We’re super excited – the LibGuides sneak peek webinars start this week!
We’re offering sessions for our customers a couple of times a week over the next few weeks, and yes, for those of you outside of a reasonable time zone for attending, we will be recording them. (The recordings should be available by the end of next week. Keep an eye on the “Springy News” box on your LibGuides Dashboard for more info on that, when it happens.)
As you register, please keep in mind that there are a lot of folks out there who would like to attend. For that reason, we’re asking a couple of favors:
- Only register for one of the dates.
If you register for one and realize that you can’t make it, feel free to register for a separate date and then let us know which date you’d like to cancel.
- Share with your colleagues – have a LibGuides Sneak Peek watching party! One person registers for your institution (or your library within your institution), many benefit. (Especially with the party part of it! )
TIP: Click “Show in My Time Zone” before you choose a date from the list! If you don’t, it will default to the first available session in the list, so make sure you double check that you chose the right session.
See you there…we can’t wait!
There are three things you should know about Oregon State University. First, their mascot is Benny the Beaver. Second, OSU has more majors and minors than any other University in the state of Oregon – impressive! Third, they are the newest members of the LibGuides Community, with one of the nicest LibGuides customizations to boot.
The Twist in the story is that OSU’s Libguides content actually came from their legacy Library a la Carte installation which we helped them migrate into LibGuides – without any loss of content or disruptions. We developed migration scripts to import OSU’s existing Library a la Carte content into their shiny new LibGuides system, all without missing a beat.
Once the migration was complete, Librarians and LibGuides Admins did an amazing job prettying things up and customizing the look and feel of their LibGuides system.
The end-result? Tons of useful content that OSU community will benefit from, wrapped up in a sweet look and made available on the most popular library CMS platforms in the world. Now, OSU librarians can share content, ideas, best practices, and collaborate with thousands of other institutions and librarians in the LibGuides Community.
Check out these great examples of OSU’s new LibGuides:
We chatted with our new friends at OSU, Trey Terrell, Evviva Weinraub and Hannah Gascho Rempel, about their experience!
OSU Libraries has long been a proponent of using a content management system to create instructional content from course guides to tutorials. We began with our own open source Library a la Carte, which served us well for many years. But when it was time for a transition to something new, LibGuides were the obvious choice.
So if you’re contemplating a change, know that Springshare already has a plan and scripts in place to easily migrate your Library a la Carte content over. Contact us and we’ll help you make it happen!
There are few information gathering processes in academia as important as those of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Federally-mandated in the U.S. (other nations have their own systems), IRBs are designed to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects who take part in research.
But the IRB process, while recognized as vital, can seem onerous to busy faculty and other researchers and even to members of the boards that sit in review.
At Asbury Theological Seminary (ATS) in Kentucky, LibAnalytics is helping streamline the IRB process for researchers, board members, and administrative staff alike.
We interviewed Greg Sigountos, Instructional Resource and Production Specialist at ATS, about their use of LibAnalytics for institutional review data collection and management. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.
Q: Is the Institutional Review Board administered by the library or are you doing this for a different unit in the institution?
The IRB isn’t technically administered by the library, but the Director of the Library is the chairperson, and our Administrative Assistant is the board’s recording secretary. Our IT and web services areas are busy with other major projects, so the question came up: could we take care of this in-house, and use LibAnalytics? LibAnalytics let us have control over all the steps in the review process, rather than have to work on other departments’ schedules.
Q. Tell us about the old IRB info gathering process. What made you look for another way to do it?
The old way involved researchers downloading a fillable PDF, writing their answers down, and e-mailing the PDF. This was software-dependent: it required Adobe Reader, and sometimes in the past, the form stopped saving data for users. The form, once created, wasn’t editable by a user either. If a user wanted to resubmit or edit their request, they could copy and paste their previous answers, but then the OCR would produce bizarre errors, leading to emails back and forth asking for clarifications.
Q. How long have you been using LibAnalytics for the Institutional Review Board data?
LibAnalytics is new for us. In fact, having a data warehouse for the IRB records is new for us. We’re in an assessment crunch right now, though, and being able to store this data helps a lot. Using LibAnalytics for this has saved our department a lot of time and hassle.
Q. How do researchers access the LibAnalytics form?
Researchers access the form through our portal, on the same page as the old review link. I’m going to put together a LibGuide on institutional review as well, and will embed the widget there. All the questions are in a single column by request, as once a user submits the form it’s printed as a PDF by the Administrative Assistant and circulated to the board, before an ID, decision, and reviewers are added for our records.
There’s some jQuery in there to make certain questions appear based on the review type selected by the user, to keep it as uncluttered as possible for the end-user, as well as to break up a long checklist in the middle. The tooltips are made visible because of the length and importance of some of the descriptions, and because there’s a clickable link in one of them. The form also has a section where the user can select which additional forms they’ll need to attach, and the thank you message displays a list of those forms as a reminder
Q. How are you getting the records out of LibAnalytics and into PDF format for printing?
Printing is done from the view/analyze data section. I created a few print-specific stylesheet rules, and call a plugin so that multi-line text boxes expand vertically to match the amount of text. The fillable PDF would take 8-10 pages, depending on the length of some responses, but I’ve managed to knock that down to 3-4, which is a boon for readability. The board’s comments and recommendations can then be added into a few fields that are hidden on the widget, giving us a complete record.
Q. How has the new process been received by researchers?
Initial reports are good. There are still some pieces of the review process that can’t be put into the form, but I added some code to remind users which attachments they need to submit as supplements. We had our first resubmission happen recently, and it went through smoothly for the researcher- plus, we now have records of his first submission in case we need to track history.
Q. In addition to using LibAnalytics to streamline the process, are you analyzing the data and using it to help manage or guide institutional review at the school?
We are currently in an accreditation review period, so we’re analyzing every piece of data we currently have at the institution, and trying to put in place processes that will gather data we don’t have but are going to need. Right now, I don’t know what elements of the review process we’re going to actually analyze, but until then, it’s good to cast a wide net so that we have data to analyze down the road.
Greg Sigountos is the Instructional Resource and Production Specialist at Asbury Theological Seminary. He handles faculty support, some library infrastructure, and the design of the library’s websites. The B.L. Fisher Library at ATS uses LibGuides, LibAnswers, and LibCal, in addition to LibAnalytics, to serve its user community.
We love creating tools that make (professional) lives of busy librarians a little easier, a tad more efficient, and much more pleasant. As the saying goes, time is money so if we can save you time – especially when doing mundane tasks that “just need to be done” – that’s a big win in our book.
Let’s talk about one of these types of tasks: staff scheduling for various service points and departments. It’s all about spreadsheets, post it notes, endless back-and-forth about who can work when, where, how to swap shifts when needs arise, who to staff at which desk, how to let everyone know of any changes, etc. To add complication, most academic libraries have student assistants who have limited schedule and can only work a certain number of hours, public libraries have volunteers who can commit only a certain number of hours as well, and school libraries have parents and other volunteers who’d love to help if things can work around their already-busy schedules.
“There must be a better way”, we thought. How about a simple web-based system that takes into account the availability of each staff member, their other responsibilities, the max # of hours they can work, their shift preferences… and it makes it easy to change things when needed, i.e. swap shifts, and organize everything in one place, with awesome statistics to boot. Meet LibStaffer – a web-based staff scheduling system for Academic, Public, School, and Special libraries. With LibStaffer you can:
- Define and Develop Schedules for:
- Desk staffing
- Services staffing (virtual reference, telephone support, etc.)
- Department coverage
- Student Employees
- Library Volunteers
- Get the Whole Picture
LibStaffer shows you the schedules for all your services and departments in one place, with a variety of view options (daily/weekly/monthly, Timeline-based views, etc.). Filter those views to target shifts that still need coverage, filled shifts, shifts by staff member, etc.
- Effortlessly Create Repeat Shifts
Set up shifts once, and repeat them for as long as you like! Label and color-code your shifts for clarity, set the number of staff required to fill the shift, and even add notes so people know what to do during that shift.
- Auto Schedule Shifts
Assign each staff member “Favorite” shifts to create a repeating schedule in a snap! Plug in a date range, and Auto Scheduler takes care of assigning staff to shifts. We automatically resolve things like:
- Assigning staff to preferred shifts
- Scheduling conflicts across calendars
- Time-off requests
- Weekly / Monthly maximum work hours per staff member
- Manage Time-off Requests Online
Staff can request time off using categories that you define (Vacation, Sick leave / Dr.’s appointments, Conference Travel, etc.). Admins can approve & deny these requests, and leave notes for clarification.
- Shift Swaps
Optionally allow staff to swap assigned shifts automatically, or require Admin approval.
LibStaffer is only a month or so from official release, so we’re looking for a few forward-thinking libraries to participate in our “Fast-track Beta” to help us figure out the last few details before release.
Update: Thanks to overwhelming interest, we are no longer accepting beta site applications. To sign up for LibStaffer updates and be the first to know when it’s available, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The under-30 crowd has particular needs and particular ways they want their needs met. Pew’s recent report “Young Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations” says members of this age group are not only heavy technology users, but “value a mix of traditional and technological library services.”
Are you looking for ways to bridge the gaps—between the traditional and the technological and between you and your young users? Let Springy products help.
- Online Here, There, Anywhere. Younger adults are one-third more likely than the general adult population to have visited a library’s website, both in the library and remotely, reports Pew. What’s more, 40% of them have accessed library services and resources via a mobile device. Springy products let you reach this key group in what you might call their natural habitat. (All Springy products are mobile-ready, natch.)
- Answers at Their Fingertips. 16-29 year olds are 25% less likely than older Americans to get help from a librarian when visiting a library, reports Pew. But 77% of them say they would be likely to use an online Ask a Librarian service. Ring any bells? If you have LibAnswers, make sure you’re keeping these most-likely-to-ask patrons in mind. Don’t have LibAnswers yet? Here’s another good reason to add it to your suite of services.
Wazzup? (And When?) Nearly two-thirds of 16-29 year olds say it’s very important for public libraries to provide free events and activities, such as classes and cultural events, for people of all ages. At the same time, they’re less likely than older adults to be aware of what the library has to offer. Reach them where they’re at. Put your events online in LibCal and make them easy to find.
Public librarians: how would you use Springy products to reach 16-29 year olds and keep them as library regulars now and in the future. Read the Pew report and share your ideas with other Springy librarians in the comments.
Graduate Assistant Laura Browning was on a mission! She wanted to cultivate a strong collaborative relationship between faculty in the English department and the library’s instruction program at Florida State University. How did she accomplish this? Start off with a strong line of communication with English faculty and their T.A.s. Next add in a dash of marketing and library promotion. Mix in personalized emails and face-to-face meetings. And the cherry on top? Build a LibGuide that addresses each English class’s needs. View Laura’s ENC1142 & ENC1145 LibGuide.
Through hard work, Laura’s English LibGuide grew to over 7,000 views since August 2012 and is ranked 3rd in popularity of all the Florida State University’s research guides. English T.A.s walked away feeling that their class was treated specially and not glommed in with all the ‘English’ classes. Laura was able to meet the needs of the English T.A.s by building a targeted LibGuides page designed to address their research requirements.
“Libguides were a fundamental element in strengthening my collaborative relationships with the T.A.s.”
Not only was the project wildly successful it was also rewarding personally and professionally. Laura submitted her project to the Robert F. Alseson Memorial ALA Conference Grant and her winning essay afforded her a trip to ALA! She stopped by Springshare’s booth to share the good news and we couldn’t wait to interview her!
We hope we got your blood pumping with yesterday’s post about the next-gen LibGuides. But there’s more good news to share – we’ve been busy working on another platform which, we believe, will have an even greater impact on libraries than LibGuides has had.
Here’s the scoop… We know librarians love statistics. You collect statistics on all aspects of library operations, and keep those in spreadsheets, tick sheets, on staff computers; some stats are stored in your opac, some are with your e-journals aggregators, etc. Also, things change – a new e-journals aggregator, new catalog (especially when we develop one – JUST KIDDIN’ ;), heck you even change staff members, so what happens with your data? The whole “data all over the place”, “big data”, “small data”, “who has my data?” situation is a mess.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have *one platform* to gather, hold (forever!), and analyze all your library statistics – to track usage and capture trends using flexible charting tools, to easily run cross tab reports, to view & sort data tables, and to export data into presentations, annual reports, conference papers, etc. Or, why not just pull up your tablet at a meeting or a conference and create charts on the spot! Want to easily compare your statistics with peer institutions? You should be able to!
LibAnalytics Insight is our brand new data storage and analysis platform. It is an optional upgrade to our base LibAnalytics tool, but what an upgrade it is! Here’s how it works… First, you upload your spreadsheet stats (soon we’ll offer direct hooks to import data via APIs automatically). You then mix and match various Datasets and analyze all your data. For example:
(All community comparison options are anonymous and on an opt-in basis.)
- E-journals/Databases Analytics – with cost per click & cost per download analysis, platform-level usage and costs trends, journal-level analysis (top use/zero use journals, duplicate titles, etc.) You can also compare usage of any individual platform or a journal against peer institutions in the LibAnalytics community.
- Acqusitions Analytics – get a visual representation of your acquisitions activity – by funding codes, item location, Library of Congress classification, format, etc. Compare your stats to the other institutions in our community.
- Circulation Analytics – detailed insight into the circulation data – by location, by patron type, by popular items, by LC classification, etc. Create most-popular reports, compare annual trends on any combination of parameters, etc. And, of course, run Community Comparison reports to boot.
- Store statitics for annual reports such as NCES statistics and the like. Compare annual trends for any NCES data points, draw charts and see how your library stacks up against the community – any NCES datapoint can be compared against your peers.
- Track Library Budget trends? Heck, why not – LibAnalytics Insight makes it possible. Create as many budget categories as you want (expenditures or revenues such as printing fees, fines, grants, etc.) and track and analyze annual trends… whatever and however you need it.
- Create Datasets for tracking website statistics, gatecounts, Reference use, Archives visits… If you can dream it, LibAnalytics Insight can track it, by creating a custom Dataset for your specific needs.
Keeping all your statistics in one place also enables you to cross-reference data and produce mashups to get new and interesting angles on the usage of your library resources. What about creating publicly accessible dashboards for your stakeholders and your patrons can view select statistics on how the library is being used? Check!
Going to ALA? Come to booth #563 for a preview of LibAnalytics Insight. If you can’t make it to Chicago, check out the link below for a screenshot tour.
LibAnalytics Insight will be available at the end of the summer, and will only cost a few thousand dollars per year. We know what you’ll say – is that all?. Yes it is – we make our tools affordable so that every library can take advantage of them.