Archive for Talia

LibCRM Goals at UCSD Include Improved Patron Communication

Springshare had the pleasure of working with the awesome librarians at the University of California, San Diego, as beta-testing partners, of our newly released LibCRM Tool. In just a few short months, they’ve launched LibCRM with over 30,000 profiles imported. (wow!)

One of the best ways to learn about a tool is to see how other libraries are using it. To that end, we’ve interviewed Adele Barsh and Karen Heskett from UCSD to learn about their plans for LibCRM and what they hope to accomplish with it.

Adele Barsh

Karen Heskett


LibCRM to Improve Communication and Shared Information Between Librarians

By: Adele Barsh & Karen Heskett

We began wanting a CRM application as our library was going through a reorganization. We thought an application like LibCRM would improve our cross-team communications and allow us to take advantage of new report features that would help us evaluate and report out about our outreach programs and allow individual librarians to create meaningful activity reports on-demand.

We see a very obvious need for improving communications and shared information between our subject liaison librarians and others within the library who also are working with those very same faculty, staff, and students. For example, subject librarians will be able to see when format specialists worked with one of our faculty members (e.g., on data curation, digital collections, scholarly communication, or with our Data Librarian or our GIS Librarian), or interactions between other specialists at other service points, such as our Digital Media Lab and Special Collections.

Our first objective is to improve patron quality-of-service by communicating well with each other internally about specific patron needs; secondarily, we want to capture more statistics about what we do. We are excited about the potential for  LibCRM to let us run reports showing data about how thoroughly we are reaching our end users across many disciplines, for example, instead of relying solely on our anecdotal knowledge and bare bones statistics.

We’ve been a beta tester of LibCRM, and still are fine-tuning our set up. We plan for a roll out to our subject specialist librarians, format specialists and selected service point professional staff, followed by checking in with other librarians and staff members who are more peripherally-engaged in public services, to see their level of interest or if they come up with new ideas on how LibCRM could help them meet their service goals.

Karen adds (and Adele agrees!): One specific thing I am looking forward to using is the LibCRM BCC email option. As someone who does a significant amount of work via email, having an easy way to capture that as a data point is very attractive for me. Additionally, in keeping with our desire for better internal communication and as my activities become increasingly interdisciplinary, this allows me to keep others informed about these cross-disciplinary communications.

Adding the LibCRM System Email auto-routes the email interaction directly into LibCRM Customer Profiles

LibCRM to Aid in Pattern-Recognition and Metrics

We want to gather more statistics about individual transactions than we presently do, and we’re hoping there are enough useful features to the end-user librarian to entice them into becoming regular users.

We also want to see if there are larger patterns within the interaction that we haven’t noticed before, such as gaps of outreach to specific disciplines, or testing targeted outreach for what effect that has on subsequent engagement with a broader range of library services.

LibCRM Reporting Area in UCSD System. Run Reports on Graduate Students asking questions via email that are tagged ‘Digital Scholarship’ and ‘New Book/Journal Request’. Reporting area returns matching customer profiles so you can identify who is, and isn’t, interacting with the library.

Projects & Task Management Area Considered Experimental… For Now. 😉

We’re feeling experimental so far about the projects and tasks areas. We think they might be great for tagging follow up needs (e.g., a subject librarian uncovers a scholarly communications or data curation need, or vice versa, and wants to alert the other librarian).

We’re initiating small group testing with a goal of introducing the features, and then seeing what ideas our librarians and professional staff come up with. We love “process” here, so we think some exciting applications can emerge.

LibInsight with COUNTER r5: Ahead of the E-Data Curve

Our previous blog post outlined all the amazing new features coming to your Springshare tools. But one of these features is so big and important that it needs its own post – support for COUNTER 5 reports in LibInsight.

E-Mazing, riiiggght? 🙂

Before we dive into this awesome functionality, let’s start with the basics.

 

What is COUNTER r5 and what’s the difference between r4 and r5?

R5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice represents the 5th release of COUNTER – the standard for counting the use of electronic resources. COUNTER r5 requires content providers to deliver reports in Release 5 formats starting with January 2019 usage.

COUNTER Release 5 contains several metric types, different than the metric types available in Release 4.

  • Usage Metrics:
    • Investigations – Measure an expression of interest in a content item or title.
      • I.e. a patron viewing an article abstract would count as an investigation.
    • Request – Measure access to a content item or title.
      • I.e., a patron downloading an e-journal article or e-book chapter.
  • Searches Metrics:
    • Contains four different types of search metrics from searches_regular to searches_platform.
  • Access Denials Metrics:
    • This new metric has two different types to account for user denial — lack of institutional access and simultaneous users maximum has been reached.

These new metric types provide several new measurement tools of your e-resource usage.

LibInsight is Ahead of the E-Data Curve

We’re a small crew but we live and breathe library software so we took it upon ourselves to make LibInsight one of the first software platforms to support Counter r5 analysis.

If our libraries need it, we’ll have it – that’s our motto.

What does this mean for you?

New E-Resources / COUNTER 5 Dataset is Available in LibInsight!

Navigate to your LibInsight system > create new dataset > select E-Resources / COUNTER 5 to create your new r5 dataset.

Because the new r5 reports are material-type agnostic, you can combine reports from e-journals, databases, and even e-book usage in one place.

New LibInsight Reporting Metrics

Additionally, you’ll notice a few changes to the display in reports, to better match the data provided by COUNTER r5.

Specifically, the new LibInsight dataset will no longer show data by searches, sessions, and downloads. Per the above new metrics, data will be reported about investigations, requests, searches, and access denied. The table also shows you the number of databases, eBooks and journals in your e-resources. Toggle  these columns to manipulate the table display however you’d like!

LibInsight automagically calculates the cost-per-usage saving your e-resources librarian loads of time…. all in easy to download csv or pdf reports.

You Asked For It… Access Denied Reporting!

With the new r5 dataset, we’re happy to announce new Access Denied reporting! This way, you can view patron requests to data where access was denied due to lack of institutional access or simultaneous licenses maximum was exceeded. This is extremely valuable data when deciding to purchase a new resource or expand the licensing for current resources.

Which r5 Reports Does LibInsight Support?

Right out of the gate, LibInsight supports the Platform (PR) Master Report, the Database (DR) Master Report, and the Titles (TR) Master Report.

Because we’re supporting all the Master-level reports, you don’t have to worry about which ‘view’, for example Title Report view 1 or Database Report view 1, you might need. We’re taking all the guesswork out of the equation by gathering all of the data via the Master Reports. By supporting the Master-level reports, we are, by default, supporting just about everything that has to do with COUNTER r5 reporting. Talk about efficiency for the win!

Importing Reports Just Got a Whole Lot Easier!

To make things even easier for librarians, the new LibInsight Dataset now has several automated features to make it even easier for you to get started.

1. Importing Platforms from another dataset.

Most likely, you’re already using the the current E-Resources/Databases (r4) dataset in LibInsight and you’ve spent time creating all your platforms in there. Rather than recreating those platforms, we provide an easy import option to import the platform names/titles into the new r5 dataset.

 

2. Importing Reports Via Required SUSHI Fetching

We totally get how you can get spreadsheet-fatigue. You’re dealing with hundreds of spreadsheets across tons of vendors for different date ranges. It can be exhausting. To make things easier, the COUNTER r5 builds in automation from the start, with SUSHI. LibInsight supports fetching a single file at a time, or you can schedule harvesting monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. This way, you can set it up, schedule the harvesting, and forget about it…. until you need to analyze your data, of course. 😉

And, we added notification features – so when scheduling future SUSHI harvesting, you can choose up to three users to be notified via email when the fetch is complete and the data has been added to your dataset.

Test Your SUSHI Harvesting… Before You Harvest.

We’re always so grateful to our community for the incredible feedback they provide us, and this specific piece of feedback deserves virtual cookies to all that sent it in… calorie-free, of course.

When setting up an e-resource for SUSHI Harvesting, we now offer the ability to test the harvest first. This way, if you’ve entered the wrong API key or the requestor ID is not formatted correctly, you’ll know right away instead of 3-months from now when you try and run your first scheduled fetch.

Plus, if something isn’t formatted correctly – we’ll provide on-screen instructions to help you correct it.

We’re Looking for Your Feedback… Always.

Because r5 is so new and LibInsight is one of the first data-analysis tools to offer r5 support, we need to hear from you on how you need the new E-Resources / COUNTER 5 dataset to function.

Please send along your feedback, thoughts, comments, and ideas (and virtual cookies too, Springy Carrie is always hungry) and we’ll work on incorporating your feedback into future updates.

Using LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards for Team-Building

At the Linscheid Library at East Central University, it all started with a mentoring program. In 2017, during a mentoring relationship with a new technical services librarian, Patrick Baumann and his mentee discussed the different personality types of their librarians and how, if different personalities joined together, it could really enhance the Library’s team.

“If we fit different personalities together, it could work better as a team. We could develop our team of librarians by figuring out what our personalities are and using that to work with each other and to discover things about ourself and the people we work with. This would help us to figure out who would fit best together for projects.”

Patrick teamed up with librarian Marla Lobley to take this idea to the next level. By the beginning of 2018, Marla and Patrick started their StrengthsFinder Project. Using Tom Rath’s 2007 StrengthsFinder 2.0 book as the basis for their project, Marla and Patrick went beyond the typical personality tests to actually uncover each individual’s top strengths. StrengthsFinder starts with 16 personalities and then gives you exercises for your top strengths as well as exercises for team-building.

Lastly, it focuses on the positive. You’re talking about your strengths and not your weaknesses. Because we all think about our weaknesses and what you’re not good at. This focuses on your strengths and positive things.

Once they had the project in place, they needed a tool to carry it out. Rather than relying on email, Marla remembered that their LibGuides CMS tool has internal Discussion Board functionality. So librarians could log in to a tool they’re already familiar and comfortable with, and know that this internal project would remain just that… internal and not visible to the public.

Their first LibGuides CMS Discussion Board thread was a calendar, a method for librarians to keep on track of the project.

 

Each librarian performed a strengths assessment, reported on their strengths, and then focused on their top-five strengths. Each librarian then created an action plan to focus/enhance those strengths and share their strengths with everyone else.

For sharing their strengths, and to get feedback, each librarian created a Discussion Post highlighting their top five strengths. Colleagues would then reply to each librarian’s thread with their personal feedback.

Our colleagues would reply to each thread and say, “I can see this strength in you such  and such project. You use that strength, and I’ve seen it.” That gave us some positive feedback.

 

Having this as discussion board threads, it was easy to manage and navigate….especially when you have 23+ replies.

Additionally, the team made use of a neat Discussion Boards feature:

With each thread reply, you can mark things as helpful which is almost like ‘Liking’ in Facebook. Which is kinda cool. If someone replied with a comment that you liked, you can mark it as helpful. It made it fun in addition to useful.

Overall, Patrick and Marla consider the project a success. It focused on the positive, each librarian’s strengths, and it helped each person to better understand their coworkers. Plus, their library director found it helpful to learn about each of the librarians and how best to work with them.

In terms of using the LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards for this project, it went really smoothly. It’s pretty straight-forward. And it’s about how you can be creative in using a tool through Springshare. It was a worthwhile project, and I’m glad we did it. And the [LibGuides CMS] Discussion Boards really helped us to carry it through.

If you’re planning on doing a similar project, Patrick and Marla have some helpful suggestions from their lessons learned.

  • If you’re planning on using a book as the basis for your project, be sure to get everyone copies of the book.
  • Make a plan/calendar and keep on task.
  • Remember, people go at their own pace, so remain flexible to give people time to process and schedule time for open discussions.
  • Be prepared to give and receive honest feedback.
  • Be up front with what you’re doing.
  • And if you’re using LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards, remember to set notifications for each thread.
    • Note: If you’re not getting notifications, check with your IT department about whitelisting LibGuides CMS emails.

Navigate to our Facebook Page to view Patrick’s 15 minute presentation from ALA-Midwinter 2019. You don’t need a Facebook account to access the video, but if you do – take a minute and Like our Facebook Page so you won’t miss cool content like this in the future (be sure to set your notifications for @springshare to ‘On’ so our posts show in your Facebook activity stream). Download Patrick’s slides from our ALA-Midwinter Recap Guide, and check out some of the other presenters to boot!

ALA Midwinter 2019 Guest Presentations Now Available Online

If you missed the 2019 ALA Midwinter in Seattle, you not only missed beautiful weather (it was actually sunny, no rain, every single day!) but also our amazing line-up of guest speakers. But have no fear and put away that sad trombone music, because we have something great in store for you!

Watch all guest presentations and download presenter materials on our ALA Midwinter 2019 Guest Presentations Buzz Guide. Huzzah! Cue happy trombone music!

But, that’s not all. We also have recordings of three Springy Trainer-led sessions that we did at ALA Midwinter as well! From Springy Carrie presenting on the brand-new Screensharing functionality in LibAnswers to Springy Michelle highlighting the new LibStaffer Workflow forms, these are awesome (and short!) videos to consume.

While you’re there, you might notice that all videos are hosted on our Facebook Page*. That’s because we use Facebook Live to stream these guest presentations… 100% live. So please bear with us if they’re not 100% polished and sparkling, the beauty of live video streaming is that we’re all on this journey together – and the hiccups are what make it interesting. And hey, while you’re looking at this videos on our Facebook page …why not take a minute and LIKE our page? This way, the next time we stream amazing guest speakers, you won’t miss out on seeing them. And remember, 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 Springshare users will get you thinking about the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Guest Presentations

(times vary between 17min – 12min in length)

Fort Vancouver Regional Library: LibAnswers Queues and FAQs in a Public Library Setting

While LibAnswers can be used to answer patron questions, the sky is really the limit in how you use it to manage patron communication. Learn how Fort Vancouver Regional Library customized queues for Reading Suggestions, Proctoring, and Technology Assistance services, and see how they use FAQs to proactively address trends in patron questions.

East Central University: Strength-Share: How the Linscheid Library Used Springshare’s Discussion Board for Librarian Team-Building

The librarians at East Central University underwent a project in 2018 to improve employee communication and relationships. Watch Patrick Baumann present on the project origins and more. Learn creative ways to use Springshare products to improve their work environment.

Troy University – The Library Has That?: Using LibGuides to Promote Library Services.

The Troy University Librarians provide services to students, staff, and faculty at four Alabama campuses and around the world. LibGuides were used to provide a centralized point of reference to answer recurring questions. Watch librarians Kelly Wilson and Rachel Hooper as they discuss these guides and how they have impacted their librarians and services to their patrons.

Texas Tech University: Using LibGuides Across Subjects: A Science Librarian Perspective

Science Librarian Jessica Simpson discusses how she’s customized guides to meet the needs of students across disciplines. Watch and take away great tips for making your guides more useful.

Springshare Trainer-Led Sessions

(sessions are no longer than 10min in duration)

*Note: You do not need a Facebook account to watch our videos, simply ignore the login/sign-up information and proceed.

Insights into LibInsight: The LibInsight Experience at two University Libraries

Data-driven decisions. Actionable Insight. Multi-variable Analytics. Dashboard Reporting. You hear these buzzwords anywhere and everywhere these days, and libraries are no exception. Gone are the days of tick sheets and anecdotal evidence.

Libraries need robust data gathering and data analysis tools to help them make everything they do… better, more effective, more engaging, more user-focused. That’s why we developed LibInsight – we want every library to have an affordable, easy to use data-gathering and analysis platform so that all these buzzwords become part of the regular library workflow.

Springshare sat down with two libraries to learn how they’re using LibInsight at their institutions to successfully streamline data workflows – City, University of London and the University of Pittsburgh.

City, University of London Libraries

by Derek Mackenzie, Head of User Services


Capture Data with LibInsight
We use LibInsight to record enquiry data at all our library help desks, as well as recording and analyzing data from other systems, e.g. circulation data, user access data (through our library swipe access points). The analytics element in particular has been useful in pulling out statistics and trends to highlight in reports – for example in papers for University committees, or data we share with staff to help review what we’ve been doing.

We’ve also introduced library school students at City to the delights of LibInsight – I’ve given a workshop session to the Masters students over the last couple of years to look at library data and analytics. I’ve used the datasets to give them an insight into how we can extract meaningful stats quickly and put together a dashboard with some questions for them to consider around trends in library use (visits, loans, enquiries) over recent years.

Enhance ILS Reporting Capabilities

We import checkout and hold transactions from our library system into LibInsight circulation datasets, as our library system allows only limited analysis of statistical data. We recently used the holds dataset to identify the most requested books in different subject areas so that we can try and source ebook alternatives as part of a project to make required readings as widely available as possible to students.

Dashboards Show the Library’s Progress

We’ve packaged some of the key library activity data into a LibInsight dashboard. This shows enquiries (in-person and online), items borrowed, usage of our online reading list and digital repositories among other measures of library activity.

We’re planning to present this to the Library Committee (which consists of senior academic staff from all the Schools at City, other Professional Services staff and Students Union representatives) ahead of their twice-yearly meetings to help give them an easily digestible snapshot of what’s been happening around the library service. It’s also intended to be a resource for our library staff to dip into and keep up to date.


University of Pittsburgh Libraries

by Berenika Webster, Director of Assessment and Quality Assurance

At the ULS, we have 20 “active” LibInsight datasets that are classified into three categories:

  • Standard ongoing data collection for reporting and administrative decision-making (e.g. instruction and outreach, gate counts, Counter, etc.).
  • Ad hoc data collection for time-limited projects (e.g. use of print journals in main and dept. libraries, head counts on our newly renovated floor, etc.).
  • APIs from other Springshare products (e.g. LibGuides and LibCal) and Google Analytics for automated pull of external data; mainly to feed a LibInsight public-facing dashboard and to embed these into various ULS websites as appropriate.

LibInsight provided us with a first step to start collecting library data into one place and allowing quick reports to all registered users.  For instance, Liaison and Instruction Librarians can produce evidence of their activities for annual reviews; service heads can see patterns of use of their services to adjust staffing levels, and COUNTER reports are used when considering adjustments in journal subscriptions. Because we need deeper visualization of our data, we appreciate LibInsight’s ability to export our data into Tableau.
We look forward to an opportunity when/if LibInsight will talk to Tableau directly!


Learn More: Live Training, Videos, & Recent Updates

 

Top 10 Springshare Blog Posts of 2018

2019 is upon us and everyone loves a recap post.

We wrote 58 blog posts in 2018 (phew, our fingers are tired!) showcasing awesome new functionality in Springy Tools, guest presentations, SpringyCamp conferences, and so much more.

So join us as we look back and highlight our top ten blog posts of last year.

hacker1. Security & Protection of your Springy Sites

January 25, 2018

If cloud-computing had a theme in 2018, it would’ve been HTTPS. In this blog post, we announced new functionality to route all patron traffic in Springy tools (LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, etc.) through HTTPS. Plus, we added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide completely free HTTPS security certificates for all your Springy v2 tools. Talk about starting 2018 off with a bang!

2. LibCal/LibStaffer Integration

March 14, 2018

Don’t you just love it when your tools seamlessly work together? We do, too. That’s why we added two-way integration between LibCal (your calendaring tool) and LibStaffer (your staffing/scheduling tool).

In LibCal, if you have a confirmed Scheduler Appointment – you can’t be booked for a LibStaffer shift and vice versa. 2018 – the year you stopped accidentally double-booking yourself. Huzzah!

3. GDPR Compliance & Our New Mailing List

April 25, 2018

In preparation for the GDPR’s enforcement on May 25, 2018, we released tons of features to help ensure your compliance. And, if you think, “Hey, our institution doesn’t reside in the EU, so this doesn’t apply to us.” Think again. If you service even a single EU citizen, no matter where in the world that EU citizen resides, the GDPR applies to you. And, while we were on the subject of privacy, we revamped our email list. So, if you want receive our Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements – you need to explicitly opt-in here.

4. LibTote and LibTote Platinum

April 1, 2018

I mean, who doesn’t love a good April Fool’s joke?! This blog post was dedicated to our fake product launch – LibTote and LibTote Platinum. Smart Tote technology you can take with you, to help you take other things. Why? Well, because there are two kinds of Librarians in the world… and they both love Tote bags. If you need a chuckle, take a minute (or two!) and revisit this blog post and dream of a world where your Tote bag has Blue’tote functionality, smart expansion, and robust usage stats.
Sigh – if only we lived in such a world. 

5. New LibChat Operator Interface

June 28, 2018

LibAnswers with LibChat saw a ton of updates last year. But we kicked it off with a blog post announcing an entirely new LibChat operator console designed to help you manage loads of patron chats more efficiently and chat internally with colleagues as easily as possible. But, this was just the tip of the new features iceberg. We, later, announced more chat improvements, ideas for discovery layer integration, and our screensharing & webinar functionality (coming January 2019).

6. SpringyCamp Summer Series

July 31, 2018

In case you missed it, SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference (completely free!) where Springy users share how they’re using their Springshare tools at their institutions to attendees who watch from around the world. Literally, we have people who get up at 3am their time to join! Our 2018 Summer Series featured three virtual conferences, June, July, and August, with some amazing presenters and showstopping presentations. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the first time around, no worries – watch a recording any time.

7. SUSHI Fetching in LibInsight

July 3, 2018

LibInsight is your data storage and analysis powerhouse – and it got even more powerhouse’y last July. We rolled out automated fetching for your SUSHI compliant E-Journals, Databases, and eBooks datasets. Simply connect LibInsight to your database vendors and your e-resource usage data will automatically port into LibInsight for easy analysis.

8. Essential LibGuides You Need

September 17, 2018

We’ve seen our fair share of excellent LibGuides. This blog post details the guides you should have and ones you didn’t even know you needed! If you’re looking for LibGuides inspiration from other libraries, don’t miss this list highlighting just some of our favorite essential LibGuides. And, if you’re looking to build some LibGuides on current events, don’t miss this blog post either!

9. LibStaffer Workflow Forms

October 11, 2018

We released a really big feature for LibStaffer at the end of last year that helps you streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms. LibStaffer Workflow Forms enables you to create customized online forms that facilitate the entire life cycle – after the form is submitted. This includes automated email notifications, full audit trails, and the ability to view the entire workflow/history for each form submission. Looking for ways to use LibStaffer Workflow Forms? Check out this blog post highlighting 5 Ways to Use Workflow Forms.

10. New Australia / Asia-Pacific Datacenter

December 10, 2018

When you start a year with a bang it has to end with one too, by announcing announcing a dedicated data center for our Australia, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific customers. In early 2019, we’ll automatically move all customers located in the Asia-Pacific region to this dedicated server cluster. This new data center is our 3rd cluster, with dedicated geographical servers, alongside our Canadian and European clusters. These dedicated data centers help ensure that your institution is in compliance with local laws regarding transmission of patron data in/out of the United States.

 

5 Ways to Use LibStaffer Workflow Forms

If you’ve seen LibStaffer’s newest addition, Workflow Forms, and you’re already wondering about the ways you can use it – then look no further than this blog post.

And if you’ve never heard of LibStaffer, Springshare’s staff and service-point scheduling tool, then you’re in luck! We’re doing webinars all November long and the first one starts tomorrow, Wed Nov 14 @12pm US ET. Sign-up to attend the 30min session and learn all about LibStaffer, Workflow Forms, and exciting upcoming updates like SMS notifications and GPS Limiters for Clocking In/Out.

Whether you’re an Academic, Public, K12, or Special Library – we have 5 examples of ways you can use LibStaffer Workflow Forms in your library – read on below!

All webinars are 30 minutes long, join us!

1. Librarian/Para-Professional Job Application

One of the many reasons Workflow Forms came to be was a need to have one place to route all incoming job/position applications. And it made sense to make that ‘one-place’ be inside the very staffing/scheduling tool you use.

Use LibStaffer Workflow Forms to create a Job Application Form for librarian or para-professional positions.

>> Example Job Application Form <<

Create custom stages to route each application through your process. Bonus, each ‘stage’ has customizable email alerts so only staff on the interviewing committee will receive an email alert when an application is moved to ‘Selected Interview’.

  • New Application
  • Selected Interview
  • Not Qualified
  • Finalist
  • Closed (Accepted)
  • Closed (Denied)

2. Human Library / Live ‘Book’ Volunteer

Is your library thinking of starting a Human Library program? If yes, consider creating a LibStaffer Workflow Form to route all ‘live book’ applications into one space.

>> Example Human Library Form <<

Human Library volunteers can use the form to:

  • Describe what their book ‘title’ would be.
  • Explain why they want to volunteer to be a part of your library’s Human Library project.
  • Allow the library to take pictures, and to share them, during your Human Library events.

 

3. Student Employment Form

Many of us here at Springy HQ were former Academic Librarians – and a few of us were in charge of workstudy students. So, we completely know the pain you go through finding reliable student workers, scheduling them, and then dealing with the 10,000 schedule changes they need to make – from dropped/picked-up classes, sports commitments, and the horrors of finals week. In fact, LibStaffer was originally built with these ‘pains’ in mind! So, Academic Librarians in charge of student employees – there are tons of features inside of LibStaffer designed to make your scheduling woes a distant memory! But, we digress!

>> Example Student Employment Form <<

Do you hire non-workstudy students? If yes, indicate so in your form.

Ask questions regarding their availability. And consider asking about any special skills they might have.

Perhaps you’ll get an application from someone who is a native Spanish Speaker. Serán muy útiles if you need feedback on which Spanish-language books to add to your collection!

 

4. Read to the Dogs Volunteer Form

Therapy dogs have shown their assistance in helping patrons of all ages. From college students who need help reducing stress during finals week to shy children, teens (and even college students) looking to build confidence by reading to a therapy dog or practicing a presentation to build public-speaking skills.

Create a ‘Read to Dogs’ Volunteer Form to get some four-legged slobbery volunteers to come into your library and work with patrons.

>> Example Read to Dogs Volunteer Form <<

Are you looking for only certified therapy dogs? Be sure to ask that in your form.

Do you want to see a picture of the doggy in question before accepting them? Add a ‘file upload’ field to your form so applicants can upload a picture of their furry friend.

5. Sabbatical Request Form

Sabbatical requests often go through a complicated process where many different staff are involved at differing stages.

Create your sabbatical request as a Workflow Form – this way each and every submission goes through your process with strict oversight and auditing-capabilities.

>> Example Sabbatical Request Form <<

Is the request a brand-new request or an extension? Create that question as ‘Notify Checkboxes’ field type. This way, ‘New’ requests are routed to the approval committee and ‘extensions’ are routed to the review committee.

With sabbatical requests, don’t be afraid to go nuts with the Workflow Stages. This way, you’ll be able to filter form submissions by a specific stage so you’ll always know the next step in the process.

 

Notify Checkboxes Field Type

 

Already using LibStaffer? Learn more about using Workflow Forms!

If you’re already using LibStaffer, then you might want to learn more about Workflow Forms.

Building LibGuides for Current Events

In our most recent newsletter, we talked about creating #TrendingNow content. To summarize, the most successful teaching sessions are based around an assignment, project, or task.

Context is key. And contextual learning leads to long-term learning.

That same concept applies when you connect learning resources with #TrendingNow current events.

Patrons are far more likely to deep-dive into a topic when the subject matter is topical, trending, and “hot right now”.

 

U.S. Mid-Term Elections Are Six Days Away!

The U.S. mid-term elections are only six days away! The news cycle is 24/7 continuous coverage on this hot-button event. What better way to position the library as a leader in information-sharing that creating a topical LibGuide on the Mid-Term Elections.

  • Think Local – Share local, district, state-level races as well as ballot proposal questions.
  • Distill Information – Share ways to register to vote, how to find your local polling place, and suggestions for best times to visit the polls.
  • Inform – There are a lot of fake news resources choking people’s inbox, their social feed… and their brains. Use your Elections / Voting LibGuide to break myths, communicate accurate information, and explain how to be an informed citizen.

 

Pikes Peak Library District – Voting & Elections LibGuide

Stevens Institute of Technology – Vote New Jersey LibGuide

What Other Kinds of Guides Can I Make?

#TrendingNow content doesn’t just have to be about the upcoming elections. Unfortunately, hurricane season is upon us and North America is seeing an uptick in the severity and frequency of hurricanes. Other areas have natural disasters to contend with too, like earthquakes, blizzards, and more.

If you’re in an area with hurricanes or other natural disasters, a Disaster Preparedness LibGuide is an effective way to communicate important information.

To illustrate, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library is the largest library system in Louisiana covering the capital city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding parish. EBRPL services a large community with nearly 350,000 card holders, 14 branches, and an annual circulation of 2.5million items. EBPL has 160+ active LibGuides and they receive roughly 150,000 hits to those guides annually. In 2016, their LibGuides were instrumental in providing resources for a struggling community. From their Disaster Assistance LibGuide to Coping with Traumatic Events LibGuide – these resources were invaluable to citizens. Watch EBPRL Librarian Andrew Tadman present at our 2016 virtual SpringyCamp conference on how their InfoGuides helped citizens during these trying times.

As Andrew stated,

“During the 2016 flood, information was coming out over social media from different news outlets, kind of all over the place. And sometimes, it was contradictory information. So, we knew immediately we had to get a guide setup to create a one-stop resource of curated information. We didn’t want to overwhelm people by just putting every link possible that we could find out there. So we just to focus it on just what people need right now, what’s the most important things. There was lots of gossip and rumor about what you’re supposed to do, where you’re supposed to go, what you’re not supposed to do, including bad information about shelters, and incorrect information on documenting damage for FEMA. Additionally, information from the official city offices wasn’t getting out quickly enough. And that’s where the speed of LibGuides came in. We were able to get information up quickly, link to it on our library website, share it on social media, and disperse it. The mobile-accessibility was important to be able to access this information.”

Arizona State University – Hurricane Florence LibGuide

Add #TrendingNow Tag

Whatever LibGuide you decide to build, whether it’s on a patron’s chance of winning the 2018 $1.5billion combined lottery or on how the European Union’s Parliament works with Angela Merkel’s recent retirement announcement, add a #TrendingNow tag to your LibGuide.

Big thanks to Sally Stieglitz from Adelphi University for this idea! Sally’s created awesome LibGuides on #ThanksForTyping: Women’s Invisible Labor in Academia and Publishing, Fake News and Alternative Facts, and the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter.

#TrendingNow guides can have a short shelf life, so use tags to organize them. Then, when they’re considered ‘old news’ simply remove the tag or consider unpublishing them to keep your guide list manageable.

To advertise your #TrendingNow content, create a widget connected to your #TrendingNow tag, embed that widget on your homepage, and voila – you’re creating a quick & easy shortcut for patrons to view your #TrendingNow content. Every guide you build or take down will auto-update that widget.

LibAnswers Proactive Chat Increases User Engagement

If you’re looking for a way to increase user engagements, look no further than LibAnswers proactive LibChat widgets!

Create as many customizable chat widgets as you’d like, embed them anywhere (including https secure websites), and watch the chats roll in.

How do I make one?

It’s as easy as select, type, copy, and paste. Blammo – and you’re done!

  • Login to your LibAnswers system > LibChat from the Orange Command Bar > LibChat Widgets.
  • Select the Create New Widget Button.
  • Give your widget a name and choose either the button, slide-out tab, or floating chat widget display options.
    • Pro-tip: Give your widget a descriptive name so you can remember what style of chat widget it is, where’s it been embedded, and your autoload delay properties. Your patrons will never see the name on the public side. Your future self will thank you!
      • e.g. title: “Slide-Out Tab Widget: Right-Side, Auto-Delay (60second). Library Homepage.”
  • Go through your widget options but pay special attention to the feature titled “Autoload Delay (in seconds).” This is your proactive chat widget! Choose, in seconds, how long you want to wait before you engage your user with the widget prompt.
    • Pro-tip: For your library homepage, choose a longer autoload delay (60 – 120 seconds). For web resources were users tend to get “stuck” like your A-Z resource list or discovery layer, choose a shorter autoload delay (20 – 45 seconds).
  • You’re almost done! Take a minute and customize the language of your autoload delay window. Simply click the autoload preview in the right column to pop-out a window that allows you to customize the default language. This way, you can inform your users of how the chat works, that you’re there to help, and how easy it is to ask questions.
  • Make any additional customizations, including what happens when your LibChat widget is offline and click save.
  • Copy the Embed code > and you’re done!
  • Repeat the steps above to offer different and unique LibChat experiences on your various digital touch points. Create one proactive chat widget for your library homepage and a different one, with different help language, for your Database A-Z list!
    • Pro-tip: If you’re using the LibGuides A-Z list, login to LibGuides > Content > Databases A-Z List > Settings > LibChat Widget > to add your proactive LibChat widget to your LibGuides A-Z list. This is where giving your chat widget as descriptive a name as possible really helps you out!

Will it increase my user engagement?

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!

The Reference Department at the University of San Diego’s Copley Library implemented Proactive LibChat widgets and saw a 600% increase in chat engagements.1

The University of Texas at Arlington Library doubled their chat engagements from 4,020 (2015-2016) to 8,120 (2016-2017) after implementing proactive LibChat and for some months saw their incoming chats tripled.2

Are there examples of the LibAnswers Proactive LibChat widget I can check out?

Absolutely, there are probably loads more out there in SpringyLand…but here are just a few of our favorites!

College of the Mainland Library
Floating LibChat Widget w/ Custom Icons

Ashland University Library
Slide out Tab Widget

Where can I learn more about adding LibAnswers proactive LibChat widgets?

We’re hosting webinars in October with guest speaker Michael Epstein from the University of San Diego’s Copley Library. We’ll take a quick tour of LibAnswers, explore live library examples of LibAnswers Proactive LibChat widgets, and Michael Epstein will present on their use-case at the Copley Library Reference Department.

Citations

1. Epstein, Michael. “That thing is so annoying: How proactive chat helps us reach more users.” College & Research Libraries News [Online], 79.8 (2018): 436. Web. 3 Oct. 2018.

2. Pyburn, Lydia L. “Implementing a Proactive Chat Widget in an Academic Library.Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning [Online], 2018.

Springshare Integration with Discovery Layers

In a recent interview with Springshare, LibApps power user Amber Tatnall, Director of Library Learning and Resources at York County Community College in Maine stated,

I think if folks don’t integrate everything, they’re missing an opportunity to reach someone.

From the moment we wake up, we make thousands of decisions a day. Opportunity Cost, or the cost of doing X at the expense of Y, is an often used mechanism for decision making. However, an often missing piece of these mental algorithms is the cost of doing nothing. Within libraryland, the cost of doing nothing can manifest itself as lower user engagement or reduced web traffic hits.

If your library subscribes to a discovery layer product like EBSCO Discovery Service, Ex Libris Summon, or Ex Libris Primo, there are multiple ways you can integrate your Springshare tools into your Discovery layers.

These integrations allow you more virtual touch points to ‘reach’ your users with a minimum of effort.

What can you integrate?

When it comes to discovery layer integration, your mind might immediately jump to LibGuides integration. And that’s great! LibGuides is a great fit for integration with your discovery layers. However, if you subscribe to multiple Springshare tools – you can (and should!) integrate them all. Let’s explore!

  • LibCal – integrate your LibCal events so when users search on “MLA”, your upcoming Citation workshops display prominently.
  • LibAnswers LibChat – embed a LibChat sidebar widget so no matter where a user ends up in your discovery layer, there’s always a way for them to ‘ask for help’.
    • Pro Tip: Create a proactive chat widget timed to pop out around the 3 – 4 minutes mark. If a user is on a discovery layer page for at least 3 minutes (that’s a long time!), your LibChat widget can slide out and ask the user if they need help. In a recent College & Research Libraries News article, librarian Michael Epstein found that proactive chat led to a 600% increase in user engagement.
  • LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool – Make use of the Systems & Services Management Tool to create a discovery layer-specific widget that integrates LibChat, relevant FAQs, and a feedback mechanism for patrons to submit an idea, report a problem, or share praise.

The New School embeds the Systems & Services Management Tool Widget right into their Primo Discovery Layer.

  • LibGuides E-Reserves – when students see a search box, they assume it works like Google. Enter anything in it, and you’ll get some results. If you subscribe to our LibGuides E-Reserves module, you can integrate your course reserves in Dublin Core format right into your discovery layer via OAI-PMH. This way, when a student inevitably types “Professor Smith” into your search box, they’ll actually get relevant results.
    • Pro Tip: We support custom Dublin Core metadata fields so you can customize how your E-Reserves display in your OAI-PMH compliant discovery layer.
  • LibAnswers Ask Us Form – Northeastern University used the LibAnswers API to create a custom ‘Report a Problem’ form in their discovery layer. Submissions get routed to LibAnswers with the discovery layer URL automatically added.

LibAnswers Form auto-populates the URL of where the user was in the discovery layer

Integrated a ‘Report a Problem’ LibAnswers Form

  • LibCal Equipment Booking Add-on Module – integrate your ‘library of things’ into your discovery layer using the robust LibCal Equipment Booking API. This way, when users search on 3D printers, or makerspace labs, they can actually view and reserve time using your equipment!

Where can I learn more about Discovery Layer integration?

Ask, and you shall receive! On September 19, Springshare conducted an in-depth training session on integrating Springy tools with EBSCO EDS, Ex Libris Summon, Ex Libris Primo / Primo VE. We even had a guest speaker from EBSCO, David Podboy, as well as Laura Guy, recent retiree from Colorado School of Mines, to showcase Springy integrations complete with examples and instructions.

The good news? You can watch this recording and download the presenter slides, which include detailed examples and instructions.

We hope you’ll take some time to watch the video and learn how you can avoid the cost of doing nothing by integrating your Springy Tools into as many virtual touch points as possible. As Amber stated, “… if folks don’t integrate everything, they’re missing an opportunity to reach someone.

Click to access our discovery layer training session, including examples and presenter notes and files.