Archive for LibGuides CMS

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.

LibGuides CMS: Getting The Most From Groups Functionality

There are many excellent reasons why people choose (or upgrade to) LibGuides CMS. It has access controls, the LTI integration tool, comes with LibWizard Lite and so much more. However, the way the system allows you to create separate customizable groups is, to this day, one of the most popular draws.

LibGuides is so easy to use that our clients began to start imagining other ways they could use it. They’ve taken advantage of the flexibility and used it for their websites. Sometimes departments within the library, like Special Collections or Reference, would ask their system admins if they could build guides but they wanted to have their own banner. LibGuides CMS makes this possible along with a variety of other thoughtful uses.

Build an Intranet the Team Will Really Use.

Using LibGuides CMS for your Intranet platform makes sense on so many levels. Why divert them to, yet, another interface? The staff already knows how to build LibGuides. Now, they can build guides on Professional Development Days and on Vacation and Sick Day Policies. Imagine encouraging the team to build not just a profile box but a whole guide that includes more than what you’d see on a resume. It could include hobbies, photos of favorite trips, books on their must-read lists, work playlists and more. Your intranet would connect people and help them truly get to know one another. Plus, you could embed LibCal calendars to keep everyone on the same page and LibAnswers FAQs to help with onboarding new hires. You could embed LibWizard forms or surveys to get team feedback on new projects up for consideration. Your Intranet group could be a real hang out spot.

Everyone Loves to Play in a Sandbox.

If you’ve been thinking about updating your look and feel but you are not sure if your ideas are executable or if it will look too sparse or, conversely, too crowded, etc., then you’re probably wishing you had a staging area to play around in and test. With LibGuides CMS, you can create a sandbox group. Then using access controls, you can lock it down with password protection or IP address restriction. You can build and modify and adjust as you wish without disrupting the guides your patrons are currently using.

Organize Your Guides in a New Way.

Some clients are using the groups functionality in LibGuides CMS to make finding what you need more efficient and clear-cut. They have a group for Subject guides and another group for Course guides and they can keep going. You could put all the General Library Information guides in a group and/or build a group for Events and Instruction. On the public-facing side, it would be an organized person’s dream.

It’s Not Old, It’s Archived.

We’re hearing from more and more libraries that a digital archive solution is something that’s becoming a real priority. The University of Oklahoma’s Jason Henderson presented Digital Archives on a Dime at our virtual conference, SpringyCamp, regarding his experience building, hosting and publishing a digital archive using Internet Archive and the LibGuides CMS groups functionality. He emphasized that he was mindful of their budget, wanted it to be easy to use for their patrons, and that it was critical for the team that it be easy to set up and maintain.

Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out.

Public libraries make immensely helpful LibGuides on taxes and genealogy and National Poetry Month. However, what public libraries do best is hone in on the needs of the people they serve and those needs are often particular to the branches. LibGuides CMS allows you to make individual groups for each branch. They can have their own banner, header, footer and they can have their own looks and feels or they can have a consistent look that threads them together. Best of all, if a branch has a large senior population or, perhaps, another branch has a lot of veterans or young families, the librarians can build guides in the confines of their own group to cater to them.

Speak the Same Language.

LibGuides CMS allows groups to have a fair amount of independence. They can have their own URLs and home pages with a choice of navigation layout. What’s more, they can be customized in different languages, too! We have clients that, legally, must provide their guides in both French and English, for instance. LibGuides CMS works for them because they can build a group for each language and then they can add a link to the other in case a user wants to switch from the English to the French. Et voila! Let your imagination drive for a stretch and make a targeted list of all the ways — internal and public-facing — you can envision using LibGuides CMS groups at your library. Nothing else will be so easy…or end up looking so good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springshare Integration with Discovery Layers

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

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

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

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

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

What can you integrate?

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

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

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

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

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

Integrated a ‘Report a Problem’ LibAnswers Form

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

Where can I learn more about Discovery Layer integration?

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

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

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

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