Archive for LibAnswers

Code Release: New LibCal, LibAnswers, LibApps, LibStaffer and LibInsight features coming your way!

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, April 9. Read about LibCal | LibAnswers | LibApps | LibStaffer | LibInsight.

LibCal

Interactive Seat/Space Mapping

Our interactive Seat & Space booking module is here! With this new feature, your students and patrons can now select their desired Seat or Space with interactive maps that show real-time availability. For full information on this optional module, see our recent blog post.

  • Navigate the building map to see bookable areas & their availability.
    • Clickable “hotspots” will show users real-time availability for their desired Seat or Space availability. Hostpot colors indicate the status of each field and are customizable.
    • When clicking on a bookable Seat or Space, an information bubble will show availability, capacity, Seat/Space image (if it exists on the Seat or Space record) and power & accessibility options (if enabled).
  • “Enter” a building wing by clicking on it to see its spaces, tables, computers, etc.
    • Users can book a preferred Space or Seat based on its location.
    • If a Space has bookable seats inside, clicking on its area will open a new map showing those options. Any clickable “hotspot” can be linked to open another map if desired.
  • Users will get a clear sense of where everything is located before even entering the building or floor.
  • Receive a directional map on the booking confirmation public page and email. Directional maps will be automatically generated for booked locations from your interactive maps.

Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on a desktop or on mobile, then we’ll add interactive areas to them: your defined study, event, and meeting spaces; individual armchairs or tables; or study carrels. Each hotspot area will be associated with corresponding Zones, Spaces, or Seats in LibCal. Ask us to learn how to get started!

Appointment Direction Maps

We’ve added the ability to associate a map image to Appointment locations and individual Appointment users’ Directions field. Head to Admin > Appointments > Manage Locations > Edit Location to associate a map image with an Appointment location or Appointments > My Settings > Appointment Settings to associate a map image with an Appointments user’s “Directions” field. When a patron books an Appointment on the public pages, a link to map image(s) will be displayed on the Booking form and Confirmation page next to that Appointment location and/or Directions field. It’s also possible to include links to Appointment location maps in Appointment-related emails via new Email tags.

Event Directional Maps

You can also associate a map image for Event locations! If a map image is set up for an Event Location in Admin > Events > Event Locations > Edit Location, a link to the map images will be shown on the public Event page, if that location is an “Onsite Location.” As with Appointments, map links can be added to Event-related emails with Email Tags.

Cisco Webex Online Appointments & Events Integration

But wait, there’s more! Our Online Appointments & Events Cisco Webex integration is here! The integration will work the same way our current Microsoft Teams & Zoom integrations do in LibCal. You will first need to connect the integration from the Admin > Integrations > Online Appointments & Events page. After the Cisco Webex integration is successfully connected, users will be able to authorize the integration for their account for use with Appointments and Events.

Other

Appointments
  • We’ve added new selections for “Patron Must Book in Advance” (36 hours, 2 weeks & 3 weeks) and “Patron Booking Window” (1 day, 2 days & 3 days) settings for Appointment users. Go to Appointments > My Settings to set these options.
Events
  • A new LibAuth Event calendar type is available. When this type is chosen for a calendar, a LibAuth sign-in will be required to view the public calendar and corresponding Event pages. Head to Events > Modify/View Calendar. > Settings > Calendar Settings to choose this new calendar type.
  • You can now limit which Spaces are available for “Onsite Location” Event bookings! Go to Admin > Events > Space Locations or Admin > Space & Equipment > Edit Space to change whether a Space can be booked for an Event and therefore appear in the “Onsite Location” selection list.
Seats/Spaces
  • There are new padding duration options available (5 & 10 minutes). Navigate to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Spaces & Categories > Edit Category > Booking Limits to select one of these new padding options for a Space Category.
  • You can now add intro text to the “New Reservation” (/r/new) page! Go to Admin > System Settings > Language Options > Custom Language > Spaces & Equipment > New Reservation Page Intro Text to set this up.
  • The ability to set LibAuth group level rules at the individual Space location level is now available when LibAuth is set to be used across all locations on the Admin > Spaces & Equipment > LibAuth page.
  • Early Check In (or not!). When checking in a patron on the admin side of LibCal, a new prompt will appear if the check in is attempted before the selected check-in window for the location. Admin users can decide to allow early check ins or cancel the action and wait until it is within the correct time frame that was set on the Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Edit Location > Seat/Space Check In panel.
  • Spaces stats reports will now display total hours rather than total minutes. Head to Stats > Spaces to see your Spaces statistical reports.
  • We’ve added an option to retrieve the Name & Email from Exchange (when possible) to display when using synched Exchange bookings for a Space. Go to Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Edit Location > Outlook > Exchange > Outlook/Exchange Bookings in LibCal to enable this feature.
  • The API endpoints for Space bookings will now return the date and time bookings were created.
Other
  • We’ve added Irish to the public language selections that are currently available in the page footer.

Check out our recorded training sessions, and don’t miss the LibCal release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibAnswers

The April release is on its way, and is bringing several oft-requested features to LibAnswers! With this release we’re thrilled to bring Coverage Reports to LibChat, which will make it easy for site Admins to see the amount of chat coverage their staff provides. We’re also excited to begin introducing a series of updates intended to improve chat stability and eliminate our reliance on third party cookies during chat. For the full breakdown of everything rolling out in this release, head to the Springshare Lounge to view the release notes.

Chat Monitoring & Coverage Reports

We’re introducing a new reporting center for Chat Monitoring Activity. These reports will be available to site admins in an LA site; they’re designed to provide an in-depth breakdown of the amount of time that your staff have spent monitoring various chat departments in your LibAnswers system, and how many chats folks have claimed during those time periods. We will begin gathering data when we release the update, and the total amount of coverage time and total number of chats answered will be available beginning from this date onward. These reports will also include specific logs that represent the login and logout times of each chat staff member as they monitor various chat departments, and this portion of the data will be available on a rolling basis for up to the past 3 months, beginning on the date of release. Once the release is complete in your region, Admins will be able to view this new suite of information at LibChat > Coverage.

Chat Server Updates

With this code update, we’re releasing the first of a series of changes that will chat stability and connectivity. Over the next several releases, we will complete the process of moving all chat server traffic from their current domains (which can include libchat.com domains, as well as custom domains like libanswers.mysite.edu) to a libanswers.com domain. In doing this, our focus is on reducing and then eliminating the issues presented by third party cookies in chat, which we feel is critical as most web browsers are moving toward increased user privacy.

With our current release, all chat traffic for users in sites on a *.libanswers.com domain will move to libanswers.com, which will eliminate the use of third party cookies for these sites. In our next release, we plan to update the URL of the LibChat dashboard (and only the LibChat dashboard) for sites on custom domains to a libanswers.com domain, which will entirely eliminate the need for third party cookies. 

Good to know: If your site has previously needed to add our chat server to an approved domain list (cascade.libchat.com), now is an ideal time to also ask your IT department to add our new server address. These vary depending on the region you’re in: chat-us.libanswers.com (US region, which includes South America and Africa), chat-ca.libanswers.com (Canada), chat-eu.libanswers.com (European region), or chat-au.libanswers.com (Australia/Pacific Region).

And Coming Soon…

We’re hard at work revamping several of our back-end search features, in an effort to bring you a faster and more intuitive search interface! Our first order of business is updating the chat transcript search page; in our next release, we’ll be overhauling our underlying search engine to bring you even more powerful chat transcript searching.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out on the complete LibAnswers release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibApps

LibAuth Innovative Polaris Authentication

We’ve added the Innovative Polaris authentication to our growing LibAuth authentication protocols. Just go to your LibApps page > Admin > LibAuth Authentication and add a new Polaris configuration. Please note that Polaris integration is not yet available for Pickup Manager.

LibAuth Polaris

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out the LibGuides release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

  • Customize the look and feel of your Schedule widgets with CSS! Set this up at Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Schedule > Widgets where you will see a new “Custom JS/CSS Code” panel.
  • The ability to filter the Time Clock Report by the Organizational Hierarchy is now available in your LibStaffer Reports. Head to Reports > Time Clock to make use of these new filters when running this report.

Want to learn how to best use LibStaffer’s features? Check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Stacked Chart Option for Numeric Fields in Dashboards

We’ve added the “Display Stacked Chart” option for Custom/Shared Datasets with Numeric field Y-Axis and Single/Multi-Select fields for Data Labels. This enables a stacked view for your Select fields so that you can see the total for each Select option.

Dashboard Chart Option

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 in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Creating a Regional Chat Cooperative – Learning Lab

Last week we had the pleasure of sitting down, albeit virtually, with three amazing librarians to talk about virtual chat reference and the importance of having support from a regional, and global, chat cooperative. Caitlin Kenney (Engagement and Education Services Coordinator at the Western New York Library Resources Council) and Cornell University Librarians Leah Dodd (Research Lead Librarian), and Virginia Cole (Archaeology, Classics, History, and Medieval Studies Librarian) joined us for a panel discussion to discuss the WNYLRC cooperative and Cornell University’s experience doing local, regional, and even global chat reference.

In case you missed it, you’re in luck! We recorded the session, along with presenter slides, so you can watch and download all from the Springshare Learning Lab website.

Takeaways

  • The benefits of creating chat fallback so patrons chatting with the library start locally but if their library isn’t available, it rolls up to the Western New York LRC regional cooperative -> and then lastly the global chat cooperative for 24/7 backup.
  • Using historical statistics to make sure chat staffing is optimized.
  • The importance of feedback for quality control and using chat transcripts for training purposes.
  • Using tags to tag transcripts with followed-up, reviewed, etc. to keep an accurate eye on chats for quality control.

Watch Now!

More Learning Labs Coming Up!

Our goal is to host a Springshare Learning Lab every single month! Our next Learning Lab:

  • Springing into Action – The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC)
    Thursday, April 29, 1:00pm – 2:20pm
    The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) was founded in March 2020 to provide critical librarian time, skills, and resources to the growing need for quality information in response to the global pandemic. They quickly recognized the need to have a web presence to provide information to partners and volunteers and a central platform to manage projects. As librarians who used Springshare products in their home institutions, LRC’s Co-Directors thought to reach out to Springshare for support. Springshare responded quickly, donating access to a suite of products to support LRC’s response efforts. Throughout the past year, LRC has combined LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard to manage volunteers and launch new initiatives. Read more in our blog post.

Code Release: New LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibInsight features coming your way!

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, February 19. Read about LibGuides | LibAnswers | LibCal | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibInsight

LibGuides

In addition to improvements on the E-Reserves Request form, we are implementing a bunch of Accessibility improvements on the A-Z Databases page and the Search page.

E-Reserves Request Form

We’ve made the E-Reserves request form more user-friendly by getting rid of the accordion collapsible sections, indicating required fields with a red asterisk, and changing how the “Type” choices work.

E-Reserves Request Form

In addition, you can indicate whether these fields should be required or hidden through the E-Reserves > Settings > Request Form > Request Form Field Options.

Request Form Field Options

And Coming Soon…

  • Support for LTI 1.3 in Canvas (with support for additional Learning Management Systems coming after that)
  • Additional accessibility fixes

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out the LibGuides release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibAnswers

Our current LibAnswers release is chock full of performance improvements to help bring you a faster and more performant reference management platform! In this release, we’re introducing many under-the-hood updates, including a refreshed Reference Analytics module, improved connectivity for LibChat on mobile devices, and so much more. For the full breakdown of everything rolling out in this release, head to the Springshare Lounge to view the full release notes.

Reference Analytics Update

We’ve spruced things up under the hood to bring you a fresher, faster version of Reference Analytics. We’ve refreshed the entire code base, with a goal of updating code and improving response times. While most folks using the Add or View/Edit Transactions screens won’t notice many UI changes, Admins can see this refresh reflected in the edit Reference Analytics dataset screen. We’ve updated the functions around editing datasets, and added the ability to reorder responses in a field without impacting past recorded data (yay!). To see this in action, Admins can head to Admin > Ref. Analytics > Edit Dataset button.

Mobile Chat Improvements

In this release, we’re updating the behavior of chat widgets on mobile devices. Now, most chat widgets (everything except for embedded chat widgets) will pop open in a new tab/window when viewed and accessed on handheld mobile devices. This will essentially replicate the behavior of the patron choosing to pop the ongoing chat into a new window, which we’ve seen can help prevent patrons from inadvertently disconnecting from a chat, especially on handheld mobile devices, where wide-finger issues are still alive and well! The resulting chat window is mobile-optimized and ready to assist your patrons. To see this in action, head to any slide-out, floating, or button chat widget and start a chat!

And Coming Soon…

We’re hard at work revamping several of our back-end search features, in an effort to bring you a faster and more intuitive search interface! Our first order of business is updating the chat transcript search page; in our next release, we’ll be overhauling our underlying search engine to bring you even more powerful chat transcript searching.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out on the complete LibAnswers release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibCal

While we are hard at work to bring you (teaser alert!) interactive mapping functionality for seat/space bookings in the very near future and improvements to streamline and improve admin management aspects of Appointments, we have a few exciting updates for you! This release includes lots of accessibility modifications, small improvements, and performance improvements that can be read about in the Springy lounge release notes.

Appointments

  • Booking limits for Appointments have arrived! We’ve added the ability to set daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly limits on the number of appointments that can be booked by each patron/student. These limits are available to set on the system level, as well as by individual users who can either use the system limits or define their own set if needed. Head to Admin > Appointments > Booking Limits > System Defaults to set this for your entire LibCal system, or click the Edit button in the User Limits Overview section to set for one user at a time.
  • Also now available is the ability to list Appointment locations on your LibCal homepage, Hours page, and event pages. Your public locations will show as a drop-down menu where Appointments are displayed:

Seats / Spaces / Equipment

  • We’ve also added API support to return availability for period-based locations when retrieving seat / space booking information.
  • We’ve added a warning on the admin side “Booking Grid & Availability” tab when hours for a Location, Category, Space, or Item will expire soon. Admin users will see a warning like the one below when availability is set to expire within 7 days. A warning will also be displayed if a Location, Category, Space, or Item has no hours assigned.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibCal release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibWizard

Folders

We have added a much-requested feature for creating folders for your LibWizard items! Anyone (Admin and Regular level users) can create new folders by clicking on the “+ Create New Folder” button on top.

LibWizard Folder

Admins will have access to create, delete, or rename all folders. Regular users will be able to create new folders, but will only be able to rename and delete their own folders.

Deleting a folder will not delete the folder contents and will move any existing contents outside of the folder to the main level list.

Finally, users will be able to move existing items to different folders or create a form directly within the folder. Please note that folders cannot be nested at this time.

Changes to the Actions Column

We’ve updated the Actions column for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes, and Tutorials pages and the Question Bank page with a dropdown to make the column less cluttered.

Actions

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and check out the LibWizard release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

We’ve added some exciting enhancements to both the regular and recurring shift assignment process!

  • You can now set a weekly frequency as well as select or deselect staff members for recurring shift assignments.
  • A “Select All” / “Deselect All” feature has been added to the regular and recurring shift assignment screens, when there are more than 8 users assigned to a schedule.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Manage Accounts Layout Change

We’ve converted the “New Account” and “Import LibApps Accounts” to their own pages for easier use.

LibInsight Manage Account

Dataset Upload Format Change

As a processing and performance improvement, we have updated a few dataset types to allow only .csv format (Comma-Separated Values) for data uploads:

  • Finance
  • Reference
  • Calendaring
  • Custom/Shared

To save any Excel file as a .csv file, go to File > Save As.. and choose Comma-Delimited file. For the tech-minded out there who might use a text editor, we are looking for a UTF-8 file with CRLF line breaks. 🙂

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 in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

University of Liverpool: Going Global with LibChat

Last week’s Springshare Learning Lab with University of Liverpool’s Gwen Jones was a can’t miss event. But in case you did, we have the recording and presenter notes available!

Quick Overview

Gwen covers how the Univ. of Liverpool switched from being non-contributing (receiving backup chat support only) to contributing (giving and receiving chat support) in the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat community.

Takeaways

Gwen shares how they prepped and trained to get ready for answering chats from patrons from around the world including watching helpful videos on training.springshare.com and practicing with each other. She also shares helpful tips like:

  • Avoiding geographical lingo – ‘Banging’ in England has a totally different meaning in the U.S.
  • Learn how other libraries call things – One library’s Interlibrary Loan is another library’s ‘Get It For Me’.
  • Being the ‘student’ for once – When trying to help a patron from another library, you’re digging around that library’s website, FAQs, and Policy Page… much like a student. This experience helps you to better understand what your own patrons are going through.
  • What makes a good Policy FAQ – Looking at other library’s policy FAQs when you’re trying to answer their patron’s questions helps to make sure your FAQs are helpful, clear, and concise.
  • Helps with Professional Growth (no really!): – Gwen stated that the librarians love answering global chats so much, that if it was taken away the staff might revolt! Answering chats from other libraries around the world is exciting and helps staff hone their skills – which they can then take ‘home’ to their own patrons.
  • …. and so much more!

Watch Now!

More Learning Labs Coming Up!

Our aim is to have a Springshare Learning Lab every single month! Our next Springshare Learning Lab:

A New Way to Read SpringyNews

This week we are excited to launch a new addition to the Springshare newsletter lineup: The Roundup. It’s just like it sounds – a monthly email digest that rounds up recent product updates and announcements, client stories, webinars, and timely Springy resources.

It landed in subscribers’ inboxes yesterday. And from here on out, SpringyNews readers can expect a digest or edition email the first week of every month!

Here’s a preview of the types of content readers will discover in The Roundup:

February's archive resources focused on celebrating Black History Month
  • Last month’s release features, recent client stories, and newly published Buzz guides
  • Upcoming Springshare Learning Labs and webinars
  • Newly relevant resources from the Springshare archives
  • A sneak peek at the month ahead, including not yet announced webinars, product features, and more!

In case you missed it, you can view this month’s issue of The Roundup in your browser.

Not a subscriber? Sign up below and indicate which types of Springshare emails you’d like to receive!

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Top 10 Springshare Blog Posts of 2020

The month has flown by and suddenly it’s the last workday of January 2021. 😅 At this point, our teams are waist-deep in strategic goal mapping and list checking, but it doesn’t hurt to take a moment to pause and reflect on the past year… as much as we may want to forget it.

Here is our annual recap of the best client stories, Springshare announcements, and tips and tricks from 2020!

1. Librarian Reserve Corps Fighting COVID-19’s Infodemic

May 15, 2020

We’re proud to have supported Library Journal’s 2021 Librarians of the Year Elaine Hicks, Stacy Brody, and Sara Loree, and the rest of the Librarian Reserve Corps. Read about how they responded to the overwhelming need to identify, select, and disseminate information about the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. And how they used Springshare tools to help accomplish their goals. Thank you for your service!


2. Pickup Manager is Here!

October 14, 2020

It’s been a year of quick pivots and changing plans at Springy HQ, and Pickup Manager was one exciting result of our efforts to address the ‘new normal’ while making day-to-day tasks easier. The goals: streamlined item pickup scheduling, easy communication with chat and SMS/text, and ILS integration to help automate checkouts!

If you haven’t seen it, check out our post detailing how it works with screenshots and quick video clips. You can watch a recording of the webinar on our Buzz site!

3. ICYMI: Using LibGuides to Support Racial Justice & Create Inclusive Communities

August 7, 2020

July’s edition of SpringyNews included a special guest. Written by Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Librarian Twanna Hodge from the University of Florida, the LibGuides Tricks page addressed an important point – LibGuides are much more than resource webpages. They are part of how we represent our communities online. How can we engage our guide readers, cultivate inclusivity, support anti-racism, and move them to act?

4. How They Did It: Reopening at the University of Hull Library

August 19, 2020

As libraries were starting to reopen their doors over the summer, we checked in with The University of Hull Brynmor Jones Library – one of our first customers to go live with LibCal Seats – to share their reopening process. They provided a ton of helpful information about planning their library’s layout, figuring out booking and cleaning times, and enforcing social distancing!

5. Tips & Tricks for the Remote-First World

March 16, 2020

As libraries and universities were making the monumental switch to online reference and learning services, Springy Talia rounded up some LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibWizard tips and tricks to support librarians suddenly serving students and sharing information remotely.

6. Missed It? Watch it! SpringyCamp 2020 Recordings Available

August 11, 2020

Last year’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.

You can still review the list and watch them all!

7. Introducing the New (and Improved!) Springshare Lounge

September 24, 2020

Last summer we wanted to make an improvement in an area that would empower Springshare users to collaborate, discuss, and help each other online. One of Springshare’s greatest strengths has always been our community, and we wanted to make an online space that reflects how innovative all of you are. So, without further ado, we introduced the revamped, and extra Springy, Springshare Lounge!

8. Supporting Staff & Students 24/7 with Local & Academic Chat Co-Ops

November 5, 2020

Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) and California Community College Library Chat (CCCLC) group both frequently assist students who work and have other responsibilities during “regular business hours” – perhaps even more so during the pandemic. The individual colleges and libraries range in size and available staff, but together the two groups serve over 900,000 students.

In November, they shared how the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative and the LibAnswers platform has helped them support their staff and students, especially during last year’s distance learning!

9. You’ve Switched to Remote Services… And the Numbers Show It

April 28, 2020

About a month after the sudden shift to remote learning and library services, we shared some really interesting early LibAnswers and LibGuides stats that illustrated the size of the enormous change, along with information about what we were doing on our end to support you.

In case you’re interested in how these numbers turned out, we updated them in our December SpringyNews edition!

10. Our First Springshare Learning Lab!

December 1, 2020

In response to customer requests to integrate client use cases and how-tos, we launched a brand new training session series: The Springshare Learning Lab!

Ken Winter from VDOT Research Library kicked things off with a thoughtful discussion of his longtime remote working experience and how Springshare tools have helped his team support their patrons during the pandemic.

We’re excited to continue the series in 2021! Next week Gwen Jones at the University of Liverpool is going to share their experience contributing to the 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative (Register now for the last few spots!). And you can watch all Learning Lab recordings on our Buzz site.

Are You Measuring User Satisfaction with Your Virtual Service?

Even in a face-to-face environment, it’s not always easy to gauge user satisfaction. They’re smiling and seem to appear satisfied with the service you provided, but are they really? Nowadays, you’re probably doing more virtual reference service than ever and its even harder to know if they’re satisfied. They’ve submitted their question via email or chat, you responded, and maybe you’re lucky enough to get a “thank you” reply. But, were their needs met? Were they satisfied with the service they received? That’s why it’s so important to perform user satisfaction surveys.

ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) outlines the need for patrons to have access to satisfaction tools.

Cost, benefit, and quality assessments of reference services provide meaningful and practical feedback for the improvement of services, staff training, and continuing education.

3.2 Reference Service and Program Effectiveness

If you’ve been using LibAnswers, our virtual reference platform, you may have seen a prime opportunity to integrate patron feedback into the tool – truly making it an all-in-one communication platform. We’ve had this on our wish list, too, and these features are in our most recent update!

Quality of Service Features

Our latest LibAnswers release features our new Quality of Service functionality. A brand-new tool designed to help you collect patron feedback on their overall satisfaction with your virtual reference service.

It All Starts with the Survey

Automated Follow-Up Satisifaction Email/Survey

Create a customizable follow-up user satisfaction survey and email to send to patrons. There’s one customizable “rating” question included in the email. When the patrons click on their rating, a browser window opens to allow them to add any comments/feedback via a free-text field. Users will receive this email about 24hours after their LibAnswers ticket has been closed, and even if they reopen the ticket with a reply – they’ll still only receive the survey once.

Quality of Service Metrics

We’ve created three new reports and a new way to access an existing report in our brand-new Quality of Service Dashboard.

Quality of Service Stats Dashboard

Ticket/Chat Turnarounds

Measuring the quality of your service is not limited to just gathering user feedback. Other metrics include how long it takes you to first reply to a patron’s question. Or how long does it take from the moment their question is asked and the ticket is closed. Or, how many staff interactions an average ticket takes before its closed. If it takes you, on average, 48+ hours to first reply to a patron and 12+ staff interactions to close a ticket, then your patrons are waiting 2+ days to get an initial reply back and there’s a lot of back & forth before their question has been satisfactorily closed. A valuable metric for “the  improvement of services, staff training, and continuing education”. (RUSA, 3.2 Reference Service and Program Effectiveness).

Our new ticket and chat turnaround metrics will give you incredible depth of information that will not only help improve your services but ensure that you’re accurately reporting all your hard work! Sure, you might have received 10 new patron questions yesterday – but on average it took 40 staff interactions to close those 10 tickets. If you’re only counting the 10 questions in your reference stats, you’re drastically undercounting your reference volume.

Metrics Viewable within Individual Ticket

With this update, we also wanted to provide valuable metrics when you’re answering a ticket… right at point-of-need. This is especially helpful if you’ve noticed that you’ve sent 10+ replies to this patron and their time to first reply is 2+ days, so chances are… they might be frustrated. A potentially dissatisfied patron might require a different quality of service – and this information helps you pivot accordingly. Additionally, patron info, which was previously hidden inside a pop-up, is now visible in the top right column. So easily view who asked the question, where, and when.

View metrics while answering a ticket

Ticket/Chat Ratings

LibChat has always had a chat rating feature, since it’s evolution back in the day (LibChat > Chat Statistics). We added another entry point for this data in the Quality of Service Dashboard (Stats > Quality of Service) plus, we’ve jazzed it up! In Ticket Ratings, you can view patron responses to your User Satisfaction Survey. Filter by Source (Email, Question Form Submission, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), date range, just weekends or specific days, by Ticketing queue, and more.

Chat rating and feedback

Learn More!

We’re so excited about the Quality of Service dashboard which will not only help you better survey your patrons and their satisfaction with your virtual reference service… but it will also help to inform and empower your staff with data to make actionable decisions.

We’re working on a SpringU course so you can learn more about LibAnswers’ new Quality of Service metrics. If you’re keen to get it setup now, check out our help documentation which walks you through each step.

The University of Liverpool Goes Global

with their chat, that is.

Let’s start at the beginning. Last summer, the University of Liverpool joined hundreds of other libraries in migrating from OCLC QuestionPoint to the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative. If you weren’t aware, Springshare acquired OCLC QuestionPoint in May 2019, which migrated over the QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference Cooperative and all active QuestionPoint subscriptions to Springshare.

Before the migration, the University of Liverpool was a non-contributing member of the Cooperative. Meaning, they received overnight/backup coverage from the Co-Op, but didn’t contribute any hours. All that changed when they migrated to the Springshare 24/7 Co-Op. Like other academic libraries, they joined the Academic Co-Op. Springshare has two others (with more coming!): Public Library Co-Op and the En Español Co-Op.

With the migration came a ton of new exciting features in LibAnswers, including full-text searchable Policy FAQs, live screensharing with Zoom or Microsoft Teams, optional webcam, on-screen annotations, recording capabilities, and more. We added a ton of functionality for librarians to chat with each other and work together – especially in our new remote workplaces – including the ability to screenshare a meeting. We expanded our chat emoji library, added more customizable sounds for new chats, added the ability to automatically create a follow-up ticket from missed chats, and so so so much more.

Choose from over 400 emojis when chatting with patrons

Suffice it to say, all of these features make it so much easier, and dare we say fun, for libraries to contribute to the Global Chat Cooperative. And with the migration, the University of Liverpool changed their status from non-contributing to contributing – giving 15 hours/week to the Global Chat Cooperative. So, not only are their students receiving 24/7/365 chat support from librarians around the world… Liverpool librarians themselves are answering questions from patrons around the world too! Their chat service has truly gone global!

Are they happy with the service?

In a nutshell, yes! Here’s what they said in a recent interview:

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.

— University of Liverpool

Learn more at our live webinar!

If you’d like to learn more about the University of Liverpool going Global with Springshare’s 24/7 Chat Cooperative, join us on February 4 at 11:00am U.S. EST. And hear directly from Gwen Jones, Customer Services Online Manager from the University of Liverpool, discuss their experience offering 24/7 library chat to their students, and what it’s like helping other students around the globe.

REGISTER: THU, FEB 4 @11am U.S. EST

If you can’t attend the live webinar, register to receive the recording! It will be available, along with presenter slides/notes, on Buzz

New Year, New Springy Tips

While it’s hard to believe it’s already mid-January, we put away our party hats and noisemakers long ago (although our holiday decorations are still up 😉). Hopefully, there’s still a glimmer of that “brand new year” feeling left, and Springy HQ is here to help you start off 2021 on the right foot!

To that end, we’ve rounded up a bunch of quick Springshare tool tips to help you save time, streamline your workflow a bit, and perhaps remind you of that “Oh yeah, I need to do that every January!” task.

Under 10 Minute Tips for Every Springy App

Before and after profile example

1. Give Yourself a LibGuides Profile Refresh.

In the spirit of “new year, new you,” freshen up your profile with a new image, widget, or social media icon.

  • Double-check your contact information.
  • Use the multi-line address field to add your pronouns, time zone, and/or ORCID.
  • Update your profile image.
  • Add your work-related social media accounts.
  • Embed a chat and/or Appointments widget.

For more ideas on how to use profile boxes and pages, watch our related training video!

2. Set Your LibCal Spaces, Equipment, & Calendar Preferences.

In case you missed it, in November we added new user preference options so you can select default Spaces and Equipment locations and booking management tabs. By the end of this week, you’ll be able to pick your default calendar, too! To set your preferences, click on the Preferences tab on your LibCal account page. 

3. Streamline Ticket Views in LibAnswers.

Directing all student/patron questions and interactions into LibAnswers makes life easier (just ask Ken Winter from VDOT Research Library!). And if you find yourself applying the same dashboard filters to switch between Twitter DMs, reported database access issues, and open reference questions, you can make your life even easier by creating dashboard views!

Create a personal view for yourself – or if you’re an admin, create a view for all LibAnswers users. For detailed instructions, watch the SpringyU Setting up Dashboard Views Block.

Pickup Manager Macro example

4. Expand Pickup Manager Macro Usage.

After months of coordinating item holds, and the year-end stats resulting from them, you have a good sense of your patron/student pickup trends. Are they normally late? Or early? Do staff often forget to mark a pickup as complete? Now’s a great time to create or update Pickup Manager chat/SMS macros and set/modify pickup status changes where needed.

5. Review LibWizard User Access.

Did you know you can reassign content when deleting a LibWizard user’s access? If you haven’t reviewed your LibWizard accounts recently, now’s a great time to use the ‘transfer to a user’ feature to make sure form/survey/quiz/tutorial editing and report viewing privileges are up to date.

6. Check LibStaffer Calendar Syncing Status.

A well-planned schedule unfortunately never lasts, and as shift swapping and dropping begin in the new semester, start off the year by ensuring that everyone’s LibStaffer shifts and personal Outlook/Exchange or Google calendars are syncing. LibStaffer admins can do this by checking everyone’s integration status in one place!

Need to know when someone’s calendar syncing fails? Admins can also add an email notification address in your LibStaffer site’s System Settings.

7. Create Alert Reminders in LibInsight.

This time of year, folks are gathering year-end data, creating 2021 dashboards and datasets, and completing annual reports. It’s important to remind users where things are stored, recent changes, or new fields/datasets they will be using.

Alert boxes help reinforce your message by putting the information at the top of the LibInsight dashboard! Admins can even create separate reminders for admins and regular users.

8. Examine LibCRM User Roles & Permissions.

LibCRM Interactions permissions options

Have there been any staff reorganizations? Are you tracking projects, adding and editing People, Organizations, and Interactions in LibCRM differently now than you did at site launch? Take a look at your roles and how they’re assigned to LibCRM users!

Haven’t configured LibCRM roles and permissions yet? Read our related FAQ.

Bonus Tip: Update Your LibApps Password!

Using strong passwords – and keeping them in a safe place – is standard security practice. While there’s not a clear consensus on how often you should change your password, the start of the year is a good time to do an annual checkup if you haven’t done one recently

In LibApps, you use one account/password for all of your sites – LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers… you get the picture. So fortunately for you, there’s only one place to change it!

There are two ways to update your LibApps password:

  • *Recommended* While logged in: Jump to LibApps > My Account. In the Account Information box, enter your new password and confirm the change using your existing password.
  • While logged out: Head to your LibApps login page. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see “LibApps Login @ [Your Institution]” at the top of the page.
    • Click on the “Reset Password?” link underneath the login form.
    • You will receive an email from do-not-reply@libapps.com to change your password. If it’s not there, be sure to check your spam folder.
    • Don’t see an email? Contact one of your LibApps admins. They can reset your password for you.

For detailed instructions on how to change your password, read the related FAQ. After updating your password, don’t forget to save the new one in your password manager!


Here at Springy HQ, we’re thinking of our customers near and far – especially those currently locked down or have family and friends affected by the rising COVID-19 case numbers across the globe. Please know we are always here to help if you have any questions!

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

Happy New Year to all, and goodbye to 2020! We are pleased to open 2021 with some great improvements across several Springy apps. 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, January 15. Read about: LibAnswers | LibCal | LibStaffer | LibInsight

LibAnswers

We are so very excited to introduce this newest LibAnswers release. This update brings our brand new Quality of Service suite of features – these features are designed to help you track and analyze how satisfied your patrons are with the service you provide via LibAnswers, and keep your finger on the pulse of how your users are feeling. Read on for all the details of these exciting new features. For full release notes of every feature that is rolling out in this update, please visit the Springshare Lounge Release Notes.

Quality of Service Features

Our new Quality of Service features are designed to help you collect feedback from patrons on their overall satisfaction with the service you provide via LibAnswers. These features will assist you with collecting direct patron feedback in the form of a follow-up user satisfaction survey that’s sent to patrons 24 hours after a ticket has been marked closed. In addition, these features include a wealth of indirect feedback on patron satisfaction, in the form of a suite of new metrics available for every ticket that show data related to time to first reply, total turnaround time, and number of interactions (i.e. the number of time that staff members interacted with a given ticket). 

Our new suite of Quality of Service features includes the following elements:

  • Image of Follow-up user satisfaction emailFollow-up User Satisfaction Email/Survey – With this new feature, you can create a follow-up user satisfaction survey and accompanying email to send to patrons. The survey you create consists of one customizable “rating” question in which you specify the number of values in the scale and customize the scale’s labels and layout, so it’s fully targeted to your users. Users will respond to this rating question directly in the email by clicking on their chosen response. Choosing a rating/response opens a new tab in the patron’s default browser which prompts users for additional free-text comments to explain the rating they’ve chosen.  Users will receive this email approximately 24 hours after their ticket has been marked closed, and users will only ever receive a survey once per ticket. 
  • Quality of Service Reports – These new reports gather all Quality of Service metrics and reports together in one place, so it’s easy to see your patrons’ satisfaction at a glance. Admins will find these reports at Stats > Quality of Service; here you’ll find reports on patron responses to user satisfaction surveys, as well as turnaround metrics that will help you investigate tickets with long vs short turnaround metrics. 
  • Updated Ticket Answer Page – We’re updating the layout on the ticket answer page to include all of the available turnaround time metrics (time to first reply, time to close, and total interactions). We’ve also made some additional changes in the page to better expose information about your patrons; you’ll see a new Patron Info box in the top, right corner of the page, which displays high-level info about the patron, responses they’ve provided in your question form, and their full patron history details, so you can view the full history of conversations with this particular patron. 

To start customizing your site’s user satisfaction survey and email, admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > Quality

Excited? Us too!! And in even more exciting news, this is just our first step into giving you a full picture of your user’s satisfaction. In the coming months, we’ll also introduce a new suite of features centered around calculating your Net Promoter Score, a standardized industry metric of user satisfaction. We’re creating new widgets that can be embedded in any website and collect satisfaction data, as well as targeted reports that will showcase your users’ satisfaction and segmentation metrics. Stay tuned for this exciting new module, coming in the first quarter of 2021!

In addition to the new Quality of Service tools, we have so many more features coming in this release. For the full list of new features, please check out the Springshare Lounge Release Notes. There you can read about all of the new features we’re introducing, including:

  • We’ve added a couple of new LibChat settings:
    • To automatically create follow-up tickets from missed chats; and
    • To limit users to viewing chat transcripts only in departments to which they belong.
  • We’re adding a full emoji picker to the LibChat dashboard, so you can pick from a library of over 400 emoji with the click of a button! 🙂
  • We’re improving the connection between chats and follow-up tickets; now you’ll be able to view at-a-glance which chat transcripts and missed chats have had follow-up tickets created. 
  • Did you know you can launch a patron chat without a chat widget? It’s true! We’re expanding our documentation to make this clearer, and we’re also updating our direct chat link option so it can accept more query string parameters, so you can programmatically pass information like a user’s name and email address into a chat. Hello, chatbots! 

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

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

LibCal

We’re happy to bring you the following LibCal updates to help improve Seat/Space booking daily operations and policies! Also included in this release are some helpful usability features as well as our new Email Queue feature, which you can read about further below.

Seats/Spaces & Equipment

  • We’ve added the ability to select multiple booking statuses when browsing the Booking Explorers for Spaces & Equipment.
  • If set for a location, the “Reminder” and/or “Follow-up” email info will now display in the booking details. Also, if mediation is enabled, the details of mediation approvals/denials will be available to view in the booking details.
  • A new location setting enables only LibCal Admin users to check users in or out of a booking.
  • The ability to modify the Check In/Out Date & Time fields for a booking is now available on the admin side, when viewing the details of a booking.

Appointments

  • If the availability duration entered does not meet the minimum requirement for a user’s set duration plus padding, the user will not be able to save the availability until making adjustments.
  • We’ve modified the stats report to only display available times for users currently assigned to a group.
  • When the Exchange/Outlook integration is enabled for an Appointments user, events created in Outlook by this integration will be marked “Private.”

Misc.

  • Verification of Email Delivery! From this release forward, you will be able to see whether an email was successfully sent out of LibCal, regardless of whether you are using the Springy email service or your own SMTP server. Head to Admin > System Settings > Email Queue to find filters with which you can narrow results, or to view the full contents of any email. Bonus! if an email was not submitted successfully and is marked with a “Failed” status, you can resubmit it. If your system sends out a large volume of email, you will also see any emails that are queued for impending sending.
  • You can now select which tab to land on when visiting the “Event Calendars” page. You can also specify a preferred Calendar. Go to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Preferences, or click your email address in the top, right corner to set preferences.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss the LibCal release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

  • We’ve modified the “Staff” Report so the correct “Next Shift” for a user always displays.
  • We fixed an issue that prevented schedules from printing in Landscape orientation.
  • Inactive users will now be available for reporting on the Scheduled Shifts report, when “All Schedules” is selected. These will be at the bottom of the staff list and be labeled “Inactive.”

Also check out our recorded training sessions, and don’t miss the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Twelve Hour Time Format for Custom / Shared Dataset Recording – You will be able to select the time format to record any time-related fields in your custom/shared dataset. To select which time format you would like, head to System Settings > Dates & Currency > Record Data / Widget Time Format. Please note that the Analysis page will still render the entered time data in 24 hour format.

Filter COUNTER 5 Top 100 Titles by Platform

Ever wanted to view the Top 100 Databases, Journals, Books, Other titles by platform? Now you can! Simply select the individual platform you want to filter the top 100 title reports by in the COUNTER 5 Analysis page.

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 in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.