If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t do everything by ourselves… all the time. Not only is it a surefire way to burnout, but there is a high probability that things will get missed, overlooked, or steamrolled over. And that’s why Springshare is here to help. Last month we launched our new consulting services program to help you get the most out of your Springshare tools and bring your goals to fruition.
Really want a new LibGuides homepage redesign but you don’t have time to code up a new look & feel? We can help.
Doing a large scale rollout of LibCal across multiple libraries, spaces, and logistics and need help thinking about the bigger picture? We got you.
Do you need to get your LibAnswers system live ASAP and you don’t have time to learn about all the features and settings? We can set it up for you.
Do you have another plan, project, or goal and need our help? We’re here.
Bottomline, our consulting services are as robust as our tools – and our main goal is to help you succeed!
Consulting Packages – The Right Fit For Your Project
We’ll work with you to discuss your goals and ideas, explain how to configure and customize your system to meet those needs, and show you how to format data for the appropriate data imports we’ll do on your behalf.
During the project, we’ll review any existing sites or data that you’ll be adding to your system and provide prioritized email follow-up support related to the project. We’ll finish the project with a training session (with Q&A) focused on either admin or staff users.
In addition to everything in the “Setup for Success” package, we’ll also customize your site’s look and feel area with a custom header, footer, and stylesheet to coordinate with other institutional sites.
For LibGuides, we’ll also develop a customized homepage template and up to 5 different guide templates that can be used to create great looking content in your site.
Need us to do all the heavy lifting? We can set up your system, flip all the switches, and customize the look and feel so that you have a turnkey solution.
Through a series of meetings, we’ll discuss your needs and determine the setup needed. Our experts will take care of setup, build, and design. We’ll finish the project with two training sessions, one for admins and the other for staff users.
Arrange for customized training sessions for your staff, aligned to your institution’s needs or goals. Choose from one of our standard sessions or a training session completely designed around your workflows.
Get your staff solidly trained on the basics or go beyond for best practices or advanced customization.
Do you need help with a specific project outside of our packages? Our Springy experts can help you achieve any business goals at your library, so let’s talk.
Depending on your needs and requirements, we can figure out the best way to help your project succeed. Drop us a line – our experts are here for you.
All of the above options are designed with the goal of utilizing expert Springys to help you improve online engagement, navigate your community’s shift to digital, and engage users in remote learning service models!
Today’s a big day here at Springy HQ! We’re excited to announce our partnership with Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing, that delivers library services directly into the patron’s workflow via a customizable plugin. The partnership will begin by integrating LibGuides with the Lean Library browser extension – allowing librarians to deliver contextual point-of-need instruction.
And this is just the beginning! We’ll be adding more integrations soon, including LibChat, so patrons can get live help from a librarian no matter what webpage they visit.
How Does It Work?
Within the Lean Library Dashboard, configure different resources to display depending on the webpage that the patron is currently visiting. So, if the patron is on scholar.google.com > the Lean Library browser extension will display your step-by-step Google Scholar LibGuide. If they’re searching inside your EBSCOhost databases, the browser plugin will pop-out your Advanced EBSCO Searching LibGuide to provide contextual help!
All your patrons need to do is download the browser extension, and voila! They’ve got your contextual library resources right when they need it.
Increase Usage and Visibility
Putting your LibGuides, right at the point-of-need will increase usage and visibility. Don’t take our word for it – Utah State University conducted a pilot project with LibGuides and Lean Library integration. In just two months, they saw a 450% increase in usage of their Google Scholar LibGuide after it was deployed on scholar.google.com via the Lean Library browser extension. Learn more about Utah State University’s pilot program at ER&L annual conference today, March 10, 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET.
You Build a Lot of LibGuides – – Make Sure They’re Seen!
To date, over 200,000+ librarians at 5,500 institutions have built millions of LibGuides at over 80 countries around the world. These guides, undoubtably, take significant time and effort to create. With the Lean Library browser extension, you’ll be able to get more eyeballs on your LibGuides and increase your ROI by embedding them directly into the patron’s workflows. Plus, with the upcoming LibChat integration – patrons can launch a live chat no matter what website they’re on.
Want to Learn More?
The LibGuides/Lean Library integration will be available as an upgrade to existing LibGuides or Lean Library customers or as part of the new service Lean Library Futures.
It’s still, definitely, winter, and our thoughts are with those in Texas and the rest of the United States dealing with the aftermath of last week’s extreme weather. We could all use a little laughter or a message of empathy right now to get us hopefully into a brighter spring/summer. And as we approach the one-year mark of when everything on our calendars went from “confirmed” to “canceled,” we would love to hear stories about #librarylife or classic or unexpected working from home (WFH) moments.
To that end, we came up with the “My Library Life Reality” video series as a fun activity to hear from the library community and provide an opportunity to share work-life stories! And just generally feel a little closer to one another.
This week, we’re looking for 30-second videos that capture truly human moments people have experienced in their library work-life this past year. It could be:
A funny WFH fail, “My child ran into the Zoom camera meeting with no diaper on.”
A heartwarming experience, “I helped a patron going through a difficult time.”
A learning moment, “This WFH hack saved me from going insane….”
And in the spirit of being there for each other and recognizing the importance of Black lives and Black History Month, we’re going to make a donation to Black Girls CODE for the first 25 video submissions.
How This Works:
Create a 30-second video using a smartphone or video camera. You, your pet “coworker”, or your home workplace can be the star. Have fun with it!
It’s been said before, but it is worth repeating – 2020 has been a year. Springshare support is not only excited to say goodbye to this really tough year but also to take some (well-deserved) time off. ICYMI, in our recent newsletter – the Springshare Support team answered 35,000 support questions this year… up 19% from 2019. We also taught training sessions to 8,500 attendees, had 20 major product releases, and more. Phew, we’ve been busy! Therefore, our Springshare Support, Training Team, and our Facebook and Twitter accounts will be closed for a few days over the holidays.
Springshare Support Schedule (Including Training & Social Media)
Will be monitoring for emergencies. All non-emergency questions will be answered when we reopen.
Thursday, Dec 24
Friday, Dec 25
Friday, Jan 1
Reduced support hours (9am-5pm U.S. EST):
Monday, Dec 28 – Thursday, Dec 31
Springshare 24/7/365 Global Reference Will Be Open!
Our Springshare 24/7 global reference service, which backs up your reference chat service with MLIS-degreed librarians, will be open! When we say 365 days a year, we mean it. 🙂
If you’re interested in adding 24/7/365 chat coverage to your reference outreach, contact us at email@example.com.
If You’re Still Working… We Have Suggestions!
If you’re still working over this holiday season, we have some suggestions for you to help make the most of your time!
SpringyU – is all about self-paced learning via short videos. Choose to learn with Blocks or beef up your skills with Courses. If you’ve got 5 minutes or a lot more than that, you can attend SpringyU right from your chair.
Opt In – for the gift that keeps on giving. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can check out the stories we’re sharing all year long.
We want to thank you for continuing to be our awesome’sauce clients in what was most certainly a difficult and turbulent year. We are so grateful for the opportunity you’ve given us and the trust you have in us to help you and, ultimately, your patrons. Thank you for sharing your feedback, suggestions, and wishlists and for your never-ending example of true dedication. We’ll see you in the New Year and goodbye 2020!
It’s that time of year again, the holidays are almost here and we’re seeing an end to 2020 (thank goodness!). To that end, our Springshare Support Team schedule will see some modifications during this holiday season. Have no fear, your support question will be answered. Additionally, we will be monitoring our support queue, Twitter, and Facebook for emergencies.
Support & Social Media
Closed (monitoring for emergencies):
Thursday, Nov 26
Friday, Nov 27
Thursday, Dec 24
Friday, Dec 25
Friday, Jan 1
Reduced support hours (9am-5pm U.S. EST):
Wednesday, Nov 25
Monday, Dec 28 – Thursday, Dec 31
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
In case you missed the big announcement in our July SpringyNews edition, we launched a new and improved Springshare Lounge! In this ‘new normal’, we wanted to improve opportunities for Springy users to communicate with each other, share how they’re using Springshare tools, and leverage localized expertise.
Since its official launch nine weeks ago on July 27, the Lounge now has over 950 users posting a total of 123 discussions and 257 comments! Posts cover a variety of Springy Tools and topics ranging from how-to type posts to best practices and advice sharing. So if you haven’t yet, join the new Springshare Lounge and get ready for some virtual networking.
Earn Points & Level Up!
Helping your fellow Springy users deserves a reward right? We thought so too! So we added a points system to the new Springshare Lounge.
Earn points when you:
Make and comment on posts
Have other users react to your posts
As you earn points, your level will increase, and the number of stars on your profile will increase.
Here are the levels and the point totals to reach them:
Springy Initiate: Everyone starts here!
Springy Novice: 75 points
Solid Springy: 200 points
Springy Expert: 750 points
Springy Hero: 1750 points
If you’re wondering, big deal – earning virtual points gets me what? Well, you’re wrong! Earning points actually translates to both virtual and real-world perks!
Not only will achieving higher levels unlock extra lounge features, but the highest levels also opens access to some extra discussion categories as well.
Leveling Up Perks:
Springy Initiate: Start discussions, comment on discussions. Everyone’s got this!
Springy Novice (75 points): You can create polls in your discussions now. Let other lounge users vote on your polls.
Solid Springy (200 points): Add a signature to your posts if you’d like. Edit your own posts for up to a day for convenience.
Springy Expert (750 points): Gain the ability to use the “promote” reaction to a post or comment! Doing this will add the comment to “best of”. You also get access to submit posts to the Lounge Help Wanted category to advertise openings at your library.
If you come by our booth at a conference, (* offer not valid in 2020, of course) we’ll give you some special Springy merch.
Springy Hero (1750 points): We are in awe of your contributions and helpful deeds in this community. You’ll get access to Springy Labs to see sneak peeks of things we’re working on, as well as the chance to offer feedback on new designs and development. We’ll also send a thank you card to you, hand-signed by one of the Springy crew to show our appreciation.
What types of posts will I see in the Lounge?
The Lounge is designed for you, plain & simple! You’ll see posts related to Springy products and topics but that otherwise run the gamut – users asking for help, others posting their ideas and best practices, and even some others putting out a call for research volunteers. Plus, you have the ability to post something as a question, and mark it as answered! This helps future users who search too, because they can see “oh, I have the same question too and it’s got an answer!”
Below are just some of our most favorite posts to date:
Once you’ve joined and created your profile, you’ll want to review the Community Guidelines. Like all good online communities, there are some “dos and don’ts”. While we believe that our community of users has a good understanding of online etiquette, reviewing these guidelines is important to get an understanding of the behavior expected in the Springshare Lounge.
… And You’re Off & Running
Once you’ve done the aforementioned items, you’re off and running! Search the Lounge and read some existing posts. Write a comment to an existing post if you have any feedback or an answer you’d like to share. Feel free to post a new discussion or ask a question. If you post a question, don’t forget to mark the post as answered once those comments start rolling in. Customize your notification preferences so you’ll get an email alert when people comment on your discussions or when someone else posts a discussion to a category you’re keeping an eye on. To customize your notifications, go to the Bell Icon > Notification Preferences.
2020 has been a difficult year, for sure. Most of us are likely ready for it to end so we can flip a page of sorts. However, for the world of Academia, Fall is kind of a new beginning. This fall every student in the country is starting a new year – the academic year – some for the first time and some for their final year of college.
This fall term is brimming with excitement — mixed with anxiety. For the institutions that serve these students, faculty, and staff, there is hope bolstered by careful planning and thoughtful execution. And, while they tell you in school to keep your eyes on your own paper, these days, we need all the great examples we can get. Sharing knowledge in the days of COVID-19 is how we’re going to strategize against its spread and prudently move forward.
Gwinnett Technical College Prioritizes Health & Safety
Director of Library Services, Deborah George, and the library staff at Gwinnett Technical College share answers, valuable experiences, and tips in this LibCal Seats Q&A. You’ll learn how they worked together to welcome everyone back to campus with the knowledge that this fall, like no other, providing peace of mind had to be added to the to-do list.
A New Look at Creating a Safe Space
When did you launch your LibCal Seats system? Please share, to date, how many reservations you’ve handled with it.
Gwinnett Technical College (GTC) is a long-time subscriber to Springshare’s LibGuides and other applications. We finalized access to LibCal Seats on August 7, 2020, and launched it to our students on the first day of our Fall, 2020 semester, August 10. As of September 15, we have had over 914 bookings!
What is the main goal you have for your library and what is its big message as you begin the 2020 Fall Term in the midst of this global pandemic?
We want the students to know that their health and safety is important to us. Using a reservation system such as LibCal Seats allows us to monitor the usage of library space and maintain compliance with college-wide, CDC-based safe use requirements. Being able to allow students to visit the library provides much-needed access to library staff and on-campus technology. Faculty refer students to the library for test-taking and library workshops. The email and reservation data can be shared with faculty as necessary.
What are the new challenges the library sees in supporting students and faculty this academic year? Share a bit about the problem-solving process that went into devising your re-opening plans.
GTC already provided remote services with phone, email, and chat. In response to the increased demand necessitated by the pandemic-related campus closures, we were able to greatly increase one-to-one remote services with our Learning Management System and Springshare’s Appointments features. Students can now schedule dedicated reference interviews from any location.
Even with these remote services, several of our students want or need to use the library in person. LibCal Seats allows us to provide access to computers/webcams, printers, and study rooms to those students requesting these services while giving us the ability to monitor overall capacity and adhere to social distancing requirements.
Setting Up Seats & Setting New Expectations
There’s a lot of change this academic year and not just for the incoming Freshmen. How are you sharing the information that appointments and reservations are now required? How is this being enforced?
We are using a multi-faceted approach to marketing our new services. We encourage our department heads to communicate via email with classroom instructors, and we promote access options through the library’s blog post, Facebook entries and signage within and outside of the library spaces. Students are greeted as they enter the library and are asked to confirm or make reservations. Staff roam the library regularly to confirm students are using reserved spaces and following safety measures (masks in place, not moving furniture, etc.) Compliance is near 100%.
Which features in LibCal Seats are you finding the most useful as you encourage social distancing and monitor the occupancy of your spaces in real-time?
The Booking Explorer provides an overview of space availability for staff and allows us to adjust reservations as necessary throughout the day. The Single Seat viewing grid is displayed on a large monitor just inside the library, so staff and students can easily determine availability.
How did you decide what sorts of booking limits you wanted to impose and what’s the strategy or goal behind them? Are you using padding between reservations? If so, how and why?
Capacity of space was considered when setting booking limits, as well as anticipated foot traffic. Currently, we are adjusting our limits to meet the students’ needs. We started with a one-hour default session length but found that several students were taking online exams and needed longer periods of time. The library is not reaching full capacity, so we extended the default to two hours, to minimize the amount of time spent manually extending sessions. Additional adjusting is easy, and we can make modifications on the spot. We do use the padding between sessions, which allows for cleaning of the stations between use.
Which reports or dashboards are you keeping a close eye on and how are they informing your day-to-day/week-to-week decisions?
We consistently view the Booking Grid to keep an eye on availability and expected use. Occupancy data also gives us an idea of what times the library is being used the most. We expect to use more reporting data as we move through the semester, and really appreciate having the ability to track computer usage and foot traffic now.
Response to LibCal Seats, Tweaks & Tips
What has been the response to LibCal Seats from the library team, the students, the faculty?
Faculty are impressed with the ease of use and are comfortable sharing reservation information with students. Returning students, used to popping into the library and using space on a first-come, first-served basis, initially expressed some frustration with the reservation requirements and multi-step process. Most students use their phones to book, and the screens are not as easy to navigate on smaller devices. However, once the students have made a few reservations the process becomes less time-consuming.
As students understand the reservation process is required to keep our building open for student use, they gladly comply with the expectations. As they realize the process can be completely self-serve, they love being able to check-in by phone.
We simply ask, “Did you get your email?” and most give us a thumbs up and move on to the reserved space.
What sorts of tweaks and adjustments did you make in the first few weeks after implementing LibCal Seats to make it work better for you and your students?
We needed to adjust the default reservation session length since many students have ended up needing to come to campus to take tests since some were not able to use secure testing software on their home computers. Additionally, some student club interviews were scheduled in library study rooms, which allows students without webcams at home to participate in virtual face-to-face interviews.
What sorts of tips would you like to share for those libraries who are at the beginning of setting up LibCal Seats?
Keep in mind your closing time; you may not want to have students making reservations right up to when you lock the doors. Consider how often students can make reservations, and how far in advance. Get feedback and be flexible!
We are grateful for the opportunity to share this interview with Deborah George and her diligent, caring library staff. To say 2020 has been a hard year is an oversimplification to be sure. But sometimes the clearest language is the truest.
Reopening your institutions is a real challenge this year, one that no one is taking lightly. How do we keep your spaces at the library, and all over campus, from unsafely filling with people? Ask them to make a reservation, monitor the occupancy numbers, and make adjustments as necessary. The GTC library shared their experience that — students gladly cooperate because they know it means they can use the library.
They want to use the library. You want to welcome them back. LibCal Seats is instrumental in helping you stay (safely) booked in the days ahead.
This release is on its way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, September 18.
Spaces Locations: Multiple-Hour Blocks Help Facilitate Cleaning
Our pandemic new normal necessitates designated cleaning times to sanitize spaces and seats in between bookings. To facilitate this, we’ve added updates to the Weekly Hours Templates in Spaces/Seats & Equipment! You can now allow for multiple sets of opening/closing hours, with unavailable time in between.
Within these time slots, you can allow users to pick their own hours to reserve Spaces & Seats. We’ll be adding functionality to make the entire period/block bookable in our upcoming release in early October.
Head to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Hours Templates and select the ‘Custom Time’ option when creating or editing a weekly template to see the ability to enter multiple opening/closing hour blocks.
We have an upcoming training session that will help you get started! Join us on Tuesday, September 22 at 12:30 Eastern time to learn how to set up flexible or fixed booking times.
See LibCal release notes which will list out a few other changes coming in this release such as a customizable email template for the ‘Late Check In Cancellation’ email and more.
That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ for LibCal. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more improvements in 2020 and beyond. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.
Have you ever thought about joining the Springshare crew? Know someone who would make a great Springy? We’re looking to hire some customer-focused folks who enjoy learning and sharing, are clear communicators, and thrive in a remote, work-from-home environment.
Customer Support Specialist (entry-level) (Closed to accepting new resumes at this time.)
As part of our Customer Experience team, a Customer Support Specialist is often the first point of contact for the company, embodying our core commitment to outstanding customer service. This position answers inquiries from clients worldwide on our suite of products. In addition to functionality questions, support troubleshoots things technical in nature, including HTML, CSS, authentication, LTI integrations, and more. Other duties may include helping in other areas related to support, such as documentation. This is an entry-level position with opportunities for professional growth within the company.
Senior Full Stack Software Engineer
Our Tech team builds the great functionality in our suite of apps and ensures that our servers run efficiently. This position develops and maintains code for a product, working with a smaller team of app developers and in collaboration / communication with the whole Tech team. They partner with our Product Managers and QA team to deliver products that align with customer needs and expectations.
Regional Sales Manager – Europe
Our Sales team connects libraries, universities, schools, and non-profits with the products they need, developing partnerships throughout the evaluation and purchase process. This position works with top management to formulate sales strategies for the European region and works closely with current and prospective customers as a trusted advisor, developing a deep understanding of customers’ unique challenges and goals.
We at Springshare see our mission as twofold: First, as a software company we provide web-based SaaS solutions to help libraries with their communication, outreach and user engagement efforts. Second, we strive to provide you with amazing support to help you accomplish your goals of assisting patrons with their research and information needs through our software. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many institutions are canceling programs, classes, and events, while at the same time putting more emphasis on online teaching and learning (online-only classes and the like). Subsequently, the demand for your online & virtual services, online outreach, and online communication in general will certainly increase, too.
To that end, you have questions about how Springshare will be able to support you during this time. Rest assured we are ready to help and we’ll do what it takes to get you the assistance you need.
The Springshare Team – No Disruption of Service
UC San Diego’s LibGuide on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Springshare is a remote-first workplace and we do not anticipate any disruptions in our operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as most employees work from their home offices. We also have ample staff resources available, so if some staff members were to contract the virus and are unable to work, other staff members would take over their duties to ensure no interruptions to the Springshare service or our company workflows.
Our cloud-based server infrastructure is located in various data centers around the world, hosted by AWS (Amazon Web Services), and we have no reason to believe that there would be server outages and/or connectivity problems due to COVID-19.
Therefore we believe that Springshare services and the availability of our apps will not be impacted by this outbreak.
Attendance at Upcoming Conferences & Shows
There are several upcoming conferences where Springshare has planned to attend. We currently intend to go to all upcoming conferences, unless they are canceled.
LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative – We are Prepared for Potential Increases in Chat Traffic
On February 28, the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative launched! For those of you noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc…we want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.
Our mission is to help you succeed – by providing great service to your users. To that end, since the Cooperative is staffed not only by Springshare 24/7 Librarians but also by libraries around the world who contribute hours to the Cooperative, we ask that you send any contribution hours changes here. We also request that you honor your contribution schedule during these uncertain times. We will continue to monitor the chat activity across the Global Cooperative and make adjustments, and communicate information, as appropriate.