever decide to cancel any of your Springshare tools where you have an HTTPS certificate, you still own your certificate(s) and can move it/them to any other server.

2. Use Our Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificate

We’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt, an industry-leader, to provide free and automated security certificates… right inside your Springshare tool.

LibGuides Users

We’ll do all the hard-work by requesting and installing a free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate for you! Poof, magic! Plus, we’ll automatically renew your ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate. This way, you can spend less time chasing down certificates and more time doing the stuff you need to do. And, if your IT department is going to need a few months before they can get your custom certificate, your site can still be protected with ‘Let’s Encrypt’ in the meantime.

The only thing you need to do on your end is to update your custom domain to point to the secure server. Once you’re pointing to the secure server, we’ll automagically install your free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ security certificate. Check-out this FAQ outlining the secure endpoints for your CNAME record.

If at any point you want to upload your own custom certificate, simply follow these steps.

For LibAnswers/LibCal Users

The first thing you’ll need to do is update your CNAME record to the secure server endpoints. Then, contact our support team about requesting a ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate on your behalf. It’s still free, and you can replace it anytime with your own certificate, but we haven’t fully automated the process… yet!

So, You’ve Added a Security Certificate… What’s Next?

Kudos to you – you’ve taken a huge step in ensuring that your patrons’ experience a safe web experience. But, there’s still a few more things you need to do!

1. Update All Links to HTTPS

Most likely, you’re linking to your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal systems from a variety of websites like your Library homepage, on your blog, your Facebook page, etc.

It’s imperative that you update all references to these systems with the updated HTTPS link. There’s no point in doing all this work to make your Springy tools secure if you’re still pointing to the HTTP/unsecure URL.

Update links to Springy Tools to HTTPS

2. Update Embedded Widgets to HTTPS

Although your site is configured correctly to display over HTTPS, individual pages can still be considered unsecured if they contain content from HTTP sources (such as embedded videos, search widgets, etc.). To prevent this from happening, you will either need to change the content’s source URL to HTTPS, or remove the content from the page.

Be sure to check with your database vendors about getting HTTPS widget code.

We’ve made it as easy, and free, as possible for you to ensure a secure and trustworthy experience for your end users. So, c’mon folks – let’s make sure your Springshare sites are safe and ‘Let’s Encrypt’!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #3: Is Your Library Holi’Ready?

Avoid Holiday Stress

A big part of holiday planning is knowing where to be, and when. You’ve got dinner plans at your friend Tina’s house on the 24th at 6pm and latkes at your cousin Tim’s abode on the last day of Hannukkah. Coordinating all of those invitations and appearances requires a lot of planning and forethought. Will the train be packed at 5pm causing you to be late? Should you take 95N instead of 93N so you can swing by your favorite wine shop for a hostess gift? Can you fit your workplace New Year’s Eve party AND your family’s party on the same night?

Planning, Planning, Planning. Stress, Stress, Stress.

And just imagine, your library guests are under the same amount of pressure as you – plus they’re trying to find time to swing by the library as well! Maybe they’re trying to pick up some light reads to enjoy during the break, or studying for exams, or even attending your super awesome’sauce events! Whatever their reason for swinging by, you want to make sure you’re alleviating and not adding to their stress.

So the question is, is your library Holi’Ready?

Tip #3: Getting Your Library Holi’Ready

Getting your library Holi’ready doesn’t mean elaborate decorations, traveling snack-carts, or tons of holiday events. Good on you if you are (seriously, awesome job!), but even the smallest things can have a big impact and help to reduce the stress your library guests are already under.

Are Your Holiday Hours…. Everywhere?

LibCal-Hours

LibCal Hours Module: Today’s Hours Widget.

Your library hours are probably available on a hundred different webpages. And if you’re updating them to reflect your special holiday schedule, there’s a good chance you’ll miss a few places. And inevitably, a library patron will find that one webpage where the hours haven’t been updated and they’ll show up at your doors at 9pm – well past closed. They’re going to be peeved, upset, and frustrated.

And rightfully so! Most likely, their entire day is planned down to the minute – so if they found a webpage that says you’re going to be open, and then you’re not, that throws their entire day (and probably subsequent days) into the lurch.

A great way to ensure that you’re updating all your webpages to reflect your current library hours is to use the LibCal Hours ModuleThe Hours module let’s you define your standard hours, special holiday hours, and even one-off exceptions like “Aaaccck, we have to close early because a Snowa’caine is coming!”. Simply define all your hours, for all future dates and then grab an hours widget and embed that widget into those aforementioned webpages. As your hours update, day-by-day, the hours module will automagically update.

Say goodbye to outdated webpages showing inaccurate hours and say hello to happy patrons!

Text ‘Holidays’ to Get Library-Related Information

Back in 2011, about 73% of American adults and nearly almost all young adults (95%) send and receive text-messages according to a Pew Research Report. Fast-forward 6 years, and those numbers can only have increased. In fact, Forbes reported in 2015 that Millennials text more and talk less because they see phone calls “as overly intrusive, even presumptuous”.

Bottomline, if they want to communicate with your library – they’d prefer to do it as efficiently as possible and preferably over text-message.

If your library is using LibAnswers, be sure to take advantage of SMS Automatic Keywords. This way, your patrons can text a keyword, like ‘Holiday’, to your library’s SMS number and receive an auto-response with all the relevant information. Navigate to Admin > Queues > Select Your Queue > SMS Tab > SMS Automatic Keywords to set those up.

It’s fast and easy for them, and no staff monitoring of your library’s SMS service to boot. This 2010 interview with Johnson & Wales University Providence shows how their using SMS keywords in the library – it’s an oldie, but goodie!

Be sure to advertise your keywords inside the library and on your webpages too.

Pro-Tip: Update the automatic response periodically to entice your users to text again, and again – always getting new information with each one.

LibAnswers SMS Automatic Responses: Each Keyword gets up to two auto-responses = 300 characters.

Do Librarians Know All Relevant Holiday Information?

If you’re anything like most Americans, you suffer from inbox fatigue. You’re inundated with emails – whether it’s newsletters, marketing emails, SPAM, or internal communication that could have been done f2f, your inbox is exploding. In fact, 205 billion emails are sent every day. Yup, that’s billion…. with a B. 

Can you remember the last time you achieved inbox zero? For some folks, that day is yet to come.

So, if you’re trying to communicate important holiday information – try and give your colleagues a break and take it outside of email. Getting your library Holi’ready means getting your staff ready too.

1. Use Your Admin Alert Boxes!

Inside your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibStaffer tools – you have access to an Admin Alert box. Head over to Admin > Admin Alert Box or System-Settings (depending on the tool).

This way, your colleagues can see custom alerts letting them know about important holiday information like hours, food drives, events, etc.

LibAnswers Admin Alert Box right on the Dashboard.

 

2. Discussion Boards in LibGuides (CMS Only)

For LibGuides CMS users, you have access to an internal discussion board. This is great for housing and storing internal discussions related to this holiday season – such as staffing schedules, holiday staff parties, and what types of events to throw at the library.

LibGuides CMS discussion boards are searchable and can be keyword tagged for sorting/filtering. So if you’re trying to remember, “What were our holiday hours last year?” you can simply login, filter on your keyword ‘Holiday’ and see the entire discussion thread and final resolution.

Remember, email was never intended to be a permanent archive – so if you’ve got saved emails in your inbox from 2008, it might be time to consider an alternative approach. 😛

LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards to Create an Internal/Searchable Staff Intranet

 

If you have any additional suggestions for getting your library holi’ready, comment below!

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing tips’! Hopefully you enjoyed Tips #1 and #2 and tune in next year when we do it again!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!