Archive for Accessibility

Gearing Up for Fall with Additions to LibGuides

LibGuides UpdateSummer is winding down here in the Northern Hemisphere, and we know lots of folks are getting ready for back-to-school. We’ve been getting ready, too! In addition to some back-end performance improvements for LibGuides, we area also pleased to tell you that we have a few features and fixes to report for our August release. This code release has already gone out to all regions, so all of the things below are ready and waiting.

Blog Tune-Up

We’ve made a few changes to blogs inside LibGuides! Whether you use the System Blog or you have blog pages added to your guides, you’ll notice:
  • The addition of an anchor link for every post that will jump you down to the comments section
  • On the edit side, the addition of each post’s public URL near the title, for easy copying-and-pasting.
  • Blog post authors will receive an email each time a comment is left (unless they’re the commenter!)
  • A larger compose area when writing a blog post, as well as a rearrangement of some of the elements on the compose screen for better usability.
  • Images within blog posts are now automatically constrained within the post’s container, and book covers have the same CSS selectors as they do when added to a regular guide page.

Get Secure with HTTPS

We’ve been writing a lot lately about HTTPS and security. If you haven’t changed your LibGuides site to require all traffic to go over the secure HTTPS protocol, now’s a great time! We recently made a security change for blogs which also applies to Discussion Boards, if you’re a LibGuides CMS subscriber. All pages that accept user input (like blogs with comments, and like discussion board threads) are now required to be secure.

To require your site to be secure, log into LibApps and go to Admin > Domains & Certificates > click the padlock icon for your site > Force HTTPS > click the Required button. Before you do, you’ll want to review your content and make sure that all your media/widgets, images, and other embedded content are changed to https, if it’s supported. This FAQ will tell you more about what to do.

Getting Right to SSO

It’s now possible to take users directly to your SSO login form, if you would like the public side of your site to be protected by this additional security. If you have set up a site-wide LibAuth rule to restrict the viewing of the public side of your site AND you also have one (and only one) LibAuth configuration set up, users will be taken directly to the SSO login page, rather than to the LibApps login page. Read more about restricting access to your site with LibAuth.

Updated LibAuth Code

Speaking of LibAuth, we have completely rewritten the back-end in order to make it faster, more extensible, and easier to add features to. Have a wishlist item for authenticating your users inside Springy products? Drop us a line!

Small Fixes and Features

As they used to say on TV, “But wait, there’s more!” We have a few additional updates to share:
  • Accessibility: The A-Z list no longer contains duplicate IDs when databases appear in the main list and the sidebar.
  • When an account is created, the name of the person who created the account is included in the Welcome email sent to the new account holder.
  • You can now export all Database and non-Database assets using the Export All button, regardless of how many assets you have in your system.
  • You can now export your LTI Instances using the Export All button–even if there are thousands of them!
  • You can identify media/widget asset code more accurately when using the filters on Content > Assets.
  • Protecting a site, guide, group, or any combination of those works correctly in LibAuth now, even when you’re using a guide as your custom system homepage.
  • The Domains & Certificates table appears appropriately when using IE11. (Please keep your browsers up-to-date for functionality and security reasons! 🙂 )

Privacy-related Updates and More for Your Mid-May

LibGuides Update

Coming this week! This month’s LibGuides & LibApps code release includes a slew of privacy-related updates. We recently announced updates to our privacy policy and tools per the upcoming enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. If you’re new to the GDPR, the enforcement date is May 25, and we at Springshare took the opportunity to review our privacy policies, procedures, and functionality. Check-out our full GDPR compliance plan and policy.

As part of this week’s updates, we’re adding in new privacy control features and we’re extending these “GDPR tools” to all clients around the world, not just our clients in the European Union. Any library, anywhere, using Springshare tools can take advantage of these new features.

Alert your users to how their information is used with a Privacy Alert Banner

We’ve added a new tab in Look & Feel that allows you to enable a small banner that shows on your public pages. The default language is short-and-sweet and also links to a longer Privacy Statement that details cookies and how we use information to collect statistics. This is a dismissible banner similar to ones you may have seen on other websites. It’s off by default; turn it on by going to Admin > Look & Feel > User Privacy Alert.

screenshot

You’ll also see privacy information displayed on your Account settings page, and if you use Patron Accounts, your patrons will see this information on their Account settings page. Patrons will also see this information on the Self-Registration screen, if you have Self-Registration set up.

Being GDPR-compliant also means providing a way for you to opt-in to the emails that you receive from us. Now when you go to your Account Settings page, you’ll be able to opt into the three types of emails that we send: our semi-regular Newsletter (full of tips and tricks as well as news!); our Promotions emails; and word of upcoming webinars, online training, and SpringyCamp events. We hope you’ll opt in for all three! We’re commited to only sending you one email/month in each of those three email cateogries. You can change your options at any time by going to LibApps > My Account.

New to Image Manager—Location Mappings!

Afraid to delete an image because you’re not sure whether it’s being used inside LibGuides? Never fear! Easily see where your images are used, regardless of their location! When you go to Image Manager, you’ll now see a number below each image. Click on the number to see where images are used. Potential locations are:

  • Guides:
    • Rich Text content
    • Gallery Boxes
    • Blog pages > posts and comments
    • Discussion Board Pages > posts and replies
  • System blog > posts and comments
  • System & Public Discussion board > posts and replies
  • Assets*:
    • Database thumbnails
    • Link thumbnails
    • Document thumbnails

You’ll see the mappings when you open Image Manager from LibApps or when editing content in LibGuides.

* Book covers generally are retrieved from Syndetics or Amazon and so are not included here.

screenshot

We will include the locations of images used inside your LibCal and LibAnswers sites, if applicable, in a future release.

Blog Subscriber Management!

Dying to know who has subscribed to your system or guide blogs? Us too! Now you can view the list and, if necessary, unsubscribe email addresses. Just click Blog Management on any admin-side Blog page to view and manage your list.

screenshot

Accessibility Update: Resource Icons

We made a change last year that saw blank ALT text added to Resource Icons. We heard from several of you who pointed out that while these are small, they tend to convey meaning, and sometimes even are linked, which means our move to declare these little beauties “decorative” was a move in the wrong direction. We’ve fixed that! The title of a Resource Icon is now used as its ALT text, and icons (and their links) are screen-reader and keyboard accessible.

As a reminder, your mileage may vary depending on your browser, operating system, and screenreader. We test with widely-used accessibility checkers, browsers, and screenreaders, but accessibility is often a moving target. Did we miss something? Let us know! (link opens in a new tab).

Small Fixes and Features

  • When only one expert is assigned to a subject, that person’s full profile box is shown.
    screenshot
  • Profile boxes added as custom boxes to guide templates now show the person’s correct title.
  • The A-Z databases page was changed so that it does not load Bootstrap when the admin has specified that Bootstrap should not be used across the site.
  • We corrected a name spacing issue that was interfering with LibraryThing widgets.
  • Since the Email Me button in a profile box is a mailto: link, we now validate email addresses entered there.
  • You are now able to edit link assets when you have filtered the assets list by URL contents.
  • We implemented the new Google logo for the Google Search content type, as well as added a missing ARIA label.
  • We added the white background to the LibApps menu, when viewed on a mobile device.
  • We corrected the processing of Gallery Boxes so that all slides do not show momentarily in Internet Explorer, and all Gallery Box content loads more speedily.
  • Notification emails for blog posts now contain a full URL rather than a relative one, which was confusing some email programs.
  • We inadvertently changed how A-Z database search results were presented. They’re now back to a single list, sorted by Relevance.
  • Resource icons order has been restored to sort by the order in which they were added.
  • In keeping with common practice, RSS feeds for blog pages now return the first 10 posts, rather than the entire blog feed.

Brand New Season, Brand New LibGuides Features

We are excited to bring you some big new LibGuides features by the end of this week, just in time for Spring (or Fall, depending on where you are!), including the ability to put your entire site behind your Single Sign-On system with LibAuth authentication, search-and-replace for E-Reserves Items, and a bevy of other fixes.

Read on!

screenshot

Full SSO for Your Guides with LibAuth

Coming this week is the ability to place more public LibGuides pages behind your SSO with LibAuth, whether it’s a single guide, a restricted group of guides (LibGuides CMS only) or your entiresite. We’ve got you covered whether you are required to hide your entire site from the open web, would like to provide access to a group of guides to your campus, or make a single guide available just to one constituent group.

You can set up a LibAuth connection using any of the supported configurations: SAML/Shibboleth/ADFS, CAS, LDAP, SIP2, your own hosted script, or either the InCommon or UK Federation. Securing a guide, group, or site is done in two steps:

  • Set up and test your LibAuth configuration in LibApps at Admin > LibAuth Authentication
  • Set up the desired restriction in LibGuides at Admin > System Settings > Access Restrictions > LibAuth Authentication Rules

Let’s Encrypt Automation

We’ve written a lot lately about site security, and this post is no exception. Coming this week is automation for the installation of Let’s Encrypt certificates for LibCal and LibAnswers sites. Need a secure site but can’t really shell out for a custom security certificate? We got you! Just change your custom domain’s DNS to point to the correct secure endpoint, and we’ll do the rest.

For more in depth information about Let’s Encrypt, read this blog post.

Filters for Non-Database Assets

We’ve updated the Assets page with new filters so that you can search your growing repository with ease! Search not only by type, but owner, subject, URL, and even for code contained in your Media/Widget content. Want to know how many YouTube widgets you have? No problem! Want to see the vast array of Animal Husbandry resources you have? A cinch! Just go to Content > Assets and search to your heart’s content.

screenshot

Profile Box: Random Settings!

Are you one of those folks that used the rotating box code to show off a selection of your guide owners in LibGuides v1? Well now you can do that in LibGuides v2! After adding a profile box to your guide, you can set it to display a random profile each time the page is loaded. You’ll see two options: one will display a random profile selected from all profiles in your system, Admins, Regular, Editors, and Contributors; the other will choose only from profiles that own published guides.

screenshot

E-Reserves Items Search & Replace

We have added E-Reserves items to the Search & Replace tool. If you’ve discovered that a title was recorded incorrectly and you’ve re-used the item in every. single. English. course. for the semester, you can save a slew of clicks by using S&R.

It works like the other S&R tools: you can search for E-Reserve item name, description, URL, and the fields that are particular to the various E-Reserves Item types, like Article Title and DOI. Head over to Tools > Search & Replace to get started.

screenshot

Smaller Features and Fixes

We are also including a bunch of smaller features and fixes that we’re sure you’ll love!

  • Gallery boxes added as custom boxes to E-Reserves course pages display properly.
  • If you uncheck “use this image in my guide” while uploading a new image to Image Manager, the Upload New Image button persists after upload.
  • The mSite builder “site visited” cookie is now 2 minutes instead of 2 hours.
  • We fixed the ability to add an IP restriction from inside a guide as well as from Group settings.
  • We added missing content types to the Add Content Item dialog on the Content > Assets page.
  • Editor account levels are now able to delete rich text content items on guides they edit.
  • In Tools > Data Exports > XML, the Download icon is not available until the file is ready to be downloaded.
  • Links to guides submitted via publishing workflow are no longer relative.
  • An error in the search sources was fixed, allowing EBSCO Discovery Service contents to be retrieved.
  • We removed the outdated “scheme” attribute from meta tags.
  • We changed the way that guide titles sort, so that whole and decimal numbers are sorted properly.
  • We added the URL to the export for non-database assets.
  • We changed the text for the unsubscribe links in blog post emails to be more accessible.

LibGuides Update: E-Reserves Item Search, Patron Login with LibAuth, LibAuth Setup Wizard, and a Ton More Updates!

E-Reserves Search

Check out this giant present for your holiday celebrations!

Or if you’re not into December holidays, Happy 2018 from Springy to you! 🙂

There are a ton of new features for you to explore in LibGuides this month.

Log into LibApps patron accounts with LibAuth

If you head over to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron accounts = and if you see accounts listed there, those users can now sign into Discussion Boards and Blog Comments using your local authentication layer (LDAP, CAS, AD, etc.).  If you don’t see any accounts listed there, good news, you can batch import! This way, your users can actively participate and comment in your LibGuides system using their trusted and known local authentication layer and without having to remember yet another login. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to create accounts via import, or to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts > Settings to enable self-registration.
  2. Set up your LibAuth configuration.
  3. Be sure to set the “Allow logging into LibApps using this authentication?” option at the bottom of the screen to “Yes.”

LibAuth Setup Wizard

If your institution is a member of the InCommon Federation or UK Federation, you can now set up a LibAuth connection in just a few clicks. Just choose your institution name from the setup drop-down, and we’ll create a configuration for you, pasting in your metadata URL and filling in machine-readable attributes. If you’re not a member of either federation, or you wish to use a different protocol outside federation setup, no problem! Just choose to set up a configuration manually. We continue to support SAML / Shibboleth / ADFS, CAS, SIP2, LDAP, and a self-hosted script of your own creation.

Let’s Encrypt support

We are pleased to announce support for free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. Similar to the certificates that we manage for Springy domains (e.g., libguides.com), these short-term certificates for your LibGuides domains will be installed and renewed by us at no cost or bother to you. Simply change your site’s domain to your desired custom domain, and we’ll do the rest!

Already have a custom domain? No problem! We’ll be requesting and installing Let’s Encrypt certificates for LibGuides custom domains  in the coming weeks. If you prefer to upload your own SSL certificate, you can still do that, no problem! Sites that have already uploaded their own certificates will not be changed, although you are welcome to switch from your own certificate to Let’s Encrypt. Please contact support to get started: support@springshare.com.

Let’s Encrypt certificates are currently only available for LibGuides sites with custom domains but will be coming to LibAnswers and LibCal custom domain sites in the near future.

As always, we manage the SSL certificates for your LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibInsight sites.

E-Reserves item search

Now you can provide a deeper search of your e-reserves content! Go into E-Reserves > Settings > Search and enable item search to see new tabbed search results on your E-Reserves pages that includes all E-Reserves items. Search results include courses like they always have, but item search retrieves documents that are not assigned to a course as well as those that are. Visibility dates and access rules (passwords) for courses and items are also enforced.  The new enhanced display also shows you which Subjects courses are assigned to.

If you don’t want item level search, just head to E-Reserves > Settings > Search to disable the item level search.

Screenshot of e-reserves item search results

E-Reserves page URLs are “savable”

Want to send a link to your e-reserves courses by Instructor? By Subject? Now you can! Any URL that you navigate to on your public e-reserves pages is now savable and shareable. Bonus: this extends to search results, too! You can create a search retrieving exactly the desired subset of courses and documents and forward that on to the appropriate audience. Pssst, we heard you! We’ll be making this change for the LibGuides system and group home pages in a release coming up in a few short weeks.

AZ fixes and features

There are two new filters on the A-Z Databases management page: Asset Owner and Last Updated date. Use these to search for a subset of databases maintained by a certain person, or to make sure that updates have been done timely.

Screenshot of new filters on the AZ management page

Additional AZ Fixes and Features

  • Login credential updates save correctly
  • Column filters on AZ settings page work correctly
  • Counts of popular databases are correct on the Analyze Holdings page
  • Internal notes with quotation marks save correctly

Accessibility fixes

  • Added missing labels on public blog pages
  • Reference to non-existant imagemap removed
  • ALT text for Books from the Catalog

…and Even More Small Fixes!

  • Added a link back to domains page from certificate upload page
  • Image manager: replacing an image with a new image works correctly
  • Databases without a URL show properly as plain text in a guide
  • Guide Blog page RSS feed works if your site is forced to HTTPS
  • Accounts page: account type filter works correctly
  • Search:
    • EBSCO Discovery Service search results pagination works correctly
    • Punctuation inEBSCO Discovery Service search results works correctly
  • The default template for individual subject page is editable when E-Reserves module is enabled
  • Link checker
    • Exclusion list URLs with special characters filter correctly
    • All proxied assets are skipped
  • Blog widgets: new option to display post dates
  • Blog widgets display correctly for posts with more than one subject
  • Statistics: Content Summary visible when E-Reserves module is disabled
  • Updating single database asset with the API works correctly

And last but not least: we disabled the “Create Guide” button after you click on it once, so that it’s no longer possible to accidentally create more than one guide. 🙂

 

LibGuides Accessibility Updates, AZ Page Stats, HTTPS Certificates and more!

Accessibility fixes

This week at Springy HQ we are pleased to bring you the following accessibility fixes. Our first pass of fixes in the last few months focused on “errors” on all public pages; this pass hits the E-Reserves module as well as many things classified as “alerts”—things that could technically adhere to guidelines but needed examining. See something else we need to consider? Let us know! Click the Support tab on any admin-side LibGuides page to send us a ticket.
Please include:
  • Name of the accessibility tool you’re using
  • Description of the issue, including any code snippets that trigger the alert
  • Screenshot of the accessibility tool’s overlay highlighting the issue, if possible
  • URL of the page (included automatically if you use the Support form)
To ensure that content that you add keeps your guides accessible, please see our help guide on LibGuides and Accessibility accessible as well as the upcoming training session on the topic.
E-Reserves fixes
  • We rebuilt the E-Reserves request form using plain HTML & Bootstrap select menus, eliminating several issues with keyboard and screenreader navigation.
  • We eliminated a few errors and alerts on the main E-Reserves listing page and on course pages.
  • We changed the H4 element used to mark up the number of courses shown to an H2 to maintain proper page outline.
Public Pages fixes
  • We’ve replaced the select menus on the Subject and Profiles by Subject pages with simpler HTML that eliminates several alerts and errors.
  • We changed an H4 tag on the Subjects page to H2 in order to maintain proper outline order.
  • We added a missing ARIA label on the system homepage and changed the Sort control to a <div> rather than a <form> tag.
  • We removed a hidden field that was triggering a “redundant ALT text” alert.
  • We wrapped the profile image and name together in a single link tag to eliminate the “redundant link” alerts.
Gallery boxes
  • We incorporated an updated version of the component used in Gallery boxes as it contained several accessibility updates.
  • We changed the slide title field to H3 since the box title is H2, to maintain proper outline order.
A few changes might require the updating of your system’s CSS and custom templates, but only if you make extensive use of CSS and custom templates. Most folks won’t have to worry about these! Here are the gritty details, should you need them:

CSS Changes:

System & Group Home Pages
WAS:
The element around the “Display” area, which allows you to control the order in which guide lists are displayed should not have been a <form> element.
NOW:
It is now a <div> element, so any customizations targeting the form element should be updated to use <div> instead.
Gallery Boxes
WAS:
Slide titles were <h4> elements.
NOW:
This is now an <h3>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves – er.php
WAS:
“Search for Courses” label next to the search box was a <span> element.
NOW:
This is now correctly in a <label>. Heading above the list of courses, subjects, etc., was an <h4> element. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves Request Form – er_request.php
WAS:
We had been using a component for some of the select options on the page that we determined was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “select2”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “select2” are removed. These include: select2-drop, select2-display-none, select2-with-searchbox, select2-drop-active, select2-offscreen, select2-input, etc.
Password-Protected Pages – Groups, Guides, Courses
WAS:
The message prompting users to enter the password (above the text box) was not in a <label>.
NOW:
That text correctly has a <label>, as it is associated with the password input below. Any CSS changes should target the <label> element.
Profile Landing Page – prf.php
WAS:
“By Subject” dropdown was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.
Profile names are not linked, so style changes could be made using:
div.s-lib-profile-nameProfile names are now linked to their profile (in addition to the picture being linked), so any style changes to the profile name must be adjusted to include the anchor tag:
div.s-lib-profile-name a
Subjects Pages: sb.php and individual subject pages
WAS:
Subject dropdown selection was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.  Headings above the list of guides, databases, etc., (“Showing x guides”, etc.) were <h4> elements. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.

Template Changes:

Both the Profile and Subject pages now have ARIA labels for the <section> tags. If you are using the default templates, you do not need to make any changes to implement this update. Default templates automatically update.

If you have customized these templates, however, you will need to update your template to include the accessibility update, as outlined below.

Right now, each of these is coded as simply <section>. Now they are coded as follows. You can update customized templates to reflect these changes at any time.

Profiles Templates:

Main Landing Page – prf.php:

<section aria-label=”List of Profiles”>

Individual Profile Page – prf.php?account_id=x
<section aria-label=”Profile Content”>

Subjects Templates:

Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Subject Search Bar”>Content area below Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Content by Subject”>

Manage Your Domains!

New in LibApps is the ability to view and manage your systems’ domains, including the ability to add and change custom domains and upload a custom HTTPS certificate for LibGuides. Need a certificate installed for your LibCal or LibAnswers system? No sweat! Please email us at support@springshare.com or open a ticket by clicking the Support tab from the admin side of your product. We’ll get you set up right away, and the ability to manage these certificates on your own will be coming soon.
So what can you do on the new Manage Domains page? Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Domains to:
  • View the domains for all your Springy apps
  • Add or change a Custom Domain Mapping for your LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibGuides site(s)
  • Create a Certificate Signing Request in order to request a custom HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
  • Manage the current HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
Also see our help guide on the topic.

Databases Page Stats

We’re pleased to add a long-awaited addition to your statistics interface: A-Z Databases Page hits. These stats show how many hits are made daily or monthly to your AZ list. From August 16, they also show the referring URLs, when that data exists.
Screenshot: the A to Z databases page stats include a graph and data table of hits to az.php

Other Fixes and Features

This release also included:
  • LibAuth:
    • The ability to specify a custom port for SIP2 and LDAP LibAuth configurations.
    • Automatic updating of LibAuth certification fingerprints and IdP configurations.
    • Now when you view an E-Reserves Course’s settings, you’ll see the name of the default LibAuth configuration, if one exists.
  • Resumption of the ability for customers to enter translation files for us. Interested? Please get in touch!
  • Ability to limit AZ Holdings Analysis to library type and location.

LibCal Equipment Booking Update Coming Your Way

On the heels of last month’s major LibCal Spaces update, this month we’re bringing the same types of accessibility and mobile-friendly updates to the Equipment Booking module! 🙂  This required some changes to the Equipment Booking grid and the booking details / confirmation pages, so if you’ve customized those, you’ll want to check your system post-update on August 16, 2017 (U.S. time) to make sure everything looks as it should. Remember, we’re here to help if you have any questions.

Here’s what’s new:

  1. The screens for Equipment Booking (the availability grid and the checkout process) are now fully accessible and mobile-optimized. The previous version was not fully up to par in this regard. We apologize for this omission, but we worked hard to address this problem quickly.
  2. Major API improvement: check whether or not the booking will go through, before actually making the booking! (This is applicable to the Spaces and Equipment APIs.)
  3. Admins can set up LibAuth rules on a Category-level and individual Item-level for Equipment pieces.
  4. Category-level mediators and visibility settings now available in Equipment Booking. Previously, the mediation and visibility was setup at the Location level only. This update introduces the same settings on the category level, for additional flexibility in organizing your Equipment Booking rules.
  5. Availability grid colors (for available slots, booked/unavailable slots, and “your selection” slots) are now customizable via color picker. The customized colors appear on both the public and admin sides of the system. Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings to find these options.

Get Trained / Take a Tour
Note: All times listed are U.S. EDT.

Attend an Equipment Booking training webinar!

Next Sessions: Wednesday, August 16, 2017:

Don’t have Equipment Booking yet? Take a tour!

We’ve also squashed several bugs and shined up some screens:

  • When exporting lists of events via CSV, HTML is now stripped from the event description text.
  • Closing hours no longer overlap with opening hours, so there’ll be no more entering the 4th dimension of the space-time continuum!
  • The “system time” format now displays consistently in all modules (spaces, equipment booking, events, hours).
  • The “Add Item” button no longer shows when Equipment Booking is disabled.
  • Event organizer profiles now show on event pages when LibAuth is enabled.
  • My Scheduler widgets now display properly within the LibApps LTI tool.
  • You can now use calendar widgets from different locations on the same webpage.
  • Fixed an issue where recurring bookings sometimes couldn’t be created before existing bookings.
  • Fixed a display problem with the “no timeslots are available” message in widgets.

In addition to all of these changes and fixes, we’ve made further iterative improvements to the speed of the system, so the screens are now even zippier and more responsive. After August 16th, LibCal will be an even better calendaring and booking platform for libraries, but our work is not done. Your amazing feedback, suggestions, and ideas are central to our success, so please keep them coming! In the upcoming months we’ll release more updates based on customer feedback, so you can expect more good things to come LibCal’s way.

Thanks to everyone who contributed the ideas that went into this release! 🙂

-The Springshare Crew

LibCal Space Bookings Update – All About Accessibility and Mobile Access

We love collaborating closely with our clients and taking their feedback & ideas to make our tools better for the entire community. Today’s LibCal code update is the result of one such collaboration. Namely, the LibCal implementation team at the University of Arizona was getting ready to roll out the Spaces booking system using LibCal when they noticed several accessibility and usability issues with the default spaces booking screens on mobile devices.

 

So, we worked with them on fixing many Spaces booking mobile-view issues and implementing accessibility improvements as well. Given the importance of accessibility for our clients, and the fact that an increasing number of patrons use mobile devices for bookings,  we wanted to release these improvements to production servers asap. Basically, the accessibility and mobile improvements trump everything else! Today (Monday) the changes were made live on US servers, and tomorrow (Tuesday) the changes will be live on EU and Canadian servers, too.

 

What Has Changed?

The booking process for Spaces (not the old Room Bookings, but the new Spaces Bookings) is very slightly different but much improved! We did a thorough testing run to ensure that nothing broke with existing customizations. The results were encouraging but we urge all admins to check their Spaces customizations and go through a sample booking of a space, to ensure everything looks good in your system. If you need assistance with any customization tweaks, please reach out to support and we’ll take care of it asap.

It’s important to know that these changes only affect the Spaces booking. The Equipment booking is next in line for accessibility and mobile-view improvements, and we plan to release Equipment booking improvements in a few weeks (around Aug 15th). Here are the changes:

  1. The Spaces booking grid now looks good on mobile devices, with larger/more tap-able grid which can now be used to book multiple spaces. Plus, it’s accessible, too!
  2. The Dates-related buttons in the top right corner of the booking grid are now larger, for easier emphasis, and accessible / they “glow” nicely into new line on small mobile screens.
  3. The legend for color coding of the grid now looks like real legend, rather than looking like small button labels which can be confusing to users.
  4. The Spaces booking calendar now defaults to the current hour of the day as much as possible given the screen size issues. This is great for mobile screens because it minimizes the amount of scrolling required.
  5. The Info button for more information about a space is now accessible and mobile-friendly, as is the resulting modal window showing more info about a given space.
  6. The Booking Details section is now presented in a grid for better mobile layout and accessibility.
  7. Separate Terms & Conditions sections are now condensed into one shaded area so that it looks better on mobile screens.
  8. The Thank You screen is more verbose with a bit more detail on what happens next (this text is customizable as well, via language tokens).
  9. The customizable Date formats now apply consistently across the Spaces bookings screens.
  10. “Add Equipment” button no longer appears unless there is equipment a the location the user is at (duh, right? We agree, and sorry about this bug).
  11. “Submit Times” button wording is now fully customizable using the language tokens.

 

What Is New? 

Besides these mobile and accessibility changes to the existing screens, we also used this code update opportunity to introduce bunch of important new features. We know you are going to love these, and they will make LibCal even more fully featured spaces booking platform. This is the new stuff/new functionality we rolled out:

  1. LibAuth authentication booking restrictions now work (optionally, of course) on a Category level or even on individual Item level too. Imagine the possibilities – set the rules as to who can reserve a given space on an item level – this specific conference room can only be booked by Staff, or this Category of auditorium spaces can only be booked by Faculty… this new feature truly opens exciting possibilities for the utility and usefulness of LibCal at your institution.
  2. Capacity display is now optional in the booking grid/table. So many of you asked to hide this using CSS tricks. Now you can do it “the right way”  – head to admin>equipment & spaces>settings>public spaces settings>capacity information, and you can choose to hide the capacity label.
  3. Spaces can now be set to show either a single day’s worth of availability, or the multi-day slider we use right now. Change under admin>E&S>settings. This was another frequent feature request.

 

That’s it for this release! We know, it’s a lot. And all good stuff, too. Over the next 2 weeks we will work on similar changes (accessibility improvements and mobile-friendly view) for the Equipment Bookings so stay tuned… and please do not hesitate to reach out about any of the changes we have introduced today. We stand ready to help with any customization issue that may pop up.

Big thanks to the library team at the University of Arizona for their help in getting these improvements out quickly, for the benefit of the entire 1,000+ strong LibCal community.