Archive for LibAnswers

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  🙂

 

LibApps release: New LibCal, LibAuth, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibInsight, LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibCRM Features

So far in May we’ve celebrated May the Fourth, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day (among other awesome days)…and now it’s time to celebrate Springy Release Days! Bask in the shininess of new features and the glory of fixes. Use this celebratory energy to plan your next projects, including implementing these new features / adding them to your workflows and moving to LibWizard v2. Check out the training links at the end of each section for inspiration and guidance!

These releases are on their way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, May 17.

Read about: LibCal | LibGuides | LibAnswers | LibInsight | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibCRM

LibCal

Confirmed Bookings Calendar 

We’re thrilled to bring you this heavily requested feature in LibCal. You can now run a calendar view of all confirmed space bookings for a category and/or location on the admin side of the system. This awesome new feature provides the ability to filter the calendar by spaces within the category/location selected and can be displayed in the ‘Agenda’, ‘Day’, ‘Week’ or ‘Month’ format. Lastly, hover over a booking for information about it, as well as any event details (if the booking is tied to one). Head to Spaces > Confirmed Bookings to try it out!

OAuth2 Integration

It’s here: the long awaited OAuth2 authentication support for syncing Appointments and Space bookings with your Exchange/Outlook calendars/resources! This authentication method is a more secure way to sync than storing Outlook/Exchange passwords, as with the current setup. Check out our documentation to learn how to set this up.

Discount Code Support

Our online billing component is always growing, now with support for discount codes! Create, manage, apply, and track discount codes for events, equipment, and space bookings. Head to Admin > Billing > Coupons/Discount to get started.

Equipment Booking for Events

Ever wanted to book required equipment items during Event creation, rather than booking separately through the Equipment module? Well, now you can do just that! When creating or modifying event details, a new drop-down selection is available to book equipment items for the event.

Other Features & Fixes

  • Cancelled Space Bookings – We’ve added which user cancelled the space booking as well as the date & time they cancelled it (check the calendar icon next to the name) to the Spaces Booking Explorer and Booking Details Modal. (This will only appear for recent and future cancellations.)
  • Public Page Event Search – We’ve made improvements in LibCal’s public search capability: better quality search results with fewer problems. This includes returning to the search results page you were on (vs. the beginning of the search results list) when you click an event link, then use your browser’s back button to return to search results.
  • Appointment Widget Improvements – We’ve improved the appointments widget to make available date/time display more intuitive when there is only one group available for selection / the ‘No Preference’ option. Previously, it was not clear that the single radio button selection still needed to be clicked to view the available dates/times.
  • Spaces Stats Report Fixes:
    • The Time Available value in the Booking Summary for Stats > Spaces will now report correctly when viewing a single space in a category.
    • When ‘All Locations’ is selected in the ‘Location’ field, the ‘Time Available’ amount in the Bookings Summary section will return the correct time value.  Previously it would always return 0 minutes.
  • Improved Equipment Fines Logic – The Equipment fines logic accumulates late return fine amounts so patrons are automatically banned when the total amount of fines is equal to or greater than an amount you specify.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibApps, LibGuides, & LibAuth

Cross-Region Guide Copying

We’re super excited to announce the ability to copy a guide into your system, regardless of what region you’re in. Did you hear about a guide in Canada that you’d like to copy into your system, but you live in Australia? No problem! In LibGuides, go to Content > Create Guide, and search by keyword or URL. The results you see there are now pulled from servers in all regions: Canada, US, Australia, and Europe. We’re a global, guide-copying community again! 🙂

(Note: We are also working on globalizing the LibGuides Community site [library and guide searches] and are aiming to have that out to you this summer. This release is only about the actual process of copying guides from any region using the Create Guide screen within your own system.)

LibGuides Fixes & Features

  • When you set a site-wide IP or LibAuth restriction, your site is automatically set to NOSHARE, meaning no one can copy your guides, and your content does not show in the LibGuides Community site.
  • The Statistics > Guides > ALL MY GUIDES filter now (rightly) shows just that: stats for all guides you created!
  • The Statistics > Assets > single asset > Export All button is back where it ought to be.
  • We fixed an error that was shown if you add a LibWizard item, but your LibWizard system contains no forms or surveys.
  • We fixed an issue where HTML added in the “Best Bets” language label did not display properly on Subject pages.
  • We fixed an issue related to LTI that caused nothing but a blank page to show if your guide contained hidden pages.
  • When you hide a top-level page, its visible sub-pages are no longer italicized (which implied that they were also hidden).
  • Accessibility: We restructured tab names so that they do not use obsolete navigation conventions.

LibAuth Fixes & Features

  • We fixed an issue where configurations weren’t saved properly if you entered a bad metadata URL.
  • We implemented a check for the CQ field for SIP2 connections, because the connection will fail if this field is not turned on in the ILS.

LibApps Fixes

  • We fixed an internal setting that affected prompt processing of newly-requested Let’s Encrypt certificates.

Upcoming LibGuides / LibAuth Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibAnswers

We have some great LibChat updates and several fixes to share with you this month!

LibChat

  • SMS / Twitter / Facebook Alerts in Chat: These new message alerts had been displayed in the Tickets tab since, well, they’re technically tickets. You all made a mighty fine point, however, that these are all near-instantaneous interactions, much like chats. Your users expect faster replies via these channels, and appreciate getting them. Now that these interactions have moved over to the Chats tab, you’ll appreciate the more streamlined workflow!
Previous LibChat Screenshare Launch Text

Before: Operator Launch link is easily missed

New LibChat Screenshare Launch Text with Button

After: Clear Operator Launch button

  • Screensharing Updates:
    • Launch Button More Prominent: We heard you! The Launch button for the operator to start a screensharing session wasn’t in-your-face enough to really notice, which caused some confusion. We’ve turned the link into a larger button and placed it more prominently in the message for operators.
    • Screensharing Alert: If you don’t have screensharing enabled yet…what are you waiting for? 😀 You can use it internally as well as with patrons, which doubles the usefulness of this awesome feature. Not sure if you have it yet? Check your system alerts when you log into LibChat – if you don’t yet have it, you’ll see an message stating it’s not enabled and to contact us if you want to enable it.
  • Sending Messages: Previously, if the other party was disconnected from the chat (accidentally or temporarily through a network blip), you could not send the message you had typed out. Now you can! If the patron has temporarily disconnected, you can still send your message and it will appear if/when the patron reappears in the chat.
  • Chat Fixes:
    • If you did not have a Nickname set in your account settings (click your email address at the top right of the screen to set one), no name appeared in the patron’s chat window…which could be a bit disconcerting. It now correctly displays your account name if you do not have a Nickname set.
    • New Chat Dashboard: Chats that were transferred to a specific user in a department will once again only be claimable by that specific user. No more can other users monitoring the same department claim it out from under you!
    • When looking at the help text for desktop notifications, the “More Help” link was…less than helpful, since it was a broken link! :facepalm: That link is now far more helpful, pointing you to our updated documentation.
    • Old Chat Dashboard: If an operator in one department transferred a chat to an operator in another department, the chat now correctly displays for that other department.

Other Fixes:

  • Ticket Email Notification Fix: If an internal note is sent to a user in the Address Book list and they reply via email, an email notification is properly sent to the ticket owner.
  • Ampersands in Ticket Replies: Ampersands in text and links in replies now properly display simply as & vs. &, which was breaking the links.
  • Ticket Reply Drafts: The word “Draft” is now firmly back in place in the reply header, making it clear to all that the reply in question is indeed a Draft Reply, and has therefore not yet been sent to the patron.
  • Prompting for Ref Analytics Upon Ticket Reply: The option to prompt account holders to fill out Reference Analytics datasets when a reply is sent (vs. the ticket being Closed, specifically) is once again working as it should.
  • FAQ Media Preview: When adding embedded media to an FAQ, the preview of said media will now properly display.
  • FAQ Entries > Create FAQ Button: If you only have one FAQ group in your system and use the Answers > FAQ Entries > Create FAQ button, it now correctly allows you to create a new FAQ.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibInsight

We’ve made a bunch of improvements to the E-Resources (COUNTER 5) dataset:

  • If a vendor queues a report when you request one (instead of running it on demand), we’ll fetch the report after a reasonable period of time. We also resolved a couple of other issues related to fetching SUSHI reports.
  • View your most-frequently-used resources by variable (investigations, requests, searches) by doing an Analysis, then going to Journals, Databases, or Books > Top Use.
    screenshot of books top use report
  • We split the main Usage Graph into multiple graphs to make them easier to read. Instead of seeing all variables on a single graph, you’ll see graphs for Investigations, Requests, Searches, and Access Denied.
  • We added a checkbox to show or hide the cost-per-use data when doing an analysis so you can view this information on demand, or hide it for easier reading.
  • We added “Master” to the names of the reports that we fetch, since we fetch master reports and not standard views.
  • When you copy an invoice, any title and cost details added to the invoice will also be copied. This means that you can create one invoice and copy it from year to year, making adjustments as you go.
  • We’ve added code to normalize text pasted into the SUSHI Server URL field. Providers often give you a long and complicated URL as the server address, but all LibInsight needs is the first bits. 🙂 You paste, we’ll figure it out for you.

Custom Dataset Improvements

  • When you upload a file and that file contains an IP address field, that data is saved, rather than your own IP (as the submitter)
  • You now have the option to NOT record the submitter’s IP address when a record is submitted.
  • A new system field lets you track and view (or not) the method of submission: widget, record data screen, API, file upload.
    screenshot of new system fields

Additional fixes and features

  • We’ve added “r4” to distinguish the COUNTER r4 datasets (E-Journals and Databases; eBooks) from the COUNTER r5 dataset (E-Resources).
  • We fixed an issue that was allowing people to accidentally enter zeroes while using the Manual Entry screen for COUNTER r4 datasets.

Upcoming LibInsight Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibWizard v2

We’ve conjured up so many magical new features in this release and hope you’re as excited using them as we have been concocting them! If you’re on the fence about moving to LibWizard v2, check out the features below. There’s no denying that now is the time.

  • The Conditional To option in LibWizard items.Conditional Email Notification – No smoke and mirrors, the most requested feature ever is here! Choose to send an email notification to different addresses based on a user answer to a dropdown, radio button, or checkbox question. Go to Form/Survey/Quiz/Tutorial Options > Submission Behavior > Advanced Email Settings > Conditional To and select Dynamic To Based on User Input. Select the field you want to use and who to email for each answer choice.
  • Pre-Populate Form Fields:
    • Create a custom URL to pre-populate fields with default answers.
    • Map fields to Open URL parameters! You can create a URL to use in your library catalog, which fills in the item’s title, author, ISBN/ISSN, etc., field(s) in your form automatically!
  • Upload Limits on File Size / Extensions
    • Limit the maximum file size a user can upload.
    • Limit the file type(s) users can upload; enter them manually or choose from our presets!
  • Set a Domain Restriction on the Email Field – Want a user to only enter their university email address? Just list the domain(s) you want to allow in the Domain Restrictions field.
  • Rating Field Gets Stars and Sliders – The Rating field has gotten fancier! In addition to the usual radio buttons, you can now choose to display stars or sliders.
    LibWizard's new star rating feature.
  • LibWizard's new Preview, with options to ignore required fields, etc.Preview – We’ve given Previews an upgrade! No more filling out required fields with dummy text just because you need to see the 2nd page of the survey! Now you can choose to ignore required fields, show hidden fields, or jump directly to any page. Plus, a submission from the preview is recorded in its own area separate from ‘live’ submissions, so you don’t even have to delete your test submissions.
  • Text Editor Updates – The rich text editor is now smarter!
    • Text block field which using the Collapsible Box option.Textbox, Welcome, and Thank You Screens – Collapsible Box: Need to add a long definition or instructions, but don’t want it to take up the whole screen? Add it as a Collapsible box! Click the icon to add it, give it a name, then click to expand and add the “hidden” text.
    • All Field Types: Choose font size / color and add images.
  • Submission Review Page – Opt to display a review page to user before they submit their response. This is especially helpful for long/complex forms & surveys! Head to Options > Submission Behavior and check “Display a Review Page” to enable this option.
  • Automatically Number Questions – No more manually adding a number to question text (and having to change it when you add or reorder questions)! Head to Options > Look & Feel and check the Display Field Numbers box (then Save!) to automatically number any field requiring user input (i.e., not the text block, line separator, etc. fields).
  • Custom JavaScript at the Form/Survey/Quiz/Tutorial Level – If you are fluent in JavaScript and want to add a custom script to a Form, Survey, Quiz, or Tutorial, you can! Head to Options > Advanced > Custom JavaScript and add your script (without opening & closing script tags). If you are not familiar with JavaScript, we do not recommend using this option.

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibStaffer

Message Wall
The Dashboard/Home page now has a Message Wall – a convenient way for admins to post important messages and announcements! Head to Admin > System Settings > Message Wall Settings to enable this new feature.

Color Code Accounts
You can now associate a color with each LibStaffer account. Once set, the selected color displays before the staff members name on the Schedule view. Head to Admin > Accounts > edit account > Manage Account screen to get colorful!

Reports

  • Swaps & Given Up Summary Report – This new report summarizes by account how many shifts have been given up and swapped over the time range selected. It also provides critical information on how long before a shift was set to start that it was given up / swapped, and categorize total given up / swapped shifts by time of day. This report will only start collecting and reporting on data from its initial release going forward. Head to Reports to check out the new Swaps & Given Up Summary Report.
  • Available Hours – This report gives you a convenient display of Available Hours associated with each account. No more having to go to individual accounts! Click Reports and run the new Available Hours report.

Other Features

  • Monthly Shift Recurrence Options – Now you can create shifts with a monthly recurrence pattern.
  • Workflows – Custom Email Intro – For workflows set to send submission contents to the submitter, you can now add custom intro text for the email.  Go to Admin > Workflow Forms > Edit Workflow Form to add it.
  • Schedule Notes – Have an important announcement for a specific date? Add a Schedule note! Apply it to one, multiple, or all schedules. You’ll find this feature under Admin > Notes.
  • Outlook ‘Free’ Status – If an Outlook event has a status of ‘Free’, that time is also considered free/available in LibStaffer.
  • Admin Alert When Staff Cancels Time Off – Admins can get optional notifications when staff members cancel approved time off. Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Email & SMS Alerts to enable this notification.
  • Given Up Shift Emails
    • Select which Admin accounts you want to receive these notifications (vs. all admins).
    • Opt to send these emails right away vs. on a digest/hourly schedule.
  • Custom Colors for Shifts – Have you been longing to make one of your shifts the perfect shade of teal? Now you can! Break out of the standard shift colors and use the custom option on the right-hand side to pick your perfect palette.
  • Reuse Shift Names – When creating a new shift, you can easily reuse existing shift names! Start typing the name, then select it from the list of suggested matches.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibCRM

Email Notifications and a Dashboard makeover lead the way for this LibCRM update!

  • Notifications: Regular users and Admins ca receive Email Notifications when they are assigned new Profiles, Tasks, or Projects. Turn notifications on or off right from your Dashboard.
  • Dashboard: The LibCRM Dashboard now shows some general system statistics & Springy news:
    • The At A Glance view displays the total number of People, Organizations, Interactions, Projects, and Tasks you have in your LibCRM system.
    • We also added the News & Announcement Boxes to keep you up to date on what’s happening at Springshare and with LibCRM.
  • Reports:  We are continuously improving LibCRM reports.
    • In this release, report output was improved by showing all custom fields in the Display and XL export.
    • Also, when filtering by Profile Type, you can choose what kind of search is done: match any or match all selected profile types.
  • Interactions:
    • Easily record repeating interactions, whether it’s Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or a group of dates you manually select.
    • Associate Interactions with Tasks, using the “Interaction for > Select Tasks” option at the bottom of the page.
    • We also improved auto assignment when a new interaction is created.
  • Data Import:
    • Data Import validates on Email only. The import tool displays any records that already exist in your system by matching on Email.
    • Fixes include:
      • Owner information is correctly imported
      • Select fields show the selection when editing the profile post-import.
  • Other:
    • When adding a new Relationship or Membership, add the Relationship/Membership Type before the Relationship/Membership With, to provide a more logical flow. (Name: Springy Share; Relationship Type: Director; Relationship With: Springy Public Library)
    • Admin > Manage Integrations has more detail about how LibCal and LibAnswers integrations work / how often they’re run.
    • Looking for your System Email? It’s now conveniently located on the Admin > Manage System Email page!
    • We continually review the system for Accessibility and make changes where needed. This release includes accessibility updates for several pages.

Coming Soon!

  • Mass Email: LibCRM will have Email Campaign Management! This allows users to create an email with multiple recipients right within their LibCRM system. Once created, you add recipients from People or Organization profiles, then save the email as a draft or send. An Email Interaction will automatically be created under each recipient profile.
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    That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. 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 2019. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

    Feed Your Data Cravings — With Springy Stats That Are Off The Charts!

    Get Me Some Actionable Data…STAT!

    This is the world we live in. We need proof to try the pudding. 15 years ago, people simply went to a restaurant, chose a vacuum, or took a gym class. Now, most people spend a considerable amount of time doing research before major and even minor purchases. Just think about how many reviews you’ve read lately for a mobile phone case. How many stars does it take for you to choose a taqueria? Forbes says, “82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store.” Librarians have known for a long time that keeping statistics is important. Having actionable data is key.

    Grid And Bear It.

    Springshare understands how valuable metrics are to libraries. You’re in the service industry. It’s critical for you to keep track of usage, to measure growth, and to gather feedback. You have to be able to make assessments about which efforts are yielding positive results and which programs or classes are no longer popular. Springshare has statistics built into every tool. Since the love of data is now a very cool thing, we wanted to geek out and share some great charts and graphs you can dazzle people with at the staff meeting.

    LibWizard allows you to easily build custom forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials. If you choose the Grid Field, you can get feedback on a number of related questions all at once. Looking at the data through the varied chart options can quickly help you make some decisions about, in this case, improvements to library instruction sessions. As we can see from this Post-Instruction Survey, the attendees thought the class was maybe a bit short. And, while they thought it had great content and examples, it didn’t have enough hands-on exercises and there wasn’t enough time for questions. How incredible would it be for your team to have this kind of evidence?

    It’s All About The Filters.

    LibCRM is our Customer Relationship Management tool designed specifically for libraries. It’s amazing what this system helps you keep track of from projects and tasks to the complexities of relationships and memberships to recording all the work you’re doing to be of service and build a rapport.

    But this system isn’t just wowing people because of what it can hold. It’s surprising folks with what you can extract. You choose the filters and get the intelligence you need.

    Here’s a report on Adjunct Faculty Who Don’t Communicate with the Library. Being able to run a report that can filter through scores of records to display these specifics is beneficial. You could then spearhead a project to boost your outreach that gives you a real place to begin.

    Don’t Just READ Into It.

    The READ Scale or Reference Effort Assessment Data has been around since about 2002 when an ARL (Association of Research Libraries) survey was conducted and unearthed the problem that the READ Scale solves.

    They had determined that it was necessary to spell out the efforts being made by librarians to help answer patrons. This ensures an accurate assessment of the work each interaction entailed.

    Since inception, the LibAnswers Platform has provided librarians with the ability to select the READ Scale number that corresponds with the activity when recording the transaction. If you’re not already using it. You should! Data is most helpful when it is quantitative — in this case measuring effort. It justifies the need for professional librarians and their invaluable expertise. Plus, having this knowledge helps with scheduling. It’s easy to look at the time stamp in the stats. When the most difficult questions are being asked, you can make sure there’s a manager around.

    Now, go ahead and check out the Stats and Reports features in all your Springshare tools to get the data that you need!

    LibApps release with new LibCal, LibInsight, LibAuth, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibWizard, and LibStaffer Features

    Important updates!

    Wow, it’s March already! For many of us, March brings warmer weather, longer days, and a general uplifting of spirit after a long winter. Well, Springshare is here to lift your spirits even higher with a ton of awesome updates for your Springy apps. Plus we’re sharing exciting LibWizard news!

    These releases are on their way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, March 15.

    LibCal

    Online Payments Support Update
    We’ve had some great feedback from customers who are using the online payments feature in LibCal – thank you! In this release, we added more payment processors and extended payment support to equipment bookings, too! There are also new billing rate types to allow for more flexibility in how you want to set up your charges for bookings. If you’re interested in activating online payments in your LibCal system, let us know!

    Don’t miss the upcoming Training Tidbit session (Wednesday, April 3rd) that will take you through many of these great new features!

    • Parent/child relationship for groups of spaces. For example, set a large meeting room as a parent of two smaller meeting rooms. If the parent space is busy, none of the child space will be available for booking, and if any of the child spaces are busy, the parent space will be unavailable to book at that time.  To set up the parent/child space relationships, head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Click on the Spaces link for a Location > Edit an individual space > General tab.
    • Individual Space Landing Page & Link: We’ve added a standalone, perma-linked landing page for individual spaces.  It has the availability grid for that space, directions, more information about the space, etc.
    • Friendly URLs for Events: Navigate to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Add/Edit an Event to use this new option.
    • Move or Copy Events from one calendar to another!  Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Click on an Event > Modify Single Event > Move (or Copy)
    • Find Event to Copy modal

      Create New Event > Find Event to Copy

      Copy Event Info From An Existing Event When Creating a New Event. Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Create a New Event, then click on the ‘Find an event to copy’ link at the top of the Add Event screen.

    • Exchange/Outlook Title Setting Options: the Exchange/Outlook Event Title selections now have three options: ‘Use Patron Name’, ‘Use Public Nickname,’ and ‘Use Patron Name + Email.’  To see these, head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Edit Location > Exchange/Outlook tab.
    • Anticipated Attendance: A new informational field for events to help make decisions on which space should be booked.  Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Add/Edit an Event to see this new field.
    • New Patron Activity Statistics Page: There’s a new stats report for user (patron) activity. The report shows a monthly table with the number of appointments, events, spaces, and equipment reservations were made by patrons. Head to Stats > Patron Activity to check it out.
    • Separate Language Tokens for each confirmation button when booking an appointment and LibAuth is in use: we’ve added the ability to customize both confirmation buttons that appear when users book an appointment with LibAuth authentication.  This will help make the process clearer. Previously, each button was labeled “Confirm Appointment.”
    • The option to delete individual availability time slots via click is back! Head to Appointments > Availability and then click on any available time slot on the grid to access the delete modal.

    Fixes include:

    • Location field in iCal files: We’ve corrected an issue where this field was not populating correctly.
    • Public Appointment Widget conflict with availability and Outlook busy times: We’ve corrected an issue on the public appointment widget: now slots marked ‘Busy in Outlook’ are appropriately made unavailable in widgets.

    Get additional tips and strategies from our awesome training team – join us for upcoming sessions:

    LibApps, LibGuides, & LibAuth

    • LibAuth setup wizard: If you’re brand-new to LibAuth and are a member of the InCommon or UKFederation, setup is a breeze: just search for your institution name, and we’ll set up the rest!
    • Accessibility fixes: We eliminated duplicate IDs on the Guides by Subject page, when guides were assigned to multiple subjects. We also removed “Navigate to” from the beginning of the ARIA labels for page names. Use your screen reader to navigate to another page in a guide by typing the first letter of the page name (YMMV!).
    • Guide statistics: We redid the back-end and improved the speed and waiting time of some long reports.
    • LibApps admins can now enable/disable others’ LibGuides profile pages.

    Join us for our upcoming LibGuides training, including:

    LibInsight: COUNTER r5 is here!

    We’re super excited to announce that starting March 2019 you will be able to fetch COUNTER r5 usage reports from compliant vendors. SUSHI fetching capability is a requirement for compliance with this new release of COUNTER, and that has been our focus with this release.

    You can schedule a single report fetch, or you can set it and forget it! Choose either the Platform, Title, or Database Master Reports and schedule a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual fetch of these reports. Choose up to three users who will be notified once each report is fetched and processed.

    Why Master Reports? We’re gathering all the data for you so that you can narrow it down as you wish during analysis. Fetch it once, analyze to your heart’s content.

    screenshot

    With this initial beta code release, you’ll be able to fetch and analyze reports, use them in Cross-Dataset Analysis, and in Dashboards. Why “Beta”? Release 5 of the Counter Code of Practice is substantially different to earlier releases. You’ll still be able to see which of your platforms, databases, and titles performed the best and were searched the most—including cost-per-use analysis—but we are still polishing the interface and want to learn from you how best to make those tweaks. So check out COUNTER’s Friendly Guide for Librarians, then take a COUNTER r5 dataset for a spin and let us know what you think! We have an upcoming April training session to help get you started.

    Join us for our April LibInsight training sessions:

    LibAnswers

    We have some small but mighty features and fixes to share with you for LibAnswers this release:

    Link to the ticket from the RefAnalytics Transaction Explorer.

    Showing Ref Analytics transaction link in the Knowledgebase Explorer.

    Link to transaction in the Knowledge Base Explorer.

    • Tickets & Reference Analytics: In the Knowledge Base Explorer, tickets now show links to the related RefAnalytics record, if one had been submitted. In the RefAnalytics Transactions Explorer, the related Ticket is linked in the first column, if it’s related to a ticket. Now it’s easy to get those additional ticket details, if/when you need or want them!
    • Internal setting – fewer distractions! In the new LibChat Dashboard, the “Internal” setting now prevents ticket alerts from popping up.
    • No more missing LibChat charts: We fixed an issue that sometimes resulted in no charts displaying in LibChat stats.
    • No more interference: We fixed an issue where LibChat widgets that aren’t in use were interfering with other page functions.

    Join us for upcoming LibAnswers training sessions:

    LibStaffer

    There are so many great new new features for LibStaffer in this release! Check them out:

    Showing drag & drop feature to fill schedule shifts.

    • API: We’ve developed API support using OAuth 2.0 for LibStaffer!  Head to Admin > API to check out the available endpoints.
    • Drag & Drop for Shift Scheduling & Time Off: Click on an existing shift and drag it into a different “time interval” to modify the start and end times of the shift, assign staff members to existing shifts, and even create new shifts by dragging a staff member’s name from a new panel listing each member assigned to that schedule. Go to Schedules, then click on ‘Show Drag/Drop Shift Option.’  The Time Off schedule view also has this drag & drop functionality.
    • Free/busy status check for Outlook calendar sync during shift assignments: A new setting in the Outlook/Exchange setup will checks users’ free/busy times in Outlook for shift assignments.  Go to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Calendar Sync > Outlook/Exchange Settings to enable this feature.
    • Assign staff members to future instances of shift recurrences in one fell swoop instead of having to assign each instance of the recurrence. Click on Schedules and then edit or create a new shift assignment, then click the new down arrow on the ‘Save Assignments’ button and select ‘Save Recurring Assignments.’
    • Time Off Recurrence Options: Set recurring time off Weekly (with new options for every week through every 8 weeks) or Monthly! Head to Time Off > Add Time Off > Recurring Time to check out all of the new options.
    • Staff Member Pay Rates: For each user account, there are new fields for Regular & Overtime Hourly Pay Rate as well as a Daily & Weekly Overtime Threshold. These rates are used in the Time Clock reports to show how much an account holder earned during any given shift. Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Pay Rate to set the pay rate values for each account. Customize your currency display at Admin > System Settings > Currency Display.
    • Time Off Approvals now contain Supervisor name and Requested Time. We’ve also added a History button, which will show the associated time off detail for a user’s past 12 months.  Go to Time Off > Time Off Approvals to see the new report format and options.
    • Staff Current Status Report Enhancements: We’ve made it easier to get to this report from any screen! In addition to clicking the “View Current Status of All Staff” button on the Home page, you can simply click Staff in the orange command bar. Go there using either option to see an enhanced format of this report, including additional filter options for Status.
    • New Location, Department, and Position Fields: Head to Admin > Org Hierarchy to set up these new Admin-defined fields for use in all LibStaffer user accounts! Add locations, departments, and positions (including an option to mark positions as a Supervisor role) to your system, then go to Admin > Accounts to assign each account their appropriate location / department / position.
      • This release lays the groundwork for this feature. The Supervisor option has related functionality now (see next bullet point), and as always, we’d love to hear your ideas for how to best use this new LibStaffer feature!
    • Time Off Requests Routing: There are a couple of new fields on the “Manage Account” screen that relate to routing of time off requests! First, there’s the “Direct Supervisor” field: set your own or Admins can set any account holder’s Direct Supervisor by going to Admin > Accounts and editing any account. Once that’s set, you’ll see the new “Time Off Requests” field: choose to send time off request emails only to your Direct Supervisor or your Direct Supervisor and all admins.
    • Recurring Shift Notes on the Scheduled Shifts Report: We’ve corrected an issue where recurring shift notes were not appearing on the Scheduled Shifts Report.

    Join us for upcoming LibStaffer training sessions:

    LibWizard

    We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to improve the reliability of LibWizard, and also fixed a few bugs along the way:

    • We fixed an issue where some LibWizard forms/surveys might not show up in the list when using “Add LibWizard items” in LibGuides.
    • We added a proper 404 page, so when your patron clicks on broken links or deleted forms, they’ll know what’s wrong.

    That’s it, you ask? Not at all! We’ve been busy with this other little side project called…LibWizard v2. 🙂 That’s right, LibWizard has been re-written from the ground up!

    LibWizard v2 addresses a lot of issues and pain points with v1, and will bring significant improvements to the Assessments/Tutorials module. We‘re so excited about it and can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned, LibWizard v2 is coming April 2019.

    Whew! That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. 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 in 2019–this awesome year has just begun. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

    Top 10 Springshare Blog Posts of 2018

    2019 is upon us and everyone loves a recap post.

    We wrote 58 blog posts in 2018 (phew, our fingers are tired!) showcasing awesome new functionality in Springy Tools, guest presentations, SpringyCamp conferences, and so much more.

    So join us as we look back and highlight our top ten blog posts of last year.

    hacker1. Security & Protection of your Springy Sites

    January 25, 2018

    If cloud-computing had a theme in 2018, it would’ve been HTTPS. In this blog post, we announced new functionality to route all patron traffic in Springy tools (LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, etc.) through HTTPS. Plus, we added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide completely free HTTPS security certificates for all your Springy v2 tools. Talk about starting 2018 off with a bang!

    2. LibCal/LibStaffer Integration

    March 14, 2018

    Don’t you just love it when your tools seamlessly work together? We do, too. That’s why we added two-way integration between LibCal (your calendaring tool) and LibStaffer (your staffing/scheduling tool).

    In LibCal, if you have a confirmed Scheduler Appointment – you can’t be booked for a LibStaffer shift and vice versa. 2018 – the year you stopped accidentally double-booking yourself. Huzzah!

    3. GDPR Compliance & Our New Mailing List

    April 25, 2018

    In preparation for the GDPR’s enforcement on May 25, 2018, we released tons of features to help ensure your compliance. And, if you think, “Hey, our institution doesn’t reside in the EU, so this doesn’t apply to us.” Think again. If you service even a single EU citizen, no matter where in the world that EU citizen resides, the GDPR applies to you. And, while we were on the subject of privacy, we revamped our email list. So, if you want receive our Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements – you need to explicitly opt-in here.

    4. LibTote and LibTote Platinum

    April 1, 2018

    I mean, who doesn’t love a good April Fool’s joke?! This blog post was dedicated to our fake product launch – LibTote and LibTote Platinum. Smart Tote technology you can take with you, to help you take other things. Why? Well, because there are two kinds of Librarians in the world… and they both love Tote bags. If you need a chuckle, take a minute (or two!) and revisit this blog post and dream of a world where your Tote bag has Blue’tote functionality, smart expansion, and robust usage stats.
    Sigh – if only we lived in such a world. 

    5. New LibChat Operator Interface

    June 28, 2018

    LibAnswers with LibChat saw a ton of updates last year. But we kicked it off with a blog post announcing an entirely new LibChat operator console designed to help you manage loads of patron chats more efficiently and chat internally with colleagues as easily as possible. But, this was just the tip of the new features iceberg. We, later, announced more chat improvements, ideas for discovery layer integration, and our screensharing & webinar functionality (coming January 2019).

    6. SpringyCamp Summer Series

    July 31, 2018

    In case you missed it, SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference (completely free!) where Springy users share how they’re using their Springshare tools at their institutions to attendees who watch from around the world. Literally, we have people who get up at 3am their time to join! Our 2018 Summer Series featured three virtual conferences, June, July, and August, with some amazing presenters and showstopping presentations. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the first time around, no worries – watch a recording any time.

    7. SUSHI Fetching in LibInsight

    July 3, 2018

    LibInsight is your data storage and analysis powerhouse – and it got even more powerhouse’y last July. We rolled out automated fetching for your SUSHI compliant E-Journals, Databases, and eBooks datasets. Simply connect LibInsight to your database vendors and your e-resource usage data will automatically port into LibInsight for easy analysis.

    8. Essential LibGuides You Need

    September 17, 2018

    We’ve seen our fair share of excellent LibGuides. This blog post details the guides you should have and ones you didn’t even know you needed! If you’re looking for LibGuides inspiration from other libraries, don’t miss this list highlighting just some of our favorite essential LibGuides. And, if you’re looking to build some LibGuides on current events, don’t miss this blog post either!

    9. LibStaffer Workflow Forms

    October 11, 2018

    We released a really big feature for LibStaffer at the end of last year that helps you streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms. LibStaffer Workflow Forms enables you to create customized online forms that facilitate the entire life cycle – after the form is submitted. This includes automated email notifications, full audit trails, and the ability to view the entire workflow/history for each form submission. Looking for ways to use LibStaffer Workflow Forms? Check out this blog post highlighting 5 Ways to Use Workflow Forms.

    10. New Australia / Asia-Pacific Datacenter

    December 10, 2018

    When you start a year with a bang it has to end with one too, by announcing announcing a dedicated data center for our Australia, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific customers. In early 2019, we’ll automatically move all customers located in the Asia-Pacific region to this dedicated server cluster. This new data center is our 3rd cluster, with dedicated geographical servers, alongside our Canadian and European clusters. These dedicated data centers help ensure that your institution is in compliance with local laws regarding transmission of patron data in/out of the United States.

     

    LibApps release with new LibAuth, LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, LibInsight, and LibStaffer Features

    Wow, do we have a ton of end of year updates to share with you – we have new LibAuth, LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, LibInsight, and LibStaffer features to share! This time we’re doing something different with the announcement – rather than spreading out the announcements in multiple blog posts (one per product) we’ll outline them all here, in a single post.

    These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Wednesday December 19th.

    LibAuth & LibApps

    LibAuth now supports SSO logins via OAuth2 and Sirsi Symphony. If your SSO supports the OAuth2 protocol, or if you have the Sirsi-Dynix Symphony ILS, you can now set up LibAuth configurations that will use these methods. Use LibAuth to authenticate patrons for LibCal Space Bookings, events, LibGuides E-Reserves, or to place your LibGuides site, group of guides, or a single guide behind authentication. LibApps admins can head to LibApps > Admin > LibAuth Authentication to see these two new options.

    In LibApps, if you switch to a custom domain or change an existing custom domain for your LibGuides, LibCal, or LibAnswers site, we will request & install a free Let’s Encrypt security certificate before we put the domain change into effect. This ensures that all traffic to your sites continues to go over HTTPS rather than over the insecure HTTP protocol. If you haven’t yet read our blog post on making all your Springy traffic HTTPS, check it out now.

    We’re also adding two more customizable fields to the Primo Search Source, when you set it up to show Primo results inside your LibGuides & LibAnswers search. The two new customizable fields are for changing the scope and tab name. Head to LibApps > Admin > Search Sources to set this up for Primo.

    LibGuides

    Over in LibGuides, if you have LibGuides CMS and have implemented IP Access Restrictions for your site, group, or guide, you will no longer see results for these IP-protected assets in search results, unless you are inside the required IP range. Your IP-protected guides will only show up in search results for users within valid ranges.

    We also added a feature many of our A-Z Databases admins have asked for: the option to remove a “Trial” label from a trial Database when the trial expires. To set this up, go to Content > A-Z Databases > edit your database, apply the label, add the trial expiration date, and check the box labelled “Hide from public view on trial expiration date.”

    Speaking of A-Z list, we’ve made a small change to the way that A-Z Databases search works with filters on the public A-Z page. Previously, if you filtered the page view to a subject, vendor, or type, and then did a search, these filters conflicted, resulting in incorrect search results. Now, when you search filtered results, you’ll correctly see databases that match your search term AND your filters.

    There are also a bunch of small features and fixes to share:

    • We fixed the A-Z Databases map count, which were incorrect in a few instances.
    • We fixed the rendering of A-Z Database Description popovers in two cases:
      • When you’re using a A-Z page template that contains a custom content box with A-Z databases in it.
      • If you’re using IE11 or on a mobile device.

    LibCal

    We’re happy to announce that LibCal now has an online payments component built right into the system, and it comes with no additional fee – it’s a standard part of your LibCal system.


    Online payments are being added to event registrations and spaces first. Support for payments on equipment bookings will be coming soon (late January/early February). We’re doing a limited online payments release to early adopters, until we polish all the payments features over the next few weeks (the wide release will be later in January). If you’re interested in being an early adopter for online payments in LibCal, let us know! For a sneak peek at how this functionality is integrated within LibCal, check out the December Springy Newsletter feature on LibCal – Way to Pay.

    In addition to online payments, we have several other new features rolling out in this release, including:

    • The new “Next Available” quick link in Spaces and Equipment is now available via the APIs
    • We’ve added a simple honeypot captcha to Event booking forms, to help reduce spammy event registrations. This captcha method doesn’t display to the patron at all, so you won’t see anything different in your registration forms, but spambots will run into hidden fields that are designed to catch them and prevent the form from being submitted.
    • We’ve updated our Spaces Exchange Integration to support displaying Space reservations in Exchange using either the patron’s name, or a nickname they enter as part of the registration form. This is designed to assist folks who are relying on the Exchange integration to tie in with an external room panel. To try out this new setting, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Exchange/Outlook and look for the Title Setting toggle.

    LibAnswers/LibChat

    We’re thrilled to announce that our new screensharing & webinars functionality is here! We went way beyond just basic librarian-to-patron sharing of screen during chat. Patrons and Librarians can also request control of each others’ screens, do an audio chat, start an optional webcam share for a face to face chat, annotate the screen to help guide your users in the right direction, save and send screenshots… and that’s just the basics. Also, why stop with two people – have a screensharing/webinar session with 3, 4, 5 or more people – the more the merrier! It’s all there, in LibChat.

    • Supported Across All Browsers – Whether you or the patron are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or some other browser… our screensharing works across all browsers.
    • Supported Across Multiple Operating Systems – From Windows to Mac OS, from Ubuntu to Mint… we’ve got you covered.
    • Works on Tablets & Mobile Devices – From Surface Pro 2 (running Win 8.1 / Win 10) to iOS/Andriod devices and even on Slaven’s beloved Blackberry (yes, we went there!)… you can screenshare with users on multiple device types.
    • Audio & Video Options – You and the patron have the option to turn on your mics and webcams to enhance the screensharing experience.
    • Screen Annotation – Annotate screens, draw attention to certain elements, type up notes, and then save the screenshot and send to the patron.
    • Multi-Person Webinars or Virtual Staff Meetings – Screenshare as a group for internal meetings, staff webinars, etc. Why should only two people have all the fun?
    • Distance Education Support – With our screensharing and webinars, your library can better support distance ed programs at your institution.
    • Saved Recordings – Optionally, save your screenshare session and share it with relevant parties.

    Screensharing is an optional module but it’s included free to all our Suite customers. Non Suite users can join in the fun too for $199 for this module – we worked hard to bring enterprise-class screensharing & webinars solution that costs thousands to every library that needs it, for less than a daily cup of joe at the local deli. That’s what we’re all about – delivering outstanding value to our libraries that we’re privileged to serve and work with.

    Based on the amount of emails and inquiries we received since we told you about our screensharing plans, we know that you will want this installed, like, yesterday. But in order to ensure the stability of the infrastructure the rollout will be gradual, over the next couple of months. If you want to be an early adopter please let us know you’re interested and we’ll go from there.

    In addition to screensharing, we have a couple of additional updates to share:

    • New Chat Status: Internal – With all of the screensharing excitement around the potential for internal staff meetings and support, we realized that our existing availability options in LibChat needed some tweaks. Thus as of this release there are now 3 presence/status settings for LibChat:
      • Online – You’re available to answer all public and internal chats
      • Internal – You’re offline as far as public chat departments are concerned, but online and available for internal chat departments and 1:1 operator chats
      • Offline – You’re entirely offline and unavailable to chat
    • Department Monitoring Update – We’ve updated the way we display information on who is publicly monitoring chats for each LibChat department. Previously we were displaying availability for each user in each department based on their overall online/offline status. Now, we’ll display this information based on whether the user is specifically publicly monitoring/not monitoring each individual chat department. To see this in action, head to the LibChat dashboard > Select a Department > Click Department Members.

    LibInsight

    We are working on integration of COUNTER Release 5 datasets into LibInsight, which we expect to be available before the end of March 2019. Meanwhile, we have a slew of small fixes for you:

    • We fixed field editing bug in circulation datasets
    • We fixed the error message displayed if you do not specify a “# of transactions” field in an Aggregate Circulation dataset
    • We fixed Dashboard charts for LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibGuides datasets
    • We’ve made it possible for you to choose whether to require “Required” fields when uploading a file to a custom dataset
    • We fixed a broken export button in the Circulation and Acquisitions Datasets Analysis “Popular” tab
    • We fixed the “Reset” button on widgets, which was not getting appropriate keyboard focus

    LibStaffer

    We’ve been working hard to bring you some special gifts this holiday season including awesome new features like copying shifts, SMS alert notifications, Geofencing and OAuth authentication for Outlook/Exchange calendar syncing.

    • Copy Shifts – By popular demand, you now have the ability to copy shifts and their assignments to the same or different calendar.  Open any schedule, select the settings icon drop down and select Copy Shifts access this feature.
    • SMS Alert Notifications – SMS alert notifications are here!  Select which LibStaffer alerts to receive through SMS text messages or email (or both).  Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit > Email & SMS Alerts to check out this new feature.
    • Geofencing – We’ve developed a way to put a distance restriction on where staff members can either clock in or clock out within a specified radius from a schedules physical geographic location.  Check out this new feature to set your geofence restrictions and schedule locations latitude/longitude by going to Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > Location & Time Clock.
    • OAuth Authentication for Outlook/Exchange Sync – A brand new way of syncing to Outlook/Exchange, using OAuth tokens instead of having to enter and update login passwords.  This new way is more secure than storing of Outlook/Exchange passwords.  Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Outlook/Exchange.
    • Workflow Submissions Explorer Recipient Filter – We’ve improved the workflow forms submission explorer to include a notification recipient filter.  You will now be able to use this filter to see only relevant form submissions that included a specific notification recipient.  To run the explorer with this new filter head to Forms > Submissions Explorer.
    • Max Hours per Day – The ability to set the maximum number of hours a day a staff member can work across all schedules in one day.  Manual shift assignments and the auto scheduler will take this new value into account when checking availability when scheduling staff members.  To set a staff members max hours per day that they can work, go to Admin > Accounts > Edit > Manage Account.
    • Custom Week Start Date – Beyond Sunday and Monday, we’ve now brought you the ability to set the ‘Week starts’ date to any day of the week.  The proper support has also been added for manually assigning staff and running the auto scheduler to determine availability.  Go to Admin > System Settings to set your ‘Week starts’ value to any day of the week.
    • Multi View Start Date – We’ve modified the multi schedule view display where if all the calendars selected for the multi view have the same week start date, the calendar view will start on that same day of the week.  To view this change, go to Schedules > Multi-Schedule View Only and select calendars that all have the same week start date.
    • Shift Swaps with Outlook/Exchange sync – We’ve improved the shift swap sync process for Outlook/Exchange where after a shift is successfully swapped between two staff members, the shift that each staff member was assigned to prior to the swap will be removed from the Outlook/Exchange calendars.
    • Consistent first and last name display – We’ve gone through all of LibStaffer and anywhere an account name appears it will display as First Name Last Name sorted by Last Name.

     

    Many of the new features and functionality in Springshare tools came as a direct result of you, our customers, sending us your ideas, suggestions, pain points, constructive criticism, and kudos. We can’t thank you enough, and we promise so much more good stuff coming your way in 2019 – new features, enhanced functionality, new products… all with one singular purpose – to make your library workflows better and for you to continue impressing your customers and making them love and appreciate their library and their librarians even more. Thank you for your amazing suggestions and ideas in 2018, and here’s to a lot more goodies in 2019 and beyond. As always we’re here for you if any questions pop up.

    Planned Server Maintenance: December 26, 2018

    Server maintenance is planned for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal in all regions on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, which may cause brief downtime (no more than 15 minutes in the worst case) for a subset of our customers.

    There are no changes or actions required on your side, by anyone, for any product. So you don’t have to lift a finger! This is simply a notification of the expected downtime while we update our servers. We will remind you again (via a message when you log into your system) as we approach the maintenance date.

    This work is necessary to strengthen our load balancing infrastructure for all of our customers. As a reminder, we use load balancing so that any sites attempting to connect to a disrupted server automatically move to a healthy server while we replace the disrupted server. A minority of customers, however, opted to be tied to a single server due to the nature of the setup of their custom domain. Those customers will also be load balanced upon completion of this update. (If this does not sound familiar to you, you are likely not part of that minority of customers.)

    We chose Wednesday, December 26, 2018 for this maintenance / brief downtime based on usage logs, which show this is one of the lowest usage periods in the entire year. We will further mitigate any disruptions by performing this server work either early in the morning or late at night in each server region’s time zone.

    Please let us know if you have any questions!

    LibAnswers Proactive Chat Increases User Engagement

    If you’re looking for a way to increase user engagements, look no further than LibAnswers proactive LibChat widgets!

    Create as many customizable chat widgets as you’d like, embed them anywhere (including https secure websites), and watch the chats roll in.

    How do I make one?

    It’s as easy as select, type, copy, and paste. Blammo – and you’re done!

    • Login to your LibAnswers system > LibChat from the Orange Command Bar > LibChat Widgets.
    • Select the Create New Widget Button.
    • Give your widget a name and choose either the button, slide-out tab, or floating chat widget display options.
      • Pro-tip: Give your widget a descriptive name so you can remember what style of chat widget it is, where’s it been embedded, and your autoload delay properties. Your patrons will never see the name on the public side. Your future self will thank you!
        • e.g. title: “Slide-Out Tab Widget: Right-Side, Auto-Delay (60second). Library Homepage.”
    • Go through your widget options but pay special attention to the feature titled “Autoload Delay (in seconds).” This is your proactive chat widget! Choose, in seconds, how long you want to wait before you engage your user with the widget prompt.
      • Pro-tip: For your library homepage, choose a longer autoload delay (60 – 120 seconds). For web resources were users tend to get “stuck” like your A-Z resource list or discovery layer, choose a shorter autoload delay (20 – 45 seconds).
    • You’re almost done! Take a minute and customize the language of your autoload delay window. Simply click the autoload preview in the right column to pop-out a window that allows you to customize the default language. This way, you can inform your users of how the chat works, that you’re there to help, and how easy it is to ask questions.
    • Make any additional customizations, including what happens when your LibChat widget is offline and click save.
    • Copy the Embed code > and you’re done!
    • Repeat the steps above to offer different and unique LibChat experiences on your various digital touch points. Create one proactive chat widget for your library homepage and a different one, with different help language, for your Database A-Z list!
      • Pro-tip: If you’re using the LibGuides A-Z list, login to LibGuides > Content > Databases A-Z List > Settings > LibChat Widget > to add your proactive LibChat widget to your LibGuides A-Z list. This is where giving your chat widget as descriptive a name as possible really helps you out!

    Will it increase my user engagement?

    While we can’t promise how your specific demographic will respond, recent research articles written by Michael Epstein from the University of San Diego’s Copley Library and another from Lydia Pyburn from The University of Texas at Arlington Library indicate that the answer is yes!

    The Reference Department at the University of San Diego’s Copley Library implemented Proactive LibChat widgets and saw a 600% increase in chat engagements.1

    The University of Texas at Arlington Library doubled their chat engagements from 4,020 (2015-2016) to 8,120 (2016-2017) after implementing proactive LibChat and for some months saw their incoming chats tripled.2

    Are there examples of the LibAnswers Proactive LibChat widget I can check out?

    Absolutely, there are probably loads more out there in SpringyLand…but here are just a few of our favorites!

    College of the Mainland Library
    Floating LibChat Widget w/ Custom Icons

    Ashland University Library
    Slide out Tab Widget

    Where can I learn more about adding LibAnswers proactive LibChat widgets?

    We’re hosting webinars in October with guest speaker Michael Epstein from the University of San Diego’s Copley Library. We’ll take a quick tour of LibAnswers, explore live library examples of LibAnswers Proactive LibChat widgets, and Michael Epstein will present on their use-case at the Copley Library Reference Department.

    Citations

    1. Epstein, Michael. “That thing is so annoying: How proactive chat helps us reach more users.” College & Research Libraries News [Online], 79.8 (2018): 436. Web. 3 Oct. 2018.

    2. Pyburn, Lydia L. “Implementing a Proactive Chat Widget in an Academic Library.Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning [Online], 2018.

    LibAnswers 2.23 Update Coming Soon!

    The LibAnswers 2.23 update is on its way to you this week, and will be released in all regions by the end of the day on Thursday October 11th, 2018. This update is all about refinements to the new chat operator interface. We’ve been listening to your feedback and are implementing several great features to streamline answering and keeping track of chats. Read on for the details!

    New Chat Dashboard Updates

    • Pop-out Chat View – We’re adding a new viewing option that makes it easier to view multiple chats at the same time – the new Multi Chat View option displays all incoming and internal chats “popped out” in the chat operator screen, so you can move windows, resize, and keep an eye on multiple conversations at once. To use the new view, head to the Settings tab in the Operator Console and select “View Chats in Multi Chat Overlay”. To make this your default view every time you log in, head to Edit Account > Chat Settings and choose “View Chats in Multi Chat Overlay”.
    • Smoother Chat Claiming – We’ve added a handy “Claim” button in the lefthand list of chats, to both help indicate which chats need to be claimed, and make it easier to claim a chat with just one click. In addition, chats waiting to be claimed will always be displayed at the top of the chats list, so they’re more obvious.
    • Departments: Who’s Online – Department chats now include a full list of “Who’s in this chat”, so you know everyone who could be part of a department chat along with their current online/offline status. To see who’s online, click on the department chat then select Department Members.
    • Chat Styles – We’ve updated the Chat Operator typing pane to support basic HTML styles (bold, italic, and underline) without needing to type in the actual HTML. Use the new button options in the chat pane to style your text and make your chats more expressive.
    • Scrub Internal Chat Messages – If you’d prefer not to save and display internal chat history indefinitely, you now have the option to clear the internal chat history after X days. To set this option, Admins can head to Admin > LibChat Set-up > Scrub Internal Chat Messages. By setting this option, all internal chats (include sitewide chat, department chats, and op-to-op chats) will be deleted and cannot be retrieved. Also note that this does not impact patron chats – to scrub patron chats, contact our support team.
    • Chat Transcripts Include Custom Pre-Chat Questions – Now when you view and/or export chat transcripts, we’ll include the contents from any pre-chat questions the patron may have answered before the chat began.
    • Updated Dashboard Notifications – We’ve tweaked the dashboard notification messages to clarify between new chats and new tickets.
    • And we have a couple of Bug Fixes to share:
      • Now, when you add a chat to Reference Analytics, the chat question and answer fields will be included in the correct Reference Analytics fields, rather than both being added to the Question field
      • New chat sound notifications will now sound for both chats you’re looking at currently as well as chats that you’re not currently looking at.
      • We’ve fixed an issue where Internal Notes added when a chat is closed were not being appended to the chat transcript.
      • And we’ve fixed an issue on the new chat dashboard where Idle Messages weren’t being displayed in the proper time period – now they’ll display as expected.

    Ticket & FAQ Updates

    • Edit Patron Contact Info – We’ve added a simple editing interface so you can now edit the patron information (including name, email address, or SMS number). This is particularly helpful for patrons that prefer to go by a different name, or have multiple email addresses that should be considered part of the same record. To edit a patron’s contact info, on the ticket answer page, select User History > Patron Contact Info.
    • Replies to Really Old Tickets = New Tickets – We’re here to help you in the fight against zombie tickets – now, you can choose to treat a new reply to a ticket from X months ago as a new ticket. This is meant to help particularly with email ticket chains, where the patron may be replying to an old email thread with a brand new question. Breaking the ticket out into its own ticket is helpful both for your site statistics (because odds are these are truly new questions and should be counted as such) as well as equitable question distribution (so the same person doesn’t wind up owning a ticket that could potentially span years). To set this new setting, Admins can head to Admin > System Settings > General > Break Replies into New Tickets.
    • File Uploads When Transferring – We now support file uploads when transferring a ticket to another user.
    • Bug Fix for Required Ticket Fields – Previously, in some limited circumstances, it was possible for the patron to submit a new ticket to your system without completing a required field (such as the Question field). We’ve fixed this issue so you should no longer see the occasional ticket that doesn’t include a question.
    • Save FAQ Content While Editing – We’re improving the FAQ creation experience by automatically saving the content you enter in the RTE, while you edit. This is super useful if, like our own Springy Tim, you have a habit of accidentally navigating away from the Create FAQ page in the midst of editing your content – now, if this happens, just return to the FAQ page you were working on and your content will still be there.

    Register for LibAnswers Training or watch training recordings to learn more about the new LibChat interface & all LibAnswers functionality!

    Springshare Integration with Discovery Layers

    In a recent interview with Springshare, LibApps power user Amber Tatnall, Director of Library Learning and Resources at York County Community College in Maine stated,

    I think if folks don’t integrate everything, they’re missing an opportunity to reach someone.

    From the moment we wake up, we make thousands of decisions a day. Opportunity Cost, or the cost of doing X at the expense of Y, is an often used mechanism for decision making. However, an often missing piece of these mental algorithms is the cost of doing nothing. Within libraryland, the cost of doing nothing can manifest itself as lower user engagement or reduced web traffic hits.

    If your library subscribes to a discovery layer product like EBSCO Discovery Service, Ex Libris Summon, or Ex Libris Primo, there are multiple ways you can integrate your Springshare tools into your Discovery layers.

    These integrations allow you more virtual touch points to ‘reach’ your users with a minimum of effort.

    What can you integrate?

    When it comes to discovery layer integration, your mind might immediately jump to LibGuides integration. And that’s great! LibGuides is a great fit for integration with your discovery layers. However, if you subscribe to multiple Springshare tools – you can (and should!) integrate them all. Let’s explore!

    • LibCal – integrate your LibCal events so when users search on “MLA”, your upcoming Citation workshops display prominently.
    • LibAnswers LibChat – embed a LibChat sidebar widget so no matter where a user ends up in your discovery layer, there’s always a way for them to ‘ask for help’.
      • Pro Tip: Create a proactive chat widget timed to pop out around the 3 – 4 minutes mark. If a user is on a discovery layer page for at least 3 minutes (that’s a long time!), your LibChat widget can slide out and ask the user if they need help. In a recent College & Research Libraries News article, librarian Michael Epstein found that proactive chat led to a 600% increase in user engagement.
    • LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool – Make use of the Systems & Services Management Tool to create a discovery layer-specific widget that integrates LibChat, relevant FAQs, and a feedback mechanism for patrons to submit an idea, report a problem, or share praise.

    The New School embeds the Systems & Services Management Tool Widget right into their Primo Discovery Layer.

    • LibGuides E-Reserves – when students see a search box, they assume it works like Google. Enter anything in it, and you’ll get some results. If you subscribe to our LibGuides E-Reserves module, you can integrate your course reserves in Dublin Core format right into your discovery layer via OAI-PMH. This way, when a student inevitably types “Professor Smith” into your search box, they’ll actually get relevant results.
      • Pro Tip: We support custom Dublin Core metadata fields so you can customize how your E-Reserves display in your OAI-PMH compliant discovery layer.
    • LibAnswers Ask Us Form – Northeastern University used the LibAnswers API to create a custom ‘Report a Problem’ form in their discovery layer. Submissions get routed to LibAnswers with the discovery layer URL automatically added.

    LibAnswers Form auto-populates the URL of where the user was in the discovery layer

    Integrated a ‘Report a Problem’ LibAnswers Form

    • LibCal Equipment Booking Add-on Module – integrate your ‘library of things’ into your discovery layer using the robust LibCal Equipment Booking API. This way, when users search on 3D printers, or makerspace labs, they can actually view and reserve time using your equipment!

    Where can I learn more about Discovery Layer integration?

    Ask, and you shall receive! On September 19, Springshare conducted an in-depth training session on integrating Springy tools with EBSCO EDS, Ex Libris Summon, Ex Libris Primo / Primo VE. We even had a guest speaker from EBSCO, David Podboy, as well as Laura Guy, recent retiree from Colorado School of Mines, to showcase Springy integrations complete with examples and instructions.

    The good news? You can watch this recording and download the presenter slides, which include detailed examples and instructions.

    We hope you’ll take some time to watch the video and learn how you can avoid the cost of doing nothing by integrating your Springy Tools into as many virtual touch points as possible. As Amber stated, “… if folks don’t integrate everything, they’re missing an opportunity to reach someone.

    Click to access our discovery layer training session, including examples and presenter notes and files.