Easier Contactless Pickups for Everyone

Contactless/curbside holds pickup started out as a method for safely delivering holds to patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic and will probably be here to stay… for good. And that’s a great thing! According to a recent Forbes article, curbside pickup is not going anywhere, even post-pandemic, because customers simply love it.

“The benefit of curbside is primarily the ability to order ahead, which should translate to no waiting. Customers don’t like to wait in line.”

(Kelso Why Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay-Even After The Pandemic Ends)

Importantly, curbside/contactless holds pickup is not just convenient and safe for patrons… it also helps staff by ensuring they don’t get overwhelmed in any one channel. By offering multiple methods for pick up (curbside/contactless, circulation desk, self-checkout kiosks, etc), it allows you to service several patrons at the same time.

What’s more, if you have a mobile platform to facilitate scheduling and SMS communication – you’ll see higher adoption and usage.

Pickup Manager: Scheduling & Communicating Holds Pickups

Last November, Springshare released Pickup Manager – our robust and feature-rich contactless holds pickup tool that includes scheduling and mobile chat/SMS communication.

Patrons can:

  • Schedule their holds pickup once they’re ready
  • Communicate with the library via mobile-optimized chat or SMS/texting when they’ve arrived
  • Provide their feedback by filling out a follow-up survey
  • Receive reminders when they haven’t picked up their items

Pickup Manager has ILS Integration!

Pickup Manager integrates with a variety of ILS Tools and we even have a generic SIP2 integration… so if none of the below match your ILS, we can integrate via SIP2 if that’s an available option!

  • Scheduling a Pickup Time slot: When patrons go to schedule their pickup time slot, they’ll be prompted to enter in their library barcode/pin. Pickup Manager authenticates to see if they have holds available that are eligible for pickup.
  • Checking Out Holds During Two-Way Communication: When the patron arrives to pickup their items and initiates a mobile chat or SMS/text, during the chat exchange you can check-out items to the patron directly from the Pickup Manager dashboard. This removes an entire step – checking out the items via the ILS – from the process!
ILS Integration:
Scheduling a Pickup Time Slot
ILS Integration:
Checkout Items When
Communicating with Patron
SirsiDynix SymphonyYesYes
SirsiDynix HorizonYesYes
Ex Libris AlmaYesYes
KohaYesNo
Innovative Interfaces Sierra YesNo

Don’t Have ‘Curbside’?

A lot of our academic libraries don’t have curbside pickup because they’re usually walking distance from the dorms and don’t have nearby parking lots. But, that doesn’t mean Pickup Manager isn’t right for you! Use Pickup Manager to handle *any* location where you want to schedule pickups – from a table in the lobby, a kiosk outdoors, or even at the circulation desk. It provides another channel/method for patrons to pickup their holds AND it helps you know who is coming where and when!

Attend a Webinar – Learn More!

Join us for a 30 minute webinar to see Pickup Manager in action – we’ll cover the entire process from scheduling a holds pickup, two-way chat/SMS communication, and even statistics and reports. You need to see it to believe how cool it is! Can’t attend any of the live sessions? Just register for any session below and we’ll send you the recording.

All times listed in U.S. Eastern Time

Citation

Kelso, Alicia. “Why Curbside Pickup Is Here To Stay-Even After The Pandemic Ends.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/aliciakelso/2020/09/22/restaurant-chains-rushed-to-add-curbside-pickup-during-the-pandemic-heres-why-theyll-keep-the-channel-after-it-ends/.

Coming Soon: LibCal Interactive Mapping!

A couple of weeks ago, SpringyNews readers were treated to a sneak peek of our new, optional LibCal mapping module slated for April launch. We’re sharing more info about it today, including an awesome video below showing the maps in action.

Functional, Interactive Maps That Put Your Users First

Book an available study room from a map

Our mapping module adds a new “wow!” factor to the process of booking library spaces and seats. With it, students and patrons select their desired booking time and are presented with interactive maps showing real-time space/seat availabilities throughout the building.

With LibCal’s mapping features, users can:

  • Navigate the building map to see bookable areas & their availability.
    • Space/seat colors indicate availability based on the user’s time and date selection.
    • Information bubbles show availability, capacity, and power and accessibility options.
  • “Enter” a building wing to see its rooms, tables, computers, e.g.
    • Book a preferred space or seat based on its location in relation to other spaces and seats
    • If a room has bookable seats inside, clicking on its area will open a new map with those options.
  • Get a clear sense of where everything is located before even entering the building.
  • Receive a directions map in a booking confirmation email for spaces, events, and appointments so they know exactly where they are headed when they arrive.

Our consulting team will work closely with you to produce beautiful, scalable maps that look great on desktop or on mobile (or if you already have maps that look great, send them over and skip this step), and then we’ll add interactive areas to it – i.e. the study, event, and meeting rooms, individual armchairs, and study carrels. Each hotspot area will be associated with corresponding zones, spaces, seats, and appointment and event locations in LibCal. Ask us to learn more about this process!

Video of Booking via Interactive Maps (No Audio)

Link a zone map to a space, seat, event or
appointment location, or another map

Interactive Maps = A Better Booking Experience For Users

Interactive maps not only improve the booking experience but they also help inform the user where they need to go in the library to get to their desired space. This means they will know exactly which entrance to use, what stairway or elevator to take, and where to go to reach their study or meeting room, computer, or study carrel.

Directional Maps for Events & Appointments

The LibCal mapping module also includes directional maps for events and appointments. The system automatically generates a static map showing the location of each event space, so when a user registers for an onsite event, the confirmation email also contains the link to the map showing the exact location of this space within the building.

The same is true for the appointment scheduler – the user will get the appointment confirmation email with the link to the map showing where the appointment will be held.

With these awesome directional maps, your users will always know where to go once they enter the building and can quickly locate the space once they arrive.

Learn More

Our LibCal team is putting the finishing touches on the mapping code in the next few weeks, and we are super excited to share the end result with you. If you are as excited about this new module, too, have questions for us, or just generally want to learn more, please drop us a line!

Also, we want to give a special shout out to the awesome librarians at EKU Libraries who sent us their maps and allowed us to use them in our demos. Thank you!

Last but not least – send us your maps, too – if you’d like to be an early adopter and send us your existing maps please let us know.

Help Where Patrons Need It: A Partnership With Lean Library

Today’s a big day here at Springy HQ! We’re excited to announce our partnership with Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing, that delivers library services directly into the patron’s workflow via a customizable plugin. The partnership will begin by integrating LibGuides with the Lean Library browser extension – allowing librarians to deliver contextual point-of-need instruction.

And this is just the beginning! We’ll be adding more integrations soon, including LibChat, so patrons can get live help from a librarian no matter what webpage they visit.

How Does It Work?

Within the Lean Library Dashboard, configure different resources to display depending on the webpage that the patron is currently visiting. So, if the patron is on scholar.google.com > the Lean Library browser extension will display your step-by-step Google Scholar LibGuide. If they’re searching inside your EBSCOhost databases, the browser plugin will pop-out your Advanced EBSCO Searching LibGuide to provide contextual help!

LibGuides Integration with Lean Library Browser Extension

All your patrons need to do is download the browser extension, and voila! They’ve got your contextual library resources right when they need it.

Increase Usage and Visibility

Putting your LibGuides, right at the point-of-need will increase usage and visibility. Don’t take our word for it – Utah State University conducted a pilot project with LibGuides and Lean Library integration. In just two months, they saw a 450% increase in usage of their Google Scholar LibGuide after it was deployed on scholar.google.com via the Lean Library browser extension. Learn more about Utah State University’s pilot program at ER&L annual conference today, March 10, 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET.

Utah State University LibGuides Usage

You Build a Lot of LibGuides – – Make Sure They’re Seen!

To date, over 200,000+ librarians at 5,500 institutions have built millions of LibGuides at over 80 countries around the world. These guides, undoubtably, take significant time and effort to create. With the Lean Library browser extension, you’ll be able to get more eyeballs on your LibGuides and increase your ROI by embedding them directly into the patron’s workflows. Plus, with the upcoming LibChat integration – patrons can launch a live chat no matter what website they’re on.

Want to Learn More?

The LibGuides/Lean Library integration will be available as an upgrade to existing LibGuides or Lean Library customers or as part of the new service Lean Library Futures.

To find out more visit leanlibrary.com/casestudies/utah or contact your Lean Library or Springshare representative.

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. 

Share Your #MyLibLifeReality

It’s still, definitely, winter, and our thoughts are with those in Texas and the rest of the United States dealing with the aftermath of last week’s extreme weather. We could all use a little laughter or a message of empathy right now to get us hopefully into a brighter spring/summer. And as we approach the one-year mark of when everything on our calendars went from “confirmed” to “canceled,” we would love to hear stories about #librarylife or classic or unexpected working from home (WFH) moments.

To that end, we came up with the My Library Life Reality” video series as a fun activity to hear from the library community and provide an opportunity to share work-life stories! And just generally feel a little closer to one another.

This week, we’re looking for 30-second videos that capture truly human moments people have experienced in their library work-life this past year. It could be:

  1. A funny WFH fail, “My child ran into the Zoom camera meeting with no diaper on.”
  2. A heartwarming experience, “I helped a patron going through a difficult time.”
  3. A learning moment, “This WFH hack saved me from going insane….”

And in the spirit of being there for each other and recognizing the importance of Black lives and Black History Month, we’re going to make a donation to Black Girls CODE for the first 25 video submissions.

How This Works:

  1. Create a 30-second video using a smartphone or video camera. You, your pet “coworker”, or your home workplace can be the star. Have fun with it!
  2. Submit the video no later than Friday, February 26, 2021.
  3. For every submission we receive, Springshare will donate $10 to Black Girls CODE (up to $250).
  4. The Springy team will select its favorite videos and highlight them on the March 2021 edition of SpringyNews.
  5. We’ll share as many videos as we can on Twitter and Facebook, too!
    1. Want to join the conversation? Use the hashtag #MyLibLifeReality
       

We want to get the word out – and max out donations – so please help spread the word on social media! Find us on Twitter and Facebook.

We hope you’ll share your #MyLibLifeReality with us and your fellow librarians and library workers!

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.

University of Liverpool: Going Global with LibChat

Last week’s Springshare Learning Lab with University of Liverpool’s Gwen Jones was a can’t miss event. But in case you did, we have the recording and presenter notes available!

Quick Overview

Gwen covers how the Univ. of Liverpool switched from being non-contributing (receiving backup chat support only) to contributing (giving and receiving chat support) in the Springshare 24/7 Global Chat community.

Takeaways

Gwen shares how they prepped and trained to get ready for answering chats from patrons from around the world including watching helpful videos on training.springshare.com and practicing with each other. She also shares helpful tips like:

  • Avoiding geographical lingo – ‘Banging’ in England has a totally different meaning in the U.S.
  • Learn how other libraries call things – One library’s Interlibrary Loan is another library’s ‘Get It For Me’.
  • Being the ‘student’ for once – When trying to help a patron from another library, you’re digging around that library’s website, FAQs, and Policy Page… much like a student. This experience helps you to better understand what your own patrons are going through.
  • What makes a good Policy FAQ – Looking at other library’s policy FAQs when you’re trying to answer their patron’s questions helps to make sure your FAQs are helpful, clear, and concise.
  • Helps with Professional Growth (no really!): – Gwen stated that the librarians love answering global chats so much, that if it was taken away the staff might revolt! Answering chats from other libraries around the world is exciting and helps staff hone their skills – which they can then take ‘home’ to their own patrons.
  • …. and so much more!

Watch Now!

More Learning Labs Coming Up!

Our aim is to have a Springshare Learning Lab every single month! Our next Springshare Learning Lab:

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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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.