Archive for LibGuides

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.

 

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

Wow, do we have a ton of end of year updates to share with you – we have new LibAuth, LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, LibInsight, and LibStaffer features to share! This time we’re doing something different with the announcement – rather than spreading out the announcements in multiple blog posts (one per product) we’ll outline them all here, in a single post.

These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Wednesday December 19th.

LibAuth & LibApps

LibAuth now supports SSO logins via OAuth2 and Sirsi Symphony. If your SSO supports the OAuth2 protocol, or if you have the Sirsi-Dynix Symphony ILS, you can now set up LibAuth configurations that will use these methods. Use LibAuth to authenticate patrons for LibCal Space Bookings, events, LibGuides E-Reserves, or to place your LibGuides site, group of guides, or a single guide behind authentication. LibApps admins can head to LibApps > Admin > LibAuth Authentication to see these two new options.

In LibApps, if you switch to a custom domain or change an existing custom domain for your LibGuides, LibCal, or LibAnswers site, we will request & install a free Let’s Encrypt security certificate before we put the domain change into effect. This ensures that all traffic to your sites continues to go over HTTPS rather than over the insecure HTTP protocol. If you haven’t yet read our blog post on making all your Springy traffic HTTPS, check it out now.

We’re also adding two more customizable fields to the Primo Search Source, when you set it up to show Primo results inside your LibGuides & LibAnswers search. The two new customizable fields are for changing the scope and tab name. Head to LibApps > Admin > Search Sources to set this up for Primo.

LibGuides

Over in LibGuides, if you have LibGuides CMS and have implemented IP Access Restrictions for your site, group, or guide, you will no longer see results for these IP-protected assets in search results, unless you are inside the required IP range. Your IP-protected guides will only show up in search results for users within valid ranges.

We also added a feature many of our A-Z Databases admins have asked for: the option to remove a “Trial” label from a trial Database when the trial expires. To set this up, go to Content > A-Z Databases > edit your database, apply the label, add the trial expiration date, and check the box labelled “Hide from public view on trial expiration date.”

Speaking of A-Z list, we’ve made a small change to the way that A-Z Databases search works with filters on the public A-Z page. Previously, if you filtered the page view to a subject, vendor, or type, and then did a search, these filters conflicted, resulting in incorrect search results. Now, when you search filtered results, you’ll correctly see databases that match your search term AND your filters.

There are also a bunch of small features and fixes to share:

  • We fixed the A-Z Databases map count, which were incorrect in a few instances.
  • We fixed the rendering of A-Z Database Description popovers in two cases:
    • When you’re using a A-Z page template that contains a custom content box with A-Z databases in it.
    • If you’re using IE11 or on a mobile device.

LibCal

We’re happy to announce that LibCal now has an online payments component built right into the system, and it comes with no additional fee – it’s a standard part of your LibCal system.


Online payments are being added to event registrations and spaces first. Support for payments on equipment bookings will be coming soon (late January/early February). We’re doing a limited online payments release to early adopters, until we polish all the payments features over the next few weeks (the wide release will be later in January). If you’re interested in being an early adopter for online payments in LibCal, let us know! For a sneak peek at how this functionality is integrated within LibCal, check out the December Springy Newsletter feature on LibCal – Way to Pay.

In addition to online payments, we have several other new features rolling out in this release, including:

  • The new “Next Available” quick link in Spaces and Equipment is now available via the APIs
  • We’ve added a simple honeypot captcha to Event booking forms, to help reduce spammy event registrations. This captcha method doesn’t display to the patron at all, so you won’t see anything different in your registration forms, but spambots will run into hidden fields that are designed to catch them and prevent the form from being submitted.
  • We’ve updated our Spaces Exchange Integration to support displaying Space reservations in Exchange using either the patron’s name, or a nickname they enter as part of the registration form. This is designed to assist folks who are relying on the Exchange integration to tie in with an external room panel. To try out this new setting, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Exchange/Outlook and look for the Title Setting toggle.

LibAnswers/LibChat

We’re thrilled to announce that our new screensharing & webinars functionality is here! We went way beyond just basic librarian-to-patron sharing of screen during chat. Patrons and Librarians can also request control of each others’ screens, do an audio chat, start an optional webcam share for a face to face chat, annotate the screen to help guide your users in the right direction, save and send screenshots… and that’s just the basics. Also, why stop with two people – have a screensharing/webinar session with 3, 4, 5 or more people – the more the merrier! It’s all there, in LibChat.

  • Supported Across All Browsers – Whether you or the patron are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or some other browser… our screensharing works across all browsers.
  • Supported Across Multiple Operating Systems – From Windows to Mac OS, from Ubuntu to Mint… we’ve got you covered.
  • Works on Tablets & Mobile Devices – From Surface Pro 2 (running Win 8.1 / Win 10) to iOS/Andriod devices and even on Slaven’s beloved Blackberry (yes, we went there!)… you can screenshare with users on multiple device types.
  • Audio & Video Options – You and the patron have the option to turn on your mics and webcams to enhance the screensharing experience.
  • Screen Annotation – Annotate screens, draw attention to certain elements, type up notes, and then save the screenshot and send to the patron.
  • Multi-Person Webinars or Virtual Staff Meetings – Screenshare as a group for internal meetings, staff webinars, etc. Why should only two people have all the fun?
  • Distance Education Support – With our screensharing and webinars, your library can better support distance ed programs at your institution.
  • Saved Recordings – Optionally, save your screenshare session and share it with relevant parties.

Screensharing is an optional module but it’s included free to all our Suite customers. Non Suite users can join in the fun too for $199 for this module – we worked hard to bring enterprise-class screensharing & webinars solution that costs thousands to every library that needs it, for less than a daily cup of joe at the local deli. That’s what we’re all about – delivering outstanding value to our libraries that we’re privileged to serve and work with.

Based on the amount of emails and inquiries we received since we told you about our screensharing plans, we know that you will want this installed, like, yesterday. But in order to ensure the stability of the infrastructure the rollout will be gradual, over the next couple of months. If you want to be an early adopter please let us know you’re interested and we’ll go from there.

In addition to screensharing, we have a couple of additional updates to share:

  • New Chat Status: Internal – With all of the screensharing excitement around the potential for internal staff meetings and support, we realized that our existing availability options in LibChat needed some tweaks. Thus as of this release there are now 3 presence/status settings for LibChat:
    • Online – You’re available to answer all public and internal chats
    • Internal – You’re offline as far as public chat departments are concerned, but online and available for internal chat departments and 1:1 operator chats
    • Offline – You’re entirely offline and unavailable to chat
  • Department Monitoring Update – We’ve updated the way we display information on who is publicly monitoring chats for each LibChat department. Previously we were displaying availability for each user in each department based on their overall online/offline status. Now, we’ll display this information based on whether the user is specifically publicly monitoring/not monitoring each individual chat department. To see this in action, head to the LibChat dashboard > Select a Department > Click Department Members.

LibInsight

We are working on integration of COUNTER Release 5 datasets into LibInsight, which we expect to be available before the end of March 2019. Meanwhile, we have a slew of small fixes for you:

  • We fixed field editing bug in circulation datasets
  • We fixed the error message displayed if you do not specify a “# of transactions” field in an Aggregate Circulation dataset
  • We fixed Dashboard charts for LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibGuides datasets
  • We’ve made it possible for you to choose whether to require “Required” fields when uploading a file to a custom dataset
  • We fixed a broken export button in the Circulation and Acquisitions Datasets Analysis “Popular” tab
  • We fixed the “Reset” button on widgets, which was not getting appropriate keyboard focus

LibStaffer

We’ve been working hard to bring you some special gifts this holiday season including awesome new features like copying shifts, SMS alert notifications, Geofencing and OAuth authentication for Outlook/Exchange calendar syncing.

  • Copy Shifts – By popular demand, you now have the ability to copy shifts and their assignments to the same or different calendar.  Open any schedule, select the settings icon drop down and select Copy Shifts access this feature.
  • SMS Alert Notifications – SMS alert notifications are here!  Select which LibStaffer alerts to receive through SMS text messages or email (or both).  Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit > Email & SMS Alerts to check out this new feature.
  • Geofencing – We’ve developed a way to put a distance restriction on where staff members can either clock in or clock out within a specified radius from a schedules physical geographic location.  Check out this new feature to set your geofence restrictions and schedule locations latitude/longitude by going to Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > Location & Time Clock.
  • OAuth Authentication for Outlook/Exchange Sync – A brand new way of syncing to Outlook/Exchange, using OAuth tokens instead of having to enter and update login passwords.  This new way is more secure than storing of Outlook/Exchange passwords.  Head to Admin > Accounts > Edit Account > Outlook/Exchange.
  • Workflow Submissions Explorer Recipient Filter – We’ve improved the workflow forms submission explorer to include a notification recipient filter.  You will now be able to use this filter to see only relevant form submissions that included a specific notification recipient.  To run the explorer with this new filter head to Forms > Submissions Explorer.
  • Max Hours per Day – The ability to set the maximum number of hours a day a staff member can work across all schedules in one day.  Manual shift assignments and the auto scheduler will take this new value into account when checking availability when scheduling staff members.  To set a staff members max hours per day that they can work, go to Admin > Accounts > Edit > Manage Account.
  • Custom Week Start Date – Beyond Sunday and Monday, we’ve now brought you the ability to set the ‘Week starts’ date to any day of the week.  The proper support has also been added for manually assigning staff and running the auto scheduler to determine availability.  Go to Admin > System Settings to set your ‘Week starts’ value to any day of the week.
  • Multi View Start Date – We’ve modified the multi schedule view display where if all the calendars selected for the multi view have the same week start date, the calendar view will start on that same day of the week.  To view this change, go to Schedules > Multi-Schedule View Only and select calendars that all have the same week start date.
  • Shift Swaps with Outlook/Exchange sync – We’ve improved the shift swap sync process for Outlook/Exchange where after a shift is successfully swapped between two staff members, the shift that each staff member was assigned to prior to the swap will be removed from the Outlook/Exchange calendars.
  • Consistent first and last name display – We’ve gone through all of LibStaffer and anywhere an account name appears it will display as First Name Last Name sorted by Last Name.

 

Many of the new features and functionality in Springshare tools came as a direct result of you, our customers, sending us your ideas, suggestions, pain points, constructive criticism, and kudos. We can’t thank you enough, and we promise so much more good stuff coming your way in 2019 – new features, enhanced functionality, new products… all with one singular purpose – to make your library workflows better and for you to continue impressing your customers and making them love and appreciate their library and their librarians even more. Thank you for your amazing suggestions and ideas in 2018, and here’s to a lot more goodies in 2019 and beyond. As always we’re here for you if any questions pop up.

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.

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.

Essential LibGuides and Ones You Didn’t Know You Needed

LibGuides icon

For Academic libraries, this time of year is exciting as the physical and virtual campuses are brimming with students and faculty. Your Library Orientations are in full swing. Your Social Media efforts are kicked into high gear as you promote your services. You’ve got to remind everyone that you’re there! As you do this, it’s a good time to have a look at your LibGuides.

If you’ve had LibGuides for a while now, it’s highly likely you have the essential guides built and they’re ready for your users. But there’s a chance that even your library could add some guides to your “to-build” list when you see what some other institutions are showcasing.

What Are Some Essential LibGuides?

Springshare has a bird’s eye view of the guides that exist in the community and we have consistently seen some staple topics.

It’s always a great idea to have guides addressing:

 

As you see these topics, they probably make absolute sense to you. If you are new to LibGuides, remember we have free training and free support, if you have questions. Plus, you have access to the LibGuides community where you can see examples of such guides.

Put Your Best Guide Forward.

If you have these guides already built, why not check the stats on them? It’s a great way to keep the guides fresh and exciting. What should you be looking for?

  • Which guides are most popular? Perhaps your patrons like the way it flows/looks. Make future guides with this in mind.
  • During which time of year are they visiting the guides? Maybe the timing coincides with orientation, exams, large projects or your instruction sessions with classes.
  • Are there books or links or any content that show a lot of clicks? Perhaps they’re being recommended or they have good descriptions, etc.
  • Are there content items that have little or no clicks? Could these benefit from different placement on the page or better descriptions? Or, maybe it’s a good idea to replace them with new items that you have because people aren’t interested in them.

It’s a perfect time of year for refreshing your LibGuides with new resources you may have acquired since you first built them or to hone what’s there based on what you glean from the historical data.

Must-Have Guides That May Surprise You.

So what kind of content is out there that you may not have thought to make, yet? Here are some examples that might inspire you and your team.

You can build guides focused on serving specific subsets like International Students or Graduate Students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many libraries are creating LibGuides for Professional Development on topics like integrating intersectionality into library instruction and programming or on how to make PowerPoint presentions more captivating.

Focusing on faculty, there are guides on keeping your research current and on boosting your scholarly impact. Another excellent idea for internal purposes is to use LibGuides to provide a place to recognize each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re building LibGuides for your students, think about specific resources that are available to them like the Student Learning Center or Archives and Special Collections and let LibGuides be the vehicle you use to introduce them to what they can find there.

 

 

Finally, put yourself in their shoes. What are the skills they’re trying to advance? What are the challenges they’re gearing up to face? Check out these examples on using images and prepping for exams. You can build LibGuides on any subject. Be creative, devise a way for your students and faculty to submit suggestions or requests — and have fun!

Gearing Up for Fall with Additions to LibGuides

LibGuides UpdateSummer is winding down here in the Northern Hemisphere, and we know lots of folks are getting ready for back-to-school. We’ve been getting ready, too! In addition to some back-end performance improvements for LibGuides, we area also pleased to tell you that we have a few features and fixes to report for our August release. This code release has already gone out to all regions, so all of the things below are ready and waiting.

Blog Tune-Up

We’ve made a few changes to blogs inside LibGuides! Whether you use the System Blog or you have blog pages added to your guides, you’ll notice:
  • The addition of an anchor link for every post that will jump you down to the comments section
  • On the edit side, the addition of each post’s public URL near the title, for easy copying-and-pasting.
  • Blog post authors will receive an email each time a comment is left (unless they’re the commenter!)
  • A larger compose area when writing a blog post, as well as a rearrangement of some of the elements on the compose screen for better usability.
  • Images within blog posts are now automatically constrained within the post’s container, and book covers have the same CSS selectors as they do when added to a regular guide page.

Get Secure with HTTPS

We’ve been writing a lot lately about HTTPS and security. If you haven’t changed your LibGuides site to require all traffic to go over the secure HTTPS protocol, now’s a great time! We recently made a security change for blogs which also applies to Discussion Boards, if you’re a LibGuides CMS subscriber. All pages that accept user input (like blogs with comments, and like discussion board threads) are now required to be secure.

To require your site to be secure, log into LibApps and go to Admin > Domains & Certificates > click the padlock icon for your site > Force HTTPS > click the Required button. Before you do, you’ll want to review your content and make sure that all your media/widgets, images, and other embedded content are changed to https, if it’s supported. This FAQ will tell you more about what to do.

Getting Right to SSO

It’s now possible to take users directly to your SSO login form, if you would like the public side of your site to be protected by this additional security. If you have set up a site-wide LibAuth rule to restrict the viewing of the public side of your site AND you also have one (and only one) LibAuth configuration set up, users will be taken directly to the SSO login page, rather than to the LibApps login page. Read more about restricting access to your site with LibAuth.

Updated LibAuth Code

Speaking of LibAuth, we have completely rewritten the back-end in order to make it faster, more extensible, and easier to add features to. Have a wishlist item for authenticating your users inside Springy products? Drop us a line!

Small Fixes and Features

As they used to say on TV, “But wait, there’s more!” We have a few additional updates to share:
  • Accessibility: The A-Z list no longer contains duplicate IDs when databases appear in the main list and the sidebar.
  • When an account is created, the name of the person who created the account is included in the Welcome email sent to the new account holder.
  • You can now export all Database and non-Database assets using the Export All button, regardless of how many assets you have in your system.
  • You can now export your LTI Instances using the Export All button–even if there are thousands of them!
  • You can identify media/widget asset code more accurately when using the filters on Content > Assets.
  • Protecting a site, guide, group, or any combination of those works correctly in LibAuth now, even when you’re using a guide as your custom system homepage.
  • The Domains & Certificates table appears appropriately when using IE11. (Please keep your browsers up-to-date for functionality and security reasons! 🙂 )

Mid-year LibGuides Updates are Coming Your Way!

LibGuides UpdateWe have been working hard at Springy HQ to bring you some exciting LibGuides updates and improvements. This month we’ve worked quite a lot on the back end (and are working on a complete rewrite of LibAuth!) to make various pieces of LibGuides work faster and more smoothly, as well as these features and fixes. This code update will be released to all regions by the end of this week. If you don’t see them yet, it means we haven’t updated your region’s servers yet. 🙂

Security & Privacy Updates

reCAPTCHA on the password reset page – Forgot your password? No problem! Now when you need to reset your password, you’ll see that familiar “I am not a robot” checkbox that you’ve probably seen in lots of other places. This added layer of protection will prevent bots from successfully submitting this request.

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Updated New Account page – Now when you create a new LibGuides account, you’ll be taken to a page dedicated to this process, rather than seeing the information in a small pop-up box. This additional real estate lets us display our privacy information, so that you be advised how we use cookies and the IP address of the new account holder. For more information on how we utilize these, read our privacy policy.

Code check for Media/Widget assets

Have you ever pasted some code into a widget asset and gotten some really unexpected results? Sometimes code copied from another site contains incomplete HTML or is missing a closing tag or two. Never fear! We’ve implemented a check when saving new widget code. If you happen to write or paste HTML code that is missing a tag or that contains tags that will mess up your guide, we’ll warn you!

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Smaller fixes and features

  • We updated our back-end processing for importing information from Serials Solutions.
  • We fixed a bug that prevented database description popovers from closing after a database opened in a new tab.
  • We fixed a bug preventing the yearly guide stats from updating on the system homepage.
  • We fixed an error preventing people from subscribing to a blog from a secondary site domain.
  • All new LibCal, LibGuides, and LibAnswers app installations will be set to require HTTPS.
  • We fixed an issue with the character counter for guide custom JS/CSS code.
  • When you publish a previously-saved draft blog post, the page now refreshes properly.
  • We fixed an issue that caused the assets data table to break if you assigned dozens of subjects to an asset.
  • We removed outdated export buttons from the Content > Guides page. Use the Export All features to export this information.