Archive for LibCal

Moving from LibCal Room Bookings to Spaces: More Functionality, More Features, More Fun!

When we first released the LibCal Equipment Booking Add-On Module, we saw a need to integrate room bookings with the equipment reservation process. Wouldn’t it be neat if a patron could reserve a room and related equipment in the exact same reservation?

And also, wouldn’t it be great if we could revamp the way Room Bookings calculates availability by connecting it to the LibCal Hours module?

And while we’re at it, what if we could extend Room Bookings availability to go past midnight?

We had so many ideas and suggestions from all you loyal Springy users on ways to improve the Room Bookings tool. And what better way to ensure that we’re able to do everything than to code up a brand-new tool? Hence, Spaces was born.

What’s LibCal Spaces and How Does It Work?

LibCal Spaces is a replacement to the existing LibCal Room Bookings tool. It has a ton of extra features that LibCal Room Bookings doesn’t contain, more on that below, and it fully integrates with the Equipment Booking Add-on Module.

What Can LibCal Spaces Do?

This blog post would get very long, very quickly, if we outlined all the extra features you get with LibCal Spaces. But, here’s a quick list of the top features:

  • Accessibility & Mobile-Friendliness – We conducted a robust accessibility and usability review of Spaces to ensure that LibCal Spaces works for all users.
  • Customizable Availability Grid – Does the red/green availability grid not work for your color-blind users? You can now easily change those colors with our point-and-click color picker.
  • Availability Governed by the Hours Module – Connect your Spaces to the LibCal hours module to determine when rooms are available for reservation. This means, no more managing availability on a periodic basis.
  • Reservations Can Go Past Midnight – If your library is open till the wee hours of the morning and your rooms are available for reservation till 1am, 2am, or even 3am – patrons can reserve a room past midnight on one single reservation.
  • Connected to Equipment Module – Patrons can reserve a room and related equipment in a single reservation.
  • Read/Write APIs – Push reservations and cancellations into LibCal Spaces using the robust API.
  • Granular Booking Forms – Apply a unique booking form at either the entire Location-level or at the category-level.
  • Group Authentication Integration – Should only faculty be able to reserve the conference room? Should only business school students be able to book the Bloomberg Computers? If you have groups defined in your authentication tool (SAML, Shibboleth, ADFS, CAS) you can connect those groups to specific rooms to restrict reservation.
  • Patron Booking as a Block of Time – Users can pick their own start time on the availability grid and then select an end time in the drop-down according to your max & min time settings. Basically, no more clicking a bunch of static time-slots!
  • Easier to Update Reoccurring Bookings – In Spaces, all instances of a reoccurring bookings are listed in a single booking request. This makes it much easier to view, manage, and cancel reoccurring bookings.
  • Create LibCal Events from a Spaces Booking Request – If a faculty member books a library instruction session via Spaces, you can easily create a public LibCal event from that booking.
  • …and more!

How Do I Move from Room Bookings to Spaces?

  • First things first, migrating from Room Bookings to Spaces is completely free.
  • You’ll receive the same number of rooms in Spaces as you currently subscribe to in Room Bookings.
  • The migration process is an automated process you can control right from within your LibCal system. Go to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Start Spaces Migration. Plus, we have this handy-dandy migration help guide to walk you through the entire process.
    • You do *not* need to contact Springy support to assist you with migration.
steps for migrating from room bookings to spaces

Where to migrate from Room Bookings to Spaces

Will I Still Have Access to Room Bookings Once I Go Live With Spaces?

No, you can only use either Room Bookings or Spaces but not both. Once you’re live with Spaces, the Room Bookings menu option will disappear from the Admin Orange Command Bar.

Can I Migrate to Spaces if I Have Upcoming Reservations in Room Bookings?

Yes. Here’s how the migration works:

  1. We’ll migrate your existing room groups into Spaces as ‘categories’.
  2. We’ll migrate the individual rooms in each group, including room names, descriptions, images, and terms & conditions.
  3. We’ll migrate all future bookings for each room.

What Happens to My Previous Room Booking Stats & Data?

You’ll still have access to historical Room Booking stats via Stats > Room Bookings.

Do I Have to Move to Spaces or Can I Continue to Use Room Bookings?

Yes. At some point, we will sunset Room Bookings completely. In addition, we’re focusing all new features, accessibility updates, and authentication integration on Spaces. But, have no fear – you can migrate to Spaces whenever you feel most comfortable or doing a slow-period like a holiday break. Take your time and do it on your schedule.

Does Spaces Have the Exact Same Feature Set as Room Bookings?

In our upcoming October, 2017 Spaces update – we’ll be close to full parity between the feature set of Room Bookings and Spaces. All the major and even minor features of Room Bookings will exist in Spaces. If you notice something missing, please contact our support team. Bottom-line, you won’t lose any major or minor functionality by migrating from Room Bookings to Spaces. Plus, you’ll win out on a ton of extra cool new features plus full integration with the Equipment Booking Add-on Module.

Is LibCal Spaces Setup for HTTPs?

Yes! And in conjunction with a Google Chrome update that will give a warning to users when they land on a  non-https webpage, you’ll want to setup your LibCal system and Spaces to go through https.

We have careful step-by-step instructions below, please follow them to the T to ensure that your https/security certificate is set up properly.

Where Can I Go to Get Help with LibCal Spaces?

In true Springy fashion, we have a ton of help documentation and training sessions to help you!

Springy https-a-palooza is Go!

It’s here – the release you’ve all been waiting for: the Springy https-travaganza! 🎉
And yes, it’s “Springy” vs. a specific product, because this affects all of our products. Let’s go through the list of fun new stuff, shall we?

LibAnswers & LibCal Now Support SSL Certificates (via LibApps)

LibApps Admins can now upload security certificates for LibAnswers and LibCal custom domains! It’s not just LibGuides anymore, folks. All products that support custom domains now also support security certificates for those domains. Head to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates, and click the lock icon in the Actions column. Please read through those screens and our documentation to learn more about the process of installing certificates for your sites. This often requires coordination with your IT department so be sure to include those folks in your conversations, as well.

Don’t forget, anyone on a libguides.com, libanswers.com, libcal.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, libinsight.com, or libcrm.com domain is already covered by Springshare’s security certificates, so you can go all https at any time! (If you’re on a campusguides.com, libguidescms.com, or communityguides.com domain, please contact us about switching to a libguides.com domain to take advantage of our security certificate. In addition, if you have a domain formatted like this – guides.mylibrary.libguides.com – please contact us about changing to something like guides-mylibrary.libguides.com in order to take advantage of our security certificate.)

As we’ve mentioned before, this only covers your Springy domain, not the widgets, etc., you’ve added within any pages. If you’ve decided to use https for your sites, you’ll also want to check any widgets you’ve added to the systems (other vendor/site widgets, like those from subscription databases, social media sites, etc.) to see whether they are http or https, as non-https widgets will trigger a security warning. If they are not https, check with that vendor/site to see if they offer an https option. Springshare widgets/APIs are either protocol-less (meaning they’ll work on both http and https pages) or are already https. See our FAQ for more info.

LibApps Now Supports Wildcard and SAN Certificates

Yes! You can now upload wildcard and SAN certificates. What are wildcard certificates, you may ask? They’re certificates that cover a whole domain vs. just one subdomain. For example, a wildcard certificate might be for *.mylibrary.org, so it covers mylibrary.org, research.mylibrary.org, ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.mylibrary.org, etc., etc., all under a single certificate. Most sites likely won’t need a wildcard certificate, but for those who do, it’s now an option.

Force https is Available…

…for most apps. LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard allow you to force pages / widgets / APIs to load via https. LibInsight always loads over https. The best part? This is available to:

  • All sites on libguides.com, libanswers.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, and libinsight.com domains and
  • LibGuides and LibAnswers sites with custom domains, who have uploaded security certificates.

The ability to force https for LibCal sites (via LibApps) will be available in the not-too-distant future, and we’ll be updating LibStaffer to be all https, all the time. Keep your eyes on our blog for those announcements.

What does this actually mean? If you’ve enabled “force https,” have an http link to a guide in LibGuides or FAQ in LibAnswers (etc.) somewhere on a webpage, and someone clicks that link, they’ll automatically be redirected to https instead. Any links they click for other pages in that LibGuides / LibAnswers / etc. site will also automatically load over https. That’s it! It loads your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard pages over https no matter whether the link that brought the user there was http or https. So if you forgot to update a link…or someone has something bookmarked…or a member of your community has a link on one of their webpages…it’ll always load over https.

What does this not mean? The links you have set up in your site that go to other websites (subscription databases, books in your catalog, etc.) will not be forced to use https. Springshare does not control those other websites, so we have no control over how those sites are loaded.

Here’s how to force Springy sites to use https:

  • LibInsight: enabled by default; you don’t have to do a thing.Screenshot of "Force HTTPS" setting.
  • LibWizard: Go to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
  • LibGuides & LibAnswers:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates.
    • Click the lock icon in the Actions column for the site.
    • Under “Force HTTPS” Setting, choose Required.
      If you do not see the “Force HTTPS” Setting section, either that app doesn’t currently support it as an option (e.g., LibInsight is always https; LibCal support is coming soon) or you have a custom domain (for LibGuides / LibAnswers) and need to upload a security certificate before you can access that option.

On LibGuides v1, LibAnswers v1, or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to v2. The v2 platform is better, more secure, faster, feature-rich…so there is no reason to stay on v1. If you’d like some assistance, our support team can help you figure out how to do it in the quickest way possible. We also have dedicated training sessions and step-by-step migration guides (LibGuidesLibAnswersLibAnalytics) to walk you through the entire process. We do not support SSL certificates for custom domains for v1 systems.

Additional Features & Fixes

It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t also include an extra list of fixes & features in our releases, now would it?

  • LibGuides: A-Z Page statistics are now available in base LibGuides, in addition to LibGuides CMS.
  • LibAuth: Empty postfix field is allowed in LDAP configurations.
  • LibAnswers: LibChat accessibility adjustment – frameborder=”0″ has been replaced with CSS in chat widgets.
  • Fixed in LibGuides:
    • When creating new Database Assets, assigned Friendly URLs now stay put, as intended.
    • An ampersand in the name of an E-Reserves course no longer breaks the OAI feed.
    • The “Edit Database” modal window in guides now appropriately points people to the A-Z Database List page for editing fields…which is far more useful than pointing to an outdated location.
    • IE10 users, rejoice! (Is that a thing? 😉) The Image Manager works again within LibCal and LibAnswers.

As always, we’re here to help! Let us know if any questions pop up…

LibCal Equipment Booking Update Coming Your Way

On the heels of last month’s major LibCal Spaces update, this month we’re bringing the same types of accessibility and mobile-friendly updates to the Equipment Booking module! 🙂  This required some changes to the Equipment Booking grid and the booking details / confirmation pages, so if you’ve customized those, you’ll want to check your system post-update on August 16, 2017 (U.S. time) to make sure everything looks as it should. Remember, we’re here to help if you have any questions.

Here’s what’s new:

  1. The screens for Equipment Booking (the availability grid and the checkout process) are now fully accessible and mobile-optimized. The previous version was not fully up to par in this regard. We apologize for this omission, but we worked hard to address this problem quickly.
  2. Major API improvement: check whether or not the booking will go through, before actually making the booking! (This is applicable to the Spaces and Equipment APIs.)
  3. Admins can set up LibAuth rules on a Category-level and individual Item-level for Equipment pieces.
  4. Category-level mediators and visibility settings now available in Equipment Booking. Previously, the mediation and visibility was setup at the Location level only. This update introduces the same settings on the category level, for additional flexibility in organizing your Equipment Booking rules.
  5. Availability grid colors (for available slots, booked/unavailable slots, and “your selection” slots) are now customizable via color picker. The customized colors appear on both the public and admin sides of the system. Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings to find these options.

Get Trained / Take a Tour
Note: All times listed are U.S. EDT.

Attend an Equipment Booking training webinar!

Next Sessions: Wednesday, August 16, 2017:

Don’t have Equipment Booking yet? Take a tour!

We’ve also squashed several bugs and shined up some screens:

  • When exporting lists of events via CSV, HTML is now stripped from the event description text.
  • Closing hours no longer overlap with opening hours, so there’ll be no more entering the 4th dimension of the space-time continuum!
  • The “system time” format now displays consistently in all modules (spaces, equipment booking, events, hours).
  • The “Add Item” button no longer shows when Equipment Booking is disabled.
  • Event organizer profiles now show on event pages when LibAuth is enabled.
  • My Scheduler widgets now display properly within the LibApps LTI tool.
  • You can now use calendar widgets from different locations on the same webpage.
  • Fixed an issue where recurring bookings sometimes couldn’t be created before existing bookings.
  • Fixed a display problem with the “no timeslots are available” message in widgets.

In addition to all of these changes and fixes, we’ve made further iterative improvements to the speed of the system, so the screens are now even zippier and more responsive. After August 16th, LibCal will be an even better calendaring and booking platform for libraries, but our work is not done. Your amazing feedback, suggestions, and ideas are central to our success, so please keep them coming! In the upcoming months we’ll release more updates based on customer feedback, so you can expect more good things to come LibCal’s way.

Thanks to everyone who contributed the ideas that went into this release! 🙂

-The Springshare Crew

The Importance of Having a Social Media Presence

Whether you’re on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter – social media is a powerful tool for relationship building and creating brand loyalty.

Increase Brand Recognition

Libraries are in a prime position to use social media to engage with customers, develop positive and sustaining relationships, and promote advocacy. Every opportunity you have to share and syndicate your content increases your visibility. Each social media channel is a way to broadcast your brand’s voice. Think about it this way. Let’s say you have a Twitter exchange with patron Sally. And Sally is so happy that you were able to solve her problem and answer her questions. All of Sally’s followers can see her exchange with your Library’s Twitter account – thus increasing your visibility to these potential new followers. Therefore, you’ve increased your potential inbound traffic to include users who *aren’t* your followers.

Richer Patron Experiences

Pie chart on SproutSocial Customer Care

SproutSocial Study on Customer Care

Several social media tools have evolved into more than just tools for posting your updates but now are important channels for customers to solicit and receive customer service. This concept is often referred to as ‘social care’ and it’s becoming the norm more and more. In fact, a SproutSocial 2016 Q2 study found that “90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand. And that social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service.”

What does this mean for Libraries? Well, if your catalog suddenly goes down – can patrons find outage related information on your Twitter feed? Can your Facebook followers contact you if they’re having trouble logging into their Library account?

The Power of ‘Listening’

A common misuse of social media is to use it to constantly post updates. Broadcasting events, sharing library resources, etc. And while those are very important, and valid, uses of social media – don’t forget that social media is a two-way communication platform. And with two-way communication, social listening is key. Social listening is more than just replying to your @mentions, it means paying attention to conversations around specific phrases or keywords and then leveraging those opportunities to create user-targeted content.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a keyword watch on the incoming class’ hashtag “#SpringyUnivClass2022” and you notice conversations taking place on that keyword channel about a lack of snack places on campus. And wouldn’t you know it, the library just invested in a brand new coffee and snack cart at the library. This is an opportunity to market your new cafe and reach more followers – just because you were listening.

For more information on social listening, check-out this SproutSocial article on The Importance of Social Listening.

How Can You Be Where ‘They’ Are?

Social media requires a plan, manpower, and a strategy. And Libraries are increasingly short-staffed and often pulled in multiple directions at once.

We understand the importance of social media and to that end Springshare has added several new features to Springy Tools to help you have a strong social media presence – even if you’re a library of just one staffer.

LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool

In case you missed it, we rolled out Social Media Management inside of the LibAnswers platform. Connect your library’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages and manage all three of them from one interface. Here’s what else you can do:

  • Engage in Social Listening – Setup Twitter Hashtags to watch and keep your finger on the conversation pulse occurring in your community.
  • Schedule Posts – One of the most important aspects of social media is consistent posting. To that end, schedule Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts into the future so your social feed is always buzzing.
  • Use Facebook Messenger Live – Integrate your Facebook page and you’ll be able to answer Facebook Messenger live chats right from the LibChat operator console. This is a great way to provide social customer service natively inside Facebook.
  • One View for All Stats – Never shortchange your reference stats by being able to view all your social activity from one stats interface.

Advertise Your New LibGuides and LibCal Events

We’ve integrated social posting right into LibGuides and LibCal so that way, you can easily share and post out your new events, LibGuides, etc…and keep your followers abreast of the library’s activities.

  • Advertise Your Published LibGuides – Navigate to your LibGuide and select the ‘Change Status & Share’ Button. From here, you can publish your LibGuide, snag a guide screenshot, and advertise your LibGuide on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget, your guide thumbnail is automatically included in your social posts – helping them be more visually engaging to users.
  • Announce Your Latest Blog Post – If you’re using the LibGuides Blogging functionality, for every new blog post you can seamlessly share it on social media.
  • Market Your Upcoming LibCal Events – When creating a new LibCal Calendar event, you can publish the event and advertise it on social media with one simple click. Plus, if you’ve uploaded a ‘featured image’, it will automagically display in your post to create a more visually engaging post.
Screenshot of LibGuides social media engagement screen

Advertising a Published LibGuide on Social Media

Screenshot of LibAnswers Systems and Services management tool twitter integration

LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool

Announce Library Systems Outages & Issues

Hey, it happens to everyone. Suddenly the library website goes down or your experiencing spotty outages with your catalog.

How can you let your patrons know that you’re aware of the issue and that you’re on top of it?

If you’re using the LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool, you can make use of the Twitter integration to announce issues and outages with your library systems.

Simply navigate to the Status Management button on your LibAnswers Orange Command Bar > select the tool > and ‘Add Post’.

Sign-Up For Training

If you’re using Springy Tools and you want to be more active in social media, then you’re in luck! We have a dedicated training session just for you!

We promise you, social media has the potential to be a treasure trove of opportunity for your Library’s brand. By learning to use it more, you’ll better understand your customer’s and their needs as well as ways to engage with them. They’ll be #converted before they know it.

LibCal Space Bookings Update – All About Accessibility and Mobile Access

We love collaborating closely with our clients and taking their feedback & ideas to make our tools better for the entire community. Today’s LibCal code update is the result of one such collaboration. Namely, the LibCal implementation team at the University of Arizona was getting ready to roll out the Spaces booking system using LibCal when they noticed several accessibility and usability issues with the default spaces booking screens on mobile devices.

 

So, we worked with them on fixing many Spaces booking mobile-view issues and implementing accessibility improvements as well. Given the importance of accessibility for our clients, and the fact that an increasing number of patrons use mobile devices for bookings,  we wanted to release these improvements to production servers asap. Basically, the accessibility and mobile improvements trump everything else! Today (Monday) the changes were made live on US servers, and tomorrow (Tuesday) the changes will be live on EU and Canadian servers, too.

 

What Has Changed?

The booking process for Spaces (not the old Room Bookings, but the new Spaces Bookings) is very slightly different but much improved! We did a thorough testing run to ensure that nothing broke with existing customizations. The results were encouraging but we urge all admins to check their Spaces customizations and go through a sample booking of a space, to ensure everything looks good in your system. If you need assistance with any customization tweaks, please reach out to support and we’ll take care of it asap.

It’s important to know that these changes only affect the Spaces booking. The Equipment booking is next in line for accessibility and mobile-view improvements, and we plan to release Equipment booking improvements in a few weeks (around Aug 15th). Here are the changes:

  1. The Spaces booking grid now looks good on mobile devices, with larger/more tap-able grid which can now be used to book multiple spaces. Plus, it’s accessible, too!
  2. The Dates-related buttons in the top right corner of the booking grid are now larger, for easier emphasis, and accessible / they “glow” nicely into new line on small mobile screens.
  3. The legend for color coding of the grid now looks like real legend, rather than looking like small button labels which can be confusing to users.
  4. The Spaces booking calendar now defaults to the current hour of the day as much as possible given the screen size issues. This is great for mobile screens because it minimizes the amount of scrolling required.
  5. The Info button for more information about a space is now accessible and mobile-friendly, as is the resulting modal window showing more info about a given space.
  6. The Booking Details section is now presented in a grid for better mobile layout and accessibility.
  7. Separate Terms & Conditions sections are now condensed into one shaded area so that it looks better on mobile screens.
  8. The Thank You screen is more verbose with a bit more detail on what happens next (this text is customizable as well, via language tokens).
  9. The customizable Date formats now apply consistently across the Spaces bookings screens.
  10. “Add Equipment” button no longer appears unless there is equipment a the location the user is at (duh, right? We agree, and sorry about this bug).
  11. “Submit Times” button wording is now fully customizable using the language tokens.

 

What Is New? 

Besides these mobile and accessibility changes to the existing screens, we also used this code update opportunity to introduce bunch of important new features. We know you are going to love these, and they will make LibCal even more fully featured spaces booking platform. This is the new stuff/new functionality we rolled out:

  1. LibAuth authentication booking restrictions now work (optionally, of course) on a Category level or even on individual Item level too. Imagine the possibilities – set the rules as to who can reserve a given space on an item level – this specific conference room can only be booked by Staff, or this Category of auditorium spaces can only be booked by Faculty… this new feature truly opens exciting possibilities for the utility and usefulness of LibCal at your institution.
  2. Capacity display is now optional in the booking grid/table. So many of you asked to hide this using CSS tricks. Now you can do it “the right way”  – head to admin>equipment & spaces>settings>public spaces settings>capacity information, and you can choose to hide the capacity label.
  3. Spaces can now be set to show either a single day’s worth of availability, or the multi-day slider we use right now. Change under admin>E&S>settings. This was another frequent feature request.

 

That’s it for this release! We know, it’s a lot. And all good stuff, too. Over the next 2 weeks we will work on similar changes (accessibility improvements and mobile-friendly view) for the Equipment Bookings so stay tuned… and please do not hesitate to reach out about any of the changes we have introduced today. We stand ready to help with any customization issue that may pop up.

Big thanks to the library team at the University of Arizona for their help in getting these improvements out quickly, for the benefit of the entire 1,000+ strong LibCal community.

LibCal 2.9 is live!

Some big improvements to your spaces are here in this update!

Category-level Booking Forms

One of the most common requests we’ve gotten to improve spaces has been to allow individual categories to use their own booking forms. We’re happy to say this is now an option, and even individual equipment items can use their own booking forms!

You can set these in admin>equipment & spaces>edit location>edit category.

Booking Form Improvements

We’ve made some enhancements to make equipment and space booking forms more flexible too! Your booking forms now have a question bank, so you can store and easily reuse questions between forms. Change a question’s priority to change its position in your booking forms, even if the form’s in use!

libcal question bank Question bank

Even better, if you’re using different booking forms for your categories, LibCal will automatically combine the forms and only present the unique questions to your patrons, so don’t worry- they’ll only need to fill out name and email once!

Calendar Widget Improvements

Full calendar widgets and upcoming events widgets can now use more than one calendar for events!

multiple calendars in widgets

 

Additional Fixes and Features

  • You can now move categories between locations, and spaces between categories.
  • Booking forms can now hold more than 10 questions.
  • Improved the mobile layout for equipment & space booking
  • Improved friendly URL redirecting post-migration to spaces

Just out: Authenticate to view LibGuides E-Reserves with LibAuth

We have some cool updates to LibAuth-related functionality to share with you today! Need to limit E-Reserves viewing to students and faculty? Limit a LibCal room to just faculty bookings? You totally can, with LibAuth Groups. Please note: currently SAML, Shibboleth / ADFS and CAS are the only authorization protocols that support groups; if you do not see the Group Permissions, then your selected protocol does not support Groups.

More about the existing LibCal functionality in a minute; what we’re really excited about is that you can now enable LibAuth authentication with LibGuides E-Reserves. You can specify which LibAuth profile to use at the system level or at the course level; both make use of Group Permissions.

To designate a LibAuth profile that governs access to all public E-Reserves content, go to Content > E-Reserves > Settings > Authentication.

Screenshot of LibGuides E-Reserves Settings with Authentication accordion expanded

To specify a profile to provide public access to the contents of an individual course, look for the Enable LibAuth Authentication menu in the course’s settings. You can choose the System Default profile, no profile, or a different profile.

Screenshot of E-Reserves Course Settings

LibAuth authentication for E-Reserves only grants access to public pages. Access to manage E-Reserves happens through LibApps accounts and not by virtue of assigning a LibAuth profile in E-Reserves settings. Want to enable LibApps login with LibAuth? You can! Edit your LibAuth profile and enable LibApps authentication, near the bottom of the screen.

To give permission to an authentication group to a group of rooms in LibCal, go to the settings page of the group of rooms and choose the appropriate option from Enable LibAuth Authentication.

LibCal Room Group settings: Study Rooms

If you use LibCal spaces, to go Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Manage Location > Edit > General > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Screenshot of LibCal Spaces Settings

To enable LibAuth authentication for a calendar, go to Calendars > click the calendar name > Settings > Calendar Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

screenshot of LibCal Calendar settings

Note as with the above configuration: if you choose a protocol that supports groups but do not have groups defined in LibAuth, the additional drop-down to choose a group will not appear.

You can also enable LibAuth authentication for My Scheduler by going to My Scheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Need help setting up LibAuth? See our help documentation for more information.

We also squashed a few bugs and put out a few smaller features with this LibGuides code release, namely:

  • Access to v1 statistics
  • EU customer access to the Support site
  • When you clicked on a guide tag, search results weren’t limited to that tag
  • Re-enabled language options

New LibCal updates!

Summer’s here, and with that comes events you want to share. We’ve added some new ways to show off your calendar events!

Social Media Sharing

You can now post your new events to Facebook and Twitter! In your calendar settings, there’s a new “social media” setting.

social media menu location

You can use any social media account you’ve set up in your LibApps dashboard, and even create templates for your posts.

social media sharing settings

Don’t want to share every event you make on a calendar? No problem, because this is something you can choose to do per-event. Don’t want to use the template you’ve made for a single event, or need to share a single event on Facebook but not Twitter? It’s all controllable when you’re making a new event.

Better Search for Repeating Events

Your calendar search can now show more relevant results when your users are looking for repeating events.

  • Go to calendar settings>display options>public calendar page, and choose the reset to default template button to add this to your search results.
  • If you’ve got an event search on your LibCal homepage, head to admin>look and feel>homepage editor and edit any event searches you have. Again, choose the reset to default template button!
  • If you’ve customized the homepage or calendar templates, that’s ok too- use the support tab and ask for the new keyword info, and we’ll send the details to you.

show more dates link

Now your recurring events will have a “show more dates” link which reveals the next 15 times that event appears.

Language Options for Equipment and Spaces!

You can now customize the default text for your equipment booking or for your spaces, or both! Head over to admin>system settings>language options to get started. We’ve also got info on where every piece of text can be found to make it easier for you to customize.

 

Additional Fixes and Features

  • You can now add internal notes to space bookings, and mark if a user showed up to their booking.
  • Individual categories within a location can now have their own terms and conditions as well as descriptions.
  • Individual categories can now use their own partial email templates, which are inserted into the location’s emails. Email templates now display a preview of emails they’ll send.
  • My Scheduler users can now override their own free/busy settings when scheduling appointments.
  • We’ve revamped the equipment overdues tab to make it easily sortable with more useful filters.
  • You can now print a space’s bookings using the print option:
    space print button
    We’ve also added a kiosk view to the print page:
    kiosk mode button

    This button will give you a link to today’s bookings, which you can use for your room signage.

LibCal 2.7.0 Now Live!

Holy smokes, do we have a ton of new features in LibCal to share! This release brings major improvements and updates to the Equipment and Spaces modules, plus great new features for Calendars and Events.

Room Booking -> Spaces Migration

As of this release, we’re making it possible for EVERYONE to upgrade to Spaces from the existing Room Booking module, at no cost. Spaces is really the future of Room Booking – it’s built using a more flexible framework and packed with frequently requested features from folks using the Room Booking module. This includes:

  • Each reservation is a continuous block – Patrons don’t need to sign up for individual time slots anymore – each reservation is treated as a continuous block of time. Changing or cancelling a reservation is much easier now, rather than editing individual time slots.
  • Availability tied to the hours module – This is big. The new Spaces module displays availability based on the hours you define in the hours module, so you no longer have to maintain information in two places!
  • Reserve Equipment and Spaces at the same time – If you subscribe to the full Equipment module, patrons and admins can reserve everything they need in the same reservation – space and equipment at once.
  • Full Read/Write APIs – Read/Write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces. Integrate with existing room panel systems, with your mobile app, build your own front end for reservations… the possibilities are endless.

To start the migration from Room Bookings to Spaces, admins can head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces to get started. And to test drive the new Equipment module, contact sales@springshare.com for more info and a free trial!

New in Equipment Booking

  • Mediated Equipment Bookings – A hugely popular request! Now, equipment reservations can be mediated in the same way as space and room reservations. Setting up mediation is a two-step process:
    • First, choose who can approve mediated requests by going to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Who can Mediate Bookings?
    • Then, choose which item categories should be mediated by heading to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Manage Equipment > Edit Category > Mediation and choose “Patron bookings require manual approval by nominated mediators”
  • Custom Item, Space, and Category Availability – Create custom availability hours for individual equipment items, spaces, and categories throughout the Equipment Booking module. This is particularly useful if you’re managing multiple spaces or items which have different periods of availability. To customize hours, head to the relevant edit screen (edit item, edit space, or edit category) and click on “hours” to set custom hours.
  • Recurring Bookings (Admins only) – New for both Equipment and Spaces – Admins can now create recurring bookings from the admin side of the system! This is great if you have an event that repeats, like a class or book club that meets every Monday night. Set up a reservation that repeats for as long as your Equipment and Spaces are available – yay for easy!
  • Friendly URLs for Categories and Locations – Create friendly URLs for both equipment and space categories as well as locations! Head to the relevant edit screen (edit category or edit location) to choose your preferred friendly URL.
  • Add and Check Out – Create an equipment reservation and check the item(s) out in one fell swoop. You’ll see a new button on the admin booking confirmation page to “Check Out Equipment”. This will immediately check the item(s) out, so you don’t have to look up the same reservation you just created.
  • Ban a user from creating new reservations and checkout items if they have fines or overdues – If people owe too much in fines or have an item that’s overdue, prevent them from creating additional reservations and checkouts. Better yet, customize the amount of fines it will take to trigger a block. For setup, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Settings > User Banning.
  • Return time option for Daily Bookings > Booking extends to same hour next day – A new setting for patrons to choose what time they intend to return an item. Patrons are still restricted to booking only a certain number of days, but we’re defining the end of a “day” in a less literal way, so patrons can choose any time on the final day of the reservation to return the item. To use this setting, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Daily Bookings.
  • Booking Explorer Updates – The booking explorer now supports multiple search modes and full content export, including custom booking form responses. We’ve also added new ‘Grouping’ functionality, which shows things like how many minutes people have booked in certain time periods, or how many minutes a particular room has been booked. To check out these changes, head to Equipment/Spaces > Booking Explorer.

New in Spaces

  • Space Booking Widgets – Another highly requested item! We now have customizable widgets as part of the spaces module, so patrons can reserve spaces from any webpage. To start using the new spaces widgets, head to Spaces > Widgets.
  • Space Capacity – Define the capacity for each space you manage, so patrons can filter all availability views for spaces that will fit the number of people in their group! Capacity is a new setting on the edit space screen, and you’ll see capacity filters on the public spaces category and widget screens.

New in Calendars & Events

  • Setup/Teardown for Events – We made it easy to create setup and teardown padding around the events you create in LibCal, so you’ll be able to reserve a space or room for the entire time the event runs. This time doesn’t display on the public side of the system, and is used solely for calculating the location/space reservation time – so internally, people know the space is busy, but patrons will only see the actual event time.
  • Book a Space when creating an Event – Another awesome integration – you can now reserve a space when you create a new event! This will display as an option once you’ve fully migrated to the new Spaces module. Just head to the add/edit event screen and you’ll see all available spaces listed in the Location field.
  • Create an Event from a Space Reservation – When a patron requests a space (or an admin creates a space reservation on the admin side), use that space reservation to generate a new event to display on the public calendar. This is very useful for folks scheduling instruction sessions – just have your faculty members submit a space reservation, then creating a publicly-viewable event with one click, so students know where their instruction session will be held!
  • New Search API Endpoint – Perfect for integrating LibCal search results in 3rd party applications! Admins can head to Admin > API > event_search API to start using the new functionality.
  • New Search Engine – We’ve also updated the underlying search engine used for LibCal events – now, standard boolean terms (and, or, not) are fully supported.

New in MyScheduler

  • MyScheduler: Tie Duration categories to a Group – Have you tried our new MyScheduler Appointment Categories? We’re expanding that great new functionality so different “Groups” of MyScheduler users can offer different types of appointments. To customize appointment category assignments, admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Manage Groups > Associate Categories.

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

..says Andrew Adler, director of the Georgetown College Library, when asked why the Library is using the entire platform of Springshare tools.

Andrew, like most librarians, wears a lot of hats. From teaching library instruction, manning the reference desk, creating training tutorials for student workers, and being available nine hours a week for one-on-one research consultations, plus being the director for the entire library – he needs their web platform tools to just work and be easy to use“.

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

The Georgetown College Library uses the entire Platform of Springshare Tools – and they use LibGuides CMS to power their Library Website.

“Things got a lot easier when we moved our website to LibGuides CMS.”

On their library homepage, an embedded LibCal Hours widget automatically updates to display today’s hours… no manual updating needed.

Their reference services are prominently showcased, with embedded LibAnswers LibChat widgets promoting their live reference assistance and a customized Ask Us form that routes all queries right into their LibAnswers ticketing queue.

All library forms, from a book purchase request form to reporting a catalog error are created and stored using LibWizard. In an effort to streamline work processes, their library student application is a LibWizard form! This way, librarians only have to go to one place, LibWizard, to view all form submissions.

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

All library student employees are trained using a combination of LibGuides with embedded LibWizard tutorials. Talk about making your tools work for you!

Circulation Student employees access the Circ Dashboard LibGuide when they sign into the circ desk computers.

From here, they can easily view their work schedules via LibStaffer, access library quick links, and take interactive training with LibWizard tutorials.

Since they’ve already used LibWizard to submit their student application forms, the process is consistent and seamless. As Andrew said, “everything they need – put in one spot”.

Andrew presented at the October 2016 SpringyCamp on training student workers using LibGuides and LibWizard. View Andrew’s presentation and download his slides.

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

Even the library’s staff directory is a product of integration.

Andrew maintains the Library Staff directory as a published LibAnswers FAQ, making it easy for anyone searching the FAQ database to find staff email addresses and phone numbers. But, what if they’re not in the FAQ database? How do they find that information?

Easy!

Simply embed that Staff Directory FAQ as a widget into any webpage, including their LibGuides CMS-powered website. This way, Andrew only has to update the directory in one place, the FAQ, and watch those updates trickle down to everywhere it’s been embedded. The same consistent information is easily syndicated across multiple platforms and is easy to maintain from one central location.

Wait, What About Faculty?

 

LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

Andrew wanted to create an online process where faculty could request library instruction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Email wasn’t cutting it, creating a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus, the Library maintains access to several IL-Classrooms so pointing faculty to a room reservation system would have required that Faculty know which room to request and when.

Using an outside-the-box solution, Andrew repurposed their LibCal My Scheduler as a tool for faculty to book library instruction. Most libraries use the My Scheduler tool to coordinate and schedule one-on-one research consultations. But Andrew saw it as a way to streamline their IL-Booking process. Faculty select their preferred date and time, and share their session preferences and class notes to ensure that the instruction is as targeted as possible – for the student’s benefit. Andrew receives the request, selects the appropriate classroom, and it’s all done…in just a few clicks. Easy-peasy.

These IL-Instruction Stats, and all stats from their Springshare tools, are automatically funneled into their LibInsight data gathering tool. From here, Andrew can run reports on how many classes were taught last semester, hits they had on their Library Website, and chats/texts/email reference questions they received.

Plus, using LibInsight’s Gate Counts Dataset, Andrew is able to view how many people are in the building – updated to the most recent hour. This data allows them to make staffing changes to their service desks based upon actual library traffic data. “It’s important for us to understand our student’s point of need and work to meet that need.”

 

LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

Every year, Andrew meets with the Georgetown College Provost to cover the library budget. As is typical at these meetings, every line item is scrutinized. Andrew makes it clear that their use of Springshare tools are an essential library service.

“The Library couldn’t function without it – it’s our website, our research guides, our reference service tool, or reservation tool, and so much more. — Andrew Adler