Springshare’s Opt-In Options

Compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the GDPR lately. ICYMI, it’s very important. IMHO the GDPR could use an FAQ.  We are going to keep it simple and emphasis just three important points.

  • * Springshare is GDPR ready! We’ve released a new privacy policy.
  • * The changes we have made via our system updates are not just for our customers in the EU but apply to all our customers worldwide.

* There is no change in your ability to receive operational emails. You will still get emails generated by Springshare tools, for instance:

  1. New account emails
  2. Support ticket notifications
  3. Important administrative notices, etc.

The Choose Your Own Adventure(s) Part

Let’s have a look at the super fun choices you can now opt-in to receive going forward.

Springshare Newsletter – This is chock-a-block full of Tips and Tricks designed to help you get the most out of all our solutions. There are featured stories written about current Springy product highlights like this one on Creating Digital Library Storefronts with LibCal’s new Equipment Booking module. You’ll get the inside scoop on Recent and Future Updates like these UnBOOlieveable ones from a Halloween issue. Each issue is essential and exciting…like a map at an amusement park!

Promotions, New Products & Special Offers – Never miss out on learning what’s new at Springshare. Whether it’s excellent features that have been added to our existing solutions or being one of the first to hear about a brand new product that’s ready for launch. Plus, promotions and special offers are like real icing on the proverbial cake. Opt-in today!

Upcoming Webinars, Online Training & Events –  All our clients know that we provide free training and free support. However, it’s not a limited time thing that you have access to for a few weeks after you subscribe to a tool. We create new training sessions often and provide not just basics classes but admin and advanced classes, too. We also promote special webinars targeted to specific user groups like LibCal for Publics or LibAnswers for Academics, etc. And, we love to talk about Events we’re attending or ones we’re hosting like the Brunch & Learn series or our popular SpringyCamp, virtual user conference. Opt-in so you can attend, attend, attend to your mind’s delight.

So, before I say TTYL about the GDPR, if you want to continue to LOL or have a case of FOMO, make sure to opt-in to all the Springy Stuff you want, which is timely, super helpful and FUNfessional development.

LibAnswers 2.20 Coming Soon

The LibAnswers 2.20 release is on its way, and will be live in all regions by end of the day on Thursday May 24th. We have several great features to share, including GDPR privacy updates and an exciting announcement about upcoming changes to the Chat Operator screen!

GDPR & Privacy Related Updates

We’ve worked on a number of issues to help get LibAnswers ready for the impending GDPR changes. In case you missed it, check out our full GDPR post. Here are the tools we’re rolling out in this update:

Public Cookie Notice and Privacy Statement – We’re adding an optional, dismissible notice to alert users about the use of cookies and IP address collection on LibAnswers public pages. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.

Data Submission Notices – We’re also adding an optional data submission notification, to help you alert your patrons to what personal information you collect in order to submit a question or idea to LibAnswers. This gives you an opportunity to let your patrons know why you collect particular data in forms, what that data is used for, etc. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.

Expanded Privacy Scrub – We’re expanding our current privacy scrub options so that now, in addition to scrubbing patron name and email address, you can also choose to scrub all possible identifying information from both ticket interactions and/or LibChat transcripts on a rolling basis.

This new privacy scrub option will remove the entire contents of a ticket conversation and/or chat transcript – all of the messages that were exchanged between librarian and patron will be removed, and replaced with a short indicator message: [Removed during Privacy Scrub]. This option will also remove all of the patron’s responses to question and chat forms, so all possible identifying information will be removed.

With this new scrub option, your site will still retain usage data, so you’ll still be able to see things like how many chats or tickets came in by month, day, and hour. All potential identifying information will be removed and cannot be restored. Once the scrub is run, your tickets and/or chat transcripts will look like the following:

To enable the privacy scrub for your site, get in touch with our awesome support team and let them know whether you’d like to scrub just name, email, and SMS number, or whether to scrub the entire contents of the conversation for tickets and/or chat transcripts. Please also let us know how many months of data you’d like to retain before running the scrub.

Additional Updates and Fixes

  • We’ve added a new “Link to FAQ” option on the Add/Edit FAQ page, so it’s easier to add links to related FAQs when building an FAQ. To use this option, head to the Add/Edit FAQ page > Add/Edit Links.
  • We’ve added a Keyword Filter on the FAQ Entries Knowledge Base Explorer page, so it’s easy to filter results by a particular keyword. To try it out, head to the Knowledge Base Explorer and filter by Keyword.
  • We fixed a bug where Topic List Widgets weren’t opening links in a new window when that option was selected (now they will!).
  • We fixed a bug with the Helpful Tools search box on the Ticket Answer page – now, if you search for a public FAQ on this page, the results will open in a new window so you can easily browse existing FAQs.

And Coming Soon…Chat Operator Redesign!

We’re also hard at work behind the scenes to bring you a really exciting update – this summer, we’ll be rolling out a brand new interface for Librarians monitoring and responding to chats! This new interface will completely streamline the process of responding to patron chats – we’re moving away from having each chat open in its own window, and moving toward a list view of all of your chats in progress. Active chats are listed on the left, and each chat conversation is displayed on the right, so it’s worlds easier to manage multiple conversations without needing to rearrange chat windows. We’re also adding a host of frequently requested chat features with this update, including things like improved Group chats, improved alerts (including a nicer alert tone when new messages arrive), better integrated user history, and so much more!

Needless to say, we are super excited for the new chat update, but we also recognize that the new UI is a big departure from the existing chat UI. For this reason, the new chat UI will initially be an opt-in update – once it rolls out, all librarians at your site will be able to try it out live before you make the switch. Once your site is ready, your site admins can officially switch everyone to the new interface. If you have ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see in the new LibChat Operator screen, please let our support crew know and they will relay the message to the LibAnswers product team.

LibStaffer 2.7 Release Out Now!

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

Public Views of Schedules (and Widgets too!)

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

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

Google Calendar Sync

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

Available Shifts Email Digest

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

Edit Time Off Requests

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

Admin Shift Notes

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

Additional Updates

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

Privacy-related Updates and More for Your Mid-May

LibGuides Update

Coming this week! This month’s LibGuides & LibApps code release includes a slew of privacy-related updates. We recently announced updates to our privacy policy and tools per the upcoming enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. If you’re new to the GDPR, the enforcement date is May 25, and we at Springshare took the opportunity to review our privacy policies, procedures, and functionality. Check-out our full GDPR compliance plan and policy.

As part of this week’s updates, we’re adding in new privacy control features and we’re extending these “GDPR tools” to all clients around the world, not just our clients in the European Union. Any library, anywhere, using Springshare tools can take advantage of these new features.

Alert your users to how their information is used with a Privacy Alert Banner

We’ve added a new tab in Look & Feel that allows you to enable a small banner that shows on your public pages. The default language is short-and-sweet and also links to a longer Privacy Statement that details cookies and how we use information to collect statistics. This is a dismissible banner similar to ones you may have seen on other websites. It’s off by default; turn it on by going to Admin > Look & Feel > User Privacy Alert.

screenshot

You’ll also see privacy information displayed on your Account settings page, and if you use Patron Accounts, your patrons will see this information on their Account settings page. Patrons will also see this information on the Self-Registration screen, if you have Self-Registration set up.

Being GDPR-compliant also means providing a way for you to opt-in to the emails that you receive from us. Now when you go to your Account Settings page, you’ll be able to opt into the three types of emails that we send: our semi-regular Newsletter (full of tips and tricks as well as news!); our Promotions emails; and word of upcoming webinars, online training, and SpringyCamp events. We hope you’ll opt in for all three! We’re commited to only sending you one email/month in each of those three email cateogries. You can change your options at any time by going to LibApps > My Account.

New to Image Manager—Location Mappings!

Afraid to delete an image because you’re not sure whether it’s being used inside LibGuides? Never fear! Easily see where your images are used, regardless of their location! When you go to Image Manager, you’ll now see a number below each image. Click on the number to see where images are used. Potential locations are:

  • Guides:
    • Rich Text content
    • Gallery Boxes
    • Blog pages > posts and comments
    • Discussion Board Pages > posts and replies
  • System blog > posts and comments
  • System & Public Discussion board > posts and replies
  • Assets*:
    • Database thumbnails
    • Link thumbnails
    • Document thumbnails

You’ll see the mappings when you open Image Manager from LibApps or when editing content in LibGuides.

* Book covers generally are retrieved from Syndetics or Amazon and so are not included here.

screenshot

We will include the locations of images used inside your LibCal and LibAnswers sites, if applicable, in a future release.

Blog Subscriber Management!

Dying to know who has subscribed to your system or guide blogs? Us too! Now you can view the list and, if necessary, unsubscribe email addresses. Just click Blog Management on any admin-side Blog page to view and manage your list.

screenshot

Accessibility Update: Resource Icons

We made a change last year that saw blank ALT text added to Resource Icons. We heard from several of you who pointed out that while these are small, they tend to convey meaning, and sometimes even are linked, which means our move to declare these little beauties “decorative” was a move in the wrong direction. We’ve fixed that! The title of a Resource Icon is now used as its ALT text, and icons (and their links) are screen-reader and keyboard accessible.

As a reminder, your mileage may vary depending on your browser, operating system, and screenreader. We test with widely-used accessibility checkers, browsers, and screenreaders, but accessibility is often a moving target. Did we miss something? Let us know! (link opens in a new tab).

Small Fixes and Features

  • When only one expert is assigned to a subject, that person’s full profile box is shown.
    screenshot
  • Profile boxes added as custom boxes to guide templates now show the person’s correct title.
  • The A-Z databases page was changed so that it does not load Bootstrap when the admin has specified that Bootstrap should not be used across the site.
  • We corrected a name spacing issue that was interfering with LibraryThing widgets.
  • Since the Email Me button in a profile box is a mailto: link, we now validate email addresses entered there.
  • You are now able to edit link assets when you have filtered the assets list by URL contents.
  • We implemented the new Google logo for the Google Search content type, as well as added a missing ARIA label.
  • We added the white background to the LibApps menu, when viewed on a mobile device.
  • We corrected the processing of Gallery Boxes so that all slides do not show momentarily in Internet Explorer, and all Gallery Box content loads more speedily.
  • Notification emails for blog posts now contain a full URL rather than a relative one, which was confusing some email programs.
  • We inadvertently changed how A-Z database search results were presented. They’re now back to a single list, sorted by Relevance.
  • Resource icons order has been restored to sort by the order in which they were added.
  • In keeping with common practice, RSS feeds for blog pages now return the first 10 posts, rather than the entire blog feed.

LibCal 2.15 Release Coming Soon!

The LibCal 2.15 release is on its way to you this week, and will be rolled out to all regions by the end of the day Thursday May 17th. We have tons of goodies to share in this release, including a brand new Card View, plus new filter layouts for upcoming events, and several GDPR related updates. Read on to learn about all the great new features coming your way this week!

Card View and Flexible Filter Layouts

Searching for public calendar events is about to get a whole lot more flexible – Card View and flexible Filter layouts are here! We’re adding two new public side options to make your events stand out from the crowd:

Card View – We’re introducing a new “card” layout to show your upcoming events in style. In this new view, each event is represented as a card – the event’s date, time, and location are displayed at the top of each card for easy scanning, and each event’s title and description are displayed inside the card, with categories and audiences displayed at the bottom. This new layout is integrated into all public calendar views, so your patrons can switch to the view that works best for them with just a click.

Flexible Filter Layouts – With such a lovely new view of upcoming events, we realized it would be great to get even more flexible – we’re introducing a new display option so you can choose whether your calendar event filters display on the left side of the screen (as in the above screenshot) or across the top. This new top view for filters gives the various event layouts much more room, and works a treat for mobile users.

To choose the default view and filter layout that works best for you, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Settings.

Good to Know: In order to make these new features possible, we had to centralize the Calendar Display templates at the system level vs. individual calendar-level. It used to be possible to customize the monthly view and list view templates for each calendar, via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Display Settings. Once the release is live, these templates will no longer be part of individual Calendar settings, and will be located under Admin > Calendar > Settings with only a single template for each view (Event Listing and Monthly), which will apply to all calendars in your system.

Internal Tags

In addition to the great new event views mentioned above, we’re also adding a new classification option to help manage and view your events – Internal Tags are here! These optional tags provide a way to classify your events for internal statistics and data gathering purposes, and are never shown to the public. When events have been tagged with these new internal tags, you’ll be able to filter all statistical reports and booking explorer pages by this parameter, which makes it easy to view ex all of the events tagged with “New Ideas” or “Funded by STEM Grants”.

To create Internal Tags, admins can head to Admin > Calendars > Internal Tags. Once these have been created, they will display on the Add/Edit Event page, in the Booking Explorer for each calendar, and in our super cool new Calendar Statistics pages.

GDPR & Privacy Related Updates

We’ve also worked on a number of issues to help get ready for the impending GDPR changes. In case you missed it, you can check out our full GDPR post here: https://blog.springshare.com/2018/04/25/gdpr-your-data-new-privacy-tools-so-much-good-stuff/. Here are a few additional tools we’re rolling out in this update:

  • Public Cookie Notice and Privacy Statement – We’re adding an optional, dismissible notice to alert users about the use of cookies and IP address collection on LibCal public pages. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Data Submission Notices – We’re also adding an optional data submission notification, to help you alert your patrons to what personal information you collect in order to create a booking. This gives you an opportunity to let your patrons know why you collect particular data on registration forms, what that data is used for, etc. To turn on this notice and customize its text, admins can head to Admin > System Settings > Privacy Settings.
  • Expanded Privacy Scrub – We’re expanding our current privacy scrub options so that now, in addition to scrubbing patron name and email address, you can also choose to scrub patron responses to all registration form questions. When the privacy scrub has been enabled, we still retain an overall usage statistic – so for example, if a space booking is being scrubbed, we retain the booking’s start and end time, but remove all identifying information about the person who created the booking. To enable the privacy scrub for your site, get in touch with our awesome support team and let them know which module(s) you’d like to scrub, whether to scrub just name and email or include registration form questions too, and the number of months for which you’d like to retain data (choose from 1-12 months).

Additional Calendar Updates

  • We’ve added an easy way to Migrate from Calendar level Categories to the new System-wide Categories and Audiences. We’ve added a new option to Transfer a Calendar-Level Category to the system level Category and Audience pages, so switching to the new system-wide options is a breeze – head to Admin > Calendars > Audiences/Categories to see it in action. In addition, if you delete a calendar level category (via Calendars > Edit Calendar > Settings > Categories), you’ll see an option to migrate existing events to the system level Categories and Audiences.
  • We’ve updated the Add/Edit Event Page so all of the menu selectors have the same look and feel, and and all of the help text has been updated as well.
  • We’ve updated the Mini Calendar Widget so that, if there are no events happening in the current month, the widget will display events from the next month.

Additional Spaces and Equipment Updates

  • We’ve fixed a bug with editing a patron’s equipment or space booking – previously, if you were changing an existing reservation to a different date (both before and after the original booking date), the alert messages that check for booking clashes weren’t updating to the newly selected date, which could create incorrect booking clash notices.
  • We’ve added the ability to Export Equipment and Spaces Statistics.
  • We’ve updated the Equipment and Spaces public pages to better alert patrons when they attempt to create a booking that exceeds the amount of time they’re permitted to book. Previously we only alerted users to these issues after they had begun to fill out the registration form; now, we’ll alert issues as soon as they attempt to select timeslots that exceed what a person can reserve in a single booking, before they reach the registration form.
  • We’ve fixed a bug that prevented selecting “User Showed Up” when a space reservation spanned days.

Additional MyScheduler Updates

  • We’ve made a number of accessibility improvements to the public MyScheduler Appointments page, so it’s easier for users with assistive devices to navigate the page and know that something has changed when they select a librarian, date, and time.
  • We’ve fixed a bug with MyScheduler Appointment Categories that contained padding – previously, patron email confirmations weren’t taking this padding into account, but now they do.

And speaking of MyScheduler, we are working on a major overhaul and tons of new MyScheduler functionality in the next couple of months. If you have ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see in MyScheduler, please let our support crew know and they will relay the message to the LibCal product team.

Are you a Social Butterfly?

What are you saying? And how?

The minute you get out of bed, you have a new day and with it the opportunity to be social, if you choose to be. Though, perhaps, even your choice to keep to yourself all day and not interact with people is still communicating something. Previous generations tried to hammer home the recommendation that you should think before you speak.

Today, there are so many ways to speak to each other that we should be thinking all the time about what we’re saying and how. We can go even further to suggest that when and where should also be current considerations.

What about why? Well, the why seems to be the same reason throughout time. The why…is to connect.

Social Media — Sounds fun, right?

The idea behind social media is a really great one when you think about it. You read a good book and you fall in love with it. You tell everyone you run into about it. Excellent. But, now, you also have the option of tweeting about it, posting it on Facebook, shooting out the cover on Instagram, putting it on a Pinterest board, etc. You can share the love far and wide. It’s fun to share. But, what we’re talking about is a bit different — more about cultivating a social media voice. Coming up with a cool game plan and having an entertaining voice. We have some clients doing exactly that.

According to a Pew Research Social Media Fact Sheet, all age groups studied from March of 2005 to January of 2018 have shown a substantial increase in social media use. In the 18 – 29-year-old category, the numbers went from just 7% to 88%. So, it stands to reason that Academic Libraries would step up their social game. The English Faculty Library at the University of Cambridge sent out a tweet pointing their followers to a LibGuide they created on Shakespeare resources. They’re not the first to build such a guide, nor the first to publicize a guide’s existence via tweet. However, they took a great approach.

How much do we want to check out that guide?! Even more, how much do we want to go to that library and interact with those librarians? And, that’s the ticket. This whole action plan makes perfect sense, too. You’ve built these excellent LibGuides and crafted amazing LibAnswers FAQs. You’ve put together LibWizard tutorials and set up Events and Spaces in LibCal. Using Social Media to spread the news about them is a marketing strategy that boosts the usage of the stuff you’ve built and the resources you’ve included within them. Next, the challenge is to be creative.

The best way to connect is to listen.

The University of St. Andrews Library is fearless and inventive in the way they interact with students. Like many institutions, they have a way for people to write out comments or provide feedback. What’s super is that they scan those comment cards and then create a LibAnswers FAQ out of it. Going the extra mile, they create a tweet with the original comment and then include a link to the FAQ with the complete answer.

Additionally, this helps to close the feedback loop. How often have you been solicited for your feedback, only to see it disappear into the ether and go…nowhere. Posting the actual comment cards, with the link to the FAQ demonstrates that solicited feedback was received, discussed, and responded to – even if that response is no. Points for being thorough!

Every interaction is an opportunity to show who you are.

In a Sprout Social report, it was discovered that — no surprise — people don’t like being ignored. What was surprising was how “…90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand.” Apparently, “social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service”, according to Sprout’s consumer survey. The University of St. Andrews Library is clearly one step ahead as it takes paper comments and shares the questions and answers with its followers to reach as many people as possible. They’re being proactive in the Social Media world. No matter which channel your patrons choose to use to communicate with you, it’s always a good idea to be responsive.

The University of Liverpool Library saw a tweet, that by the admission of the sender, seemed to be a complaint that might not have needed such a public forum. But by using social listening, the library took the opportunity to connect and in doing so, showed not just that one person but all their followers how engaging their librarians are…even when the library wasn’t directly included in the tweet.

The library shows it’s listening, even if the outcome isn’t resolved, proactive listening goes a long way to alleviate customer issues. Then they present a LibAnswers FAQ that details the food and drink policy in the library and which identifies where the water fountains are. A spectacular example of the LibAnswers Platform’s ability to have staff entered FAQs come in handy. And to keep their presence light, they add in the bit about hydration – sure to put a smile on the face of their frustrated patron.

So, let LibGuides and LibAnswers do the heavy lifting for you. You’ve most likely created excellent content in there. Then pay attention to your Social Media channels for opportunities to interact with your patrons, link to the guides and FAQs that give them all the particulars they need.

Consider using LibAnswers Social Media Management with built-in Social Listening to create richer patron experiences, instill a company culture of social listening, and closing the feedback loop.

Then enjoy your followers. Have fun with them. Be yourself. Make a connection.

GDPR, Your Data, New Privacy Tools… So Much Good Stuff

We live and breathe libraries, so we know very well how important privacy issues are to you, our clients. Even before GDPR-related conversations sprung (no pun intended 😉 to the forefront, Springshare has always been very careful with handling our customers’ data. We’ve never used customer data for profit or shared it with any third party. We are pleased that the rest of the world (well, at least the EU part of the world) is catching up and valuing user privacy with the same vigor and care as libraries have done all along.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced on May 25, 2018. We took this opportunity to review our privacy policies, procedures, and functionality to ensure that Springshare – and our client institutions – are in full compliance.

This is what we’re doing to that effect:

  • GDPR Compliance. Our GDPR Compliance Plan explains our relationship with our customers and users, and the specific steps we’re taking to ensure compliance – both for Springshare and our client libraries.
  • Emails You Receive from Springshare. Your privacy extends to the emails you receive from us. We will continue to send important operational emails to users, but communications including the Springshare newsletter, new product releases, training webinars, and SpringyCamp announcements will only come to you if you explicitly opt-in.
    • You do not need to do anything now. We’ll contact you in the coming weeks on ways you can opt-in to receive Springshare emails.
    • If you don’t respond to the forthcoming opt-in emails, don’t worry. We’ll consider that you opted-out of these emails, but you’ll be able to opt-in at any time on your “My Account” page (after May 25).

New Privacy Control Features Extend to All Clients

It’s worth emphasizing that these new “GDPR features”, as explained in our GDPR Compliance Plan, will be available to all our client institutions around the world, come May 25. In other words, we are not limiting the GDPR-related privacy features of our tools to our EU clients only. Any library using Springshare tools anywhere in the world can take advantage of these new privacy-related features.

Thank you for trusting Springshare to handle your data with transparency and care. If you have any questions about these changes to our products or our policies, please feel free to contact our support crew or email your Springshare account manager directly. Interacting with our clients is the best part of our day.

Become a LibAnswers Groupie

LibAnswers Groups Functionality is taking hold.

LibAnswers is the complete multi-channel communication solution. It’s brimming with features. There’s a knowledge base FAQ, SMS/Texting, LibChat, a Systems and Services Management tool, Social Media Management, Query Spy, super robust statistics, the Reference Analytics module, Twitter integration, Widgets, a powerful Ticketing System, Public-facing Groups and more.

Show us your good side.

In a LibAnswers Platform system, you can create an unlimited number of public-facing groups. These groups can either be public or hidden/internal. This allows you to organize FAQs topically. You could have a group called Writing & Citing like they do in the American Public University System. Or, a group called Digital Media, like the one at Gwinnett County Public Library. You can create internal groups that colleagues use as an intranet, professional development, or work manual. These restricted internal groups are only visible to those who are logged in to your LibAnswers system. If you don’t want to restrict access to a group of FAQs by login, create a hidden group instead. Hidden groups are visible to those with whom you share the URL. This is often for use by faculty at a university, for instance.

Using public FAQ groups, your patrons can find the answers they need more efficiently because you’re presenting them with a collection of FAQs that address their specific matter. We are familiar with this because it’s how so much of our searching today is made more productive. You can shop on a website and more easily find what you’re looking for by being able to narrow your search within a group like electronics. Your library handles so many questions and devising a way for them to be conveniently found is a great strategy. Once in those groups, people can discover so many more questions– to which they would also like the answers to — that they may not have thought of on their own.

Do you like groups? Check (outside) this box.

Springshare clients never cease to amaze when it comes to innovative uses of the features in our solutions. We give you groups functionality and you give us something completely outside the box. The United Nations – Dag Hammarskjold Library is one such client. Their Ask Dag LibAnswers system is not only immensely popular with 885 public answers available, it has employed the groups in a way that serves their particular users.

If you’re not aware, the United Nations has six official languages that they support. They have changed the label from By Group to By Language where they have English, Espanol, and Francais as the choices. In a word that is nearly universal, Bravo!

Southern New Hampshire University, which serves 3,000 on-campus students and 90,000 online students, has an SNHU LibAnswers system that is firing on all cylinders.

They are using their groups to serve as library website web pages. This allows them to create a webpage that has the thumbs up / thumbs down feedback feature that LibAnswers provides. It helps them keep their fingers on the pulse of what the students think of what they’re presenting.

Beautiful, inside and out!

We know how much work you put into creating excellent answers. The LibAnswers Platform allows you to include links and images, even upload documents or videos to make your answer pages dynamic and engaging. But, a little attention to outer beauty never hurts. Groups are independently customizable to have their own look and feel. Each has a set of pages you can tailor-make: a home page, FAQ page, and search results page. You can customize the header/footer, banner, add custom javascript and CSS code. All of this can be done in your group’s Look and Feel options.

Turns out, it’s not hard to be a fan of groups! They’re designed to help your users swiftly get the answers they need. They are flexible enough to use in a number of public and private ways. And, you can even pick the color! Learn more about being a LibAnswers Groupie, contact Sales, if you don’t already have LibAnswers or need to upgrade to the Platform.

LibAnswers webinars and training sessions:

Join us for this special LibAnswers session in April

Register to attend these LibAnswers training sessions in May

 

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

It’s nice outside. We should do something!

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

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

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

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

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

In no time at all, you can also add in

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

Schedules make the world go around.

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

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

You’ve planted the seeds, now stand back.

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

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

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

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

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

Come rain or come shine.

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about LibStaffer

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

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

We’re Launching a New Solution: LibTote and LibTote Platinum

Smart Technology You Can Take With You…
To Help Take Other Things

We’re holding nothing back with our latest contribution to the Library world and we’re happy to announce our newest tool, LibTote – The Smart Tote for Librarians. It’s chock-a-block full of the features you’ve come to expect from the makers of LibGuides and it comes with our signature free training and free support. Let’s get to the bottom of this bag of chips.

The Why

As big listeners with a fervent desire to keep up with the public’s needs, the development team began work on LibTote because of what they know in their bones. There are two kinds of Librarians in this world… and they both love Tote bags. In a time where compromise and self-restraint are for the ambidextrous, Springy techs decided to take on the Herculean task of solving this community’s age-old problem, How can I keep collecting, while managing my tote bags? And, beyond that, how do I optimize my tote use?

Questions led to coffee and coffee led to bathroom breaks and the lonely walk back to the drawing board led to innovation. So, dear librarians, you won’t have to think twice about whether you need another tote bag like you need another hole in the head. You won’t have to choose the slinky with the company logo or the sad, tiny tootsie roll from the faceted crystal dish. No, not on Springshare’s watch. You get that tote bag and you put it in your LibTote!

The What

What’s the best thing about you? You have more tote bags than anyone you know. What’s your biggest fear? That there’s one more out there… and it’s great! Fear is for fanny packs. LibTote takes your fear and turns it into lemonade.

LibTote features:

  • Smart Expansion – Too big? Too small? LibTote says, too-dles to that kind of thinking.
  • Socially Conscious – A Smart Tote ought to have a Sweet Heart.
  • Blue’tote Functionality – It has to be wireless and hands-free. LibTote is a shoulders game.
  • Tote-exa Customizable Voice Commands – Doubles as a vocal warm-up for your presentation.
  • All the Stats Your Tote Can Hold – Numbers, like the hips totes rest against, don’t lie.

The How Do I Get One

To learn the details about LibTote, see the Platinum edition with the patented Cat’abiner and Conference Mode, read client testimonials, and check out upcoming training sessions, visit LibTote website.

For more information, details on how to order, and client testimonials: https://buzz.springshare.com/libtote

Twitter_logo_blue_50pxIf you’re already a proud LibTote user, tweet us your #LibTote pictures and tag us @Springshare.