Archive for Client Stories

Ideas for Re-enaging 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!

How The LTI Integration Tool Embeds Its Way Into Your Hearts

When Point Of Need Is Where It’s At!

You know where you ought to be. Point of Need has become one of those phrases that sounded awkward at first — but is now a philosophy that’s the foundation of a strategy. In the library’s effort to provide excellent service, meeting your patrons where they are certainly works toward anticipating their needs and reducing friction. It helps boost usage and your stats will provide supporting evidence to show your team is focused on getting people the help they need.

 

Read on to learn how George Hart at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang from Marymount University are using the LTI Integration Tool in LibGuides CMS at their institutions to be… on point!

What Is The LTI Integration Tool?

LibGuides CMS is the advanced version of LibGuides. It does everything that a LibGuides system can do, plus a whole lot more. One of the features that’s included is the LTI Integration Tool. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability – it’s a standard for integrating tools from third-party services into a Learning Management System (LMS) like Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace / Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai, etc. If your courseware tool is LTI compliant then it will be compatible with our tool to seamlessly integrate content from your LibGuides CMS system into your LMS.

It’s not just about guides. You can customize your user’s experience by showing the relevant guides, librarians with the appropriate subject specialty, specifically chosen A-Z database results (for instance just those tagged Economics), plus library hours, the ability to book study rooms, and book appointments. You can even include your LibAnswers LibChat widget and search box! The most important thing is it all displays natively on the desired page.

Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware.

Library Director, George Hart of UMass — Lowell, with a LibGuides CMS system that boasts 836 guides, stopped into the Springyverse recently to be our special guest speaker for a webinar detailing how they’re using Springshare’s E-Reserves module inside their courseware tool to great success.

  • He talks about how they use the LTI automagic feature, which he calls “phenomenally powerful” because it “scales so well.” They used it for 92 sections of college writing.
  • They are mapping specific E-Reserves items for each section of the course.
  • You’ll learn they mapped 361 LibGuides to individual courses.

George says, “It’s an ideal way to integrate everything we have to share into the student’s experience. It’s complete integration. It’s just when they need it, where they need it, anytime.” For a little how to and to learn more about what George and his team are doing at the library at UMass — Lowell, watch the recording of this webinar Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware. You can also supplement that with additional stories on this topic.

Increase Resource Usage With LTI.

Marymount University’s Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang carved some time out of their schedules to be our special guest speakers for their webinar on how the LTI tool is boosting everything from awareness of the library to their usage of ebooks and reference services. 

  • This is a story whose foundation is data. You’ll discover what they’ve accomplished in 3 years.
  • Their intention was to decrease the number of clicks to get to library resources and increase collaboration with teaching faculty, increase chat usage, ebook usage, and student & faculty awareness of LibGuides.
  • Discover how they’re using a “four-tier guide system.”
  • You’ll enjoy their awesome infographics that tell the tale of how their strategy to be efficient  — and to find opportunities to act on their data — helped them toward their goals.

Don’t miss this recording of the webinar Increase Resource Usage with LTI. You’ll start imagining how the LTI tool can work for your library. Making sure you are where you are needed most sounds like the mission statement on a superhero’s website. But it also sounds like something everyone should be prioritizing. Libraries provide an incredible service, but in this case — your superpower should be VISIBILITY.

Hear How Two Public Libraries Are Using LibStaffer

Live Speaker Webinar Series May 22 and June 6

Learning By Example

Sometimes, the best way to understand how a tool can be used in your library is to see how someone else is using it in theirs.

To that end, we have two amazing speakers from the Arlington Public Library and the Marion County Public Library System each presenting on how they’re using LibStaffer at their libraries.

Join us for two opportunities to learn how other libraries are using Springy Tools, why they switched, and ways they’re using its unique features.

What’s LibStaffer?

LibStaffer is staff and service point scheduling tool designed to take the hard work out of scheduling so you have time to focus on more important projects. Organizing the reference desk schedule for next week, or covering John’s summer vacation, rotating early AM shifts so poor Mary isn’t stuck with the 8am’s every single day – is hard work, and it never ever ends.

LibStaffer’s powerful auto-scheduling tool understands staff preferences and their availability limitations so accurate schedules are created quickly and easily. Easily:

  • Outline who can work on which schedule and define staff availability including time-off;
  • Integrate with LibCal’s Appointment Scheduler so one-on-one consultations aren’t booked at the same time as a reference desk shift;
  • Enable Clocking In/Out with the LibStaffer Timeclock with IP & Geolocation functionality;
  • Create Workflow Forms that facilitate the entire life-cycle of a workflow process (like an employment application!);
  • …. and so much more!

These speakers will cover:

  • How they’re using LibStaffer across multiple branches and service desks;
  • What they were using originally (Excel Spreadsheets!) and why they moved to LibStaffer;
  • Their favorite LibStaffer time-saving features like the drag & drop tool and the auto-scheduler.

Register Today – Webinars Are 30min and Free!

Timing doesn’t work and can’t attend? Register anyway to receive the recording! Just choose, ‘Receive Recording’ from the sign-up form.

How Arlington Public Library Uses LibStaffer

When: Wednesday, May 22

Time: 1:30pm – 2:00pm U.S. ET

Register Today: https://calendar.springshare.com/calendar/training/arlington-public-library-uses-libstaffer.

Note: We’re using the awesome new Friendly URL feature for Calendar Events!


How Marion County Public Library System Uses LibStaffer

When: Thursday, June 6

Time: 1:00pm – 1:30pm U.S. ET

Register Today:

https://calendar.springshare.com/calendar/training/marion-county-public-library-system-uses-libstaffer.

We hope to see you during this special guest presenter’s webinar series! If not, be sure to visit this blog again as we’ll be posting a post-event recap with links to the video recordings.

Guest Presentations from ACRL 2019 are Available!

In case you missed our awesome line-up of guest speakers at the ACRL Conference in Cleveland, we have the recordings available for you!

Watch all guest presentations and download presenter materials on our ACRL 2019 Guest Presentations Buzz Guide. Huzzah!

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-min guest presentations by Springshare users will get you thinking about all the new and interesting ways you can use your Springshare tools.

Perhaps you’ll want to setup LibCal Spaces for reserving Bloomberg Terminals like CUNY – Lehman College or  use LibWizard Tutorials for Training Student Workers like the University of Guelph-Humber Library. Or if you’re looking for LibGuides usability practices then take a page from James Madison University’s Usability Study or Kennesaw State University Library’s Student-Centered LibGuides Design.

So take a minute (or two or three) and learn from your fellow colleagues on the endless possibilities of Springy tools.

With 13 presentations – it’s time to get #springyinspired!

Guest Presentations

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

Ellen Filgo: Baylor UniversityBaylor University Library: Assessing Research Consultations – Survey a ‘Captive’ Audience

Baylor Librarians 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 realized that we had an untapped opportunity for assessing the program, through LibCal’s automatic email system. They inserted a link to a LibWizard survey in that follow-up email with questions about the research consultation. This process was a very easy and low-maintenance way to perform assessment with what is virtually a captive audience.

 

Michelle Ehrenpreis: Lehman College CUNYCUNY – Lehman: Bloomberg & LibCal – A Match Made in Collaboration Heaven

Learn how LibCal was used to implement booking the newly installed Bloomberg Terminal in the Leonard Lief Library at Lehman College. Particulars include collaborating with business faculty to understand departmental needs, working with multiple departments to set up protocol, how the setup influences the student as user, harvesting relevant statistics, and future implications for implementation.

 

 

Heidi Blackburn: University of Nebraska at OmahaUniv. Nebraska, Omaha: Women in STEM in Higher Education – An ALA Carnegie-Whitney Grant Project

Imagine patrons trying to find sources on STEM-related topics such as biases women face, classroom experiences, learning communities, mentoring or work-life balance for assessment, best practices, or accreditation purposes. This information was not readily available in one location for easy access. With the help of a student research assistant, they created a LibGuide documenting and organizing over 1,100 citations regarding the status of women in STEM in higher education.

 

Mikki Smith: Corning Museum of GlassThe 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. Revised FAQs highlight relevant digital content from across the organization where possible, including blog posts, images, digitized library resources, and videos from our YouTube channel, as well as a small number of print and archival resources in our collections that might be of interest.

 

Hillary Ostermiller: James Madison UniversityJames Madison Univ. Library: The Gap Between Student and Subject Guide – Findings from a Usability Study

Four liaison librarians from very different disciplines (including Biology, Business, Media Studies, Social Work, and Writing) conducted a series of usability tests in Spring 2018. They asked participants to complete a series of tasks using James Madison University subject guides, and all screen activity and voices were captured using Morae Recorder. The results were fascinating, enlightening, and immediately useful. The research team is currently sharing practical implications from our findings with colleagues via a “Tip of the Week” email.

 

Bernadette Mirro: Marymount UniversityMarymount Univ. Library: A Tale of Data – How our Stats Have Improved Two Years After Integrating LibGuides into our LMS

An overview of two years’ worth of data that demonstrates the impact of integrating LibGuides into Canvas, a learning management system, that put the library’s resources at our students’ point of need. The statistics will reflect the impact of LTI integration on LibGuide visits, online reference chat service, streaming media usage, eBook usage and faculty awareness of resources. Learn how changing the way students access your resources can positively impact your library services.

 

Mary Aagard & Jamie Addy: Boise State University and Georgia CollegeBoise State Univ. & Georgia College Libraries: Common Reader Remix – Librarians Leading Innovation

This presentation describes the evolution of two campuses’ common reading programs from single item, book-based reads, to curated lists of essays. The essay selections are accessed via LibGuides and leverage library collections and open resource selections. LibGuides are used to track usage and organize materials that accompany the reading programs.

 

 

Melissa Clapp: Wofford College

Wofford College Library: Library Memory is for Exhibits, Too

Library exhibits too frequently exist only ephemerally. Librarians can use Guides to give exhibits digital, interactive life, and a place in the library’s permanent memory. This presentation shows you how to maximize the effort put into exhibits by complementing the physical with digital space.

 

 

 

Sue Hunter: University of Guelph-HumberUniv. of Guelph-Hunter Library: LibWizard Tutorials for Training Student Workers

At the University of Guelph-Humber student workers, known as Research Support Peers, staff a service desk to assist their peers in the research process. LibWizard tutorials were developed for training aids for these student workers. The tutorials include techniques for searching databases based on specific assignments and information on citation styles.

 

 

Amy Gratz Barker and Ashley Hoffman: Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw State Univ. Library: Student-Centered Design – Creating LibGuides Students Actually Use

Having trouble creating and maintaining research guides that students actually use? We were! Learn how we addressed several years of low usage statistics and general dissatisfaction with our guides by creating a new blueprint based on student feedback. We shared the results of our study, highlighting what students are really looking for, as well as tips for using these design research methods yourself!

 

Emily Underwood: Hobart & William Smith CollegesHobart & William Smith College Libraries: Maintaining a Library Website Isn’t Only for the Coder at Heart

What do you do when your institution’s systems librarian leaves and you inherit the responsibility for maintaining your library’s website and LibApps products? Run and hide? No! Despite a lack of coding knowledge, not only can you keep the website functioning, but you can also improve it. You, too, can use LibGuides CMS to power your website all while learning to code on the fly!

 

Cleveland State UniversityCleveland State Univ. Libraries: Recasting Research Guidance – Using a Comprehensive Literature Review to Establish Best Practices for Developing LibGuides

As online tools, research guides should follow best practices for user experience, while also serving the needs of researchers on our campuses. Much has been published about LibGuide design in the last decade, and it can be hard to wade through the variety of literature, much of it gray literature. In keeping with evidence-based library and information practice, the researchers conducted an in-depth literature review, developed a set of literature-informed best practices for LibGuide design, and applied them to their own guides.

 

Loring Prest: California University of Pennsylvania California Univ. of Pennsylvania Library: Saving Time with Hidden Boxes and Reusable Content

Learn how I use hidden boxes and reusable links to save time and standardize content on our LibGuides-based library website. These elements help manage the announcements that appear on the home page, display special messages in a top banner box that is enabled when needed, and provide standardized content for reuse by other LibGuide editors.

Prince Georges CC Uses LibWizard to Assess Student Success

An Easy Way To Get Important Data You Need.

Libraries are working very hard to provide excellent instruction, easy access to information, and responsive service relevant to the needs of their students, faculty, patrons, and staff.

If you know a little about LibWizard, you probably know that it allows you to make an unlimited number of custom tutorials, forms, and surveys. These are great for gathering feedback to help you know what you could be improving or doing away with, what patrons are enjoying and what they want even more of from the library.

However, Prince Georges Community College is also using LibWizard to build quizzes. Their library team has prioritized assessment and are taking a serious look at whether their students are learning. In the end, doesn’t all the work come down to this?

If You Know What Features You Need, It’s Easier To Find Your Solution.

Marianne Giltrud wears many hats as an Assistant Professor, Instruction Librarian, and Secretary in the Faculty Senate Academic Council at Prince Georges Community College. Assessment is one of her responsibilities. She relayed why she needed to find a new tool to address it.  They had quizzes built using some older technology. The person who created them left and neglected to hand over the admin rights so it was impossible to access the assessment data. Since Marianne was in a position to find a solution, she wanted one that could yield the data that she needed. Recalling her search, she said,

We used Google Forms for most of our surveys and forms. However, the google forms/spreadsheets do not provide robust enough data, for assessment. You can do pivot tables but not everyone can do them. LibWizard reports are easier to run and use.

I have used Survey Monkey for a variety of things, but it really isn’t designed for quizzes, per se. You can ask questions that are on a Likert scale but it doesn’t have the features like conditional logic, grading, feedback, timers, and more. LibWizard gives you a lot more options and ways to slice and dice the data.

Marianne chose to use LibWizard for a number of reasons. She said,

We already use Springshare products like LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibGuides CMS, so it made sense to go with LibWizard. However, it really was the reporting feature with Excel spreadsheets, the charts (pie, graph, bar, and table) and the quiz question features (conditional logic, grading, feedback, and timers) that was the deciding factor. Moreover, we had considered a proprietary InfoLit Tutorial but found that the assessment reports were very basic and it wasn’t customizable enough for what I needed.

The Goal Is To Assess Learning.

It can be taken for granted that the students are learning. Academic institutions are fully aware that this is a dangerous assumption. Marianne said,

Student success is a key metric for the college. Thus, assessment is very important to ensure that students are learning what they need to learn. We report student assessment in many ways.

The Library and Learning Resources Division strategic objectives tasked to me were:

• the creation of the interactive videos and with specific measurable outcomes.

• the creation of an information literacy instruction pre-test and post-test to assess learning in a one-shot face-to-face instruction.

Both of these required assessment data based on specific learning outcomes. I just reported the data in the FY 2017-2018 Strategic Plan. You’ll find more and more colleges and universities are looking at relevancy, assessment, student success, and ways to engage users.

Marianne had a plan and executed it. She said,

I created eight videos/tutorials and embedded the quiz at the end. I then embedded everything in a LibGuide Frame. In addition, we placed the Research Tutorial videos with a link to the quizzes on our YouTube channel.

Since I wanted to assess the learning, a quiz was the best option for me. I also wanted to use the grading feature, so that students would get the score once they completed each video/quiz.

You’ll find four quiz questions per video (32 questions in total). I created the learning outcomes and relevant quizzes based on the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy as a guide to test the students’ knowledge. I created mostly multiple-choice questions but a few were true and false.

The End Of The Story? Done Correctly, It Never Ends.

The response to the work that the Prince Georges Community College Library has done with LibWizard is favorable. Marianne said,

The Library Director likes the data because it can be reported in the measured outcomes section of the Strategic Plan under the Unit Goals.

Faculty like how we have constructed a way for the students to get a copy of the grades directly or the students can take a screen capture of the grade at the end of the quiz and send that to their professor.

Even Marianne is happy. It’s funny how sometimes in order to begin to envision a good solution — you must first think about what you want to get out of it in the end. This was that kind of project for Marianne. She said,

The Statistics report gives a high-level overview including the mean, average and standard deviation. I like bar charts and tables for most of what I am conveying.

LibWizard is easy to use and the quizzes are can be built without a steep learning curve. It’s mostly a text editor.

Now, the students can keep viewing the library’s tutorials and they can keep taking quizzes afterward. The data will let the library know if learning is, in fact, happening — which is, of course, the best case scenario.

Arizona State Uses LibGuides for their March Mammal Madness

#2019MMM — Are You Playing?

If you’re on Twitter, even a little, you’ve probably seen someone enthusiastically cheering for a Bengal Tiger or proclaiming she’s Team Sea Lion, even pumped about a Bearcat for the win. You heard correctly, pumped.

It’s possible that at no other time of the year will you read so many academics use that word than during Arizona State University’s March Mammal Madness — a tournament that features mammals encountering other mammals in the wild and seeing who’d win.

In 2013, Dr. Katie Hinde, who as an Associate Professor at ASU investigates the food, medicine, and signal of mother’s milk, founded MMM — whose name is a play off of the NCAA March Madness Basketball tournament. Each year the madness spreads with more contributors, participants, and unabashed fans! You’ll find detailed instructions on how to play laid out in a special LibGuide they’ve built. The action is happening right now as they are currently mid-tournament with the Sweet Sixteen.

Using LibGuides to Organize the Madness.

March Mammal Madness is an educational opportunity to learn all about our planet’s species woven with a bracket and served as a thrilling competitive experience. Professors, scientists, researchers, students and classrooms of children from all over the world look forward to and passionately play MMM — and they play to win.

They might have started out making their picks based on mammals whose names they knew, like the Rock Wallaby or Beaver. But, after seeing how the encounters went down in the incredible narrations done by the tournament contributors, most realized it was important to do the research on the Bharal and Rakali!

Anali Perry, the Scholarly Communication Librarian at ASU, recalled that before using LibGuides, this tournament was all managed in Dr. Hinde’s blog. In 2017, as the tournament grew year over year, not just in popularity but in moving parts, Anali suggested they build a special guide for the tournament information in their LibGuides CMS system.

Anali said, “I spend a lot of time advocating for increased access to scholarly research. I think MMM is a fantastic example of how excited people of all ages can get about science and scholarship! It’s important to me to contribute to MMM each year because I can help point people to free and open sources of good information, as well as look for open access versions of articles cited.”

Anali said it wasn’t easy for people to find the information they needed on the blog so they built a LibGuide that wasn’t aimed toward the ASU community but was, rather, for participants all over the world.

  • In 2017, the LibGuide had 18,000 views over the 6-week tournament period.
  • 2018 saw 89,000 views over that same 6 weeks.
  • In 2019, the day the tournament dropped, the LibGuide had 100,000 views and is currently at 257,692 views at the midpoint.

 

The guide offers everything from an FAQ to the downloadable bracket. It features animal background information with free and open resources, resources for K-12, and academic information resources.  There are videos, mammal art, links to recaps and news. They even archive the MMM tournament back to its beginning and give information on ASUs researchers and current research topics.

The Power of a Great Idea

When people love what they’re working on, it shows and in the case of March Mammal Madness — it advances, running through the jungles, swimming against the currents, swinging to capture the imagination of mammal lovers everywhere.

It’s not just the players who are hooked.

Lara Durgavich, Lecturer at Tufts University recalls, “One of the saltiest battle outcomes I can remember was in 2018 when I narrated a battle between the common octopus and the green anaconda. Ironically, it ended poorly for the octopus precisely because the river where the battle took place wasn’t salty enough. Fans were not happy to see the octopus defeated by osmosis.”

MMM is fun and great for science. Mauna Dasari, PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame said, “In addition to all the fans (and associated trash talk), I really love how MMM is so often a marriage of old science with new communication. Papers (and whole PhD theses) documenting everyday behaviors get pulled from the annals of science and presented to the public in this completely new platform and style. In academia, we publish these very specific papers that can be hard to generate a lot of public interest in at the time (let alone 20 years later) but MMM bridges the gap beautifully.”

Finally, March Mammal Madness is rather brilliantly tailored to be interesting to children who often ask who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman? Marc Kissel, Visiting Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University said, “It is hard to imagine the scope of this project. Seeing tweets from kids who stayed up late to watch the battles and classrooms sharing their brackets is incredible. I’m honored to be a part of this.”

So, don’t be afraid of starting something outlandish! Educating people should be a bold adventure.

We would like to note that we did have a particular interest in this year’s round one battle between the Springhare (close enough) and the Jackrabbit. Yay, Springhare! Only to find ourselves crestfallen at the round two loss to the Bengal Tiger. Alas!

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.

Springshare Client Stories: Usage Examples From Your Peers

It’s Great To Have An Idea. It’s Even Better To Have Examples.

Making improvements is the name of the game. You’ve listened to the feedback on the services you offer… and have made a point to get started on providing those that you don’t. The priority is making sure your library is as useful to your patrons as possible. There have been meetings and plans. The projects are assigned. You have a vision for what you can do with the solutions you own. But, it’s helpful and practical to see what other libraries are doing. Reading about how your peers have come up with additional uses or found innovative ways to use features — this exchange is invaluable as you tailor your library to meet patron needs.

Springshare understands how beneficial it is for our clients to see how other libraries solve problems, implement new services and, what’s more — learn how people have responded to the work they’re doing. We’ve had the Springshare Lounge since the very beginning. We share client usage examples in this blog. Plus, we have dedicated a section of the Springshare Buzz site to in-depth Client Stories. Examples are essential in life. If you were tiling your bathroom for the first time, you’d probably watch a video. If you were bungee jumping, you’d want someone else to go first!

Get In The Mix.

The Client Stories in the Buzz Site feature many types of libraries. You’ll find stories about Academic, Public, Government, Hospital and, soon, we’ll feature a School library. They all highlight ways your peers are using Springshare tools.

Sometimes, we explore a singular accomplishment. For instance, the story on Penn State University covers how they have a library presence across 30,000 online courses using the LTI integration tool in LibGuides CMS. Other times, you’ll discover a story that shares how a library, like the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Public Library, uses the Springshare Suite of tools.

Don’t box yourself in. Get in there are read about how all kinds of librarians are working toward providing outstanding service.

Great Minds Prioritize Alike.

Client Stories align with your current and future projects because they’re all about your peers. Don’t be surprised to see segments that look a lot like your to-do lists or your recent meeting agenda talking points. Great librarians. Great minds. Great community.

Are you thinking about using the LibGuides Blogging tool for a newsletter?

  • In the VDOT Research Library Client Story, it says, “For years, the Associate Director Ken Winter and the librarians wanted to have a weekly E-Newsletter. Their motivation was to use the LibGuides CMS blog feature to share new resources and publicize cool guides they had built, write about general library information and highlight research news.”

Have you been considering using the LibAnswers Platform but would love to hear how it’s working for libraries?

  • The story on City, University of London quotes Lucy Clifford, the Library Systems Manager/Analyst/Programmer who says, “We’ve had great feedback from our users about the booking system and chat services in particular. We’re involved in an externally scrutinised customer service award scheme (the WOW! Awards) and a substantial number of the nominations received by library staff for these have resulted from LibChat enquiries.”

Wondering if you’re using LibWizard to its full potential?

  • The Southern New Hampshire University story shares an innovative use for LibWizard. Their reference librarian built a simple LibWizard Reference S.O.S. form, which they’ve embedded in the LibAnswers Admin Alert Box. Jennifer explains that, “We needed some way for them to really quickly call for help because an email takes too long and a phone call also. Basically, as long as they have the dashboard up, with 2 clicks they can get help. It will email all the reference librarians at once and just asks for help.”

There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience out there. Librarians are innovators with some of the same goals as you and, often, the same challenges. It’s constructive and efficient to learn how some addressed their dilemmas.

Hot Off The Presses!

The newest Client Story was just published this week. Check out the work being done by the team at Geisinger Health. Library Director, Tricia Ulmer discusses their journey with Springshare tools, the problems they were trying to solve and illuminates us on why “…medical libraries are the place to be.”

Springshare loves learning about the excellent ideas our clients have imagined and implemented using our tools, so what else would we do but listen and praise and share them with you! Happy reading.

 

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.