Archive for LibCal

Planned Server Maintenance: December 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

Please let us know if you have any questions!

LibCal 2.18 release coming on November 12-13

The LibCal 2.18 release is coming to you this week and will be rolled out to all regions by the end of the day Tuesday November 13th.

This is a mini release of sorts but still includes lots of great features including a next available button for space/equipment bookings, the addition of the image manager for featured event image selection and more!

Calendars/Events:

  • Email can be set to optional for event registrations – You’ve asked for it, and we delivered. 🙂 Email address can now be set so that it is not required on an event registration form. Phone number and library barcode have been added as additional event registration information – but can also be set as either optional or required fields, or you can disable them altogether. In addition, you’ll be able to customize the field descriptors and add custom help text for each.  From the orange command bar, select Calendars > Registrations Forms Tab to edit or create a new form to view this feature.

  • Image Manager Integration – We’ve added the ability to launch the Image Manager to select featured event images when creating or modifying an events details. You can check out this new option by clicking on Calendars from the main menu navigation bar and choosing your desired event calendar. Once you are inside the calendar, simply add or modify an event and then press the new ‘Launch Image Manager’ button to choose an event image.

  • Event Location Display On Admin Calendar Day/Week View – We’ve added the event location to the display of the day view of the admin event calendar. The location of the event will appear after the event title in italic font with the word at preceding the location. To view this new display, head to Calendars > Edit Calendar and then select the Day/Week view options.

  • Category & Audience Fields Required – We’ve added a setting on the system-wide audience and category fields to make these required when creating a new event. Admins can locate the setting to make these fields required by going to Admin > Calendars and then accessing the Audiences tab and Categories tab.

Spaces/Equipment:

  • Next Available Button for Space/Equipment Bookings – We’ve added a new button that will easily allow the next available space or equipment booking to be found! When this button is pressed, the availability grid will jump to the next available time slot. This will really help where equipment items are in high demand or long lead times are set up before allowing bookings.  To use this new feature, head to the public Space or Equipment booking page and select the “Next Available” button.
  • Copying Booking Form Info – We’ve added a way to copy all relevant booking form information from an existing booking to create a brand new booking. To use this feature, from the orange command bar select Spaces > Click on a past space booking > click on the new ‘copy’ button.  After clicking this button, you’ll be prompted to create a new booking and all the booking form details from the source booking will be copied over.

  • Confirmed Bookings Date Picker – We’ve added a date picker to the Confirmed Bookings page that displays on the public page. Use the date picker by selecting the new ‘Custom Date option in the ‘When’ drop down selection. The public page for confirmed bookings can be accessed by clicking the ‘View Confirmed Bookings’ link public space booking grid page (note this only appears for spaces where “Public Nickname” has been enabled).

  • Reminder Email for Space Bookings – We’ve added an optional opt-in email reminder for space bookings. If you enable these emails, they will send based on a duration (available by the number of hours before) selected before the space booking occurs. If multiple bookings occur on the same day, they will all be sent in one reminder email.  To enable these emails, admins can head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Edit Location > General > Reminder Email & choose the amount of time prior to the booking start time when the email should be sent.

Bug Fixes:

  • Exchange Sync Issues – We’ve resolved an issue with exchange where double bookings were being created in the Appointments module. These double bookings were showing in the Appointments>Availability grid. The issue has been corrected and should no longer happen!
  • 12 am Time Slot Booking Error – We’ve fixed an error that occurred when a booking was attempted to be made that started at 12 am.

Beyond The Library: LibCal Usage

Lately, we’ve been discovering more and more examples of non-library folks showing an interest and later purchasing LibCal for use by their teams and the customers they serve. While it may have started in the libraries, it’s clear that many are catching on to the fact that LibCal — with its awesome features and, yet, simple interface — works beautifully in so many different settings.

As Heather Westerlund, IT Manager at Walden University Libraries, stated in an in-depth interview on how Springy Tools have expanded beyond the Walden Uni. Libraries,

Just because it has the word ‘Lib’ in it, doesn’t mean that only the Library can use it!

If you need calendars, appointments, have spaces, perhaps equipment and want to share your hours, LibCal can work for you, too — no matter what it says on your office door.

The essential LibCal.

LibCal is made up of 4 components with an optional 5th that is an add-on module. They work together to form a complete integrated calendaring solution that is flexible enough to be used beyond the library.

It’s cloud-based, mobile-first, affordable, boasts in-depth statistics to help you make data-driven decisions and comes with Springshare’s free training and support.

Libraries have been recommending more than books.

In some institutions, LibCal use is really spreading. Emory University in Atlanta now has 6 LibCal systems, 4 of which are being used outside the library in offices like the Scholarly Communications Office, Tutoring, Student Digital Life, and Campus and Community Relations. There are a number of excellent examples of other departments on academic campuses who are successfully using LibCal for their needs.

 

At Florida Atlantic University, the Office of Instructional Technologies has a LibCal system that they use for upcoming events, room booking and appointment scheduling.

Recently the Human Resources office at FAU also purchased a LibCal system.

 

 

 

 

 


Arizona State University has a Digital Creative Studio that is using LibCal Calendars for events.

They use the Equipment Booking Add-on Module for reserving computer workstations, and the Spaces booking for reserving event space and video studios.

Appointment Scheduling: It should be nice (and easy) to meet you.

LibCal saves you the troublesome back and forth of emails where you keep trying to nail down a time that works for both parties.

Add your availability, create a custom form for people to fill out, and even set up different types of appointments that have appropriate durations.

While students do meet with librarians, imagine all the other departments on campus that have personnel that also meet with students or faculty, etc.. The Southern Methodist University Advisory Group uses LibCal to allow people to schedule appointments with

  • Academic Counseling
  • Academic Services
  • Pre-Health Advising
  • Student Athlete Academic Services
  • Simmons Student Academic Advising
  • the University Advising Center
  • and the Student Transfer Admission department

Booking spaces, rooms and more!

We’ve heard just about everything when it comes to how people are handling the booking of spaces and rooms. With all the conference rooms and performance spaces, computer labs, classrooms, auditoriums, etc. on site, having a simple way to make them available and manage them is in order. The Spaces component is one of the main draws to LibCal. People are really creative in how they use it — because it’s flexible enough to suit many needs.

The Oklahoma State School of Business is using LibCal Spaces for their breakout rooms.

 

An innovative use comes to us from the Thompson Rivers University Sustainability Department which is using it to allow people to book cars as a way of car sharing.

Equip yourself with tools for success.

Maker spaces are popping up all over. We’ve seen a rise in interest from them in recent years and they use LibCal to highlight workshops and classes. They let people book appointments with artists and experts and techs. They use the Equipment Booking Add-on Module to make their devices, machinery, tools, and equipment available. It’s proving to be a great pairing.

The Innevation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno is doing awesome things with LibCal. Here’s the Equipment Module in action there.

 

So, here’s to the same energy that prompts a person to tell another about a really great book or movie or restaurant. Word of mouth is powerful, even in the tech world — but only if the solutions really work. LibCal is an excellent tool that helps you seamlessly allow your students, faculty, staff, and patrons to take advantage of the services, classes, workshops you offer, to meet with you, to reserve your spaces and equipment — to engage with you. And, if they are doing that — you’ll all be a wild success.

Springshare Integration with Discovery Layers

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

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

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

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

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

What can you integrate?

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

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

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

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

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

Integrated a ‘Report a Problem’ LibAnswers Form

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

Where can I learn more about Discovery Layer integration?

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

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

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

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

LibCal 2.17 Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.17 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day Thursday September 20th, 2018. This release brings loads of usability improvements, including a new bulk event publishing option, refinements for the new Appointments functionality, and so much more!

Calendars/Events:

  • Bulk Event Publishing – We’ve added several new features to the Event Explorer page, including an all new bulk publish function! Bulk publish or unpublish multiple events at once, and use the handy new publication status filter to easily find the events you need to update. To check out this new option, head to the Event Explorer page within your Calendar.
  • Event Templates Update – We’re adding additional information to the Event Templates screen, so you can see at a glance which templates have particular categories/audiences assigned and search by these parameters. Admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Event Templates to check out the new format.
  • Updated Event Location Selector – We’ve updated the Location selector menu on the add event page so it’s clearer which Space Location is associated with each category. Now, instead of just seeing the category name listed, you’ll see the format Location Name – Category Name, followed by the relevant spaces. To check this out, head to the add/edit event page and choose a location.

Appointments Updates

  • Upcoming Appointments – We’ve updated the Upcoming Appointments area  to more clearly distinguish between past and future appointments, and we’ve added a quick switch button so you can easily swap between past and future view. To check this out, head to your Appointments landing page.
  • Low Availability Alerts – You’ll now see an alert message on the LibCal homepage when your availability is about to run out, so there are no gaps in availability for your patrons.
  • Clarified Appointment vs Padding: We’ve updated several spots in the Appointments UI to more clearly distinguish between the amount of time assigned to a specific appointment with a patron vs the padding time around that appointment.
  • Export Booking Form Responses – We’re updating the export in the Appointment Booking Explorer so, if you’ve limited to viewing just one person, exporting the results will include any booking form responses. To export this info, head to the Appointment Booking Explorer.
  • Outlook Sync’d Events now include the patron’s booking form responses as well.
  • We’ve fixed a bug on the Appointments Group Landing Page – previously the group description wasn’t displaying as expected, this should now be back to normal.

Spaces/Equipment:

  • Switch Space/Equipment Reservation – We’re adding support for switching an existing space/equipment reservation to another space/piece of equipment. To access this feature, head to the Equipment or Spaces page, select an existing booking, and click the edit button – you’ll now have an option to switch this reservation to a similar item or space.
  • Booking Overlap Prevention – We’ve fixed an issue that made it possible to double book events that included setup/teardown padding in a particular space – availability is now being checked properly, and you’ll see a number of alert messages to prevent these accidental double bookings.
  • We’ve fixed a bug with Exchange Sync’d Spaces where, in a very particular set of circumstances, exchange bookings could duplicate themselves in LibCal. This is now resolved and any former duplicate bookings have been cleaned up.
  • And we’ve fixed a bug on the Spaces Booking Explorer – the Group by Room filter wasn’t returning the correct results, and now it will!

LibCal 2.16 Release Coming Soon – Hello Appointments Module

The LibCal 2.16 update is coming to you this week, and will be released to all regions by end of the day on Thursday August 9th. This refresh is so complete and chock full of new features that we’re renaming the old MyScheduler to Appointments, to more accurately reflect its full capabilities.

New Appointments Module

The old My Scheduler module will be renamed Appointments going forward, inside all LibCal screens. One of the most frequent requests we heard from users is for the ability to mark themselves as “available” for booking appointments in different locations at different dates and times. We made this happen, plus a whole lot more. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features:

  • New “Location” Option for Appointments – We added a new, high-level option to create Locations – these are meant to represent physical spaces/locations where Appointments happen (including Online). Each location contains one or multiple Groups of librarians. When patrons first view the All Users Appointments landing page, they choose the location where they’d like to meet, and then see the groups/librarians associated with that Location. To define “Locations” for your site, admins can head to Admin > Appointment Settings.
  • Reworked Availability Settings – In the new Appointments, a librarian can define availability for themselves in specific locations/groups at specific times. In addition, you can now add (or edit/delete) availability in any recurring pattern you choose. What were previously considered “conflicts” (like prior availability or existing appointments) will no longer prevent you from creating or editing/deleting availability. To take the new availability settings for a spin, head to Appointments > Availability.
  • Friendly URLs – To create a friendly URL for your personal Appointments landing page, head to Appointments > Settings > Friendly URL. To create a friendly URL for a Location, admins can head to Admin > Appointments > Edit Location.
  • File Uploads – You can enable file uploads for your Appointments so patrons to share files that may be needed during the course of a meeting – e.g. for help tracking down references from a bibliography, have them upload the bibliography ahead of time. Head to Appointments > My Settings > Appointment Form File Uploads to enable this.
  • Public Personal Nickname – Choose a nickname to display on the public side of the system, e.g. instead of booking an appointment with Sarah, patrons can book an appointment with the Science Liaison, and all communications coming from LibCal will use that nickname. To choose a nickname, head to Appointments > My Settings > Nickname.
  • Public Group Nicknames – We’re also adding support for group public nicknames. This essentially acts as an extension to the “No Preference” setting, so a patron can ex book an appointment with any available Peer Tutor. For groups set up this way, we won’t display individual librarian names/availability on the public side, so the patron is only aware that they have an appointment with a Peer Tutor at XYZ time. To enable a group nickname, admins can head to Admin > Appointments > Edit Group > Group Member Display.
  • All Appointments View – A new report to list/display all upcoming and past appointments for all Appointments users, so if a patron shows up at the front desk needing directions, it’s easy to see who their appointment is scheduled with, and where, and when. To see the all appointments view, head to Appointments > Booking Explorer.
  • Revamped Statistics – We’ve completely overhauled Appointments statistics, so it’s easy to view and export all statistics on all Appointments for all users, and get a full breakdown of bookings and availability by Group, User, etc. We’ve also added a number of lovely charts and graphs to help illuminate the wealth of information now available. To check out the new stats, head to Stats > Appointments.

Equipment and Space Improvements

  • Exchange + Spaces Integration is Live! -Picture this: a 2-way sync between Exchange calendars and LibCal spaces, so that reservations you make via Exchange will automatically block off availability in the Spaces module, and reservations made via Spaces are automatically pushed to Exchange. With this release, we’re rolling out full Exchange integration for all Spaces users – huzzah! For full details on setting up this integration, check out our documentation.
  • Equipment: Inventory Reports – We’re also adding a brand new report to Equipment module to view and export a list of all inventory in the system. The report can be customized to display the fields that you’re most interested in seeing, including item name, barcode, current status, and total checkouts.
  • Booking Date Created/Submitted – We’ve added a few minor improvements to the Booking Details to make the info more clear. Now, you’ll see the date that the booking was submitted displayed as part of the Booking Details, so it’s easy to see how long ago a booking was submitted by the patron. To see this in action, head to either the Equipment or Spaces tab, then click on a booking.
  • Mediated Bookings Show 1 Year In Future – We’ve updated the Mediation tab in Equipment and Spaces – previously we only displayed tentative requests for the current week, but now, we’ll show all pending requests for up to the next year, so it’s easy to see the full picture of upcoming requests for your mediated equipment and spaces.

Calendar & Events New Features

  • Revised Publishing Workflow – We’re updating the flow and function of the event publishing workflow to make it easier on event reviewers who need to communicate changes to an event creator. Now, when an event is submitted, the event reviewer can:
    • Just publish the event with no changes, or
    • Make edits to the event themselves, then publish the event, or
    • Send an email to the event creator from the admin UI stating what needs to be changed; the event creator can then make the updates themselves and then resubmit the event for review
  • Embed Full Calendar on the Homepage – we’re adding a quick way to embed the full monthly calendar view on the LibCal homepage. To embed your full calendar on your homepage, admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor.

 

As always, the ideas and suggestions for the vast majority of these awesome new features came from you, our clients who use LibCal day in and day out, for all your library’s calendaring needs. We’re sending a huge thank you to all users who contributed their ideas, suggestions, testing, etc. to make this big new release happen. Let’s keep the conversation going… Let us know if any questions pop up, contact our support team or your regional sales manager.

These Libraries Are Fully-Equipped < /pun>

Pardon the pun, but we just couldn’t keep ourselves in check. We were too busy checking out these awesome uses of LibCal’s Equipment booking module, and we just couldn’t reserve our excitement.

Cue the groans. 😛

But in all seriousness, we get lots of folks asking us for examples of libraries using our tools. So, we’d like to highlight a few different types of libraries, from all over the world, using the LibCal Equipment Booking module.

 

Academic Library: Milwaukee School of Engineering

Circulating Molecular Models

The Walter Schroeder Library at the Milwaukee School of Engineering was an early adopter of the LibCal Equipment Booking Module, and their use-case is absolutely fascinating. They use it to manage online reservations of their molecular models, which they ship all over the country to their students. Their loan time is three weeks, which includes two weeks of expected shipping time. They’re able to manage these reservations and the additional padding all from within the Equipment Module. Additionally, their custom reservation form includes all the important mailing information, so the library can cut down on the back-and-forth and get right to the business of shipping out the models.

Want to hear more about how the Walter Schroeder Library manages these long-distance reservations? Check out their ALA-MW 2017 flash presentation lead by librarian Denise Gergetz. You can also download her presentation slides.

Circulating Molecular Models…Long Distance!

 

Public Library: Pioneer Library System

Circulating Costumes, Blue Blocks, & More

Just looking at the super-cool stuff the Pioneer Library System is circulating with their LibCal Equipment Module makes me want to be a patron of this library! Not only can their patrons reserve maker space items like littleBits and access to their 3D printer, but they also have button makers, jewelry making tools, and costumes! With the ability to manage different reservation timeframes for each type of item and with big, colorful images to advertise the cool stuff they have at the library, we can see why the Pioneer Public Library System’s LibCal Equipment Booking Module is busy busy busy!

The Pioneer Public Library has amazing usage of their Equipment. Look at all that red!

 

Public Library: Tiverton Public Library

Circulating Museum Passes

When you think of ‘Equipment’ it’s easy to get hung up on physical stuff. But, that’s not always the case! The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Education Center has a ton of museum and zoo passes that are available to their patrons. They’re using the LibCal Equipment Booking Module to manage circulation of those items.

Using Equipment Bookings to Manage Circulation of Library & Museum Passes!

 

K12 Library: Scotch College in Australia

Circulating Media Equipment… with a Twist

Although Scotch College School for Boys in Australia might be using LibCal Equipment Bookings to circulate more “traditional” library items, their customizations are anything but traditional. Using LibCal’s built-in code libraries and flexible customization features, the librarians at Scotch College are able to put a little pizazz on their visual equipment catalog. Simply hover over any of the pieces of equipment; notice how the item just jumps off the page? Its that little bit extra that makes their LibCal Equipment Booking catalog pop, literally.

Gorgeous hover effect adds a pop of pizazz to Scotch College’s Equipment Catalog.

 

If you’d like to learn more about LibCal’s Equipment Booking Module or more examples of Libraries using it, please contact us.

LibCal 2.15 Release Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.15 release is on its way to you this week, and will be rolled out to all regions by the end of the day Thursday May 17th. We have tons of goodies to share in this release, including a brand new Card View, plus new filter layouts for upcoming events, and several GDPR related updates. Read on to learn about all the great new features coming your way this week!

Card View and Flexible Filter Layouts

Searching for public calendar events is about to get a whole lot more flexible – Card View and flexible Filter layouts are here! We’re adding two new public side options to make your events stand out from the crowd:

Card View – We’re introducing a new “card” layout to show your upcoming events in style. In this new view, each event is represented as a card – the event’s date, time, and location are displayed at the top of each card for easy scanning, and each event’s title and description are displayed inside the card, with categories and audiences displayed at the bottom. This new layout is integrated into all public calendar views, so your patrons can switch to the view that works best for them with just a click.

Flexible Filter Layouts – With such a lovely new view of upcoming events, we realized it would be great to get even more flexible – we’re introducing a new display option so you can choose whether your calendar event filters display on the left side of the screen (as in the above screenshot) or across the top. This new top view for filters gives the various event layouts much more room, and works a treat for mobile users.

To choose the default view and filter layout that works best for you, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Settings.

Good to Know: In order to make these new features possible, we had to centralize the Calendar Display templates at the system level vs. individual calendar-level. It used to be possible to customize the monthly view and list view templates for each calendar, via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Display Settings. Once the release is live, these templates will no longer be part of individual Calendar settings, and will be located under Admin > Calendar > Settings with only a single template for each view (Event Listing and Monthly), which will apply to all calendars in your system.

Internal Tags

In addition to the great new event views mentioned above, we’re also adding a new classification option to help manage and view your events – Internal Tags are here! These optional tags provide a way to classify your events for internal statistics and data gathering purposes, and are never shown to the public. When events have been tagged with these new internal tags, you’ll be able to filter all statistical reports and booking explorer pages by this parameter, which makes it easy to view ex all of the events tagged with “New Ideas” or “Funded by STEM Grants”.

To create Internal Tags, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Internal Tags. Once these have been created, they will display on the Add/Edit Event page, in the Booking Explorer for each calendar, and in our super cool new Calendar Statistics pages.

GDPR & Privacy Related Updates

We’ve also worked on a number of issues to help get ready for the impending GDPR changes. In case you missed it, you can check out our full GDPR post here: https://blog.springshare.com/2018/04/25/gdpr-your-data-new-privacy-tools-so-much-good-stuff/. Here are a few additional tools we’re rolling out in this update:

  • Public Cookie Notice and Privacy Statement – We’re adding an optional, dismissible notice to alert users about the use of cookies and IP address collection on LibCal public pages. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Data Submission Notices – We’re also adding an optional data submission notification, to help you alert your patrons to what personal information you collect in order to create a booking. This gives you an opportunity to let your patrons know why you collect particular data on registration forms, what that data is used for, etc. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Expanded Privacy Scrub – We’re expanding our current privacy scrub options so that now, in addition to scrubbing patron name and email address, you can also choose to scrub patron responses to all registration form questions. When the privacy scrub has been enabled, we still retain an overall usage statistic – so for example, if a space booking is being scrubbed, we retain the booking’s start and end time, but remove all identifying information about the person who created the booking. To enable the privacy scrub for your site, get in touch with our awesome support team and let them know which module(s) you’d like to scrub, whether to scrub just name and email or include registration form questions too, and the number of months for which you’d like to retain data (choose from 1-12 months).

Additional Calendar Updates

  • We’ve added an easy way to Migrate from Calendar level Categories to the new System-wide Categories and Audiences. We’ve added a new option to Transfer a Calendar-Level Category to the system level Category and Audience pages, so switching to the new system-wide options is a breeze – head to Admin > Calendars > Audiences/Categories to see it in action. In addition, if you delete a calendar level category (via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Categories), you’ll see an option to migrate existing events to the system level Categories and Audiences.
  • We’ve updated the Add/Edit Event Page so all of the menu selectors have the same look and feel, and and all of the help text has been updated as well.
  • We’ve updated the Mini Calendar Widget so that, if there are no events happening in the current month, the widget will display events from the next month.

Additional Spaces and Equipment Updates

  • We’ve fixed a bug with editing a patron’s equipment or space booking – previously, if you were changing an existing reservation to a different date (both before and after the original booking date), the alert messages that check for booking clashes weren’t updating to the newly selected date, which could create incorrect booking clash notices.
  • We’ve added the ability to Export Equipment and Spaces Statistics.
  • We’ve updated the Equipment and Spaces public pages to better alert patrons when they attempt to create a booking that exceeds the amount of time they’re permitted to book. Previously we only alerted users to these issues after they had begun to fill out the registration form; now, we’ll alert issues as soon as they attempt to select timeslots that exceed what a person can reserve in a single booking, before they reach the registration form.
  • We’ve fixed a bug that prevented selecting “User Showed Up” when a space reservation spanned days.

Additional MyScheduler Updates

  • We’ve made a number of accessibility improvements to the public MyScheduler Appointments page, so it’s easier for users with assistive devices to navigate the page and know that something has changed when they select a librarian, date, and time.
  • We’ve fixed a bug with MyScheduler Appointment Categories that contained padding – previously, patron email confirmations weren’t taking this padding into account, but now they do.

And speaking of MyScheduler, we are working on a major overhaul and tons of new MyScheduler functionality in the next couple of months. If you have ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see in MyScheduler, please let our support crew know and they will relay the message to the LibCal product team.

LibCal 2.14 Release Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.14 release is coming to all server regions by end of day Thursday, March 15th, 2018. This release brings possibly the most important/biggest new features in the past 12 months. To wit:

  • System-wide Categories for Event Calendars, including 2-level deep category structure
  • Age/Audience filter when browsing/searching for Events
  • Revamped Calendar & Event Statistics with loads of useful indicators
  • Improved Spaces & Equipment Statistics with updated occupancy ratios, and more
  • Fully accessible version of Spaces bookings page
  • Qualify-of-life improvements throughout the system

Want to see these new features in action? Join us Thursday, March 22nd at 12:30pm ET for our Brunch & Learn series!

System-wide Categories for Calendars & 2-level Deep Structure

Now you can define Categories on the system level and make them apply to every Calendar you define. With these System-wide categories you can also run category statistics for events spanning multiple calendars. Head to Admin > Calendars > Categories to define the list of system-wide categories. On the statistics reports, the system-wide category statistics will collect event stats across all relevant calendars. Tres cool and incredibly useful!

2-level Categories – For example, you can now create a top-level category for “Languages” with sub-categories for “French”, “Spanish”, “Italian”, etc. In the public UI, system-wide categories are seamlessly integrated with your existing categories, so patrons can target exactly the events they’d like to attend, across all calendars in your system. And of course, these new categories can be used to filter data in the new Calendar & Event Statistics mentioned above, so you can view information on total number of events and event registrations by category, in one calendar or across all calendars in your system.

Age/Audience Calendar Filters

In addition to our new 2 level categories, we’re also adding a new system-wide Age/Audience category, to help target your events for a particular age group or audience (like children vs teens vs adults, or faculty vs first-year students vs all students, etc). Age/Audience categories can be applied to events in public calendars across your site, and are also included as part of the stats update, so you can filter statistics on total events and event registrations for a particular Age/Audience category.

Please Note: If you’ve previously customized your calendar and event templates, you’ll need to update your customized template to include the new Age/Audience filters and tags, or they won’t display on the public side of the system. To do this, head to Calendar > Settings > Display Options > Public Calendar Settings and add the following code in the template where you’d like the Audience tag/filter to appear (or just click “Restore Default Template”):

Event Listing/Search Results Template:

{{#audiences.0}} <dt>Audience:</dt> <dd>{{#audiences}} <span class=”label” style=”background-color:{{color}}”> <a href=”{{calendar_url}}&t=d&cal%5B%5D={{calendar_id}}&audience%5B%5D={{id}}”>{{name}}</a> </span>   {{/audiences}} </dd> {{/audiences.0}}

Monthly Calendar Template:

{{#audiences.0}} <dt>Audience</dt> <dd>{{#audiences}}<span class=’label’ style=’background-color:{{color}}’>{{name}}</span> {{/audiences}}</dd> {{/audiences.0}}

Revamped Calendar & Event Statistics

We’ve completely revamped the event and calendar statistics areas and added new reports and additional charts and tables to give you an in-depth view of your event attendance, registrations, and interest levels. There are extensive charts and graphs to display things like number of events per month, by day of the week, and by hour of the day, as well as event registrations per month, by day of the week, and by hour of the day, etc. We’ve also added distribution data for site-wide data points, including things like Category, Audience, and Campus/location distribution, so you can see high level information about all of your events at a glance. We’re also including robust filters as part of these new stats pages, so you can drill down and view the above statistics by date range, or for a specific category, audience, campus, presenter, etc. To check out the all new stats once the update goes live, head to Stats > Calendars & Events.

Improved Equipment & Spaces Statistics

We’ve retooled the statistics for Equipment and Spaces, making them easier to navigate and adding new reports to boot. We’ve expanded reporting for Occupancy statistics (Spaces) and Availability statistics (Equipment), to give the full picture of resource usage vs availability – and even better, these are no longer limited to just the past 2 weeks of data, so you can view Occupancy and Availability statistics for any date range. To check out the new stats, head to Stats > Equipment/Spaces.

Other Improvements/New Features

Updated Equipment/Space Booking Forms – We’re updating the way in which we handle creating an equipment or space booking form. We realized that the previous priority ranking-based method of question ordering caused a fair bit of cognitive overload to determine the order of questions. So we’ve simplified things – we’ve removed the notion of priority ranking and moved toward a more GUI approach, so the order of questions is determined by the order they appear on the edit booking form page. We still support adding questions that should be shown only if a particular item or space is booked (like ex, if someone reserves the proton laser, then include the question “Have you been trained on how to use the proton laser?”), but these will now display in a more defined order, ie we’ll show location level questions first, then questions associated with the category, then questions associated with an item or space.

Accessible Version of Spaces page – For users navigating your site using screen readers, navigating the graphic interface of the availability grid can present a challenge. To help make things easier, we’ve added a new accessible-friendly version of the Spaces availability page, so users can book a space without needing to navigate through each cell in the availability grid to determine what’s available. Users accessing your site with a screenreader will see a link displayed at the top of the page for an Alternate Page for Screenreader Users. This page will present your space availability in a format that’s easier to navigate – instead of the availability grid, the patron will see a series of dropdown filters and then a list view of available times

Updated Hours Management for Equipment/Spaces – We’ve updated the Location level hours page, to make the process of assigning custom hours (aka hours that differ from the overall Location level hours) more streamlined, so all hours within a Location can be managed from one place. To see this in action, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Manage Hours.

Smarter caching for the hours module – Now, if you edit the hours for a library or department, those changes will be reflected in the hours widgets right away, instead of needing to wait for the cache to expire.

Upcoming Events Widgets: Events will now expire/disappear from upcoming events widgets based on the time that the event ends, instead of at the event start time

Preview for Events in Draft Mode, so you can view what an event page will look like prior to fully publishing the event. To view the event preview, head to Calendars > Click the event to bring up the event modal > Select the eye icon.

LibCal 2.13 Release Coming Soon!

New LibCal Spaces User Interface

The LibCal 2.13 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by end of the day Wednesday, January 31st (so if you don’t see the changes in your system yet, you will soon).

We’re bringing you a host of quality-of-life improvements to Equipment and Spaces, Exchange two-way sync, gCal sync, and several other improvements, too.

Read on for all the details…

Equipment and Spaces Quality of Life Improvements

We’ve improved the Equipment and Spaces screens to make pages easier to navigate and understand. More on-screen help, reduced clutter and improved navigation – these are the major themes that will make managing your equipment and spaces easier than ever. You’ll see the changes when you go to Space or Equipment links from the orange command bar. Here’s the rundown of the big changes:

Equpment Page Screenshot

 

  • Location and Category Selections “Stick” Between Tabs – We’ve moved the Location and Category selectors up into the header area of the Equipment and Spaces pages so the selections “stick” as you navigate between tabs. You’ll no longer have to select your location/category every time you switch to a different tab!
  • Streamlined Availability Tab – Cleaner look of the Availability tab for bookings makes it easier to see the existing bookings and create new ones, from this admin screen. The availability grid is now the focus of the page. The Booking Details area is also updated making it easier to view the details of the upcoming reservation(s).
  • Simplified Look for Check In / Out – We reduced the number of icons (yeah, we went a bit crazy with the icons in the past – they were so cute, we couldn’t resist!). But, they created a lot of visual noise so we streamlined all relevant tabs and tables for a cleaner presentation of the information. Some (necessary) icons are still there but many were replaced with hotlinks on relevant info.
  • Improved Onscreen Help – In the past, we overdid it with the icons but under-did it with on-screen help and instructions. This balance is changing and it’s a good thing for you, our user. We added relevant on-screen help and labels to help you figure out how to get things done quickly and efficiently on Equipment and Spaces screens.

 

GCal and Exchange Sync for Spaces

Smaller news first – in the old Room Bookings module (now replaced with Spaces) there was 1-way GCal sync but we somehow missed porting this to Spaces. This has now been fixed to achieve true parity between Spaces and old Room Bookings, i.e. Spaces now has GCal sync so now you can see all Spaces reservations in your GCal calendars.

Now the big news… Picture this – a 2-way sync between Exchange calendars and LibCal spaces – so reservations you make via Exchange will automatically block off availability in the Spaces module, and reservations made via Spaces are automatically pushed to Exchange!  Yup, we went there! This is a huge win for libraries with spaces that can be reserved both by the public (via LibCal) and by staff (via meeting requests in Exchange) – our new integration will keep your reservations in sync, no matter where a booking request originates. And your LibCal platform will become a go-to place to get awesome statistics on the usage of your spaces and equipment, no matter where the reservations are made. High-five for this big win!

Here’s another really cool thing about the Exchange support – it will make it even easier to integrate with touchscreen panels. LibCal Spaces offers full read/write APIs for integration with these types of panels, and many of these panels already support integration with Exchange – which means you can potentially integrate LibCal Spaces with these types of panels, without custom coding. This new integration means that availability stays synchronized across all possible booking points, with minimal setup effort – totally amazing!!

For this 2-way Exchange we are releasing the code to everyone but not enabling it on all systems yet – if you’d like to assist us with the final stages of testing Exchange integration (because we want to make sure we cover all different Exchange versions/scenarios) please emails us at support@springshare.com. Once we are confident that Exchange sync is working for these early testers, we’ll release it for everyone i.e. every LibCal system will have 2-way Exchange sync enabled.

Additional Updates

  • New “All Locations” View for Spaces – We’ve added a new “All Locations” view for Spaces, so patrons can browse availability at all locations in your LibCal system at a glance. To see it in action, head to the public Spaces booking page and select Location: All Locations.
  • Mediated Bookings by LibCal Users set to Confirmed: We heard from several folks that, when librarians (ie LibCal account holders) make a reservation for a mediated space/item, those reservations shouldn’t need to be approved. We’ve made this change, so now when a logged-in user reserves a space/equipment, those requests will be confirmed automatically.
  • Event Search for Logged In Users – We addressed an issue with searching for events from the Edit Calendar screen (accessed via Calendar Tab > Edit Calendar) – this should now work as expected.
  • Clarified Multi-user Registrations – We’ve improved registration management for sites that allow multiple registrations in a single form (so dad can register himself plus two children for storytime, without filling out multiple forms). Now, these multiple registrations are displayed individually on the Manage Registrations tab, and editing/deleting an individual registration doesn’t automatically edit/delete all associated registrations, so you can manage those registrations individually.