Archive for Talia

Tips & Tricks for the Remote-First World

As more and more schools are closing, events are being canceled, buildings are shutting their doors, and people are remote-working where possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve… your organization is facing a critical and time-sensitive situation. How do you provide virtual services to your patrons?

Here at Springshare, we know you’re under a lot of pressure and we’re here to help you adjust quickly and ensure that your library can provide effective support to online learners and community members that cannot physically be in the library. But first things first, we want to assure you that your Springshare Service will continue uninterrupted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Academic & K12 Institutions

With most, if not all, courses at your institution being taught online, it’s important for your library to be where your students are. Whether that means embedding library services and content in courseware or providing remote research consultations…. if they’re remote, you need to be remotely accessible too.

Courseware Integration – Adding LibGuides, LibAnswers Live Chat, and LibCal Scheduling Services

We’ve written this stellar FAQ on three different ways you can embed your LibAnswers and LibChat content in your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, and other LTI-compliant courseware tools.

The first method outlines using LibGuides CMS’ LTI-integration which allows you to embed not only a LibAnswers FAQ search box and a live LibChat widget, but also links to related LibGuides, LibCal appointment scheduler for online/remote research consultations, content-specific library databases, and more.

LibGuides CMS LTI Tool – creating a Library Resources page in Canvas with LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal.

If LibGuides CMS is not in the cards, don’t worry – the other two ways outlined in the FAQ provide detailed instructions for embedding LibAnswers and LibChat widgets using either Javascript or non-Javascript methods. Bottom-line, if you need to integrate the library’s virtual reference services into your courseware tools… we’ve got you covered.

LibAnswers Screensharing + LibCal = Booking Virtual Appointments

If classes have gone virtual, your students still need research consultations – albeit virtually. Use LibCal Appointments to setup, manage, and communicate online appointments and conduct those sessions using LibAnswers Screensharing. LibCal Admins, learn how you can setup the Appointment Scheduler for optimal usage. We even have a dedicated training session available to show you how you can use LibCal for booking virtual help.

  • Training Session – Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions: Learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET

Public / State Libraries

Though your buildings are closing their doors, there is a need now, more than ever, to effectively communicate and share extremely important public safety information with your community. We’ve seen an uptick in the creation of COVID-19 LibGuides, especially as it relates to sharing information on what public services are available, what’s closed, and more. Your LibGuides help shatter myths about the virus and communicate real facts and tips. Here are some of our favorites.

COVID-19 LibGuides:

 

All Libraries – Virtual Reference & Instruction Services

No matter what type of library you’re from, if your doors are closing for two weeks, a month, or longer, you might be exploring ways to provide virtual reference & instruction services to your patrons from the comfort and safety of your home to the comfort and safety of their home.

LibAnswers Virtual Reference Platform

If you need assistance with quickly pivoting to remote-only virtual reference service we can help with that. If you do not have an effective online chat platform with email reference capability, FAQ creator, live chat with screensharing & webinars functionality, and social media monitoring, or if you haven’t yet set some of these options up in your system, we can get you up and running on our LibAnswers platform quickly, including plenty of training / online help: live and recorded sessions, Springboards, and SpringyU courses on FAQ Groups (limit to LibAnswers).

  • Pro-tip Idea: You can use the LibAnswers Systems and Status Dashboard to share the status of various institution, city, or community services. Is the dining hall closed till further notice? Mark it as closed in your Status Dashboard. Is city hall accepting only pre-booked appointments? Note that in your Status Dashboard.

LibWizard Self-Grading Quizzes & Interactive Tutorials

Some of you are getting word out that your doors are closing and that you’ll switch to online services exclusively with just a few hours or maybe even a full day of notice…if you’re lucky. If you’re scrambling to develop lesson plans or instruction packets for K-12 students who are facing school closures for 2 – 5 weeks or college-level students who are going 100% virtual through the end of the semester, create LibWizard self-grading quizzes and/or interactive tutorials.

LibWizard quizzes and tutorials:

  • Work on all devices from tablet to computer;
  • Allow you to create an unlimited number of self-grading quizzes and tutorials;
  • Provide real-time formative assessment with correct/incorrect help text;

For public and K-12 libraries, consider liaising with your local K-12 schools to assist teachers in creation of tutorials and quizzes. Academic libraries, reach out to faculty and consider embedding a tutorial or quiz inside courseware. Public librarians, your patrons are self-quarantining and really want to download some ebooks. Create an interactive tutorial teaching them how to search, find, and download ebooks.

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial on Downloading eBooks

 

All Libraries – Bulk Canceling LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment Reservations

If your building is closing suddenly, there’s a good chance that patrons have scheduled in-person appointments and reserved spaces/rooms & equipment via your LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment modules. Now you have to cancel a lot of upcoming reservations and appointments…quickly. We’ve coded and released a new bulk delete feature for the LibCal Appointments, Spaces, and Equipment modules to help you with that process. This feature will be available to all regions by Tuesday, March 17.

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

If you need extra (online) hands to staff and monitor chat to ensure after-hours, regular hours, or full 24/7 coverage, we can help with that, too. Our LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative is the largest virtual reference cooperative in the world and our co-op librarians can lend a helping hand.

For those libraries who are already members of the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative, you might be noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc. We want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.

COVID-19 Dedicated Training Series

Quickly pivoting to working from home might be new territory for you, so we’ve created several training sessions that cover: ways you can communicate important information to your community, building a LibGuide for a class that’s gone completely digital, and more. Can’t attend any of the below sessions? Don’t worry, all sessions are recorded and available online shortly after the session is held.

  • Keeping Important Info Up-to-Date with LibAnswers Widgets – manage important information about your library, school, university or business, etc, in relation to the current crisis. By creating a COVID-19 FAQ Group in LibAnswers embedding and updating important information will be easier. With widgets you will only need to update information in one location and it will automatically be updated everywhere your widgets have been used.

    •  Monday, March 16: 1:00pm – 1:45pm U.S. ET

  • Build-a-LibGuide for a Class That’s Just Gone Digital – with changes to how classes are being conducted, we need to adapt our methods for sharing information and resources. Join us for a 40 minute session where we will look at creating a guide to support a course that has just gone online.  This session assumes a base knowledge of LibGuides. If you are new to LibGuides we recommend that you watch or attend the Building a Guides Session prior to this one.
    • Wednesday, March 18: 2:00pm – 2:40pm U.S. ET
  • Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions –  learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET
  • Engaging Online Learners with Quizzes & Tutorials – with the move to online instruction across the world, learn how you can create online quizzes and tutorials using LibWizard to supplement your instruction programs.

    • Tuesday, March 24: 2:00pm – 3:00pm U.S. ET

Bottom-line: we know that this is a very stressful and unnerving time-period. Both you and your patrons are going through a drastic shift, and we want you to know that we’re with you each and every step of the way. Springshare has you covered.

Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Your Springshare Service will Continue Uninterrupted

We at Springshare see our mission as twofold: First, as a software company we provide web-based SaaS solutions to help libraries with their communication, outreach and user engagement efforts. Second, we strive to provide you with amazing support to help you accomplish your goals of assisting patrons with their research and information needs through our software. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many institutions are canceling programs, classes, and events, while at the same time putting more emphasis on online teaching and learning (online-only classes and the like). Subsequently, the demand for your online & virtual services, online outreach, and online communication in general will certainly increase, too.


To that end, you have questions about how Springshare will be able to support you during this time. Rest assured we are ready to help and we’ll do what it takes to get you the assistance you need.

The Springshare Team – No Disruption of Service

UC San Diego’s LibGuide on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Springshare is a remote-first workplace and we do not anticipate any disruptions in our operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as most employees work from their home offices. We also have ample staff resources available, so if some staff members were to contract the virus and are unable to work, other staff members would take over their duties to ensure no interruptions to the Springshare service or our company workflows.

Our cloud-based server infrastructure is located in various data centers around the world, hosted by AWS (Amazon Web Services), and we have no reason to believe that there would be server outages and/or connectivity problems due to COVID-19.

Therefore we believe that Springshare services and the availability of our apps will not be impacted by this outbreak.

 

Attendance at Upcoming Conferences & Shows

There are several upcoming conferences where Springshare has planned to attend. We currently intend to go to all upcoming conferences, unless they are canceled.

  • SCELCapalooza Vendor Day: March 12
  • Computers in Libraries (Booth #315): March 31 – April 2
    • UPDATE: This event has been canceled. Official statement from CIL.
  • ELUNA Annual Meeting: May 5 – 8
  • ALA Annual Conference: June 26 – 29

 

LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative – We are Prepared for Potential Increases in Chat Traffic

On February 28, the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative launched! For those of you noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc…we want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.

Our mission is to help you succeed – by providing great service to your users. To that end, since the Cooperative is staffed not only by Springshare 24/7 Librarians but also by libraries around the world who contribute hours to the Cooperative, we ask that you send any contribution hours changes here. We also request that you honor your contribution schedule during these uncertain times. We will continue to monitor the chat activity across the Global Cooperative and make adjustments, and communicate information, as appropriate.

PLA Conference Recap Including Guest Presenter Recordings

PLA-Recap

What’s not to love about Nashville? Great food? Check. Energetic vibe? Check. Amazing live music everywhere you turn? Check and check. We had a great time at the Public Library Association’s Annual Conference last week in Nashville. Springshare’s booth, not unlike the Grand Ole Opry, was absolutely jamming – we got to experience several amazing guest presentations, chat with clients and answer their questions, and munch on a few of those mini-tacos opening night (okay, maybe more like 15 – but who’s counting?!). In case you were #PLAleftbehind, we recorded our amazing guest speakers and a few of our own Springshare-led presentations. So kick back, relax, grab a mini-taco (or 15), and enjoy our post-conference wrap-up!

While we had a great time during PLA in Nashville, our thoughts go out to this vibrant city that suffered a devastating tornado just days after the conference ended. Many lives were lost and we are saddened by the destruction this wonderful city experienced. You’re in our thoughts.

Guest Speakers (15 minutes or less)

Sara-Nielsen

Ask Us: Using LibAnswers for Online Reference in a Multi-Branch Library

Sara discusses how they use LibAnswers for supporting online reference at the St. Charles City-County Library system.

Watch Presentation & View Resources



Managing Public Library Room Reservations with LibCal

Brigid and Katie explore how they use LibCal to manage the public room reservations at the John P. Hold Brentwood Library.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


LibCal is the Foundation for my Programming

Victor showcases how he is using LibCal as the foundation for his different programming activities. Using examples from his work with graduate students, he shows how LibCal can be used to develop, coordinate, and manage programming at any type of library, and across various locations/campuses.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


Scheduling Staff at a Large Public Library with LibStaffer

Gianna showcases how the Boston Public Library system schedules 300+ staffers across 20+ branches inside one LibStaffer system.

Watch Presentation & View Resources


Springshare-Led Presentations (15 minutes or less)

These amazing presentations are led by Springys! Not only do they contain really helpful info but also sneak-peeks at coming-soon functionality! Be on the cutting edge by checking them out below.

Want to Be a Springy Presenter?

If you’re looking at Victor’s, Gianna’s, or Sara’s presentations and thinking to yourself, “I have cool stuff to share, too!”… then you’re in luck! We’re looking for guest speakers for the ALA Annual Conference (June 26 – 29)! Take a minute and fill out our Springy Rockstars Wanted form.

Grand Ole Lineup of Presentations @ PLA Nashville

PLA 2020 - Booth 641

While our stage won’t be as majestic as The Grand Ole Opry, we do have a sizzling line-up of presentations that are guaranteed to entertain and inform you and you won’t need a special membership to watch. From Wednesday, Feb 26 – Friday, Feb 28, we have a star-powered lineup of guest speakers plus in-the-flesh Springy trainers sharing tips, ideas, and strategies that are bound to get you dancing in your seats with excitement!

Stop by our booth #641 or watch our live-stream of select sessions on our Facebook page. These sessions will be archived and made available after the event on our Facebook Video page.

Important Tidbits:

  • You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the live-stream or archived videos… just ignore the login/sign-up information and continue.
  • If you LIKE our page, you won’t miss out on future streams of guest speakers, etc.
  • If you adjust your Springshare notifications to ON, you’ll receive notifications in your Facebook feed for product updates, videos we share, and more!

Guest Speakers – Streaming LIVE on Facebook

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time.

Ask Us: Using LibAnswers for Online Reference in a Multi-Branch Library

Presenter: Sara Nielsen, St. Charles City-County Library
Wed, Feb 26: 4:30pm – 4:45pm

Sara will discuss how they use LibAnswers for supporting online reference at the St. Charles City-County Library system.


Managing Public Library Room Reservations with LibCal

Presenters: Brigid Day & Katie Creecy, John P. Holt Brentwood Library
Wed, Feb 26: 5:00pm – 5:15pm

Katie and Brigid will explore how they use LibCal to manage the public room reservations at the John P. Hold Brentwood Library.


LibCal is the Foundation of My Programming

Presenter: Victor Baeza, Oklahoma State University
Wed Feb 26: 5:30pm – 5:45pm

Victor will present on how he is using LibCal as the foundation for his different programming activities. Using examples from his work with graduate students, he will show how LibCal can be used to develop, coordinate, and manage programming at any type of library, and across various locations/campuses.



LibCal & BiblioEvents Integration

Guest Speaker: Maxine Levine, BiblioCommons
Wed, Feb 26: 5:45pm – 6:00pm

Explore a unique integration between BiblioEvents and LibCal’s Spaces Bookings! Staff who are scheduling events in BiblioEvents will be able to check and reserve rooms for that event inside LibCal Spaces.


Scheduling Staff at a Large Public Library with LibStaffer

Presenter: Gianna Gifford, Boston Public Library
Thu, Feb 27: 9:30am – 9:45am

Gianna will present on how the Boston Public Library system schedules hundreds of staffers across 20+ branches inside one LibStaffer system.


Product Flashes: Sneak-Peeks, Tips, & New Ideas.

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time.

These Springy-led presentations are quick 15 minute flash sessions designed to either give a sneak-peek at a new Tool or showcase how you can use a Springshare Tool in a new and innovative way. Bottom-line, you’ll walk away with actionable and useful ideas you can implement right away.

LibGuides:

Create Interactive Summer Reading List, Staff Picks & More!

In this session, learn how to create amazing reading lists to share with your patrons. We’ll cover how to add books from the catalog, use gallery boxes to create beautiful book carousels, and use links to get users to canned catalog searches, ebooks, and more.

LibAnswers:

Answer Patron Questions with LibAnswers… Even When They’re Not in the Library

Provide patrons with live chat reference from your library website, catalog, or any webpage with optional 24/7 coverage. Turn frequently asked questions into searchable FAQs and answer patron tweets, Facebook posts/DMs, and SMS/Texts all from one interface.

LibCal

Charge for Events, Spaces & Equipment 

Explore how LibCal’s billing module helps you charge for events, room bookings, and equipment reservations. Charge for consumable things like art supplies, 3D printing materials, and more. Collect payment online (credit card / debit card) or in-person (cash / check). Offer special discount codes that apply towards payment.

Manage Room & Equipment Reservations – If you Have It, We Can Help You Check It Out

Make study rooms, laptops, wifi hotspots, meeting spaces, event spaces, and other types of rooms and equipment available to the public for online reservation.

Create Events & Book Spaces with Equipment Seamlessly

Make use of seamless integration within LibCal. Create an event and book spaces and equipment at the same time, seamlessly.

LibInsight

Count Library Activity with LibInsight

Use LibInsight to help you keep track of your library’s activity. Record and analyze reference questions, door counts, circulation numbers, event statistics, and more.

LibStaffer

Staff Workers, Volunteers, & Pages with LibStaffer

Whether juggling multiple service points with different staffing needs and duties, or handling restrictions on who can work when and for how long, LibStaffer takes the hard work out of staffing and scheduling so you have time for more important projects.

LibWizard

Train Staff and Volunteers with LibWizard’s Self-Guided Tutorials

Use LibWizard interactive tutorials and quizzes to internally train staff and volunteers. Learning is self-paced, self-grading, and provides opportunities for formative assessment.

ALA Midwinter Recap Including Guest Presenter Recordings

We had a great time at ALA-Midwinter, from stuffing our faces with cheesesteaks, exploring Reading Terminal Market, eating more cheesesteaks, walking (not running!) the 72 Rocky steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and did we say… eating cheesesteaks?

But the most fun, even above stuffing our gullets with cheesy steaks, was had whilst watching the amazing guest presentations at our Springshare Booth. And while we got to experience that fun, LIVE, not everyone could make it to ALA-Midwinter and experience that with us.

To that end, we recorded those presentations and have guest slides/links/resources to share with you. So even though you might have been #ALAleftbehind, you can kick your feet up, watch these amazing guest speakers (and even a few of our Springshare-led presentations), and dare we say it, enjoy a cheesesteak.

Guest Speakers

March Mammal Madness & LibGuides: The Bracket for Animal Lovers

When you think of March, you automatically think of March Madness. At ASU, they’re doing things a bit differently. March Mammal Madness is an educational opportunity to learn all about our planet’s species interwoven with a ‘sporting’ bracket to serve as a thrilling competitive experience. The entire tournament is housed in a LibGuide with a downloadable bracket and Rounds are narrated on Wakelet.

Watch Presentation & View Resources (Presentation Slides & LibGuide)


Taking LibGuides Beyond the Library

Jen Hasse discusses using LibGuides as a tool for cross-campus partnership and community building. From guides created to promote and facilitate authors visits, book clubs, and film screenings to resources guides that support advising, student health and wellness, and other student support departments, LibGuides can go beyond the library!

Watch Presentation & View Cited LibGuide



Reaching Them Where They Are: Put the Library Where Students are Learning with LibGuides / LMS Integration

Temple University recently established a “Library” button in the navigation menu of all courses in Canvas that shows an automatically matched guide from TU Libraries LibGuides system. By bringing library resources and services to students at their point of need, the Library button gives them easier access to these supports.

Watch Presentation & View PowerPoint & Cited LibGuide


Springshare-Led Presentations

These amazing presentations are led by Springshare team members! Not only do they contain really helpful info but also sneak-peeks at coming soon functionality! Be on the cutting edge by checking them out below.

  • Building a 2020 Election LibGuide – Looking to build a 2020 Election LibGuide? Take a look at examples for 2020 US Election Guides and then we’ll do a partial build based on best practices for this guide type.
  • Explore the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative (Going Live February 28!) – The LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative allows librarians to provide collaborative chat reference. Librarians answer patron chats on behalf of all member libraries within the cooperative.This means, all of your patrons can get library help, even when your physical doors are closed. The Cooperative is officially going live on February 28 and if you want to attend a live-demo, we have two sneak-peek webinars this month. Register for those sessions here.
  • Explore LibCRM with New Operational Emailing Functionality – LibCRM is a Customer Relationship Management Tool for outreach librarians. Explore how you can use it in your Library and see our brand-new released operational emailing tool.
  • LibInsight & COUNTER5 for Analyzing Your E-Resources Statistics – LibInsight was the first library-specific data gathering tool that was COUNTER5-compliant in 2019 (read related blog post). This presentation covers how LibInsight displays your E-Resource data in COUNTER 5 format.
  • Using LibGuides to Promote Social Issues with Timely Responses – All teaching librarians know – the most successful teaching sessions are based around an assignment, or project, or task.Why? Because contextual learning = long-term learning. That same equation applies when you connect learning resources with topical, current events. Users are far more likely to engage with and deep-dive into material when the subject matter is topical and relevant to them.
  • Create Self-Paced Learning Tutorials with LibWizard – Literacy extends beyond your front doors. Create engaging, self-paced learning tutorials with live interactive websites, embedded videos, and more. Your patrons can engage with the library and expand their information literacy skills at the same time. Plus, explore some of the awesome new features we’ve added to LibWizard in the last few months.

Want to Be a Springy Presenter?

If you’re looking at Rene’s, Jen’s, and Olivia’s presentations and thinking to yourself, “I have cool stuff to share too!”… then you’re in luck! We’re looking for guest speakers for PLA (February 26 – 28) and ALA Annual (June 26 – 29)! Take a minute and fill out our Springy Rockstars Wanted form.

Practical LibInsight Use-Cases To Deliver Data Success

In case you missed our webinar series last month on LibInsight, you can watch the recordings!

We discussed practical use-cases covering targeted ways you can use LibInsight to transform your data into powerful intelligence. Plus, we had one guest speaker covering how they’re using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence.

These short recordings will deliver a lot of helpful information in only 30 minutes… talk about getting the most use out of your limited time.

Using LibInsight to County Library Activity (32minutes)

Are you ‘counting’ things at your library? Like how many library cards were issued last month? Or events you had last year? Or total gate counts last quarter? This recording covers ways you can use LibInsight to keep track of things you’re counting, plus ways you can use it to do calculations for you!



Analyzing COUNTER r5 eResources with LibInsight (31minutes)

This recording does a quick overview of how LibInsight ingests and displays COUNTER r5 eResource data plus cost/invoice data to boot. Working with a vendor who isn’t COUNTER r5 compliant? No worries, the recording covers that too!


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence (34minutes)

Want to see how a library is using LibInsight? Guest Speaker Derek Mackenzie, Head of User Services at the City, University of London Library joins us and shares his experiences using LibInsight for library planning. Plus, he discusses how the library won the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) award using data from LibInsight.


If you’re looking for more in-depth LibInsight training, check out our training recordings!

Move your Existing Content to LibGuides

Create content rich LibGuides - A workshop on taking your existing content and turning it into a useful Libguides

This blog post is authored by our very own Springy: Jennifer Forgit.

You have great content – but it lives in many different places. Move it into LibGuides and make sure patrons have all of the tools they need in one place!

Let’s say your students have a big research project in the fall and you have a pathfinder saved as a Word document. You could upload the document to your guide, but that means one extra step for your patrons to get the information. In this workshop, we’ll look at an existing document written as a handout and talk about how to bring it into LibGuides.

When you move content into LibGuides it means:

  • Better access:
    • You decide who can access it, whether that’s the public, staff only, or a subset of either with a password or authentication (LibGuides CMS Only).
    • Turn public documents, like pathfinders, into research guides that are available to everyone 24/7 and not just those who find the brochure rack at the reference desk. Plus, no special ‘Word’ software required to view them and they’re mobile-friendly.
  • Centralized location:
    • Between cloud drives, email and websites, staff sometimes have to search through several online locations to find what they need. Move it into LibGuides, and you can keep everything in one place, and easy to find.
  • Not So Text-Heavy:
    • .Docs are text-heavy. Moving content into LibGuides allows you to take advantage of embedded video/audio media, interactive widgets, discovery layer search boxes, upcoming events, and more.

.Doc meet LibGuide

In November and December, we’re offering a workshop called Creating Content-Rich Guides. This session will look at how to take existing content, whether it is a Word document, old wiki page, blog post (or something else!) and turn it into a useful, usable LibGuide.

 

Seems straightforward, right? A little copy/paste magic and it’s in LibGuides.

If you want readers to have the best experience, you’ll need to think about how to divide your content into pages and boxes so that readers aren’t left to stare at 1000 words or more all in the same box.

Write for the Web

According to a study cited by the Nielsen Norman Group, “On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

With online users scanning so little of your content, it’s vitally important that it is broken down into chunks that can be easily skimmed and includes headings and subheadings for better wayfinding. In our Content Rich Guides workshop, you’ll learn best practices for writing for the web and make sure that any content you bring into LibGuides is optimized for your online readers.

Join us for Creating Content-Rich Guides

This session includes active discussion so you’ll need to have a microphone available.

Pick the time that works for you:

Limited Series: Hear Librarians Discuss How They Use LibWizard

LibWizard Guest Speaker Series. Register Now!

One of the best ways to learn how to use a tool, or to see if a tool is right for you, is to see how others are using it. To that end, we’ve asked some amazing librarians to showcase how they’re using LibWizard in their institutions. This October limited webinar series has some amazing presentations that you won’t want to miss!

For those of you who don’t know, LibWizard is our form, survey, quiz, and interactive tutorial building tool. There’s no limit to the number of items you create or the number of responses you gather. It integrates natively with LibGuides, has embeddable widgets, and robust statistics and reporting. Plus, we just released a bunch of new features (including authentication integration!) and the ability to create pre-filled surveys/forms.

LibWizard is such a versatile tool. It can be used for servicing distance learners, creating student-centered tutorials, surveying a captive audience, promoting collections and tracking success, and even sending an SOS message out to get backup help when your virtual chat reference service is exploding… and so much more.

But teaching and communicating doesn’t always mean the librarian to patron dynamic. Teaching often occurs between coworkers, across departments, or even teaching new hires, pages, or student workers. And LibWizard can help you there too.

To that end, no matter what type of library you’re in – you’ll want to check-out the below guest presenters and see how they’re using LibWizard to communicate to patrons, and with each other.

If you need a LibWizard refresher and you’re in UTC +1 – +6 time zones, please join us for a LibWizard webinar on Creating Scalable, Self-Paced Learning for Distance Learners. Wed, October 2nd. 5:00am – 5:30am U.S. ET (UTC -4) / 10.00 WEST (UTC +1) / 11.00 CEST (UTC +2) / 12.00 EEST (UTC +3).

Guest Presenter Line-Up

All times listed below are in U.S. Eastern Time.

Training Student Workers Using LibWizard

Tuesday, October 8. 2:00pm – 2:30pm. 

Sue Hunter, University of Guelph-Humber

If you’re a public, K12, or special library… don’t be dissuaded by the use of ‘student workers’ in the title. Simply replace the term ‘student worker’ with pages, employees, staff, volunteers,  or parents. The concept applies to all library types!

 

The Wizarding World of LibWizard and Assessment

Friday, October 11. 2:00pm – 2:30pm.

Marianne Giltrud, Prince Georges Community College

Marianne will cover how they’re using LibWizard for student assessment. Public libraries, if you do any type of patron learning assessment… don’t miss out on this session.

 

 

Training Staff with LibWizard

Wednesday, October 16. 2:00pm – 2:30pm.

Melissa Jones, Wilmington University.

Staff training can take place when its most convenient for them, outside of meetings! Melissa will cover how they’re using LibWizard to keep staff up-to-date.

Ideas for Re-engaging Patrons in LibAnswers

If you’ve been using LibAnswers for awhile, you might be looking for fun and new ways to reinvigorate and boost usage of your various LibAnswers services.It happens to all of us, we get into a groove and then coast along.

But, if you’re noticing your stats are staying consistently steady, or flatter than Wile E. Coyote after using a catapult (this pun brought to you by Springy Greg! 🙂 ), it might be time to consider implementing some of these tips to turn that plateaued bar chart into a steep spike!

Reimagining LibAnswers FAQs

In case you missed it, SpringyCamp – Springshare’s virtual user conference, occurred on July 31, 2019. Among the amazing lineup of presenters (all of which you can watch here), was a presentation by Mikki Smith from the Corning Museum of Glass on Reimagining LibAnswers FAQs.

Bit of Background

The Corning Museum of Glass has been using LibAnswers since 2014 and created most of their public FAQs from an old database of FAQs from a previous system. Many of the FAQs included attached .doc bibliographics.

Around 2016, they became a bit more selective about which questions should turn into public FAQs, but did not retroactively apply that criteria to existing FAQs.

In 2017, they began to add images to existing FAQs and to use FAQs to highlight exhibitions.

Then, in 2018, looking at data from Google Analytics, they decided to reimagine FAQs as a mobile-friendly experience. Why? Because they noticed that a large percentage of their visitors were from mobile-devices. Thankfully, LibAnswers comes mobile-first right out of the box. But with some small tweaks to their FAQ content, they were able to make their FAQs more user-friendly, more mobile-friendly, and saw their usage stats increase.

Corning Museum of Glass FAQ – On Desktop

Starting with 1,300 FAQs to revise, it was a big project to undertake. Here’s some of the tips from Mikki’s presentation on reimagining their FAQs as an up-to-date visually appealing set of questions:

Same FAQ – On Mobile

  • Visuals – The Corning Museum of Glass has gorgeous objects on display. They make full use of that by embedding images into their FAQs to enrich the user-experience.
  • Improving the Metadata – Improving the FAQ metadata (FAQ title, answer, keywords, topics) helps to improve the SEO and findability of their FAQs. From their Google Analytics data, they found that 80% of their FAQ-traffic came as the result of a Google Search. Meaning that most users weren’t starting at the Library website. They started at Google and then found one of the FAQs because of a Google search on their topic of interest.
  • Actively Linking to Content – The Library and Museum have a ton of content to share with users. Don’t reinvent that content in your FAQs. Link to it in your FAQs to improve SEO and reduce duplication of content and efforts. Mikki and the team try and have at least one link out to existing Library and Museum content on each FAQ so it’s more of an experience and an opportunity to explore.
  • Rich Digital Content – The Library & Museum have videos on their YouTube page. By embedding them in their FAQs, they’re actively promoting their digital content and improving the experience for the patron.
  • Establish a Workflow – Create a workflow to ensure FAQs are updated. Mikki’s team divided the FAQs so each librarian has a dedicated number to review each month.
  • Promote on Social – Proactively promote your FAQs on social media to improve findability and increase your digital outreach.
  • Highlight Exhibitions – Whether or not your library has exhibitions, you might do custom displays for books (i.e. Poetry Month) or a promotion of archives, or an event. Consider creating a LibGuide on that exhibition, event, or display and then embed FAQs right onto it. Corning Museum of Glass did this with their New Glass Now Exhibition LibGuide and then added a tab to their LibAnswers homepage to highlight those FAQs there too.

Highlighting Exhibition, Display, or Event FAQs right on your LibAnswers Homepage

 

Launching Proactive LibChat

If you’ve been offering virtual chat reference services for awhile now, your users might be accustomed to the service and your usage stats are steady, but not increasing.

If you’re looking for a way to increase usage stats of your LibChat reference service, without launching a whole new advertising campaign, consider implementing Proactive LibChat. Proactive LibChat simply turns your LibChat widget into a proactive one – popping out after a customizable period of time asking the user if they need help.

So, instead of waiting for them to ask for help, you can offer help first. Enabling Proactive LibChat is as easy clicking a check-box on your LibChat Widget Builder. We outline how to setup Proactive chat on this blog post.

Institutions that have enabled proactive LibChat saw varying increases in usage from 230% (CSU – Dominguez Hills) to 600% (University of San Diego’s Copley Library). While we can’t promise how your specific demographic will respond, recent research articles written by Michael Epstein from the University of San Diego’s Copley Library and another from Lydia Pyburn from The University of Texas at Arlington Library indicate that the answer is yes!

Upcoming Webinars – Guest Speakers

If you’d like to learn more about LibAnswers Proactive Chat, we have two upcoming guest speaker sessions from real libraries using Proactive LibChat. Sign-up below:

Optimized Session

If you’re in the European Union and you’d like to learn more about LibAnswers and proactive LibChat, we have an optimized time for you!

Letters From SpringyCamp – Recordings Available!

‘Camp might be over, but the memories (like the smell of s’mores) live on!

In case you missed it, our annual SpringyCamp virtual conference took place on July 31, 2019. SpringyCamp is Springshare’s virtual user conference giving you, our Springy rawkstars, a platform to showcase all the amazing stuff you’re doing with Springshare tools.

Since its inception in 2012, SpringyCamp is our most fun – and dare we say – exciting events. In fact, we look forward to it all year long down at Springy HQ. Why? Because we get to watch you! We get to learn from…you. The change agents, the harbingers of innovation, the cutting-edge pioneers… you teach not only other Springy users, but you teach us as well. And at the end of every SpringyCamp, all you hear down at our virtual water-cooler is – “well that was amazing!”, “did you see how they did that thing?”, “oh wow, I had no idea you could that with LibGuides!”. We’re as giddy as a kitten in front of a fresh scratching post.

If you didn’t get to experience SpringyCamp live, and you want to join us in the giddy-circle… well you’re in luck! All SpringyCamp recordings, along with presenter notes/slides are available. So if have 20minutes or a couple of hours – pull up your bag of marshmallows and get your sticks ready, cause you’re about to have a sm’roaring good-time!

One last thing, during ‘Camp, we asked guest speakers and SpringyCamp counselors to share the books and shows they’re binging on. So check-out the Books and Movies to Write Home About and if all this talk of s’mores has you craving some gooeyness, we have a S’mores recipe with your name on it!

SpringyCamp Presentations

Tessa Withorn California State University Dominquez HillsTessa Withorn, California State University Dominguez Hills Library

You Shall Pass: Designing Engaging, Student-Center LibWizard Tutorials

Learn how one librarian designed and pitched a course-integrated tutorial for a fully online undergraduate nursing course to introduce evidence-based practice. Tessa will discuss her process of integrating open education resources, animated videos, infographics, and hands on searching to engage students in a discipline-specific research process.



Ellen Filgo, Baylor UniversityEllen Filgo, Baylor University Library

Assessing Research Consultations: Surveying a ‘Captive’ Audience

When the Baylor University Research and Engagement Librarians moved off the reference desk in 2013, they ramped up their research consultation program, using LibCal’s appointment scheduler as a convenient way for students to book appointments with the librarians. In 2017, they came to the realization that there was an untapped opportunity for assessing their program, through LibCal’s automatic email system, which sends a follow-up email to each person making an appointment.


Evan Barber, University of Illinois SpringfieldEvan Barber, University of Illinois Springfield Library

Oh, the Things You’ll Curate: Using LibGuides and LibWizard to Promote Collections and Track Success

Spreading the word about a new collection can be hard and tracking the success of social media posts and events can be even harder. This session will cover how to use LibGuides as a collection curation platform, leverage LibWizard to keep track of suggestions and checkout agreements, and using the reports built into those products to identify if events and social media posts are successful.


Catie Carlson & Luann Edwards, Tiffin UniversityCatie Carlson & Luann Edwards, Tiffin University Library

Using LibCal to Create Consistent Instruction

With nearly half their student population online, it made sense to have a librarian dedicated to online services. They created a touchpoint for online students and a contact in online course development similar to the campus processes. This presentation will walk through how Catie Carlson and Luann Edwards leveraged LibCal to offer similar library learning opportunities and interactions to the entire whole university.


Mikki Smith, Corning Museum of GlassMikki Smith, Corning Museum of Glass

From Answer to Experience: LibAnswers FAQs Transformed

In 2018, the Library’s Public Services Team formalized a plan to re-imagine the pool of several hundred static, redundant, and sometimes out-of-date published FAQs to function as a mobile-friendly, visually appealing introduction to Library and Museum resources. The project has so far raised the profile of the library within the organization and allowed them to strengthen collaborative relationships with other departments as they update the information they provide and the ways in which they provide it.


Bonnie Lafazan & Jessica Kiebler, Berkeley College LibraryBonnie Lafazan & Jessica Kiebler, Berkeley College Library

Using LibInsight to Reshape How We Assess our Marketing & Outreach Efforts

In order to measure the library’s positive impact on the college community, Berkeley College Library’s Outreach & Marketing Committee designed an assessment workflow using a LibInsight form, which allowed them to effectively assess and analyze programming ad outreach efforts, which are aligned to the institutional goals and the library’s operational goals.


Zoe Rath, Berklee College of MusicZoë Rath, Berklee College of Music Library

Moving Beyond Subject-Focused LibGuides

Zoë showcases the unique ways that they used LibGuides to promote library displays, library and campus events, faculty class guides, and even a conference. They partnered with the archives department and created a portal back-in-time to showcase historic black & white photographs celebrating Woodstock’s 50th anniversary using the LibGuides blog functionality.

Congratulations to our Survey Winners

This year, we gave away a free pair of ‘Camp socks and our limited edition Springy tote-bag to three lucky Campers… who completed the feedback survey!
Congratulations to Laura Dumuhosky, Jeanette Hatcher, and Jennifer Walz! Enjoy your ‘Camp socks!