Archive for LibGuides CMS

How The LTI Integration Tool Embeds Its Way Into Your Hearts

When Point Of Need Is Where It’s At!

You know where you ought to be. Point of Need has become one of those phrases that sounded awkward at first — but is now a philosophy that’s the foundation of a strategy. In the library’s effort to provide excellent service, meeting your patrons where they are certainly works toward anticipating their needs and reducing friction. It helps boost usage and your stats will provide supporting evidence to show your team is focused on getting people the help they need.

 

Read on to learn how George Hart at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang from Marymount University are using the LTI Integration Tool in LibGuides CMS at their institutions to be… on point!

What Is The LTI Integration Tool?

LibGuides CMS is the advanced version of LibGuides. It does everything that a LibGuides system can do, plus a whole lot more. One of the features that’s included is the LTI Integration Tool. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability – it’s a standard for integrating tools from third-party services into a Learning Management System (LMS) like Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace / Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai, etc. If your courseware tool is LTI compliant then it will be compatible with our tool to seamlessly integrate content from your LibGuides CMS system into your LMS.

It’s not just about guides. You can customize your user’s experience by showing the relevant guides, librarians with the appropriate subject specialty, specifically chosen A-Z database results (for instance just those tagged Economics), plus library hours, the ability to book study rooms, and book appointments. You can even include your LibAnswers LibChat widget and search box! The most important thing is it all displays natively on the desired page.

Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware.

Library Director, George Hart of UMass — Lowell, with a LibGuides CMS system that boasts 836 guides, stopped into the Springyverse recently to be our special guest speaker for a webinar detailing how they’re using Springshare’s E-Reserves module inside their courseware tool to great success.

  • He talks about how they use the LTI automagic feature, which he calls “phenomenally powerful” because it “scales so well.” They used it for 92 sections of college writing.
  • They are mapping specific E-Reserves items for each section of the course.
  • You’ll learn they mapped 361 LibGuides to individual courses.

George says, “It’s an ideal way to integrate everything we have to share into the student’s experience. It’s complete integration. It’s just when they need it, where they need it, anytime.” For a little how to and to learn more about what George and his team are doing at the library at UMass — Lowell, watch the recording of this webinar Embed E-Reserves Into Courseware. You can also supplement that with additional stories on this topic.

Increase Resource Usage With LTI.

Marymount University’s Bernadette Mirro and Mason Yang carved some time out of their schedules to be our special guest speakers for their webinar on how the LTI tool is boosting everything from awareness of the library to their usage of ebooks and reference services. 

  • This is a story whose foundation is data. You’ll discover what they’ve accomplished in 3 years.
  • Their intention was to decrease the number of clicks to get to library resources and increase collaboration with teaching faculty, increase chat usage, ebook usage, and student & faculty awareness of LibGuides.
  • Discover how they’re using a “four-tier guide system.”
  • You’ll enjoy their awesome infographics that tell the tale of how their strategy to be efficient  — and to find opportunities to act on their data — helped them toward their goals.

Don’t miss this recording of the webinar Increase Resource Usage with LTI. You’ll start imagining how the LTI tool can work for your library. Making sure you are where you are needed most sounds like the mission statement on a superhero’s website. But it also sounds like something everyone should be prioritizing. Libraries provide an incredible service, but in this case — your superpower should be VISIBILITY.

LibApps release: New LibCal, LibAuth, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibInsight, LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibCRM Features

So far in May we’ve celebrated May the Fourth, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day (among other awesome days)…and now it’s time to celebrate Springy Release Days! Bask in the shininess of new features and the glory of fixes. Use this celebratory energy to plan your next projects, including implementing these new features / adding them to your workflows and moving to LibWizard v2. Check out the training links at the end of each section for inspiration and guidance!

These releases are on their way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, May 17.

Read about: LibCal | LibGuides | LibAnswers | LibInsight | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibCRM

LibCal

Confirmed Bookings Calendar 

We’re thrilled to bring you this heavily requested feature in LibCal. You can now run a calendar view of all confirmed space bookings for a category and/or location on the admin side of the system. This awesome new feature provides the ability to filter the calendar by spaces within the category/location selected and can be displayed in the ‘Agenda’, ‘Day’, ‘Week’ or ‘Month’ format. Lastly, hover over a booking for information about it, as well as any event details (if the booking is tied to one). Head to Spaces > Confirmed Bookings to try it out!

OAuth2 Integration

It’s here: the long awaited OAuth2 authentication support for syncing Appointments and Space bookings with your Exchange/Outlook calendars/resources! This authentication method is a more secure way to sync than storing Outlook/Exchange passwords, as with the current setup. Check out our documentation to learn how to set this up.

Discount Code Support

Our online billing component is always growing, now with support for discount codes! Create, manage, apply, and track discount codes for events, equipment, and space bookings. Head to Admin > Billing > Coupons/Discount to get started.

Equipment Booking for Events

Ever wanted to book required equipment items during Event creation, rather than booking separately through the Equipment module? Well, now you can do just that! When creating or modifying event details, a new drop-down selection is available to book equipment items for the event.

Other Features & Fixes

  • Cancelled Space Bookings – We’ve added which user cancelled the space booking as well as the date & time they cancelled it (check the calendar icon next to the name) to the Spaces Booking Explorer and Booking Details Modal. (This will only appear for recent and future cancellations.)
  • Public Page Event Search – We’ve made improvements in LibCal’s public search capability: better quality search results with fewer problems. This includes returning to the search results page you were on (vs. the beginning of the search results list) when you click an event link, then use your browser’s back button to return to search results.
  • Appointment Widget Improvements – We’ve improved the appointments widget to make available date/time display more intuitive when there is only one group available for selection / the ‘No Preference’ option. Previously, it was not clear that the single radio button selection still needed to be clicked to view the available dates/times.
  • Spaces Stats Report Fixes:
    • The Time Available value in the Booking Summary for Stats > Spaces will now report correctly when viewing a single space in a category.
    • When ‘All Locations’ is selected in the ‘Location’ field, the ‘Time Available’ amount in the Bookings Summary section will return the correct time value.  Previously it would always return 0 minutes.
  • Improved Equipment Fines Logic – The Equipment fines logic accumulates late return fine amounts so patrons are automatically banned when the total amount of fines is equal to or greater than an amount you specify.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibApps, LibGuides, & LibAuth

Cross-Region Guide Copying

We’re super excited to announce the ability to copy a guide into your system, regardless of what region you’re in. Did you hear about a guide in Canada that you’d like to copy into your system, but you live in Australia? No problem! In LibGuides, go to Content > Create Guide, and search by keyword or URL. The results you see there are now pulled from servers in all regions: Canada, US, Australia, and Europe. We’re a global, guide-copying community again! 🙂

(Note: We are also working on globalizing the LibGuides Community site [library and guide searches] and are aiming to have that out to you this summer. This release is only about the actual process of copying guides from any region using the Create Guide screen within your own system.)

LibGuides Fixes & Features

  • When you set a site-wide IP or LibAuth restriction, your site is automatically set to NOSHARE, meaning no one can copy your guides, and your content does not show in the LibGuides Community site.
  • The Statistics > Guides > ALL MY GUIDES filter now (rightly) shows just that: stats for all guides you created!
  • The Statistics > Assets > single asset > Export All button is back where it ought to be.
  • We fixed an error that was shown if you add a LibWizard item, but your LibWizard system contains no forms or surveys.
  • We fixed an issue where HTML added in the “Best Bets” language label did not display properly on Subject pages.
  • We fixed an issue related to LTI that caused nothing but a blank page to show if your guide contained hidden pages.
  • When you hide a top-level page, its visible sub-pages are no longer italicized (which implied that they were also hidden).
  • Accessibility: We restructured tab names so that they do not use obsolete navigation conventions.

LibAuth Fixes & Features

  • We fixed an issue where configurations weren’t saved properly if you entered a bad metadata URL.
  • We implemented a check for the CQ field for SIP2 connections, because the connection will fail if this field is not turned on in the ILS.

LibApps Fixes

  • We fixed an internal setting that affected prompt processing of newly-requested Let’s Encrypt certificates.

Upcoming LibGuides / LibAuth Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibAnswers

We have some great LibChat updates and several fixes to share with you this month!

LibChat

  • SMS / Twitter / Facebook Alerts in Chat: These new message alerts had been displayed in the Tickets tab since, well, they’re technically tickets. You all made a mighty fine point, however, that these are all near-instantaneous interactions, much like chats. Your users expect faster replies via these channels, and appreciate getting them. Now that these interactions have moved over to the Chats tab, you’ll appreciate the more streamlined workflow!
Previous LibChat Screenshare Launch Text

Before: Operator Launch link is easily missed

New LibChat Screenshare Launch Text with Button

After: Clear Operator Launch button

  • Screensharing Updates:
    • Launch Button More Prominent: We heard you! The Launch button for the operator to start a screensharing session wasn’t in-your-face enough to really notice, which caused some confusion. We’ve turned the link into a larger button and placed it more prominently in the message for operators.
    • Screensharing Alert: If you don’t have screensharing enabled yet…what are you waiting for? 😀 You can use it internally as well as with patrons, which doubles the usefulness of this awesome feature. Not sure if you have it yet? Check your system alerts when you log into LibChat – if you don’t yet have it, you’ll see an message stating it’s not enabled and to contact us if you want to enable it.
  • Sending Messages: Previously, if the other party was disconnected from the chat (accidentally or temporarily through a network blip), you could not send the message you had typed out. Now you can! If the patron has temporarily disconnected, you can still send your message and it will appear if/when the patron reappears in the chat.
  • Chat Fixes:
    • If you did not have a Nickname set in your account settings (click your email address at the top right of the screen to set one), no name appeared in the patron’s chat window…which could be a bit disconcerting. It now correctly displays your account name if you do not have a Nickname set.
    • New Chat Dashboard: Chats that were transferred to a specific user in a department will once again only be claimable by that specific user. No more can other users monitoring the same department claim it out from under you!
    • When looking at the help text for desktop notifications, the “More Help” link was…less than helpful, since it was a broken link! :facepalm: That link is now far more helpful, pointing you to our updated documentation.
    • Old Chat Dashboard: If an operator in one department transferred a chat to an operator in another department, the chat now correctly displays for that other department.

Other Fixes:

  • Ticket Email Notification Fix: If an internal note is sent to a user in the Address Book list and they reply via email, an email notification is properly sent to the ticket owner.
  • Ampersands in Ticket Replies: Ampersands in text and links in replies now properly display simply as & vs. &, which was breaking the links.
  • Ticket Reply Drafts: The word “Draft” is now firmly back in place in the reply header, making it clear to all that the reply in question is indeed a Draft Reply, and has therefore not yet been sent to the patron.
  • Prompting for Ref Analytics Upon Ticket Reply: The option to prompt account holders to fill out Reference Analytics datasets when a reply is sent (vs. the ticket being Closed, specifically) is once again working as it should.
  • FAQ Media Preview: When adding embedded media to an FAQ, the preview of said media will now properly display.
  • FAQ Entries > Create FAQ Button: If you only have one FAQ group in your system and use the Answers > FAQ Entries > Create FAQ button, it now correctly allows you to create a new FAQ.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibInsight

We’ve made a bunch of improvements to the E-Resources (COUNTER 5) dataset:

  • If a vendor queues a report when you request one (instead of running it on demand), we’ll fetch the report after a reasonable period of time. We also resolved a couple of other issues related to fetching SUSHI reports.
  • View your most-frequently-used resources by variable (investigations, requests, searches) by doing an Analysis, then going to Journals, Databases, or Books > Top Use.
    screenshot of books top use report
  • We split the main Usage Graph into multiple graphs to make them easier to read. Instead of seeing all variables on a single graph, you’ll see graphs for Investigations, Requests, Searches, and Access Denied.
  • We added a checkbox to show or hide the cost-per-use data when doing an analysis so you can view this information on demand, or hide it for easier reading.
  • We added “Master” to the names of the reports that we fetch, since we fetch master reports and not standard views.
  • When you copy an invoice, any title and cost details added to the invoice will also be copied. This means that you can create one invoice and copy it from year to year, making adjustments as you go.
  • We’ve added code to normalize text pasted into the SUSHI Server URL field. Providers often give you a long and complicated URL as the server address, but all LibInsight needs is the first bits. 🙂 You paste, we’ll figure it out for you.

Custom Dataset Improvements

  • When you upload a file and that file contains an IP address field, that data is saved, rather than your own IP (as the submitter)
  • You now have the option to NOT record the submitter’s IP address when a record is submitted.
  • A new system field lets you track and view (or not) the method of submission: widget, record data screen, API, file upload.
    screenshot of new system fields

Additional fixes and features

  • We’ve added “r4” to distinguish the COUNTER r4 datasets (E-Journals and Databases; eBooks) from the COUNTER r5 dataset (E-Resources).
  • We fixed an issue that was allowing people to accidentally enter zeroes while using the Manual Entry screen for COUNTER r4 datasets.

Upcoming LibInsight Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibWizard v2

We’ve conjured up so many magical new features in this release and hope you’re as excited using them as we have been concocting them! If you’re on the fence about moving to LibWizard v2, check out the features below. There’s no denying that now is the time.

  • The Conditional To option in LibWizard items.Conditional Email Notification – No smoke and mirrors, the most requested feature ever is here! Choose to send an email notification to different addresses based on a user answer to a dropdown, radio button, or checkbox question. Go to Form/Survey/Quiz/Tutorial Options > Submission Behavior > Advanced Email Settings > Conditional To and select Dynamic To Based on User Input. Select the field you want to use and who to email for each answer choice.
  • Pre-Populate Form Fields:
    • Create a custom URL to pre-populate fields with default answers.
    • Map fields to Open URL parameters! You can create a URL to use in your library catalog, which fills in the item’s title, author, ISBN/ISSN, etc., field(s) in your form automatically!
  • Upload Limits on File Size / Extensions
    • Limit the maximum file size a user can upload.
    • Limit the file type(s) users can upload; enter them manually or choose from our presets!
  • Set a Domain Restriction on the Email Field – Want a user to only enter their university email address? Just list the domain(s) you want to allow in the Domain Restrictions field.
  • Rating Field Gets Stars and Sliders – The Rating field has gotten fancier! In addition to the usual radio buttons, you can now choose to display stars or sliders.
    LibWizard's new star rating feature.
  • LibWizard's new Preview, with options to ignore required fields, etc.Preview – We’ve given Previews an upgrade! No more filling out required fields with dummy text just because you need to see the 2nd page of the survey! Now you can choose to ignore required fields, show hidden fields, or jump directly to any page. Plus, a submission from the preview is recorded in its own area separate from ‘live’ submissions, so you don’t even have to delete your test submissions.
  • Text Editor Updates – The rich text editor is now smarter!
    • Text block field which using the Collapsible Box option.Textbox, Welcome, and Thank You Screens – Collapsible Box: Need to add a long definition or instructions, but don’t want it to take up the whole screen? Add it as a Collapsible box! Click the icon to add it, give it a name, then click to expand and add the “hidden” text.
    • All Field Types: Choose font size / color and add images.
  • Submission Review Page – Opt to display a review page to user before they submit their response. This is especially helpful for long/complex forms & surveys! Head to Options > Submission Behavior and check “Display a Review Page” to enable this option.
  • Automatically Number Questions – No more manually adding a number to question text (and having to change it when you add or reorder questions)! Head to Options > Look & Feel and check the Display Field Numbers box (then Save!) to automatically number any field requiring user input (i.e., not the text block, line separator, etc. fields).
  • Custom JavaScript at the Form/Survey/Quiz/Tutorial Level – If you are fluent in JavaScript and want to add a custom script to a Form, Survey, Quiz, or Tutorial, you can! Head to Options > Advanced > Custom JavaScript and add your script (without opening & closing script tags). If you are not familiar with JavaScript, we do not recommend using this option.

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibStaffer

Message Wall
The Dashboard/Home page now has a Message Wall – a convenient way for admins to post important messages and announcements! Head to Admin > System Settings > Message Wall Settings to enable this new feature.

Color Code Accounts
You can now associate a color with each LibStaffer account. Once set, the selected color displays before the staff members name on the Schedule view. Head to Admin > Accounts > edit account > Manage Account screen to get colorful!

Reports

  • Swaps & Given Up Summary Report – This new report summarizes by account how many shifts have been given up and swapped over the time range selected. It also provides critical information on how long before a shift was set to start that it was given up / swapped, and categorize total given up / swapped shifts by time of day. This report will only start collecting and reporting on data from its initial release going forward. Head to Reports to check out the new Swaps & Given Up Summary Report.
  • Available Hours – This report gives you a convenient display of Available Hours associated with each account. No more having to go to individual accounts! Click Reports and run the new Available Hours report.

Other Features

  • Monthly Shift Recurrence Options – Now you can create shifts with a monthly recurrence pattern.
  • Workflows – Custom Email Intro – For workflows set to send submission contents to the submitter, you can now add custom intro text for the email.  Go to Admin > Workflow Forms > Edit Workflow Form to add it.
  • Schedule Notes – Have an important announcement for a specific date? Add a Schedule note! Apply it to one, multiple, or all schedules. You’ll find this feature under Admin > Notes.
  • Outlook ‘Free’ Status – If an Outlook event has a status of ‘Free’, that time is also considered free/available in LibStaffer.
  • Admin Alert When Staff Cancels Time Off – Admins can get optional notifications when staff members cancel approved time off. Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Email & SMS Alerts to enable this notification.
  • Given Up Shift Emails
    • Select which Admin accounts you want to receive these notifications (vs. all admins).
    • Opt to send these emails right away vs. on a digest/hourly schedule.
  • Custom Colors for Shifts – Have you been longing to make one of your shifts the perfect shade of teal? Now you can! Break out of the standard shift colors and use the custom option on the right-hand side to pick your perfect palette.
  • Reuse Shift Names – When creating a new shift, you can easily reuse existing shift names! Start typing the name, then select it from the list of suggested matches.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

[Back to Top]

LibCRM

Email Notifications and a Dashboard makeover lead the way for this LibCRM update!

  • Notifications: Regular users and Admins ca receive Email Notifications when they are assigned new Profiles, Tasks, or Projects. Turn notifications on or off right from your Dashboard.
  • Dashboard: The LibCRM Dashboard now shows some general system statistics & Springy news:
    • The At A Glance view displays the total number of People, Organizations, Interactions, Projects, and Tasks you have in your LibCRM system.
    • We also added the News & Announcement Boxes to keep you up to date on what’s happening at Springshare and with LibCRM.
  • Reports:  We are continuously improving LibCRM reports.
    • In this release, report output was improved by showing all custom fields in the Display and XL export.
    • Also, when filtering by Profile Type, you can choose what kind of search is done: match any or match all selected profile types.
  • Interactions:
    • Easily record repeating interactions, whether it’s Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or a group of dates you manually select.
    • Associate Interactions with Tasks, using the “Interaction for > Select Tasks” option at the bottom of the page.
    • We also improved auto assignment when a new interaction is created.
  • Data Import:
    • Data Import validates on Email only. The import tool displays any records that already exist in your system by matching on Email.
    • Fixes include:
      • Owner information is correctly imported
      • Select fields show the selection when editing the profile post-import.
  • Other:
    • When adding a new Relationship or Membership, add the Relationship/Membership Type before the Relationship/Membership With, to provide a more logical flow. (Name: Springy Share; Relationship Type: Director; Relationship With: Springy Public Library)
    • Admin > Manage Integrations has more detail about how LibCal and LibAnswers integrations work / how often they’re run.
    • Looking for your System Email? It’s now conveniently located on the Admin > Manage System Email page!
    • We continually review the system for Accessibility and make changes where needed. This release includes accessibility updates for several pages.

Coming Soon!

  • Mass Email: LibCRM will have Email Campaign Management! This allows users to create an email with multiple recipients right within their LibCRM system. Once created, you add recipients from People or Organization profiles, then save the email as a draft or send. An Email Interaction will automatically be created under each recipient profile.
  • [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 2019. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

    Arizona State Uses LibGuides for their March Mammal Madness

    #2019MMM — Are You Playing?

    If you’re on Twitter, even a little, you’ve probably seen someone enthusiastically cheering for a Bengal Tiger or proclaiming she’s Team Sea Lion, even pumped about a Bearcat for the win. You heard correctly, pumped.

    It’s possible that at no other time of the year will you read so many academics use that word than during Arizona State University’s March Mammal Madness — a tournament that features mammals encountering other mammals in the wild and seeing who’d win.

    In 2013, Dr. Katie Hinde, who as an Associate Professor at ASU investigates the food, medicine, and signal of mother’s milk, founded MMM — whose name is a play off of the NCAA March Madness Basketball tournament. Each year the madness spreads with more contributors, participants, and unabashed fans! You’ll find detailed instructions on how to play laid out in a special LibGuide they’ve built. The action is happening right now as they are currently mid-tournament with the Sweet Sixteen.

    Using LibGuides to Organize the Madness.

    March Mammal Madness is an educational opportunity to learn all about our planet’s species woven with a bracket and served as a thrilling competitive experience. Professors, scientists, researchers, students and classrooms of children from all over the world look forward to and passionately play MMM — and they play to win.

    They might have started out making their picks based on mammals whose names they knew, like the Rock Wallaby or Beaver. But, after seeing how the encounters went down in the incredible narrations done by the tournament contributors, most realized it was important to do the research on the Bharal and Rakali!

    Anali Perry, the Scholarly Communication Librarian at ASU, recalled that before using LibGuides, this tournament was all managed in Dr. Hinde’s blog. In 2017, as the tournament grew year over year, not just in popularity but in moving parts, Anali suggested they build a special guide for the tournament information in their LibGuides CMS system.

    Anali said, “I spend a lot of time advocating for increased access to scholarly research. I think MMM is a fantastic example of how excited people of all ages can get about science and scholarship! It’s important to me to contribute to MMM each year because I can help point people to free and open sources of good information, as well as look for open access versions of articles cited.”

    Anali said it wasn’t easy for people to find the information they needed on the blog so they built a LibGuide that wasn’t aimed toward the ASU community but was, rather, for participants all over the world.

    • In 2017, the LibGuide had 18,000 views over the 6-week tournament period.
    • 2018 saw 89,000 views over that same 6 weeks.
    • In 2019, the day the tournament dropped, the LibGuide had 100,000 views and is currently at 257,692 views at the midpoint.

     

    The guide offers everything from an FAQ to the downloadable bracket. It features animal background information with free and open resources, resources for K-12, and academic information resources.  There are videos, mammal art, links to recaps and news. They even archive the MMM tournament back to its beginning and give information on ASUs researchers and current research topics.

    The Power of a Great Idea

    When people love what they’re working on, it shows and in the case of March Mammal Madness — it advances, running through the jungles, swimming against the currents, swinging to capture the imagination of mammal lovers everywhere.

    It’s not just the players who are hooked.

    Lara Durgavich, Lecturer at Tufts University recalls, “One of the saltiest battle outcomes I can remember was in 2018 when I narrated a battle between the common octopus and the green anaconda. Ironically, it ended poorly for the octopus precisely because the river where the battle took place wasn’t salty enough. Fans were not happy to see the octopus defeated by osmosis.”

    MMM is fun and great for science. Mauna Dasari, PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame said, “In addition to all the fans (and associated trash talk), I really love how MMM is so often a marriage of old science with new communication. Papers (and whole PhD theses) documenting everyday behaviors get pulled from the annals of science and presented to the public in this completely new platform and style. In academia, we publish these very specific papers that can be hard to generate a lot of public interest in at the time (let alone 20 years later) but MMM bridges the gap beautifully.”

    Finally, March Mammal Madness is rather brilliantly tailored to be interesting to children who often ask who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman? Marc Kissel, Visiting Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University said, “It is hard to imagine the scope of this project. Seeing tweets from kids who stayed up late to watch the battles and classrooms sharing their brackets is incredible. I’m honored to be a part of this.”

    So, don’t be afraid of starting something outlandish! Educating people should be a bold adventure.

    We would like to note that we did have a particular interest in this year’s round one battle between the Springhare (close enough) and the Jackrabbit. Yay, Springhare! Only to find ourselves crestfallen at the round two loss to the Bengal Tiger. Alas!

    LibApps release with new LibCal, LibInsight, LibAuth, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibWizard, and LibStaffer Features

    Important updates!

    Wow, it’s March already! For many of us, March brings warmer weather, longer days, and a general uplifting of spirit after a long winter. Well, Springshare is here to lift your spirits even higher with a ton of awesome updates for your Springy apps. Plus we’re sharing exciting LibWizard news!

    These releases are on their way to you this week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, March 15.

    LibCal

    Online Payments Support Update
    We’ve had some great feedback from customers who are using the online payments feature in LibCal – thank you! In this release, we added more payment processors and extended payment support to equipment bookings, too! There are also new billing rate types to allow for more flexibility in how you want to set up your charges for bookings. If you’re interested in activating online payments in your LibCal system, let us know!

    Don’t miss the upcoming Training Tidbit session (Wednesday, April 3rd) that will take you through many of these great new features!

    • Parent/child relationship for groups of spaces. For example, set a large meeting room as a parent of two smaller meeting rooms. If the parent space is busy, none of the child space will be available for booking, and if any of the child spaces are busy, the parent space will be unavailable to book at that time.  To set up the parent/child space relationships, head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Click on the Spaces link for a Location > Edit an individual space > General tab.
    • Individual Space Landing Page & Link: We’ve added a standalone, perma-linked landing page for individual spaces.  It has the availability grid for that space, directions, more information about the space, etc.
    • Friendly URLs for Events: Navigate to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Add/Edit an Event to use this new option.
    • Move or Copy Events from one calendar to another!  Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Click on an Event > Modify Single Event > Move (or Copy)
    • Find Event to Copy modal

      Create New Event > Find Event to Copy

      Copy Event Info From An Existing Event When Creating a New Event. Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Create a New Event, then click on the ‘Find an event to copy’ link at the top of the Add Event screen.

    • Exchange/Outlook Title Setting Options: the Exchange/Outlook Event Title selections now have three options: ‘Use Patron Name’, ‘Use Public Nickname,’ and ‘Use Patron Name + Email.’  To see these, head to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Edit Location > Exchange/Outlook tab.
    • Anticipated Attendance: A new informational field for events to help make decisions on which space should be booked.  Go to Calendars > Choose a Calendar > Add/Edit an Event to see this new field.
    • New Patron Activity Statistics Page: There’s a new stats report for user (patron) activity. The report shows a monthly table with the number of appointments, events, spaces, and equipment reservations were made by patrons. Head to Stats > Patron Activity to check it out.
    • Separate Language Tokens for each confirmation button when booking an appointment and LibAuth is in use: we’ve added the ability to customize both confirmation buttons that appear when users book an appointment with LibAuth authentication.  This will help make the process clearer. Previously, each button was labeled “Confirm Appointment.”
    • The option to delete individual availability time slots via click is back! Head to Appointments > Availability and then click on any available time slot on the grid to access the delete modal.

    Fixes include:

    • Location field in iCal files: We’ve corrected an issue where this field was not populating correctly.
    • Public Appointment Widget conflict with availability and Outlook busy times: We’ve corrected an issue on the public appointment widget: now slots marked ‘Busy in Outlook’ are appropriately made unavailable in widgets.

    Get additional tips and strategies from our awesome training team – join us for upcoming sessions:

    LibApps, LibGuides, & LibAuth

    • LibAuth setup wizard: If you’re brand-new to LibAuth and are a member of the InCommon or UKFederation, setup is a breeze: just search for your institution name, and we’ll set up the rest!
    • Accessibility fixes: We eliminated duplicate IDs on the Guides by Subject page, when guides were assigned to multiple subjects. We also removed “Navigate to” from the beginning of the ARIA labels for page names. Use your screen reader to navigate to another page in a guide by typing the first letter of the page name (YMMV!).
    • Guide statistics: We redid the back-end and improved the speed and waiting time of some long reports.
    • LibApps admins can now enable/disable others’ LibGuides profile pages.

    Join us for our upcoming LibGuides training, including:

    LibInsight: COUNTER r5 is here!

    We’re super excited to announce that starting March 2019 you will be able to fetch COUNTER r5 usage reports from compliant vendors. SUSHI fetching capability is a requirement for compliance with this new release of COUNTER, and that has been our focus with this release.

    You can schedule a single report fetch, or you can set it and forget it! Choose either the Platform, Title, or Database Master Reports and schedule a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual fetch of these reports. Choose up to three users who will be notified once each report is fetched and processed.

    Why Master Reports? We’re gathering all the data for you so that you can narrow it down as you wish during analysis. Fetch it once, analyze to your heart’s content.

    screenshot

    With this initial beta code release, you’ll be able to fetch and analyze reports, use them in Cross-Dataset Analysis, and in Dashboards. Why “Beta”? Release 5 of the Counter Code of Practice is substantially different to earlier releases. You’ll still be able to see which of your platforms, databases, and titles performed the best and were searched the most—including cost-per-use analysis—but we are still polishing the interface and want to learn from you how best to make those tweaks. So check out COUNTER’s Friendly Guide for Librarians, then take a COUNTER r5 dataset for a spin and let us know what you think! We have an upcoming April training session to help get you started.

    Join us for our April LibInsight training sessions:

    LibAnswers

    We have some small but mighty features and fixes to share with you for LibAnswers this release:

    Link to the ticket from the RefAnalytics Transaction Explorer.

    Showing Ref Analytics transaction link in the Knowledgebase Explorer.

    Link to transaction in the Knowledge Base Explorer.

    • Tickets & Reference Analytics: In the Knowledge Base Explorer, tickets now show links to the related RefAnalytics record, if one had been submitted. In the RefAnalytics Transactions Explorer, the related Ticket is linked in the first column, if it’s related to a ticket. Now it’s easy to get those additional ticket details, if/when you need or want them!
    • Internal setting – fewer distractions! In the new LibChat Dashboard, the “Internal” setting now prevents ticket alerts from popping up.
    • No more missing LibChat charts: We fixed an issue that sometimes resulted in no charts displaying in LibChat stats.
    • No more interference: We fixed an issue where LibChat widgets that aren’t in use were interfering with other page functions.

    Join us for upcoming LibAnswers training sessions:

    LibStaffer

    There are so many great new new features for LibStaffer in this release! Check them out:

    Showing drag & drop feature to fill schedule shifts.

    • API: We’ve developed API support using OAuth 2.0 for LibStaffer!  Head to Admin > API to check out the available endpoints.
    • Drag & Drop for Shift Scheduling & Time Off: Click on an existing shift and drag it into a different “time interval” to modify the start and end times of the shift, assign staff members to existing shifts, and even create new shifts by dragging a staff member’s name from a new panel listing each member assigned to that schedule. Go to Schedules, then click on ‘Show Drag/Drop Shift Option.’  The Time Off schedule view also has this drag & drop functionality.
    • Free/busy status check for Outlook calendar sync during shift assignments: A new setting in the Outlook/Exchange setup will checks users’ free/busy times in Outlook for shift assignments.  Go to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Calendar Sync > Outlook/Exchange Settings to enable this feature.
    • Assign staff members to future instances of shift recurrences in one fell swoop instead of having to assign each instance of the recurrence. Click on Schedules and then edit or create a new shift assignment, then click the new down arrow on the ‘Save Assignments’ button and select ‘Save Recurring Assignments.’
    • Time Off Recurrence Options: Set recurring time off Weekly (with new options for every week through every 8 weeks) or Monthly! Head to Time Off > Add Time Off > Recurring Time to check out all of the new options.
    • Staff Member Pay Rates: For each user account, there are new fields for Regular & Overtime Hourly Pay Rate as well as a Daily & Weekly Overtime Threshold. These rates are used in the Time Clock reports to show how much an account holder earned during any given shift. Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Pay Rate to set the pay rate values for each account. Customize your currency display at Admin > System Settings > Currency Display.
    • Time Off Approvals now contain Supervisor name and Requested Time. We’ve also added a History button, which will show the associated time off detail for a user’s past 12 months.  Go to Time Off > Time Off Approvals to see the new report format and options.
    • Staff Current Status Report Enhancements: We’ve made it easier to get to this report from any screen! In addition to clicking the “View Current Status of All Staff” button on the Home page, you can simply click Staff in the orange command bar. Go there using either option to see an enhanced format of this report, including additional filter options for Status.
    • New Location, Department, and Position Fields: Head to Admin > Org Hierarchy to set up these new Admin-defined fields for use in all LibStaffer user accounts! Add locations, departments, and positions (including an option to mark positions as a Supervisor role) to your system, then go to Admin > Accounts to assign each account their appropriate location / department / position.
      • This release lays the groundwork for this feature. The Supervisor option has related functionality now (see next bullet point), and as always, we’d love to hear your ideas for how to best use this new LibStaffer feature!
    • Time Off Requests Routing: There are a couple of new fields on the “Manage Account” screen that relate to routing of time off requests! First, there’s the “Direct Supervisor” field: set your own or Admins can set any account holder’s Direct Supervisor by going to Admin > Accounts and editing any account. Once that’s set, you’ll see the new “Time Off Requests” field: choose to send time off request emails only to your Direct Supervisor or your Direct Supervisor and all admins.
    • Recurring Shift Notes on the Scheduled Shifts Report: We’ve corrected an issue where recurring shift notes were not appearing on the Scheduled Shifts Report.

    Join us for upcoming LibStaffer training sessions:

    LibWizard

    We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to improve the reliability of LibWizard, and also fixed a few bugs along the way:

    • We fixed an issue where some LibWizard forms/surveys might not show up in the list when using “Add LibWizard items” in LibGuides.
    • We added a proper 404 page, so when your patron clicks on broken links or deleted forms, they’ll know what’s wrong.

    That’s it, you ask? Not at all! We’ve been busy with this other little side project called…LibWizard v2. 🙂 That’s right, LibWizard has been re-written from the ground up!

    LibWizard v2 addresses a lot of issues and pain points with v1, and will bring significant improvements to the Assessments/Tutorials module. We‘re so excited about it and can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned, LibWizard v2 is coming April 2019.

    Whew! 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 in 2019–this awesome year has just begun. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

    Using LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards for Team-Building

    At the Linscheid Library at East Central University, it all started with a mentoring program. In 2017, during a mentoring relationship with a new technical services librarian, Patrick Baumann and his mentee discussed the different personality types of their librarians and how, if different personalities joined together, it could really enhance the Library’s team.

    “If we fit different personalities together, it could work better as a team. We could develop our team of librarians by figuring out what our personalities are and using that to work with each other and to discover things about ourself and the people we work with. This would help us to figure out who would fit best together for projects.”

    Patrick teamed up with librarian Marla Lobley to take this idea to the next level. By the beginning of 2018, Marla and Patrick started their StrengthsFinder Project. Using Tom Rath’s 2007 StrengthsFinder 2.0 book as the basis for their project, Marla and Patrick went beyond the typical personality tests to actually uncover each individual’s top strengths. StrengthsFinder starts with 16 personalities and then gives you exercises for your top strengths as well as exercises for team-building.

    Lastly, it focuses on the positive. You’re talking about your strengths and not your weaknesses. Because we all think about our weaknesses and what you’re not good at. This focuses on your strengths and positive things.

    Once they had the project in place, they needed a tool to carry it out. Rather than relying on email, Marla remembered that their LibGuides CMS tool has internal Discussion Board functionality. So librarians could log in to a tool they’re already familiar and comfortable with, and know that this internal project would remain just that… internal and not visible to the public.

    Their first LibGuides CMS Discussion Board thread was a calendar, a method for librarians to keep on track of the project.

     

    Each librarian performed a strengths assessment, reported on their strengths, and then focused on their top-five strengths. Each librarian then created an action plan to focus/enhance those strengths and share their strengths with everyone else.

    For sharing their strengths, and to get feedback, each librarian created a Discussion Post highlighting their top five strengths. Colleagues would then reply to each librarian’s thread with their personal feedback.

    Our colleagues would reply to each thread and say, “I can see this strength in you such  and such project. You use that strength, and I’ve seen it.” That gave us some positive feedback.

     

    Having this as discussion board threads, it was easy to manage and navigate….especially when you have 23+ replies.

    Additionally, the team made use of a neat Discussion Boards feature:

    With each thread reply, you can mark things as helpful which is almost like ‘Liking’ in Facebook. Which is kinda cool. If someone replied with a comment that you liked, you can mark it as helpful. It made it fun in addition to useful.

    Overall, Patrick and Marla consider the project a success. It focused on the positive, each librarian’s strengths, and it helped each person to better understand their coworkers. Plus, their library director found it helpful to learn about each of the librarians and how best to work with them.

    In terms of using the LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards for this project, it went really smoothly. It’s pretty straight-forward. And it’s about how you can be creative in using a tool through Springshare. It was a worthwhile project, and I’m glad we did it. And the [LibGuides CMS] Discussion Boards really helped us to carry it through.

    If you’re planning on doing a similar project, Patrick and Marla have some helpful suggestions from their lessons learned.

    • If you’re planning on using a book as the basis for your project, be sure to get everyone copies of the book.
    • Make a plan/calendar and keep on task.
    • Remember, people go at their own pace, so remain flexible to give people time to process and schedule time for open discussions.
    • Be prepared to give and receive honest feedback.
    • Be up front with what you’re doing.
    • And if you’re using LibGuides CMS Discussion Boards, remember to set notifications for each thread.
      • Note: If you’re not getting notifications, check with your IT department about whitelisting LibGuides CMS emails.

    Navigate to our Facebook Page to view Patrick’s 15 minute presentation from ALA-Midwinter 2019. You don’t need a Facebook account to access the video, but if you do – take a minute and Like our Facebook Page so you won’t miss cool content like this in the future (be sure to set your notifications for @springshare to ‘On’ so our posts show in your Facebook activity stream). Download Patrick’s slides from our ALA-Midwinter Recap Guide, and check out some of the other presenters to boot!

    Get Creative. Let Your LibGuides Imagination Run Wild.

    LibGuides Is Your Efficient & Effective Multi-Tool.

    While the cake pop maker you got as a gift sits in your pantry with many other one-purpose small appliances, you probably think about regifting it at least four times a year. You already know that LibGuides can help you build subject guides, course-specific guides, guides you use to outline your orientation sessions and — for public libraries — guides for everything from Taxes to Genealogy to Job Searching and beyond.

    LibGuides is so flexible because we didn’t design it to do those things. We designed it to communicate. LibGuides can also be your megaphone, your bulletin board, your invitation, and your checklist. It can be your newsletter, your blog, your virtual book club… you see where we’re going with this. It can be your go-to way of starting any conversation with your multiple audiences and — while you’re at it — it is a scrapbook of all the cool things you’re doing and sharing! If you have LibGuides CMS, it can be your intranet, your sandbox and more! Check out some really great ways people are using LibGuides to say — anything.

    Keep Everyone In The Loop.

    LibGuides are easy to build and, just as important, they’re easy to keep updated. They’re a perfect fit for building guides that are important to everyone. The University of South Carolina Upstate Library turned to LibGuides to keep everyone updated on the Library renovations. They designed a visually striking image and put it in the top box that spans the columns. They included images and have a tabbed box they’re using as a monthly blog to detail progress and share timelines. They’ve even got a top-level tab that contains Conceptual Drawings and Plans. It’s a stellar example of keeping their community engaged and in the loop.

     

    Conferences, Vendor Days, Annual Meetings and Events. Check!

    Organizing a big event takes creativity, organization, attention to detail… and then you have to market it and make sure your audience has all the pertinent details. If you’re a frequent attendee, you know how helpful a good event site can be. The West Virginia University Law Library built a guide for the SEAALL Annual Meeting. It features side-navigation tabs that share information about

    • Registration
    • The Schedule
    • Accommodations
    • Networking activities and more.

    The best part? Since they also have LibWizard, if they wanted to get feedback, they could add a survey to the guide and ask attendees to fill it out after the event.

    Publicize a Contest.

    Bulletin boards are great… if you’re looking for a drummer. But if you need to share more information, you should head to LibGuides. The B.D. Owens Library at Northwest Missouri State University is asking for submissions of a paper or project for their Undergraduate Library Research Awards. They have conveyed the deadline, listed the prizes, shared the date and time for the ceremony. Plus, they utilized the tabs to define the eligibility, the criteria and even have a section noting previous winners. LibGuides is designed with promotion in mind. During the publication stage, they can share this guide via Twitter and Facebook. Plus, friendly URLs are great for sharing the link. When you want to get the word out — but there are definitely more than two words, (i.e. “roommate needed!”) we’ve got you covered.

    Foster A Sense of Community with a Book Club.

    Libraries are using the Blogging feature in LibGuides to announce exciting additions to the collection, to introduce a new member of the team, to share a new service being offered, and — in the case of Boston Children’s Hospital — to post information about their Book Group. People can subscribe to the blog. They can view recent posts and even check out the archive. Engagement is encouraged with integrated commenting. Behind the scenes, the bloggers can manage subscribers, create a blog widget and, to really up the broadcast game, they can easily share a published blog on social media.

    Possible Future Projects

    If you want to nurture your creativity in 2019, we’re here to encourage more limitless thinking. We’ve got excellent videos on-hand for you to peruse and new live sessions to keep you discovering (sign-up to get Training email alerts!).

    Top 10 Springshare Blog Posts of 2018

    2019 is upon us and everyone loves a recap post.

    We wrote 58 blog posts in 2018 (phew, our fingers are tired!) showcasing awesome new functionality in Springy Tools, guest presentations, SpringyCamp conferences, and so much more.

    So join us as we look back and highlight our top ten blog posts of last year.

    hacker1. Security & Protection of your Springy Sites

    January 25, 2018

    If cloud-computing had a theme in 2018, it would’ve been HTTPS. In this blog post, we announced new functionality to route all patron traffic in Springy tools (LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, etc.) through HTTPS. Plus, we added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide completely free HTTPS security certificates for all your Springy v2 tools. Talk about starting 2018 off with a bang!

    2. LibCal/LibStaffer Integration

    March 14, 2018

    Don’t you just love it when your tools seamlessly work together? We do, too. That’s why we added two-way integration between LibCal (your calendaring tool) and LibStaffer (your staffing/scheduling tool).

    In LibCal, if you have a confirmed Scheduler Appointment – you can’t be booked for a LibStaffer shift and vice versa. 2018 – the year you stopped accidentally double-booking yourself. Huzzah!

    3. GDPR Compliance & Our New Mailing List

    April 25, 2018

    In preparation for the GDPR’s enforcement on May 25, 2018, we released tons of features to help ensure your compliance. And, if you think, “Hey, our institution doesn’t reside in the EU, so this doesn’t apply to us.” Think again. If you service even a single EU citizen, no matter where in the world that EU citizen resides, the GDPR applies to you. And, while we were on the subject of privacy, we revamped our email list. So, if you want receive our Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements – you need to explicitly opt-in here.

    4. LibTote and LibTote Platinum

    April 1, 2018

    I mean, who doesn’t love a good April Fool’s joke?! This blog post was dedicated to our fake product launch – LibTote and LibTote Platinum. Smart Tote technology you can take with you, to help you take other things. Why? Well, because there are two kinds of Librarians in the world… and they both love Tote bags. If you need a chuckle, take a minute (or two!) and revisit this blog post and dream of a world where your Tote bag has Blue’tote functionality, smart expansion, and robust usage stats.
    Sigh – if only we lived in such a world. 

    5. New LibChat Operator Interface

    June 28, 2018

    LibAnswers with LibChat saw a ton of updates last year. But we kicked it off with a blog post announcing an entirely new LibChat operator console designed to help you manage loads of patron chats more efficiently and chat internally with colleagues as easily as possible. But, this was just the tip of the new features iceberg. We, later, announced more chat improvements, ideas for discovery layer integration, and our screensharing & webinar functionality (coming January 2019).

    6. SpringyCamp Summer Series

    July 31, 2018

    In case you missed it, SpringyCamp is our virtual user conference (completely free!) where Springy users share how they’re using their Springshare tools at their institutions to attendees who watch from around the world. Literally, we have people who get up at 3am their time to join! Our 2018 Summer Series featured three virtual conferences, June, July, and August, with some amazing presenters and showstopping presentations. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the first time around, no worries – watch a recording any time.

    7. SUSHI Fetching in LibInsight

    July 3, 2018

    LibInsight is your data storage and analysis powerhouse – and it got even more powerhouse’y last July. We rolled out automated fetching for your SUSHI compliant E-Journals, Databases, and eBooks datasets. Simply connect LibInsight to your database vendors and your e-resource usage data will automatically port into LibInsight for easy analysis.

    8. Essential LibGuides You Need

    September 17, 2018

    We’ve seen our fair share of excellent LibGuides. This blog post details the guides you should have and ones you didn’t even know you needed! If you’re looking for LibGuides inspiration from other libraries, don’t miss this list highlighting just some of our favorite essential LibGuides. And, if you’re looking to build some LibGuides on current events, don’t miss this blog post either!

    9. LibStaffer Workflow Forms

    October 11, 2018

    We released a really big feature for LibStaffer at the end of last year that helps you streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms. LibStaffer Workflow Forms enables you to create customized online forms that facilitate the entire life cycle – after the form is submitted. This includes automated email notifications, full audit trails, and the ability to view the entire workflow/history for each form submission. Looking for ways to use LibStaffer Workflow Forms? Check out this blog post highlighting 5 Ways to Use Workflow Forms.

    10. New Australia / Asia-Pacific Datacenter

    December 10, 2018

    When you start a year with a bang it has to end with one too, by announcing announcing a dedicated data center for our Australia, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific customers. In early 2019, we’ll automatically move all customers located in the Asia-Pacific region to this dedicated server cluster. This new data center is our 3rd cluster, with dedicated geographical servers, alongside our Canadian and European clusters. These dedicated data centers help ensure that your institution is in compliance with local laws regarding transmission of patron data in/out of the United States.

     

    Planned Server Maintenance: December 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

    Please let us know if you have any questions!

    Building LibGuides for Current Events

    In our most recent newsletter, we talked about creating #TrendingNow content. To summarize, the most successful teaching sessions are based around an assignment, project, or task.

    Context is key. And contextual learning leads to long-term learning.

    That same concept applies when you connect learning resources with #TrendingNow current events.

    Patrons are far more likely to deep-dive into a topic when the subject matter is topical, trending, and “hot right now”.

     

    U.S. Mid-Term Elections Are Six Days Away!

    The U.S. mid-term elections are only six days away! The news cycle is 24/7 continuous coverage on this hot-button event. What better way to position the library as a leader in information-sharing that creating a topical LibGuide on the Mid-Term Elections.

    • Think Local – Share local, district, state-level races as well as ballot proposal questions.
    • Distill Information – Share ways to register to vote, how to find your local polling place, and suggestions for best times to visit the polls.
    • Inform – There are a lot of fake news resources choking people’s inbox, their social feed… and their brains. Use your Elections / Voting LibGuide to break myths, communicate accurate information, and explain how to be an informed citizen.

     

    Pikes Peak Library District – Voting & Elections LibGuide

    Stevens Institute of Technology – Vote New Jersey LibGuide

    What Other Kinds of Guides Can I Make?

    #TrendingNow content doesn’t just have to be about the upcoming elections. Unfortunately, hurricane season is upon us and North America is seeing an uptick in the severity and frequency of hurricanes. Other areas have natural disasters to contend with too, like earthquakes, blizzards, and more.

    If you’re in an area with hurricanes or other natural disasters, a Disaster Preparedness LibGuide is an effective way to communicate important information.

    To illustrate, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library is the largest library system in Louisiana covering the capital city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding parish. EBRPL services a large community with nearly 350,000 card holders, 14 branches, and an annual circulation of 2.5million items. EBPL has 160+ active LibGuides and they receive roughly 150,000 hits to those guides annually. In 2016, their LibGuides were instrumental in providing resources for a struggling community. From their Disaster Assistance LibGuide to Coping with Traumatic Events LibGuide – these resources were invaluable to citizens. Watch EBPRL Librarian Andrew Tadman present at our 2016 virtual SpringyCamp conference on how their InfoGuides helped citizens during these trying times.

    As Andrew stated,

    “During the 2016 flood, information was coming out over social media from different news outlets, kind of all over the place. And sometimes, it was contradictory information. So, we knew immediately we had to get a guide setup to create a one-stop resource of curated information. We didn’t want to overwhelm people by just putting every link possible that we could find out there. So we just to focus it on just what people need right now, what’s the most important things. There was lots of gossip and rumor about what you’re supposed to do, where you’re supposed to go, what you’re not supposed to do, including bad information about shelters, and incorrect information on documenting damage for FEMA. Additionally, information from the official city offices wasn’t getting out quickly enough. And that’s where the speed of LibGuides came in. We were able to get information up quickly, link to it on our library website, share it on social media, and disperse it. The mobile-accessibility was important to be able to access this information.”

    Arizona State University – Hurricane Florence LibGuide

    Add #TrendingNow Tag

    Whatever LibGuide you decide to build, whether it’s on a patron’s chance of winning the 2018 $1.5billion combined lottery or on how the European Union’s Parliament works with Angela Merkel’s recent retirement announcement, add a #TrendingNow tag to your LibGuide.

    Big thanks to Sally Stieglitz from Adelphi University for this idea! Sally’s created awesome LibGuides on #ThanksForTyping: Women’s Invisible Labor in Academia and Publishing, Fake News and Alternative Facts, and the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter.

    #TrendingNow guides can have a short shelf life, so use tags to organize them. Then, when they’re considered ‘old news’ simply remove the tag or consider unpublishing them to keep your guide list manageable.

    To advertise your #TrendingNow content, create a widget connected to your #TrendingNow tag, embed that widget on your homepage, and voila – you’re creating a quick & easy shortcut for patrons to view your #TrendingNow content. Every guide you build or take down will auto-update that widget.

    LibGuides and LibApps Updates Coming Your Way!

    LibGuides Update

    We have some great updates coming by the end of this week to LibGuides, LibApps, and LibAuth to go with the official changing of the seasons. Happy fall to our fellow Northern Hemisphere denizens, and Happy Spring to our customers on the other side of the world!

    To kick us off, we’re pleased to announce that you can now Export All Rows for LibGuides Homepage and Guides statistical reports. So many have requested this that I’m sure there will be fireworks and bonfires in celebration. 🙂  To export your results, just run a report from Statistics > Homepage or Statistics > Guides, then click the Export All button. No more paging through results! Just download and slice and dice to your heart’s content.

    Also new in LibGuides:

    If the database that you’re adding to a guide is hidden, you’ll see text indicating that:
    screenshot

    Ability to edit the friendly URL of a blog post! Note that guide blogs must have friendly URLs assigned at the guide and page level for this feature to appear:
    screenshot of the post edit screen

    Ability to add Primo as a search source for LibGuides. Now you can add search results from your Primo system as a tab or Bento box in your LibGuides system. This will be available from LibAnswers search in a future release.
    screenshot

    We try to do at least one accessibility fix each LibGuides release, and this one is no exception: If your databases’ descriptions are set to “hover over title” or “hover over (i) icon,” those pop-over descriptions aren’t read aloud when databases appear on a guide. Thanks for letting us know, Ken! We’ve fixed that in your honor. ❤️

    We also have a swarm of little fixes to report:

    • AZ Import > vendors are added and updated properly.
    • AZ.php > the correct container class is applied when you use a custom footer.
    • Accounts > Email options > Help ID has been corrected.
    • Names now appear underneath profile boxes on the A-Z and Subject pages.
    • XML exports sent to Summon now use the correct “last updated” date for guides.
    • Accounts > Add > Contributor level is no longer grayed out.
    • The Guides list filters properly when you have an apostrophe in a group name.
    • We corrected an issue with password-protected reserves documents and the www version of a domain.
    • Discussion Boards: Regular level accounts can invite patron accounts from the guide edit page.
    • Guide edit > add editor > we fixed the ability to create a new Editor account from here.
    • Custom metadata has been added to guides rendered via widgets (and therefore to LTI).

    We have also done a ton of performance and optimization fixes all across the codebase, so you’ll see things like the Assets data table perform better.

    Also don’t miss this month’s Brunch ‘n’ Learn: “LibGuides Lab Work-In: Hands-On Help for Your Staff.” Check out this and other LibGuides training sessions live, or watch recorded videos.

    LibApps

    We have made a couple of improvements to LibApps as well. Now when you export all your LTI instances, the Content column just has the name of the matches content rather than the HTML link.

    We also made it so that if you request that we remove your custom SSL certificate so that you can start using Let’s Encrypt (free!), there’s no gap in HTTPS coverage.

    LibAuth

    Over in LibAuth, we now support the Location attribute for SIP2 Connections, updated Federation metadata to use SHA256, and fixed an issue where the General pane of the LDAP configuration screen was not saved when you edited the login form tab.