Archive for LibStaffer

5 Ways to Use LibStaffer Workflow Forms

If you’ve seen LibStaffer’s newest addition, Workflow Forms, and you’re already wondering about the ways you can use it – then look no further than this blog post.

And if you’ve never heard of LibStaffer, Springshare’s staff and service-point scheduling tool, then you’re in luck! We’re doing webinars all November long and the first one starts tomorrow, Wed Nov 14 @12pm US ET. Sign-up to attend the 30min session and learn all about LibStaffer, Workflow Forms, and exciting upcoming updates like SMS notifications and GPS Limiters for Clocking In/Out.

Whether you’re an Academic, Public, K12, or Special Library – we have 5 examples of ways you can use LibStaffer Workflow Forms in your library – read on below!

All webinars are 30 minutes long, join us!

1. Librarian/Para-Professional Job Application

One of the many reasons Workflow Forms came to be was a need to have one place to route all incoming job/position applications. And it made sense to make that ‘one-place’ be inside the very staffing/scheduling tool you use.

Use LibStaffer Workflow Forms to create a Job Application Form for librarian or para-professional positions.

>> Example Job Application Form <<

Create custom stages to route each application through your process. Bonus, each ‘stage’ has customizable email alerts so only staff on the interviewing committee will receive an email alert when an application is moved to ‘Selected Interview’.

  • New Application
  • Selected Interview
  • Not Qualified
  • Finalist
  • Closed (Accepted)
  • Closed (Denied)

2. Human Library / Live ‘Book’ Volunteer

Is your library thinking of starting a Human Library program? If yes, consider creating a LibStaffer Workflow Form to route all ‘live book’ applications into one space.

>> Example Human Library Form <<

Human Library volunteers can use the form to:

  • Describe what their book ‘title’ would be.
  • Explain why they want to volunteer to be a part of your library’s Human Library project.
  • Allow the library to take pictures, and to share them, during your Human Library events.

 

3. Student Employment Form

Many of us here at Springy HQ were former Academic Librarians – and a few of us were in charge of workstudy students. So, we completely know the pain you go through finding reliable student workers, scheduling them, and then dealing with the 10,000 schedule changes they need to make – from dropped/picked-up classes, sports commitments, and the horrors of finals week. In fact, LibStaffer was originally built with these ‘pains’ in mind! So, Academic Librarians in charge of student employees – there are tons of features inside of LibStaffer designed to make your scheduling woes a distant memory! But, we digress!

>> Example Student Employment Form <<

Do you hire non-workstudy students? If yes, indicate so in your form.

Ask questions regarding their availability. And consider asking about any special skills they might have.

Perhaps you’ll get an application from someone who is a native Spanish Speaker. Serán muy útiles if you need feedback on which Spanish-language books to add to your collection!

 

4. Read to the Dogs Volunteer Form

Therapy dogs have shown their assistance in helping patrons of all ages. From college students who need help reducing stress during finals week to shy children, teens (and even college students) looking to build confidence by reading to a therapy dog or practicing a presentation to build public-speaking skills.

Create a ‘Read to Dogs’ Volunteer Form to get some four-legged slobbery volunteers to come into your library and work with patrons.

>> Example Read to Dogs Volunteer Form <<

Are you looking for only certified therapy dogs? Be sure to ask that in your form.

Do you want to see a picture of the doggy in question before accepting them? Add a ‘file upload’ field to your form so applicants can upload a picture of their furry friend.

5. Sabbatical Request Form

Sabbatical requests often go through a complicated process where many different staff are involved at differing stages.

Create your sabbatical request as a Workflow Form – this way each and every submission goes through your process with strict oversight and auditing-capabilities.

>> Example Sabbatical Request Form <<

Is the request a brand-new request or an extension? Create that question as ‘Notify Checkboxes’ field type. This way, ‘New’ requests are routed to the approval committee and ‘extensions’ are routed to the review committee.

With sabbatical requests, don’t be afraid to go nuts with the Workflow Stages. This way, you’ll be able to filter form submissions by a specific stage so you’ll always know the next step in the process.

 

Notify Checkboxes Field Type

 

Already using LibStaffer? Learn more about using Workflow Forms!

If you’re already using LibStaffer, then you might want to learn more about Workflow Forms.

LibStaffer Update Coming Soon!

A really big – and important – LibStaffer update is on its way to production servers on Monday, October 15th, 2018 (US Eastern Time), and will be live in all regions by the end of the day. Why is this release so big and important? Two words: Workflow Forms.

Workflow Forms

This new functionality in LibStaffer has the potential to greatly streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms. Everyone agrees collecting info via forms is useful – there are tons of use-cases for forms when it comes to staffing: Forms for Job (or Volunteer) application, Equipment requests, Professional Development requests, Travel requests, Consent forms, Onboarding forms, Staff suggestions forms, Vacation/Time off request forms… we could go on and on, but you get the idea. It’s easy to whip up a basic form using any number of online tools. But what happens after the form is filled out? That part is still largely manual and prone to errors, delays, confusion, inaction, etc. That’s where our new Workflow Forms functionality comes in.

Workflow Forms enable LibStaffer admins to create a customized online form for staff use, and then goes further to facilitate the entire lifecycle of the form after the initial submission. The form sends automatic email notifications to various staff members based on selected values within form fields. You can create “stages” for each Workflow Form so different staff are notified whenever a form reaches a given stage. You decide who can review submissions, and then those staff members can leave notes and communicate internally regarding the content of form submissions… At the end of this you have a full history and audit trail of each form submission and the workflow/history around it – who assigned which stage to a given form, who left notes about it, etc. For compliance and record keeping reasons itself this Workflow Forms functionality is worth its weight in gold.

Let’s take one obvious use-case scenario – an online application for a student workers or volunteers. Create your customized form with any number of fields/options, and even include a file upload field so applicants can submit their resume as part of the form submission. Tres cool! One of the fields could be a list of checkboxes indicating which position the person is interested in, and each checkbox could alert a different staff member of the submission – circulation desk applications go to jane@, the archives application interest can go to john@, info desk applications go to michelle@ etc.  You would then assign “Stages” that each submission goes through e.g. “New Application / In Review / Qualifications Match / Interview Conducted / Accepted / Denied” and each Stage has its own notifications setup, too. As reviewers put applications through its paces they can leave notes on each “touch” and communicate/exchange info and thoughts about the application. The full notes history and Stages changelog is there for for all authorized users see, for audit compliance and transparency.

Then, upon successfully hiring new student workers or volunteers, you can create another Workflow Form to be used for onboarding them! There are so many potential use-cases to put Workflow Forms to good use at your library. We’re incredibly excited about this functionality and we know you will be as well, once you start playing with it. You’ll arrive at many a-ha moments after you realize how many of your current form-based workflows can be moved online and improved upon with the LibStaffer’s new Workflows Forms.

Additional Updates

In addition to the all new Workflows functionality, we have even more features to share with you in this release.

  • Clock In/Out Dashboard – We’ve added a high level overview to show all staff members the current clock in/out status for every user in your system, so everyone is on the same page about their colleague’s current status. To view the new Dashboard, select View Staff Current Status from the LibStaffer dashboard.
  • Updated Regular-level Schedule View – We’ve updated the schedule view that regular level users see when they log in, so the selector menus for viewing other dates, schedules, etc. will now look the same for both admin and regular level users.
  • Scheduled Shifts Report Update – We’ve made a small tweak to the Scheduled shifts report and will now display the total number of hours a user has been assigned to within the time period you specify. To see this in action, admins can head to Reports > Scheduled Shifts.
  • Time Clock Report Updates – We’ve added an “All Staff” view to time clock reports, so you can view a report for all staff members who are part of a particular schedule. We’ve also updated the way that time displays in these reports – rather than just displaying information in minutes, we’re now displaying in hours and minutes, so it’s easier to understand how much time you’re looking at.
  • Elevated Regular Level Users can now edit and delete approved time off for users on schedules they manage. To see this in action, these users can now head to the Time Off page and will be able to see, edit, and update requests that have been approved.
  • Updated Working Hours – We’ve updated the way Working Hours are entered, so it’s now possible to fully clear out hours that you’ve previously entered. To manage your working hours, head to Manage Account > Working Hours.
  • And we have a couple of Bug Fixes to share:
    • Auto Scheduler will no longer schedule staff members who previously belonged to a schedule, were favorited for particular shifts, but have since been deleted from the schedule.
    • We’ve fixed an issue where, in specific circumstances, the Auto Scheduler would sometimes assign the same person to the same shift twice

Upcoming Training

To learn about the all new Workflow Forms, or get a refresher on using LibStaffer, sign up for our upcoming training sessions!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:00-3:00pm (ET) LibStaffer: Setting up Your System with Workflow Forms

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 2:00-2:45pm (ET): LibStaffer for Employees

Tips For A Successful Year of Managing Student Employees with LibStaffer

Very soon, the library will be abuzz. You will be standing before the bright, eager faces of your student employees. They will be looking to you and your colleagues to guide them through a year of what, everyone hopes, will be a productive, fun, learning experience as they assist you in the library. Some of them will be new. While others will be returning from last year. All of them will need your organizational skills to get the hive running smoothly.

We’ve come up with some excellent tips to help you use LibStaffer to tackle this influx of additional staff. Unless this is your first time having student assistants, you probably already have rules for managing student workers. What we’re offering is a short list of things to know about how LibStaffer is designed to make scheduling the staff as painless as possible as you get ready for the new school year.

#1 Sync Back and Relax

Perhaps you already knew that you can sync your LibStaffer with your Outlook/Exchange calendar. However, many students on campuses use Google Calendar — so why not sync LibStaffer up with it.  The Google Calendar sync will pull their LibStaffer schedule into their GCalendar so they can see their upcoming shifts without needing to log in to LibStaffer. Plus they can opt to sync busy times. Basically, a student will be marked as unavailable if s/he has time blocked off in the Google Calendar that overlaps with any given shifts. This way, they can add their class schedule, study times, family visits, club/sport meetings, and more to their GCalendar and have it push to LibStaffer so they won’t be booked for a shift when they’re unavailable. It’s always a good idea to connect to what the students are using every day as it yields a more complete picture of availability.

#2 Account for Changes

Student assistants are a great help but they do pose a specific set of challenges. Namely, their schedules can be very unpredictable. LibStaffer understands that a tool designed to organize people needs to be flexible or it just won’t work. Period. Fortunately, the system has options built-in that you can elect to enable or not based on your preferences. Consider allowing student workers to swap shifts, give up and pick up shifts and even split shifts. They’re all possibilities in LibStaffer. Changes to a schedule used to be one of the reasons staffing student workers was a maddening job. But once you not only account for changes but actually plan for them and put options in place that make it an organized piece of the puzzle, you’ll find it won’t require any ibuprofen after all.

#3 Streamline Your Communications

Communicating with your student workers is important. LibStaffer helps streamline the task by making it possible to email everyone assigned to a specific schedule. So, if you have a Reference Desk Schedule, you can send a note out to the whole team right from inside the system. Ask them to remember to put in their time off requests for the month or share a newly altered schedule with the team. You can do it from LibStaffer and you don’t have to email students who, for instance, don’t work the Reference Desk.

#4 Spell It Out

It’s really helpful for student assistants to know what is expected of them during a given shift. You may have tasks that you want to be performed that are particular to the opening or closing shifts. You may have projects that you want to be completed in the slow afternoons. Getting the most out of your student workers is possible when you keep everyone focused and informed.

#5 Make Things Easier On Yourself

You can always fill unfilled shifts, manually. There are all sorts of features in place to help you do that efficiently. However, don’t be afraid to take the even easier road by using the Auto Scheduler to assign student workers to shifts! You can select a date range. Perhaps you want to get the next 3 weeks scheduled because you are going to a conference and want it done before you go. You can set limits for the number of shifts per day that a staff member can work. You can ask the system to place all the favorited students first and, if you want, you can decide not to allow anyone to be scheduled in back-to-back shifts if that’s important to you. If you don’t know which shifts are preferred by student workers, you can allow them to favorite themselves. Then, click the submit button. The Auto Scheduler is going to do all the work for you taking into account all the information in the system. It won’t schedule a person who has the day off, has exceeded their maximum hours, or is scheduled at another desk already at that time. Voila!

#6 Reinvent Clocking In and Clocking Out

Springshare knows it’s essential for you to have a way for your student employees to be able to clock in and out for the day. We recommend that you set up a particular station designated for this. To help the Managers out, LibStaffer has a great little window where you can see — at a glance — who is currently clocked in. Imagine being able to have a quick look at any time of the day and being able to see that information. Plus, we all know that people slip up on occasion and forget to clock in or out. We’ve got you covered for those scenarios, too! You have an Admin button in that window that allows you to clock a student in or out on their behalf! LibStaffer is designed to make it so that you can manage your service point staffing with ease. And — with any luck — a productive, fun, learning experience can be had by all!

Learn More About LibStaffer

LibStaffer is chock-a-block full of features and has new exciting updates you should check out. To learn more about it, contact sales@springshare.com or drop into one of the special LibStaffer webinars we have scheduled soon. You’ll learn how LibStaffer makes organizing service point scheduling a breeze. Remember, if you can’t make it to the webinars, you can still go ahead and register and then click watch video to have a recording sent to you.

LibStaffer 2.9 Release Coming This Week

The LibStaffer 2.9 release is headed your way this week, and will be released to all regions by the end of the day on Thursday August 9th. We’re bringing you a refreshed UI with easier to navigate pages, plus improved Auto Scheduler functionality and a whole lot more! Read on for all the deets.

Page Navigation Updates

We’ve updated many of the screens throughout LibStaffer to improve your site navigation experience and give the system a more polished look and feel. In this update we’ve concentrated on the Edit Schedule pages – we’ve improved the layout of all settings so they’re more intuitive, and added a quick switching element to the top of the page so it’s easier to jump between schedules. We’ve also polished functionality and improved help text on all modals on this page, including Clear/Delete Shifts, Auto Scheduler, Email Scheduled Shifts, and Edit Schedule, to help clarify all of the available functionality and make navigation smooth sailing!

Auto Scheduler Improvements

We’ve heard several comments from folks that the Auto Scheduler was in need of improvement – it could be slow to run, and in certain scenarios, shifts weren’t being distributed among all available staff members as equitably as they could be. In this release, we’ve completed a major update of the Auto Scheduler functionality – now, it will both run faster and distribute shifts among available staff members in the most equitable way possible, even across large date ranges. To see it in action, admins can head to Edit Schedule > Auto Scheduler.

Additional Improvements

  • Time Off Request Emails have been updated to be more informative – they now include all details about the time being requested, so you have more information on the time off being requested right in your inbox.
  • Pending Swaps and Given Up Shift Reports have been combined into a single report, so it’s easier to see all shifts that may need coverage, all from one screen.
  • And we’ve added several Accessibility Improvements, including:
    • It’s now possible to navigate to every shift in a schedule using just the keyboard and/or screenreader software, no mouse required.
    • We’ve added a separate “Add Shift” button, so you can create new shifts without requiring a keyboard. To add a shift, head to Edit Schedule > Cog Icon > Create Shift.

LibStaffer 2.8 Release – Clock In/Out and More

The LibStaffer 2.8 release is on its way, and will be released to all regions by the end of the day Thursday, June 28, 2018. There’s a lot of great stuff in this release: a super exciting new clock in / out functionality, color coding for schedules in multi schedule view and new email management settings to help you control which automated emails you receive. Let’s get to it!

Clock In/Out

Holy macaroni, we’re doing it! Now the staff has the ability to clock in/out for their scheduled shifts. Highlight reel includes:

  • Clock In/Out Enabled per Schedule – Each schedule in the system will have its own time clock settings. To enable it, admins can head to Admin > Individual Schedule Settings > Time Clock.
  • Clock In/Out Only when Scheduled – Folks can only clock in within an hour of when they’re scheduled to work.
  • Clock In/Out Limited by IP Address – Limit staff to clocking in/out only on workstations within a specific IP range. To add an approved IP range for clocking in, admins can head to Admin > Individual Schedule Settings > Time Clock.
  • (Future Feature) Clock In/Out on Mobile, limited by Geolocation – Later this summer we’ll introduce the ability to limit clocking in and out for shifts only if they’re within X feet of their work location using mobile phone.
  • Schedule Location – Related to the above feature, we’re introducing a new “Location” object for schedules. This new setting gives you the ability to input the address where work should occur, and automatically determines the longitude and latitude coordinates related to that address. If you need to refine the location where work happens further (to get closer to ex the location of your Front Desk within the building), these coordinates can also be customized to target exactly the location you want to specify. To add a location for your schedules, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Location.
  • Admin Clock In/Out Overrides – Sometimes it happens – staff can sometimes forget to clock in or out for a shift. Admin dashboard shows “Currently Clocked In Users” box and admins have the ability to clock users in or out, right from the dashboard.
  • Clock In/Out Notes – A new notes field that displays to the staffer when they clock in/out for a shift, giving them an opportunity to share any relevant check in/out notes with admins.
  • Clock In/Out Reports – No clock in/out tool would be complete without full featured reports! The Clock In/Out reports show all info for each clock in/out e.g. dates, times, and shift duration. Admins can also view clock in/out notes. If  adjustments to clock in/out times need to be made, admins can make those right from the reports page.

Additional Updates

We have a number of additional quality of life improvements to share, including:

  • Customize Email Notifications – The ability to opt out of certain email notifications that LibStaffer sends. For example, if you’d rather not receive emails when people Give Up shifts or request Time Off, you can now opt out of receiving these emails. To customize the notifications you receive, head to Manage Account > Email Alerts.
  • Color Code Schedules in Multi-Schedule View – Assign a color to each schedule in your site, so that when you’re viewing multiple schedules in Multi-Schedule view, each schedule will display using the color you’ve assigned. To assign a color to a schedule, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Calendar Settings > Color in Multi-Schedule View.
  • Dashboard Updates – We’ve polished the look of the Dashboard page to bring you a cleaner, more streamlined look when you first log in to LibStaffer. Head to the Dashboard to check out these improvements!

LibStaffer 2.7 Release Out Now!

The LibStaffer 2.7 release is live and brings tons of great features, including a public view of schedules (and a widget, too!), plus Google Calendar sync, a new email digest for open shifts, and a whole lot more.

Public Views of Schedules (and Widgets too!)

Have you ever wanted to quickly check a schedule / your shifts without having to log into LibStaffer? Now you can with public schedules! These new public schedules offer a great way to share information about who’s working when, even with folks who don’t have a LibStaffer account. To set a schedule to have a public view, admins can head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Schedule and assign the schedule a friendly URL. Then share that friendly URL however you’d like!

And of course, no public view would be complete without a widget version to easily embed in any website, so we’ve included those too. 🙂 Better yet, with the widget you can even choose the default initial view of the schedule, so it’s easy to start the page in Day, Week, Month, or Timeline view. To view the new widgets, admins can head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Widgets.

Google Calendar Sync

With this release we’re also upping LibStaffer’s integration points with all new Google Calendar Sync! This integration offers a 2-way sync, so shifts you’re assigned to in LibStaffer will automatically appear in your Google Calendar, and events in your Google Calendar will mark you as unavailable to work a shift in LibStaffer. To get sync’ing, head to Edit Profile > Google Calendar. Please note, this integration requires a Google Service account – check out our FAQ on Syncing your Schedule with Google Calendar for more help!

Available Shifts Email Digest

We’ve heard from several folks who’d like more streamlined and targeted emails from LibStaffer, so we’re making it happen! We’ve introduced a new batched email digest for available shifts in LibStaffer. Now, instead of getting multiple emails when someone gives up several shifts, we’ll batch these notifications into a single email, sent on the hour. We’ve also included a handy “claim shift” link right in that email, so available shifts can be claimed with just one click.

Edit Time Off Requests

We know how it is – sometimes when people request time off, you may need to edit or adjust the request before approving it. In this release, we’re addressing this pain point – admins can now edit time off requests prior to approval! To see this in action, head to the Time Off Approval tab – you’ll now seen an option to Edit Time Off alongside any new time off request:

Admin Shift Notes

We’ve added a handy new option to help communicate with other admins about interesting happenings that took place during a shift. Head to the Edit Schedules > Edit Shift modal window, and you’ll see a new area for Admin Shift Notes. Whether it’s that one of your staff members did an awesome job at a routine task, or you have an interesting story about a patron to share with other admins, you can use this field to share that information, and other schedule admins can view it via the reports tab.

Additional Updates

  • We’ve updated the look of all Schedule Settings Pages: We’ve moved all of the functionality that was previously found in modal windows into individual tabs, so it’s easier to manage a schedule’s settings.
  • We fixed a bug with splitting shifts that spanned days (i.e., shifts that run past midnight). In some cases this was throwing an error message, which we’ve corrected.
  • We’ve added more specific alert messages when overriding a shift conflict. If you find the need to override a shift clash, we’ll display more information about the clash, so you’ll know whether the conflict is that the person is scheduled to work on another schedule already, or they’re listed as busy in their Outlook or Google Calendar schedule, or the shift is outside of their working hours, etc.

Want to Plant Some Smart Seeds? LibStaffer is your Perennial Solution.

It’s nice outside. We should do something!

Springtime brings with it long-lost sunshine, longer days and — with all the light bouncing off the pastels — we are forced to see the long-standing issues that we filed in the formerly dark corner. What’s there has likely been there for months, maybe even a couple of years? But, the thing about Spring is it fills us with new optimism. We want to start a good checklist. We have energy. We, even, have the time to do it right.

Fortunately, we live in a beautiful age where Smart is the new black. Thomas Edison would be proud that his already amazing light bulb is even smarter today. If Smart is where you’re headed, LibStaffer is a solution that will let you tackle a perpetual headache… scheduling the staff. Do this right now and it will continue to work for you week after week, semester after semester.

First things first. Let’s get the information into LibStaffer.

As with all great things, the cornerstone is the people.

  • You begin, by creating accounts for the people you want to schedule.
  • You can assign them default schedules to view and put in their maximum hours per week and per month.
  • For real precision, you can then put in their working hours. This is super flexible as it allows for up to 5 levels of distinction so you can simultaneously define when a person can’t work by creating ranges for when they can.

In no time at all, you can also add in

  • Your holidays and reasons for time off (sick days, personal days, etc.).
  • Your staff can put in their time off, as well, for an upcoming conference or to attend a wedding.
  • There’s also the option for recurring time off, for instance, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am-11am.

Schedules make the world go around.

The next step toward greatness and freedom from the chaos is to create your schedules and assign people to them.

  • The schedules can have shifts configured in various ways.
  • In those shifts, you can determine the hours and how many people you need.
  • Assign particular tasks you want to be completed.
  • You can even decide how many times you want a person to have to be assigned to that shift.

You’ve planted the seeds, now stand back.

Once the key pieces are in LibStaffer — who is working and what needs to be worked — filling those shifts is like the act of watering the new garden. However often you do it, weekly, bi-monthly, etc., you will simply choose to do this manually or via the Auto-scheduler. Watering can or drip system.

If you do it manually, you can select a shift you want to fill and a pop up will appear with a list of people who are assigned to that schedule. You will be able to see

  • How many people you need for a filled shift
  • If anyone has been favorited for that shift
  • If someone is not available and the reason why (already working at a different desk, on vacation, has been booked for an appointment in LibCal’s My scheduler, already reached their maximum hours, etc.)

All of this vital information that you need is right there. You don’t have to sort through sticky notes people have left for you. You don’t have to try to remember and find that email where someone asked for a day off. You don’t have to worry that you’ll make the schedule only to find that someone left you a voicemail last week asking for a day off. You’ll simply instruct everyone to get these things into the system and then it will be right there when you’re making the schedule.

Or, you can use the auto scheduler and define the time period you want to be scheduled and click a button. The system will crawl through the information and it will schedule people knowing, who is off, who has already reached their max and who is away at a conference.

Come rain or come shine.

Of course, the reason making the schedule has often been considered the perpetual headache is not just because of the sifting through all the papers and emails and messages that it takes to get it sorted. But, also because of the fact that once you make it, right away, someone has a conflict s/he forgot to tell you about. Suddenly, you have to revise and while you’re doing it, you just know that it won’t be the only request for a change.

LibStaffer has incredible flexibility built into the system because it knows that anything largely dependent on people’s time is going to change. In LibStaffer, you can allow or not allow

  • Shift swapping
  • The giving up and picking up of shifts
  • Shift splitting
  • Plus, when you’re scheduling people manually, you can override rules, if necessary.

People can ask for time off and you can approve or deny it easily. LibStaffer will even show you if that person who requested time off has already been scheduled to work on the day s/he asked for.

So, here’s to sunshine. Here’s to the blossoming of ideas and to reaping what you sow. Why should lightbulbs and phones be the only things getting smarter? LibStaffer can lead to a smarter use of your Springtime and the days beyond that.

To learn more about LibStaffer

Join us for special 30-minute LibStaffer for Public Libraries sessions

There is also an upcoming training session called LibStaffer: Setting up your System

LibStaffer 2.6 Update Coming Soon!

Continuing with our bevy of updates, the LibStaffer 2.6 update will be rolled out to all regions by end of day Thursday, March 15th. This update brings:

  • LibCal/LibStaffer Integration
  • Split Shift Feature
  • Expanded Working Hours
  • App Performance Improvements
  • Additional Quality of Life Improvements

Want to see these new features in action? Join us Thursday, March 22nd at 12:30pm ET for our Brunch & Learn series!

LibCal/LibStaffer Integration

Don’t you love it when the tools you use every day talk to each other seamlessly? Us too, which is why we’re thrilled to introduce the new LibCal/LibStaffer integration. With this release, you can now sync your “busy” times – ie times when you’re scheduled for a shift in LibStaffer, and/or times when you have an appointment booked via MyScheduler – between the two platforms, so scheduling conflicts are prevented from the get-go! Here’s how it works:

In LibStaffer: To bring your busy MyScheduler times from LibCal into LibStaffer, head to Edit My Account > Enable LibCal MyScheduler Sync. Once enabled, any appointments that are booked with you via MyScheduler will be reflected in LibStaffer, so admins will be alerted to the existing appointment as they assign staff to shifts, and the auto-scheduler will not assign you to shifts that occur at that same time.

In Libcal: To bring your scheduled shifts from LibStaffer into MyScheduler, in Libcal, head to MyScheduler > Appointment Scheduler Settings > Enable LibStaffer Shift Sync. Once enabled, your assigned shifts from LibStaffer will automatically block out your availability in MyScheduler, so patrons can’t book time with you when you’re scheduled for a shift. Your assigned shifts will also display as “Busy” in your MyScheduler availability grid on the admin side, similar to “Busy in Outlook” or “Busy in Google Calendar”.

Split Shifts

Huge news for folks who’d like to allow staff members to give up or swap a portion of an assigned shift – we’re adding a new schedule-level setting to “split” an assigned shift into 2 shifts. Now, instead of needing to give up or swap that entire shift, a staff member can split their shift in two, so they can give up or swap just the portion that needs coverage. On the admin side, the shift will then be represented as 2 separate blocks in the schedule, so it’s easy to keep track of who’s working which portion of the shift. To enable this setting for your schedules, head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Modify Schedule > Allow Staff to Split Shifts.

Expanded Working Hours

Working hours are what allow your staff members to input their own availability time into LibStaffer, so ex you’re available to work between 9am-12pm and then again from 1pm-5pm. Previously, we’ve capped working hours at 2 “blocks”, but we’ve heard your feedback that this can be too restrictive. In this release we’re expanding working hours to support up to 5 blocks, to give your staff the flexibility to define the hours that are right for them. To edit your working hours, head to Edit Account > Manage Working Hours.

App Performance Improvements

We’ve been hard at work on LibStaffer’s performance behind the scenes, and in this release we’re implementing a number of improvements designed to ensure LibStaffer is responsive and snappy, even in the largest systems.

Additional Quality of Life Updates

More protections when deleting/clearing shifts – We’ve updated the delete/clear shift modal windows, so it’s more clear exactly what will change once the delete action occurs. Now, when you choose to delete or clear a shift, we’ll display a full list of all of the impacted shifts and shift assignments for you to review before fully committing to the action.

Mobile Optimization for the Dashboard – We’ve also updated the tables in the LibStaffer Dashboard, so users logging in with a mobile device can view their upcoming shift assignments and claim/swap shifts with ease.

Protect the Integrity of Your Springy Websites… Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificates

hacker

In our October 2017 SpringyNews Newsletter, we informed Springy users that recent updates to web and mobile browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) mark any HTTP webpage that contains form content as insecure. Meaning that any public webpage containing a search box, LibCal booking form, or LibAnswers Question Submission form will automatically display a ‘Not Secure‘ warning to end users.

The security and privacy of your patron’s data is of prime importance to Springshare. Having any webpage, especially your Springshare-licensed tools, marked as unsecure is not good PR for us or you! You don’t want your patrons thinking your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal websites are untrustworthy.

To that end, we’ve made all v2 products hosted on a Springshare-controlled domain HTTPS enabled. For those of you on a custom domain, we’ve enabled security certificate hosting for LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal!

And, we’ve taken it one-step further. If you have a custom domain, we’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide completely free security certificates for your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal v2 tools. We’ve made it as easy as 1,2,3 to ensure your Springshare tools are HTTPS secure, trustworthy, and safe for your end-users.

Chrome ‘NOT SECURE’ Warning Message

Why HTTPS Matters

HTTPS secures the communication and data transferred between our servers and your users’ browsers. Hackers and intruders exploit every unprotected resource between your websites and users. And every time a user interacts with your Springshare tool, whether it’s sending a search query through a LibGuides search-box or submitting a LibCal room booking request, they are sending data from that website through the interwebs to our data servers. If any part of your website is loaded over HTTP, that data is unsecure and could potentially be used to exploit other secure parts of your website. So we recommend that all pages, resources, and widgets be loaded securely over HTTPS.

Furthermore, HTTPS doesn’t just block misuse. It’s often a requirement for many browsers.

HTTPS Protects the Integrity of Your Web Presence

HTTPS helps prevent intruders from interfering with the communication between your Springshare websites and your users’ browsers. They exploit HTTP/unprotected communications to trick your users into giving up sensitive information or installing malware. Given the opportunity, they will exploit every resource that travels between your Springshare websites to your users. Resources like images, cookies, scripts, HTML… etc.

Getting a Security Certificate is Important

Security Certificates are provided by reputable and trusted third-party companies that verify your organization and your website transactions. These Certificate Authorities provide a security certificate that proves that the website/domain really belongs to you and nobody else. Essentially, the security certificate is what allows you to put the S in HTTPS.

unlock

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, and its what allows users to access webpages. When you enter in http:// in front of your web address, it tells the browser to connect, fetch, and transfer the requested webpage.

 

lock

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, which uses an encrypted connection when transporting webpage data.

 

My Domain Ends in .libguides.com, .libcal.com, .libanswers.com, etc.

If your v2 system is on a Springshare-owned domain, you’re all set! These domains already have SSL/HTTPS support built-in. So you can update all links to / within your system to HTTPS links now. Learn more about enabling HTTPS for Springshare-owned domains.

Wait, I Have a Custom Domain (ends in .edu, .org, .co.nz, etc.)

If your v2 systems have custom domains (e.g., ask.mylibrary.org, calendar.university.edu), then you must obtain and install an SSL certificate in order to avoid warnings. There are two ways in which you can obtain an SSL certificate.

1. Work with Your Local IT Department

Connect with your IT colleagues to obtain an HTTPS certificate for each custom domain. You own your domain and thereby you own the certificate, too… just install it on our servers when it’s ready.

If – gasp – you ever decide to cancel any of your Springshare tools where you have an HTTPS certificate, you still own your certificate(s) and can move it/them to any other server.

2. Use Our Free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ Security Certificate

We’ve added integration with Let’s Encrypt, an industry-leader, to provide free and automated security certificates… right inside your Springshare tool.

LibGuides Users

We’ll do all the hard-work by requesting and installing a free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate for you! Poof, magic! Plus, we’ll automatically renew your ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate. This way, you can spend less time chasing down certificates and more time doing the stuff you need to do. And, if your IT department is going to need a few months before they can get your custom certificate, your site can still be protected with ‘Let’s Encrypt’ in the meantime.

The only thing you need to do on your end is to update your custom domain to point to the secure server. Once you’re pointing to the secure server, we’ll automagically install your free ‘Let’s Encrypt’ security certificate. Check-out this FAQ outlining the secure endpoints for your CNAME record.

If at any point you want to upload your own custom certificate, simply follow these steps.

For LibAnswers/LibCal Users

The first thing you’ll need to do is update your CNAME record to the secure server endpoints. Then, contact our support team about requesting a ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificate on your behalf. It’s still free, and you can replace it anytime with your own certificate, but we haven’t fully automated the process… yet!

So, You’ve Added a Security Certificate… What’s Next?

Kudos to you – you’ve taken a huge step in ensuring that your patrons’ experience a safe web experience. But, there’s still a few more things you need to do!

1. Update All Links to HTTPS

Most likely, you’re linking to your LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal systems from a variety of websites like your Library homepage, on your blog, your Facebook page, etc.

It’s imperative that you update all references to these systems with the updated HTTPS link. There’s no point in doing all this work to make your Springy tools secure if you’re still pointing to the HTTP/unsecure URL.

Update links to Springy Tools to HTTPS

2. Update Embedded Widgets to HTTPS

Although your site is configured correctly to display over HTTPS, individual pages can still be considered unsecured if they contain content from HTTP sources (such as embedded videos, search widgets, etc.). To prevent this from happening, you will either need to change the content’s source URL to HTTPS, or remove the content from the page.

Be sure to check with your database vendors about getting HTTPS widget code.

We’ve made it as easy, and free, as possible for you to ensure a secure and trustworthy experience for your end users. So, c’mon folks – let’s make sure your Springshare sites are safe and ‘Let’s Encrypt’!

LibStaffer 2.5 Update Now Live!

Our latest LibStaffer update hits on a couple of major requested features, including staff claiming unfilled shifts (without having to go through a schedule admin), staff “favoriting” their own shifts, and tons of nice-to-have improvements to various schedule views.

Staff can Claim Available Shifts

As one of our most requested features, we’re thrilled to bring you the ability to claim unfilled shifts, without having to go through a schedule admin. To enable the feature, Admins should head to Admin > Schedule Settings > Modify Schedule. You’ll find a new option for “Allow Staff to Claim Shifts?”, along with settings to control how far in advance a schedule should be opened up (anywhere from 1-6 weeks). Once enabled, schedule admins will see an additional option when creating/editing a shift for “Enable Shift Claiming?” – use this to designate which shifts in a schedule should be available for claiming.

When you use this option, schedule admins build a schedule as usual, but choose which shifts can be claimed and which need to be assigned – this is great if you have some shifts that need to be filled by particular people (like a supervisory shift) and others that can be filled by anyone. Assign a portion of those shifts to staff members and leave others open, or leave all shifts unassigned. Your staff members then head to the Open Shifts tab, where they’ll see all of the available shifts in your schedule and can “claim” the ones they want. Easy as 1-2-3!

Staff can “Favorite” shifts

We’ve got great news in store for those of you who use the auto scheduler to create schedules: staff can now designate their own “Favorite” shifts, so everyone can volunteer to work the shifts they like best! Schedule admins will find this setting under Admin > Schedule Settings > Modify Schedule > Allow Staff to mark shifts as favorite?

When enabled, your staff will see a new option in the Schedules tab – as they hover over the shifts in your schedule, they’ll see a prompt to “Click shift to add/remove as favorite”. Favoriting a shift doesn’t necessarily assign them to the shift, but it does make them much more likely to be assigned to a particular shift when filling a schedule with the auto scheduler. This makes it much easier to keep track of staff preferences, while still ensuring fairness – if everyone favorites the same shift(s), auto-scheduler will attempt to distribute assignments fairly, so everyone gets a shot at the best shifts.

Improvements to Schedule Views

  • Time Off Overlay: Filter by Staff Member – Previously, when you viewed a schedule with the time off overlay, you saw everyone’s time off, even if you’d filtered by certain staff members. Now, if you’ve filtered by particular staff members, you’ll only see their time off instead of all time off.
  • Filter Shifts by Multiple Staff Members – Previously when viewing a schedule or looking at multi schedule view, you could only filter that view by one staff member at a time. We’ve expanded this functionality, so you can filter by multiple staff members across multiple calendars and see both shift assignments and time off, which gives you a much fuller staffing picture!

Additional Updates and Fixes

  • We’ve updated LibStaffer so all pages load in HTTPS, so your staff information is secure by default.
  • We fixed a small bug with the “Save and Assign Shift” button – in some cases, this was only saving the shift and not directing to the assign shift screen. This should now work as intended – once you click “Save and Assign Shift, you’ll head to the assign shift screen.
  • We fixed another small bug where inactive users could still be assigned to shifts, even though their account was inactive. Now an inactive user won’t show up in the list of people who can be assigned to a shift.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our custom training session this Thursday, October 26th, where we’ll discuss these new features and more! Head to http://calendar.springshare.com/event/3691324 to register.