Archive for LibWizard

LibWizard for Usability Testing – Springshare Learning Lab

In case you missed yesterday’s Springshare Learning Lab on how to use LibWizard for Usability Testing, you are not out of luck! We recorded yesterday’s webinar including the presenter’s slides and the link to the amazing article they wrote. Watch, download, and read all from the Springshare Learning Lab website.

Quick Overview

Special guest speakers, Mikala Narlock and Abby Shelton, discussed a University of Notre Dame project on virtual usability testing using LibWizard. The Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art celebrated Usability Day 2020 by collaborating on a virtual user experience testing activity: participants had the chance to offer feedback on Marble, a collaborative digital collections platform, or CurateND, the institutional repository. Mikala Narlock, Digital Collections Librarian at Hesburgh Libraries, and Abby Shelton, former Outreach Specialist at the Snite Museum, discuss their approach to virtual user testing and how they improved the user experience of both platforms as a result.

Takeaways

  • Feedback was helpful for redesigning the CurateND website, improving navigability, adding geographic metadata for Marble and improving jargon’y metadata.
  • Run through your own testing modules first! It helps to see where the roadblocks are.
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.
  • Have a facilitator on deck and send a follow-up email to participants.

Watch Now!

More Learning Labs Coming Up!

Our goal is to host a Springshare Learning Lab every single month! Our next Learning Lab:

  • Creating Your Own Local Co-Op with LibChat
    1:00pm – 2:20pm Wednesday, March 24, 2021
    Did you know you can create your own local Co-Op? Join us for a Learning Lab where will be joined by Caitlin Kenney of the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) who will share her experience running two local Co-Ops and Virginia Cole and Leah Dodd, from Cornell University as they share what it’s like being a member library. 

Newcastle University: LibWizard In Lieu Of In-Person Instruction

The dynamics experienced in a live instruction session are truly unique, so much so, that even when you’re teaching a course that you’ve taught for many years, you can still feel nervous or excited. You never know what can happen in a classroom. The interaction between the teacher and the students, the questions that spark more interesting questions, and the new perspectives, often result in everyone learning something. This is why live instruction is such a benefit.

And, it’s precisely why doors closing in libraries all over the world is so jarring. Fortunately, those libraries are filled with librarians who are the best at finding answers. We interviewed Louise Cowan and Emily Dott who are members of the Library Liaison Team at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom about the work they’ve done in their libraries to pivot to online teaching.

Pre-Pandemic Needs

Q: What were you trying to solve in 2019 when you added LibWizard to your library?

A: Newcastle University Library had existing subscriptions to LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibStaffer and in 2019, initiated a trial of LibWizard.

We undertook the trial with the intention of fulfilling a need to provide self-directed training materials for staff working across the Library, and in particular to provide staff development opportunities for colleagues employed to work outside of core hours (evenings and weekends). At that time, the focus was more internal facing, as a solution to meet training needs around the Library Management System and internal University processes. We were also interested in centralising the management of forms, which were being generated across multiple platforms.

During the trial, it was recognised that LibWizard could also be a solution to difficulties surrounding the use of free third-party tools to create Information Literacy based quizzes, which we have embedded across LibGuides. The Library increasingly faced challenges where a platform we commonly used had introduced copious amounts of adverts between questions, rendering many of our active elements unusable.

At the time of introducing LibWizard, the University was transitioning between VLE providers, so it was also anticipated that the LibWizard Tutorials function would be used for student-facing tutorials focusing on:

  • Keyword searching
  • Developing a search strategy
  • Advanced use of the discovery system, Library Search

Such interactive elements were unavailable in the current software and at the time, we were unsure of the functionality available in the new VLE.

Seamlessly Shifting Gears

Q: When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, libraries all over the world shut their doors and scrambled to quickly pivot to provide services online. What were your immediate priorities and what were your strategies for making the transition as efficient and smooth as possible?

A: Our immediate priority was to ensure that students and staff were aware of and able to access our online resources and support quickly and easily. With increased use of resources off campus, and the potential for students to rely on non-library resources of mixed quality, encouraging the critical use of information and promoting evaluation skills was also vital.

Our strategy focused on promotion of our e-resources and online one-to-one appointments, via blogs, social media, and news items on the Library website. Alongside this we concentrated on the production of new supporting material, such as video guides to finding eBooks and off-campus access to other electronic resources, new webpages focused on online learning, and the creation of short instructive tutorials in LibWizard that would help students find the information they needed and develop the skills to think critically about what they had found.

Online Learning: The Evolution of LibWizard Use

Q: Please share how you’re using LibWizard as part of your move toward Online Learning and talk about which features are being utilized most.

A: LibWizard Tutorials have been a useful tool in the development of our online learning materials and support. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic we had already begun to explore the potential of online tutorials for the initial training of students who had volunteered to become Peer Mentors to new students starting University.  As the training had to take place prior to the start of term, an online approach was necessary. The tutorial focused on providing the Peer Mentors with an understanding of their role and the knowledge of key services and support that they would need, in order to advise their mentees.

Developing this tutorial gave us a good grounding in what was possible with the tutorial tool and how we could use it to fully engage students. It also helped us to set some guiding principles for the creation of effective online tutorials, such as:

  • Setting achievable learning outcomes
  • Creating a plan for the structure of the tutorial
  • Identifying ways to embed checks for progress and encourage active learning via quizzes, reflective points, or independent tasks

This understanding and experience of LibWizard standalone tutorials proved particularly useful during the early months of the pandemic, as it enabled the Library to provide packages of online training for potential students, as part of the University Partners Programme.

Focusing on searching for and accessing resources via Library Search and Reading Lists, the tutorials guided students through the steps required to access and use resources and highlighted expectations of reading at University level. Quiz elements were used within the tutorial to assess students’ understanding and formed a core element of the academic skills element of the Programme.

Further, a strategic priority within Newcastle University Library Service is working alongside local schools and further education colleges to provide resources and workshops and collaborate on projects that explore our Special Collections and Archives. Our Education Outreach team has made extensive use of LibWizard, along with other online resources, to continue their work for the community during the pandemic. As we are currently unable to invite external students into our Library buildings, LibWizard tutorials have been created to provide an online alternative to in-person workshops. The Education Outreach Team have been able to make full use of the ability to embed videos and media within the tutorial, and the use of the Library website as a live slide within the tutorial to create engaging and informative content.

The key advantage of LibWizard tutorials in this case was the ability to make resources that are openly available without the barrier of institutional log-in, as the audience are not members of the University community.

New Approaches Bring New Challenges

Q: What sorts of considerations had to be made as you tried to make the transitions? What surprise challenges did you discover as you built content in LibWizard with teaching in mind?

A: Projects in recent years have moved the Library’s information skills development offer towards a blended model, and as a result, we were well prepared as a team to move to a fully online model. Our development of online materials was led by the same outcomes-based approach to design we use in face-to-face sessions, which uses constructive alignment to ensure that the focus is on active learning tasks designed to achieve learning outcomes, rather than activities being driven by the functionality of the tools and software available to us.

When planning open resources, or materials for specific cohorts of students, we have used LibWizard alongside other University tools (including those embedded within the VLE, Canvas) to emulate teaching which would have taken place in small group workshop settings or text-based workbooks. An element of this that has proved difficult to replicate is training on specialist databases and subject resources which require institutional authentication. While standalone tutorials offer the opportunity to guide students step-by-step through these resources, the authentication step takes them outside of the embedded slide window, which has led to some confusion.

  • Additional notes and prompts have been required to support students in these activities.
  • In general, the level of signposting and written instruction needed when teaching online is greater to ensure students fully understand what is expected of them and how they can achieve it.

The Response Matters

Q: Which are the most popular content items? What kind of response have you gotten from the faculty and from the students?

A: The LibWizard Tutorials have been well received.  

Those included in our Education Outreach programme have received positive early feedback from teachers on their effectiveness and usefulness in supporting school and college students undertaking independent project qualifications.

One of our most popular LibWizard tutorials has been the online escape game, developed to provide a more ‘fun’ element for Library Induction. During the Welcome period, alongside formal induction sessions introducing Library resources, the Library normally engage in on-site activities, with freebies and opportunities to chat with students informally. As this was not possible during the September 2020 Welcome period, induction moved online and was delivered via the University VLE (Canvas). As part of the programme of online activities, we embedded the LibWizard tutorial, and invited students to participate in the online escape game, with those who completed the game being entered into a prize draw.

The tutorials used for internal training purposes have also been very popular with colleagues, ensuring more equitable development opportunities.

We have embedded feedback forms at the end of each tutorial using LibWizard Surveys and colleagues have been keen to engage with us around ways to develop these materials further.

The most used tutorial, relating to the Reading List system received 60 submissions since February 2020.

Learning Along The Way

Q: What do you wish you knew or wish you had thought of before you started?

A: The move to using LibWizard and developing online learning materials was so rapid that there have been issues around managing version control and maintenance. Within the Library, LibWizard is open to all staff who wish to create a tutorial, quiz, or form and as staff have been keen to engage and experiment, we now have several sandbox versions, tests or copies. 

  • The amount of material can be difficult to manage and keep organised or up-to-date
  • There have been some issues around duplication of effort, where colleagues have not spotted the existence of a tutorial on the same topic before creating a new one.

We are putting in place some strategies to manage this problem now but having a way to organise or categorise tutorials or assign them to teams for maintenance would be immensely helpful and would have been a useful practice to establish before work began.

Here To Stay

Q: If the challenge of being forced online by this pandemic actually becomes a call for creativity and problem solving, what sorts of principles guide you and what has become so solid to you that you will continue with it even when this pandemic is over?

A: As a team, the move to online has cemented our approach to planning for learning and this is now firmly embedded in our practice.

The need to plan online learning in the same way as you plan for face-to-face teaching opportunities is essential. Focusing on active learning and engaging students with opportunities to put their skills into practice is central to our approach and having tools such as LibWizard at our disposal allows us to build resources to facilitate this.

We are also mindful of the importance of choosing the right tool for the learning. It can be tempting to embed new technologies into learning because they are fun to explore as teachers, or because it is the simplest way to create quick content from the teacher perspective. However, such tools may not necessarily be the best for enabling student learning or may not be well suited to the student journey. In our use of Technology Enhanced Learning we emphasise the learning over the technology and will continue to do so.  

Moving into the next academic year, we expect to carry a Flipped Classroom approach into our Information Literacy teaching as standard.


We are so grateful that Louise and Emily found some time to share their experiences with us as they transition their library, like so many are, to the online learning approach. In-person instruction is a hard thing to replicate because you can’t capture the energy of a classroom. But, with creativity and outside-the-halls thinking, collaboration, and good solutions, you can still teach and they can still learn. Throw in some much-needed lightness like the online escape game from the Newscastle University librarians, and it can be fun for everyone.

Upcoming Related Webinars!

LibWizard: Delivering Online Instruction & Information Literacy During COVID-19

Monday, February 22, 2021 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Learning Lab: Virtual User Testing: Leveraging LibWizard to Solicit User Feedback

Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Code Release: New LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, LibWizard, LibStaffer, and LibInsight features coming your way!

These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, February 19. Read about LibGuides | LibAnswers | LibCal | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibInsight

LibGuides

In addition to improvements on the E-Reserves Request form, we are implementing a bunch of Accessibility improvements on the A-Z Databases page and the Search page.

E-Reserves Request Form

We’ve made the E-Reserves request form more user-friendly by getting rid of the accordion collapsible sections, indicating required fields with a red asterisk, and changing how the “Type” choices work.

E-Reserves Request Form

In addition, you can indicate whether these fields should be required or hidden through the E-Reserves > Settings > Request Form > Request Form Field Options.

Request Form Field Options

And Coming Soon…

  • Support for LTI 1.3 in Canvas (with support for additional Learning Management Systems coming after that)
  • Additional accessibility fixes

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out the LibGuides release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibAnswers

Our current LibAnswers release is chock full of performance improvements to help bring you a faster and more performant reference management platform! In this release, we’re introducing many under-the-hood updates, including a refreshed Reference Analytics module, improved connectivity for LibChat on mobile devices, and so much more. For the full breakdown of everything rolling out in this release, head to the Springshare Lounge to view the full release notes.

Reference Analytics Update

We’ve spruced things up under the hood to bring you a fresher, faster version of Reference Analytics. We’ve refreshed the entire code base, with a goal of updating code and improving response times. While most folks using the Add or View/Edit Transactions screens won’t notice many UI changes, Admins can see this refresh reflected in the edit Reference Analytics dataset screen. We’ve updated the functions around editing datasets, and added the ability to reorder responses in a field without impacting past recorded data (yay!). To see this in action, Admins can head to Admin > Ref. Analytics > Edit Dataset button.

Mobile Chat Improvements

In this release, we’re updating the behavior of chat widgets on mobile devices. Now, most chat widgets (everything except for embedded chat widgets) will pop open in a new tab/window when viewed and accessed on handheld mobile devices. This will essentially replicate the behavior of the patron choosing to pop the ongoing chat into a new window, which we’ve seen can help prevent patrons from inadvertently disconnecting from a chat, especially on handheld mobile devices, where wide-finger issues are still alive and well! The resulting chat window is mobile-optimized and ready to assist your patrons. To see this in action, head to any slide-out, floating, or button chat widget and start a chat!

And Coming Soon…

We’re hard at work revamping several of our back-end search features, in an effort to bring you a faster and more intuitive search interface! Our first order of business is updating the chat transcript search page; in our next release, we’ll be overhauling our underlying search engine to bring you even more powerful chat transcript searching.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss out on the complete LibAnswers release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibCal

While we are hard at work to bring you (teaser alert!) interactive mapping functionality for seat/space bookings in the very near future and improvements to streamline and improve admin management aspects of Appointments, we have a few exciting updates for you! This release includes lots of accessibility modifications, small improvements, and performance improvements that can be read about in the Springy lounge release notes.

Appointments

  • Booking limits for Appointments have arrived! We’ve added the ability to set daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly limits on the number of appointments that can be booked by each patron/student. These limits are available to set on the system level, as well as by individual users who can either use the system limits or define their own set if needed. Head to Admin > Appointments > Booking Limits > System Defaults to set this for your entire LibCal system, or click the Edit button in the User Limits Overview section to set for one user at a time.
  • Also now available is the ability to list Appointment locations on your LibCal homepage, Hours page, and event pages. Your public locations will show as a drop-down menu where Appointments are displayed:

Seats / Spaces / Equipment

  • We’ve also added API support to return availability for period-based locations when retrieving seat / space booking information.
  • We’ve added a warning on the admin side “Booking Grid & Availability” tab when hours for a Location, Category, Space, or Item will expire soon. Admin users will see a warning like the one below when availability is set to expire within 7 days. A warning will also be displayed if a Location, Category, Space, or Item has no hours assigned.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions! Check out the LibCal release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibWizard

Folders

We have added a much-requested feature for creating folders for your LibWizard items! Anyone (Admin and Regular level users) can create new folders by clicking on the “+ Create New Folder” button on top.

LibWizard Folder

Admins will have access to create, delete, or rename all folders. Regular users will be able to create new folders, but will only be able to rename and delete their own folders.

Deleting a folder will not delete the folder contents and will move any existing contents outside of the folder to the main level list.

Finally, users will be able to move existing items to different folders or create a form directly within the folder. Please note that folders cannot be nested at this time.

Changes to the Actions Column

We’ve updated the Actions column for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes, and Tutorials pages and the Question Bank page with a dropdown to make the column less cluttered.

Actions

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and check out the LibWizard release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibStaffer

We’ve added some exciting enhancements to both the regular and recurring shift assignment process!

  • You can now set a weekly frequency as well as select or deselect staff members for recurring shift assignments.
  • A “Select All” / “Deselect All” feature has been added to the regular and recurring shift assignment screens, when there are more than 8 users assigned to a schedule.

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

LibInsight

Manage Accounts Layout Change

We’ve converted the “New Account” and “Import LibApps Accounts” to their own pages for easier use.

LibInsight Manage Account

Dataset Upload Format Change

As a processing and performance improvement, we have updated a few dataset types to allow only .csv format (Comma-Separated Values) for data uploads:

  • Finance
  • Reference
  • Calendaring
  • Custom/Shared

To save any Excel file as a .csv file, go to File > Save As.. and choose Comma-Delimited file. For the tech-minded out there who might use a text editor, we are looking for a UTF-8 file with CRLF line breaks. 🙂

Check out the LibInsight release notes on the Springshare Lounge! [Back to Top]

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 improvements in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

A New Way to Read SpringyNews

This week we are excited to launch a new addition to the Springshare newsletter lineup: The Roundup. It’s just like it sounds – a monthly email digest that rounds up recent product updates and announcements, client stories, webinars, and timely Springy resources.

It landed in subscribers’ inboxes yesterday. And from here on out, SpringyNews readers can expect a digest or edition email the first week of every month!

Here’s a preview of the types of content readers will discover in The Roundup:

February's archive resources focused on celebrating Black History Month
  • Last month’s release features, recent client stories, and newly published Buzz guides
  • Upcoming Springshare Learning Labs and webinars
  • Newly relevant resources from the Springshare archives
  • A sneak peek at the month ahead, including not yet announced webinars, product features, and more!

In case you missed it, you can view this month’s issue of The Roundup in your browser.

Not a subscriber? Sign up below and indicate which types of Springshare emails you’d like to receive!

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We take your privacy seriously and will only send you emails about services you have specifically consented to receive (aside from the operational emails which are required when using our Springshare software).

Please complete your subscription preferences below, to ensure you receive the information on topics of interest to you. We’re committed to keeping your email in check so we promise to only send you one email/month per category selected below.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at news@springshare.com. We will treat your information with respect.

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Are you a current subscriber looking to adjust your email preferences?

  • At the bottom of your most recent Springshare newsletter or product announcement (sent from news[at]springshare.com), click on the “Update Preferences” link.
  • Alternatively, when logged into LibApps, head to LibApps > My Profile. Scroll down and select/deselect the options.

Top 10 Springshare Blog Posts of 2020

The month has flown by and suddenly it’s the last workday of January 2021. 😅 At this point, our teams are waist-deep in strategic goal mapping and list checking, but it doesn’t hurt to take a moment to pause and reflect on the past year… as much as we may want to forget it.

Here is our annual recap of the best client stories, Springshare announcements, and tips and tricks from 2020!

1. Librarian Reserve Corps Fighting COVID-19’s Infodemic

May 15, 2020

We’re proud to have supported Library Journal’s 2021 Librarians of the Year Elaine Hicks, Stacy Brody, and Sara Loree, and the rest of the Librarian Reserve Corps. Read about how they responded to the overwhelming need to identify, select, and disseminate information about the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. And how they used Springshare tools to help accomplish their goals. Thank you for your service!


2. Pickup Manager is Here!

October 14, 2020

It’s been a year of quick pivots and changing plans at Springy HQ, and Pickup Manager was one exciting result of our efforts to address the ‘new normal’ while making day-to-day tasks easier. The goals: streamlined item pickup scheduling, easy communication with chat and SMS/text, and ILS integration to help automate checkouts!

If you haven’t seen it, check out our post detailing how it works with screenshots and quick video clips. You can watch a recording of the webinar on our Buzz site!

3. ICYMI: Using LibGuides to Support Racial Justice & Create Inclusive Communities

August 7, 2020

July’s edition of SpringyNews included a special guest. Written by Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Librarian Twanna Hodge from the University of Florida, the LibGuides Tricks page addressed an important point – LibGuides are much more than resource webpages. They are part of how we represent our communities online. How can we engage our guide readers, cultivate inclusivity, support anti-racism, and move them to act?

4. How They Did It: Reopening at the University of Hull Library

August 19, 2020

As libraries were starting to reopen their doors over the summer, we checked in with The University of Hull Brynmor Jones Library – one of our first customers to go live with LibCal Seats – to share their reopening process. They provided a ton of helpful information about planning their library’s layout, figuring out booking and cleaning times, and enforcing social distancing!

5. Tips & Tricks for the Remote-First World

March 16, 2020

As libraries and universities were making the monumental switch to online reference and learning services, Springy Talia rounded up some LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibWizard tips and tricks to support librarians suddenly serving students and sharing information remotely.

6. Missed It? Watch it! SpringyCamp 2020 Recordings Available

August 11, 2020

Last year’s SpringyCamp was one for the books! We were thrilled so many from the Springy community joined us for camp. Over two days (for a total of four sessions), we got to see what others are up to, hear new ideas, and just generally find inspiration for how to expand services and explore ways to engage students and patrons.

You can still review the list and watch them all!

7. Introducing the New (and Improved!) Springshare Lounge

September 24, 2020

Last summer we wanted to make an improvement in an area that would empower Springshare users to collaborate, discuss, and help each other online. One of Springshare’s greatest strengths has always been our community, and we wanted to make an online space that reflects how innovative all of you are. So, without further ado, we introduced the revamped, and extra Springy, Springshare Lounge!

8. Supporting Staff & Students 24/7 with Local & Academic Chat Co-Ops

November 5, 2020

Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) and California Community College Library Chat (CCCLC) group both frequently assist students who work and have other responsibilities during “regular business hours” – perhaps even more so during the pandemic. The individual colleges and libraries range in size and available staff, but together the two groups serve over 900,000 students.

In November, they shared how the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative and the LibAnswers platform has helped them support their staff and students, especially during last year’s distance learning!

9. You’ve Switched to Remote Services… And the Numbers Show It

April 28, 2020

About a month after the sudden shift to remote learning and library services, we shared some really interesting early LibAnswers and LibGuides stats that illustrated the size of the enormous change, along with information about what we were doing on our end to support you.

In case you’re interested in how these numbers turned out, we updated them in our December SpringyNews edition!

10. Our First Springshare Learning Lab!

December 1, 2020

In response to customer requests to integrate client use cases and how-tos, we launched a brand new training session series: The Springshare Learning Lab!

Ken Winter from VDOT Research Library kicked things off with a thoughtful discussion of his longtime remote working experience and how Springshare tools have helped his team support their patrons during the pandemic.

We’re excited to continue the series in 2021! Next week Gwen Jones at the University of Liverpool is going to share their experience contributing to the 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative (Register now for the last few spots!). And you can watch all Learning Lab recordings on our Buzz site.

New Year, New Springy Tips

While it’s hard to believe it’s already mid-January, we put away our party hats and noisemakers long ago (although our holiday decorations are still up 😉). Hopefully, there’s still a glimmer of that “brand new year” feeling left, and Springy HQ is here to help you start off 2021 on the right foot!

To that end, we’ve rounded up a bunch of quick Springshare tool tips to help you save time, streamline your workflow a bit, and perhaps remind you of that “Oh yeah, I need to do that every January!” task.

Under 10 Minute Tips for Every Springy App

Before and after profile example

1. Give Yourself a LibGuides Profile Refresh.

In the spirit of “new year, new you,” freshen up your profile with a new image, widget, or social media icon.

  • Double-check your contact information.
  • Use the multi-line address field to add your pronouns, time zone, and/or ORCID.
  • Update your profile image.
  • Add your work-related social media accounts.
  • Embed a chat and/or Appointments widget.

For more ideas on how to use profile boxes and pages, watch our related training video!

2. Set Your LibCal Spaces, Equipment, & Calendar Preferences.

In case you missed it, in November we added new user preference options so you can select default Spaces and Equipment locations and booking management tabs. By the end of this week, you’ll be able to pick your default calendar, too! To set your preferences, click on the Preferences tab on your LibCal account page. 

3. Streamline Ticket Views in LibAnswers.

Directing all student/patron questions and interactions into LibAnswers makes life easier (just ask Ken Winter from VDOT Research Library!). And if you find yourself applying the same dashboard filters to switch between Twitter DMs, reported database access issues, and open reference questions, you can make your life even easier by creating dashboard views!

Create a personal view for yourself – or if you’re an admin, create a view for all LibAnswers users. For detailed instructions, watch the SpringyU Setting up Dashboard Views Block.

Pickup Manager Macro example

4. Expand Pickup Manager Macro Usage.

After months of coordinating item holds, and the year-end stats resulting from them, you have a good sense of your patron/student pickup trends. Are they normally late? Or early? Do staff often forget to mark a pickup as complete? Now’s a great time to create or update Pickup Manager chat/SMS macros and set/modify pickup status changes where needed.

5. Review LibWizard User Access.

Did you know you can reassign content when deleting a LibWizard user’s access? If you haven’t reviewed your LibWizard accounts recently, now’s a great time to use the ‘transfer to a user’ feature to make sure form/survey/quiz/tutorial editing and report viewing privileges are up to date.

6. Check LibStaffer Calendar Syncing Status.

A well-planned schedule unfortunately never lasts, and as shift swapping and dropping begin in the new semester, start off the year by ensuring that everyone’s LibStaffer shifts and personal Outlook/Exchange or Google calendars are syncing. LibStaffer admins can do this by checking everyone’s integration status in one place!

Need to know when someone’s calendar syncing fails? Admins can also add an email notification address in your LibStaffer site’s System Settings.

7. Create Alert Reminders in LibInsight.

This time of year, folks are gathering year-end data, creating 2021 dashboards and datasets, and completing annual reports. It’s important to remind users where things are stored, recent changes, or new fields/datasets they will be using.

Alert boxes help reinforce your message by putting the information at the top of the LibInsight dashboard! Admins can even create separate reminders for admins and regular users.

8. Examine LibCRM User Roles & Permissions.

LibCRM Interactions permissions options

Have there been any staff reorganizations? Are you tracking projects, adding and editing People, Organizations, and Interactions in LibCRM differently now than you did at site launch? Take a look at your roles and how they’re assigned to LibCRM users!

Haven’t configured LibCRM roles and permissions yet? Read our related FAQ.

Bonus Tip: Update Your LibApps Password!

Using strong passwords – and keeping them in a safe place – is standard security practice. While there’s not a clear consensus on how often you should change your password, the start of the year is a good time to do an annual checkup if you haven’t done one recently

In LibApps, you use one account/password for all of your sites – LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers… you get the picture. So fortunately for you, there’s only one place to change it!

There are two ways to update your LibApps password:

  • *Recommended* While logged in: Jump to LibApps > My Account. In the Account Information box, enter your new password and confirm the change using your existing password.
  • While logged out: Head to your LibApps login page. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see “LibApps Login @ [Your Institution]” at the top of the page.
    • Click on the “Reset Password?” link underneath the login form.
    • You will receive an email from do-not-reply@libapps.com to change your password. If it’s not there, be sure to check your spam folder.
    • Don’t see an email? Contact one of your LibApps admins. They can reset your password for you.

For detailed instructions on how to change your password, read the related FAQ. After updating your password, don’t forget to save the new one in your password manager!


Here at Springy HQ, we’re thinking of our customers near and far – especially those currently locked down or have family and friends affected by the rising COVID-19 case numbers across the globe. Please know we are always here to help if you have any questions!

ICYMI: Our First Springshare Learning Lab!

Just before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, we were thrilled to host the first session of our new client story + how-to webinar series: The Springshare Learning Lab!

Ken Winter kicked things off with a thoughtful discussion of his longtime remote working experience and its recent challenges. And how LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibWizard have helped him and his team support their patrons during the pandemic. Next Springy Michelle highlighted using LibChat for internal staff communication, setting chat departments as fallbacks, and configuring a LibWizard form with conditional logic.

In case you missed it, the full recording is available! You can watch it below and find Ken’s slides on the Buzz site!

Got an after-the-fact question for Ken? Lounge members can ask it in his discussion thread that he’ll be monitoring for the next week or so. Any Springy user can request a Lounge account, and we have getting started guidance in our July newsletter.

Inspired by Ken’s presentation, Springy Michelle also created a special training on how to build an internal staff communication guide similar to the one in his session with LibGuides, LibCal, and LibAnswers. You can watch the recording in our training video library.

Up Next! Library Reopening at Gwinnett Technical College with LibCal Seats

Back in September, Gwinnett Technical College shared their reopening experience and how they’re using LibCal Seats to help reopen safely. For our next Learning Lab, Deborah George, director of library services, is going to share their story, give us an update, and answer audience questions. Following, we’ll look at some of the specific features they’ve found most useful during this reopening process.

Register today! COVID-19 – Bringing Patrons Back to the Building
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
11:00am – 12:00pm ET

Just getting started with LibCal Seats? Since we won’t have time to cover every setting during the Learning Lab, we have a full training session scheduled for the next day.

Register today! LibCal Seats – Get Your Library Ready to Reopen Safely
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

We hope to see you at one or both of the sessions! Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season. 🙂

Code Release: New LibGuides, LibWizard, LibStaffer, & LibInsight features coming your way!

The leaves are off the trees, we are eyeing our (single household only!) Thanksgiving menus here Springy HQ, and we have some awesome new features for you. These releases are on their way to you next week, and will be live in all regions by the end of the day on Friday, November 20.

Read about: LibGuides | LibWizard | LibStafferLibInsight

LibGuides

We have heard from quite a number of you that creating copies of all assets when you copy a guide has created some asset clutter, so we’re changing this a bit! Now, by default, when you copy a guide, all assets in that guide are mapped to the original guide. If you would still like to create new copies of all assets in a guide that you are copying, you can check the box labeled “Create copies of the guide’s assets rather than mapping to the original,” as pictured below.

This change will quickly allow you to create content from blueprint guides without cluttering up your Asset Repository. You’ll still be able to delete unwanted assets, boxes, or pages, and add new ones if you wish, but you’ll be making better use of existing content by mapping.

Use mapped assets

Please note that copying a guide from the Community has not changed. And a gentle reminder! Librarians for sure love to share, but please get permission from the guide owner before copying any guide. 🙂  

Other Improvements and Fixes
  • Added aria-hidden=”true” to the Font Awesome icons in the orange command bar to improve its accessibility.
  • Fixed an issue causing the default guide to always show as the Content Match in the LTI Instance Details table, rather than true, single guide match. No data was lost; we were simply not displaying it correctly.
  • We fixed an issue that occasionally caused the E-Reserves Request form to fail to submit.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!  Lastly, don’t miss additional LibGuides release goodness in the LibGuides release notes over on the Springshare Lounge!

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LibWizard

We have two new improvements to LibWizard: the ability to transfer a deleted user’s forms to another user, and an additional Referent Author’s full name (rft.au) OpenURL parameter mapping for the pre-filled form URLs.

Transfer existing forms to a new user when deleting a user

Managing a deleted user’s forms is easier now that you can transfer the users’s existing forms when deleting their account. Simply select the new owner of the forms when you delete the account from the Accounts management page.

Transfer Forms

Additional rft OpenURL parameter

We’ve added the rft.au (Referent Author’s full name) OpenURL parameter to field mapping when configuring pre-filled forms / surveys / quizzes / tutorials. Head to Form Options > Advanced > Configure URL settings to see this new parameter.

Other Improvements and Fixes
  • Fixed a display issue for individual feedback on multi-select checkbox fields.
  • Fixed field rule causing for File Upload “has file” to work improperly. 
  • Fixed an issue causing embedded LibWizard forms to sometimes have the wrong height.
  • Various (and sundry!) accessibility updates:
    • Fixed keyboard accessibility for the URL and Tooltip, when displaying these for sites that will not display in an iFrame.
    • Added aria-hidden=”true” to Font Awesome icons to make these decorative elements hidden from screen readers.
    • Added aria-live=”assertive” to make “This field is required” messages accessible to screen readers.
    • Eliminated role=”tab-group” where it appeared throughout, since it’s not a valid role.
    • Added “Next Slide” and “Prev Slide” to language settings.

Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions, and don’t miss the rest of the release notes over on the Springshare Lounge!

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LibStaffer

We have a few new features we are bringing to your favorite shift-scheduling program:

Calendar Sync Improvements
  • Added an email notification opt-in email for sync errors/issues (currently for Exchange OAuth sync errors only).
  • Added a new tab to the Admin > Accounts page that shows the current Integration/Sync status for all accounts.
  • Added the ‘Token Max Inactive Time” field to the Admin > Integrations page for the Exchange OAuth sync integration.
Misc.
  • Added a “Go To Date” function to the Schedule View for easy navigation.
  • You can now show or hide the “Staff Required” column in the Scheduled Shifts report tab.
  • You can now compose Rich Text in the Admin Alert box. Head to Admin > System Settings > Admin Alert to get started. 

Also check out the LibStaffer release notes on the Springshare Lounge!

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LibInsight

Last but not least, we have a few exciting LibInsight updates as well!

Copy Dashboard

Why manually recreate an existing dashboard when you can just create and edit a copy of it?

You can either create a new dashboard from scratch or select a dashboard to copy from the Dashboard interface. Select Dashboards from the Command Bar to get started.

Copy a dashboard

Rich Text Dashboard Row

Want to include a text explanation of a dashboard row? Now you can! Add a Rich Text row to any Dashboard by choosing “Rich Text” > Add Row while editing your Dashboard. 

Rich text row

Other Improvements and Fixes

  • We fixed the “Last Month” dashboard filter to include all hours of the last day of the month.
  • We fixed an issue causing the Custom dataset cross tab statistics to include non-null values in the null column.

Check out more from this release in the LibInsight release notes on the Springshare Lounge!
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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 improvements in 2020 and–very soon–in 2021. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

[UPDATED] Important Browser Notices & Updates

In today’s post, we’re bringing you some important notices about your Internet browsers… specifically Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome. Since Springshare tools are hosted in the cloud and are accessed by web browsers, if you or your patrons are using either of the above browsers… it will affect your day-to-day usage of these tools.

Updated Sep 10, 2020 – we updated the section below on LibAnswers and IE11 compatibility.

Updated Oct 9, 2020 – we updated this post with a section on LibGuides and IE11 compatibility and updated the LibAnswers section to reflect the fact that the October 2020 code release is out.

Updated Oct 19, 2020 – we updated the LibGuides list after more extensive testing within IE11.

Internet Explorer 11 Will No Longer Be Supported as of November 20, 2020

Starting in November through till next year, Microsoft will stop supporting IE11 within their own applications.

Microsoft has since labeled Internet Explorer a “compatibility solution” rather than a browser and encouraged businesses to stop using the aging browser.

Tom Warren, TheVerge.com

To that end, Springshare will stop supporting IE11 for all Springshare Tools (LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, LibInsight, LibCRM, LibWizard, and LibStaffer) during the week of November 16 across all regions.

This does *not* mean every webpage of your whole Springshare tool will suddenly stop working when using IE11. It *does* mean that you and your users may experience additional issues of non-compatibility when using IE11 after the November 16 code release.

LibGuides Users & IE11 [Updated Oct 19, 2020]

There are a few areas in LibGuides that do not fully function in IE11. Additionally, future updates will also affect page display issues in IE11.

  • Guide lists on system and group homepages;
  • Some LibGuides widgets intermittently do not display;
  • Gallery boxes;
  • Search results;
  • System blog and public discussion boards; and
  • A-Z Database pages.

LibAnswers Users & IE11 [Updated Oct 12, 2020]

There are already a few areas of LibAnswers admin interface (not public-facing pages) that don’t fully function in IE11. Additionally, future updates will also affect page display issues in IE11.

  • Currently not working in  IE11: the ability to view chat transcripts; Queue settings tabs and ticket browse page will not work.
  • Upcoming November 2020 release: Current LibChat Operator Console will *not* be able to load in IE11 by the end of the Nov 16 week. We’re launching some awesome new functionality to LibChat, including a new emoji-picker (:wow emoji:), that is not compatible with IE11.

Chrome 86 Security Update

The upcoming Chrome 86 update, slated for release in October, will offer more secure protections for users submitting data on insecure forms. More on this in a moment. First, a reminder!

All Springshare Tools are HTTPS-Required

As a refresher, all Springshare Tools are required to load over HTTPS. If your Springshare Tool ends in a .libguides.com, .libcal.com, .libanswers.com, .libcrm.com, .libinsight.com, libwizard.com, or .libstaffer.com – the ‘S’ in HTTPS is covered by our security certificates.

If your Springshare Tool ends in a custom domain, like .bookings.edu or guides.org, you can use our ‘Let’s Encrypt’ service where we obtain a security certificate for you or obtain your own security certificate.

Bottom line, your Springshare Tools will always load an HTTPS secure connection…. which is great for your staff and end-users because HTTPS helps to thwart intruders from tampering with the communications between your websites and your users’ browsers.

Embedding Unsecure (HTTP) Forms into Your Secure (HTTPS) Springshare Tools

So now that you know that all Springshare Tools are loaded as HTTPS, you’re probably thinking – “Heck, we’re all set… our sites are secure!“. And you’re right, for the basic tool itself. But it depends on what you’ve added to your systems, too! We give you a lot of flexibility in your Springshare tools… especially in ways we encourage you to embed widgets/content from other websites. In LibGuides, you can embed a widget into your guide. In LibCal, you can add a widget to a countdown timer in Calendar Events. In LibAnswers, embed media right into your FAQs.

These options give you awesome flexibility in adding multimedia resources to your Springshare Tools! But it is also possible to embed HTTP (unsecure) content inside your HTTPS (secure) Springshare Tool.

Chrome 86 Update Will Display Warning for Mixed Forms

So now we come back to the Chrome 86 update! If you embed an HTTP (unsecure) form in your HTTPS (secure) webpages, your patrons using Chrome 86 will see a full-page warning about submitting content to an unsecure form.

Chrome Version 86 Will Display Warning of Unsecure Forms

Identifying & Resolving Mixed Content

We recommend that you review your LibGuides, LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibWizard systems to identify widgets/forms that you’ve embedded that could be HTTP insecure. This FAQ outlines some helpful instructions, including how to find HTTP content in LibGuides, as well as a video explaining why HTTPS is important.

As a reminder, Springshare Tools themselves are HTTPS secure. So if you’ve created a LibGuides widget, a LibAnswers/LibChat widget, a LibCal widget, a LibInsight widget, or a LibWizard widget, these widgets are already HTTPS secure. It is better to focus your time and energies on widgets/forms from other vendors.

If you’ve identified forms/widgets that are HTTP unsecure, it is recommended that you contact that vendor directly to obtain an HTTPS secure form/widget. While we’d love to help, we cannot create HTTPS secure widgets/forms for other vendors.

Missed It? Watch it! SpringyCamp 2020 Recordings Available

Last week’s SpringyCamp was one for the books! We were thrilled so many from the Springy community joined us for camp. Over two days (for a total of four sessions), we got to see what others are up to, hear new ideas, and just generally find inspiration for how to expand services and explore ways to engage students and patrons in this “new normal.” All of our presenters deserve a huge round of applause for their time and efforts!

In case you missed it, it’s not too late to make a batch of s’mores, settle into a comfy chair, and watch the presentation videos. Have questions for the presenters? Want to give kudos? Head on over to our Getting Ready for Camp guide to find instructions on how to join the conversation.

You can even claim an official SpringyCamp 2020 Attendee badge for your Lounge profile! Just head to that badge’s page (make sure you’ve logged in) and use the Request Badge button!

A few Springy favorites:

We had so many well organized, thoughtfully created presentations this year, that we were impressed with each and every one. Here are a few fan favorites, picked because of the timeliness of the topic, engagement it generated during and after the session, and positive feedback we received!

You can watch recordings from all of our excellent presenters, download their slides, and jump to their additional resources from the SpringyCamp 2020 guide. Check them out below!

Using Springshare Tools to Manage & Record COVID-19 Information

New Partnerships: Using Springshare Tools Outside of the Library

Connections: Your Library & Social Justice – Amplify Black Voices with Springshare Tools

We’re All Distance Learners Now: Using Springshare Tools to Share Information with Staff and Patrons