Archive for LibWizard

Prince Georges CC Uses LibWizard to Assess Student Success

An Easy Way To Get Important Data You Need.

Libraries are working very hard to provide excellent instruction, easy access to information, and responsive service relevant to the needs of their students, faculty, patrons, and staff.

If you know a little about LibWizard, you probably know that it allows you to make an unlimited number of custom tutorialsforms, and surveys. These are great for gathering feedback to help you know what you could be improving or doing away with, what patrons are enjoying and what they want even more of from the library.

However, Prince Georges Community College is also using LibWizard to build quizzes. Their library team has prioritized assessment and are taking a serious look at whether their students are learning. In the end, doesn’t all the work come down to this?

If You Know What Features You Need, It’s Easier To Find Your Solution.

Marianne Giltrud wears many hats as an Assistant Professor, Instruction Librarian, and Secretary in the Faculty Senate Academic Council at Prince Georges Community College. Assessment is one of her responsibilities. She relayed why she needed to find a new tool to address it.  They had quizzes built using some older technology. The person who created them left and neglected to hand over the admin rights so it was impossible to access the assessment data. Since Marianne was in a position to find a solution, she wanted one that could yield the data that she needed. Recalling her search, she said,

We used Google Forms for most of our surveys and forms. However, the google forms/spreadsheets do not provide robust enough data, for assessment. You can do pivot tables but not everyone can do them. LibWizard reports are easier to run and use.

I have used Survey Monkey for a variety of things, but it really isn’t designed for quizzes, per se. You can ask questions that are on a Likert scale but it doesn’t have the features like conditional logic, grading, feedback, timers, and more. LibWizard gives you a lot more options and ways to slice and dice the data.

Marianne chose to use LibWizard for a number of reasons. She said,

We already use Springshare products like LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibGuides CMS, so it made sense to go with LibWizard. However, it really was the reporting feature with Excel spreadsheets, the charts (pie, graph, bar, and table) and the quiz question features (conditional logic, grading, feedback, and timers) that was the deciding factor. Moreover, we had considered a proprietary InfoLit Tutorial but found that the assessment reports were very basic and it wasn’t customizable enough for what I needed.

The Goal Is To Assess Learning.

It can be taken for granted that the students are learning. Academic institutions are fully aware that this is a dangerous assumption. Marianne said,

Student success is a key metric for the college. Thus, assessment is very important to ensure that students are learning what they need to learn. We report student assessment in many ways.

The Library and Learning Resources Division strategic objectives tasked to me were:

• the creation of the interactive videos and with specific measurable outcomes.

• the creation of an information literacy instruction pre-test and post-test to assess learning in a one-shot face-to-face instruction.

Both of these required assessment data based on specific learning outcomes. I just reported the data in the FY 2017-2018 Strategic Plan. You’ll find more and more colleges and universities are looking at relevancy, assessment, student success, and ways to engage users.

Marianne had a plan and executed it. She said,

I created eight videos/tutorials and embedded the quiz at the end. I then embedded everything in a LibGuide Frame. In addition, we placed the Research Tutorial videos with a link to the quizzes on our YouTube channel.

Since I wanted to assess the learning, a quiz was the best option for me. I also wanted to use the grading feature, so that students would get the score once they completed each video/quiz.

You’ll find four quiz questions per video (32 questions in total). I created the learning outcomes and relevant quizzes based on the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy as a guide to test the students’ knowledge. I created mostly multiple-choice questions but a few were true and false.

The End Of The Story? Done Correctly, It Never Ends.

The response to the work that the Prince Georges Community College Library has done with LibWizard is favorable. Marianne said,

The Library Director likes the data because it can be reported in the measured outcomes section of the Strategic Plan under the Unit Goals.

Faculty like how we have constructed a way for the students to get a copy of the grades directly or the students can take a screen capture of the grade at the end of the quiz and send that to their professor.

Even Marianne is happy. It’s funny how sometimes in order to begin to envision a good solution — you must first think about what you want to get out of it in the end. This was that kind of project for Marianne. She said,

The Statistics report gives a high-level overview including the mean, average and standard deviation. I like bar charts and tables for most of what I am conveying.

LibWizard is easy to use and the quizzes are can be built without a steep learning curve. It’s mostly a text editor.

Now, the students can keep viewing the library’s tutorials and they can keep taking quizzes afterward. The data will let the library know if learning is, in fact, happening — which is, of course, the best case scenario.

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

Important updates!

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

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

LibCal

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

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

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

    Create New Event > Find Event to Copy

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

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

Fixes include:

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

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

LibApps, LibGuides, & LibAuth

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

Join us for our upcoming LibGuides training, including:

LibInsight: COUNTER r5 is here!

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

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

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

screenshot

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

Join us for our April LibInsight training sessions:

LibAnswers

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

Link to the ticket from the RefAnalytics Transaction Explorer.

Showing Ref Analytics transaction link in the Knowledgebase Explorer.

Link to transaction in the Knowledge Base Explorer.

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

Join us for upcoming LibAnswers training sessions:

LibStaffer

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

Showing drag & drop feature to fill schedule shifts.

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

Join us for upcoming LibStaffer training sessions:

LibWizard

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

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

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

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

Whew! That’s it for this round of updates from Springy HQ. We would like to thank you, our user community, for sharing all your great ideas with us! We love making them a reality and look forward to bringing you many more in 2019–this awesome year has just begun. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Tips for Promoting Internal Staff Communication, Collaboration, and Community

Are you engaged?

It’s funny to say, but people are always talking about communication. In every relationship dynamic, the secret…is always communication — with your child, with your clients, with pets, with other countries, with your barista. Are you communicating effectively? Even more to the point, how can you communicate better?

This has always been a trending topic and it’s even more of a challenge now. With so many ways to reach out and because the traditional work environment is morphing with flex hours and telecommuting, virtual possibilities, it helps to reboot the conversation.

The one thing you will learn quickly is that it’s all about engagement. You have to be engaged in the solutions you put forth or the team won’t be either. So, if you really care about boosting internal staff communication to improve collaboration and create a sense of community, then you’re already on the right track. You care. The sooner we stop talking about communication and make improving it a real priority, the sooner we will see the wonderful effect it has on team productivity and morale.

The leaders have to lead.

If you want to encourage active internal communication amongst the staff, you’ll want to get in the mix. There are teams all over the world who find themselves with new directives sprinkled with enthusiastic words about the new intranet tool that has been licensed — so the company can better connect. It improves efficiency, they’re told. And, while this may be true, so many of those sharing the new mandate will never be seen actively participating in the intranet. They say the best way to lead is by example. Well, whether you intend to or not, you’re always leading by example. So get in there and show them how it’s done!

LibGuides CMS has Groups functionality. Combine that with its Access Controls feature and you can create a locked down group and use it as a staff intranet! Many libraries are starting to do this as it’s super convenient.

  • Your internal group in LibGuides CMS can be a place where you get to know each other better. You can have each team member build a guide where s/he shares not just education and work experience, but also hobbies and interests, favorite TV shows and go-to Karaoke songs, photos of family or pets or a favorite vacation vista and more.
  • You can facilitate collaboration on projects that should be tackled next or get feedback on your latest instruction session idea by enabling Discussion Boards. You can engage with your team right in your site by encouraging open discussions or you can post specific questions. Remember, you can enable Discussion Boards on as many guides in your intranet group as you wish!

  • Cultivate a fun internal voice by using the blogging tool. Maybe your library organized a particularly successful event recently. Or, maybe you had excellent reviews on a recent class you offered. Have the folks in charge write a blog post about it. This gives staff a chance to share and shine!
  • It’s your intranet, what do you want to use it for? Ensuring an actively accessed intranet is about making it a “place” you’d want to hang out. Of course, you can build guides that hold documents and files and links and images pertaining to a current project. But alongside those, be creative about your guides. Perhaps the Director wants to build a guide about what’s on the horizon with tabs for each quarter? Give your retiring colleague an opportunity to build a farewell guide! Maybe you should start a staff book club or book review guide! Have fun! This is where communication leads to community.

The new water cooler.

Do offices even have the proverbial water cooler anymore? At Springshare, we’re chatting all the time, but from our desks or devices. Don’t curtail the chatting. Instead, foster it. It’s much faster than opening/sending/replying to emails. LibChat, a component of the LibAnswers Platform, not only helps you answer your patrons efficiently, it also allows you to chat amongst yourselves.

  • You can transfer questions from patrons to another operator. This is useful if there is someone better suited to answering the question online with you or in case you are about to go on your break and you need to start feeding questions to the next person on duty.
  • You can ask a colleague a question — behind the scenes — to help you answer the patron.
  • You can chat with all LibAnswers colleagues that are online at the time or initiate a chat with someone in particular.

A mixed bag is good. People will chat with each other about projects, ask for feedback, share an experience. But they’ll also send a birthday shout out and ask each other about playlists that move the day along. The important thing is that it’s a happy work environment. People who know and like each other want to collaborate.

Plus, the LibChat Operator Console was just updated with an entirely new interface making internal/staff-only chats that much easier.

Check in — so they don’t check out.

You can set up tools and you can implement strategies to improve communication in your workplace, but one of the best things you can do is frequently check in with the team. Use LibWizard to create an anonymous survey and ask folks if something is missing from the intranet. See if there’s a page they never use. Use the multi-select checkbox field to ask them which portions of the intranet they find most useful or interesting.

Not only will it help you improve by filling in the blanks or kicking out stuff that’s just taking up space, but it lets your team know you really do care about nurturing a productive and supportive and — dare we say — fun workplace.

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’!

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #1: Getting Emoji’tional

Emojis

While your library might be winding down from the hectic schedule of finals or if you’re experiencing the general slowdown of traffic and questions typical during this time period – here are some quick (and fun!) things you can do, right now.

We’ll be releasing our Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing as a blog series from now till Dec 22nd! So come back and check out our other Springy Tips.

Tip #1 – Getting Emoji’tional 😉

Emoji’s can be an effective way to communicate with patrons and coworkers. They’re fun, expressive, and most importantly – compact. Universally agreed upon emoji symbols can help us convey a sentiment, or emotion, without having to phrase it in a convoluted or ambiguous sentence. So, not only does it save you time, but it can help prevent confusion from indecipherable sentences. For example, if you write that you’re heading over to a reference desk meeting and I reply with an emoji thumbs-up 👍👍, you can ascertain that I understand and am confirming your message. All parties are on the same page! Time magazine recently reported a study by Harris Poll showing that 36% of millennials ages 18-34 who use “visual expressions” say that those images better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.

On the flip side, using emoji’s improperly can land you in some hot water if you’re not using emojis that everyone can understand or are universally accepted. For example, in the same example above, if I had replied to your message with a party popper 🎉🎉 – does that mean that I’m happy you’re leaving to go to this meeting? Or am I wishing you good luck? Sending a party popper to that message just doesn’t make sense. As the recipient to my ambiguous emoji reply, you’re justifiably confused.

So, like with any communication tool, it’s important to consider your message and how the recipient of your message will interpret it. When in doubt, don’t use any emojis at all.

Accessing Your Built-In Emoji Keyboard

You’re probably very familiar with your emoji keyboard built into your smartphone device. But, did you know that your desktop computer also has a built-in emoji keyboard? Well, it does! Here’s how you can access it!

Step One: Be sure your cursor is inside an editing/typing window – like LibAnswers SMS Ticket Reply, or LibCal Social Publishing Field.

Step Two: Keyboard Shortcuts for Accessing the Emoji Keyboard

Windows Users Mac Users
  • Windows Button + semicolon (;)
    or
  • Windows Button + period (.)
  • CMD + Control + Spacebar

Step Three: Double-click to select your emojis, choosing as many as you want. You’ll notice the emojis being added to your text-editor. When you’re done, click to close the emoji keyboard.

Mac Computer Emoji Keyboard

Using Emojis In Your Springshare Tools

Now that you know how you can access your emoji keyboard, let’s have fun exploring all the different ways you can use emojis in your Springshare tools.

1. LibAnswers

There are many places that you can use emojis when replying to patron inquires inside of LibAnswers. Three places that come to mind are the SMS/Text-Message Tickets, Social Media Management, and inside of LibChat.

Additionally, using emojis in more ‘informal’ communication like text-messages, and social media posts can help users feel more connected to your content. In that same Time Magazine article, they reported that “the majority of people across age groups also said they feel ‘more connected’ to people they frequently message when using emojis and GIFs.”

In Your SMS/Text-Message Replies

LibAnswers SMS ticketing functionality allows you to answer patron-initiated texts natively inside the LibAnswers platform. Bottom-line, if you can type…you can text.

While replying to a patron inquiry, consider adding an emoji! Remember, text-messaging was the original birthplace of emojis, so using emojis in your reply will appear natively in the patron’s smartphone messaging app.

Adding Emojis to your LibAnswers SMS/Text-Message Replies

 

In Your Social Media Posts/Replies

If emojis were born in text-message, they grew to adulthood on social media. In your LibAnswers Social Media Management Tool, consider adding emojis to your Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest Posts and Replies. Remember, users feel comfortable when communicating with people who use emojis. And from our recent social media post, it’s important to be authentic. Emojis in your social media posts are a great way to communicate with patrons in a casual, informal, and authentic manner.

Emojis in Twitter - LibAnswers Social Media Management Posting

In Your LibChat Messages

In case you didn’t know, LibAnswers’ LibChat comes with built-in emoji support – but it’s limited to just the smiley face emojis. Use your built-in emoji keyboard to add more visuals to your chat convos! 👍

Built-in Emoji Support in LibAnswers’ LibChat

 

2. LibCal

Your library’s calendar events are an ideal spot for integrating some emoji fun! Remember, context is important – so it’s probably not a good idea to add emojis in a calendar event advertising the library’s counseling services.

In Your LibCal Calendar Events

When advertising your LibCal calendar events, consider adding emojis to the built-in Social Media posting integration.

Social Media Integration built-in to LibCal Calendars.

 

3. LibWizard

When asking patrons to fill out Library feedback forms or surveys – consider adding emojis to the radio and checkbox options!

As a tip, don’t replace words entirely with emojis as some user’s browsers might not be able to display them. Always use them in ‘conjunction’ with text unless you’re 100% certain that the emojis you’re using are compliant across all apps.

Adding emojis to the LibWizard Choices Options Fields.

Have fun poking around your Springshare tools and explore all the ways you can use emojis! And remember to have fun! 🎊🎉🎈

 

That’s all for this edition of ‘Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing’ Tips! Come back later this week for Tip #2!

LibWizard Update Now Live

We have a brand new mini-release for LibWizard out today. This is just a maintenance release that is mostly concentrated on often requested bug fixes and some back end performance tweaks. You should notice a faster, smoother, LibWizard experience!

Just a few items:

  • Corrected a usability issue when LibWizard assets are embedded into LibGuides.
  • Fixed a problem where users were unable to edit the date and time field on reports.
  • Corrected a few typos on both the welcome and thank you screens.
  • Corrected an issue where checkbox fields set to display in multi-columns were not indented correctly.
  • Assets will now sort correctly when sorted by the created date.
  • Changes in asset title are now applied without refreshing the page.
  • Fixed an issue where under a very specific scenario submission notification emails were not being generated

HTTPS

We encourage you to use LibWizard with HTTPS but if you’re not, you should definitely give it a look. When web browsers start to force HTTPS, some of your forms my break if you’re not properly prepared so get started now!

We’ve written more about HTTPS on a previous blog post, so be sure to check that out.

“We’re All In, Because It’s Easy”

..says Andrew Adler, director of the Georgetown College Library, when asked why the Library is using the entire platform of Springshare tools.

Andrew, like most librarians, wears a lot of hats. From teaching library instruction, manning the reference desk, creating training tutorials for student workers, and being available nine hours a week for one-on-one research consultations, plus being the director for the entire library – he needs their web platform tools to just work and be easy to use“.

LibGuides CMS-Powered Website w/ Integrations

Georgetown College Website

LibGuides CMS allows for seamless integration with Springy Tools

The Georgetown College Library uses the entire Platform of Springshare Tools – and they use LibGuides CMS to power their Library Website.

“Things got a lot easier when we moved our website to LibGuides CMS.”

On their library homepage, an embedded LibCal Hours widget automatically updates to display today’s hours… no manual updating needed.

Their reference services are prominently showcased, with embedded LibAnswers LibChat widgets promoting their live reference assistance and a customized Ask Us form that routes all queries right into their LibAnswers ticketing queue.

All library forms, from a book purchase request form to reporting a catalog error are created and stored using LibWizard. In an effort to streamline work processes, their library student application is a LibWizard form! This way, librarians only have to go to one place, LibWizard, to view all form submissions.

Student Worker Training

Student Worker Training

Informing & Training Student Workers

All library student employees are trained using a combination of LibGuides with embedded LibWizard tutorials. Talk about making your tools work for you!

Circulation Student employees access the Circ Dashboard LibGuide when they sign into the circ desk computers.

From here, they can easily view their work schedules via LibStaffer, access library quick links, and take interactive training with LibWizard tutorials.

Since they’ve already used LibWizard to submit their student application forms, the process is consistent and seamless. As Andrew said, “everything they need – put in one spot”.

Andrew presented at the October 2016 SpringyCamp on training student workers using LibGuides and LibWizard. View Andrew’s presentation and download his slides.

Geogetown College Circulation Desk LibGuide

Student Circulation Dashboard LibGuide

LibWizard Tutorial

LibWizard Interactive Tutorial used to train student employees

Georgetown Staff Directory

Staff Directory LibGuide Powered by LibAnswers FAQ Widget

Using Widgets Makes It Easy to Maintain & Share Info

Even the library’s staff directory is a product of integration.

Andrew maintains the Library Staff directory as a published LibAnswers FAQ, making it easy for anyone searching the FAQ database to find staff email addresses and phone numbers. But, what if they’re not in the FAQ database? How do they find that information?

Easy!

Simply embed that Staff Directory FAQ as a widget into any webpage, including their LibGuides CMS-powered website. This way, Andrew only has to update the directory in one place, the FAQ, and watch those updates trickle down to everywhere it’s been embedded. The same consistent information is easily syndicated across multiple platforms and is easy to maintain from one central location.

Wait, What About Faculty?

 

LibCal Booking form

LibCal My Scheduler IL-Booking Form

Andrew wanted to create an online process where faculty could request library instruction as quickly and efficiently as possible. Email wasn’t cutting it, creating a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus, the Library maintains access to several IL-Classrooms so pointing faculty to a room reservation system would have required that Faculty know which room to request and when.

Using an outside-the-box solution, Andrew repurposed their LibCal My Scheduler as a tool for faculty to book library instruction. Most libraries use the My Scheduler tool to coordinate and schedule one-on-one research consultations. But Andrew saw it as a way to streamline their IL-Booking process. Faculty select their preferred date and time, and share their session preferences and class notes to ensure that the instruction is as targeted as possible – for the student’s benefit. Andrew receives the request, selects the appropriate classroom, and it’s all done…in just a few clicks. Easy-peasy.

These IL-Instruction Stats, and all stats from their Springshare tools, are automatically funneled into their LibInsight data gathering tool. From here, Andrew can run reports on how many classes were taught last semester, hits they had on their Library Website, and chats/texts/email reference questions they received.

Plus, using LibInsight’s Gate Counts Dataset, Andrew is able to view how many people are in the building – updated to the most recent hour. This data allows them to make staffing changes to their service desks based upon actual library traffic data. “It’s important for us to understand our student’s point of need and work to meet that need.”

 

LibInsight Gate Count Dataset

Gate Counts Data

LibInsight Gate Counts Data

Every year, Andrew meets with the Georgetown College Provost to cover the library budget. As is typical at these meetings, every line item is scrutinized. Andrew makes it clear that their use of Springshare tools are an essential library service.

“The Library couldn’t function without it – it’s our website, our research guides, our reference service tool, or reservation tool, and so much more. — Andrew Adler

LibWizard 1.7.9 Update Now Live

We have a post-Valentine’s day gift for the LibWizard community – the 1.7.9 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you enhanced feedback options, which ensure patrons get the maximum amount of feedback for better learning outcomes. Read on for the new features that are making our hearts flutter!

Redesigned End-of-Quiz & End-of-Assessment Options

We’ve made a few changes and updates to the options available at the end of Quizzes and Assessments, with a goal of giving learners the most comprehensive feedback possible. This includes:

  • NewEndOptionsShow All Questions & Answers on the Thank You page – When patrons finish a quiz or assessment, wouldn’t it be nice to give them immediate feedback on all of the questions they answered? With this update, now you can! Head to the Thank You screen to see the new option for “Display correct answers and patron answers”. When you use this feature, we’ll display all of the responses that the patron provided at the end of the quiz or assessment, alongside the correct answer for each question and any question-related feedback you may have provided in the quiz or tutorial. This provides the patron with the full picture of how they performed on their quiz or assessment, and provides easy take-away info for continuous learning improvement.
  • Not Requiring a Correct Answer to Provide Feedback – Previously, it was only possible to give a learner correct/incorrect answer feedback by requiring an answer to be correct in order to move on. We realized that this was a bit limiting, so we’ve changed things – from now on, these are treated as separate settings, so it’s still possible to require a correct answer to continue, but you can still provide feedback on correct and incorrect answers to the patron without this requirement.
  • Display Grade as a Percentage, OR as Number of Questions Right/Wrong – A small yet popular feature request – if you choose to display a grade to the patron when they finish a quiz or assessment, you can now choose what form that grade should take. You’ll see this option on the Thank You screen, listed as Grade Display Type – choose whether you’d like to display the grade as a percentage (ie “You scored 80%”) or as the number of questions correct (ie “You answered 7 out of 9 questions correctly”).

File Upload Updates

We have a couple of new features to share for the file upload option:

  • DragDropNew Drag and Drop File Uploads – In a big move for convenience, we’ve added a super simple drag and drop file uploader, which reduces the number of clicks required to upload files on both the public and administrative sides of the system! To upload a file (up to 20 MB), just grab the file and drag it into the uploader. Of course if you prefer, you can still click on the uploader to choose a file from your computer.
  • File Uploads Included in Email Confirmations – We now include a link to uploaded files in the email confirmation messages sent to patrons / anyone on the email notification list, so you’ll no longer have to head to the reports area to view files.

Updated Look for the Edit Question Screen

We’ve adjusted the look of the edit question screen – now, instead of relying on accordions for the 3 main editing sections (Display Properties, Answer Properties, and Advanced Customization), we’ve moved these sections into 3 separate tabs. Hopefully this will make the various editing options a bit more obvious.

Tweaks and Bug Fixes

  • Previously, the file upload option could sometimes fail on the public side of the system, especially in cases where you had more than one file upload on a page, or a file upload was a required question. We’ve squashed these critters so the file upload will work reliably for patrons.
  • We’ve updated the option to “Use Spam Control” so it’s in use by default. Our spam control uses a honeypot method – it includes a field that is intentionally hidden so that humans don’t enter data in it. If the field is empty, as it should be, then the user can continue to the next page. Spam robots, however, will still detect that field and try to enter data in it (or in other words, stick their hand in the honeypot). When this happens, this prevents the robot from proceeding.
  • There were a couple of bugs that cropped up with the new Rich Text question and answer entries, where including HTML in the question or answer text could cause issues with questions being saved to the question bank, and certain fields were not saving correctly if they included HTML. These issues have been resolved in this update.

LibWizard 1.7.8 Update Now Live

It’s a new year, and the hits just keep coming! Last night the LibWizard 1.7.8 release went live, and we have lots of fun features to share. Read on for the latest!

Rich Text Question and Answer Text

question-rteIn this update, we’re adding simple rich text formatting for question and answer text in LibWizard. The new rich text editor is simple but powerful – use it to add standard text formatting (like bold/italicize/underline text), add a simple bulleted or numeric list, or even insert a link, to open in a new window. This makes it much easier to add clearly formatted text to any question or possible answer in LibWizard – perfect for quizzing students about the correct formatting for different types of citations, or adding a link to an external resource for additional context.

Workpad Usability Improvements

For those of you who manage long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, we have great news – we’ve made several improvements to the workpad area, which makes building assets even easier! We’ve added a scrollbar to the content area, so adding new questions anywhere in the asset is a breeze. We’ve also adjusted the behavior of the page on save – now, when you save an asset, the screen will return to the previous location, rather than refreshing to the top of the page. These changes should make it much easier to work on long forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments, by keeping the list of questions and control panel together on screen!

Encrypt Assets & Patron Responses At Rest

For security conscious folks out there, we have big news – users on the full LibWizard platform can optionally encrypt all LibWizard data, including all assets (forms, surveys, quizzes, and assessments) and patron responses, at rest. This option must be used in combination with our new HTTPS support. To give it a spin, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc Settings and select the options for HTTPS and Encryption.

Flexible Correct Answers

We’re adding more flexibility to the way correct answers are defined in free text fields. Previously, free text fields relied on an exact answer match in order to count as correct – you could add multiple possible correct answers, but patrons had to exactly match one of those responses in their answer. Now, this is much more flexible – we’re adding support for correct keywords, so if a patron mentions that keyword in their response, the answer is counted as correct! This is great for quizzing students on high level concepts while still maintaining the convenience of auto-grading.

And More…

  • Switch Question Type – We know how it is – sometimes you create a new question and after adding the possible answers, you realize that that radio field should really be a checkbox option, or a dropdown. Never fear – we’ve added a simple switcher, so you can switch that dropdown question to a radio field with ease. 🙂  To try this out, edit any radio, dropdown, checkbox, or text field and use the switcher at the top of the page.
  • banksaveAdd Existing Questions to the Question Bank – if you’re an admin in your LibWizard site, you can now add existing questions to the question bank right from within an existing asset! You’ll see the new option when you add or edit any question – select “Save to Bank” to save any question to your site-wide reusable question bank.

LibWizard 1.7.7 Update Now Live!

Some fun end-of-the-week news – the LibWizard 1.7.7 update is now live! With this update we’re bringing you easy color customization for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes and Assessments, plus optional HTTPS support. For sites using the full LibWizard platform, we also have exciting news – file uploads are now available across all modules! Read on for deets on all the latest…

Simplified Color Customization

blueformHave you ever wanted to change the colors of a form, survey, quiz or assessment so it’s snazzier and more eye catching? Then do we have big news for you – we’ve added super simple color pickers to all LibWizard modules! Previously, customizing the colors of elements in LibWizard could take a bit of doing and required a good amount of CSS knowledge for optimal results. But no more – we’ve added simple color pickers for individual system assets, as well as for the site as a whole via the system settings.

Customize any major element of any quiz, survey, etc. – from background colors to fonts and font colors to the all new optional border, our color pickers have you covered. To start customizing a survey, quiz, etc., head to the builder and select Options > Look and Feel > Page Fonts and Colors. To customize colors across your site, Admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Custom Colors.

 

File Upload Support

Have you ever wanted to include a file upload as part of your surveys, quizzes, etc.? Perhaps you’re collecting documents for your institution’s IRB, or collecting proposals for an upcoming conference. Whatever the reason, we have great news for you – file uploads are now available as part of the full LibWizard platform! Whether it’s collecting a list of works cited as part of an Assessment or taking submissions for your “Why I love the Library” photo essay, you can keep track of all of this and more with the LibWizard platform.

Enable file uploads in your LibWizard assets by heading to the builder and choosing the new File Upload content type. Good to know: File uploads are currently limited to 20mb per upload, and are retained until the form, survey, etc. is deleted.

HTTPS Support

Do you frequently find yourself embedding forms, surveys, quizzes and assessments in https based websites (like a course management system, or perhaps your main library website)? Then this feature is for you – we’re introducing optional HTTPS support for all LibWizard sites. If you’re ready to make the switch to force all LibWizard content (both the builder as well as individual forms, assessments, etc.) to load via HTTPS, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Misc. Settings and select Enable HTTPS.

Good to know: Enabling this setting means that all content added to your site must also be loaded via HTTPS. This will impact all content that librarians create in the site – all page URLs shown in Assessment & Tutorial slides, as well as image uploads, etc. must also load via HTTPS in order to avoid mixed content error messages.

Additional Fixes and Features

  • Spaces Can’t Bypass Required Questions – Previously, required questions could be bypassed by entering a space (or spaces) instead of a “real” answer. We’ve changed this behavior so responses that just contain spaces won’t pass the required check.
  • Print Individual Responses – We’ve added a Print button to the “preview” view of individual patron responses, so they’ll print with ease.
  • We fixed a bug in Numeric fields, where initial responses that fell outside of the required minimum/maximum setting were being recorded. This now generates an error message, and the response is not recorded within the reports.
  • We addressed an issue with Account Permissions, where making an asset “public” made it both visible and editable for all regular level users in your LibWizard site. Now, setting an asset to “public” will make the asset and any responses visible to other regular users, but they won’t be able to edit its contents.

As always, thanks so much for your great feedback. We hope you’re as excited for these new LibWizard features as we are – don’t hesitate to drop us a line and let us know what you think!