Archive for General

New Data Center: Australia / Asia-Pacific – February 2019

Springshare is pleased to announce that we are bringing data centers online in Australia on February 11, 2019! All Asia-Pacific customers will be hosted on these servers. (See below for the list of countries moving to these servers.)

These new servers host v2 products only: LibGuides, E-Reserves, LibAnswers v2, LibCal w/Equipment Booking, LibStaffer, LibWizard, LibInsight, and LibCRM. Once you move to this new cluster, all of your Springshare tools (current and future) are located there.

Who is moving & will there be down time?

We’re moving all v2 sites and content for customers located in the Asia-Pacific region. If you are located in one of these countries, your data is moving to the Australian servers: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Heard Island & McDonald Islands, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna.

Customers not located in one of the above countries are unaffected. There will be no down time for customers on servers in the U.S., Europe, or Canada while we move these sites.

Asia-Pacific customers will experience some down time during the migration process:

  • LibGuides Public side: No down time.
  • LibGuides Admin side and all other apps (both public and admin sides): Estimated 15 minutes of down time; may be up to 30 minutes.

I’m in the Asia-Pacific region – what do I need to do / know?

  • Migration Date: Monday, February 11, 2019 starting at 7pm U.S. EST (Melbourne time: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11am AEDT)
    Time Converter – click “Add another city or time zone” to convert to your location.
  • LibGuides / LibAnswers / LibCal Custom Domains: If you have a custom domain (e.g., research.mylibrary.org, ask.myschool.edu, calendar.library.myschool.edu.au) for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and/or LibCal site(s), you’ll need to work with your IT department to update your DNS records in time for the migration. We’ll send you instructions / more details in early January.
    If you are not on a custom domain (e.g., mylib.libguides.com, university.libanswers.com, springylib.libcal.com), you do not need to do anything. We’ll take care of everything on our side.
  • We’ll email you in early January with more information about what to expect and what you need to do to prepare for the move.

If you’re using LibAnswers v1 or LibAnalytics and want to move to the Australian server cluster, you will need to move to v2 in order to do so. LibAnswers v1 customers will be live with v2 prior to this server move. If you are using LibAnalytics, please update to LibInsight Lite.

If any questions / concerns pop up, please let us know, and as always, thanks for being on board!

HTTPS for All and All for HTTPS!

(Past HTTPS posts: Aug 24, 2017  |  Sept 28, 2017  |  Jan 25, 2018  |  June 7, 2018)

All major browsers are now flagging HTTP pages as “not secure” as a matter of course. This move toward web-security-by-default is something we at Springshare agree with, so we’ve implemented several things to help all of you ensure that your users are always enjoying a secure experience with Springy Apps – security certificates, forcing HTTPS, and removing TLS1.0 support, to name a few – and we’ll continue to roll out security options in future. In addition, we’re always vigilant in making sure that our code and our servers are safe and secure.

You may be wondering…why should I care if my pages are loading over HTTPS? Well, it’s all about your users’ security & privacy! With data leaks and cyber attacks on the rise, it just makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity to give your users the most secure web experience possible, and HTTPS is the baseline. Also, if you’d like to use the forthcoming LibCal billing functionality (online payments FTW!), an HTTPS connection is required.

Many of our customers have already made the move to HTTPS-only, and found it easy to do! There is no downtime or cost when moving to HTTPS (unless you choose to purchase your own security certificate) and it ensures a better, more secure experience for all of your users. In fact, we have issued over 2,000 certificates (for free!) so that all you need to do is push one button to switch to all secure access, all the time. It’s a win for everyone!

What We Do / What We’re Going to Do:

  • We provide free, automatically renewed Let’s Encrypt security certificates, in addition to the ability to upload your own security certificates.*
    • Load your page using https to double check whether or not your site has a valid, active security certificate.
    • Simply click in your address bar and type https://yoursiteURL.
  • We offer the ability for sites to force all of their pages to load over HTTPS. It is not enabled by default (yet), because there may be some content on your site that you need to update prior to making that move. (See below for more info on mixed content.)
  • We offer HTTPS access for all APIs, so you can ensure security of any information transferred via API.
  • We will remove the LibApps > Admin > Domains and Certificates option to toggle “Force HTTPS” for good by the end of Q1 2019.
  • If your site is not already set to enforce HTTPS, we set that for you beginning Jan 2nd, 2019. We will do this a few sites at a time each day to ensure that everyone is covered before the end of Q1 2019.

What You Can Do Now:

  • Check your site for “mixed content“: content embedded in your page that is loaded over HTTP instead of HTTPS.
    Why does this matter? If your overall page is loading over HTTPS, but an embedded item on the page is trying to load over HTTP, the embedded item will not display on the page. Although Springshare has supported HTTPS for a long time, this is the primary reason we have not enforced it yet: giving you time to update your widgets and ensure all content continues to load on your pages.

    • This content could be a search widget, a video, or anything else you’ve embedded. If it’s embedded in your site, it must be embedded via HTTPS.
    • Notes on how to find mixed content in your site is below in the “Searching for Mixed Content” section.
    • If your widget is loading over HTTP, check the site where you got the widget to see if they offer an HTTPS version.
    • If your widget is from a Springy app, it’s easy! Just add https: to the beginning of the “src” to require that it load via HTTPS.
    • If you use Springy APIs anywhere, make sure you’re using them over HTTPS. If not, update your calls by adding that s.
  • Force your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibWizard sites to load over HTTPS.
    • This ensures a secure experience for your users when using those apps.
    • LibInsight, LibStaffer, and LibCRM are designed to always load over HTTPS, so there’s nothing to change for those systems.
    • This will be enabled for all sites by the end of Q1 2019.

Searching for Mixed Content:

  • In LibGuides:
    • Rich Text items: use the “Search” portion of our Search & Replace tool, and search on http: (with the colon at the end). Then review the list for embedded content. If the item is simply a link out to another website, you do not have to update that (unless the other site supports HTTPS and you want to update it). (This might be the majority of the list.) You’re looking for content embedded in the page, JavaScript, calls to stylesheets, etc. You can use CTRL+A to highlight the results, copy them, and paste them into a program like Excel for easier scanning, if you wish.
    • Widget items: use the filtering options in the Content > Assets area. Once on that page, limit Type to Widgets, enter http: in the Description / Metadata field, and click Filter. Click the edit icon for each item and review as noted above.
  • In LibAnswers you can use the “Search” part of the Admin > Assets > Search & Replace Links tool to find all instances of http: in your FAQ answers (yes, even though it says Search & Replace Links 😉 ). Be sure to check off the “Perform a search only” checkbox when using this tool. The first section will list any Public FAQ Links that contain http: – which may be just fine (though if there is an https equivalent, then it’s a good thing to update). The second section lists Public FAQ content that contains http:. Be sure to check this second area, as it’s likely where you may have embedded something. Also remember to check your Embedded Media / Widgets in your Public FAQs!
  • Load your page over HTTPS and use your Browser’s developer tools (usually something along the lines of: right click on the page > select Inspect > select the Console tab) to see what it marks as “mixed content” on each page. This may take a while, considering the number of pages you may have on your site, but it’s an option.
  • Another option is to use one of the myriad of tools that have popped up to help with this very thing! Do a web search on “mixed content check” (or similar keywords) and you’ll find options like “Why No Padlock?”, etc. (We’re not endorsing any particular thing; that site is simply noted as an example.) Continuing with using that site as an example, it works like this: you enter your https link into the tool and it scans that page (and any page that it links out to), notes any mixed content, and reports back to you with a list. It’s a great way to find all mixed content at once and/or as a check before forcing HTTPs for your site.

* Using a custom domain and seeing that your site does not have a security certificate?

Your DNS records could be pointing to the wrong place or there could be a Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) in place that is preventing us from getting a Let’s Encrypt certificate on your behalf. We’ve contacted the handful of sites where we know this is a problem. If you’re seeing that you do not have a security certificate, contact your IT department with this information:

  1. Check that your DNS records are pointing to the right place.
  2. Check to see if CAA is enabled. If so, either:

If you do not either allow us to successfully obtain a security certificate on your behalf or purchase one on your own, your site will be unreachable when we require all pages be loaded via HTTPS (by the end of Q1 2019). Let us know if you have any questions!

LibCal 2.18 release coming on November 12-13

The LibCal 2.18 release is coming to you this week and will be rolled out to all regions by the end of the day Tuesday November 13th.

This is a mini release of sorts but still includes lots of great features including a next available button for space/equipment bookings, the addition of the image manager for featured event image selection and more!

Calendars/Events:

  • Email can be set to optional for event registrations – You’ve asked for it, and we delivered. 🙂 Email address can now be set so that it is not required on an event registration form. Phone number and library barcode have been added as additional event registration information – but can also be set as either optional or required fields, or you can disable them altogether. In addition, you’ll be able to customize the field descriptors and add custom help text for each.  From the orange command bar, select Calendars > Registrations Forms Tab to edit or create a new form to view this feature.

  • Image Manager Integration – We’ve added the ability to launch the Image Manager to select featured event images when creating or modifying an events details. You can check out this new option by clicking on Calendars from the main menu navigation bar and choosing your desired event calendar. Once you are inside the calendar, simply add or modify an event and then press the new ‘Launch Image Manager’ button to choose an event image.

  • Event Location Display On Admin Calendar Day/Week View – We’ve added the event location to the display of the day view of the admin event calendar. The location of the event will appear after the event title in italic font with the word at preceding the location. To view this new display, head to Calendars > Edit Calendar and then select the Day/Week view options.

  • Category & Audience Fields Required – We’ve added a setting on the system-wide audience and category fields to make these required when creating a new event. Admins can locate the setting to make these fields required by going to Admin > Calendars and then accessing the Audiences tab and Categories tab.

Spaces/Equipment:

  • Next Available Button for Space/Equipment Bookings – We’ve added a new button that will easily allow the next available space or equipment booking to be found! When this button is pressed, the availability grid will jump to the next available time slot. This will really help where equipment items are in high demand or long lead times are set up before allowing bookings.  To use this new feature, head to the public Space or Equipment booking page and select the “Next Available” button.
  • Copying Booking Form Info – We’ve added a way to copy all relevant booking form information from an existing booking to create a brand new booking. To use this feature, from the orange command bar select Spaces > Click on a past space booking > click on the new ‘copy’ button.  After clicking this button, you’ll be prompted to create a new booking and all the booking form details from the source booking will be copied over.

  • Confirmed Bookings Date Picker – We’ve added a date picker to the Confirmed Bookings page that displays on the public page. Use the date picker by selecting the new ‘Custom Date option in the ‘When’ drop down selection. The public page for confirmed bookings can be accessed by clicking the ‘View Confirmed Bookings’ link public space booking grid page (note this only appears for spaces where “Public Nickname” has been enabled).

  • Reminder Email for Space Bookings – We’ve added an optional opt-in email reminder for space bookings. If you enable these emails, they will send based on a duration (available by the number of hours before) selected before the space booking occurs. If multiple bookings occur on the same day, they will all be sent in one reminder email.  To enable these emails, admins can head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Edit Location > General > Reminder Email & choose the amount of time prior to the booking start time when the email should be sent.

Bug Fixes:

  • Exchange Sync Issues – We’ve resolved an issue with exchange where double bookings were being created in the Appointments module. These double bookings were showing in the Appointments>Availability grid. The issue has been corrected and should no longer happen!
  • 12 am Time Slot Booking Error – We’ve fixed an error that occurred when a booking was attempted to be made that started at 12 am.

Always Stay Tuned: Springshare Has Lots For You To Love.

Fall Back — In Love With Learning More!

For those of you who changed your clocks, what will you do with your extra hour? As the calendar year comes to a close, one might think that it’s time to wind things down.

However, here at Springshare, we do no such thing. For a lot of libraries, this time of year actually poses an opportunity. Perhaps you finally have some time to evaluate current processes, look into new solutions and/or catch up on the latest feature updates to the Springy tools you’ve already got.

So, instead of slowing down, we’re just as ramped up as ever to help you take advantage of this time.

Springy Live Sessions Are Always A Best Bet.

Our classic free training sessions are a staple around here as they are a delightful mix of thorough and lively — mostly because our trainers love interacting with clients and our clients ask excellent questions that benefit everyone in attendance. Don’t miss these upcoming sessions. For a complete list of what’s to come, please check the training calendar.

New to the lineup is the Brunch & Learn series. These are live sessions centered around specific topics. Often they highlight ways that people are using our tools. We have one more scheduled for this year. Make sure to catch it. But, you can also have fun watching the recordings of some of our recent installments!

For those who have a little time and want to learn a little more, we recently introduced Training Tidbits. If you have 15 minutes and want to walk away after them just stunned by how much you could learn in so little time, then keep an eye out for these quick sessions. Be sure to catch these upcoming LIVE sessions.

A New Watchlist to Add to Your Rotation.

If you read our most recent SpringyNews edition, you probably saw that we added a new section called the Watchlist. It’s our version of staff recommendations but it’s focused on our recorded webinars, presentations from clients at conferences, SpringyCamp sessions, and more. In these next few weeks, go ahead and hunker down with some of these cherry-picked videos. It’s certainly a fun way to gather tips and tricks.

Updates on the Horizon.

The developers here at Springshare are as busy as ever working on bringing to life new features and enhancements to make sure Springy solutions are as up-to-date as possible with the current needs — and, sometimes, we even get a step or two ahead. To always keep up with the tech, make sure to read our Blog. Plus, you’ll find a section of the newsletter devoted to the soon-to-be-released updates. Read up on what’s in store, now.

Don’t want to miss a thing?

Did you see the latest Client Story in our Buzz Site on the Boston Public Library? Perhaps you haven’t. Maybe the new Brunch & Learn sessions and the latest SpringyNews newsletter and the Client Stories are all news to you as you. If you don’t want to miss any of the fun, informative, classic or new content we are actively putting together for you — then make sure you opt-in to the good times.

Always stay tuned in to the Springshare channels. We are regularly working on coming up with interesting topics for training webinars and writing stories about how librarians all over the world are creatively using Springy solutions. We want you to have access to all of it!

Essential LibGuides and Ones You Didn’t Know You Needed

LibGuides icon

For Academic libraries, this time of year is exciting as the physical and virtual campuses are brimming with students and faculty. Your Library Orientations are in full swing. Your Social Media efforts are kicked into high gear as you promote your services. You’ve got to remind everyone that you’re there! As you do this, it’s a good time to have a look at your LibGuides.

If you’ve had LibGuides for a while now, it’s highly likely you have the essential guides built and they’re ready for your users. But there’s a chance that even your library could add some guides to your “to-build” list when you see what some other institutions are showcasing.

What Are Some Essential LibGuides?

Springshare has a bird’s eye view of the guides that exist in the community and we have consistently seen some staple topics.

It’s always a great idea to have guides addressing:

 

As you see these topics, they probably make absolute sense to you. If you are new to LibGuides, remember we have free training and free support, if you have questions. Plus, you have access to the LibGuides community where you can see examples of such guides.

Put Your Best Guide Forward.

If you have these guides already built, why not check the stats on them? It’s a great way to keep the guides fresh and exciting. What should you be looking for?

  • Which guides are most popular? Perhaps your patrons like the way it flows/looks. Make future guides with this in mind.
  • During which time of year are they visiting the guides? Maybe the timing coincides with orientation, exams, large projects or your instruction sessions with classes.
  • Are there books or links or any content that show a lot of clicks? Perhaps they’re being recommended or they have good descriptions, etc.
  • Are there content items that have little or no clicks? Could these benefit from different placement on the page or better descriptions? Or, maybe it’s a good idea to replace them with new items that you have because people aren’t interested in them.

It’s a perfect time of year for refreshing your LibGuides with new resources you may have acquired since you first built them or to hone what’s there based on what you glean from the historical data.

Must-Have Guides That May Surprise You.

So what kind of content is out there that you may not have thought to make, yet? Here are some examples that might inspire you and your team.

You can build guides focused on serving specific subsets like International Students or Graduate Students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many libraries are creating LibGuides for Professional Development on topics like integrating intersectionality into library instruction and programming or on how to make PowerPoint presentions more captivating.

Focusing on faculty, there are guides on keeping your research current and on boosting your scholarly impact. Another excellent idea for internal purposes is to use LibGuides to provide a place to recognize each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re building LibGuides for your students, think about specific resources that are available to them like the Student Learning Center or Archives and Special Collections and let LibGuides be the vehicle you use to introduce them to what they can find there.

 

 

Finally, put yourself in their shoes. What are the skills they’re trying to advance? What are the challenges they’re gearing up to face? Check out these examples on using images and prepping for exams. You can build LibGuides on any subject. Be creative, devise a way for your students and faculty to submit suggestions or requests — and have fun!

Winning…with Springshare!

Cheers to you!

We know we have the greatest clients in the world. You and your teams work hard to provide excellent service to your patrons and — when you have a breather, you use it to make things more efficient internally, too. That’s why we want to take some of our time to acknowledge the incredible work being done. You’re winning awards and when you achieve goals using Springshare tools, we couldn’t be happier.

Say, “Cheese!”

The American Cheese Society has probably heard that joke dozens of times before. But, it’s likely they don’t mind because they’re hearing all kinds of praise, too, these days. This year, PR News announced the winners of the 2018 CSR & Nonprofit Awards. Top campaigns — that make a positive, lasting impact on the world — were honored at a lunch in Washington, D.C.

The American Cheese Society, a Springshare client since 2016, was named the 2018 Nonprofit Winner for Web Site for The Safe Cheesemaking Hub. We’re excited for them and are so proud that this site is built with LibGuides CMS. While there are many LibGuides CMS features that folks are interested in, using it to power a website is one of the most popular reasons people love it. It’s super flexible, truly customizable and easy to use.

The Safe Cheesemaking Hub provides food safety resources for cheesemakers. It highlights useful websites like the Cheese Science Toolkit. It links to a LibGuide built by the American Cheese Society called Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers. The hub points to food safety publications, includes factsheets, and more.

The PR News winners included brands like Disney, Honeywell, and Aflac to name a few. We are elated that The American Cheese Society and their hardworking team has been recognized for their efforts!

The Employee of the Year is…The Library!

Yes. You heard that correctly. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Research Library was recently recognized as Employee of the Year! How did the library, collectively, earn this honor? The accolade was for the implementation of a new, public-facing Library Website. Linda Cullop, the IT Technology Specialist, also shared the honor with the staff of the library. The site is powered by LibGuides CMS.

VDOT’s Research Library has been a Springshare client since 2015 and was featured in a Client Story where Ken Winters shared his experiences using Springy Tools, including the LibAnswers Platform and LibWizard Lite. We’re thrilled that the staffers are getting website kudos for Excellence in Productivity and Customer Service.

However, what you won’t see on the surface is the fact that they have worked just as hard on creating a private internal site that they refer to as the Library Staff Lounge. They use this lounge for professional development. More and more clients are looking at using the LibGuides CMS system for a staff intranet. The Groups feature combined with the Access Rules exclusive to this advanced version of LibGuides — are quintessential for creating an intranet. They even use the system’s blogging functionality for their Quarterly Report. The VDOT Research Library is working to serve its patrons both public and internal — and the powers that be are noticing!

We see you, too, VDOT Research Librarians… and we’re so proud.

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Tennessee is on the SCORE Board!

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education, known as SCORE, just selected a group of 38 for its 2018-19 Tennessee Educator Fellowship. Springshare is so proud that Amanda Smithfield, the Librarian at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, has been named one of the Fellows and will participate in a yearlong professional development program.

Amanda has been an educator for 23 years and has been a LibGuides user since 2011. She has built an impressive number of LibGuides ranging in topic from Art with 1136 views, to AP Government boasting 819 views, to Honors Biology, which has a whopping 1906 views! Amanda loves LibGuides and is thrilled that her students can access her guides 24/7.

The Tennessee Educator Fellowship celebrates the talented, passionate advocates who work tirelessly to support student success and advance the field of education. Springshare congratulates Amanda and wishes her well as she embarks upon a year of working with a diverse group of dedicated school counselors, teachers, and librarians who’ll all be learning about education policy.

 

Living in an HTTPS World

We’ve sent out all of our GDPR notices, so now it’s time to get into a different security conversation: HTTPS and browsers! Good security as a baseline is important, and with browsers also working toward that goal, it’s time to really dive into the HTTPS action with all of your sites.

Remember last year when we posted about Chrome’s changes to mark any webpages that load over HTTP and contain form fields as “not secure”? Well, in case you haven’t heard, they’re continuing to raise their security game, working toward their end goal of all HTTP webpages having a “Not Secure” indicator vs. HTTPS pages having a green lock/Secure indicator, since security ought to be the standard. Springshare agrees with this impending move, which is why we have made it very easy for our customers to make this transition.

In addition, the end of life deadline for TLS 1.0 (an older security protocol) is rapidly approaching (June 30, 2018), so we are removing that protocol from our code. This will not affect most of you, as it is a protocol mainly left in place to accommodate older browsers. (…and none of you are using older browsers, right? 😉 ) What this amounts to is that we are no longer supporting outdated browsers, such as IE10 (which Microsoft stopped supporting in October 2016).

Of course, the big question in all of this is: what does it all mean for you? Well, in terms of your Springshare apps, we’ve got you covered! While there are still a few things for you to think about / do / keep in mind, we’ve been working hard over here at Springy HQ to make this transition to an HTTPS world as easy as possible for all of your Springshare apps.

First, let’s talk security certificates.

In order to load a webpage over HTTPS, you need to have a security certificate (a.k.a., a cert). This tells the interwebs that it’s okay – this site can be trusted. If you don’t have one and try to load your pages over HTTPS, you end up getting a rather scary sounding notice on the screen. Certs are provided by Certificate Authorities: reputable, trusted third-party companies that verify your organization. These certs are what allow you to put the S in HTTPS. 😉

If your site uses a Springshare domain (e.g., mylibrary.libguides.com), you’re all set! You can use the security certificate we have in place for each of our main product domains (e.g., libanswers.com, libcal.com, etc.). If you’re using a custom domain with your LibGuides, LibAnswers, or LibCal sites (e.g., ask.yourinstitution.org), those domains need their own security certificate.

In January, we announced that we’re using Let’s Encrypt as a method to obtain free security certificates for all LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal sites with custom domains. This required some work on your side…really, on your IT colleagues’ side…before the certs were requested.

Well, we just made things even easier: we’ve updated our infrastructure to automatically request Let’s Encrypt certificates for all custom domains without you or your IT colleagues having to lift a finger! Woo hoo! This means that everyone can load their Springshare apps over HTTPS no matter which app or domain!

Step 1: Obtain a cert. CHECK!

Next, let’s talk HTTPS-only.

Since you can load your site over HTTPS (without having to lift a finger), the next step is to require loading of your sites over HTTPS. After all, if you don’t require it, your users could end up loading your page over an HTTP connection (from an explicitly written HTTP-based link on the page, for example). But if your site is working well in HTTPS mode, you can force it to always load via HTTPS with the click of a button, so that users will always load your pages securely.

There are two things you need to do in order to require HTTPS for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibWizard sites:

  1. Review your sites for mixed content (anything embedded on the page via HTTP) and update anything that can be updated to load via HTTPS instead. (Remove / replace anything that can’t load via HTTPS.)
  2. Once that’s done, enable the “Force HTTPS” setting in your systems.

What does “mixed content” even mean? If you’ve embedded something in your webpages, like an image, a YouTube video, anything loaded via an iframe, or calls to JavaScript or style sheets, you need to verify it was added using an HTTPS-based URL. If the URL is HTTP, that will cause a “mixed content” error when you try to load the overall page via HTTPS, and that HTTP-based content will not load on the screen because you are trying to load items that are not secure over a connection that is secure.

It is important to note that simply changing HTTP to HTTPS does not guarantee that the embedded item will load over HTTPS. The website where you got the code for that embedded item must support HTTPS in order for it to load over HTTPS.

It is also important to note that Springshare has no control over whether other vendors / websites allow their content to load via HTTPS. That is at the sole discretion of that other vendor / website. So your mileage may vary as you take a look at your sites to ensure that all embedded content loads via HTTPS. You may find that you can no longer embed an item from another site, because they do not yet support loading that item over HTTPS. You will either need to remove that item from your page or find an alternate item to embed. (You can also appeal to that other vendor / site to allow that item to load via HTTPS.)

Once again, for Springshare related things, we’ve got you covered! Our images (uploaded via the Image Manager), widgets, and APIs are already set to roll for HTTPS action (meaning they’ll all load via HTTPS).

So how do you find these HTTP embedded things in your site, so you can update them? You have a few options!

  • In LibGuides:
    • Rich Text items: use the “Search” portion of our Search & Replace tool, and search on http: (with the colon at the end). Then review the list for embedded content. If the item is simply a link out to another website, you do not have to update that (unless the other site supports HTTPS and you want to update it). (This might be the majority of the list.) You’re looking for content embedded in the page, JavaScript, calls to stylesheets, etc. You can use CTRL+A to highlight the results, copy them, and paste them into a program like Excel for easier scanning, if you wish.
    • Widget items: use the filtering options in the Content > Assets area. Once on that page, limit Type to Widgets, enter http: in the Description / Metadata field, and click Filter. Click the edit icon for each item and review as noted above.
  • In LibAnswers you can use the “Search” part of the Admin > Assets > Search & Replace Links tool to find all instances of http: in your FAQ answers (yes, even though it says Search & Replace Links 😉 ). Be sure to check off the “Perform a search only” checkbox when using this tool. The first section will list any Public FAQ Links that contain http: – which may be just fine (though if there is an https equivalent, then it’s a good thing to update). The second section lists Public FAQ content that contains http:. Be sure to check this second area, as it’s likely where you may have embedded something. Also remember to check your Embedded Media / Widgets in your Public FAQs!
  • Load your page over HTTPS and use your Browser’s developer tools (usually something along the lines of: right click on the page > select Inspect > select the Console tab) to see what it marks as “mixed content” on each page. This may take a while, considering the number of pages you may have on your site, but it’s an option.
  • Another option is to use one of the myriad of tools that have popped up to help with this very thing! Do a web search on “mixed content check” (or similar keywords) and you’ll find options like “Why No Padlock?”, etc. (We’re not endorsing any particular thing; that site is simply noted as an example.) Continuing with using that site as an example, it works like this: you enter your https link into the tool and it scans that page (and any page that it links out to), notes any mixed content, and reports back to you with a list. It’s a great way to find all mixed content at once and/or as a check before forcing HTTPs for your site.

Once you’re done updating your sites and have no mixed content, you’re ready to require that your Springy app pages load over HTTPS! (Note: This does not affect links out to other webpages, only pages within your Springshare apps.) This helps in a couple of situations: someone types the URL of your site, but doesn’t explicitly type HTTPS at the beginning OR there’s a link on one of your site’s pages that goes to another page in the site and it hasn’t been updated to use HTTPS; in either case, the user will be automatically redirected to HTTPS, ensuring their connection remains secure.

How do you require HTTPS in Springshare apps?

LibApps screen where you set HTTPS as required.

  • LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains and Certificates.
    • Click the padlock icon in the Actions column.
    • Go to the “Force HTTPS” tab and choose “Required”.
  • LibWizard:
    • Go to LibWizard > Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
    • Check off the “Load Site in HTTPS?” option and click Save.
  • LibStaffer, LibInsight, and LibCRM operate solely via HTTPS; there is nothing to change.
  • If you are using any APIs from any products, be sure to explicitly load them via HTTPS.

HTTP is dead. Long live HTTP! HTTPS is the new normal for all websites, all around the world, so in the coming months, we will completely disable HTTP (i.e., loading pages via HTTPS will be forced automatically) and make other important security upgrades for all products (such as enabling HSTS and other security related headers). Here at Springy HQ we are working (and will continue to work) tirelessly to ensure the security and privacy of all of our users and their patrons in their online activities.


Still on LibAnswers v1 or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to LibAnswers v2 or LibInsight / LibInsight Lite (respectively) in order to ensure that your systems are taking advantage of the latest options for security, including ensuring loading of sites over HTTPS. We do not support security certificates for v1 products.

On a Domain Other than libguides.com for your LibGuides site? (e.g., campusguides.com, communityguides.com, libguidescms.com, etc.)

Please contact our support team to discuss changing your domain to one on libguides.com so you can use our security certificate. We are not supporting certs for those other domains.

Springshare’s Opt-In Options

Compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the GDPR lately. ICYMI, it’s very important. IMHO the GDPR could use an FAQ.  We are going to keep it simple and emphasis just three important points.

  • * Springshare is GDPR ready! We’ve released a new privacy policy.
  • * The changes we have made via our system updates are not just for our customers in the EU but apply to all our customers worldwide.

* There is no change in your ability to receive operational emails. You will still get emails generated by Springshare tools, for instance:

  1. New account emails
  2. Support ticket notifications
  3. Important administrative notices, etc.

The Choose Your Own Adventure(s) Part

Let’s have a look at the super fun choices you can now opt-in to receive going forward.

Springshare Newsletter – This is chock-a-block full of Tips and Tricks designed to help you get the most out of all our solutions. There are featured stories written about current Springy product highlights like this one on Creating Digital Library Storefronts with LibCal’s new Equipment Booking module. You’ll get the inside scoop on Recent and Future Updates like these UnBOOlieveable ones from a Halloween issue. Each issue is essential and exciting…like a map at an amusement park!

Promotions, New Products & Special Offers – Never miss out on learning what’s new at Springshare. Whether it’s excellent features that have been added to our existing solutions or being one of the first to hear about a brand new product that’s ready for launch. Plus, promotions and special offers are like real icing on the proverbial cake. Opt-in today!

Upcoming Webinars, Online Training & Events –  All our clients know that we provide free training and free support. However, it’s not a limited time thing that you have access to for a few weeks after you subscribe to a tool. We create new training sessions often and provide not just basics classes but admin and advanced classes, too. We also promote special webinars targeted to specific user groups like LibCal for Publics or LibAnswers for Academics, etc. And, we love to talk about Events we’re attending or ones we’re hosting like the Brunch & Learn series or our popular SpringyCamp, virtual user conference. Opt-in so you can attend, attend, attend to your mind’s delight.

So, before I say TTYL about the GDPR, if you want to continue to LOL or have a case of FOMO, make sure to opt-in to all the Springy Stuff you want, which is timely, super helpful and FUNfessional development.

Are you a Social Butterfly?

What are you saying? And how?

The minute you get out of bed, you have a new day and with it the opportunity to be social, if you choose to be. Though, perhaps, even your choice to keep to yourself all day and not interact with people is still communicating something. Previous generations tried to hammer home the recommendation that you should think before you speak.

Today, there are so many ways to speak to each other that we should be thinking all the time about what we’re saying and how. We can go even further to suggest that when and where should also be current considerations.

What about why? Well, the why seems to be the same reason throughout time. The why…is to connect.

Social Media — Sounds fun, right?

The idea behind social media is a really great one when you think about it. You read a good book and you fall in love with it. You tell everyone you run into about it. Excellent. But, now, you also have the option of tweeting about it, posting it on Facebook, shooting out the cover on Instagram, putting it on a Pinterest board, etc. You can share the love far and wide. It’s fun to share. But, what we’re talking about is a bit different — more about cultivating a social media voice. Coming up with a cool game plan and having an entertaining voice. We have some clients doing exactly that.

According to a Pew Research Social Media Fact Sheet, all age groups studied from March of 2005 to January of 2018 have shown a substantial increase in social media use. In the 18 – 29-year-old category, the numbers went from just 7% to 88%. So, it stands to reason that Academic Libraries would step up their social game. The English Faculty Library at the University of Cambridge sent out a tweet pointing their followers to a LibGuide they created on Shakespeare resources. They’re not the first to build such a guide, nor the first to publicize a guide’s existence via tweet. However, they took a great approach.

How much do we want to check out that guide?! Even more, how much do we want to go to that library and interact with those librarians? And, that’s the ticket. This whole action plan makes perfect sense, too. You’ve built these excellent LibGuides and crafted amazing LibAnswers FAQs. You’ve put together LibWizard tutorials and set up Events and Spaces in LibCal. Using Social Media to spread the news about them is a marketing strategy that boosts the usage of the stuff you’ve built and the resources you’ve included within them. Next, the challenge is to be creative.

The best way to connect is to listen.

The University of St. Andrews Library is fearless and inventive in the way they interact with students. Like many institutions, they have a way for people to write out comments or provide feedback. What’s super is that they scan those comment cards and then create a LibAnswers FAQ out of it. Going the extra mile, they create a tweet with the original comment and then include a link to the FAQ with the complete answer.

Additionally, this helps to close the feedback loop. How often have you been solicited for your feedback, only to see it disappear into the ether and go…nowhere. Posting the actual comment cards, with the link to the FAQ demonstrates that solicited feedback was received, discussed, and responded to – even if that response is no. Points for being thorough!

Every interaction is an opportunity to show who you are.

In a Sprout Social report, it was discovered that — no surprise — people don’t like being ignored. What was surprising was how “…90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand.” Apparently, “social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service”, according to Sprout’s consumer survey. The University of St. Andrews Library is clearly one step ahead as it takes paper comments and shares the questions and answers with its followers to reach as many people as possible. They’re being proactive in the Social Media world. No matter which channel your patrons choose to use to communicate with you, it’s always a good idea to be responsive.

The University of Liverpool Library saw a tweet, that by the admission of the sender, seemed to be a complaint that might not have needed such a public forum. But by using social listening, the library took the opportunity to connect and in doing so, showed not just that one person but all their followers how engaging their librarians are…even when the library wasn’t directly included in the tweet.

The library shows it’s listening, even if the outcome isn’t resolved, proactive listening goes a long way to alleviate customer issues. Then they present a LibAnswers FAQ that details the food and drink policy in the library and which identifies where the water fountains are. A spectacular example of the LibAnswers Platform’s ability to have staff entered FAQs come in handy. And to keep their presence light, they add in the bit about hydration – sure to put a smile on the face of their frustrated patron.

So, let LibGuides and LibAnswers do the heavy lifting for you. You’ve most likely created excellent content in there. Then pay attention to your Social Media channels for opportunities to interact with your patrons, link to the guides and FAQs that give them all the particulars they need.

Consider using LibAnswers Social Media Management with built-in Social Listening to create richer patron experiences, instill a company culture of social listening, and closing the feedback loop.

Then enjoy your followers. Have fun with them. Be yourself. Make a connection.

GDPR, Your Data, New Privacy Tools… So Much Good Stuff

We live and breathe libraries, so we know very well how important privacy issues are to you, our clients. Even before GDPR-related conversations sprung (no pun intended 😉 to the forefront, Springshare has always been very careful with handling our customers’ data. We’ve never used customer data for profit or shared it with any third party. We are pleased that the rest of the world (well, at least the EU part of the world) is catching up and valuing user privacy with the same vigor and care as libraries have done all along.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced on May 25, 2018. We took this opportunity to review our privacy policies, procedures, and functionality to ensure that Springshare – and our client institutions – are in full compliance.

This is what we’re doing to that effect:

  • GDPR Compliance. Our GDPR Compliance Plan explains our relationship with our customers and users, and the specific steps we’re taking to ensure compliance – both for Springshare and our client libraries.
  • Emails You Receive from Springshare. Your privacy extends to the emails you receive from us. We will continue to send important operational emails to users, but communications including the Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements will only come to you if you explicitly opt-in.
    • You do not need to do anything now. We’ll contact you in the coming weeks on ways you can opt-in to receive Springshare emails.
    • If you don’t respond to the forthcoming opt-in emails, don’t worry. We’ll consider that you opted-out of these emails, but you’ll be able to opt-in at any time on your “My Account” page (after May 25).

New Privacy Control Features Extend to All Clients

It’s worth emphasizing that these new “GDPR features”, as explained in our GDPR Compliance Plan, will be available to all our client institutions around the world, come May 25. In other words, we are not limiting the GDPR-related privacy features of our tools to our EU clients only. Any library using Springshare tools anywhere in the world can take advantage of these new privacy-related features.

Thank you for trusting Springshare to handle your data with transparency and care. If you have any questions about these changes to our products or our policies, please feel free to contact our support crew or email your Springshare account manager directly. Interacting with our clients is the best part of our day.