Archive for LibCal

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

All Regions Important Code Updates

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

Read about: LibCalLibAnswersLibGuides | LibStaffer | LibCRM | LibInsight

LibCal

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

Seats

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

Microsoft Teams Integration – Calendar Events & Appointments Scheduler

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

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

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

Events

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

Appointments

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

Spaces & Equipment

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

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

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

LibAnswers

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

New in LibAnswers & LibChat

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

LibChat Screensharing Updates

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

Shared Group System Reporting Updates

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

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

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

Co-Op Updates

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

Bug Fixes and Smaller Improvements

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

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

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

LibGuides

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

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

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

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

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

LibStaffer

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

Features:

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

Smaller Fixes and Features

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

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

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

LibCRM

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

Roles & Permissions

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

Roles

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

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

Permissions

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

Each permission comes with the following options:

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

[Back to Top]

LibInsight

COUNTER 5 Analysis Report Update

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

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

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

Other Misc Updates

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

LibInsight System Settings

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

[Back to Top] That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more improvements in 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Curbside Pickup/Contactless Checkout Options (Blog Series: Part Two)

LibCal and LibAnswers Scheduling and Communication Module for Holds Pickup

Last week’s post on LibCal Seats module generated a great response – thank you all. Our libraries are looking for solutions to help them reopen safely, and we’re excited to be helping with this process. Several current LibCal customers are helping us with the Seats module, so we are confident many of you will find the upcoming module very helpful as you navigate the use of library facilities in a post-COVID-19 world.

We hope you’ll like our curbside pickup/contactless checkout solution just as much. Depending on the particular needs for your library, you can already start utilizing what we have or wait for the upgrade release in the coming 4-5 weeks.


Three Options for Curbside/Contactless Holds Pickups

There will be three options available in LibApps regarding the curbside pickup – which one you will utilize depends on your library’s workflows. You can also start using the first option that’s already available and then expand/move to the other two options as they become available over the summer.

Option 1 – Scheduling of Pickups Only

Libraries using LibCal Spaces module can allocate dedicated spaces for curbside/contactless pickup and customize the setup to serve the need for scheduling of pickups. This functionality is already available in LibCal and you can/should start using it immediately.

We published a blog post on using LibCal Spaces for scheduling contactless/curbside pickup of library holds, and our training sessions on this have been among the most attended this year.

The setup works great and it’s free with your LibCal subscription! If you need to add a few additional Spaces to your LibCal subscription, contact us at sales@springshare.com and we’ll make it happen. If you don’t have LibCal but need a scheduling tool for curbside pickup/contactless checkout, contact us and we’ll work with you on a flexible pricing structure.

For those libraries that also want to add the communication component to holds pickups, we’ve got you covered! We’re building a new module in the coming weeks to help you meet this need.

Option 2 – Scheduling and Communication (or Communication Only) Regarding Pickups

Some of you have asked us come up with the communication process for holds pickups, too! While many libraries are happy with a tool for scheduling of holds pickups, some want to add the communication piece to the worfklows – or only focus on communication piece for holds pickups.

Great idea, we thought, so we’re busy working on an end-to-end solution for holds pickups/contactless checkouts. We are leveraging our expertise with SMS communication, email, and chat functionality from LibAnswers, to come up with a brand-new LibApps module to help libraries schedule and communicate with patrons about curbside pickups/contactless checkouts. This helps avoid miscommunication or missed pickups while also minimizing unnecessary contact with staff. Safety first!

Holds pickup workflow in the new module

  1. The library customizes the ILS holds arrival email template to include the link to LibCal’s curbside pickup scheduler.
  2. The patron receives the “your materials have arrived” email and schedules their pickup time using LibCal’s mobile-first web scheduler. The library controls how many pickup timeslots are available each day and when, to control the flow of users arriving to the library.
  3. LibCal sends a pickup confirmation email with instructions to patron how to communicate with the library when they’ve arrived for their holds.
  4. Upon arrival, the patron sends an SMS text or initiates chat to let the library know they’re here.
  5. The module automatically matches the message with the LibCal scheduled pickup so the librarian knows exactly who is picking up which materials.
  6. The librarian on duty receives the SMS or chat with the LibCal booking information and the patron info, and they drop off the materials at a pre-determined spot (parking space, outside table, front door, etc), as described in their pickup confirmation email.
  7. The system automatically records when the patron has arrived and gathers valuable statistics on patron interactions for follow ups, to help identify any pain points, and ideas for further workflow improvements.

Once you and the patrons try out this new workflow for holds pickups everyone will ask themselves why were holds pickups done any other way in the past? 🙂 We’re really excited about this new module because it will marry the best of Springshare’s technology for the purpose of truly improving the library’s workflows – not just during COVID-19 pandemic but in general, too. This new system will significantly enhance the value proposition and make it more convenient for your users to schedule and communicate with you about their holds.

We’re planning to release this new module in the first week of August, but in the meantime you can/should start using Option 1 (outlined above) because it will be an integral part of this new module, too. In other words, you will not waste any effort or lose work/customizations by starting on Option 1 now while we spend the next 4-5 weeks finalizing this exciting new module. Just like with the LibCal Seats module we’re working with several existing customers on this and if you have ideas and suggestions – please let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

Option 3 – ILS Integration (aka the Holy Grail)

This will not be ready for the early August release but rest assured that we’re not stopping our development on this module by then. We are planning the ultimate enhancement to the Curbside pickup/contactless checkout module – full ILS integration so the module will read the information about the holds directly from your ILS and write to the patron’s ILS record when the patron picks up the hold.

This upcoming ILS integration will make this new module an indispensable tool for libraries looking for a true end-to-end solution for curbside pickups/contactless checkouts. Your holds workflows will never be the same, and we’re not kidding about it, either. 🙂 We’re planning to release the ILS integration in September and if you’d like to work with us on it please contact us and let us know which ILS you use and we’ll put it on the todo list. One of the things we enjoy the most about our development process is working closely with our libraries so we cherish every opportunity we get to do this!

Learn More – Contact Us

Stay tuned to this blog, and subscribe to receive email alerts (enter your email address in the right column —>) to stay updated on when this functionality will be arriving in the coming weeks. Interested in being added to our contacts list? Email us at sales@springshare.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as this LibCal/LibAnswers module is released with pricing.

LibCal Seats Module – Safely Reopen Your Building (Blog Series: Part One)

Introducing LibCal Seats

We’re very excited to announce a new LibCal module designed to help our customers reopen buildings safely all while adhering to social distancing guidelines and prioritizing the health and safety of patrons and staff. This new tool can extend beyond the library, too! Academic campuses can use it for computer labs, media centers, student housing (e.g. washers/dryers), etc. Public libraries can collaborate with other public service departments needing an effective and affordable seat reservation system.

This is part one, of a two-part blog series, outlining new functionality we’re adding to our tools to help you reopen safely while prioritizing health and safety of everyone. There’s lots of good stuff to share so let’s get right to it…


Coming Early July – LibCal Seats

The LibCal Seats functionality is an optional module complementing the current LibCal Spaces reservations. It introduces bookable Seats inside Spaces that patrons can reserve and check-in/out of – all by using their smartphones thus reducing unnecessary contact with staff.  The new functionality also lays the groundwork for our forthcoming interactive mapping functionality for Spaces & Seats inside the library – wohoo! Here’s how the new Seats booking will work.

Seating and Spaces Setup

We’re introducing two new hierarchical layers that will help determine capacity and occupancy – Zones and Seats. With this, there will be a total of 4 layers for managing Seating and Spaces capacity in LibCal:

  1. Building/Location Capacity ->
  2. Zones within the Building/Location (new with July release!) ->
  3. Spaces Capacity ->
  4. Individual Seats (new with July release!
Quickly view Zones, Spaces, Seats – and Equipment – at each Location

Based on social distancing guidelines and the occupancy target (30%, 50%, etc.) admins can make certain Spaces and Seats active (bookable) or  inactive (non-bookable).  Each bookable Space and Seat has relevant information to help the patron reserving it (e.g. is it accessible, the description, a photo, etc.). Optionally, each Seat/Space comes with a unique QR code which can be printed and taped next to it, creating a contactless check-in/out process.

Define bookable seats within each Space. Allow users to book all seats in a Space or only one Seat at a time.

Realtime Occupancy Dashboard

The new Bookings dashboard gives admins an overview of Spaces & Seats occupancy and pending reservations. At any point in time the admin can see how many seats and spaces are occupied/booked and where these seats are – by Space, by Zone, or by Location.

Padding Between Bookings for Cleaning

Admins can setup booking rules for any group of Seats & Spaces, and adding padding around each reservation to allow staff time to clean & disinfect the Seats/Spaces (e.g. computer workstations, tables, chairs, etc.) 

Each Space is assigned to a category that details the type of Space it is (Study Room, Computer Lab, Carrels, etc.). At the Category-level, define the booking rules that apply to all Spaces/Seats assigned to the Category.

How It Works for Patrons

Patrons will browse and reserve the desired Seats/Spaces via a mobile-first interface on their smartphones. Once they’ve selected the Seat/Space and date/time, the patron fills out a booking form that the library can fully customize for its needs. LibCal admins can create as many booking forms as needed and even route bookings through a local authentication layer (CAS, Shibboleth, LDAP, Azure AD, etc.) .

Upon reserving a Seat or a Space the patron will get an email confirmation with a unique 3 character code in the email that they will use to check-in (and later, check-out), to identify their reservation. Once they reach their booked seat in the library, the patron checks-in by either scanning the QR code (if the library enables this option) or by loading a special URL on their smartphone. Libraries should encourage patrons to check-out as well, but if they do not, the user will be automatically checked-out at the end of the reservation.

This check-in/out process helps with contact tracing if needed. It’s also totally optional, and libraries can choose to disable it for privacy reasons. We’ve taken great care during development to enable libraries to abide by the privacy policies specific to their institution(s).

Each Space/Seat comes with a printable QR code for contactless check-in/out.

Excited? We Are Too!

Reopening your building in this “new normal” is a stressful and anxiety-inducing task, no doubt. With LibCal Seats, our goal is to take even just a little bit off your overburdened shoulders and help out with what we can. Contact us and we’ll work with you to make reopening a success and help ensure a safe and healthy experience for everyone!

Safe Reopening Part Two – Coming Later This Week!

Part two of our blog series, coming later this week, will knock your socks off with an awesome integration of LibCal and LibAnswers for curbside/holds pickup scheduling and communication.

If you’re looking for an end-to-end solution for hold pickups/contactless checkouts, you are going to love what we’re cooking up in our development labs – a true powerhouse combo for both the scheduling of curbside holds pickup and the communicating with patrons about it. Stay tuned for a big announcement later this week, right here on the Springy blog.

Shout Out to Our Community

These enhancements would not have happened without feedback/guidance/advice from our awesome current LibCal and LibAnswers customers who have helped us during development. We’re thankful to have such a great community of users, and we’re very excited to share the fruits of the collective efforts and collaborations with you all, to help our entire community reopen safely.

Onwards and upwards, to safe reopenings we go! Contact us anytime, for any reason – we’re here for you.

Using LibCal to Schedule Curbside Pickup

You might have heard of LibCal or perhaps you’re already an avid user. If you’ve never heard of it at all, LibCal is our web-based calendar & event management tool helping you:


But…. have you thought about using LibCal Spaces for scheduling and managing curbside pickup of library holds? Yes! LibCal Spaces is so flexible, it can be used to schedule any type of space whether it’s a parking space, a table outside the library, or any area you’d like to designate for contactless/curbside delivery.

Plus, by creating a booking schedule that you control – you can help to protect the safety of patrons by limiting and staggering when patrons pick up their holds. This ensures that there’s only one patron pickup request per designated time-period… eliminating crowds, lines, and potential ways for patrons to spread COVID-19 to each other, and to you and your staff. Protecting patrons and staff health and safety? It’s a win, win. Read on as we give a brief overview of how you can use LibCal Spaces to schedule and communicate curbside pickup of library holds.

Want to Learn More? Watch a Recording or Attend a Live Webinar!

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Attend a live session – click to view dates below.

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Setting Up a Holds Pickup Location

It all starts by creating a Location, “Holds Pickup” or “Curbside Pickup” under Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Create Location. Within your location, navigate to Spaces Tab > add a Category.

Create different categories for different areas that you’d like to designate for curbside pickup. Create categories for:

  • Parking Spaces
  • Tables Outside the Library
  • Entrances

Each category has unique spaces and you can define rules within each category relating to booking duration, booking window, and more.

Timeslot Settings

Within each Spaces Category, you can customize booking duration, booking lead time, padding between bookings. We recommend the following settings:

  • Booking Maximum Duration, Booking Minimum Duration, Booking Default Duration – should all be the same value, 10-15 minute timeslots.
  • Add Padding Between Bookings – give yourself a bit of a breather so you’re not running back and forth into the building.
  • Single Booking Multiple Rooms and Single Booking Same Room Multiple Times – set these options to not allowed.
  • Duration Limit – how many minutes a day a patron is allowed to book for? If you’ve setup 10min timeslots and you only want to allow patrons 1 curbside pickup/day > set this value to 10 / day.
  • Frequency Limit – How many bookings do you want to allow in a week? Can patrons come every day for a pickup?
  • Window Limit – How far in Advance can they book? We suggest 10 days or less

Defining Spaces

Upload pictures of each space and define where that space is in the directions area. This way patrons know exactly where they’re supposed to go to pickup their holds. When patrons receive confirmation of their curbside booking, the space’s directions {{{ROOM_DIRECTIONS}}} are included.

Customize the email confirmation to include instructions for curbside pickup, what happens if they miss their timeslot, and instructions on how to reschedule.

Create a Customized Booking Form

Setup a Custom Booking Form (Locations > Booking Forms) – to gather information about the user so you can be better prepared for their pickup. Examples include Car Make/Model/Color, Library Barcode Number so you can check out the items to them once they’ve arrived, and information on how to checkout items for other family members.

Creating a Booking Schedule

Does each Spaces category have a different schedule? Are parking spaces pickup only available from 10am-2pm Monday – Friday? Outdoor table pickups available weekends only from 9am-1pm? Each Spaces Category can have a different schedule of booking availability.

Routing Patrons to Curbside Pickup Scheduling

Add a link to scheduling curbside pickup to your ILS Holds Confirmation Email. Once patrons’ holds have arrived in the library, instruct them through the process of scheduling contactless pickup.

Tip: Add friendly URLs to your Curbside Delivery Location! This makes the URL much more accessible in the ILS Holds Confirmation Email.

Communication During Curbside Pickup

Is your patron running late? Are they in a different car than the one they specified on the form? Have they been waiting outside for 15 minutes and you haven’t seen them? Here are ways you can communicate with them during their curbside pickup.

Add Instructions for Texting the Library

If you’re a LibAnswers user, you might be using the SMS/Text-a-Librarian option therein. Your LibAnswers system has the ability to have a custom SMS number and you can even create SMS automatic keywords. When patrons text ‘PICKUP’ to your SMS number, it sends them an automated response with instructions. When they reply back, you’ll know that they’re outside, in which vehicle, and picking up holds for confirmation #123. Don’t have LibAnswers and want to learn more? Contact us!

Include this information in:

  1. In the ILS Holds Confirmation Email
  2. In the LibCal confirmation email they receive once they’ve booked their Spaces curbside timeslot
  3. On the LibCal Spaces webpage > description area

Don’t Have SMS/Text-a-Librarian Service?

Follow the same instructions above but include other ways they can contact you, from calling the library to let you know that they’re outside, to your email address, or all of the above.

We hope these steps provide you with some helpful guidance! Difficult decisions are being made at every level of library service, and COVID-19 has changed the way you can safely interact with your patrons. We’re working on adding functionality to help you service patrons remotely, create a schedule of curbside pickup for the safety of patrons and staff, and more. Stay tuned, this is just the beginning – we’ll have new features announce in the coming months!

LibCal and LibAnswers Major New Functionality Release

Quarantine or not, we’re always busy churning new features and functionality of our platform, based on suggestions and feedback from our customers. This upcoming code release for LibCal and LibAnswers is the best example of our responsiveness to customers’ needs. With librarians pivoting to different service models centered around remote-first teaching and learning, many of you told us that you’d love to be able to conduct research appointments and hold online events via LibCal. We heard you and, a few weeks later – we made it happen.

With LibAnswers/LibChat, many international libraries have taken strong interest in the platform as it’s the most well-rounded communication platform for libraries – but they need the admin/librarian interface to be in their local language. And – you guessed it – we made it happen! Read on for details.

Read about: LibCal | LibAnswers

LibCal – conduct online appointments and online events

LibCal servers in our regions around the world will start getting this new functionality on Monday evening and by Wednesday all regions will be live with this new Online appointments/Online events functionality.

Online Appointments

Up until now, the LibCal appointment booking engine has enabled booking of appointments with the assumption that the patron would go to the library (or the librarian would visit the classroom) to conduct the actual appointment. In the “new normal”, however, a number of these research appointments/consultations will likely be conducted remotely. Enter our LibCal Zoom integration (more integration options coming soon – let us know what other video/communication platforms you want us to integrate). 

Here’s how to enable Zoom integration for Online Appointments in LibCal:

  1. Head to Admin -> Integrations and enter your Zoom API/Key (don’t have institutional Zoom license? We may be able to help – email us at sales@springshare.com).
  2. Online appointments are thought of as happening at their own Location i.e. Online. Create one (or more) Locations to designate that these appointments will be held online. Head to Admin -> Appointments -> Locations to create the Online Location(s).
  3. Each user/librarian who wants to host online appointments must be associated with their Zoom account. Head to Admin -> Users and enable Zoom for each user that should have this enabled.

And voila… your LibCal appointment scheduler can now handle online appointments via Zoom. Note that the actual online appointment happens in Zoom but LibCal makes it super-easy to schedule it and it automatically includes relevant Zoom meeting URLs in the ICS/CAL calendar file, in the email notification to the patron, and in the admin interface for the librarian. So they all just need to click on the link and jump into the meeting.

Online Events

With this new feature you’ll be able to create online events in LibCal, and patrons browsing the event calendars will be able to filter/browse by event type (Onsite or Online).

What’s neat is that you don’t have to host the online event in Zoom – you can use Facebook Events, or WebEx, or… any platform that lets you hold an online group event. Here’s how to set it up.

  • If using Zoom, Head to Admin -> Integrations and enter your Zoom API/Key (don’t have institutional Zoom license? We may be able to help – email us at sales@springshare.com).
  • When you go to create an event, for “Location” you’ll see 3 options.
  • For Zoom events, the registration option is required and attendees will receive the event URL in their registration email.
  • For other online events (e.g. Facebook Live, etc.) the event URL will be shown on the event page but if there is an access password/pin to access the event – it will be emailed to attendees in the registration email.

Patrons are able to filter and search for online events from public calendars.

Bug Fixes, New Features, & Misc.

  • Customize the contents of your Appointments booking page. Make your own page title and page text for this all-important page. Make it look/feel like just another page on your website. Head to Admin -> System Settings -> Language Options > Appointments Page. Bonus – you can now enter HTML customization for page text, hooray.
  • Add a custom message to public pages for Equipment & Spaces when all items and/or spaces are set to inactive. Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings, and look for the new panel titled Inactive Equipment/Spaces Display.
  • Copied Equipment & Space bookings will now check the Banned Email list when creating the new booking.
  • We fixed an issue that allowed regular users with no access to a specific Equipment & Space location to modify bookings.
  • Custom text in the “Today’s Hours” widget now displays only once.
  • We’ve standardized the time format for all Excel exports.
  • Centering text in any RTE located throughout LibCal will now correctly apply inline CSS.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

Excited yet? So are we. We look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions for further improvements.

[Back to Top]


LibAnswers multi-lingual admin interface + few more enhancements

LibAnswers servers in our regions around the world will start getting this new functionality this evening and by Monday, May 4, all regions will be live with this new functionality.

The LibAnswers 2.34.0 release is on its way, and we’re thrilled to bring you international translations for the majority of the LibAnswers admin interface! With this release, the major pages in LibAnswers – which include the LibAnswers Dashboard, LibChat Operator Dashboard, the Ticket Create & Answer pages, Ticket Knowledge Base Explorer, and Chat Transcripts and Statistics – can now be viewed using any of our supported base language customizations. To date, in addition to English, we also support French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Serbian (Cyrillic).

When the 2.34.0 release goes live, your LibAnswers system will be rendered in the default base language selection that your Admins have set up under Admin > System Settings > Base Language. All users with a LibAnswers login will also be able to change their personal language display on the fly, by using the dropdown option included in the footer of every LibAnswers administrative page.

New in LibChat and Shared Group Systems

In addition to our very exciting language customization updates, we have several new features rolling out in LibChat and for Shared Group Systems!

  • Create Follow-Up Tickets from the Co-Op > Transcripts View. This new view is especially helpful in cases where you’ve concluded a chat interaction while monitoring a Co-Op, but perhaps forgot to create the local follow-up ticket while you still had the chat in view. Just head to LibChat > Co-Op Dashboard > Transcripts to view the new icon for creating follow-up tickets.
  • Proactive Chat with Co-Op Fallback. We know how crucial it is to offer your patrons assistance at the point of need, so we’ve updated our approach to creating chat widgets. Now, it’s possible to create a proactive widget (i.e. a widget that prompts the user whether they need assistance via a pop-out) and include a Co-Op as a fallback option. In practice, when you create this type of widget, the widget will only behave proactively when your local librarians are online and monitoring chat; if your local librarians aren’t online, but your widget is displaying as online because it’s being monitored by Co-Op librarians, then the widget will not proactively prompt the patron. To set your widgets as proactive, head to LibChat > Chat Widgets > Choose a Button, Slide-out or Floating widget > Enter a time in seconds in the Autoload Delay field.
  • LibChat Wait Time Counter. We’ve added a new timer feature in the LibChat operator dashboard to indicate how long a new chat patron has been waiting for their chat to be answered. This new timer is displayed on all new chats.
  • Group Admin Updates for Shared Group Systems. We’ve added two new key permissions for the new Group Admin account level in Shared Group Systems: Group Admins can now edit the group policy FAQ(s) for their group and can leave feedback on transcripts that a Co-Op answered on chats that originated from widgets connected to their Group Member Library.

Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements

  • We’ve added a message to alert patrons when they attempt to upload an unsupported file type.
  • We’ve fixed a bug when creating Macros. Previously, if your site only had access to one queue, the modal window did not display the list of users required for assigning tickets to a specific user.
  • We’ve fixed a bug when setting LibChat Default Queues to Monitor. Sites with access to just one queue were not seeing an option under Edit Account > LibChat Settings > Default Queues to Monitor that would allow the user to not monitor that one Queue when first logging into LibChat.
  •  We’ve implemented a number of performance improvements in the Tickets Knowledge Base Explorer > Statistics pages and when creating new Tickets and FAQs. While these updates aren’t directly visible, you should now see speedier load times and an overall improved experience for these pages.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

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

That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ, but stay tuned for more mid-May when a few other things will be coming your way.

We want to give a shout-out to our entire community in these uncertain times. We see how you are retooling your libraries and educational offerings to meet users where they are (at home, like us!), and we are proud to be a part of the vibrant industry that is libraryland. Stay safe and well, out there, Springy fam! We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Using LibCal Appointments & Events to Stay Engaged Online

It’s National Library Week! Springshare applauds the hard work librarians everywhere are putting in during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their libraries operating and serving patrons. It may seem like an impossible task to keep the library — especially those whose doors are closed — engaged with the community, but your ingenuity and resourceful natures have been making it happen!

We’ve collected some examples of how libraries are using LibCal to effectively continue to provide help and to “gather” online. When I’ll meet you there veers to become Meet up from anywhere — it’s a pretty creative pivot.

Virtual Events at Mesa County Libraries Keep Fun on the Menu

In Colorado, Mesa County Libraries comprises 9 branches, all of which are closed until further notice. But from home, the librarians have been busy making a lemonade stand to share all of their lemonade! By hosting a series of virtual events in place of their popular on-site programming, they can still engage their patrons via new channels.

Using LibCal, they share the pertinent details for their Virtual Creative Fiber Arts Club, which happens via Google Hangouts, a Virtual Story Time, which is carried out in their social media channels, a poetry reading aimed at adults is highlighted, and so much more. Instead of enabling registrations, they’re promoting a sign-up button that allows patrons to get notified of upcoming programs and classes.

The virtual events are shared via their YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram TV as they navigate this time and combat closed doors with open minds.

Birmingham City University’s Library Staff Makes a Beeline…to Online Services

The Library and Learning Resources department at the United Kingdom’s Birmingham City University wants its students and faculty to be aware that the library staff is available online and is ready to help.

They’re answering questions via LibAnswers and they’re even geared up to meet! LibCal Appointments allows the BCU Library team to meet for tutoring sessions. They even have peer mentors available for student support to help with developing library skills to make searching a better experience.

Letting people know this is a full-time job these days and BCU has taken to social media to get the word out. Many libraries tweet several times a day to reinforce the news that they are, in fact, operational.

Beyond social media, this outreach is supported with messaging on their website, LibGuides pages feature Book-a-Tutorial buttons, and you can even access the Appointments link on their LibAnswers home page. Let your students know they’re not alone. Use as many channels as you can to reach out.

Being There for Students — Salve Regina’s Library Gets the Word Out

The McKillop Library at Salve Regina University is making sure that students and faculty know that they’re ready and able to help with some clever cross-promotion of services.

The enterprising librarians also added a link to their appointments right below their LibAnswers chat widget so students can easily see it.

So — not only are they ensuring patrons that they can ask questions from anywhere — they also take the opportunity to offer appointments for those who’d prefer to have a block of one-on-one assistance. It’s true the doors are closed for now. But help is still available!

University of Pittsburgh Librarians Stay Connected

The Greensburg Campus librarians at the University of Pittsburgh are determined to stay engaged despite the distance. The best way to combat the isolation is to get together…albeit virtually. Staying connected, building relationships, assisting students and faculty is always a top priority but it can be challenging today.

This library staff decided to build a tabbed box in their LibGuides system to prominently share information about each of the team members. They’ve included photos and a button that connects students and faculty with the librarian’s LibCal Appointments availability or email.

There is no more accurate word for this time than unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced academic, public, school, and special libraries around the world to move services entirely online. While it is a daunting task to provide excellent service to patrons virtually, librarians have answered the call. The innovation, out of the box (and onto the screen) thinking, and the absolute willingness to successfully shift to stay engaged that librarians are displaying is inspiring to us all here at Springshare.

Staying Motivated: Springy Projects & Professional Development

In the U.S., we’re about two weeks into social distancing and/or working exclusively from home, and we’ve started to settle into the new daily routine… at least for now. If we’re lucky enough to have flour, we’re stress-baking. We’re watching every TED Talk. We’re enjoying nightly Shakespearean sonnet readings. We’re video chatting with friends near and far.

For those who’ve also found themselves figuring out new responsibilities while they’re at home or the library is empty (or they simply can’t sit still), now may feel like a good time to start on items lingering at the bottom of the to-do list. It may also feel like a great time to find ways to avoid that to-do list. 😉

In this spirit, we’ve created an “It’d be great if I…” list of Springy-related projects to help you capture that motivation, take advantage of your product’s features, learn a new skill, or pass the time! While we’ve separated it by product, some of these ideas and skills could be applied to more than one.


LibGuides

Watch all of our training videos!

  • Strategize SEO: Review and update your site’s content to improve your search engine optimization. (newsletter tip)
  • Prep for summer: Create attractive reading lists to support your online summer reading program. (training video)
  • Fix JQuery: Find it before you realize it’s causing a code conflict. (newsletter tip)
  • [CMS & optionally LibAnswers] Create a virtual workplace / staff intranet. (training video)
  • Learn HTML and CSS.
    • Take an online class through sites like LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) accessed through your local library, Codecademy, freeCodeCamp, or Udacity.
      • Some courses provide a live space to practice coding. Please use these and not your LibGuides site. 🙂 We are unable to fix custom code or create it for you.
    • Pro tips for adding custom HTML/CSS/JS into your site:
      • Use media/widget assets for all custom code added to guides so you can troubleshoot your code. We can’t stress this enough!
      • [CMS only] Create a new group to use as your sandbox and add code to its look and feel area.

Did you know that our newsletter includes LibGuides tips and tricks? The early March edition included Springy site cleaning ideas. Sign up to receive the next issue, slated for sometime this summer. 😀

LibAnswers

  • Create a robust internal staff knowledge base: Break out policies, login details, and staff-only information into individual restricted FAQs. It’s easy to search, browse, embed, and link them! (SpringyU FAQ groups and individual FAQ courses)
  • Start a virtual scavenger hunt using SMS. (training video)
  • Perform a full site cleaning. (training video)

Take the SpringyU course.

LibCal: Migrate from Room Bookings to Spaces

We haven’t set a sunset date yet, but it will eventually happen. Over the last few years, our development team has been busy adding new features to Spaces, the new room bookings module. Now is the time to complete the migration process, while your physical library doors are closed or your study rooms have reduced bookings.

Spaces features:

  • Easily set and change the opening hours rooms by campus/branch, location, or type.
  • Create and manage recurring bookings.
  • Set regular account permissions to limit who can create and edit bookings, mark who showed up, and adjust opening hours.
  • Create calendar events from the Spaces booking.

Take the SpringyU course pictured above and check out our FAQ that spells out this process from start to end.

LibWizard

  • Collect stories from students and patrons to build an online archive of your community’s experiences. (forms Springboard)
  • Survey your patrons to discover what types of online services they’d like to see. (surveys Springboard)
  • [Full subscribers] Create tutorials on how to access library resources, add LibGuides content to Blackboard/Canvas, or anything else that comes to mind! Extra credit if you create custom videos and images. 🙂 (standalone and embedded tutorials Springboards)

It can be difficult to stay motivated during this time, but we hope this list will provide you with some inspiration. For even more learning opportunities, register for an upcoming training session.

Thank you to everyone who has checked in these past few weeks. Wishing you all safety, good health, and even a few moments of peace during this crisis.

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

Spring 2020 certainly has been an interesting beast thus far, and we at Springy HQ hope that you and yours are safe and healthy! We are an all-remote workplace, and as such have continued to chug along in our jobs (albeit with new office mates in a lot of cases!), supporting so many of you in your newly-remote work, and coding up exciting new features that we hope will make your jobs a bit easier.

We are trying something new with this release-related blog post. Below you will find the features that we think are most exciting and important in all our apps. We feel it important to let you know about all the features we’ve worked on, though, so we are also going to start publishing Release Notes. You will need an account on the Springshare Lounge to view the notes. These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, April 3, 2020.

One last thing before we get to those features! We’ve updated the Support widget that is displayed on every admin-side page. We’re connecting you directly to documentation in this widget, so that you can get help even faster. Search through our comprehensive FAQs to find concise help on any topic. If you don’t find your answer, scroll to the bottom of the FAQ page to submit a question: *

screenshot

*With apologies to U2. And no, it wasn’t Cindi’s idea, but it might be why she took this job. 🙂

Read about: LibAnswersLibCalLibGuides | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibCRM | LibInsight

LibAnswers

With this release we have more fun new features and key chat and Co-Op improvements to share!

New LibAnswers Features

  • Ticket Countdown Alerts – If your site requires responding to a patron reply within a specific timeframe, use the new “Reply Timer” feature to give your site a visual indication of the amount of time remaining to reply to the patron. When this feature is enabled, a color coded (green / yellow / red) timer label is shown within the Dashboard and Tickets Knowledge Base Explorer to help notify your staff of time remaining to reply. Admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > General Settings to enable this feature.
  • Bulk Edit FAQs – For sites who manage a lot of FAQs, we’ve added a new “bulk edit” feature, which allows you to publish and unpublish FAQs and/or change their group affiliation. Head to Answers > FAQ Entries, use the checkboxes to indicate which FAQs you want to change, and choose the action you’d like to take.
  • Policy FAQ Preview links – Admin-level users who maintain your site’s policy FAQs will now see a “preview” option on the browse FAQs and edit Policy FAQ pages. This option allows them to see how the FAQ will display within the LibChat operator screen when cooperative librarians respond to chats from your library’s patrons.
  • Institution Coverage Reports Update – In addition to displaying Co-Op chat monitoring activity, Institution Coverage Reports now also display the total number of chats that were claimed and answered during each shift. Co-Op and Institution Admins can head to the Co-Op > Reports > Chat Monitoring Activity to see this report.

Updates for Shared Group Systems

  • Group Member Admin account level – Good news for admin users in Shared Group Systems – we’ve added a new account level in Shared Group Systems for Group Member Library Administrators. This account level is currently able to add / edit / delete accounts, but only within their assigned Group Member Library. In the future, this account level will also be able to edit the policy FAQs for their Group Member Library and leave feedback on chat transcripts that are associated with their library. To assign someone to a Group Member Admin account, System Account holders can head to the edit account screen > Add/Edit Account > Account Type: Group Member Admin.
  • Adjusted Chat Transcript Visibility: We’ve adjusted our approach to chat transcript visibility in Shared Group Systems for librarians who are assigned to a Group Member Library. Now librarians who are assigned to a Group Member Library will be able to view all chat transcripts that originated from chat widgets affiliated with their library, as well as transcripts that were answered by librarians from that Group Member Library. Users in Shared Group Systems can see this change by heading to LibChat > Transcripts.

QuestionPoint Data Portal

With this release, former QuestionPoint clients will now see a special portal page for viewing historical QuestionPoint data. This portal page includes the top level Institution Stats report for viewing stats on the total questions answered by each institution. We’ve also included a portal for each site’s previous QuestionPoint Service History, which provides access to the past 3 years’ worth of chat and email interactions from your QuestionPoint system. Admins can head to Admin > QuestionPoint Data and select a report or transcript to view.

Smaller fixes and Miscellany

  • Co-Op Duplicate Operators – We’ve fixed an issue where, in some cases, some operators from other systems were displaying more than once.
  • Co-Op Users Going Offline – Related to the above issue, we’ve also fixed an issue causing operators from other systems to show as online when they had gone offline.
  • Policy FAQs Jump – We’ve fixed a display issue that affected chat operators viewing the policy FAQ from another library.
  • New Window Link Targets – We fixed window targets in the question form and in System Status Management posts so that they open in a new window if set that way.
  • Searching Public FAQs from Internal Chats – We’ve fixed a problem that prevented searching public FAQs from within internal/1:1 chats in the new chat dashboard.
  • Institution Activity Date/Time Reports – We’ve adjusted the way we display data in Institution Activity Reports to display in the user’s local timezone, instead of always displaying in UTC.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibCal

We’re thrilled to bring you some great new LibCal features!

Appointments

We’ve added a calendar view that will display all currently-booked appointments.  Filter this new view by individual or all users, hover over an appointment to view details, or click details in the bottom pane to edit. Head to Appointments > Calendar to check out this new view!

We also have a few Accessibility fixes for Appointments:

  • We corrected contrast errors and addressed keyboard navigation issues for headings and buttons when making a booking.
  • We fixed an issue causing keyboard focus to be lost inside the information modal in appointments.

Calendars/Events

You can now attach files to events! A limit of 5 files (20MB per file) can be attached to a calendar event.  The file attachments will display on the public event page(s) as downloadable links.

Registration form responses are now viewable on the Registrations and Waitlist tabs, when managing an event. To change which fields are displayed in the table, click the ‘Columns’ button. 

  • When deleting a location, you can now choose “No Location” as its replacement. Once your location is deleted, any events using that location will be changed to “No Location.”
  • When adding a full registrant to a series linked event on the admin side, you can now add that registrant to all events in the series or to the selected event and all future events in the series.
  • We added a language customization option for the ‘More’ link on public event cards.

Equipment/Spaces

Make your Availability grid stand out! Now you can add patterns/stripes to the admin and public page availability grid.  Head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Settings to add patterns to your statuses.

  • Granular Locations Access: We’ve added a new permission at Equipment & Space > Manage Locations, so that you can grant Regular users access to each location.
  • View check-in information: The Equipment Booking Explorer will now display which user Checked In or Checked Out an item, along with the date and time of these actions.  Head to Equipment > Booking Explorer to view this new functionality.
  • We’ve added support for email tags in the email templates subject line.
  • We’ve added the ability to copy equipment bookings from the ‘Check Out’ & ‘Check In’ pages.
  • A language customization has been added for the public page(s) error when a user exceeds their weekly booking limit.
  • The ability to post past equipment & space bookings through the API when using the ‘adminbooking’ parameter has been added.

We also have these accessibility fixes to bring you:

    • We mitigated errors on the public equipment page.
    • Headers on an individual Spaces pages were skipping from h1 to h4 to h2.
    • Keyboard navigation issues.

Miscellaneous

We’ve added an email notification for Exchange/Google sync/auth failures.  Currently, this email will alert any emails that are added for  Appointments OAuth and EWS connection errors and Spaces OAuth connection errors.  Future support is coming for Spaces EWS and Appointments, Calendars & Spaces Google connection errors.

Accessibility fixes have been completed for the following on multiple public pages:

  • Public pages that had nonconsecutive h1, h2, h3, h4 elements
  • Color Contrast errors

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibGuides

LibGuides and LibApps started our release-week party early! Check out last week’s blog post for what’s in this release, which is also expected to be complete by April 3.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibWizard

Privacy Scrub Tool

The long-awaited Privacy Scrub tool is is available now! With this new functionality, you can specify which fields in your LibWizard items are scrubbed on a rolling, monthly basis. Admin users head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Data Scrub page to complete the form to activate this feature for your site. There are also a few fields that you can optionally set to scrub for your system as a whole, since every form has the potential to save IP addresses and information about the submitter (name, email, phone).

Once it’s activated, admin-level users can also see when the scrub was enabled, and what it’s set to scrub, from this location.

Admin Privacy Scrub

In individual items, find this new setting by editing any item in the system and going to Options > Advanced > Configure Privacy Scrub. For each field that appears in the list, select whether or not you’d like to scrub that field.Privacy Data Scrub Settings

Additional Improvements

  • We fixed the issue where individual feedback wasn’t being saved properly for existing fields.
  • We’ve fixed the Pre-filled URL for time for date fields.
  • Pre-filled URL works with LibAuth authenticated forms.
  • The ‘Jump To Slide’ function when previewing standalone slides now works as expected.
  • Data Submission Notices are displayed properly for all tutorials.
  • We’ve fixed the issue where the banner header was still being displayed for widgets in pages that have the ‘Do Not Display Banner Header’ checked.
  • Last Updated and Last Updated By information is available in the F/S/Q/T list page.
  • We’ve updated the behavior for ‘Require correct answer to continue’ fields by adding in a new language text that will be displayed if that field does not have any feedback (individual, wrong/correct) enabled.
  • The Standalone Tutorial iframe has been updated so that it will behave as the ‘top’ window, allowing any embedded websites to behave as if it were the top window. This helps when embedding third party sites that may check to see if it’s the top window. For example, the World Health Organization page has a logic to redirect itself from the iframe if it is not the top window.

We also have these accessibility fixes to bring you:

  • We’ve added additional color settings for feedback styling. This includes wrong, correct, and informational feedback looks.
  • We’ve fixed “Link Purpose” errors on the Form, Survey, Quizzes, and Tutorials (F/S/Q/T) list pages.
  • We’ve added appropriate descriptive labels for the F/S/Q/T list pages, field editor modals, Admin pages. Text input fields have the appropriate descriptions via aria-label tags.
  • The ‘title’ on public forms has the proper ‘title’ tags.
  • Tutorial > Select/Edit slide breadcrumb color has been updated to conform to W3C’s color contrast criteria.
  • We fixed an error coming from the top navigation menu.

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibStaffer

We have the following LibStaffer features and fixes ready to deliver to you next week!

Schedules/Shifts
  • We’ve corrected an issue when editing shifts that have been previously synced to Outlook. Any edits will correctly reflect changes in Outlook.
  • We fixed an issue causing the end date to not appear when editing a recurring shift using the ‘From This Date Forward’ option.
  • The 24-hour time format correctly displays in the Schedules calendar view, shift details time display, and picker.
  • Accessibility fixes have been done for the ‘Copy Shifts’ page.
Time Off
  • Elevated Regular users who have the ability to approve Time Off will only see accounts associated with the schedules where they have that permission.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where the ‘All Day Event’ was not working properly at the start of Daylight Savings Time.
  • The 24-hour time format correctly displays on the Time Off calendar view and Time Off record entry time picker.
  • Accessibility fixes have been completed for the Time Off calendar and staff timeline view.
Misc.
  • You can now enter Holidays using a date range vs. adding the days one-by-one! Head to Admin > Holidays to check out this new feature.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibCRM

This LibCRM release brings Custom Fields for Interactions and some improvements to the dashboard and navigation bar, as well as a bunch of small changes and fixes.

Custom Interactions

We’ve reworked the way interactions were set up in the system. Interactions can be completely personalized by showing / hiding system fields and adding / removing custom fields (as you do for profiles)

Interaction Types tab: since they have similar behavior as profiles now, interaction types are no longer in the Manage Form Fields / Categories & Terms tab. Instead, Interaction Types has its own tab at the top of the page.

In this “Interaction Types” tab, you can create new types of interactions.

Important:  this is a required field. When this feature goes out, all interactions will be given the type “Unknown.” You can customize your types from here, but this default type cannot be deleted or edited.

Fields for Interaction Types tab: Create custom fields that will be displayed when creating/viewing an interaction. Custom fields for interactions present the same level of flexibility as the ones in profiles (view, create, delete, edit). As in other places, the system will provide some basic “Interaction System Fields” that can’t be deleted or edited, to ensure your data stays organized.

  • Improved interaction performance: we have tweaked the way the system works in order to make working with interactions faster.
Additional changes
  • We have turned the At a Glance panel into a way to quickly navigate to the information presented. Clicking the link redirects you to the specific module of the system.
  • We removed the “New” dropdown from the navigation bar. Go to the respective areas to create new content.
  • Also note that the Help link is no longer a question mark. Click “Help” to jump to documentation.
  • Search filters selected by default: when using the search box in the navigation bar all the search filters are selected by default, effectively searching the entire system.

Profiles
  • We have increased the “Description” character limit from 255 to 1000 characters.
  • We have added a link to create a new type right next to the “Select Type” option when creating a Person/Organization profile or and Interaction. That way the user won’t have to leave the creation process to create a new type from the Manage Form Fields page and then come back to the create entity process and complete it.

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LibInsight

We’ve updated our Cross Dataset Analysis codebase to be more efficient and manageable! We’ve also included two new aggregate types for cross dataset analysis: Hourly (up to two days) and Daily (up to one month).

Fixes and Improvements
  • We’ve fixed the issue where admins could not access Shared datasets via Admin > Manage Datasets page. Clicking the Shared dataset name will take you to the Record Data screen and not the LibInsight Home landing page.
  • The ‘View Statistics’ link has been fixed for Shared datasets.
  • The broken link ‘+ Add new SUSHI Credential’ on the Counter 4 datasets edit platform page has been fixed.
  • If you have LibCRM, then LibCRM will be available in the top navigation menu links (in the blue dropdown left of ‘Home’).
  • The Created Time for COUNTER 5 datasets has been updated to Local Time Zone format from UTC format.
  • Better handling of invoice file uploads by checking to see if the file actually uploaded successfully.
  • Cross Dataset Analysis will include two new aggregate types: Hourly and Daily.
Accessibility
  • All charts are now fully accessible.
  • The required fields for any dataset that has a form for data input have the proper aria-required properties.

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That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more improvements throughout 2020. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Tips & Tricks for the Remote-First World

As more and more schools are closing, events are being canceled, buildings are shutting their doors, and people are remote-working where possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve… your organization is facing a critical and time-sensitive situation. How do you provide virtual services to your patrons?

Here at Springshare, we know you’re under a lot of pressure and we’re here to help you adjust quickly and ensure that your library can provide effective support to online learners and community members that cannot physically be in the library. But first things first, we want to assure you that your Springshare Service will continue uninterrupted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Academic & K12 Institutions

With most, if not all, courses at your institution being taught online, it’s important for your library to be where your students are. Whether that means embedding library services and content in courseware or providing remote research consultations…. if they’re remote, you need to be remotely accessible too.

Courseware Integration – Adding LibGuides, LibAnswers Live Chat, and LibCal Scheduling Services

We’ve written this stellar FAQ on three different ways you can embed your LibAnswers and LibChat content in your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Sakai, and other LTI-compliant courseware tools.

The first method outlines using LibGuides CMS’ LTI-integration which allows you to embed not only a LibAnswers FAQ search box and a live LibChat widget, but also links to related LibGuides, LibCal appointment scheduler for online/remote research consultations, content-specific library databases, and more.

LibGuides CMS LTI Tool – creating a Library Resources page in Canvas with LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal.

If LibGuides CMS is not in the cards, don’t worry – the other two ways outlined in the FAQ provide detailed instructions for embedding LibAnswers and LibChat widgets using either Javascript or non-Javascript methods. Bottom-line, if you need to integrate the library’s virtual reference services into your courseware tools… we’ve got you covered.

LibAnswers Screensharing + LibCal = Booking Virtual Appointments

If classes have gone virtual, your students still need research consultations – albeit virtually. Use LibCal Appointments to setup, manage, and communicate online appointments and conduct those sessions using LibAnswers Screensharing. LibCal Admins, learn how you can setup the Appointment Scheduler for optimal usage. We even have a dedicated training session available to show you how you can use LibCal for booking virtual help.

  • Training Session – Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions: Learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET

Public / State Libraries

Though your buildings are closing their doors, there is a need now, more than ever, to effectively communicate and share extremely important public safety information with your community. We’ve seen an uptick in the creation of COVID-19 LibGuides, especially as it relates to sharing information on what public services are available, what’s closed, and more. Your LibGuides help shatter myths about the virus and communicate real facts and tips. Here are some of our favorites.

COVID-19 LibGuides:

 

All Libraries – Virtual Reference & Instruction Services

No matter what type of library you’re from, if your doors are closing for two weeks, a month, or longer, you might be exploring ways to provide virtual reference & instruction services to your patrons from the comfort and safety of your home to the comfort and safety of their home.

LibAnswers Virtual Reference Platform

If you need assistance with quickly pivoting to remote-only virtual reference service we can help with that. If you do not have an effective online chat platform with email reference capability, FAQ creator, live chat with screensharing & webinars functionality, and social media monitoring, or if you haven’t yet set some of these options up in your system, we can get you up and running on our LibAnswers platform quickly, including plenty of training / online help: live and recorded sessions, Springboards, and SpringyU courses on FAQ Groups (limit to LibAnswers).

  • Pro-tip Idea: You can use the LibAnswers Systems and Status Dashboard to share the status of various institution, city, or community services. Is the dining hall closed till further notice? Mark it as closed in your Status Dashboard. Is city hall accepting only pre-booked appointments? Note that in your Status Dashboard.

LibWizard Self-Grading Quizzes & Interactive Tutorials

Some of you are getting word out that your doors are closing and that you’ll switch to online services exclusively with just a few hours or maybe even a full day of notice…if you’re lucky. If you’re scrambling to develop lesson plans or instruction packets for K-12 students who are facing school closures for 2 – 5 weeks or college-level students who are going 100% virtual through the end of the semester, create LibWizard self-grading quizzes and/or interactive tutorials.

LibWizard quizzes and tutorials:

  • Work on all devices from tablet to computer;
  • Allow you to create an unlimited number of self-grading quizzes and tutorials;
  • Provide real-time formative assessment with correct/incorrect help text;

For public and K-12 libraries, consider liaising with your local K-12 schools to assist teachers in creation of tutorials and quizzes. Academic libraries, reach out to faculty and consider embedding a tutorial or quiz inside courseware. Public librarians, your patrons are self-quarantining and really want to download some ebooks. Create an interactive tutorial teaching them how to search, find, and download ebooks.

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial on Downloading eBooks

 

All Libraries – Bulk Canceling LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment Reservations

If your building is closing suddenly, there’s a good chance that patrons have scheduled in-person appointments and reserved spaces/rooms & equipment via your LibCal Appointments, Spaces & Equipment modules. Now you have to cancel a lot of upcoming reservations and appointments…quickly. We’ve coded and released a new bulk delete feature for the LibCal Appointments, Spaces, and Equipment modules to help you with that process. This feature will be available to all regions by Tuesday, March 17.

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

If you need extra (online) hands to staff and monitor chat to ensure after-hours, regular hours, or full 24/7 coverage, we can help with that, too. Our LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative is the largest virtual reference cooperative in the world and our co-op librarians can lend a helping hand.

For those libraries who are already members of the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative, you might be noticing an increase in your virtual reference traffic due to campus closures, event cancellations, etc. We want to assure you that we are prepared to handle increases in chat traffic due to COVID-19. Our service philosophy, irrespective of COVID-19, is that we monitor incoming chat traffic trends and adjust staffing accordingly. This is to ensure that your patrons will enjoy shorter wait times and receive high-quality chat reference assistance 24/7/365.

COVID-19 Dedicated Training Series

Quickly pivoting to working from home might be new territory for you, so we’ve created several training sessions that cover: ways you can communicate important information to your community, building a LibGuide for a class that’s gone completely digital, and more. Can’t attend any of the below sessions? Don’t worry, all sessions are recorded and available online shortly after the session is held.

  • Keeping Important Info Up-to-Date with LibAnswers Widgets – manage important information about your library, school, university or business, etc, in relation to the current crisis. By creating a COVID-19 FAQ Group in LibAnswers embedding and updating important information will be easier. With widgets you will only need to update information in one location and it will automatically be updated everywhere your widgets have been used.

    •  Monday, March 16: 1:00pm – 1:45pm U.S. ET

  • Build-a-LibGuide for a Class That’s Just Gone Digital – with changes to how classes are being conducted, we need to adapt our methods for sharing information and resources. Join us for a 40 minute session where we will look at creating a guide to support a course that has just gone online.  This session assumes a base knowledge of LibGuides. If you are new to LibGuides we recommend that you watch or attend the Building a Guides Session prior to this one.
    • Wednesday, March 18: 2:00pm – 2:40pm U.S. ET
  • Use LibCal Appointments to Book Virtual Help/Reference Sessions –  learn how to use LibCal to allow users to book Online Help Sessions with Appointments. We will look at using LibCal’s Appointments module to make it easy for your patrons to book one-on-one virtual appointments with you. Whatever your online hosting service is, from Skype to Zoom to Screensharing in LibAnswers, we will look at how to make this service more accessible to your patrons. Some settings that we discuss are Admin only, but all are encouraged to attend.
    • Thursday, March 19: 2:00pm – 2:45pm U.S. ET
  • Engaging Online Learners with Quizzes & Tutorials – with the move to online instruction across the world, learn how you can create online quizzes and tutorials using LibWizard to supplement your instruction programs.

    • Tuesday, March 24: 2:00pm – 3:00pm U.S. ET

Bottom-line: we know that this is a very stressful and unnerving time-period. Both you and your patrons are going through a drastic shift, and we want you to know that we’re with you each and every step of the way. Springshare has you covered.

Grand Ole Lineup of Presentations @ PLA Nashville

PLA 2020 - Booth 641

While our stage won’t be as majestic as The Grand Ole Opry, we do have a sizzling line-up of presentations that are guaranteed to entertain and inform you and you won’t need a special membership to watch. From Wednesday, Feb 26 – Friday, Feb 28, we have a star-powered lineup of guest speakers plus in-the-flesh Springy trainers sharing tips, ideas, and strategies that are bound to get you dancing in your seats with excitement!

Stop by our booth #641 or watch our live-stream of select sessions on our Facebook page. These sessions will be archived and made available after the event on our Facebook Video page.

Important Tidbits:

  • You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the live-stream or archived videos… just ignore the login/sign-up information and continue.
  • If you LIKE our page, you won’t miss out on future streams of guest speakers, etc.
  • If you adjust your Springshare notifications to ON, you’ll receive notifications in your Facebook feed for product updates, videos we share, and more!

Guest Speakers – Streaming LIVE on Facebook

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time.

Ask Us: Using LibAnswers for Online Reference in a Multi-Branch Library

Presenter: Sara Nielsen, St. Charles City-County Library
Wed, Feb 26: 4:30pm – 4:45pm

Sara will discuss how they use LibAnswers for supporting online reference at the St. Charles City-County Library system.


Managing Public Library Room Reservations with LibCal

Presenters: Brigid Day & Katie Creecy, John P. Holt Brentwood Library
Wed, Feb 26: 5:00pm – 5:15pm

Katie and Brigid will explore how they use LibCal to manage the public room reservations at the John P. Hold Brentwood Library.


LibCal is the Foundation of My Programming

Presenter: Victor Baeza, Oklahoma State University
Wed Feb 26: 5:30pm – 5:45pm

Victor will present on how he is using LibCal as the foundation for his different programming activities. Using examples from his work with graduate students, he will show how LibCal can be used to develop, coordinate, and manage programming at any type of library, and across various locations/campuses.



LibCal & BiblioEvents Integration

Guest Speaker: Maxine Levine, BiblioCommons
Wed, Feb 26: 5:45pm – 6:00pm

Explore a unique integration between BiblioEvents and LibCal’s Spaces Bookings! Staff who are scheduling events in BiblioEvents will be able to check and reserve rooms for that event inside LibCal Spaces.


Scheduling Staff at a Large Public Library with LibStaffer

Presenter: Gianna Gifford, Boston Public Library
Thu, Feb 27: 9:30am – 9:45am

Gianna will present on how the Boston Public Library system schedules hundreds of staffers across 20+ branches inside one LibStaffer system.


Product Flashes: Sneak-Peeks, Tips, & New Ideas.

All times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time.

These Springy-led presentations are quick 15 minute flash sessions designed to either give a sneak-peek at a new Tool or showcase how you can use a Springshare Tool in a new and innovative way. Bottom-line, you’ll walk away with actionable and useful ideas you can implement right away.

LibGuides:

Create Interactive Summer Reading List, Staff Picks & More!

In this session, learn how to create amazing reading lists to share with your patrons. We’ll cover how to add books from the catalog, use gallery boxes to create beautiful book carousels, and use links to get users to canned catalog searches, ebooks, and more.

LibAnswers:

Answer Patron Questions with LibAnswers… Even When They’re Not in the Library

Provide patrons with live chat reference from your library website, catalog, or any webpage with optional 24/7 coverage. Turn frequently asked questions into searchable FAQs and answer patron tweets, Facebook posts/DMs, and SMS/Texts all from one interface.

LibCal

Charge for Events, Spaces & Equipment 

Explore how LibCal’s billing module helps you charge for events, room bookings, and equipment reservations. Charge for consumable things like art supplies, 3D printing materials, and more. Collect payment online (credit card / debit card) or in-person (cash / check). Offer special discount codes that apply towards payment.

Manage Room & Equipment Reservations – If you Have It, We Can Help You Check It Out

Make study rooms, laptops, wifi hotspots, meeting spaces, event spaces, and other types of rooms and equipment available to the public for online reservation.

Create Events & Book Spaces with Equipment Seamlessly

Make use of seamless integration within LibCal. Create an event and book spaces and equipment at the same time, seamlessly.

LibInsight

Count Library Activity with LibInsight

Use LibInsight to help you keep track of your library’s activity. Record and analyze reference questions, door counts, circulation numbers, event statistics, and more.

LibStaffer

Staff Workers, Volunteers, & Pages with LibStaffer

Whether juggling multiple service points with different staffing needs and duties, or handling restrictions on who can work when and for how long, LibStaffer takes the hard work out of staffing and scheduling so you have time for more important projects.

LibWizard

Train Staff and Volunteers with LibWizard’s Self-Guided Tutorials

Use LibWizard interactive tutorials and quizzes to internally train staff and volunteers. Learning is self-paced, self-grading, and provides opportunities for formative assessment.