Archive for Community

What Can Your Data Do? A Comprehensive Look At LibInsight.

Get Ready to Be a Data Miner and a Data Major!

The time for looking at LibInsight is now. Data-driven decisions aren’t just buzzwords on a hot topics list. It’s the smartest way for libraries to fortify themselves in a climate where library budgets are being examined with heavy scrutiny, line item by line item. You need good data to fight the good fight. What is good data?

  • It’s particular — to your library, to this 6-month window, to a new initiative, etc. LibInsight is flexible allowing you to make an unlimited number of custom datasets that track what you need to stay on top of today and tomorrow.


  • It’s complete. LibInsight will hold your data from years ago to years from now. You can truly manage — and make sense of — everything you’ve been collecting by putting it all in one place.
  • Good data communicates. No longer just disparate figures in spreadsheets, LibInsight data can be considered side-by-side, year-over-year, you can take it from the top (looking at highest performers), or choose the bottoms-up approach (looking at zero-use). Good data tells you things, sidelining the best guesses.

Springshare puts “Look into LibInsight” at the top of your to-do list by assembling lots of helpful, excellent information on the powerful tool here.

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming LibInsight Webinars.

Using LibInsight to “Count” Library Activity

LibInsight helps you keep track of the number of events you have at your library, the number of library cards issued and renewed, gate counts, reference questions answered, and so much more. Join us for a webinar that discusses the kinds of things you can store and how to analyze the data and make dashboards.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 — 2:00pm – 2:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Analyze E-Resources

Are your E-Resources worth what you’re paying for them? Want to see how you can use COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 compliant dataset types in LibInsight to import cost and usage data to help answer these questions? Plan to attend this webinar and learn about SUSHI integration, too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 — 12:00pm – 12:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Service Excellence 

Guest speaker, Derek MacKenzie, Head of User Services and Library Services from City, University of London joins us to share how they’re using LibInsight for service planning, internal communication, and deliver accreditation-awarded Customer Service Excellence. Don’t miss this special webinar, register today.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 — 11:00am – 11:30am ET

 

Useful Videos and Recorded Training Sessions.

Check out this five-minute overview of what data problems LibInsight solves.



Enjoy these mini-training videos designed to help you explore different dataset types.LibInsight Videos

For a Getting Started With LibInsight full training session, click here.

What People Are Saying: Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference 2019Are we even collecting the data that we need in order to make the decisions we have to make?

The Indiana University Kokomo’s Meg Galasso, the Information Services Librarian & Archivist, and Angie (Thorpe) Pusnik, the Digital User Experience Librarian, presented at this year’s ER & L Conference. Their talk, “Synthesizing Library Data with a Third Party Tool” focused on “Strategies to Collect, Analyze, and Share Data throughout the Library.” The tool they chose to add to their toolbox was LibInsight.

They stated that:

  • They tested/trialed lots of other data-analysis/statistical tools
  • None of them offered cost-per-use granularity but LibInsight does

They listed LibInsight Pluses:

  • Breadth — so many datasets.
  • Saved Money.
  • Ease — Historical data and cost-per-use data are easy to add.

Their PowerPoint presentation from the conference shares tips for creating datasets and their current dataset categories, which include: Access Services, Reference, E-Resources, and more. They also share advice on inputting data into LibInsight, Dashboard tips, and provide many examples of the kinds of charts and graphs they can analyze.

The librarians at Indiana University Kokomo’s smart work and commitment to analysis carry them toward the goal of bettering service for their patrons.

LibInsight is the tool to help you gather statistics, analyze trends, and assess services. The best way to get to know if it’s right for your library is to ask for a dedicated 30-day trial.

Until then, take advantage of the targeted resources provided here.

Your data is a critical asset. Activate your data by letting LibInsight show you an exact cost, number, or percentage, or give you the big picture you need.

Limited Series: Hear Librarians Discuss How They Use LibWizard

LibWizard Guest Speaker Series. Register Now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Presenter Line-Up

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

Training Student Workers Using LibWizard

Tuesday, October 8. 2:00pm – 2:30pm. 

Sue Hunter, University of Guelph-Humber

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

 

The Wizarding World of LibWizard and Assessment

Friday, October 11. 2:00pm – 2:30pm.

Marianne Giltrud, Prince Georges Community College

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

 

 

Training Staff with LibWizard

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

Melissa Jones, Wilmington University.

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

Springshare Tools: Excellent Examples You’ve Got To See!

On the lookout for Springshare Examples You will love

Librarians Are Doing Such Amazing Work — We Have To Share!

The level of energy is always pretty high here at Springshare. But, lately, we’ve been seeing such exceptionally cool work being done with our solutions, that the excitement level definitely goes up even more. We absolutely love to see smart LibGuides, super helpful LibAnswers FAQs, stunning and useful LibInsight dashboards and seamless integrations of LibCal. What do we love even more? Sharing these fine examples with you!


So, get ready to be inspired. And, remember, enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t be afraid to try new ways to help your patrons. Have fun.

Be Open To All The Possibilities With LibGuides.

There are many LibGuides out there that aim to suggest books to patrons. Some are seasonal like Summer Reads, while others help you delve into extensive collections like Graphic Novels. You’ll find recommendations by genres like Detective Fiction, Crime and Mystery Novels, for instance.

One of the things people have always done is to ask librarians for recommendations, so these guides are a great way to proactively meet this need. Could the guides go on forever? Yes? Who doesn’t have more favorites that can be included? But inclusion — and what that truly means is a conversation we should be having.

Edith Campbell, a librarian at Indiana State University, built a LibGuide that has received a lot of positive attention since she shared it on social media and with good reason. The guide focuses on Inclusive Youth Literature. She begins by saying, “Diverse Books Matter” then shares the link to an article from the National Council of Teachers of English called, Students Have A Right And A Need To Read Diverse Books.

Her guide shares general resources for good sites for finding books that address inclusion, diversity, anti-racism and more. It’s organized with tabs for Educator Resources, Disabilities, IPOC – Indigenous People and People of Color, LGBTQIA, and more. This guide is an amazing resource and we couldn’t wait to share it. 

Create The FAQs They Need — And Include Images!

Creating and publishing an FAQ from scratch is a great way to build up a healthy amount of LibAnswers FAQs. This makes your LibAnswers Platform incredibly useful as patrons can search it day or night with a greater chance of finding what they need. As you generate these FAQs consider what will be the most impactful way to answer the question. Being as illustrative as possible is always a plus.

Delaware County Community College is on the right track to serving its patrons with a very useful FAQ answered by Eleanor Goldberg that answers the question “Are my textbooks available in the library?” The content alone should make it a very popular FAQ. However, the number of hits is not the only thing that makes an FAQ a successful one.

  • They picked a great topic
  • They included the perfect screenshot
  • They added a callout to really zero in on the important part of the image
  • They included links within the answer for more information
  • They shared the FAQ on social media to proactively reach even more people.

Kudos to the attention DCCC pays to their FAQs. It’s a strong step in the direction of next-level service.

Dashing LibInsight Dashboards Stop People In Their Tracks.

Of all the powerful features in LibInsight, the ability to create dashboards is one of the showstoppers. We know that the next step for your data involves

  • The ability to hold everything you’ve got, past, present, and future
  • Multiple ways to analyze the data and look at correlations
  • Having an effective way to share your pertinent data with interested parties

Creating accessible dashboards is an invaluable way to communicate essential information. You can make them frozen snapshots of a particular time period like the 4th Quarter. Or, you can set them up so they auto-update showing the last 2 weeks, let’s say.

We had to share with you this terrific dashboard from Massasoit Libraries put together by Erin McCoy.

It is organized and designed to show, What’s Happening in Brockton – Previous 2 weeks. Titles like these are critical so that a person looking at it knows instantly what is being displayed.

Erin is able to convey Reference data like

  • User Help Totals by Day
  • Interactions by Time of Day
  • Question Type (Computer Assistance, Directional, Equipment, Homework Help, or Library Related)
  • Reference Questions (Citations, Database use/Finding Articles, etc.)

This dashboard with its charts and graphs is easily ingestible. You know exactly what is happening at the library at a glance.

The dashboard updates on its own because it’s been set to feature a rolling date range so you don’t have to keep rebuilding and rerunning stats.

Whether you want to make private or public dashboards, they are an attractive way to keep your audience involved and informed.

Seamless Integrations Keep Patrons Focused.

LibGuides and LibCal work so brilliantly together that it’s nice to see them integrated. For instance, if you’re having an author event that you put on your calendar with a sterling description and enable registration — it makes sense to build a guide on the author, too. You can include a nice photograph and add their books, and perhaps embed a video of an interview. You can easily add this related LibGuide to the event at creation. As your patrons have a look at the event listing, they will have the opportunity to check out your guide as well.

San Jose State University recognizes the value of a LibGuides + LibCal partnership. They have seamlessly integrated the Springshare solutions in their beautiful 3D Printing LibGuide. The home page of the guide delivers vital introductory information and spotlights the 3D printers with stunning photos of the machines. The second page titled Schedule Your Print allows you to do just that. You can book a time to use one of the 3 printers. It features an embedded LibCal Space Booking as an iframe that patrons can interact with right on the spot.

This thoughtful execution from SJSU is easy to achieve and goes a long way toward creating an outstanding patron experience. This is the goal, after all. These first-rate examples all show a dedication to the people you’re serving. That commitment is something that benefits us all.

 

LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative aka QuestionPoint Acquisition

Thank you to everyone who emailed us with excitement about the news of Springshare acquiring QuestionPoint. Besides the info in the press release, and the LibGuide (of course 😉 ) we created to answer migration questions  (https://buzz.springshare.com/qp-migration), we’d like to spell out our reasoning behind this very big deal for all libraries interested in online reference service.

First, let’s summarize the main points regarding transitioning existing QuestionPoint customers onto the LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative:


  • QuestionPoint Staffers: *All* QuestionPoint staff librarians have joined Springshare and they are continuing their QP staffing work uninterrupted. The team you are used to will remain your 24/7 librarians team (plus we’ll add more staff, too – more on that below).
  • Business As Usual: OCLC has agreed to continue supporting QuestionPoint software until all customers migrate to LibAnswers. Any software issues with QP, please email your regular OCLC tech support contacts.
  • LibAnswers Coop Features: Springshare needs another two months to finish all required functionality for LibAnswers to support the full 24/7 Cooperative virtual reference service.
  • Migration Plans for Customers: When the LibAnswers platform has all the requisite Cooperative functionality, we will start working with existing QuestionPoint customers and plan their migration to LibAnswers.
  • No Interruption of Service: In the meantime, it’s business as usual for the Cooperative and for QuestionPoint software. There will be no interruption to the service of any kind while we plan and execute your migration to LibAnswers.
  • Commitment to Enhancing the Service: Springshare has committed to enhancing the Cooperative to make it better for all participants. This includes adding more 24/7 Librarians on staff, providing more training, improving workflows for sharing information between local admins and 24/7 Librarians, etc.
    • We also want your feedback and ideas on how we can make things better – please email us at qp@springshare.com.

Why Did Springshare Do This?

The simplest answer is that we strongly believe in the 24/7 cooperative reference concept. We want to put our time and effort into organizing tens of thousands libraries worldwide to work together to provide 24/7 online reference & information research help to users – anytime, anywhere.

Our LibAnswers customers (1,400+ libraries worldwide, and counting) have also been asking us to explore adding Cooperative functionality and staffing options during holidays/weekends/nights/busy periods. Between creating a Cooperative from scratch vs taking an existing solution and building upon it – we decided that the latter is a better option for everyone involved… including existing QuestionPoint customers. This is truly combining the most feature rich and the most widely used reference software (LibAnswers) with the most established and the most widely used Cooperative & staffing service (QuestionPoint).

The Internet has not only changed the concept of how people access information (i.e. the ability to access vast amounts of information 24/7) – it has also disrupted the concept of access to services, too. Today’s internet user has 24/7 access to services as well.

  • Hail a ride anytime, 24/7? Check.
  • Order food at 3am? Check.
  • Have a pressing medical question and need to check with a doctor online, now? Check.

Replace the words “medical” and “doctor” with terms for “legal/tax/accounting/technical/design/tutoring/coding etc.” help and you get the idea. Need a date right now? We won’t go there but word on the street is that there are 24/7 services available for it, too.

Internet Users Are Accustomed to 24/7 On-Demand Access to Services

Many internet users are library users, too. If they need help from a librarian they want it now, not the next day when the library’s doors open. Therefore, it’s important for the  library to join the 24/7 service offering as well – especially in today’s world where the Internet is full of misinformation. Real, professional, quality information expert help is needed quite often. This presents a real opportunity for libraries to provide high-quality live librarian help to users in their communities, 24/7.

It’s a great way to gain mindshare with users and build engagement between the library and the community. Simply put, offering 24/7 live help service helps libraries meet the needs of their 24/7 users. Every missed call or missed question/inquiry is a wasted engagement opportunity for the library. And, more engagement with users translates into more appreciation for the value-add that the library provides to its community.

Scale Matters & Springshare Can Deliver It

Since very few libraries have staff available to answer questions online 24/7/365 (because, you know, money) we believe the next best thing is for libraries to work together in a Cooperative, with Springshare librarians helping whenever needed, to achieve true 24/7/365 coverage for any library, any user, anywhere, anytime. It’s a cost-effective way to obtain round-the-clock coverage for every library in every community. Sure, there may be situations where a remote librarian is unable to answer a specific question and will need to refer them to a local librarian the next day, but that’s okay. The personal touch, and an opportunity to speak with a human librarian anytime still means a lot in turning this user into a library fan. Also, we will have effective solutions in our software platform to minimize these “unable to help” issues. You’ll be hearing more about this very soon.

We at Springshare have experience with building communities and networks. Our first product, LibGuides, owes part of its success to the concept of LibGuides community that we built where 100,000+ librarians share content, templates, ideas, best practices, etc.  We have made plans to build our own 24/7 Cooperative for LibAnswers because we believe in this concept. Then, the QuestionPoint opportunity came along and we jumped on it. Seriously, what’s not to like about combining our two solutions and instantly reaching scale. The scale here is very important because with scale comes the flexibility to offer better round-the-clock coverage with more librarians, higher quality service, and – just as important – better prices, too. If you study these on-demand services you quickly learn that the key is achieving sufficient scale where the marginal cost of adding new customers decreases and as more customers and more providers are added to the network the cost of the service decreases for everyone.

Our goal is to add many LibAnswers customers to the existing Cooperative – this will add more coverage to the Cooperative but it will also mean the network is much larger and the additional staffing costs will be lower per-customer (even after adding many new 24/7 staffers to our team). Lower costs per customer, more coverage, better quality service – this is where we’re going with LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative. And we won’t stop until there are tens of thousands libraries all linked globally with many hundreds of librarians online 24/7, ready and available to help a library user in any corner of the world.

Vision for the Future of the LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative

This is why we’re beyond excited about welcoming all QuestionPoint customers and all QuestionPoint staffers to our Springshare community. In the coming weeks and months you will hear more about the awesome features we are releasing in LibAnswers to make our 24/7 Cooperative the best it can be.

  • More effective ways for local admins to share information with remote librarians? Check.
  • Expanding the Cooperative specialty beyond the traditional Public/Academic groups to include K-12, Corporate, Law, and Medical Libraries? Check.
  • Adding functionality for more interactive ways to engage with users (screenshare, audio, video, etc.)? Check.
  • Guaranteed response times for every incoming chat? Check.
  • Social media coverage and engagement? Check.
  • Sharing and exchanging Cooperative best practices? Check.
  • Additional options for Cooperative participation (local staff contribution – or not)? Check.
  • Reliable ratings and automatic feedback functionality? Check.

So.much.amazing.stuff.is.coming!

This is a new chapter for the Cooperative and online reference service. We’ll double-down on everything that worked great in QuestionPoint, improve on everything that didn’t, and add new functionality and new options to make the LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative the next big thing for libraries and for the communities they serve. Onwards & upwards, and welcome aboard!

-Chief Springy Slaven & the (much larger since Friday) Springshare team  🙂

 

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 Todayhttps://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.

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!).