Archive for LibCal

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #2: Cultivating a Homemade Experience

Crafting

Nothing says the holidays more than homemade. Whether you’re baking rugelach, hand-crafting thoughtful gifts, or DIY’ing your decorations – you’re sending the message that your guests are special and deserving of homemade. Nothing beats homemade, but it can take a lot of effort, time, and work!

If you’re looking to bring that ‘homemade’ feeling to your library, you’re probably daunted by the idea of providing a homemade experience for each and every one of your patrons! How will you do it?! Well, a great way to offer a homemade experience is to provide tailored services. So while you’re not knitting individual items for each individual patron, you’re still providing a tailored experience just for them.

In fact, a 2016 article in Forbes magazine on 2017 technology trends predicted the ‘everything on-demand’ trend that definitely took off this year. Apps to deliver food, laundry, a ride, movie streaming, and more.

So, our next tip in our ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing’ is all about delivering that tailored homemade and on-demand experience.

Tip #2: Cultivating a Homemade Experience

You might already be familar with creating LibGuides tailored-made for specific courses or assignments, but there are loads of other Springy tools you can use to bring that feeling of Hygge into your Library and for your users.

Create Holiday-Specific Mobile Micro Sites

The 2016 Pew Research Center Libraries Report showed that 49% of people accessed a public library website from their handheld mobile devices – smartphones and tablets. The 2017 Horizon Report highlights a 2016 StatCounter study which found that 51.3% of all web browsing worldwide took place on mobile phones and tablets, surpassing desktop web browsing for the first time. So, mobile access is important!

In case you didn’t know, LibGuides and LibGuides CMS subscribers have access to an optional add-on module called the mSite Builder. The mSite Builder allows you to create multiple mobile ‘micro’ sites for users to access on their smartphones.

There are tons of way you could use the mSite Builder. You could create a microsite for a walking tour of your library, or one showcasing upcoming library events, a fun scavenger hunt, or even a mobile conference site if you’re hosting!

But, what about creating a microsite focused on the library’s holiday events and activities?

Holiday Microsite: Getting Hygge With It!

Link to your special holiday microsite off of your regular mobile website to deliver a homemade, tailored, and on-demand experience to your patrons.

Plus, you can embed Font-Awesome icons on your mobile page menu to add a visual element.

Librarian On-Demand – Uber Reference Using LibAnswers SMS

If your library promotes roving reference, why not rebrand it as Uber reference? Everyone is calling themselves the ‘uber of something’ these days and it immediately brings to mind “they’re coming to me”. Plus, nothing says tailored library services than literally showing up at their library location with research goodies just for them.

Add signage throughout your library encouraging users to text-a-librarian for uber reference! If they text their location and what they need help with, you can reply back with an estimated arrival time of a librarian.

LibAnswers SMS

Uber Reference using LibAnswers SMS

 

Meet Me Under the My Scheduler

LibCal’s My Scheduler lets you set up your own personal schedule of availability so patrons can book time with you for one-on-one consultations. You can arrange My Schedulers by location, branch, or even by topic – so patrons don’t need to know who they’re meeting with, just that they need someone who’s great at setting up eReaders.

But what about patrons who can’t physically come to the library. It is the busy holiday season after all and in some parts of the northern hemisphere it’s brutally cold! How can you provide one-on-one tailored services to people who won’t, or physically can’t, come into the library for help?

Create a LibCal My Scheduler Category called ‘Online’ – and encourage patrons to make appointments with librarians, virtually! Using your library’s webinar technology tool or even something simple (and free!) like Join.Me.

Simply create a LibCal My Scheduler Group called ‘Online Appointments’ and assign librarians to it. Patrons can select that category when scheduling an appointment.

LibCal My Scheduler – Online Category for Providing Online-Only Assistance

 

Have fun exploring how these Springshare tools help you bring that homemade, tailored, library experience designed to make them feel like it’s all ‘just for them‘ into the library. If you can think of other ways your library can get Hygge with it, drop a note in the comments below!

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing’ Tips! Come back next week for Tip #3!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #1: Getting Emoji’tional

Emojis

While your library might be winding down from the hectic schedule of finals or if you’re experiencing the general slowdown of traffic and questions typical during this time period – here are some quick (and fun!) things you can do, right now.

We’ll be releasing our Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing as a blog series from now till Dec 22nd! So come back and check out our other Springy Tips.

Tip #1 – Getting Emoji’tional 😉

Emoji’s can be an effective way to communicate with patrons and coworkers. They’re fun, expressive, and most importantly – compact. Universally agreed upon emoji symbols can help us convey a sentiment, or emotion, without having to phrase it in a convoluted or ambiguous sentence. So, not only does it save you time, but it can help prevent confusion from indecipherable sentences. For example, if you write that you’re heading over to a reference desk meeting and I reply with an emoji thumbs-up 👍👍, you can ascertain that I understand and am confirming your message. All parties are on the same page! Time magazine recently reported a study by Harris Poll showing that 36% of millennials ages 18-34 who use “visual expressions” say that those images better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.

On the flip side, using emoji’s improperly can land you in some hot water if you’re not using emojis that everyone can understand or are universally accepted. For example, in the same example above, if I had replied to your message with a party popper 🎉🎉 – does that mean that I’m happy you’re leaving to go to this meeting? Or am I wishing you good luck? Sending a party popper to that message just doesn’t make sense. As the recipient to my ambiguous emoji reply, you’re justifiably confused.

So, like with any communication tool, it’s important to consider your message and how the recipient of your message will interpret it. When in doubt, don’t use any emojis at all.

Accessing Your Built-In Emoji Keyboard

You’re probably very familiar with your emoji keyboard built into your smartphone device. But, did you know that your desktop computer also has a built-in emoji keyboard? Well, it does! Here’s how you can access it!

Step One: Be sure your cursor is inside an editing/typing window – like LibAnswers SMS Ticket Reply, or LibCal Social Publishing Field.

Step Two: Keyboard Shortcuts for Accessing the Emoji Keyboard

Windows Users Mac Users
  • Windows Button + semicolon (;)
    or
  • Windows Button + period (.)
  • CMD + Control + Spacebar

Step Three: Double-click to select your emojis, choosing as many as you want. You’ll notice the emojis being added to your text-editor. When you’re done, click to close the emoji keyboard.

Mac Computer Emoji Keyboard

Using Emojis In Your Springshare Tools

Now that you know how you can access your emoji keyboard, let’s have fun exploring all the different ways you can use emojis in your Springshare tools.

1. LibAnswers

There are many places that you can use emojis when replying to patron inquires inside of LibAnswers. Three places that come to mind are the SMS/Text-Message Tickets, Social Media Management, and inside of LibChat.

Additionally, using emojis in more ‘informal’ communication like text-messages, and social media posts can help users feel more connected to your content. In that same Time Magazine article, they reported that “the majority of people across age groups also said they feel ‘more connected’ to people they frequently message when using emojis and GIFs.”

In Your SMS/Text-Message Replies

LibAnswers SMS ticketing functionality allows you to answer patron-initiated texts natively inside the LibAnswers platform. Bottom-line, if you can type…you can text.

While replying to a patron inquiry, consider adding an emoji! Remember, text-messaging was the original birthplace of emojis, so using emojis in your reply will appear natively in the patron’s smartphone messaging app.

Adding Emojis to your LibAnswers SMS/Text-Message Replies

 

In Your Social Media Posts/Replies

If emojis were born in text-message, they grew to adulthood on social media. In your LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool, consider adding emojis to your Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest Posts and Replies. Remember, users feel comfortable when communicating with people who use emojis. And from our recent social media post, it’s important to be authentic. Emojis in your social media posts are a great way to communicate with patrons in a casual, informal, and authentic manner.

Emojis in Twitter - LibAnswers Social Media Management Posting

In Your LibChat Messages

In case you didn’t know, LibAnswers’ LibChat comes with built-in emoji support – but it’s limited to just the smiley face emojis. Use your built-in emoji keyboard to add more visuals to your chat convos! 👍

Built-in Emoji Support in LibAnswers’ LibChat

 

2. LibCal

Your library’s calendar events are an ideal spot for integrating some emoji fun! Remember, context is important – so it’s probably not a good idea to add emojis in a calendar event advertising the library’s counseling services.

In Your LibCal Calendar Events

When advertising your LibCal calendar events, consider adding emojis to the built-in Social Media posting integration.

Social Media Integration built-in to LibCal Calendars.

 

3. LibWizard

When asking patrons to fill out Library feedback forms or surveys – consider adding emojis to the radio and checkbox options!

As a tip, don’t replace words entirely with emojis as some user’s browsers might not be able to display them. Always use them in ‘conjunction’ with text unless you’re 100% certain that the emojis you’re using are compliant across all apps.

Adding emojis to the LibWizard Choices Options Fields.

Have fun poking around your Springshare tools and explore all the ways you can use emojis! And remember to have fun! 🎊🎉🎈

 

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing’ Tips! Come back later this week for Tip #2!

BiblioEvents and LibCal Integration

Bibliocommons LogoHere at Springy HQ, we’re super excited to announce a unique integration between BiblioEvents and LibCal’s Spaces Bookings!

How does it work? When creating an event inside of your BiblioEvents admin interface, you can reserve the space/room for that event inside LibCal.

*Update: 11/16/2017*

The recording of the webinar is available now! Watch this 1hour recording and learn how BiblioEvents and LibCal Spaces are integrated.

Attend a Webinar and Learn More!

See this integration in action during today’s 1hour webinar. Can’t attend? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.

Topic: LibCal/BiblioEvents Integration

Date & Time: Wednesday, Nov 15: 4:00pm – 5:00pm U.S EST.

Description:

Join Springshare and BiblioCommons to learn about the new LibCal/BiblioEvents integration.

Staff who are scheduling events in BiblioEvents will be able to check and reserve rooms via LibCal with the integration.

Springys Bill Kessler and Talia Richards will discuss in conversation with BiblioCommons how the integration works and its ease-of-use for library staff.

Register Now

LibCal 2.11 – Event Updates and More are Live!

The LibCal 2.11 release is live, and we have loads to tell you about! We’ve redesigned the Manage Event Screens to bring you many new event management features, plus Event Templates are here! Read on for all the details.

New Manage Event Screens

So many of you have asked us for additional features and functionality for managing events – marking attendance, more email flexibility, etc. When we coded all this we realized that the modal for the event editing was too small for all this additional functionality, so we created a separate page for event management. This gives us (and you) a lot more breathing room and the ability to add several great new management features. To see the new pages, from any Calendar, click on an event and select Manage Event. There you’ll find great new features, including…

  • Event Notes – We’ve added an easy way to share internal information about an event with colleagues – event notes are here! These notes appear in the event modal and on the event overview tab, but never appear to the public. They’re perfect for sharing information about event setup information, like technology setup information or who’s bringing refreshments. To add a note to an event, head to Manage Event > Overview and add a new note.
  • Confirm Attendance – A hugely popular request, we’ve added a method to track which event registrants actually attended an event! Head to Manage Event > Registrations > Confirm Attendance column, and check off the actual attendees as they arrive. This setting will also make it easy to email only the registrants who actually attended your event after the event takes place – just select “Add Attendees” from the Email Attendees tab to insert the email addresses of just the folks who attended your event. This is especially handy for sending a satisfaction/follow up email after an event takes place!
  • View User History – We’ve added a new report to show all of the events a user has registered for, so it’s easy to see which of your users are power users! Just head to Manage Registrations/Waitlist and select View User History to see a list of all events a user has registered for – and even better, if you’re using the Confirm Attendance option, we’ll show you all of the events they actually attended as well!
  • Search Registrations – We’ve added a simple search box to the Registrations and Waitlist tabs, so it’s easier to find a specific person’s registration info.
  • View Cancelled Attendees – We’ve added a new tab that shows all attendees whose registration was cancelled – plus, you’ll be able to see whether the registration was cancelled by the patron, or by an admin. This is especially useful for outreach and user satisfaction efforts – if someone cancelled, consider following up with them to see why, in order to tailor your services to patron needs. Head to Manage Event > Cancelled to see the list of cancelled attendees.
  • Send Rich Text Emails – We’ve also update the Email Attendees tab to include a Rich Text Editor, so it’s easier than ever to send patrons emails that contain basic text formatting and images, without having to muck around with HTML. 🙂 Head to the Email Attendees tab to find the new options.

Event Templates

Awesome news for sites that manage large numbers of events! We’re adding a new Event Template management area, so you can create templates that contain the basic information – things like Title, Description, Start/End Time, padding, registration details… everything you might need to create a new event in a flash! To start creating event templates, Admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Event Templates.

And even better, if you have an existing event that you’d like to turn into a template, Admins can select that event from the Calendar screen and use the dropdown to select “Create Template from Event”. We hope this makes it that much easier to transition to the new Event Template options – managing large numbers of events has never been easier!

Equipment and Spaces Updates

  • Spaces Widgets in LTI Tool – If you’ve integrated the LibApps LTI tool in your LMS system, good news – Spaces widgets are now fully integrated, so you can easily add a widget for booking a space to any page in your LMS! This makes it easy for students to reserve spaces in the library without having to leave the LMS environment, and integrates the booking process right at point of need.
  • Copy Space – We’re always looking for ways to make the site setup process easier, so we’re happy to introduce a new Copy Space function for the Spaces module. As you’re setting up Spaces, you’ll see a new option to Copy Space – this pulls all the key information about a space (including Description, Terms & Conditions, Room Capacity, Booking Form, Image, etc.) into a new Space record, making setup a snap!
  • Spaces Filter in Event Explorer – The Event Explorer contains an option to filter by location – previously, only system locations and Rooms were appearing. We’ve updated this filter to include Spaces, so now you can search all 3 possible locations at once.
  • Consolidate Sequential Bookings – For some folks migrating from Room Booking to Spaces, we’ve discovered that there are some patrons who are still booking multiple timeslots back to back instead of using the dropdown menu to select their preferred duration. We’re now consolidating those individual bookings into one continuous booking.
  • Admin Recurring Booking: Error Message Update – Previously, when admins created recurring bookings and there was a conflict with one of those bookings on certain dates, the error messages weren’t making it clear that some of the bookings would not go through. We’ve updated this behavior so it’s clearer that some bookings will not go through.

MyScheduler Updates

  • View Past & Cancelled Bookings via API – We’ve lifted some prior restrictions on the MyScheduler API, so you can now access bookings which happened in the past, and cancelled bookings. To view the available APIs, head to Admin > API > MyScheduler.
  • We squashed a bug in MyScheduler Widgets, where the first group’s appointment availability options were being applied to all groups. Now, as you change group selection in the widget, the availability options will update as expected.

Accessibility Updates

  • We’ve fixed an accessibility issue with the “close” link in MyScheduler widgets by updating the link reference so it’s no longer empty.
  • We’ve addressed several accessibility issues with the Today’s Hours widget – they now include <th> elements and have the proper role=’presentation’ attribute, so they’re now fully accessible!

Coming Soon: Mediated Equipment & Space Email Digest

Looking for email alerts when patrons make a request for mediated items and spaces? Coming in the next few days, we’re adding a new email digest to alert you when there are pending Equipment or Space reservations that are waiting on mediation. These emails are a “digest” of all pending requests, and are sent once an hour to all mediators who can approve a booking. Even better, we’re also including quick approve/deny links right in the email text, so mediators can approve/deny these requests right from their inbox! It’s a super handy way to make managing mediated Equipment & Space bookings a snap. 🙂

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