Archive for LibAnswers

Global Public Chat Cooperative: Helping Your Community 24/7

As librarians, you’re there to help your communities improve their access to information and resources, no matter their life circumstances. But “pandemic life” has stretched on for over seven months now, and while public libraries have adapted quickly, increases in new cases could mean sudden closures or service changes again. Curbside delivery tools like Pickup Manager provide an important link to patrons, and online reference tools like email, and even better, live chat, are becoming the most visible way to show you’re open and there to help them. Libraries are also finding that if there’s a chat option on their website, patrons will use it!

We also can’t forget that typically when times are tough, usage of the library goes up as people need help with resumes, job seeking, government assistance applications, small business resources, and free services and sources of entertainment they can’t otherwise afford. So while the library building may be closed, have shorter hours, or limited capacity – its community may need it more than ever.

Denver Public Library, a large multi-branch system in Denver, Colorado, and Arlington Heights Memorial Library, a single branch library located in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, have both dealt with closures and unexpected shifts in services during the pandemic. And with established 24/7 chat services plus backup Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative support, we asked them to share how 24/7 chat has impacted their ability to help patrons during the pandemic, and what they’re seeing so far with chat trends and community needs.

Serving public library staff and patrons 24/7 with live chat + cooperative support

Before we dive into their experiences, let’s introduce the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative (Co-Op) for those who may be unfamilar with it! It’s how you can show patrons you’re there for them, even during the late hours after their kids are finally in bed, they’re done with work, and/or they’ve finished taking care of a loved one. With true global coverage, it can ensure your patrons can get help 24/7/365 from a professional MLS-degreed librarian. We even have a dedicated Public Library Cooperative made up of librarians with extensive experience helping public library patrons!

Springshare also provides different contribution options, so you can choose to help out in the Co-Op and receive backup assistance when you need it — or choose to only benefit from Co-Op support! The Co-Op uses the same widgets as local library LibChat, so there’s minimal extra setup when it’s added on.

A few weeks ago we shared just how busy chat traffic – and our Springshare 24/7 librarians – have been this fall. But while we can talk trends and numbers all day, it’s our customers’ experiences that bring home how a service is helping their library, staff, and communities during these difficult and uncertain times.

Helping anyone, any time of day, at Denver Public Library

A bit about Denver Public Library from Frank Wilmot, Senior Librarian, Reference Services:

  • Denver Public Library (DPL) is a busy 26 branch library system and has been providing chat support since 2013 with OCLC’s QuestionPoint. We transitioned to the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative in May 2020 after Springshare acquired QuestionPoint.
  • Our chat and email service are primarily staffed by the Reference Services department (Central Library) along with a handful of other departmental and branch librarians who provide one or two hours per week.
  • The Global Public Cooperative supports DPL constantly! The cooperative helps its customers 24/7/365 but primarily when DPL librarians are not staffing. When the chat service gets extra busy, when staff are in meetings, or even if and when there’s a fire drill, the public cooperative continues to support us and our customers.

Are you noticing any recent trends in patron questions and traffic numbers?

Chat traffic is up! At the end of September 2020, chats are up 41.7% over 2019. Obviously, 2020 has been an unusual year and when comparing Q1 2020 to Q2/Q3 when our buildings were closed, the monthly average still increased by 25.6%.

How have the cooperative added value to your existing chat services? Any surprising benefits?

We have been part of QuestionPoint’s 24/7 cooperative and now Springshare’s Public Co-Op since 2013. The cooperative has added value to our chat service since the beginning!! When chat traffic is too busy or if it’s late at night or early in the morning, we know that our customers will still get one-on-one assistance from a trained librarian with lots of information about our services and access to our resources. Since we joined LibAnswers, 22.5% of our chats have been answered by cooperative librarians. These are questions that may otherwise have been unanswered.

The LibAnswers software also makes it extremely easy for DPL staff to follow up with Denver customers and to strengthen the connections between the library and our customers.

When chat traffic is too busy or if it’s late at night or early in the morning, we know that our customers will still get one-on-one assistance from a trained librarian with lots of information about our services and access to our resources.

How has 24/7 chat support helped your library system transition services during the pandemic?

For a few weeks in March and April, when buildings were closed and before we started curbside services, the only way to communicate directly with library staff was via email and through our Ask Us chat service. Building closure was complete and abrupt, but because of the Global Public Cooperative, there wasn’t a single moment of interruption in at least one channel of communication and connection between the DPL and our customers. On a Sunday in March, DPL Reference staff were only able to provide chat service to our customers until 5pm, and while we were figuring out how to staff the service again Monday morning at 9am, the cooperative librarians were there to help answer questions from our customers overnight.

Building closure was complete and abrupt, but because of the Global Public Cooperative, there wasn’t a single moment of interruption in at least one channel of communication and connection between the Denver Public Library and our customers.

What do you think is the cooperative’s role in helping the Denver community? How does it fit into your long-term library services strategy?

DPL’s Vision is “A strong community where everyone thrives” and our mission states “Together, we create welcoming spaces where all are free to explore and connect.” Our Ask Us chat service is easily accessible and discoverable throughout our website and in our catalog. It’s available to anyone and everyone, whether you are in Denver or in another state or country with a question about Denver, Colorado, or the West. It’s available with or without a library card. Chatting with a real person any time of day or night helps us to create and build the connections between the library and our customers.

Maintaining 24/7 support during the pandemic at Arlington Heights Memorial Library

A bit about Arlington Heights Memorial Library from Jolie Duncan, Info Services Manager:

  • Arlington Heights Memorial Library is a single branch library serving a community of 75,000 people northwest of Chicago. We’re also a long-time Global Public Library Cooperative member.
  • We’ve relied on the cooperative to provide back up during all hours, but we primarily need assistance in the evenings and on the weekends after we close. We’ve had to shorten our opening hours by two hours to 8:00pm, and the cooperative now answers chats that come in during that time for our staff.
  • During the pandemic, we continue to have staff cover chat remotely. LibAnswers also provides an easy way to chat with co-workers internally if they need assistance on a chat or need to transfer a chat. 

Are you noticing any recent trends in patron questions and traffic numbers?

It has been interesting to analyze the chat stats and the LibAnswers platform makes it easy to view statistics and identify trends. In the months we were closed, we saw a steep rise in the number of chats, peaking with 1500 chats in June (over 3 times the normal amount)! Clearly, customers are moving to ask us questions virtually. The topics of the chats vary, but we have seen an increase in troubleshooting questions such as ebook help. Since so many librarians use similar databases, they can help troubleshoot for customers.

How has the cooperative added value to your chat services? Any surprising benefits?

The ability to assist customers 24/7 is such a value to our customers. The cooperative librarians can answer so many more questions than you might think. Participating in the cooperative allows us to also learn about other libraries and discover regional differences and similarities. Not only does it provide a great service to our customers, but for our librarians that participate in covering the cooperative queue, it provides them with a more well-rounded experience.  It is a great opportunity to be aware of other libraries’ offerings and keep our skills sharp.

Not only does [the public cooperative] provide a great service to our customers, but for our librarians that participate in covering the cooperative queue, it provides them with a more well-rounded experience.  It is a great opportunity to be aware of other libraries’ offerings and keep our skills sharp.

How has 24/7 chat support helped your library system transition to mainly online services during the pandemic?

24/7 chat has played a crucial role in maintaining customer support during the pandemic. When we closed our doors suddenly in March, chat was the only service we kept going for quite some time. By keeping chat up and running, we were able to provide access to customers so we could troubleshoot, and answer questions, and provide essential information about the library’s closure and level of services.

What do you think is the cooperative’s role in helping the Arlington Heights community? How does it fit into your long-term library services strategy?

Two of our core values are customer service and free and equal access to information and the cooperative supports both values. The ability to provide answers to customers’ questions when they need it vs. when the library is open is a real added benefit. 

When we closed our doors suddenly in March, chat was the only service we kept going for quite some time. By keeping chat up and running, we were able to provide access to customers so we could troubleshoot, and answer questions, and provide essential information about the library’s closure and level of services.


Thank you, Frank and Jolie, for your insightful feedback! We appreciate you being on board with us and sharing your experiences. Having 24/7 patron chat support has enabled you to pivot quickly – and continue to adjust – library services without disconnecting from your communities. And when it comes time to communicating the value of the library at the end of the fiscal year, you’ll have the data to show just how many people you were able to help during this difficult time.

Interested in learning more about the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative? Check out our recent blog post and contact us with any questions!

Code Release: New LibAnswers, LibCal, LibGuides, & LibInsight features coming your way!

We are rounding into fall here at Springy HQ and have some awesome new features for you to sip with your PSL. These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, October 9. Read about: LibAnswers | LibCal | LibGuides | LibInsight

LibAnswers

Pickup Manager!

The LibAnswers 2.38.0 release is on its way, and we’re thrilled to bring you the new Pickup Manager as a part of it! This new module–available later this month–is designed to streamline your holds pickup workflows and empower patrons to pick up their library items quickly and safely. The Pickup Manager:

  • Fully integrates with your ILS for streamlined workflows;
  • Works great with LibCal’s Spaces module for designating specific spaces for pickups, and enabling patrons to schedule these at their convenience;
  • Provides great statistics and analytics, helping you increase user satisfaction and improve your holds service; and
  • Just like all other Springy tools, it is affordable.
How Does it Work?
  • Patron requests a hold in your ILS.
  • When item(s) are ready, your ILS sends an email with the link to our pickup scheduler in LibCal. (customized emails from Pickup Manager coming soon).
    • Already a LibCal user? You’ll be able to designate locations in the Admin > Spaces area to connect to the Pickup Manager.
    • Not a LibCal user? No worries, just contact us!
  • Patron reserves their preferred time & location using our easy-to-use booking interface in LibCal.
  • “Today’s Scheduled Pickups” on the Dashboard helps you prepare today’s items. 
  • When the patron arrives, they SMS/Text you with a customized keyword, using your LibAnswers SMS number. The Pickup Manager recognizes the patron and alerts you of their hold details so you can easily grab and deliver their items.
    • Already a LibAnswers user? You’ll designate which SMS number should be connected to the Pickup Manager. You can designate multiple SMS numbers with your Pickup Manager!
    • Not a LibAnswers user? No worries, just contact us!
  • If needed, you can communicate back-and-forth with the patron about their pickup via SMS/Text – all from the Pickup Manager dashboard.
  • Coming Soon: When items are picked up, the Pickup Manager marks the item as picked up in the patron’s ILS record, too.
  • If patrons text that they’ve arrived outside your hours of operation, Pickup Manager automatically texts them back with a customizable message, letting them know that your service is closed for the day.

Upcoming Pickup Manager Sneak Peek Sessions (all times listed are Eastern Time):

Zoom OAuth Integration

Our screen sharing integrations have a new addition:  our Zoom OAuth integration has been approved! If you’re an admin in a site with an existing Zoom account, you’ll no longer need to use the JWT-based authentication option to integrate your own screen sharing credentials. We have lots more help on how to set up this exciting new option available here

Be sure to check out our recorded training sessions!

Also check out the LibAnswers release notes on the Springshare Lounge for more complete information on the contents of this release. [Back to Top]

LibCal

As the seasons have changed, the pandemic has stuck around. Springy tools have been here for you as you’ve launched pickup services and social distancing seat-booking programs. We’ve heard your requests for additional changes, several of which we are pleased to bring you this month. 

Period-Based Booking @ Seat-Level!

We have added support for creating period-based reservations at the Seat level. You can already set up period-based bookings at the Space level and this release provides more granularity. To set this up, you’ll need to designate a location as as “period-based booking.” This means each set of opening/closing hours are considered one bookable slot. Head to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Edit Location > General for the new “Public Seat/Space Booking page” option to set this up.

Seats API 

We have added new endpoints and updated a few existing ones to support retrieving Seats and occupancy data via our RESTful APIs.  Go to Admin > API to explore these new and modified endpoints. 

  • space/booking/:id – Information about one or more specific bookings in your system
  • space/bookings – List of bookings in your system
  • space/utilization/:id (NEW!) – Current spaces utilization and occupancy data in your system
  • space/seat/:id (NEW!) – Details, including availability details, of a seat in your system
  • space/seats/:id (NEW!) – Details, including availability details, of seats in your system
  • space/zone/:id (NEW!) – Details for a specific zone
  • space/zones/:id (NEW!) – Details for all zones at a location (note this is “zones” plural)

Zoom OAuth

We’re super excited to announce that our Zoom app has been published to the Zoom Marketplace and is available for you to use in Appointments & Events.  If you’re an admin in a site with an existing Zoom account, you’ll no longer need to use the JWT-based authentication option to integrate your own screen sharing credentials.  Navigate to Admin > Integrations > Online Appointments & Events to configure the Zoom integration using OAuth.

Other

We are happy to bring you additional exciting features such as:

  • A date range selection for the Contact Tracer report;
  • the Spaces Booking Explorer will now return Check In/Out details if enabled for a location;
  • much more that can be read about over on the Springshare Lounge.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibGuides

We are hard at work behind the scenes designing a new future for LibGuides. We also have an exciting LTI update for you in this round of releases.

We’re making it easier for you to debug LTI searches with the updated Library LTI Page Builder Preview. In LibApps, head to Admin > LTI Tool Builder -> LTI Automagic -> Library LTI Page Builder and click “Preview Page” to see the new “Debug Mode” setting. Check the box and then run a sample search on your LTI metadata value. The debug section will include REGEX information, so if you have a REGEX applied to your search, you will see what the LTI metadata parameter value transforms to.

LTI Debug

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

Be sure to check out LibGuides release notes on the Springshare Lounge for more complete information on the contents of this release. [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Easily Import Platforms and SUSHI Providers

We’re excited to introduce the new E-Resources Management page, to facilitate quick import and management of COUNTER 4/5 platform and SUSHI provider information. On this page, you will have the option to import platforms and SUSHI providers using our CSV templates. Go to Admin > E-Resources Management to get started! In a future release, you’ll be able to use this page to view which platforms are in which dataset(s).

E-Resources Management

More Accurate Database Reporting

In an effort to streamline the information shown in COUNTER 5 dataset Database Title Analysis, we inadvertently removed Investigations and Requests from the report display, showing only Searches. We fixed this! So when you do a COUNTER 5 Analysis, then view a Database Title list in a platform, you will see Investigations and Requests for databases, like you did before. Do an analysis on your COUNTER 5 dataset, then go to Databases > Usage > Title Lists and choose a platform to view metrics for Databases contained in that Platform and all their metrics.

In a future release, you’ll be able to see database usage broken down by data type: Total Requests for all Journal content, for all Book content, etc. Note: It’s not possible to drill down from a database into the individual books and journals it contains; you’ll be seeing for example all Requests from all Journal content contained in the database. For individual title use, see the Journals tab.

New: Journals Title-Level Analysis!

The Journals Usage report has a new Title Analysis section that displays the Top 20 Journals, by Total Item Requests, Unique Item Requests, or by total  Denials. Below the graph, you’ll see the Top 10 Titles with Decreasing Usage, and the Top 10 Titles with Increasing Denials. 

Journal Titles

Even better–click on an individual title to view a month-to-month graph of the usage across your analysis period. 

screenshot

We’ve also included these highly-requested features:

  • Delete SUSHI fetched reports within a platform
  • Additional aggregate methods for both custom and gate count datasets for the dashboard charts.

Check out the LibInsight release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

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. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Always Online! Library Chat + Global Cooperative = True 24/7 Service

It’s clear that online learning is becoming a larger part of the student experience so it’s important for the library to keep pace with this trend. It’s been shown that access to the library increases the likelihood of student success. So when patrons need to chat with a librarian online, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to engage with them! It’s great for the patron and great for the library, too. But let’s be realistic – you can’t be there, online, monitoring your chat departments 24/7/365.

Good news though… We can, and we do! Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative has thousands of member libraries and librarians, representing the largest professional reference librarian network in the world. We have true global coverage, and we can ensure your patrons can get help 24/7/365 with a professional MLS-degreed librarian available to help them. Check out our interview below with the team at the University of Liverpool library and how the cooperative helps them serve their patrons successfully on a 24/7 basis.

But first, allow us to share some interesting chat reference statistics from the start of this academic year (for the month of September). These stats show a tremendous increase in reference chat traffic compared to the start of the previous academic year in 2019, demonstrating how much patrons do rely on the library to help them with their studies – especially in the times of COVID-19 when most learning happens online:

  • The LibChat platform handled 379,510 incoming chats in September 2020 – a 182% increase over September 2019.
  • More than 23,000 of these chats were answered on the Springshare 24/7 Global Cooperative platform (i.e. by the Co-Op). Each one of these chats represents a question that would have gone unanswered because the local librarians were busy or offline.
    • 34% of September Co-Op chats were asked over the weekend, showing just how important it is to have seven-day coverage.
  • Our Springshare 24/7 librarians have been busy! They handled more than 60% of all questions that fall back to the cooperative. So if your staff cannot contribute to the Co-Op that’s okay too – we’ve got you covered

Providing Seamless 24/7 Chat Service at the University of Liverpool Library

These statistics provide us with a birdseye view, but what does this mean for an individual library? The University of Liverpool has been a 24/7 library for the last five or so years, and back in March, their physical help desks went virtual, and their staff moved to online chat reference. They were early adopters of the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative, so we checked in with them to see how things were going.

Joe Hilton and Gwen Jones from the University Library were so kind to give us a little insight into how they have their chat services structured so that their students can benefit from “the human touch” of a one-on-one library interaction, any time of the day.

Tell us a bit about your local chat services. How many library staff typically monitor your chat widgets? What days and times are staff available to answer questions before they fall back to LibAnswers 24/7 Cooperative chat?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic we have anywhere up to 10 staff monitoring our chat widgets between 9am – 9:30pm Monday to Friday and between midday – 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Before March, we usually had at least two librarians monitoring our chat widgets. Effectively, all of our physical help desk staff went virtual so having LibChat already established as part of our service was a winner in many ways.

What went into deciding when you needed 24/7 cooperative support?

We subscribed to backup chat with QuestionPoint when we became a 24-hour library, and we moved early on to the new LibAnswers Cooperative platform after it was acquired by Springshare. We have a very comprehensive LibAnswers FAQ public knowledge base that works brilliantly but, for true 24/7 support, we believe the human touch is necessary. Deciding what days and times we needed cooperative support was easy. Whatever times we don’t staff it ourselves, we have the co-op step in. Since they use the same widgets, it’s one complete, seamless service.

[B]ut, for true 24/7 support, we believe the human touch is necessary.

Tell us a bit about the students asking questions of Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative librarians and the types of help they’re seeking. Are you noticing any trends in traffic and questions so far?

The kind of queries our students are submitting to the cooperative are not really any different to what we get to our own librarians. I guess the trends depend on what is happening at the time, and the trick is to be fluid and flexible to meet the needs of your audience – and the co-op certainly moves in sync with our audience.

Cooperative librarians do a great job of providing answers for our customers and the customer feedback on the queries they’ve dealt with is overwhelmingly positive. We’ve seen some really excellent answers from the global librarians; we couldn’t have done a better job if we’d picked those up ourselves. Sometimes they’re a little less successful, but there’s always going to be some variation and they can’t do a great deal when it’s something that really requires access to our circulation system or to our IT support systems. But what’s great is that the customer is able to talk to someone 24/7 and it’s really helpful that when global staff can’t deal with it, those queries do get referred to us and customers are given some idea of when we’ll be available again to deal with their query, so they’re not left hanging.

Cooperative librarians do a great job of providing answers for our customers and the customer feedback on the queries they’ve dealt with is overwhelmingly positive. We’ve seen some really excellent answers from the global librarians; we couldn’t have done a better job if we’d picked those up ourselves.

How are you able to provide the information Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative librarians need so they can answer student questions?

We’ve worked hard to create a very comprehensive FAQ knowledge base which we strive to continuously keep the content current. It’s this updating and monitoring that is one of the keys to the service. Irrelevant and/or out of date information is no help to anyone. It’s not rocket science or a dark art or anything. The global cooperative librarians can only work with what you make available to them. As we mentioned, cooperative librarians provide as good a service as our librarians and that is testament to their abilities and what we provide! It is, after all, a partnership and it makes for a seamless service for the students.

How has the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative added value to your existing chat services? Any surprising benefits?

What’s changed is we’re now providing coverage to the Academic Cooperative and I think that has been very successful so far. It’s certainly getting busier there and the numbers have been increasing every month since we started: from getting just 9 cooperative chats in April to 159 in August. Our staff are very happy supporting it, too, and say that it’s helped them develop their skills and that they find the questions from customers of other institutions varied and interesting, so that’s another win in terms of job satisfaction.

How does the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative fit into your long-term library services strategy?

The current climate has highlighted and emphasised the need for robust, high-quality virtual support and LibChat/Co-Op chat has been absolutely vital to us before and especially during the current conditions. If there were any lingering doubts to its value and effectiveness then these have been well and truly squashed. We are looking forward to expanding & developing the service as much as possible, hopefully working with other libraries & Springshare to share ideas and improve the functionality.

The current climate has highlighted and emphasised the need for robust, high-quality virtual support and LibChat/Co-Op chat has been absolutely vital to us before and especially during the current conditions.


Thank you, Joe and Gwen! We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. And we agree with you — there’s really no substitute for one-on-one personal interactions, especially during moments of user confusion or frustration. When a chat widget is there and online, people will use it!

Interested in learning more about the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative?

More than ever, 24/7 online library support can ensure your students can get the answers they need when they need them! Let us be there to help. 🙂

Pickup Manager: Coming Early October!

We’ve been hinting, alluding, and finally we officially announced yesterday that we’re releasing the Pickup Manager for scheduling and communicating holds pickup!

This newest tool is coming early October, and is designed to streamline your holds pickup workflows and empower patrons to pick up their library items quickly and safely at their convenience – per COVID-19 guidelines and beyond, too!


Key Points about the Pickup Manager:

  1. Fully integrates with your ILS for streamlined hold workflows.
  2. Works great with LibCal’s Equipment Booking Module for equipment or museum/zoo pass lending.
  3. Provides great statistics and analytics helping you increase user satisfaction and improve your holds service.
  4. Just like all other Springy tools – it is affordable.

Bottomline, you and your patrons are going to love the awesome functionality that Pickup Manager offers and you’ll never want to do holds pickups “the old way” again. 😊

Communicate with ‘Arrived’ patrons via SMS/Texting (Coming: LibChat)

How Does it Work?

  • Patron requests a hold in your ILS.
  • When items are ready, your ILS sends an email with the link to our pickup scheduler in LibCal. (customized emails from Pickup Manager coming soon). 
    • Already a LibCal user? You’ll be able to designate locations in the Admin > Spaces area to connect to the Pickup Manager.
    • Not a LibCal user? No worries, just contact us!
  • Patron reserves their preferred time & location using our easy-to-use booking interface in LibCal.
  • ‘Today’s Scheduled Pickups’ on the Dashboard helps you prepare today’s items. 
  • When the patron arrives, they SMS/Text you with a customized keyword using your LibAnswers SMS number. The Pickup Manager recognizes the patron and alerts you of their hold details so you can easily grab and deliver their items.
    • Already a LibAnswers user? You’ll designate which SMS number should be connected to the Pickup Manager. You can designate multiple SMS numbers with your Pickup Manager!
    • Not a LibAnswers user? No worries, just contact us!
  • If needed, you can communicate back-and-forth with the patron about their pickup via SMS/Text – all from the Pickup Manager dashboard.
  • Coming Soon: When items are picked up, the Pickup Manager marks the item as picked up in the patron’s ILS record, too.
  • If patrons text that they’ve arrived outside of your hours of operation, Pickup Manager automatically texts them back with a customizable message letting them know that your service is closed for the day.

Want the Communication but Not Scheduling Part?

Like with all our Springshare Tools, we like to brainstorm all the potential possible implementations and come up with solutions for everyone. Our Pickup Manager is no different. So if you’re interested in the Communication side, but not the Scheduling component, we’ve got you covered.

Pickup Manager Streamlines Your Workflows, Too!

  • At-a-glance view of holds activity – what is being picked up today, tomorrow, and in the future.
  • Statistics on completed pickups and analytics on popular day/time pickups, late arrivals, etc.
  • Send reminders to patrons who haven’t picked up their items.
  • (Coming soon) customize the hold notification emails sent to patrons.

Manage Pickups for Everything You Circulate

Pickup Manager also integrates with LibCal’s Equipment Booking Module. Whether your patrons are picking up a book hold or a laptop, camera, museum/zoo pass or really anything from your library-of-things inventory via the Equipment Booking module, the Pickup Manager has you covered.

What More Information?

Early next month, we’ll announce sneak-peek webinars on Pickup Manager on our Sneak-Peek Calendar.

Want to be contacted when Pickup Manager is released? Email sales@springshare.com to be placed on the Early Access list. 

[UPDATED] Important Browser Notices & Updates

In today’s post, we’re bringing you some important notices about your Internet browsers… specifically Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome. Since Springshare tools are hosted in the cloud and are accessed by web browsers, if you or your patrons are using either of the above browsers… it will affect your day-to-day usage of these tools.

Updated Sep 10, 2020 – we updated the section below on LibAnswers and IE11 compatibility.

Updated Oct 9, 2020 – we updated this post with a section on LibGuides and IE11 compatibility and updated the LibAnswers section to reflect the fact that the October 2020 code release is out.

Updated Oct 19, 2020 – we updated the LibGuides list after more extensive testing within IE11.

Internet Explorer 11 Will No Longer Be Supported as of November 20, 2020

Starting in November through till next year, Microsoft will stop supporting IE11 within their own applications.

Microsoft has since labeled Internet Explorer a “compatibility solution” rather than a browser and encouraged businesses to stop using the aging browser.

Tom Warren, TheVerge.com

To that end, Springshare will stop supporting IE11 for all Springshare Tools (LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, LibInsight, LibCRM, LibWizard, and LibStaffer) during the week of November 16 across all regions.

This does *not* mean every webpage of your whole Springshare tool will suddenly stop working when using IE11. It *does* mean that you and your users may experience additional issues of non-compatibility when using IE11 after the November 16 code release.

LibGuides Users & IE11 [Updated Oct 19, 2020]

There are a few areas in LibGuides that do not fully function in IE11. Additionally, future updates will also affect page display issues in IE11.

  • Guide lists on system and group homepages;
  • Some LibGuides widgets intermittently do not display;
  • Gallery boxes;
  • Search results;
  • System blog and public discussion boards; and
  • A-Z Database pages.

LibAnswers Users & IE11 [Updated Oct 12, 2020]

There are already a few areas of LibAnswers admin interface (not public-facing pages) that don’t fully function in IE11. Additionally, future updates will also affect page display issues in IE11.

  • Currently not working in  IE11: the ability to view chat transcripts; Queue settings tabs and ticket browse page will not work.
  • Upcoming November 2020 release: Current LibChat Operator Console will *not* be able to load in IE11 by the end of the Nov 16 week. We’re launching some awesome new functionality to LibChat, including a new emoji-picker (:wow emoji:), that is not compatible with IE11.

Chrome 86 Security Update

The upcoming Chrome 86 update, slated for release in October, will offer more secure protections for users submitting data on insecure forms. More on this in a moment. First, a reminder!

All Springshare Tools are HTTPS-Required

As a refresher, all Springshare Tools are required to load over HTTPS. If your Springshare Tool ends in a .libguides.com, .libcal.com, .libanswers.com, .libcrm.com, .libinsight.com, libwizard.com, or .libstaffer.com – the ‘S’ in HTTPS is covered by our security certificates.

If your Springshare Tool ends in a custom domain, like .bookings.edu or guides.org, you can use our ‘Let’s Encrypt’ service where we obtain a security certificate for you or obtain your own security certificate.

Bottom line, your Springshare Tools will always load an HTTPS secure connection…. which is great for your staff and end-users because HTTPS helps to thwart intruders from tampering with the communications between your websites and your users’ browsers.

Embedding Unsecure (HTTP) Forms into Your Secure (HTTPS) Springshare Tools

So now that you know that all Springshare Tools are loaded as HTTPS, you’re probably thinking – “Heck, we’re all set… our sites are secure!“. And you’re right, for the basic tool itself. But it depends on what you’ve added to your systems, too! We give you a lot of flexibility in your Springshare tools… especially in ways we encourage you to embed widgets/content from other websites. In LibGuides, you can embed a widget into your guide. In LibCal, you can add a widget to a countdown timer in Calendar Events. In LibAnswers, embed media right into your FAQs.

These options give you awesome flexibility in adding multimedia resources to your Springshare Tools! But it is also possible to embed HTTP (unsecure) content inside your HTTPS (secure) Springshare Tool.

Chrome 86 Update Will Display Warning for Mixed Forms

So now we come back to the Chrome 86 update! If you embed an HTTP (unsecure) form in your HTTPS (secure) webpages, your patrons using Chrome 86 will see a full-page warning about submitting content to an unsecure form.

Chrome Version 86 Will Display Warning of Unsecure Forms

Identifying & Resolving Mixed Content

We recommend that you review your LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibWizard systems to identify widgets/forms that you’ve embedded that could be HTTP insecure. This FAQ outlines some helpful instructions, including how to find HTTP content in LibGuides, as well as a video explaining why HTTPS is important.

As a reminder, Springshare Tools themselves are HTTPS secure. So if you’ve created a LibGuides widget, a LibAnswers/LibChat widget, a LibCal widget, a LibInsight widget, or a LibWizard widget, these widgets are already HTTPS secure. It is better to focus your time and energies on widgets/forms from other vendors.

If you’ve identified forms/widgets that are HTTP unsecure, it is recommended that you contact that vendor directly to obtain an HTTPS secure form/widget. While we’d love to help, we cannot create HTTPS secure widgets/forms for other vendors.

Missed It? Watch it! SpringyCamp 2020 Recordings Available

Last week’s SpringyCamp was one for the books! We were thrilled so many from the Springy community joined us for camp. Over two days (for a total of four sessions), we got to see what others are up to, hear new ideas, and just generally find inspiration for how to expand services and explore ways to engage students and patrons in this “new normal.” All of our presenters deserve a huge round of applause for their time and efforts!

In case you missed it, it’s not too late to make a batch of s’mores, settle into a comfy chair, and watch the presentation videos. Have questions for the presenters? Want to give kudos? Head on over to our Getting Ready for Camp guide to find instructions on how to join the conversation.

You can even claim an official SpringyCamp 2020 Attendee badge for your Lounge profile! Just head to that badge’s page (make sure you’ve logged in) and use the Request Badge button!

A few Springy favorites:

We had so many well organized, thoughtfully created presentations this year, that we were impressed with each and every one. Here are a few fan favorites, picked because of the timeliness of the topic, engagement it generated during and after the session, and positive feedback we received!

You can watch recordings from all of our excellent presenters, download their slides, and jump to their additional resources from the SpringyCamp 2020 guide. Check them out below!

Using Springshare Tools to Manage & Record COVID-19 Information

New Partnerships: Using Springshare Tools Outside of the Library

Connections: Your Library & Social Justice – Amplify Black Voices with Springshare Tools

We’re All Distance Learners Now: Using Springshare Tools to Share Information with Staff and Patrons

Code Release: Big New LibAnswers & LibCal Updates Coming Your Way, and More!

All Regions Important Code Updates

It’s that time again, Springy fans! The Development and Product teams have been working hard to bring you a boatload of new and updated features. These features will be live in all regions by the end of next week, August 14.

We’re also switching things up a bit and posting the biggest news here on the blog, with more complete release notes over on the new Springshare Lounge. This approach will ensure that these posts stay short, but that if you would like to view the entire contents of a release, it’s still totally possible! Once release notes are published, we’ll add links to the bottom of this post.

LibAnswers

Microsoft Teams for Screen Sharing in LibChat

We’re excited to announce that this release brings Microsoft Teams integration to LibAnswers! In addition to our existing screen sharing integration with Zoom, we’re adding a new option in our screen sharing library for Microsoft Teams. This integration will make it possible for LibChat users to seamlessly launch Microsoft Teams meetings directly with patrons or other internal LibChat users directly via the LibChat operator dashboard, just by clicking the “Request Screenshare” button.

Similar to this integration in LibCal, you’ll need to work with your institution’s Microsoft Teams administrator to register an app for LibAnswers and grant the required access permissions. Once the app is registered, your LibAnswers admin will add the Application ID and Secret into LibAnswers (via Admin > LibChat > Screenshare), then LibAnswers users will be able to authorize the integration via their edit account screen and begin using Microsoft Teams for screen sharing during chats.

New API v1.1 with OAuth + POST API!

With this release, we’re also thrilled to usher in a new generation of LibAnswers APIs; our 1.1 APIs are here, and they’re bringing enhanced security and new abilities for creating content in your LibAnswers system from third party sources and forms!

To form the base for these new capabilities, we’re introducing a new 1.1 version of our existing APIs. For enhanced security, this new generation of APIs require OAuth Authorization headers in order to return data. Once you’ve generated an OAuth token (via Admin > Widgets and APIs > API Authentication) and granted it the desired permissions, you’ll send it along with your API request via an Authorization header. This ensures that the API is only being used for authorized users/purposes – and this is a critical piece of the puzzle for our way more exciting next feature…

LibAnswers now offers POST APIs for new ticket creation! This means it is now possible to generate new tickets into LibAnswers from non-LibAnswers forms. This could mean anything from a feedback form you maintain on your website to a problem report form found in your catalog. We’ve included 2 handy APIs to make this possible: a new GET API for retrieving a queue’s form field data (so it’s easy to match data from your non-LibAnswers form with LibAnswers form fields), and a POST API for actually generating the tickets. To get started with these new APIs, head to Admin > Widgets and APIs > API Endpoints v1.1.

LibCal

We’re super excited to bring local timezones to the public-facing side of LibCal Events and Appointments! Users will be able to choose what timezone calendars and events should display in.

Also, stay tuned! we’re bringing OAuth to Zoom in LibCal. We are working through the application approval process with Zoom and will announce availability of this updated security feature as soon as we can.

We also have some requested updates to LibCal Seats & Spaces!

  • There’s now an option for bookings to be automatically cancelled if the person has not checked in within a specific time frame after the booking start time.
  • A new contact tracing report will be available in a new tab in Spaces. Enter a patron name or email into the Contract Tracer to view bookings in the same Seat or Space for the 24 – 96 hours following the booking.
  • There are new reports to track peak occupancy at specific times of day, cross-referenced with days of the week. Go to Spaces > Occupancy Data to see these reports.
  • Want to get patron feedback on the Seats reservations/use process? You can now add a LibWizard survey link to the ‘Check Out’ confirmation page and schedule a follow-up email to send after the booking.
  • Improvements to the public patron booking experience and new reservation page search selections.
  • More detail will be included in the ICS file for bookings such as the confirmation code for check ins when enabled and the cancellation link.

LibInsight

Just one small thing to share here for LibInsight: we have added the capability to hide columns in COUNTER 5 usage reports. Just need to see a few metrics? No problem! Filter out the columns that you’re not interested in. Analyze your COUNTER 5 E-Resources dataset, then choose the Usage tab from Journals, Databases, Books, or Others > Titles > Choose a platform.

screenshot showing the drop menu of available fields for a Journal Titles report.

SpringyCamp 2020 Registration Opens Tomorrow!

Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, which means two things: we’ve swapped comfy pants for comfy shorts; and we’re getting close to SpringyCamp!

In a year unlike any other when services dramatically changed (and are still changing), the Springy team wanted to host an extra special virtual conference for our customers. To that end, we’re bringing you two exciting days of camp with an expanded list of presenters! Plus, new ways to engage and interact with other Springy users!

SpringyCamp 2020 – August 5th & 6th
The New Now: Promoting Access & Redefining Services

This year’s camp will explore four themes:

  • Using Springshare Tools to Manage & Record COVID-19 Information
  • New Partnerships: Using Springshare Tools Outside of the Library
  • We’re All Distance Learners Now: Using Springshare Tools to Share Information with Staff and Patrons
  • Connections: Your Library & Social Justice – Amplify Black Voices with Springshare Tools

SpringyCamp Registration & Sneak Peek

Registration opens tomorrow, and we’ll have all of SpringyCamp’s details in our training newsletter – landing in inboxes at 12pm US ET!
Not currently a subscriber? Sign up on our website.

Updated: You can now view the full lineup and register from our SpringyCamp 2020 guide!

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into what some of our camp presenters are cooking up to share with attendees:

  • Real-World Readiness: Using LibGuides to Wade Through the COVID-19 FloodPoster Session!
    Carrie Price and Katie Lobner, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University
  • Empowering Staff and Facilitating Remote Work with LibAnswers
    Amanda Scull, Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries
  • Using LibGuides and LibWizard to Create Online Escape Rooms
    Rachel Valentine, Blinn College Library
  • Creating & Hosting OER using LibGuides CMSPoster Session!
    Nikki Rech and Jeff Mortimore, Georgia Southern University
  • Lessons Learned from Moving to LibGuides and LibCalPoster Session!
    Sam Torrez, Dickinson Public Library
  • LibGuides and Digital Literacy for the New Online Student: An Academic Reference Librarian’s Approach to Faculty Collaborations
    Kimberly Michelle Gay, John B. Coleman Library, Prairie View A&M University
  • LibGuides Beyond the Library
    Nadine Bailey and Stephen Taylor, Western Academy of Beijing

All of us have learned a lot this year, and we’ve still got a lot left to figure out. While SpringyCamp always provides a great opportunity for Springys to come together and share ideas, we’re feeling the importance of this community event more acutely than ever. We hope you’ll join us!

Preparing for a Virtual Semester

Are you ready for a virtual semester?

Academic and School librarians, if you’re feeling uncertain as to what is going to happen this upcoming 2020-2021 academic year… imagine how your students feel. Anxiety and uncertainty are emotions that are part of this ‘new normal’. Will there be f2f classes? Will classrooms be fully or partially virtual? How will assignments be submitted and graded? How will group projects be handled? Where are the classroom, and library, resources? Like you, students have a ton of questions – most of which just can’t be answered right now… except one. Using Springshare’s LTI Tool – you can natively integrate library resources right inside student’s online courses. So the question, “Where do I find the library’s resources?” The answer is, “Right inside your online course!”


Last month we held a virtual webinar showcasing how you can natively integrate library content right inside your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, Desire2Learn, or other LTI-compliant courseware tool. Reducing the amount of clicks a student has to take to find the relevant library resources can not only help to reduce their cognitive load but also their stress and anxiety. And if there’s anything that we all need right now, is one less stressor in our lives.

Library Resources Page inside of Canvas using Springshare LTI Tool

With Springshare’s LTI Tool, natively integrate:

  • Course-specific LibGuides
  • Subject-specific LibGuides Databases
  • Course-related reading materials with LibGuides E-Reserves
  • Subject-expert LibGuides Profiles
  • Live chat widget from LibAnswers (with optional 24/7/365 chat coverage)
  • Book a virtual librarian appointment using LibCal
  • Search library FAQs using LibAnswers
  • … and more.

Is there a recording?

There sure is! This 30 minute recording shows how you can integrate library resources right inside the courseware tool. And the best part, minus a few things your Office of Online Learning needs to setup, all of the controls of what displays are controlled by you! Yes, you get to choose which LibGuides display, which E-Reserves, which subject-databases, and more!

Are you ready for a virtual fall semester webinar

But wait, does this scale across hundreds/thousands of online courses?

Yes it does! If you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of online courses this upcoming semester and wondering, am I going to have to click ‘Add library resources’ thousands of times? The answer is no. Our automagic tool matches on metadata making it easier to integrate library resources across thousands of classes. Don’t believe us – Penn State University uses the Springshare LTI Tool across 30,000 online courses each semester.

Want to learn more?

If you’re interested in learning more, we have loads of resources for you!

  • Training Videos – If you already subscribe to LibGuides CMS or E-Reserves and want to learn how to setup the LTI Tool, these training videos have you covered.
  • Help Documentation – Whether you’re using Blackboard, Canvas, or another LTI-compliant courseware tool… our help documentation has you covered.
  • Get Pricing & Free Trial – If you don’t already subscribe to LibGuides CMS, LibGuides E-Reserves module, or other Springy Tools that integrate with the LTI Tool… contact us for pricing or a free 30-day trial.

Code Release: New LibCal, LibAnswers, LibGuides, LibStaffer, LibCRM & LibInsight features coming your way!

All Regions Important Code Updates

We hope that your June is going well, and that everyone working in libraries and from home are safe and healthy. COVID-19 has radically changed our landscape, but we’ve been working hard at Springy HQ to bring you some great new stuff to sip with your summer punch, or your winter drink, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.  These new features and updates are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Thursday, July 2, with the exception of the LibCal release (including Seats!), which is coming mid-month.

Read about: LibCalLibAnswersLibGuides | LibStaffer | LibCRM | LibInsight

LibCal

We’re really excited to bring you seat booking capability as well as Microsoft Teams online meetings integration and so much more! In fact, we are stuffing so much in this update that we need an extra week-and-a-bit to tuck in all the details and have things ready for you. Please expect LibCal updates in a browser near you by mid-July. Here are the deets:

Seats

As you saw last week in the first post in our Reopening Your Building Safely series, we’re adding the ability in LibCal to book individual seats in your library. Social distancing and monitoring building capacity will be incredibly important as our buildings open up during the COVID-19 pandemic. This functionality will be available from July 17. Interested? Please drop our Sales team a line.

Microsoft Teams Integration – Calendar Events & Appointments Scheduler

The much-requested integration for Microsoft teams to support online Appointments and Events is here!  An administrator will set up and enable the integration under Admin > Integrations, then each user account must authorize the integration in their User Profile.  Once enabled, when you create or edit a Calendar Event, you’ll see a new location option for Microsoft Teams online meetings.  When this location is chosen, you’ll then choose one of the users who has authorized the integration.  After the Event is saved, a shareable meeting link will be generated for Microsoft Teams, attached to the account of the user you chose.

For Appointments, if a user belongs to an online location, shareable Teams meeting URLs will be generated automatically when bookings are made. The process is similar to the current Zoom integration; the Microsoft Teams meeting link will be included in all corresponding emails and .ics calendar files and shown on the admin pages.

Please note that only one online meeting tool can be enabled at any given time.

Events

  • Zoom webinar and password creation support is here!  If the Zoom account used to create an online Event has the webinar feature enabled, you will now have the ability to choose whether your event is a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, and the option to set a password.
  • .ICS files for an online Event using the “Facebook Live (or other)” location option will now include the Event link, when no registration is required.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where sites using a non-English base language had trouble with dates when copying and creating events.
  • We have increased the number of records available for selection in the Presenter drop-down on the Event Aggregates stats report.

Appointments

  • Ever wanted to modify the colors displayed for the different statuses on the admin-side availability grid?  Now you can! Admins can go to Admin > Appointments > Settings to set this system-wide. Users can go to Appointments > My Settings > Color Settings to set it up for their own Appointments.
  • We’ve updated the Exchange and Google calendar sync processes to include the online meeting link that is automatically generated when an appointment is booked, when either the Microsoft Teams or Zoom integration is enabled.

Spaces & Equipment

  • We fixed an issue affecting display of Spaces bookings after a modification is made.
  • You can now search for Internal Notes in bookings via the Booking Explorer, for both Spaces and Equipment.
  • We’ve added Event Details and Internal Notes filters in the Spaces and Equipment Print Views. Check them out at Spaces > Availability > Print View or Equipment > Availability > Print View.
  • The Barcode search on the Equipment > Check In page is no longer case sensitive.
  • Google calendar sync failures and Microsoft Team integration failures will now be included in integration errors / failures email notifications sent to email addresses specified under Admin > System Settings > Email Settings > Integration Email Notifications.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibAnswers

This release brings you a number of our most popular feature requests, including new sound customization settings for LibChat, centralized reports for Shared Group System admins, OAuth support for Zoom account integration, and more!

New in LibAnswers & LibChat

  • LibChat Sound Settings: Good news for folks who find the “new chat” alert sound too… let’s call it “surprising.” Admins can now customize the sounds that play for each event that happens in LibChat, including new chat, new patron reply, new internal message, and new ticket. Choose from sounds like Classic New Chat and Classic New Ticket, or choose from our variety of new sounds like Triple Tap, High Chime, and Low Bell. Admins can head to Admin > LibChat Setup > Settings > Audio Alerts to customize sounds for all users of the site.
  • Ticket Preview URL: If you’ve ever needed to collaborate with a colleague on how to answer a ticket, but the ticket is currently unclaimed, good news – we’ve added a shareable ticket preview URL, so others can view the ticket’s contents without claiming the question. To grab the new preview URL, head to the LibAnswers Dashboard and select Quick Look -> Copy Preview URL.
  • Query Spy Bulk Delete: If your Query Spy data has ever been bombarded by an IP address that generated a bunch of non-human-looking searches, good news! Site Admins can now delete in bulk Query Spy results which were generated by a specific IP address. Admins can head to Stats > Query Spy to use this new feature.

LibChat Screensharing Updates

  • Updated Screensharing Settings Page: We’ve updated the format of the Screensharing settings page, so that once your site is signed up for screensharing, it’s easier to choose among screensharing options. Admins can head to Admin > LibChat > Screenshare  to view the various options.
  • OAuth Support for Zoom Integration: We’ve also added OAuth support for sites who are bringing their own Zoom accounts to use in LibChat! By using this authentication type, users with LibChat enabled will be able to connect their existing Zoom accounts with your LibAnswers system itself. To set this up, Admins will first need to head to Admin > LibChat > Screenshare > “OAuth Authentication” method. Once you choose this option, your LibChat account holders will then head to their Manage Account screen to add their Zoom account information. They’ll then log in using their existing Zoom account credentials and grant LibAnswers the ability to launch meetings on their behalf.

Shared Group System Reporting Updates

Beginning with this release, we’re adding reports to the LibAnswers system to provide aggregated reporting for Shared Group System sites.  With this release, you’ll see a new, high-level Annual report that lets admins quickly see monthly chat totals generated by and answered by each Group Member Library within your site. To view these new reports, Shared Group System admins can head to LibChat > Aggregated Stats.

But what if you also want to be able to see aggregated stats from standalone LibAnswers sites which bear a relationship to your Shared Group System via a Consortial arrangement? With this release, standalone LibAnswers sites who are connected to a Shared Group System site via Consortial Sharing will now see a new option to opt in to sharing aggregated statistics from their site with the Shared Group System. If you’re an admin of a standalone LibAnswers system that’s connected to a Shared Group System via Consortial Sharing, head to Admin > System Settings > General > Sharing Information and look for the setting for “Report Aggregated Statistics to Another Site.” Once you select this option, admins in the Shared Group System will be able to see a high-level aggregated report.

Plus, stay tuned for our next release, where we’ll add an additional report to show a more detailed breakdown of who is answering chats generated by each Group Member Library. For chats that originated from each Group Member Library or connected LibAnswers system, you’ll see how many chats were answered by that “home” library, versus how many were answered by a local Co-Op, versus how many were answered by the Global Co-Ops.

Co-Op Updates

  • Group Member Library Statistics: Institution and Co-Op Admins can now view a breakdown of the number of Co-Op chats which were answered by each participating Group Member Library. To view the new chart head to LibChat > Co-Op > Reports > Chat Statistics > Clients/Staff, or in LibAnswers, head to Admin > 24/7 Co-Op > Clients/Staff.
  • Answering Institution Filter: We’ve added a new filter to the Coop > Transcripts page that filters transcripts by which LibAnswers institution answered the chat. We’ve also added identifying information under Transcripts > Answered By, so you can easily see the LibAnswers site affiliation for the person who answered the chat.
  • Policy FAQs Update: If you’ve ever tried to open a policy FAQ in a new window, good news for you! We’ve added a simple standalone page to house these policy FAQs, so opening them in a new window using right click > Open in a New Tab/Window will function as expected.
  • Ticket Creation without an Email Address: We’ve heard feedback indicating that, when you’re creating a follow up ticket from a chat, it can interrupt the answering librarian’s flow to have to grab the patron’s email address and paste it into the “Create a Ticket” modal window, especially when you know for sure that it’s already been added to the transcript via an initial question or during the course of the chat. With this release, we’re removing the requirement to explicitly add an email address when creating a follow up ticket.

Bug Fixes and Smaller Improvements

  • If you transfer a ticket to an address book address, and that addressee replies to the transferred ticket notification, those replies will no longer generate a new ticket. They will now become threaded with the original ticket, as expected.
  • Removed iFrame Chat: To provide a better overall user experience, we’ve removed the “iFrame Chat” option from the LibChat dashboard.
  • Sites with shared chat departments will no longer see an error regarding Unknown Users.
  • We’ve restored the link to Edit Patron Record in the User History tab.
  • We’ve fixed an issue where new SMS messages displayed in the LibChat Dashboard contained time stamps that reflected UTC, instead of your local site’s timezone.
  • We’ve fixed an issue with System Status Management posts showing an incorrect date/time stamp in RSS feeds.
  • We’ve fixed an issue where, in limited cases, the button to Email Transcript to the Patron was not appearing in the LibChat Dashboard.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibGuides

As previously announced, we are rolling out an updated Rich Text Editor to LibGuides as a part of this round of code updates. This update is cleaner (and fully-functional!) and allows you to use the built-in browser spell-check capabilities. The updated editor will be live in everyone’s LibGuides system by July 15.

We have spent most of the last month doing back-end improvements to LibGuides and LibApps. Hand-in-hand with expanded use of online classes and virtual services, use of LibGuides has really shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we weathered the spring without downtime, we wanted to get under the hood and improve things even more, before back-to-school is upon us. We also have a few small fixes and features to share with you:

  • LTI: we have made our code for setting up regular expressions more flexible to accommodate additional course naming conventions.
  • We’ve updated the look and feel of accordions on the admin side of LibGuides and LibApps so that the experience is a little more intuitive. This change does not affect accordions on the public side, such as those on the LibGuides homepage.
  • We fixed an issue that was causing Font Awesome icons in guide titles in search results to display as code.
  • We changed A-Z widgets (Tools > Widgets > Search Box) to handle diacritics in the same way that the A-Z Databases page native search widgets handles them.
  • We fixed an error causing older blog posts not to display. This was related to blog posts created by users who have since been removed from the system.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

The LibStaffer team is excited to bring you these frequently-requested features!

Features:

  • Drop Shift Functionality: Now staff members can give up shifts without still being responsible for the shift. With this option enabled, staff can drop a shift, and that shift will remain unassigned.  Schedule admins can go to Admin > Schedule Settings > edit schedule > Drop shift to view and choose an option, which also specifies how long before a shift it is allowed to be dropped.

Smaller Fixes and Features

  • We fixed an issue preventing some Schedule Admins who are Regular Users from being able to approve Time Off requests.
  • We addressed an issue preventing the removal of shifts from Outlook, if a staff member was unassigned during the Find & Replace process.
  • We resolved a sort issue with Open Shifts on the Dashboard.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! [Back to Top]

LibCRM

For this release, the LibCRM team is pleased to bring users the Roles & Permissions functionality. This much-requested feature set will enable admins to designate who can do what in their LibCRM system.

Roles & Permissions

With Roles & Permissions functionality, system admins can create new roles in the system, then assign them specific permissions in the People, Organizations, and Interactions modules. Also coming soon are Roles & Permissions for the Reports area. Admins can head to Admin > Roles & Permissions to get started.

Roles

The roles area is the heart of this functionality. Admins can create, edit, and delete Roles from the Roles list. The Admin role cannot be deleted, as it’s essential to the system. 🙂

Important: With this release, a Role will have to be assigned to each account created in the system. By default, Admin and Regular Roles will already be available.

Permissions

Once you have Roles created, it’s time to assign them some Permissions! For People, Organizations,  and Interactions you can assign Create, View, Edit or Delete permissions as well as allow a Role to View Statistics. A role can also be set to View Statistics for People and Organizations.

Each permission comes with the following options:

  • Owned by this user only: if active, the account holder can only see/edit/delete items that they own.
  • All (not owned by admin): if active, the account holder can see/edit/delete all the items that are not owned by an admin.
  • All: if active, the account holder can see/edit/delete all items, including those owned by admins.

[Back to Top]

LibInsight

COUNTER 5 Analysis Report Update

We have gotten a lot of feedback about how we have parsed and displayed Database and Title Master Reports. Why am I seeing Database titles in the Journals tab?? Excellent question! This is definitely not a “your chocolate is in my peanut butter” type situation!

We don’t usually get into the nitty gritty in these posts, but it turns out that Database Master Reports can include rows where the content type is “Journal.” This is indicative of the aggregated usage of all of the journal content within a database, but is unnecessary to include as database usage, since usage of those individual titles is reported in the Title Master Reports and parsed out in the Journals, Books, and Others tabs. With this release, we are ignoring rows in Database Master Reports for non-Database content. Conversely, we will now populate the Journal, Book, and Other tabs based on the Title Master Report only.

This will ensure that only Database metrics are shown in the Databases tab, only Journals metrics are shown in the Journals tab, etc. (Note: we will be removing some additional non-database metrics from Databases > Usage > Titles reports in a future release.)

Other Misc Updates

We’ve made some adjustments to the layout on the System Settings page. First of all, since Alert Boxes apply to the whole system, we are including them in these settings. We also then moved each section to its own tab, making this page more easy to use. Admins can head to Admin > System Settings to check it out.

LibInsight System Settings

Lastly, we have fixed a handful of accessibility issues, including issues on the custom dataset widget form.

[Back to Top] 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 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.