Archive for LibGuides

Fall LibGuides Updates – Check ’em Out!

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

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

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

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

Screenshot

A Note on Site Cleanup

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

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

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

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

Screenshot

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

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

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

Accessibility Fixes

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

Aditional Fixes and Features

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

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

Springy https-a-palooza is Go!

It’s here – the release you’ve all been waiting for: the Springy https-travaganza! 🎉
And yes, it’s “Springy” vs. a specific product, because this affects all of our products. Let’s go through the list of fun new stuff, shall we?

LibAnswers & LibCal Now Support SSL Certificates (via LibApps)

LibApps Admins can now upload security certificates for LibAnswers and LibCal custom domains! It’s not just LibGuides anymore, folks. All products that support custom domains now also support security certificates for those domains. Head to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates, and click the lock icon in the Actions column. Please read through those screens and our documentation to learn more about the process of installing certificates for your sites. This often requires coordination with your IT department so be sure to include those folks in your conversations, as well.

Don’t forget, anyone on a libguides.com, libanswers.com, libcal.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, libinsight.com, or libcrm.com domain is already covered by Springshare’s security certificates, so you can go all https at any time! (If you’re on a campusguides.com, libguidescms.com, or communityguides.com domain, please contact us about switching to a libguides.com domain to take advantage of our security certificate. In addition, if you have a domain formatted like this – guides.mylibrary.libguides.com – please contact us about changing to something like guides-mylibrary.libguides.com in order to take advantage of our security certificate.)

As we’ve mentioned before, this only covers your Springy domain, not the widgets, etc., you’ve added within any pages. If you’ve decided to use https for your sites, you’ll also want to check any widgets you’ve added to the systems (other vendor/site widgets, like those from subscription databases, social media sites, etc.) to see whether they are http or https, as non-https widgets will trigger a security warning. If they are not https, check with that vendor/site to see if they offer an https option. Springshare widgets/APIs are either protocol-less (meaning they’ll work on both http and https pages) or are already https. See our FAQ for more info.

LibApps Now Supports Wildcard and SAN Certificates

Yes! You can now upload wildcard and SAN certificates. What are wildcard certificates, you may ask? They’re certificates that cover a whole domain vs. just one subdomain. For example, a wildcard certificate might be for *.mylibrary.org, so it covers mylibrary.org, research.mylibrary.org, ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.mylibrary.org, etc., etc., all under a single certificate. Most sites likely won’t need a wildcard certificate, but for those who do, it’s now an option.

Force https is Available…

…for most apps. LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard allow you to force pages / widgets / APIs to load via https. LibInsight always loads over https. The best part? This is available to:

  • All sites on libguides.com, libanswers.com, libwizard.com, libsurveys.com, and libinsight.com domains and
  • LibGuides and LibAnswers sites with custom domains, who have uploaded security certificates.

The ability to force https for LibCal sites (via LibApps) will be available in the not-too-distant future, and we’ll be updating LibStaffer to be all https, all the time. Keep your eyes on our blog for those announcements.

What does this actually mean? If you’ve enabled “force https,” have an http link to a guide in LibGuides or FAQ in LibAnswers (etc.) somewhere on a webpage, and someone clicks that link, they’ll automatically be redirected to https instead. Any links they click for other pages in that LibGuides / LibAnswers / etc. site will also automatically load over https. That’s it! It loads your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard pages over https no matter whether the link that brought the user there was http or https. So if you forgot to update a link…or someone has something bookmarked…or a member of your community has a link on one of their webpages…it’ll always load over https.

What does this not mean? The links you have set up in your site that go to other websites (subscription databases, books in your catalog, etc.) will not be forced to use https. Springshare does not control those other websites, so we have no control over how those sites are loaded.

Here’s how to force Springy sites to use https:

  • LibInsight: enabled by default; you don’t have to do a thing.Screenshot of "Force HTTPS" setting.
  • LibWizard: Go to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings.
  • LibGuides & LibAnswers:
    • Go to LibApps > Admin > Domains & Certificates.
    • Click the lock icon in the Actions column for the site.
    • Under “Force HTTPS” Setting, choose Required.
      If you do not see the “Force HTTPS” Setting section, either that app doesn’t currently support it as an option (e.g., LibInsight is always https; LibCal support is coming soon) or you have a custom domain (for LibGuides / LibAnswers) and need to upload a security certificate before you can access that option.

On LibGuides v1, LibAnswers v1, or LibAnalytics?

The best advice we can give you is to move to v2. The v2 platform is better, more secure, faster, feature-rich…so there is no reason to stay on v1. If you’d like some assistance, our support team can help you figure out how to do it in the quickest way possible. We also have dedicated training sessions and step-by-step migration guides (LibGuidesLibAnswersLibAnalytics) to walk you through the entire process. We do not support SSL certificates for custom domains for v1 systems.

Additional Features & Fixes

It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t also include an extra list of fixes & features in our releases, now would it?

  • LibGuides: A-Z Page statistics are now available in base LibGuides, in addition to LibGuides CMS.
  • LibAuth: Empty postfix field is allowed in LDAP configurations.
  • LibAnswers: LibChat accessibility adjustment – frameborder=”0″ has been replaced with CSS in chat widgets.
  • Fixed in LibGuides:
    • When creating new Database Assets, assigned Friendly URLs now stay put, as intended.
    • An ampersand in the name of an E-Reserves course no longer breaks the OAI feed.
    • The “Edit Database” modal window in guides now appropriately points people to the A-Z Database List page for editing fields…which is far more useful than pointing to an outdated location.
    • IE10 users, rejoice! (Is that a thing? 😉) The Image Manager works again within LibCal and LibAnswers.

As always, we’re here to help! Let us know if any questions pop up…

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

Accessibility fixes

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

CSS Changes:

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

Template Changes:

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

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

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

Profiles Templates:

Main Landing Page – prf.php:

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

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

Subjects Templates:

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

Manage Your Domains!

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

Databases Page Stats

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

Other Fixes and Features

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

The Importance of Having a Social Media Presence

Whether you’re on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter – social media is a powerful tool for relationship building and creating brand loyalty.

Increase Brand Recognition

Libraries are in a prime position to use social media to engage with customers, develop positive and sustaining relationships, and promote advocacy. Every opportunity you have to share and syndicate your content increases your visibility. Each social media channel is a way to broadcast your brand’s voice. Think about it this way. Let’s say you have a Twitter exchange with patron Sally. And Sally is so happy that you were able to solve her problem and answer her questions. All of Sally’s followers can see her exchange with your Library’s Twitter account – thus increasing your visibility to these potential new followers. Therefore, you’ve increased your potential inbound traffic to include users who *aren’t* your followers.

Richer Patron Experiences

Pie chart on SproutSocial Customer Care

SproutSocial Study on Customer Care

Several social media tools have evolved into more than just tools for posting your updates but now are important channels for customers to solicit and receive customer service. This concept is often referred to as ‘social care’ and it’s becoming the norm more and more. In fact, a SproutSocial 2016 Q2 study found that “90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand. And that social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service.”

What does this mean for Libraries? Well, if your catalog suddenly goes down – can patrons find outage related information on your Twitter feed? Can your Facebook followers contact you if they’re having trouble logging into their Library account?

The Power of ‘Listening’

A common misuse of social media is to use it to constantly post updates. Broadcasting events, sharing library resources, etc. And while those are very important, and valid, uses of social media – don’t forget that social media is a two-way communication platform. And with two-way communication, social listening is key. Social listening is more than just replying to your @mentions, it means paying attention to conversations around specific phrases or keywords and then leveraging those opportunities to create user-targeted content.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a keyword watch on the incoming class’ hashtag “#SpringyUnivClass2022” and you notice conversations taking place on that keyword channel about a lack of snack places on campus. And wouldn’t you know it, the library just invested in a brand new coffee and snack cart at the library. This is an opportunity to market your new cafe and reach more followers – just because you were listening.

For more information on social listening, check-out this SproutSocial article on The Importance of Social Listening.

How Can You Be Where ‘They’ Are?

Social media requires a plan, manpower, and a strategy. And Libraries are increasingly short-staffed and often pulled in multiple directions at once.

We understand the importance of social media and to that end Springshare has added several new features to Springy Tools to help you have a strong social media presence – even if you’re a library of just one staffer.

LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool

In case you missed it, we rolled out Social Media Management inside of the LibAnswers platform. Connect your library’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages and manage all three of them from one interface. Here’s what else you can do:

  • Engage in Social Listening – Setup Twitter Hashtags to watch and keep your finger on the conversation pulse occurring in your community.
  • Schedule Posts – One of the most important aspects of social media is consistent posting. To that end, schedule Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts into the future so your social feed is always buzzing.
  • Use Facebook Messenger Live – Integrate your Facebook page and you’ll be able to answer Facebook Messenger live chats right from the LibChat operator console. This is a great way to provide social customer service natively inside Facebook.
  • One View for All Stats – Never shortchange your reference stats by being able to view all your social activity from one stats interface.

Advertise Your New LibGuides and LibCal Events

We’ve integrated social posting right into LibGuides and LibCal so that way, you can easily share and post out your new events, LibGuides, etc…and keep your followers abreast of the library’s activities.

  • Advertise Your Published LibGuides – Navigate to your LibGuide and select the ‘Change Status & Share’ Button. From here, you can publish your LibGuide, snag a guide screenshot, and advertise your LibGuide on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget, your guide thumbnail is automatically included in your social posts – helping them be more visually engaging to users.
  • Announce Your Latest Blog Post – If you’re using the LibGuides Blogging functionality, for every new blog post you can seamlessly share it on social media.
  • Market Your Upcoming LibCal Events – When creating a new LibCal Calendar event, you can publish the event and advertise it on social media with one simple click. Plus, if you’ve uploaded a ‘featured image’, it will automagically display in your post to create a more visually engaging post.
Screenshot of LibGuides social media engagement screen

Advertising a Published LibGuide on Social Media

Screenshot of LibAnswers Systems and Services management tool twitter integration

LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool

Announce Library Systems Outages & Issues

Hey, it happens to everyone. Suddenly the library website goes down or your experiencing spotty outages with your catalog.

How can you let your patrons know that you’re aware of the issue and that you’re on top of it?

If you’re using the LibAnswers Systems & Services Management Tool, you can make use of the Twitter integration to announce issues and outages with your library systems.

Simply navigate to the Status Management button on your LibAnswers Orange Command Bar > select the tool > and ‘Add Post’.

Sign-Up For Training

If you’re using Springy Tools and you want to be more active in social media, then you’re in luck! We have a dedicated training session just for you!

We promise you, social media has the potential to be a treasure trove of opportunity for your Library’s brand. By learning to use it more, you’ll better understand your customer’s and their needs as well as ways to engage with them. They’ll be #converted before they know it.

LibGuides A-Z Community & Analysis and More!

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

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

Subject Analysis

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

The A-Z Community

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

Is your database not connected to the community?

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

Blog Widgets

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

Other fixes and features

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

Your LibGuides Are Working Hard to Fight Fake News

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

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

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

 

ButtonHave a LibGuide You Want To Share?

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

Heading to ALA Annual, Chicago?

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

Make Your Fake News LibGuide…Community Findable

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

 

Just out: Authenticate to view LibGuides E-Reserves with LibAuth

We have some cool updates to LibAuth-related functionality to share with you today! Need to limit E-Reserves viewing to students and faculty? Limit a LibCal room to just faculty bookings? You totally can, with LibAuth Groups. Please note: currently SAML, Shibboleth / ADFS and CAS are the only authorization protocols that support groups; if you do not see the Group Permissions, then your selected protocol does not support Groups.

More about the existing LibCal functionality in a minute; what we’re really excited about is that you can now enable LibAuth authentication with LibGuides E-Reserves. You can specify which LibAuth profile to use at the system level or at the course level; both make use of Group Permissions.

To designate a LibAuth profile that governs access to all public E-Reserves content, go to Content > E-Reserves > Settings > Authentication.

Screenshot of LibGuides E-Reserves Settings with Authentication accordion expanded

To specify a profile to provide public access to the contents of an individual course, look for the Enable LibAuth Authentication menu in the course’s settings. You can choose the System Default profile, no profile, or a different profile.

Screenshot of E-Reserves Course Settings

LibAuth authentication for E-Reserves only grants access to public pages. Access to manage E-Reserves happens through LibApps accounts and not by virtue of assigning a LibAuth profile in E-Reserves settings. Want to enable LibApps login with LibAuth? You can! Edit your LibAuth profile and enable LibApps authentication, near the bottom of the screen.

To give permission to an authentication group to a group of rooms in LibCal, go to the settings page of the group of rooms and choose the appropriate option from Enable LibAuth Authentication.

LibCal Room Group settings: Study Rooms

If you use LibCal spaces, to go Admin > Spaces & Equipment > Manage Location > Edit > General > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Screenshot of LibCal Spaces Settings

To enable LibAuth authentication for a calendar, go to Calendars > click the calendar name > Settings > Calendar Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

screenshot of LibCal Calendar settings

Note as with the above configuration: if you choose a protocol that supports groups but do not have groups defined in LibAuth, the additional drop-down to choose a group will not appear.

You can also enable LibAuth authentication for My Scheduler by going to My Scheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Enable LibAuth Authentication.

Need help setting up LibAuth? See our help documentation for more information.

We also squashed a few bugs and put out a few smaller features with this LibGuides code release, namely:

  • Access to v1 statistics
  • EU customer access to the Support site
  • When you clicked on a guide tag, search results weren’t limited to that tag
  • Re-enabled language options

LibGuides 2.1.16.0 is Here; It’s Linkalicious!

We’re super excited to announce that the LibGuides 2 v1.16.0 release has gone out to the US and EU regions. There’s some great stuff in it for you, including the new link checker, some new AZ features, and the ability to write AZ Asset information via the API. You auth nerds out there will also appreciate learning that with this API release, we’re moving to OAuth. Don’t worry, the existing API calls are still in place for backward-compatibility.

The LibGuides Link Checker has Returned!

It’s baaa-aaaaack! The LibGuides Link Checker was rewritten from scratch and is better than ever! Not only does it run every day—every 30 minutes, in fact—it also brings you new features, like the ability to dismiss links from the report and add link or domain exclusions.
LibGuides Link Checker Report screen
We’re holding off on kicking off the actual link checking to give you time to add in your own domain exclusions. What’s an exclusion? Great question! All pages for domains that you add as exclusions are skipped by the link checker. Meaning that if you add mylibcat.org as a domain exclusion, it’ll skip any link that begins with that, like mylibcat.org/bookitem-12345.html. We suggest that you add library system URLs like your proxy, discovery system, link resolver, anything that may hit a login page or otherwise appear as a “false positive” to the link checker. If you haven’t already, we recommend making use of the system-wide proxy settings for your Database Assets. More on that below.
But wait, you might say, I sent you my catalog domain yeeeeears ago. What gives? Good point! One of the improvements we’ve made is the ability to implement and track exclusions per site. Previously URLs were not associated with a site, so we had no way of parsing this list out and making sure that the right exclusion made it to your list. Make sense? We’re truly sorry about that, but think that the link checker is so much better now, you won’t mind. 😉
LibGuides Link Checker Exclusions
If you’d rather wait and see what hits your report, you can do that, too! You can add a single link to the Exclusions report with one click, or you can add an entire domain in the Exclusions tab. Links added to Exclusions will not be checked the next time around. We’ll be adding an option for Bulk-dismissing links from the report in the next week or two, so stay tuned for that!
We’ll kick off the Link Checker on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, U.S. time. You will not see links in your Link Checker report until then.
Summing things up, here’s what you should know and do to get the most bang for your buck from the new Link Checker:
  • Don’t expect to see links in your report until after Tuesday, May 16, 2017, U.S. time, when we turn the new link checker on.
  • Before May 16th, go to Tools > Link Checker > Exclusions to add library systems – particularly your proxy server – to the Exclusions list.
  • Make use of proxy settings so proxied links don’t get checked at all. Add your proxy string in Admin > System Settings, then make sure your links have the proxy Enabled.
  • Once the Link Checker starts running, monitor it regularly to update broken links and dismiss false positives.
  • Check out our documentation to learn more about the new Link Checker, dismissing links, and Exclusions!

A-Z Assets Write API 1.2 (CMS Only)

Also in this release is a brand-new set of API capabilities for creating or update your A-Z assets. You can still use GET requests to pull this content out of LibGuides, of course, and all existing 1.1 calls are supported for backward-compatibility purposes. To get started with the new Write API, go to Tools > API > Endpoints 1.2.
Also with this change comes the implementation of OAuth 2.0 rather than site keys. Want to host a hackathon for students to see what apps they can create to display your databases? No problem! Just go to Tools > API > API Authentication and create an application that only has the authority to make GET requests. Want to pull data from your ERM and push it to LibGuides? Create an application on the API Authentication tab that is allowed to create and update as well.

Export Database Information — and Update With the Same File!

Speaking of updating databases, we’ve made it easier to do this en masse. If you have a few or a bunch of changes to make, download a spreadsheet of ALL THE DATABASE THINGS by going to Content > A-Z Database List > Export All Records > TEMPLATE. Make changes in the file, then click Import / Update Databases to upload the spreadsheet. (Hint: remove assets that do not need updating at this time so you don’t have to wade through them all on the confirmation screen). Aaaaand you’re done!
LibGuides AZ Databases List with Export and Import options

A-Z Asset Login Credentials

Do you have database assets that have separate access, administration, and statistics portal URLs? Now you can track them in LibGuides! First, go to Content > A-Z Databases List > Settings > Login Credentials to set up the types of credentials you need to add. You might add Admin, Stats, or whatever other category of URL you need.
LibGuides AZ Databases Login Credential Types settings
For each type added, URL, Login, and Password fields will appear when you edit an asset:
LG AZ Database List Login Credentials

Additional Features and Fixes

  • Bug squashed! Tweets sent from a guide do not require a guide description.
  • Social posts for your blog posts contain the blog post title, not your guide or system’s.
  • Bug squashed! The posts-by-subjects list has been restored for blog pages.
  • Cover art retrieved from Syndetics is protocol-less; if you’re https, so are they!

New this week in LibGuides: New Blog Features and an OAI Overhaul

We’ve hit the ground running here at Springy HQ after a lively January 2017! Here’s a rundown of big new LibGuides features, now available in a browser near you.

OAI Rewrite

We initially implemented OAI-PMH harvesting for LibGuides in July 2015, and since then, you’ve given us some great feedback for changes and new features.  We’re pleased to announce that we’ve rewritten our implementation from the ground up and have incorporated your ideas!

Sensible URL. We changed the structure of the URLs used for harvesting to make them easier to remember. Your old URL will continue to work, so you have time to update your identifiers (see below) and your URLs. To grab your OAI-PMH URL, go into LibGuides > Tools > Data Exports > OAI-PMH.

Updated Identifiers. In order to support sets and additional content in the feed, the identifiers for guides were modified slightly. For example, oai:libguides.com:27066 becomes oai:libguides.com:guides/27066. If you rely on these identifiers for harvesting, clear out the LibGuides content before updating your OAI-PMH URL, otherwise you may end up with duplicate guide content.

Real-time updating. Newly-published and -edited metadata will be available in your OAI feed immediately.

New metadata! Now you can harvest more than just your guides:

  • Sets support. LibGuides now supports sets of objects. View the ListSets output with “?verb=ListSets” for a list of available sets. The verbs ListIdentifiers and ListRecords support limiting results to a particular set by passing that set‘s query parameter. If the set parameter is left off, ListIdentifiers and ListRecords will return objects in all sets. This is a change in behavior from previous the version, which returned only guide content. If you would like to maintain this behavior (only harvesting guides), be sure to use the ‘guides’ set parameter.
  • A-Z Assets: One of the new sets available in the feed is your collection of A-Z Databases. All A-Z assets are included as long as they are not hidden. Information exposed for A-Z is: title, description, the ‘more info’ field (if filled in), subjects, vendor, creation date, and URL (proxied if the ‘proxy’ checkbox is checked). To grab your databases metadata, use the ‘az’ set parameter: &set=az.
  • E-Reserves Courses (Reserves module required): The courses available are limited to courses with unassigned terms or with terms with start and end dates for the current period. Information exposed for E-Reserve Courses is: title, description, instructor, term, URL, and course number. To grab just the E-Reserve Courses set, use the ‘er_courses’ set parameter: &set=er_courses.
  • Guide Custom Metadata (LibGuides CMS only): If you would like to include additional information in your feed, any supported Dublin Core fields entered in the Guide Metadata tab will be exposed. Entries in the Guide Metadata pane are exposed as additional fields and do not replace content in the feed. Field names must be in the format of dc.{field name}. For example, if you wish to add a contributor, enter “dc.contributor” as the field, and “Jane Smith” as the value.

Want to harvest your OAI-PMH data for your catalog? No problem! Check out this video for using MarcEdit’s OAI Harvester to create MARC records and get that job done:

Also see this post for a great introduction to OAI and links to additional resources.

New Blog Features

Featured Post. Now you can “pin” a post to the top of your blog by designating it your Featured Post. Note that there can be only one!

Screenshot of a guide blog with a featured post

Related Blog Posts & E-Reserves Courses on Subject Pages. Give additional exposure to your system and guide blog posts by assigning Subjects to them. Blog posts with Subjects assigned will appear under the Blog Posts tab on their respective Subject pages:

Screenshot of a Subject Page with the Blog Posts tab selected

…And More!

We wouldn’t be Springy if there weren’t a couple more goodies in this basket! Also new as of this release is are:

More ALT Text Options for Images. All non-decorative images in your LibGuides System should have accompanying ALT text to assist those who use screen readers. You’ll see new Alternative Text fields in a few places throughout the system.

Screenshot of adding ALT text to an image (meta!)

Add ALT text when uploading an image to your Image Manager

screenshot of an existing image in image manager

Add ALT text to existing images in image manager

screenshot of the Add Thumbnail image pane

Add ALT text when adding a thumbnail image to Links, Documents/Files, or Database Assets

Small Fixes

Just a couple more things to include!

  • LTI. The “customer secret” is validated when a tool is launched.
  • Search & Replace. We swatted a bug preventing Guide Name & Description searches from working.

 

Exciting LTI and LibAuth Updates, and Some LibGuides Fixes, Too

The year may be winding down, but here at Springshare we’re still moving full steam ahead! This latest release provides some great new features for LTI and LibAuth, and some key LibGuides fixes to boot. Let’s get started with the LTI updates…

LTI Updates

Just in time for spring semester planning/course building, we’re rolling out a few updates to LTI that make it easier to set up and provide more options for Automagic display behavior! Everyone does things just a little differently, so we’ve been tweaking and tweaking over time (thanks to your feedback!) to provide as much flexibility with setup as possible, while still using the same overall code for everyone. (We’d particularly like to thank Linda, Chris, and Amanda at Penn State for their invaluable feedback, which resulted in many of the improvements in this update! 🙂 )

Quick reminder:

  • Who can use LTI?
    LibGuides CMS customers; LibGuides customers who subscribe to the E-Reserves module (for E-Reserves content only)
  • Where would I add this tool?
    So far, this is mainly used by Learning Management (LMS) / courseware systems, like Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai…though it can be used in any software that supports the LTI framework.

Metadata Importing / Updating

Show of hands…how many of you have been holding off on implementing LTI Automagic because you had to manually add metadata to each guide, course, and/or subject you wanted to pull into your course site? Mmmm hmmm…that’s what we thought. Well, wait no more! And for those of you who have done it already and need to add/update items, rejoice! Metadata importing & updating is here!

Import Metadata

  • Just download the import template, fill it in, and upload to add metadata to guides, courses, and subjects simultaneously. Awesome, right?
  • Even better? Either keep that file handy or do an export of all metadata (use the Template export option) and use that file to update your metadata using that same import function!
  • Head to LibGuides > Admin > Metadata & URLs (previously Subjects, Tags & URLs) to review metadata currently in your system and run your import!

Automagic Matching & Display

Over the past year & a half of LibApps LTI availability, we’ve expanded what you can do with the Manual and Automagic tools greatly, thanks to your feedback. We realized the Automagic content matching options are no longer relevant…matching happens largely in the same way for all 3 original options – it was only the display options that differed. So we made some adjustments to the Setup Options area to reflect the display options instead. We also added a second “failover guide” option!

Content Display BehaviorFor matching, if a single guide or course matches (only one, not one of each), the tool automatically displays that one item. Otherwise, the Library LTI page displays, with all matches listed (if any). You can alter this behavior using the following options…and you can use them in any any combination you wish:

  • When no matches are found, display the following guide. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    This option automatically displays a specific guide instead of the Library LTI page if nothing (no guides, courses, or subjects) matches the parameter value sent from the LMS.
  • Display the Library LTI page when a single matching guide or course is found.
    Basically, always display the Library LTI page – single match, multiple matches, or no matches.
  • (New Option!) When displaying the Library LTI page, display a link to this guide if no matching guides are found. (The dropdown lists all published & private guides from your LibGuides site.)
    Anytime the Library LTI page is displayed, if there is no matching guide to display, the selected guide will display instead.

We’ve mapped your original selections to these new options, so you don’t have to worry about going in to make changes, unless you want to check out / change the options, of course! Here’s how we mapped the old to the new:

  • Option 1 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: No additional options are selected.
  • Option 2 was: “Always load the Library LTI page.”
    Now: “Display the library LTI page when a single matching guide / course is found.” is selected.
  • Option 3 was: “Load a specific guide if there is a direct match, otherwise load this pre-selected guide.”
    Now: “When no matches are found, display the following guide.” is selected, with the appropriate guide selected from the dropdown.

Translation Table Updates

LTI Translation Table TemplateIf you use the Translation Table option, especially if you subscribe to E-Reserves, get ready for some great news… The template has been updated to allow matching on different metadata for guides, courses, and subjects for a single entry! For example, if you want to populate the Library LTI page for any given LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.) course section with a general guide and subject, but a specific E-reserves course (for that specific section/instructor), this is perfect! Simply add the different metadata for the guide, course, and/or subject to the template, and you’re good to go! (For example, for my LMS course number 2017S-12345, I might add ENG100 for the related guide, 2017S-12345 for the course, and ENG for the subject.)

And since you can use this in conjunction with the matching options in the previous section, you could also set a general guide (general research, library, or even LibGuides info) to display if there is no matching course-related guide!

As with the matching section above, we’ve mapped your existing Translation Table files to this new format on the back end so it continues to work as before: guide, course, and subject fields all contain the same value.

Other LTI Updates:

  • Manual Tool - Custom NameManual tool + Canvas users: You can now customize the name of your Manual tool so it’s easier to find when adding links in Canvas courses! Go to LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool > Manual > Setup Options to customize yours.
    Important: If you already have the Manual tool installed in Canvas, you must reinstall it to use this feature, which will break existing connections.
  • Desire2Learn customers: LTI should be working (and has been for a little while now). As is true for other LMSes, D2L Admins need to configure the tool to enable sending the user role (Faculty, Student, etc.) & that should do it! The role tells the tool whether or not the user can edit the item, which is required by the Manual tool to initially select the guide / course / database(s) to display to students.
  • Automagic matching no longer returns published Internal or Template guides. In fact, we also removed matching on friendly URL to further ensure this type of thing doesn’t happen in future.
  • Profile pictures on the Library LTI page are now linked to that user’s profile page in LibGuides. (The link will open in a new window.)
  • When an instructor-level user clicked the Automagic link in the LMS course site and the Library LTI page was displayed, there was a note at the top in a yellow box that should’ve only appeared the first time the link was clicked…but appeared every time. That was confusing (and annoying 😉 ), so we removed it.
  • Guides with only one page now display the nav button, as they do when accessed from your LibGuides site.

LibAuth - Add ConfigurationLibAuth Update

We heard from some of you that you have more than one authentication system available at your institution, so we’ve added the capability to utilize any and all of those in LibAuth. Even if you already have an authentication method added in LibAuth, you’ll see the Add Configuration button to get you started on another.

LibGuides Updates

Admin Menu ChangeRemember the Metadata Import news in the LTI section? Well, since LibGuides CMS allows for metadata for more than just LTI, you can use that functionality for any metadata you’d like to add, without having to go to every guide (etc.) to add it! If you skipped that section, scroll back up to learn more…then come on back here to continue reading about LibGuides updates. 😉

Also, this new functionality resulted in an Admin menu name change: Subjects, Tags & URLs is now Metadata & URLs…because otherwise, we’d end up with a crazy-long menu name!

Lastly, there are a few small bugs that we’ve swatted here at Springy HQ to make your LibGuides experience even more awesome!

  • We added a character counter for Twitter posts so that you’ll know when you’re approaching that magic 140 character limit.
  • Patron accounts will no longer be recorded as [Deleted] if they write a long discussion board post and their cookie expires in the meantime.
  • Permitted Uses fields in A-Z Assets now save and delete properly.
  • We changed the text options that you see when editing an RSS asset to reflect the current behavior: show item under title / click on (i) icon.
  • It’s now possible to delete custom metadata from a guide.
  • We’ve fixed the link to E-Reserves contained in E-Reserve Request notification emails.
  • E-Reserves pages in guides with friendly URLs no longer prevent E-Reserve item pop-ups from displaying.