Archive for Client Stories

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.

Get Creative. Let Your LibGuides Imagination Run Wild.

LibGuides Is Your Efficient & Effective Multi-Tool.

While the cake pop maker you got as a gift sits in your pantry with many other one-purpose small appliances, you probably think about regifting it at least four times a year. You already know that LibGuides can help you build subject guides, course-specific guides, guides you use to outline your orientation sessions and — for public libraries — guides for everything from Taxes to Genealogy to Job Searching and beyond.

LibGuides is so flexible because we didn’t design it to do those things. We designed it to communicate. LibGuides can also be your megaphone, your bulletin board, your invitation, and your checklist. It can be your newsletter, your blog, your virtual book club… you see where we’re going with this. It can be your go-to way of starting any conversation with your multiple audiences and — while you’re at it — it is a scrapbook of all the cool things you’re doing and sharing! If you have LibGuides CMS, it can be your intranet, your sandbox and more! Check out some really great ways people are using LibGuides to say — anything.

Keep Everyone In The Loop.

LibGuides are easy to build and, just as important, they’re easy to keep updated. They’re a perfect fit for building guides that are important to everyone. The University of South Carolina Upstate Library turned to LibGuides to keep everyone updated on the Library renovations. They designed a visually striking image and put it in the top box that spans the columns. They included images and have a tabbed box they’re using as a monthly blog to detail progress and share timelines. They’ve even got a top-level tab that contains Conceptual Drawings and Plans. It’s a stellar example of keeping their community engaged and in the loop.

 

Conferences, Vendor Days, Annual Meetings and Events. Check!

Organizing a big event takes creativity, organization, attention to detail… and then you have to market it and make sure your audience has all the pertinent details. If you’re a frequent attendee, you know how helpful a good event site can be. The West Virginia University Law Library built a guide for the SEAALL Annual Meeting. It features side-navigation tabs that share information about

  • Registration
  • The Schedule
  • Accommodations
  • Networking activities and more.

The best part? Since they also have LibWizard, if they wanted to get feedback, they could add a survey to the guide and ask attendees to fill it out after the event.

Publicize a Contest.

Bulletin boards are great… if you’re looking for a drummer. But if you need to share more information, you should head to LibGuides. The B.D. Owens Library at Northwest Missouri State University is asking for submissions of a paper or project for their Undergraduate Library Research Awards. They have conveyed the deadline, listed the prizes, shared the date and time for the ceremony. Plus, they utilized the tabs to define the eligibility, the criteria and even have a section noting previous winners. LibGuides is designed with promotion in mind. During the publication stage, they can share this guide via Twitter and Facebook. Plus, friendly URLs are great for sharing the link. When you want to get the word out — but there are definitely more than two words, (i.e. “roommate needed!”) we’ve got you covered.

Foster A Sense of Community with a Book Club.

Libraries are using the Blogging feature in LibGuides to announce exciting additions to the collection, to introduce a new member of the team, to share a new service being offered, and — in the case of Boston Children’s Hospital — to post information about their Book Group. People can subscribe to the blog. They can view recent posts and even check out the archive. Engagement is encouraged with integrated commenting. Behind the scenes, the bloggers can manage subscribers, create a blog widget and, to really up the broadcast game, they can easily share a published blog on social media.

Possible Future Projects

If you want to nurture your creativity in 2019, we’re here to encourage more limitless thinking. We’ve got excellent videos on-hand for you to peruse and new live sessions to keep you discovering (sign-up to get Training email alerts!).

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

 

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.

Beyond The Library: LibCal Usage

Lately, we’ve been discovering more and more examples of non-library folks showing an interest and later purchasing LibCal for use by their teams and the customers they serve. While it may have started in the libraries, it’s clear that many are catching on to the fact that LibCal — with its awesome features and, yet, simple interface — works beautifully in so many different settings.

As Heather Westerlund, IT Manager at Walden University Libraries, stated in an in-depth interview on how Springy Tools have expanded beyond the Walden Uni. Libraries,

Just because it has the word ‘Lib’ in it, doesn’t mean that only the Library can use it!

If you need calendars, appointments, have spaces, perhaps equipment and want to share your hours, LibCal can work for you, too — no matter what it says on your office door.

The essential LibCal.

LibCal is made up of 4 components with an optional 5th that is an add-on module. They work together to form a complete integrated calendaring solution that is flexible enough to be used beyond the library.

It’s cloud-based, mobile-first, affordable, boasts in-depth statistics to help you make data-driven decisions and comes with Springshare’s free training and support.

Libraries have been recommending more than books.

In some institutions, LibCal use is really spreading. Emory University in Atlanta now has 6 LibCal systems, 4 of which are being used outside the library in offices like the Scholarly Communications Office, Tutoring, Student Digital Life, and Campus and Community Relations. There are a number of excellent examples of other departments on academic campuses who are successfully using LibCal for their needs.

 

At Florida Atlantic University, the Office of Instructional Technologies has a LibCal system that they use for upcoming events, room booking and appointment scheduling.

Recently the Human Resources office at FAU also purchased a LibCal system.

 

 

 

 

 


Arizona State University has a Digital Creative Studio that is using LibCal Calendars for events.

They use the Equipment Booking Add-on Module for reserving computer workstations, and the Spaces booking for reserving event space and video studios.

Appointment Scheduling: It should be nice (and easy) to meet you.

LibCal saves you the troublesome back and forth of emails where you keep trying to nail down a time that works for both parties.

Add your availability, create a custom form for people to fill out, and even set up different types of appointments that have appropriate durations.

While students do meet with librarians, imagine all the other departments on campus that have personnel that also meet with students or faculty, etc.. The Southern Methodist University Advisory Group uses LibCal to allow people to schedule appointments with

  • Academic Counseling
  • Academic Services
  • Pre-Health Advising
  • Student Athlete Academic Services
  • Simmons Student Academic Advising
  • the University Advising Center
  • and the Student Transfer Admission department

Booking spaces, rooms and more!

We’ve heard just about everything when it comes to how people are handling the booking of spaces and rooms. With all the conference rooms and performance spaces, computer labs, classrooms, auditoriums, etc. on site, having a simple way to make them available and manage them is in order. The Spaces component is one of the main draws to LibCal. People are really creative in how they use it — because it’s flexible enough to suit many needs.

The Oklahoma State School of Business is using LibCal Spaces for their breakout rooms.

 

An innovative use comes to us from the Thompson Rivers University Sustainability Department which is using it to allow people to book cars as a way of car sharing.

Equip yourself with tools for success.

Maker spaces are popping up all over. We’ve seen a rise in interest from them in recent years and they use LibCal to highlight workshops and classes. They let people book appointments with artists and experts and techs. They use the Equipment Booking Add-on Module to make their devices, machinery, tools, and equipment available. It’s proving to be a great pairing.

The Innevation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno is doing awesome things with LibCal. Here’s the Equipment Module in action there.

 

So, here’s to the same energy that prompts a person to tell another about a really great book or movie or restaurant. Word of mouth is powerful, even in the tech world — but only if the solutions really work. LibCal is an excellent tool that helps you seamlessly allow your students, faculty, staff, and patrons to take advantage of the services, classes, workshops you offer, to meet with you, to reserve your spaces and equipment — to engage with you. And, if they are doing that — you’ll all be a wild success.

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.

How LibAnswers Helps You Provide Excellent Customer Service

It all begins with a question.

You’ve got someone inside your doors. (If you use your imagination, this exercise will work for brick and mortar or virtual examples.) Perhaps she’s looking around at your signage. Maybe he even walks up to the bulletin board to see the flyers you’ve designed, written and posted about your thoughtful programming. If you’re lucky, in a little while your patron will ask you a question.

We say lucky because it is a truly excellent thing to have that person engage you and your library team. To initiate interaction is not always something people feel encouraged to do. Patrons might come to your website, look around a bit, and then navigate elsewhere. Or, they might come and spend time in the library but never learn about all of the resources and events and instruction that exist there. This is why — when a patron asks a question, librarians are excited by the opportunity it presents.

The LibAnswers Platform is designed to help you handle all the questions that come into your library, no matter which avenue your patrons prefer to use to ask them! Whether they choose to call, email, tweet or maybe they like the immediacy of chat or prefer face-to-face interactions or — it’s highly likely they are all about texting, LibAnswers helps you answer them. Plus, you can build an FAQ that works 24/7 and you get incredibly useful statistics and data.

Baltimore County Public Library puts their patrons first.

Academic libraries have been using the LibAnswers Platform to help their students, faculty, and library staff get the answers they need since we launched LibAnswers. Public libraries have begun doing some really inventive things with the system in order to prioritize internal efficiency and provide exemplary customer service.

Cynthia Dennis is the Information Specialist in the Virtual Services and Media Creation Department at Baltimore County Public Library. She and the staff in her department came up with the brilliant idea to add 19 additional LibAnswers queues — one for each of their branches — to their system so they could create what amounts to a communication nerve center for BCPL.

This is what Cynthia said about the project:

We used a lot of your Springy help pages to do the training so not too much time was spent on reinventing the wheel! Now we use LibAnswers instead of traditional email to manage email questions from customers. We also use it to quickly communicate with each other about questions and/or to transfer questions to the best group or person to answer the customer. This has solved a lot of our communication problems that revolve around getting our customers served quickly and efficiently since we often need to either consult with or transfer to another department or branch. Of course, we had used the phone and regular email for this but phone calls can wind up in telephone tag and email can fill up quickly with things of lesser importance. So, using LibAnswers keeps the customer front and center and it keeps stats for us so – It’s a win, win!

 

Springshare loves Baltimore County Public Library’s commitment to their patrons. Moreover, we think it’s fantastic that they — driven by the goal to answer their customers efficiently — examined the internal day-to-day behind the scenes operations that go into answering a question. By doing that, they created a dynamic 19-branch internal hub that facilitates communication so well that they’re answering patron questions with ease. It’s inspiring!

Learn more about using the LibAnswers Platform to maximize staff efficiencies.

Join us for some special webinars. Remember, if you can’t attend these, just register and select the option to “watch video.” We will send the recording as soon as it’s available. For more information about the LibAnswers Platform, contact sales@springshare.com.

LibAnswers Webinar: Productivity Tactics for Enhancing Customer Service

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 11:30am ET

Thursday, July 26, 2018, at 3:30pm ET