Archive for LibGuides CMS

LibGuides Update: E-Reserves Item Search, Patron Login with LibAuth, LibAuth Setup Wizard, and a Ton More Updates!

E-Reserves Search

Check out this giant present for your holiday celebrations!

Or if you’re not into December holidays, Happy 2018 from Springy to you! 🙂

There are a ton of new features for you to explore in LibGuides this month.

Log into LibApps patron accounts with LibAuth

If you head over to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron accounts = and if you see accounts listed there, those users can now sign into Discussion Boards and Blog Comments using your local authentication layer (LDAP, CAS, AD, etc.).  If you don’t see any accounts listed there, good news, you can batch import! This way, your users can actively participate and comment in your LibGuides system using their trusted and known local authentication layer and without having to remember yet another login. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts to create accounts via import, or to LibApps > Admin > Manage Patron Accounts > Settings to enable self-registration.
  2. Set up your LibAuth configuration.
  3. Be sure to set the “Allow logging into LibApps using this authentication?” option at the bottom of the screen to “Yes.”

LibAuth Setup Wizard

If your institution is a member of the InCommon Federation or UK Federation, you can now set up a LibAuth connection in just a few clicks. Just choose your institution name from the setup drop-down, and we’ll create a configuration for you, pasting in your metadata URL and filling in machine-readable attributes. If you’re not a member of either federation, or you wish to use a different protocol outside federation setup, no problem! Just choose to set up a configuration manually. We continue to support SAML / Shibboleth / ADFS, CAS, SIP2, LDAP, and a self-hosted script of your own creation.

Let’s Encrypt support

We are pleased to announce support for free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. Similar to the certificates that we manage for Springy domains (e.g., libguides.com), these short-term certificates for your LibGuides domains will be installed and renewed by us at no cost or bother to you. Simply change your site’s domain to your desired custom domain, and we’ll do the rest!

Already have a custom domain? No problem! We’ll be requesting and installing Let’s Encrypt certificates for LibGuides custom domains  in the coming weeks. If you prefer to upload your own SSL certificate, you can still do that, no problem! Sites that have already uploaded their own certificates will not be changed, although you are welcome to switch from your own certificate to Let’s Encrypt. Please contact support to get started: support@springshare.com.

Let’s Encrypt certificates are currently only available for LibGuides sites with custom domains but will be coming to LibAnswers and LibCal custom domain sites in the near future.

As always, we manage the SSL certificates for your LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibInsight sites.

E-Reserves item search

Now you can provide a deeper search of your e-reserves content! Go into E-Reserves > Settings > Search and enable item search to see new tabbed search results on your E-Reserves pages that includes all E-Reserves items. Search results include courses like they always have, but item search retrieves documents that are not assigned to a course as well as those that are. Visibility dates and access rules (passwords) for courses and items are also enforced.  The new enhanced display also shows you which Subjects courses are assigned to.

If you don’t want item level search, just head to E-Reserves > Settings > Search to disable the item level search.

Screenshot of e-reserves item search results

E-Reserves page URLs are “savable”

Want to send a link to your e-reserves courses by Instructor? By Subject? Now you can! Any URL that you navigate to on your public e-reserves pages is now savable and shareable. Bonus: this extends to search results, too! You can create a search retrieving exactly the desired subset of courses and documents and forward that on to the appropriate audience. Pssst, we heard you! We’ll be making this change for the LibGuides system and group home pages in a release coming up in a few short weeks.

AZ fixes and features

There are two new filters on the A-Z Databases management page: Asset Owner and Last Updated date. Use these to search for a subset of databases maintained by a certain person, or to make sure that updates have been done timely.

Screenshot of new filters on the AZ management page

Additional AZ Fixes and Features

  • Login credential updates save correctly
  • Column filters on AZ settings page work correctly
  • Counts of popular databases are correct on the Analyze Holdings page
  • Internal notes with quotation marks save correctly

Accessibility fixes

  • Added missing labels on public blog pages
  • Reference to non-existant imagemap removed
  • ALT text for Books from the Catalog

…and Even More Small Fixes!

  • Added a link back to domains page from certificate upload page
  • Image manager: replacing an image with a new image works correctly
  • Databases without a URL show properly as plain text in a guide
  • Guide Blog page RSS feed works if your site is forced to HTTPS
  • Accounts page: account type filter works correctly
  • Search:
    • EBSCO Discovery Service search results pagination works correctly
    • Punctuation inEBSCO Discovery Service search results works correctly
  • The default template for individual subject page is editable when E-Reserves module is enabled
  • Link checker
    • Exclusion list URLs with special characters filter correctly
    • All proxied assets are skipped
  • Blog widgets: new option to display post dates
  • Blog widgets display correctly for posts with more than one subject
  • Statistics: Content Summary visible when E-Reserves module is disabled
  • Updating single database asset with the API works correctly

And last but not least: we disabled the “Create Guide” button after you click on it once, so that it’s no longer possible to accidentally create more than one guide. 🙂

 

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #3: Is Your Library Holi’Ready?

Avoid Holiday Stress

A big part of holiday planning is knowing where to be, and when. You’ve got dinner plans at your friend Tina’s house on the 24th at 6pm and latkes at your cousin Tim’s abode on the last day of Hannukkah. Coordinating all of those invitations and appearances requires a lot of planning and forethought. Will the train be packed at 5pm causing you to be late? Should you take 95N instead of 93N so you can swing by your favorite wine shop for a hostess gift? Can you fit your workplace New Year’s Eve party AND your family’s party on the same night?

Planning, Planning, Planning. Stress, Stress, Stress.

And just imagine, your library guests are under the same amount of pressure as you – plus they’re trying to find time to swing by the library as well! Maybe they’re trying to pick up some light reads to enjoy during the break, or studying for exams, or even attending your super awesome’sauce events! Whatever their reason for swinging by, you want to make sure you’re alleviating and not adding to their stress.

So the question is, is your library Holi’Ready?

Tip #3: Getting Your Library Holi’Ready

Getting your library Holi’ready doesn’t mean elaborate decorations, traveling snack-carts, or tons of holiday events. Good on you if you are (seriously, awesome job!), but even the smallest things can have a big impact and help to reduce the stress your library guests are already under.

Are Your Holiday Hours…. Everywhere?

LibCal-Hours

LibCal Hours Module: Today’s Hours Widget.

Your library hours are probably available on a hundred different webpages. And if you’re updating them to reflect your special holiday schedule, there’s a good chance you’ll miss a few places. And inevitably, a library patron will find that one webpage where the hours haven’t been updated and they’ll show up at your doors at 9pm – well past closed. They’re going to be peeved, upset, and frustrated.

And rightfully so! Most likely, their entire day is planned down to the minute – so if they found a webpage that says you’re going to be open, and then you’re not, that throws their entire day (and probably subsequent days) into the lurch.

A great way to ensure that you’re updating all your webpages to reflect your current library hours is to use the LibCal Hours Module. The Hours module let’s you define your standard hours, special holiday hours, and even one-off exceptions like “Aaaccck, we have to close early because a Snowa’caine is coming!”. Simply define all your hours, for all future dates and then grab an hours widget and embed that widget into those aforementioned webpages. As your hours update, day-by-day, the hours module will automagically update.

Say goodbye to outdated webpages showing inaccurate hours and say hello to happy patrons!

Text ‘Holidays’ to Get Library-Related Information

Back in 2011, about 73% of American adults and nearly almost all young adults (95%) send and receive text-messages according to a Pew Research Report. Fast-forward 6 years, and those numbers can only have increased. In fact, Forbes reported in 2015 that Millennials text more and talk less because they see phone calls “as overly intrusive, even presumptuous”.

Bottomline, if they want to communicate with your library – they’d prefer to do it as efficiently as possible and preferably over text-message.

If your library is using LibAnswers, be sure to take advantage of SMS Automatic Keywords. This way, your patrons can text a keyword, like ‘Holiday’, to your library’s SMS number and receive an auto-response with all the relevant information. Navigate to Admin > Queues > Select Your Queue > SMS Tab > SMS Automatic Keywords to set those up.

It’s fast and easy for them, and no staff monitoring of your library’s SMS service to boot. This 2010 interview with Johnson & Wales University Providence shows how their using SMS keywords in the library – it’s an oldie, but goodie!

Be sure to advertise your keywords inside the library and on your webpages too.

Pro-Tip: Update the automatic response periodically to entice your users to text again, and again – always getting new information with each one.

LibAnswers SMS Automatic Responses: Each Keyword gets up to two auto-responses = 300 characters.

Do Librarians Know All Relevant Holiday Information?

If you’re anything like most Americans, you suffer from inbox fatigue. You’re inundated with emails – whether it’s newsletters, marketing emails, SPAM, or internal communication that could have been done f2f, your inbox is exploding. In fact, 205 billion emails are sent every day. Yup, that’s billion…. with a B. 

Can you remember the last time you achieved inbox zero? For some folks, that day is yet to come.

So, if you’re trying to communicate important holiday information – try and give your colleagues a break and take it outside of email. Getting your library Holi’ready means getting your staff ready too.

1. Use Your Admin Alert Boxes!

Inside your LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibStaffer tools – you have access to an Admin Alert box. Head over to Admin > Admin Alert Box or System-Settings (depending on the tool).

This way, your colleagues can see custom alerts letting them know about important holiday information like hours, food drives, events, etc.

LibAnswers Admin Alert Box right on the Dashboard.

 

2. Discussion Boards in LibGuides (CMS Only)

For LibGuides CMS users, you have access to an internal discussion board. This is great for housing and storing internal discussions related to this holiday season – such as staffing schedules, holiday staff parties, and what types of events to throw at the library.

LibGuides CMS discussion boards are searchable and can be keyword tagged for sorting/filtering. So if you’re trying to remember, “What were our holiday hours last year?” you can simply login, filter on your keyword ‘Holiday’ and see the entire discussion thread and final resolution.

Remember, email was never intended to be a permanent archive – so if you’ve got saved emails in your inbox from 2008, it might be time to consider an alternative approach. 😛

LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards to Create an Internal/Searchable Staff Intranet

 

If you have any additional suggestions for getting your library holi’ready, comment below!

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing tips’! Hopefully you enjoyed Tips #1 and #2 and tune in next year when we do it again!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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!

7 Tips for Making Your Case to Use LibGuides CMS to Power Your Website

Kutztown University Library Homepage

When updating the library’s website, you’re not making that decision in a vacuum. More often than not, it’s a group decision that must go through multiple layers of stakeholders and departments.

If you’re advocating moving your Library Website into LibGuides CMS, you’ll need some feathers in your quill to strengthen your position.

Here are seven tips designed to help you ‘make your case’ towards moving your library website into LibGuides CMS.

1. Streamline Interfaces…For Everyone

Your library employs many web-based services to meet the needs of your patrons. From your website to the online catalog, from your blog to your Facebook page – you have a lot of virtual touch-points to manage.

Moving your library website into LibGuides CMS helps you to streamline interfaces, for everyone. Staff only have to go to one place to access research guides and website content. Plus, with LibGuides CMS you get free access to LibWizard Lite survey and form builder. This means one less login and password to remember to create forms and surveys. And, if you setup LibAuth integration, staff only need to login to your CAS/LDAP/AD/Shibboleth or other authentication tool to login to LibGuides CMS.

Patrons only have to navigate to one URL to access their website, research guides, embedded LibWizard surveys/forms, E-Reserves content, and more.

August University Library Homepage

Augsburg University Library uses their LibGuides CMS homepage to showcase library resources and prominently display their research guides.

2. Mobile-Friendly & Accessibly Designed

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.

These stats are letting you know that mobile access is not a trend, but the ‘new normal’ and it’s here to stay. But, that’s easier said than done. A mobile-first website is more than just ensuring that your website adjusts properly on all screen sizes, but it’s also important that your website’s user-interface elements change based on their screen size as well. A submit button, for example, should adjust for both desktop mouse usage and smartphone’s touchscreen ‘finger’ usage.

And, if that wasn’t already too much to consider – you also need to ensure that your website is accessible to boot. Do you have ‘skip to’ navigate for screen-readers? What about Aria tags for any JavaScript elements?

If you’re looking to make a case to move to LibGuides CMS to power your website, a mobile-first layout and built-in accessibility features can help!

Kutztown University Library Homepage

Kutztown University Library’s LibGuides CMS powered website looks great on desktop and mobile.

3. Showcase Other Libraries That Are Doing It

Sometimes, the best way to make your case is to showcase all of the other libraries that are doing it.

Our Buzz Guide showcases tons and tons (and did we say tons?) of libraries from Academic, to Special, to K-12/School Libraries that are using LibGuides CMS to power their websites. Plus, did you know that all Government of Health Libraries in Western Australia use LibGuides CMS to power their respective websites? Cool, right?!

4. Move Your Intranet Into the Cloud

So, beyond using it to power your website, and creating patron research/subject guides, you can also use LibGuides CMS to create a cloud-based staff intranet. Using Internal Groups, staff are required to ‘sign-in’ to access the protected content. Plus, you can use integrated discussion boards for collaboration and feedback and get out of your inbox.

This way, staff can access important content from anywhere…on any devicesecurely.

Albuequerque/Bernalillo County Public Library Staff Intranet

The Albuequerque/Bernalillo County Public Library created a protected CMS group called Habenero to manage internal communication across 18 branches.

 

5. Enjoy Seamless Springy App Integration

Lots of libraries who use LibGuides CMS to power their website also use LibAnswers and LibChat to power their reference services, LibWizard for all their surveys and interactive tutorials, and LibCal to promote their events, room bookings, and librarian one-on-one consultations.

It’s not just because these tools are awesome (they really are but we could be biased so you could take the University of Liverpool Library’s word for it or the University College Cork Library or even the Houston Community College Library) but also because they easily integrate with your LibGuides CMS powered website.

Plus, our unified search brings together your LibGuides CMS content, your A-Z list, LibAnswers FAQs, LibCal events, and any additional 3rd party tool (i.e. discovery layer or OPAC) that you want to add.

Walden University LibGuides Unified Search

Walden University Library integrates LibAnswers FAQs, LibGuides CMS content, and their LibGuides A-Z list plus their discovery portal inside into their LibGuides CMS Unified Search.

6. Academic Librarians – Employ Native Courseware Integration

It’s hard enough for Academic librarians to get students to navigate to, and use, the library’s website and resources. But, nowadays, students have so many other ‘websites’ that keep drawing their focus. The student portal, the activities webpage for on-campus events, Banner for grades, and now courseware tools like Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas too. How can the library compete for their attention?

LibGuides CMS has native courseware integration with any LTI-compliant courseware tool. So you can integrate your website content AND relevant courseware materials right at their point-of-need.

Plus, the LibGuides LTI Automagic tool helps you to embed your LibGuides CMS powered content across thousands of courses.

Penn State University used the LibGuides CMS LTI Builder to natively integrate relevant LibGuides, course-specific E-Reserves, and a LibAnswers LibChat widget across 33,000 courses in Fall 2016 and 32,000 courses in the Spring 2017 semester.

Was it successful? Well, in only 138 days of the Fall 2016 semester they had 80,000 hits.

Note: Penn State University Libraries does not use LibGuides CMS to power their website. 

7. Robust Training & Documentation

If you’re already using LibGuides CMS, and you want to know how to use it to power your library website – we’ve got you covered! Watch our ‘Creating a Homepage with CMS‘ training webinar series and check-out our help documentation that walks you through some key steps.

And remember, if you need help at any time, for any reason – you can contact us. Springshare Support to the rescue!

Tips for Designing LibGuides for Children

The look and design of your LibGuides will change depending on your audience. If you’re designing LibGuides for adults, graduate students, or advanced learners – you’ll focus more heavily on library resources, advanced searching techniques, and information literacy skill reinforcement.

When designing LibGuides for children, think bright, colorful, engaging, and entertaining.

No matter what children are doing online, whether its entertainment or education, they’re looking to have fun. Your LibGuide should be simple to use and exciting. If it’s not, you run the risk of them going elsewhere – to a webpage that can hold their short attention spans and fulfill their instant gratification needs.

So, when designing your LibGuide – dig deep and think back to when you were a child. Let’s cover a few tips for designing LibGuides for children.

1. Design for Appropriate Ages

Remember when you were 12 and someone gave you a gift meant for a 7 year old?! Gasp, the horror! You’re a pre-teen, not a baby!! Well, the same principle applies to your LibGuides. One size does not fit all, so consider creating different LibGuides for each age group. Furthermore, what holds the attention of a 7year old is going to be totally different than what attracts a 10year old. Create LibGuides CMS groups to customize the look & feel of each group of guides for each age group.

Example Guides Customized by Age Group

One great example that comes to mind is the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District LibGuides System. They’ve created different groups for PreK, K-5, and 6-12 age groups that all have a different look and feel.

Las Vegas County Public Library LibGuides

Las Vegas Clark County Public Library has different customizations for each age LibGuides CMS age group

2. Use Bright Colors & Images

Children respond to bright primary and secondary colors. Think red, blue, yellow, green, purple, and orange. Avoid muted colors and think bright saturated color schemes. Don’t skip over accessibility concerns, because if an adult can’t read purple text on a yellow background, then a child won’t be able to either.

3. Use Images to Create a Call to Action

Try to avoid lots of ‘copy’ and consider using images to create a call to action. There are loads of free tools you can use to create beautiful icons, and you don’t need to be a graphic designer to use them!

Examples:

Trinity Grammar School Uses Large Icons to guide Students

Canadian International School uses awesome icons to communicate library resources to students.

4. Incorporate Interactive Elements

Children want to play, plain and simple. Even when they’re learning, they learn better in a game’ified environment. Consider adding interactive polls, embedded videos, interactive widgets and activities to enrich their learning experience.

Moffat Library of Washingtonville adds interactive poll assets to every book asset to create a ‘Battle of the Books’ environment.

5. Consider ‘Characters’

Young children respond to characters and storylines. Creating a rich ‘story’ helps to create a connection between them, your content, and the learning outcomes. Consider using LibGuides blogs to create ongoing blog posts around a library character or story element.

The Harker School’s blog features the Harker Eagle, the school’s mascot.

6. HAVE FUN!

Above all, when creating a LibGuide designed for children – have fun with it! Unleash your inner child and think big, bold, bright, engaging, and entertaining.

Fall LibGuides Updates – Check ’em Out!

We released support for uploading your own HTTPS (SSL) certificates in September, and boy have you been using it! You’ve had a lot of great questions and helped us devise an improved Certificate Management page that is more intuitive to use. Haven’t uploaded a certificate yet? Need to renew and upload a new one? No problem! Just log into LibApps and head to Admin > Domains & Certificates. Click the padlock icon for the domain in question, and you’ll see information about your certificate (or lack thereof) right there.

Please note: the first step in the process is to change your domain’s DNS to point to the secure endpoint for your region. Please see our help guide for complete information.

Once you’ve done that, go to Your Certificate > Upload Certificate Files, or if you need a CSR and KEY with which to purchase a certificate, create and download those at Your Certificate > Generate and Download Certificate Signing Request & Private Key.

Once you upload your certificate file and key, the files will be installed and activated on our servers within one business day. The time of final activation depends on your region.

Screenshot

A Note on Site Cleanup

Just a friendly reminder that if you have ever switched to a custom domain or have otherwise had a domain change, including moving from a beta site to your live site, you should update any redirects and links that point to the old site.

Redirects include your custom homepage guide if you use one, group homepages, guides, and guide pages. We have redirects in place so that these bad domains will themselves redirect to the right place, but it’s best practice to eliminate these bad links by using relative URLs for your redirects. Using relative URLs means you don’t have to worry about changing redirects or links should you happen to change domains again in future.

So, if you redirect your system URL to a guide, go to Admin > Look & Feel > Page Layout > Homepage > Customization. If you’ve clicked the “Use Custom” button and have a redirect entered in the redirect field, make sure that it’s a relative URL. That would mean entering /home rather than https://mylibrary.libguides.com/home.

 

DO THIS: NOT THIS:
/home https://mylibrary.libguides.com/home

 

Screenshot

If you’re a LibGuides CMS customer and make use of groups, you should check at Admin > Groups > (edit group) > Page Layout > Group Homepage > Customization and make sure that you’re using relative URLs as redirects, if you have any.

It’s also important to check all custom templates and header and footer code for your site and groups to make sure that you aren’t using any links to old domains, including your original LibGuides v2 beta site. These can also be safely replaced with relative URLs.

Lastly, do a quick search in the Search & Replace tool for “beta” or your old domain to make sure you don’t have any guide content that needs updating. Check out our Search & Replace Tools videos for more help:

Accessibility Fixes

  • Database resource icons correctly have a blank ALT tag, as these are decorative images. Screenreaders will read a resource icon’s description aloud, so be sure to add that if the icon’s meaning isn’t otherwise conveyed in the link name.
  • The Fieldset Element has been correctly added to LibGuides search results facets.
  • The <b> tag no longer appears on search results pages.
  • The Guides and AZ list widgets have appropriate labels, when displayed as a drop-down menu

Aditional Fixes and Features

We also have a slew of smaller things to share with you:

  • Fixed! Search from a group homepage, search results are filtered to show only that group.
  • Gallery box slide titles are now easy to target with CSS.
  • The character limit for database asset internal notes has been expanded to 1,000 characters.
  • If you exceed the character limit for guide-level Custom JS/CSS, you are warned and not able to save.

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 (LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibAnalytics) 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…

LibGuides Accessibility Updates, AZ Page Stats, HTTPS Certificates and more!

Accessibility fixes

This week at Springy HQ we are pleased to bring you the following accessibility fixes. Our first pass of fixes in the last few months focused on “errors” on all public pages; this pass hits the E-Reserves module as well as many things classified as “alerts”—things that could technically adhere to guidelines but needed examining. See something else we need to consider? Let us know! Click the Support tab on any admin-side LibGuides page to send us a ticket.
Please include:
  • Name of the accessibility tool you’re using
  • Description of the issue, including any code snippets that trigger the alert
  • Screenshot of the accessibility tool’s overlay highlighting the issue, if possible
  • URL of the page (included automatically if you use the Support form)
To ensure that content that you add keeps your guides accessible, please see our help guide on LibGuides and Accessibility accessible as well as the upcoming training session on the topic.
E-Reserves fixes
  • We rebuilt the E-Reserves request form using plain HTML & Bootstrap select menus, eliminating several issues with keyboard and screenreader navigation.
  • We eliminated a few errors and alerts on the main E-Reserves listing page and on course pages.
  • We changed the H4 element used to mark up the number of courses shown to an H2 to maintain proper page outline.
Public Pages fixes
  • We’ve replaced the select menus on the Subject and Profiles by Subject pages with simpler HTML that eliminates several alerts and errors.
  • We changed an H4 tag on the Subjects page to H2 in order to maintain proper outline order.
  • We added a missing ARIA label on the system homepage and changed the Sort control to a <div> rather than a <form> tag.
  • We removed a hidden field that was triggering a “redundant ALT text” alert.
  • We wrapped the profile image and name together in a single link tag to eliminate the “redundant link” alerts.
Gallery boxes
  • We incorporated an updated version of the component used in Gallery boxes as it contained several accessibility updates.
  • We changed the slide title field to H3 since the box title is H2, to maintain proper outline order.
A few changes might require the updating of your system’s CSS and custom templates, but only if you make extensive use of CSS and custom templates. Most folks won’t have to worry about these! Here are the gritty details, should you need them:

CSS Changes:

System & Group Home Pages
WAS:
The element around the “Display” area, which allows you to control the order in which guide lists are displayed should not have been a <form> element.
NOW:
It is now a <div> element, so any customizations targeting the form element should be updated to use <div> instead.
Gallery Boxes
WAS:
Slide titles were <h4> elements.
NOW:
This is now an <h3>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves – er.php
WAS:
“Search for Courses” label next to the search box was a <span> element.
NOW:
This is now correctly in a <label>. Heading above the list of courses, subjects, etc., was an <h4> element. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.
E-Reserves Request Form – er_request.php
WAS:
We had been using a component for some of the select options on the page that we determined was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “select2”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “select2” are removed. These include: select2-drop, select2-display-none, select2-with-searchbox, select2-drop-active, select2-offscreen, select2-input, etc.
Password-Protected Pages – Groups, Guides, Courses
WAS:
The message prompting users to enter the password (above the text box) was not in a <label>.
NOW:
That text correctly has a <label>, as it is associated with the password input below. Any CSS changes should target the <label> element.
Profile Landing Page – prf.php
WAS:
“By Subject” dropdown was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.
Profile names are not linked, so style changes could be made using:
div.s-lib-profile-nameProfile names are now linked to their profile (in addition to the picture being linked), so any style changes to the profile name must be adjusted to include the anchor tag:
div.s-lib-profile-name a
Subjects Pages: sb.php and individual subject pages
WAS:
Subject dropdown selection was using a component that we found was not accessible to screen readers / keyboard navigation. It had its own set of classes, which all started with “chosen”.
NOW:
We’re using simple HTML styled by Bootstrap’s default classes. All classes starting with “chosen” are removed. These include: chosen-select, chosen-container chosen-container-single, chosen-default, chosen-single, etc.  Headings above the list of guides, databases, etc., (“Showing x guides”, etc.) were <h4> elements. This is now an <h2>, following proper sequential numbering of heading tags on the page.

Template Changes:

Both the Profile and Subject pages now have ARIA labels for the <section> tags. If you are using the default templates, you do not need to make any changes to implement this update. Default templates automatically update.

If you have customized these templates, however, you will need to update your template to include the accessibility update, as outlined below.

Right now, each of these is coded as simply <section>. Now they are coded as follows. You can update customized templates to reflect these changes at any time.

Profiles Templates:

Main Landing Page – prf.php:

<section aria-label=”List of Profiles”>

Individual Profile Page – prf.php?account_id=x
<section aria-label=”Profile Content”>

Subjects Templates:

Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Subject Search Bar”>Content area below Search Bar:
<section aria-label=”Content by Subject”>

Manage Your Domains!

New in LibApps is the ability to view and manage your systems’ domains, including the ability to add and change custom domains and upload a custom HTTPS certificate for LibGuides. Need a certificate installed for your LibCal or LibAnswers system? No sweat! Please email us at support@springshare.com or open a ticket by clicking the Support tab from the admin side of your product. We’ll get you set up right away, and the ability to manage these certificates on your own will be coming soon.
So what can you do on the new Manage Domains page? Go to LibApps > Admin > Manage Domains to:
  • View the domains for all your Springy apps
  • Add or change a Custom Domain Mapping for your LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibGuides site(s)
  • Create a Certificate Signing Request in order to request a custom HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
  • Manage the current HTTPS certificate for your LibGuides site with a custom domain
Also see our help guide on the topic.

Databases Page Stats

We’re pleased to add a long-awaited addition to your statistics interface: A-Z Databases Page hits. These stats show how many hits are made daily or monthly to your AZ list. From August 16, they also show the referring URLs, when that data exists.
Screenshot: the A to Z databases page stats include a graph and data table of hits to az.php

Other Fixes and Features

This release also included:
  • LibAuth:
    • The ability to specify a custom port for SIP2 and LDAP LibAuth configurations.
    • Automatic updating of LibAuth certification fingerprints and IdP configurations.
    • Now when you view an E-Reserves Course’s settings, you’ll see the name of the default LibAuth configuration, if one exists.
  • Resumption of the ability for customers to enter translation files for us. Interested? Please get in touch!
  • Ability to limit AZ Holdings Analysis to library type and location.

LibGuides A-Z Community & Analysis and More!

We’re excited to bring you some great new LibGuides features this month, including the A-Z Databases Community, local database analysis, and blog widgets!

If you subscribe to LibGuides CMS, you’ll see two new tabs on your A-Z Databases List page: Analyze Holdings and A-Z Community. The first lets you delve into some subject analysis for your databases; the second is a cache of databases held across the LibGuides Community. Check the A-Z Community tab for descriptions and reviews contributed by your fellow LibGuides librarians, and see statistics for each database: How many institutions have it? How many list it as a Best Bet? How many are holding a trial?

Subject Analysis

Head over to the Analyze Holdings tab to see your databases by subject easily, along with some statistics on how many are Best Bets, Trials, or Popular.
A summary of all A to Z databases in our sample system. The summary shows the total number of databases, subjects, and vendors and shows how many databases are designated as trials, new, or popular
On the right side of the screen, you can see how your Databases are spread across the Trial, New, & Popular designations:
A to Z databases list with a filter for trial, new, and popular, and with a search box for quickly finding assets
You can also see the distribution of your databases by subject category:
A list of subjects assigned to A to Z assets in our sample system and the number of database assets assigned to each.
Click a subject name to see databases assigned to that subject:
Screenshot showing the 13 databases that are assigned the subject Genealogy
Want to see an analysis of the Community databases in a subject? Choose which community-supplied subject terms to use and click Go to see which Community databases have been assigned those terms. Here is a sample analysis of Biology and related subject names:
A to Z Subject analysis shows you which subject names have been assigned to which databases, and how many institutions label each database as Trial, New, and Popular
The ability to filter these results by library type and location is coming soon.

The A-Z Community

We’re starting out with the 500 or so databases that appear most frequently across LibGuides. We initially matched on Name, Vendor, and URL, so databases with individualized URLs may not have matched. That’s ok, you can still map your holdings to the community!
You can view and filter the list by name, vendor, or words in the description. You can also sort by how many institutions hold this database and whether your institution owns it.
The A to Z Community screen lists database names, vendors, and descriptions.
Adding databases into your LibGuides system from the AZ Community is a snap. Just click the Add to My System button in order to create a new asset in your system containing the name, vendor, and description of the Community-supplied asset.
A to Z Community screen for the J stor database, which includes the "Add database to my system" button, space for community-supplied description and reviews, and a summary of how this database is designated as trial, best bet, new, and popular across LibGuides systems

Is your database not connected to the community?

Want to map your databases to the existing community list? Please do! To link one of your local databases to the AZ Community, go to the database’s Edit screen and click the Community button next to the Database Name. You can copy the community-supplied name, vendor name, and description into your local instance if you like, or you can just make the association. Ding! Now that database is held by one more library. 🙂
Click the community button to search for and link a local database name in the A to Z Community.

Blog Widgets

Create a widget for any blog in your system, be it your system blog or a guide blog page. Go to Tools > Widgets > Blogs to generate the code you need to share links to or entire blog posts in your guides or on another website:
Screenshot of the blog widgets tab including a preview of a blog widget
Use the options on the screen to show just the post titles or the entire post, including teaser and images. You can also filter by subject or post author. Like all LibGuides widgets, you can generate a list via JavaScript code or a URL, or you can create a prettier list in an iFrame.

Other fixes and features

As with all code releases, we have include a few other small things:
  • We squashed a bug related to logging into our support site.
  • We restored editing to group Language Options.
  • We changed the buttons visible when editing an existing blog post to “Save” and “Unpublish and Save Draft.”
  • We squashed a bug that meant that guide titles from internal groups displayed on profile pages, although guides themselves were not accessible.

Your LibGuides Are Working Hard to Fight Fake News

Now, more than ever, there is a needed skill for identifying and fact-checking news. Librarians have rushed to fill that void creating numerous LibGuides showcasing the dangers of clickbait, the importance of research, and teaching literacy skills showing users how to identify and avoid fake news.

To that end, we’re showcasing all the amazing LibGuides you’re creating to educate your users on the importance of evaluating news resources.

Because, as Loyola Marymount University Library highlights, “Fake News can have Real World Consequences”.

 

ButtonHave a LibGuide You Want To Share?

If you have a Fake News or Information Literacy LibGuide you want us to highlight – drop us a line at news@springshare.com.

Heading to ALA Annual, Chicago?

Stop by our booth #1647 and pick up your LibGuides: Fighting Fake News Since 2007 button. These are in short-supply, so be sure to pick them up before they’re going, going, gone.

Make Your Fake News LibGuide…Community Findable

To help make your LibGuide more findable, tag it with ‘Fake News’. Then, on community.libguides.com, filter search results by the ‘Fake News’ tag. This will help retrieve the most relevant results.