Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing – Tip #2: Keep Patrons Informed

Tip #2 – Keep Patrons Informed

We’re getting down to the part of the season where there are atypical hours and even closures either due to inclement weather or observed holidays. Just as important, there are some libraries that are anxious to let patrons know that they will, in fact, be open. LibAnswers has so many features in place that let you get ahead of the questions by taking a few proactive steps to keep your patrons in the know.

 

Honor Your Social Obligations 

The LibAnswers system has a Social Media Management tool built into it. Most libraries use it to broadcast details on all the fun happening at the library, but don’t forget, besides reminders, it’s designed to help you plan ahead, too! You can create and schedule Tweets, Pinterest pins, and Facebook posts — all from right inside LibAnswers. So, make sure to utilize these channels to let your patrons know:

  • About any changes to services at your library
  • If you’ll have adjusted or abbreviated hours
  • And, share any days you will be closed

Just go to Social > Create >  Select the Channel (Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest). Customize your message and schedule it to post at a future date and time. You can do this to maintain a social media presence even when you’re not open, or just to keep ahead of your to-do list. It doesn’t have to be critical FYIs… schedule any post!

Get Proactive About Your Answers

The beauty of LibAnswers is that — no matter which channels a patron prefers to use to communicate with your library, you can be there just by signing into the LibAnswers Platform. To save you and your team a lot of time during these weeks, write out the answers to your super popular FAQs of the season and then place them everywhere you need them.

  • FAQs – Wish you had Seasonal FAQs for those who like to search for answers? You can have them with the Status Change feature! Create the FAQ > select Change Status > opt to Schedule a Status Change. This means you can change the status to published just at the beginning of the season so that it’s not in the system all year confusing people. Instead the seasonal FAQ can be published when you want and then also be unpublished at a date you choose, as well. These can also be useful for extended hours during finals, etc. 
  • Macros – Create a few macros for tickets and SMS messages. When those queues fill up with questions like, “How late are you open today?” you can effortlessly tackle them one by one with your macros in place.
  • Canned Messages – LibChat allows for system-wide canned messages. So, Admins, go ahead and create some ready-to-go answers for your whole staff to use when chatting. Label them Thanksgiving Hours, Exam Hours, Holiday Closings, etc. Just be sure they’re clear at-a-glance because chat is a speedy endeavor, then let the team know they’re available for use! These canned messages can be easily re-ordered so that you can move them to the top when the time is right!

Have a Backup Plan

Some libraries operate with minimal staff during these last weeks of the year. Find out who is going to be part of that skeleton crew and see if they’d be willing to be set up as a fallback monitor to be designated in your LibChat widget. For instance, if the Reference Department monitors the widget for questions that come in, see if Circulation would be okay to have new chats sent to them in case the Reference Department is offline. It’s also possible to select specific operators. LibStaffer could help you know who’s working.

This time of year, doesn’t have to be so unpredictable. When you are open, use the Internal Notes field in Reference Analytics to leave a tag like “Holidays”. It will help you search for all the transactions — for which you recorded analytics from live ones to chats to tickets, etc. — that happened during the holiday season. This data will help you see if your patrons are engaging pretty heavily or even at a normal level with the library, or if it’s really quite slow at this time like you imagine it would be. Let the data replace the guesswork.

From all of us at Springshare, “Enjoy the rest of 2019 and we’ll see you in the new year!”

LibAnswers 24/7 Global Cooperative

Interested in looking ahead? We have a recording of the LibAnswers 24/7 Co-Op Sneak Peek session for you to view. To watch, click here.

Tis the Season for (spring)Sharing — Tip #1: The Eventful Library

Tip #1 — The Eventful Library

What’s on the schedule for these next three weeks? Is it chaos, or cookies? This time of year, most libraries have event calendars that are jam-packed! LibCal is just as full of tremendous features — as your libraries are of eager patrons. Let’s make a list (and check it twice) of the ways you can ensure that you’re doing your level best to keep your library eventful and jolly.

Everything’s Better When You Make it from Scratch

While we do have options in place to make it easy for you to set up repeating events, December calendars tend to have a lot of unique offerings. Start from the beginning by taking advantage of the integrated space and equipment booking feature. At event creation, go ahead and reserve the auditorium for the Winter Poetry Reading and, while you’re at it, reserve a podium, microphone, and that projector to mimic falling snow behind your readers. Don’t forget to use the setup and teardown padding, if there’s a lot to do.

 

 

The More the Merrier

Marketing can be an intimidating concept. Just remember that there’s a reason people judge a book by its cover. A picture’s worth a thousand words. LibCal allows you to draw your patrons in with featured images — both in the Daily List view and, more recently, the Daily Card view. This can be done even after the event has been created. So, put your best photo forward and pull in those attendees! With the right image, that Ugly Knitting Party could easily become a hot ticket.

Don’t Cut Off the Tags

Tags are good when you’re creating events. Want to ensure the tags work for you? You’d have to always remember to add the Audience and Category right from the start. To establish this as part of the process, you can make the fields required for all new events. The Audience can be adult or all ages, faculty or first-year students. Have as many as you like. They’re easy to create and manage. Categories allow for even more filtering. LibCal has System-Level Categories and also Calendar-Level Event Categories. These designate the kind of event like Book Club, Crafts or Holiday, etc. Using these tags will help your patrons find events that might be of interest to them. One might be looking for a craft event for teens. Someone else might be looking for database help for transfer students. You’ve got all this excellent programming lined up, make sure your patrons can find events and get excited about them.

If registration is required, make sure that you encourage patrons to register by creating an Event Button that you embed on your library website, in a related LibGuide, or anywhere you know your patrons are visiting.

 

Enjoy Top Billing

The Billing feature in LibCal allows you to have integrated online payments natively built right into the system to collect payment online via card or in person. If you’ll charge patrons to attend some of the special events at your library this month, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to push folks out to some other external site when it’s time to pay. Having a 3D Printer event where people make snowflakes? They can pay for the event right at the moment of registration or opt to pay at the event.

In our October update, we modified the status and processing of refunds for in-person payments. Now, if a booking or registration that was paid for in-person is canceled, the status will change to “refund due”. The Springshare team has worked very hard to make sure you and your patrons feel comfortable with the whole process. Not having to go to out into the cold to, yet, another interface is part of that. Billing currently supports five currencies and you can, of course, see a record of all completed payments, refunds, and cancelations. You know how frustrating it can be to untangle a string of lights. LibCal keeps your records straight.

 

So, go ahead and promote those “Hot Cocoa Mixers” and your “Hit the 2020 Ground Running” resume workshop. LibCal features make it easy to have successful events time and Father Time, again. And, if you really want to be a star, send out a LibWizard survey afterward!

 

Practical LibInsight Use-Cases To Deliver Data Success

In case you missed our webinar series last month on LibInsight, you can watch the recordings!

We discussed practical use-cases covering targeted ways you can use LibInsight to transform your data into powerful intelligence. Plus, we had one guest speaker covering how they’re using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence.

These short recordings will deliver a lot of helpful information in only 30 minutes… talk about getting the most use out of your limited time.

Using LibInsight to County Library Activity (32minutes)

Are you ‘counting’ things at your library? Like how many library cards were issued last month? Or events you had last year? Or total gate counts last quarter? This recording covers ways you can use LibInsight to keep track of things you’re counting, plus ways you can use it to do calculations for you!



Analyzing COUNTER r5 eResources with LibInsight (31minutes)

This recording does a quick overview of how LibInsight ingests and displays COUNTER r5 eResource data plus cost/invoice data to boot. Working with a vendor who isn’t COUNTER r5 compliant? No worries, the recording covers that too!


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Customer Service Excellence (34minutes)

Want to see how a library is using LibInsight? Guest Speaker Derek Mackenzie, Head of User Services at the City, University of London Library joins us and shares his experiences using LibInsight for library planning. Plus, he discusses how the library won the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) award using data from LibInsight.


If you’re looking for more in-depth LibInsight training, check out our training recordings!

Springshare Support is Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving

Finding Springshare Help During Thanksgiving

As Springshare is observing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Support will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. We will be back up, running, and answering questions on Monday, December 2nd.

We look forward to spending time with our families and friends. We are grateful for so many things, including the fact that we work with some of the greatest people in the world…librarians and those who love and support them! During these two days, should you find that you have questions about our tools, we have lots of amazing help available to you!

Springshare Support Tools

Ask Springshare: Springshare Help Center

Search for help by Product or simply enter your search into the search box. Each Product homepage has a list of related topics for that product and further refining available through keywords on the right.

You’ll also find Springboards within the Ask site: FAQs on larger concepts / workflows that guide you through related tasks, pointing to the appropriate (narrower) FAQs along the way!

Ask the Community

Ask the Springy Community on the Springshare Lounge! Consulting with your peers is often the best way to get questions answered. The Lounge is organized by group (including by library type) and is a source of excellent advice.

Training

Training Recordings: We have videos on everything from Building a Guide to Restricting LibCal with LibAuth to LibInsight Custom Datasets, and more. We also have many shorter recordings on various topics in our Training Tidbits and 5 x 5 sessions! There’s a wealth of information in these videos.

Training Webinar Calendar: As you’re perusing through our documentation, watching training recordings, or talking with other clients on the Lounge, you may also want to take a peek at the upcoming live sessions on our training calendar. Now’s a great time to plan for December, including a workshop on creating content rich guides, LibWizard v2, and LibGuides winter Springy cleaning (2 times available)!

In addition to our Help Center, we also have these amazing sources of information:

  • Springshare Blog – Do you have questions about the latest updates to hit your Springy tools? Want to learn about ways people are using Springshare’s products? The blog is overflowing with good stuff. But you probably know that…because you’re here right now! Share the link with a friend.
  • Buzz Site – For heaps of information on tools you have or those your library is considering, head to the Buzz Site. You’ll also find Client Stories, Client Presentations, and our Newsletters there.

Again, we want to express an enormous amount of gratitude to our clients around the world for choosing to work with us here at Springshare. For those of you who are also observing this holiday, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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

Ahhh, November…how did you get here so quickly? Many of us here in Springy-land recently saw our first snowfall of the season and we’re all thinking about what we’re grateful for: you! What better way to show how much we appreciate you than to give you a whole new round of features & fixes?

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, November 22.

Read about: LibCal | LibGuides | LibWizard | LibStaffer | LibAnswers | LibInsight | LibCRM

LibCal

Check below your Appointments grid / public pages link to see when your acccount was last synced.Appointments

  • Are you syncing Appointments with Google or Exchange/Outlook? Now you can see the last time a calendar was synced! Head to your Appointments page to see this information.
  • If an account is only associated with one category type, the availability grid and public time slot offerings now correctly display the appropriate slots / padding for just that category.

Billing

  • Discount code tokens in the default email template are now correctly appearing in the emailed payment notification.

Calendars/Events

Features
  • When emailing attendees from the Manage Event > Email Attendees page, the logged-in user sending the email is now BCCed.
  • Calendar email templates now accept up to 65k characters, so you can give your patrons a few more event details.
  • We’ve removed the previous 30 day limit for the event multi-date picker so users can add events that are more than 30 days into the past.
  • We’ve added a category class to the homepage Calendar template to allow users to target it with CSS.
  • The Google Calendar integration logic has been modified so the ‘Initial Export’ button will always be available when the credentials are changed/re-saved.
Fixes
  • The “Register!” button no longer shows for events with no open seats / waitlist seats remaining.
  • Users coming off of the waitlist for a series linked event now see correct dates in the email they receive.
  • Using quotation marks in an email templates subject line no longer strips out text after the first quotation mark.
  • Users will no longer be moved from the waitlist to the registered list or receive a confirmation email if the event has past.
  • Calendars now properly displaywhen using the Multi-Calendar view while your system is set to display in French.
  • We fixed an issue when using the custom date/time option for “Registration Opens” in Events. Registration will now open at the correct time and date when the System Date Format DD/MM/YYYY is in use.
  • When adjusting the date or times in an event, the location selected will now automatically be re-checked for availability against your new date or time.
  • The category field is now included within a calendar’s iCal feed.
  • We’ve fixed an issue in the Event Explorer where the ‘No Campus/Library’ selection for the ‘Campus’ filter was not working.
  • Calendar email templates now only display valid tokens in the email preview. Invalid tokens will display in the preview as blank.
  • The ‘Full Calendar’ widget has been fixed so the widget displays the full calendar and any events clicked on within the widget will display in a new window.
  • We’ve corrected an issue on the public page event search. When a user is on the “Month” view of a calendar and is looking ahead to future months, searching keywords will now bring up events in those future months.
  • We’ve fixed an issue where the {{CAMPUS}} email tag was not being shown in the Event Confirmation emails.
  • Calendar level permissions for users are now included only in the Settings > Calendar Permissions area and not in the Settings > Calendar Settings module.
  • If you’re using the “Calendar (Old Look)” component on your system’s homepage, it now starts the view at the correct time.

Equipment/Spaces

Features
  • We’ve begun adding granular user permissions for ‘Regular’ users.  You can now:
    • Restrict Regular users from creating bookings;
    • Restrict Regular users from editing bookings;
    • Disable the ‘User Showed Up’ field for Regular users;
    • Allow Regular users to create bookings, but require that they be mediated;
    • Disable the ability for Regular users to check in / out equipment items.
  • Disconnecting Outlook/Exchange at the Equipment & Spaces > Location level will now
    disable the sync at the individual Space level.
  • You can now add and edit costs on the mediation approval/denial page.
  • You can now modify the cost on an existing booking from the availability grid.
  • We’ve added missing aria role/landmark information to the public booking pages.
  • All elements on the admin pages can now be navigated via keyboard.
Fixes
  • We’ve resolved an issue with the statistics module where ‘Time Available’ showed as zero and the pie graph was inaccurate if a date overlapped with a deleted Equipment & Spaces hours template.
  • The Spaces booking explorer status filter once again works properly when filtering by ‘Form Answers’.
  • Screen readers accessing booking slots on the availability grid on the public pages will also read back the status of each booking slot, instead of just the color.
  • When creating a recurring booking on the admin side of the system, the list of clashes for that booking is properly displayed vs. showing an empty list.
  • We have resolved an issue where editing a space booking for a space that is connected to Outlook caused the booking to display both the user name and email details in Outlook instead of what was selected in In the Exchange/Outlook Title Setting area.
  • The Spaces privacy scrub will no longer scrub data for future Spaces bookings in a recurring booking series.

Hours

Features
  • We’ve removed an accessibility issue where a user was getting stuck on the Hours page / in its widgets when using keyboard navigation.
  • We’ve added labels to the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ buttons on the department hours table.
  • LibCal’s first Hours REST API 1.1 endpoint has been developed! It pulls opening hours based on location id(s) within a certain date range. Head to Admin > API for more information about this endpoint.
  • Non-English sites using Opening Hours on their LibCal homepage can now replace text within this content type. These new language keys can be found in Admin > System Settings > Language Option > Custom Language > Daily Hours Widget.
Fixes
  • We’ve corrected an issue where the Hours API was returning the “currently_open” value incorrectly if the location was open past midnight.
  • The button to add another custom hours time block will no longer appear if you have reached the maximum number of time blocks allowed.

Misc.

Features & Fixes
  • For users enabling OAuth 2 sync, LibCal now supports ‘Accounts in the organizational directory only’, Accounts in any organizational directory’ and ‘Accounts in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts’ during Microsoft Azure App registration. Previously, ‘Accounts in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts’ was required.
  • Admin-side accessibility fix: all elements in the Appointments, Spaces, and Equipment Booking Explorers and the Calendars Event Explorer can be selected using keyboard navigation.
  • If the text of an email template has been removed, the preview will now indicate that there is no body text instead of showing a misleading “invalid template” error message.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where canceled Appointments and Spaces bookings were creating emails in the Outlook drafts folder when username/password Outlook syncing was enabled.

Upcoming LibCal Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibGuides

We have been working on a bunch of back-end improvements to LibGuides and also have these improvements for you!

Accessibility Updates:

  • We corrected a missing form label for the Google Search and Poll Asset types.
  • ARIA labels are updated to allow a Guides search widget and an AZ search widget to live on the same page.
  • We added an ARIA label for the email address in the command bar on the admin side.
  • We added an indication to the Help link on the Command bar so that screen reader users are notified that this link opens in a new window.

Additional Fixes:

  • Missing screenshots on the LibGuides Community site have been updated.
  • If a guide’s type is set to “Internal,” it will only appear in search results for users logged into LibApps.
  • We fixed a CSS issue that made the Blog page search button misaligned.
  • We fixed an issue that was causing former LibApps Administrators to remain listed on the Dashboard.
  • When you’re viewing an individual draft blog post, you’ll now see that it’s marked “Draft.”
  • We fixed an issue that caused the Table Tools in the Rich Text Editor to gray out on occasion.

Upcoming LibGuides Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibWizard

Forms, Surveys, Quizzes, and Tutorials – New Features!

Preview Options by Device (all types)

Click the ‘Preview’ button when editing any item and you’ll now see device options along the top. Check out what your form, survey, quiz, or tutorial will look like when viewed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone!

Image Choice (Surveys, Quizzes, Tutorials)

We have a new multiple choice field called Image Choice for Surveys, Quizzes, and Tutorials! Add an image for each choice by either uploading an image file or entering the URL of the image from the web. You can also add an image caption, which can either be hidden or displayed below the image (recommended).

Image Choice Survey

Additional Features & Fixes:

  • Forms / Surveys / Quizzes / Tutorials:
    • Dates on the ‘Review Your Response’ page now correctly match the date format of the field.
    • Sorting on Name, Owner, and Created date now works as expected on the landing pages for all item types.
    • We’ve fixed an issue where having a required checkbox field with a ‘jump to’ field rule did not jump to another page when the checkbox was selected. Now all jumps are successful.
    • Adding an initial ‘jump to’ field rule on the first page of an item (before the first page break) no longer makes the first page disappear.
    • Prefilled URLs no longer make the choices appear selected, even though they aren’t.
    • We’ve improved the “Advanced Email Notification Settings > Conditional Email To…” functionality: if a field being used for the “Conditional to” setting is deleted, that option is automatically disabled; the field requires at least one email address; a warning is displayed if the field selected is required in order to continue, stating that the email will be sent based on the users’ first answer attempt.
    • Radio/checkbox multiple-choice fields with both vertical display (multiple columns) and sorting alphabetically, the sorting is now top-to-bottom in each column (vs. left-to-right in each row).
    • We’ve updated the button layout for all editor pages: the Preview link is now a link on the right hand side, above the Workpad; Revert Changes has been removed; Share/URL and View Reports now have a dark background color.
  • Reports:
    • We’ve fixed the issue where filtering reports submitted From and To dates did not include the To dates.
  • Accessibility:
    • We’ve updated the button colors on the admin side to ensure the color contrast is over 4.5:1.
    • We’ve added screen-reader only text to let users know if a link will open in a new window.
  • Admin Settings:
    • We’ve updated the name column in the Admin > Accounts and the “Import LibApps Account” lists to sort by Last Name, First Name.
    • We’ve added additional strings in the Admin -> Language Settings area, so you can modify them, if you wish.
    • Removing an Account no longer unassigns items from the Admin level user removing said account.
  • We’ve updated the tooltip help texts format to include related links to documentation about that item/topic.
    Help Text
Upcoming LibWizard Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibStaffer

Clear shift assignments for one person in a schedule or all.Schedules Features & Fixes
  • A staff selection filter is now available on the Clear/Delete shift process, so if you need to take a specific staff member off of shifts for a specific date range, you can!
  • Multi-Schedule View:
    • Shifts are now displayed by shift/schedule name instead of staff/account name.
    • When filtering by account(s) with the time off overlay enabled, scrolling to the next day/week/month now correctly retains the filtered account selections.
  • The “Auto-Scheduler Maximum Per Week” setting once again saves properly when creating a new shift.
  • We’ve updated the Auto-Scheduler modal to combine the “Don’t schedule a person in back-to-back shifts” checkbox and “Allow Grace Period?” dropdown, since their purposes were quite similar! Now there is one field called “Minimum duration between shifts”, which has an option for “No minimum duration” if back-to-back shifts are okay, and then a list of options if you want to ensure that users are not scheduled in back-to-back shifts.
    The two options for preventing back-to-back shifts have been combined into a single field.
  • We’ve corrected an issue where tooltips would get cut off at the edges of the schedule widget’s iframe.
Time Off
  • Calendar Page:
    • You can now click on a date to add time off (vs. always having to click the button at the top of the page).
    • Each Admin level user or Regular user with Schedule Admin permissions can set a default staff selections view for this page, meaning that by default, you can limit the view to only certain staff vs. everyone in the system. Simply choose the users you want to see in the default view and click “Set as Default View”. The next time you visit that page, you’ll automatically see that filtered view.
      Click the Set Default View button to view your filtered list every time you go to the Time Off page.
  • Approval Page: We’ve extended the records shown on the ‘Time Off Approvals’ page to include any un-approved Time Off records from the previous week. This is helpful, for example, if someone submitted a sick day request on a Friday when the approving manager was out of the office (and there’s no one else to have it fall back on). You could see it on the Time Off calendar and click to approve it there, but you’d have to go look for it there. Now it’s right on the approvals page for you to review and track!
Reports
  • The Scheduled Shifts report now includes optional ‘Position’, ‘Location’, and ‘Department’ fields. Click the “Show / hide columns” button to include these fields on screen.
  • Interested in seeing more details about an account’s swap / given up shift history? Head to the Swaps & Given Up Summary report and click the new blue info icon to see the account’s history, including the account that claimed the shift.
Workflow Forms: Submissions Explorer
  • Attach files to and remove files from a note on any workflow form.
  • You can now also delete entire notes in workflow forms.
Misc. Features & Fixes
  • We’ve updated the Available Hours settings page to make it clearer when you have not yet set any available hours. You’ll now see a message stating available hours have not yet been set along with a button that allows you to set them up.
    Go to your account settings to set up your available hours.
  • Creating a new user or clearing an Available Hours list now correctly makes that user available for any hours/shift.
  • The Clock In / Clock Out modal button is now disabled once it’s clicked, in order to prevent creating duplicate records if it is inadvertently double clicked.
  • We’ve added a tenant specific endpoint support for OAuth2 integrations, so you can set your integration up using any of the three options provided by the Microsoft Graph API service (‘Accounts in the organizational directory only’, ‘Accounts in any organizational directory’, and ‘Accounts in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts’).

Upcoming LibStaffer Training Sessions: Check out our recorded sessions!

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LibAnswers

With this release we’re bringing you a new feature for tagging chat transcripts, a new chat dashboard option for splitting Internal chat content into its own tab, a host of accessibility updates and a few fixes to boot.

New Features:

Tag chats with one or more tags from your system.Tagging Chats

It’s now possible to tag chat transcripts / interactions! Users can tag a chat (using the same list of tags that are currently in use for tickets) either while the chat is in progress, or after the fact via the chat transcripts tab. Chat transcripts & stats can then be filtered by this tag. Chats can be tagged via LibChat > Transcripts > Quick View > Add Tag, and you can also tag a chat while it’s in progress using the new tag chat icon (new chat dashboard only).

Option for Moving Internal Chats to Its Own Tab:

For users who’d like to dedicate more screen real estate to patron chats, we’ve added a new account setting that will allow you to move Internal chat content – including department chats and op-to-op chats – into its own tab. Using this option will give you more dedicated space for managing patron chats. To edit this setting, click on your email address in the top right corner of the screen and head to Account Settings > LibChat Settings.

The "Use Internal Chat Tab" box is at the bottom of the "LibChat Settings" area of your user settings in LibAnswers.

Widget Setting for Follow Up Queue

We’ve added a widget setting so users can identify which LibAnswers queue should (by default) receive follow up tickets created from chats that start in this widget. To set a default follow up queue for your widgets, head to LibChat > Chat Widgets > Edit Widget > Follow Up Ticket Queue.

Use the Preview icon in the ticket listing to quickly review a ticket.Quick Look Option in the Knowledge Base Explorer:

We’ve added the same quick view preview modal that’s available on the Dashboard to tickets in the Knowledge Base Explorer, so you can preview any ticket’s contents without jumping to the full ticket view. To see it in action, head to Answers > Tickets > Quick Look.

Accessibility Updates:

  • Some screenreader users were having a problem where messages from the librarian in chat were not being announced. This is now resolved, so screenreader users will be informed as soon as a reply from the librarian is sent.
  • We’ve addressed a couple of aria label issues in chat widgets, so the “start a new chat” button, “how did we do?” satisfaction question, and the chat sound toggle now all have the proper aria labels.
  • We’ve addressed a couple of contrast issues in the LibChat widget, including the “close” link in the closing LibChat screen and the text for “connected” and “disconnected”.
  • LibAnswers widgets now have unique IDs assigned by default. Previously, these widgets were not being assigned a unique id, so if you had more than one of them embedded in the same page, you could wind up with page errors as the same element id was used more than once.
  • Focus wasn’t being directed to LibAnswers pop-out widgets properly, which could present a problem for keyboard only users. These widgets now receive focus as expected, and keyboard only users will be able to open the widget, navigate through the widget, and exit the widget as expected.

Fixes:

  • If you mark the Question Routing field in a Queue’s Question Form as required, that selection is now correctly retained on save. Admins can head to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue > Question Form > Question Routing Field to set it as required.
  • We’ve fixed an issue in the chat widget builder where, if you’d previously set a custom button color for button chat widgets, and then edited the text of the button, the custom color could revert back to the default color. But no longer! To see it in action, head to LibChat > Chat Widgets > Edit Button Widget.
  • In the Knowlege Base Explorer, if a single ticket has multiple Reference Analytics transactions defined, that ticket is no longer counted twice in the “total records shown” count at the top of the page.
  • Inactive Users can no longer be assigned to new Reference Analytics transactions.
  • We’ve added a missing language key in the LibChat widget, so it’s now possible to customize the text for “Email yourself a copy of this transcript”. To edit this info, head to LibChat > Widgets > Edit Widget > click on the text in the widget preview.
  • As a security precaution, we’ve updated our spam prevention methods to automatically enable a honeypot captcha on all public question forms. Honeypot captcha places a hidden field within the question form – this field isn’t visible to end users, but will show up for spam bots, which tend to fill in information in every possible field. Seeing information in this field gives us a good indication that the form has been filled out by a spam bot instead of a person, so we can prevent these submissions from getting to your LibAnswers system.

Upcoming LibAnswers Training Sessions:

Also check out our recorded sessions!

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LibInsight

Our development team has been working behind the scenes to tighten up and modernize the LibInsight code. We’re also working on adding LibCal Spaces statistics to the Calendaring dataset. More on that soon! Meanwhile, we have a bunch of small features to bring you:
  • Option to not display Inactive accounts in “Entered by” fields.
  • We’ve added some links to awesome training materials in the Dataset Creation Wizard. Click the links to access the Springboards for each dataset type—these will tell you everything you need to know about each type, before you get started.
  • We added some CSS to make sure that large banner images do not overwhelm widget pages.
  • We fixed an issue that was preventing the “24 hours” filter from working properly when analyzing a Custom dataset.
  • We fixed an issue in COUNTER 5/E-Resources datasets that was preventing some journal titles from appearing in the “Top Use” journal lists, even with high usage.
  • We added an indication to the Help link on the Command bar so that screen reader users are notified that this link opens in a new window.
  • We removed an erroneous duplicate fetch alert added to the COUNTER 4 dataset type.

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LibCRM

In this round of updates, the LibCRM team has improved the UI of several pages, added filters to improve filtering/searching data, made some changes to the System Emails area, and fixed some system issues.

UI/UX Improvements

Buttons moved to the right hand side of the screen.The LibCRM team made improvements to the People, Organizations, Interactions, Projects, and Tasks pages:

  • Moved the main page button (e.g., New Person, New Organization) to the top right corner of the page.
  • Changed the “Refresh” button to an icon and moved next to the main button (top right corner).
  • Added some new fields and reworked the field order in the tables to display more information in a better way.
  • Adjusted some of the on-screen text to be clearer.
Filters

We’ve added several filters to provide a faster and easier search of data in the tables in the People, Organizations, Interactions, and Tasks areas. You can use a single filter or combine multiple to narrow the data further, including narrowing by date range!

  • People/Organizations: search/ filter by keyword, Name, Type, Email, Owner, or Number of Interactions; you can also filter Last Interaction by date range.
  • Interactions: search / filter by keyword, Subject, Source, Type, Owner, or Interaction with…; you can also filter Interaction Date by date range.
  • Tasks: search / filter by keyword, Subject, Owner, Related Projects, Associated Profiles, Number of Assignees, or Status; you can also filter Due Date by date range.
Manage System Emails

The Manage System Emails page title has been renamed to Manage Unmatched System Emails since the purpose of the page is displaying and allowing the user to take action on emails sent to recipients whose email addresses don’t match a profile in LibCRM. Admins can add the unmatched email to the system (as a profile), assign the interaction to an existing profile (in the case of a mistyped email), or delete the unmatched interaction.

  • We removed the system email from the table of unmatched emails. The page only shows the emails that did not map to a profile. (The system email is still listed at the top of the page, however, for your convenience.)
  • We added an Add New Profile icon to the table. Clicking that icon allows the admin to start the creation of that person’s profile. The email field will take the value of the unmatched email listed on the table.
  • The Edit Interaction screen now allows you to associate the unmatched email with an existing profile.
  • We added the ability to delete unmatched recipients from the table, including after creating a profile.
  • Attachments linked in emails are now associated with interactions for that email/profile.

Relate an existing profile to an unmatched email.

Fixes
  • Reports
    • The Data Export in Reports is now bringing back all Fields in the XL spreadsheet.
    • The system is no longer showing duplicated data.
  • Search Boxes: The search boxes now all you to search on either {last name, name} or {name, last name}.
  • Manage Unmatched System Emails: it is no longer required to match at least one profile to display the email in the System Emails (now Manage Unmatched System Emails) page.

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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 2019. We are always here for you if have any suggestions or questions.

Springshare Helps You Manage Library Schedule Breaks With Ease

Just In Time! Learn How to Keep Your Calendars and Schedules Rolling Along.

Tis the Season! Between people on your staff asking for time off and adjusted Library schedules to multi-day closures and not-business-as-usual office hours, plus the occasional storm, and don’t forget the flu —  this time of the year can be a little chaotic. You have to be especially proactive, making sure to clearly communicate any changes to your patrons. Want to avoid a face-off with the Abominable Snowman? Use multiple methods to get the word out.

Learn how Springshare tools like LibStaffer, LibCal, and LibAnswers help prepare you for this season so, any surprises…will be good surprises!

LibStaffer First! Because You Want to Run Smoothly from the Inside Out.

When there are challenges ahead, get your house in order. Look internally to see what you can do to keep the library staff informed of the increased or decreased hours in the upcoming weeks and months. Follow these LibStaffer tips to ensure smiles on the library floor.

  • Connect – You can avoid the mess of pulling schedules back to revise them based on seasonal hours. Take the steps to connect LibStaffer Schedules to corresponding LibCal hours for specific locations. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > LibCal Integration > Select a Library or department from your Hours list > Save. This way, if there are modified opening and/or closing hours, you can be extra diligent by opting to overlay the current hours when you assign people to shifts.
  • Manage –  Balance allowing your team the flexibility to swap and give up shifts with providing ample time for Managers and all involved to be ready for the changes. You can set up new parameters for both swaps and give-ups effectively restricting them to a selected amount of time before the shift starts. Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings >Swap or Give Up Shifts > Enable restriction > Select Amount of Time.

LibStaffer is full of super useful features to help you stay on top of who is working and when. Don’t forget these concrete ways to keep everyone informed.

  1. Customize the Admin Alert Box to broadcast any policies for requesting vacation days.
  2. In the Approvals Pending page, LibStaffer lets you know if the person requesting time off is already scheduled for that time. You will also find the ability to approve, deny, or edit the request and see the staff member’s history — so make an effort to decide their fates as soon as possible. It’s appreciated because, during this time of year, sometimes travel arrangements have to be made. 

LibCal for All Seasons!

Every day of the year, LibCal keeps your library efficient and visible. LibCal shares your vitals: the what, when, and where. To make sure it’s the authority, keep it current!

  • Hours Module – Since the October updates, the hours in your LibCal system can now be associated with an Event Calendar you have. It is likely already connected to other components of your LibCal system. Never fear this time of year! You don’t have to change everything and then change it back, you can simply add and manage exceptions.
  • Appointments – Don’t forget to think about yourself! By this we mean, have a look at your availability that you share via Appointments. Perhaps you’re taking some days off and want to stack your appointments before you go. Or, maybe you want to modify your schedule so you can get on the road to see family? No worries! LibCal makes it easy to add and delete availability times from your appointment schedule.
  • To be doubly careful you don’t get booked when you can’t be — be sure to sync your Appointments availability with your LibStaffer shifts. This way if you’re scheduled for a shift in LibStaffer, you will be marked as unavailable for an appointment. Remember with cold and flu season, the shifts might be a bit unpredictable so this is a good precautionary measure.

LibAnswers for Anticipating the Questions.

The spectacular thing about LibAnswers is that patrons can ask their questions when they feel like asking them, whether the library is open or already closed for the day. Additionally, the system also has lots of little places you can customize to make sure you are communicating masterfully. 

  • SMS Keywords – Promote your library’s SMS number heavily. Then be sure to set up a number of Keywords. This allows your patrons to text a word or phrase to your SMS number and receive a text with relevant information right away. So if they text “hours” they’d receive a reply with the library’s hours (which you have made sure is current).
  • Autoload Delay – Configure the autoload delay feature to set up a proactive chat widget. Customize the language for the text of the header to say something fun like, “Remember, the library will be closed from X to X. Would you like to chat with a librarian now?” Everyone’s getting a reminder whether they decided to take you up on the chat or not.

Springshare tools work well together so go ahead and cross announce to cover all your touchpoints. Create a LibAnswers FAQ about seasonal hours and then link to your LibCal hours in the answer. Make edits to your Using the Library LibGuide to include the modified hours information and the new FAQ. Make an FAQ on the policies for taking sick days and vacations for your LibStaffer Admin alerts box. Be creative. Have fun. Customize language where you can to remind everyone that there are changes. Then infuse the library with apple cinnamon air fresheners to keep everyone smiling and looking forward to it all.

Move your Existing Content to LibGuides

Create content rich LibGuides - A workshop on taking your existing content and turning it into a useful Libguides

This blog post is authored by our very own Springy: Jennifer Forgit.

You have great content – but it lives in many different places. Move it into LibGuides and make sure patrons have all of the tools they need in one place!

Let’s say your students have a big research project in the fall and you have a pathfinder saved as a Word document. You could upload the document to your guide, but that means one extra step for your patrons to get the information. In this workshop, we’ll look at an existing document written as a handout and talk about how to bring it into LibGuides.

When you move content into LibGuides it means:

  • Better access:
    • You decide who can access it, whether that’s the public, staff only, or a subset of either with a password or authentication (LibGuides CMS Only).
    • Turn public documents, like pathfinders, into research guides that are available to everyone 24/7 and not just those who find the brochure rack at the reference desk. Plus, no special ‘Word’ software required to view them and they’re mobile-friendly.
  • Centralized location:
    • Between cloud drives, email and websites, staff sometimes have to search through several online locations to find what they need. Move it into LibGuides, and you can keep everything in one place, and easy to find.
  • Not So Text-Heavy:
    • .Docs are text-heavy. Moving content into LibGuides allows you to take advantage of embedded video/audio media, interactive widgets, discovery layer search boxes, upcoming events, and more.

.Doc meet LibGuide

In November and December, we’re offering a workshop called Creating Content-Rich Guides. This session will look at how to take existing content, whether it is a Word document, old wiki page, blog post (or something else!) and turn it into a useful, usable LibGuide.

 

Seems straightforward, right? A little copy/paste magic and it’s in LibGuides.

If you want readers to have the best experience, you’ll need to think about how to divide your content into pages and boxes so that readers aren’t left to stare at 1000 words or more all in the same box.

Write for the Web

According to a study cited by the Nielsen Norman Group, “On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

With online users scanning so little of your content, it’s vitally important that it is broken down into chunks that can be easily skimmed and includes headings and subheadings for better wayfinding. In our Content Rich Guides workshop, you’ll learn best practices for writing for the web and make sure that any content you bring into LibGuides is optimized for your online readers.

Join us for Creating Content-Rich Guides

This session includes active discussion so you’ll need to have a microphone available.

Pick the time that works for you:

What Can Your Data Do? A Comprehensive Look At LibInsight.

Get Ready to Be a Data Miner and a Data Major!

The time for looking at LibInsight is now. Data-driven decisions aren’t just buzzwords on a hot topics list. It’s the smartest way for libraries to fortify themselves in a climate where library budgets are being examined with heavy scrutiny, line item by line item. You need good data to fight the good fight. What is good data?

  • It’s particular — to your library, to this 6-month window, to a new initiative, etc. LibInsight is flexible allowing you to make an unlimited number of custom datasets that track what you need to stay on top of today and tomorrow.


  • It’s complete. LibInsight will hold your data from years ago to years from now. You can truly manage — and make sense of — everything you’ve been collecting by putting it all in one place.
  • Good data communicates. No longer just disparate figures in spreadsheets, LibInsight data can be considered side-by-side, year-over-year, you can take it from the top (looking at highest performers), or choose the bottoms-up approach (looking at zero-use). Good data tells you things, sidelining the best guesses.

Springshare puts “Look into LibInsight” at the top of your to-do list by assembling lots of helpful, excellent information on the powerful tool here.

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming LibInsight Webinars.

Using LibInsight to “Count” Library Activity

LibInsight helps you keep track of the number of events you have at your library, the number of library cards issued and renewed, gate counts, reference questions answered, and so much more. Join us for a webinar that discusses the kinds of things you can store and how to analyze the data and make dashboards.

Thursday, November 7, 2019 — 2:00pm – 2:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Analyze E-Resources

Are your E-Resources worth what you’re paying for them? Want to see how you can use COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 compliant dataset types in LibInsight to import cost and usage data to help answer these questions? Plan to attend this webinar and learn about SUSHI integration, too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 — 12:00pm – 12:30pm ET


Using LibInsight to Plan, Report, and Deliver Service Excellence 

Guest speaker, Derek MacKenzie, Head of User Services and Library Services from City, University of London joins us to share how they’re using LibInsight for service planning, internal communication, and deliver accreditation-awarded Customer Service Excellence. Don’t miss this special webinar, register today.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 — 11:00am – 11:30am ET

 

Useful Videos and Recorded Training Sessions.

Check out this five-minute overview of what data problems LibInsight solves.



Enjoy these mini-training videos designed to help you explore different dataset types.LibInsight Videos

For a Getting Started With LibInsight full training session, click here.

What People Are Saying: Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference 2019Are we even collecting the data that we need in order to make the decisions we have to make?

The Indiana University Kokomo’s Meg Galasso, the Information Services Librarian & Archivist, and Angie (Thorpe) Pusnik, the Digital User Experience Librarian, presented at this year’s ER & L Conference. Their talk, “Synthesizing Library Data with a Third Party Tool” focused on “Strategies to Collect, Analyze, and Share Data throughout the Library.” The tool they chose to add to their toolbox was LibInsight.

They stated that:

  • They tested/trialed lots of other data-analysis/statistical tools
  • None of them offered cost-per-use granularity but LibInsight does

They listed LibInsight Pluses:

  • Breadth — so many datasets.
  • Saved Money.
  • Ease — Historical data and cost-per-use data are easy to add.

Their PowerPoint presentation from the conference shares tips for creating datasets and their current dataset categories, which include: Access Services, Reference, E-Resources, and more. They also share advice on inputting data into LibInsight, Dashboard tips, and provide many examples of the kinds of charts and graphs they can analyze.

The librarians at Indiana University Kokomo’s smart work and commitment to analysis carry them toward the goal of bettering service for their patrons.

LibInsight is the tool to help you gather statistics, analyze trends, and assess services. The best way to get to know if it’s right for your library is to ask for a dedicated 30-day trial.

Until then, take advantage of the targeted resources provided here.

Your data is a critical asset. Activate your data by letting LibInsight show you an exact cost, number, or percentage, or give you the big picture you need.

Watch & Learn: Three Librarians Use LibWizard For Training & Assessment Needs

Special guest librarians share experiences with libwizard

The One to Watch.

There’s considerable buzz surrounding Springshare’s LibWizard because, like a good tool, it does the job. The full LibWizard package features custom forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials — all with an unlimited scope so you don’t have to limit your imagination or shorten your to-do list. In truth, it does many many jobs.

The surest way to cast light on what LibWizard is capable of helping you tackle — is to give working librarians a chance to present how they’ve set LibWizard to task! We featured their ideas in three recent webinars where, as special guest speakers, they were able to share their individual experiences with how LibWizard helps them address their high-level priorities. Your peer librarians provide insight into how they designed a process to

  • Train Student Workers at the University of Guelph-Humber
  • Commit to Student Assessment at Prince Georges Community College
  • and Train Staff at Wilmington University

If you didn’t get a chance to attend, we’ve got you covered! We have the recordings here for you so you can watch, learn, and begin to think of the things LibWizard can help you do at your library! You’ll soon discover that your checklist is more than doable with an efficient workhorse by your side.

Sue Hunter Extends the Training of Her Student Workers with LibWizard Components.

The University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, Ontario has roughly 5,000 undergraduate students. Sue Hunter, the Acting Manager of Library Services, oversees a Research Support Peers program. There are 10 RSPs on staff who are in their 2nd to 4th years of study and who come from all 7 academic programs on campus. They staff an information desk in the Learning Commons, which is separate from the library. They work to provide

  • Computer Support
  • Learning Support
  • Career Support
  • Research Support

Sue says,

The RSPs are really an important component of the library’s public service because they are the bridge between the students and library services and they help to extend the hours for research assistance by working in the evening and on weekends.

Watch the recording of her webinar to learn more about how she uses LibWizard to train this invaluable staff of student employees beyond their dedicated training day. Sue uses LibWizard’s surveys, quizzes, and tutorials to continue to build and reinforce the RSPs knowledge. This helps them to answer questions, provide guidance, and support the library with excellent service skills.

Marianne Giltrud Ventures Into the Wizarding World of Assessment.

Assessment of student learning ranks very high on the must-do list of many libraries. Marianne Giltrud, an Assistant Professor and Instruction Librarian at Prince Georges Community College in Maryland, notes that she began her assessment journey back in 2017 by designing a Pre-Test and Post-Test with the quiz feature in LibWizard. She then decided to embed the quizzes in a private LibGuide she built.

Learn more about how and where Marianne deployed this guide with her pre- and post-test. Plus, hear about how Marianne and her team created a Research Tutorial with LibWizard. 

Marianne shares that, what they built is

…a multimedia tutorial using Adobe Captivate and then we changed the Shockwave files into YouTube files and we embedded the YouTube in a LibGuide.

  • The tutorial is constructed so professors can cherry-pick sections they want to be taken.
  • It is designed to allow the students to re-take it up to 5 times so that learning is a process.
  • Marianne also customized it so that upon completion, certificates get sent to the professors.

Watch the recording to see how Marianne’s creativity and LibWizard come together for the library, faculty, and students at Prince Georges Community College.

Melissa Jones is Training the Library Staff with Ease.

Melissa Jones is the Learning Commons Librarian and LibGuides Manager at Wilmington University in Delaware. She has been using LibWizard forms, surveys, and tutorials for students, faculty, and staff since 2016.

Since she is so well versed in how LibWizard can be used, it wasn’t much of a leap for her to envision how she could use LibWizard in conjunction with LibGuides as a training tool and also as a knowledge base for their staff so they have something to refer back to. Melissa needed to tackle a couple of challenges:

  • She went from being the sole daytime staff member to suddenly having additional people on her team whom she needed to train with no organized training process in place.
  • The needs of the students are very situational and can change depending on what technology they’re working with, what they’re required to do for their courses and many other factors. So there was no way to prepare the new staff for every possible scenario they might face.
  • Much of the staff are part-time and they can only come to the library during their shifts. So the learning had to be accessible to staff while they are working.

Watch the recording of Melissa’s webinar to discover how she

…came up with something for training that would cover the skills for the most common tasks they needed to know, and the model needed to have assessments to check for understanding, and include a knowledge base so they would have a place to access general information and find answers in case they were working by themselves.

Springshare knows that like these awesome librarians — you, too, have a number of projects on your plate that have been brainstormed into life. See how LibWizard can help you get them off the ground.

King University Uses LibWizard To Create A Game Focused On Information Literacy

Looking For A Game-Changer?

In addition to their responsibilities in the library, many librarians also spend a substantial amount of time in the classroom. For those who tackle the incoming Freshman each year, teaching Information Literacy can be a sincere challenge. The difficulty is two-fold. How do you stay motivated and enthusiastic when you’re teaching the same material, asking the same questions and getting similar answers multiple times a day — year after year? We know if the instructor is not engaged, there’s little hope the students will be. Given that scenario, how do you instruct and prepare your students, many of whom don’t have much experience with libraries? How do you share the fundamentals that will help them with the entirety of their college careers and beyond? The answer might be… to put on your game face!

Emily Krug is an Instructional Services Librarian and Assistant Professor of Library Services at King University in Bristol, Tennessee. She shared with us her experiences as she created her game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, designed to introduce the concepts of Information Literacy. We’re inspired by her creativity and are thrilled to relay her story.

The Name Of The Game Is Innovation.

The first part of the equation is a teaching schedule that involves a lot of critical information to be shared in back-to-back sessions with 80 Freshman students in each. Complicate that with zero class transition time resulting in 45-minutes classes that are really 35 minutes. How do we make all that equal success? Shake things up. Come at the problem from a different angle. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Emily recalled, the origin story for her game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, came from the intersection of two exciting sources.2018 Battle for the Oval Kingdom Quest 1

The idea for the game, The Battle for the Oval Kingdom, came because of a professional development day that I participated in through the Mid-Atlantic Library Alliance. For the spring 2018 meeting, we invited Tasha Squires, who is a middle school librarian in Downers Grove, IL. She had created a game as a winter reading program for her middle school students and had won an award for the game. She presented and gave us a basic structure for how we could create something similar.

The other influencing factor was a session at the Library Collective Annual Gathering in March 2018, which takes place in Knoxville, TN, every year. At that session, participants played a game by Matt Finch called “Battle for Library Island,” which was essentially a roleplaying game designed to help libraries think through strategic planning for library services. Add to these two inspiring professional development opportunities the fact that my husband and I are avid board gamers, you can see why building a game was something I wanted to take on.

 

Her goal was to build a game “…in such a way that students could complete most of it outside class but also compete against each other for prizes.” Emily knew she needed the game to

  • introduce students to the concept of being information literate
  • and also to get students to come to the library in their first semester

In 2017, Emily was looking into LibWizard because they wanted increased “flexibility and a cleaner look for their online instructional program.” Because they were already using LibGuides, it was an easy leap to add LibWizard to build tutorials for their online courses. When the game was forming in her imagination in 2018, she was already armed with LibWizard and decided to use it as her tool for the build.

Start With A Good Game Plan.

Emily thinks back to recall the creative process and said,

I initially built the Quests for the game using Forms because the Quests themselves were simple questions. Most Quests had a short paragraph themed on the game followed by some sort of activity that the students had to complete.

Most of the Quests used text boxes for answers, but one Quest that required the students to come to the library in small groups used the file upload field so that students could upload a selfie that they took with a librarian.

One thing I particularly liked about the file upload field was that it works really well on a phone, which was how most of our students were completing the Quests.

Knowing the usage habits of your participants is key and an excellent indicator of how committed Emily and the King University Library is to having a successful outcome for this endeavor.

 

Emily wanted the forms to be embedded as an iframe widget so she used more of her creative energy to devise a workaround iframe code to put the forms into their learning management system.

Part of what made it work is that it makes nods to things like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, but it’s not using those characters. I wrote a screenplay for a short video introducing the game, and I created characters and a mythology around the game. Our villain is a Sauron-esque warrior called the Dark Lord Obfuscar whose primary goal is to make it harder to evaluate information. The citizens of the Oval Kingdom seek the help of the Order of Librarius, who have discovered the ancient practices of evaluating information in a tome called the Codex of Bibliog.

The team names are all plays on buildings around campus. That’s one of the things that I think made it work: I tried to incorporate our campus as much as possible into the game. We had a lot of support in that regard. Our Director of Student Life was in the video, our Provost agreed to play the villain, and someone from our marketing department filmed and edited the video.

As far as advertising and implementing goes, we didn’t have to do much advertising because it was tied to a class. The students received a grade for completing the main Quests, but we built in the competition through other game elements such as strategy cards and bonus cards. The Dean of Students is in charge of the course, and he’s a former librarian, so he and his team were excited about us trying something a bit new.

More Than A Numbers Game.

The Battle for the Oval Kingdom is a success. Emily shared the fact that students who participated last year have already come to ask her if they will be playing the game again. And, while she did also get some great feedback from a short survey she distributed on the awards day, we know that the high level of student engagement she cultivated is invaluable. Emily reflects on her experiences as she looks to this year’s batch of incoming Freshman. There are some changes to the set up of the Freshman Seminar at King Univesity this year that meant more sections, which results in smaller class sizes but Emily continues with the game as a solid component of their teaching strategy. She said,

While we could have more easily managed the class sizes this year, we don’t have the staffing to add 10 extra instruction sessions in the fall semester, so we decided to continue using the game as our information literacy outreach for Freshman Seminar.

Several of the Quests are the same or similar to last year’s, but we did change a few big things. For starters, I actually moved the Quests from the Forms feature of LibWizard to the Quizzes feature because I found out about the certificate of completion feature in Quizzes and Tutorials. One important piece of feedback that we received last year was that students couldn’t always tell when they had completed each Quest because it would reload if they refreshed the page in the Learning Management System. By moving the Quests to Quizzes, I was able to include a customized certificate of completion, and the students can save that certificate in case there is any question about whether they did the Quest.

We also extended the time for students to complete the game. Last year, we did the entire thing over the course of a week and a half, which included the Labor Day holiday. One thing we heard from student feedback was that it felt rushed.

Imagine students wanting to spend more time working on what is essentially an assignment! But perhaps in all the fun, they’d forgotten that part. They’ve really done it at King University Library. Emily Krug and the teaching librarians have come up with a fun way to approach Freshman Information Literacy and the winner is… everyone.