The new LibGuides & CampusGuides SEI update is live! Thanks go out to everyone who offered feedback that led to this major redesign of the back end interface. For a full walkthrough of the organization changes, check out: http://help.springshare.com/lgcg-sei. Here are some of our favorite highlights:
- The new Dashboard screen (you’ll see it when you first log in) is clean and (we hope!) easy to navigate. You can always get back to the Dashboard from any screen, thanks to the link in the top-left corner of the menu bar.
- Admins – the Admin Alert Boxes are here! You can create system messages, reminders, links to your help and style guidelines, etc. and display them right on the screen where your content creators are! You have 2 alert boxes available – one on the Dashboard, and another on the Create Guide screen.
- RSS Feeds – The Tools menu has all the tools you know and love (API, Widgets, Link Checker & Bookmarklet), plus the new RSS Feeds tool! Instead of hunting around through guides, user profiles, etc. to find the RSS Feeds for your site, we figured we’d make things easy on you and put all the feeds in one spot.
- Add-on Module – The Modules menu has a new link for Add-on Module users – this offers a quick way to upload images and manage your image library, and gives you a quick way to access your site’s XML export and individual Guide Backups (HTML)
As you’ll quickly notice, the biggest change in this update is organization. The administrative organization of the system hasn’t changed since LibGuides was introduced in 2007. In that time, we’ve added hundreds of features and tools, and the administrative interface was reaching a critical mass. We really hope you’ll find the new interface intuitive, and we’re excited to hear what you think!
-Slaven and the Springy Team
As an aside, we know that many folks are experiencing issues with Syndetics images displaying in guides. This issue is not related to yesterday’s update – thanks to an unseasonable Nor’easter that hit the East Coast over the weekend, Syndetics servers appear to be down. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we know our friends at Syndetics are working hard to get things back online as soon as they can!
We’ve often been amazed by the astounding growth rate for guides in LibGuides & CampusGuides – clearly, librarians have a lot of wisdom to share! And today’s milestone has surprised us yet again – as of today, there are over 200,000 librarian-created guides in the system, and more than 1.3 million pages of content in those guides. What’s more amazing is, it took almost 3 years to hit the first 100,000 guides, but only 1 year to double that amount – wow!!
A big round of applause and congrats goes out to all librarians creating and maintaining guides to publish and share information. Librarians are the best information/knowledge professionals out there and, in our opinion, many of these guides represent the highest quality information found on the internet. We love seeing this growth – more guides means more content is being shared, more ideas are being exchanged, and better quality information is getting out there.
Keep up the great work – onwards and upwards to the next milestone! Dare we say 1,000,000 Guides? With more libraries joining our community every day, we’ll get there sooner than you think!
As you may already know from the last couple of newsletters (June and September), we’re getting ready to release a new version of the system, with significantly updated dashboard and management screens. The current dashboard hasn’t changed since the system’s inception in 2007, and we’ve added hundreds of new features, so… things were getting a little cramped back there, if you know what we mean.
This update will affect all content creators in LibGuides & CampusGuides – System Administrators, Librarians, and anyone with an account in the system. We put together a guide - http://help.springshare.com/lgcg-sei - to help you with the transition. It has detailed information about the new stuff and a screenshot tour of the new interface. Please read it carefully to get acquainted with the new look and organization.
The actual code update will occur over the weekend of October 29-30. There will be no system downtime during this code update.
As always, we’re excited to hear what you think – if you have any questions, ideas, or kudos, don’t be shy – let us know!
Hey Hey Hey – we released an update for LibGuides & CampusGuides this weekend! Check out the new features & improvements:
- New Slider option to control column widths
Sick of resurrecting your math skills every time you want to create custom column widths? Us too! In any guide, head to Add/Edit Pages –> Resize Columns to see the new slider.
- Add a customized message on your site’s support form
Every LibGuides and CampusGuides site includes a link in the footer to “Report a Tech Support Issue”, which triggers an email to our Springy Support team and cc’s your primary site administrator. If there are different help channels that your patrons should be using, you can add a custom note to the “Report a Tech Support Issue” form! Check out Hillsborough Community College for an example. To add custom text to your site’s form, email Springy Support and let us know what you’d like to add!
- CampusGuides – New API option lets you filter by group
We’ve added a new filter for API calls! To filter an API call to return results from a specific group, add the term “&gid=xxx” (where xxx is the ID of the group you want to filter by). With this new feature, you can dynamically generate a list of guides, list of authors, list of subject categories, or tag cloud for an individual group in your system – neato!
- CampusGuides – Add a note to your IP rules
Having trouble keeping track of your CampusGuides IP rules? We’ve added a new “note” field – now, you can keep track of what those random-looking IP strings actually do. To view this new option, Admins can head to System Wide Settings –> Access Rules.
- E-Reserves – New course visibility options
This one’s for folks using the E-Reserves module. We’ve added a visibility option to E-Reserves courses. By assigning a course visibility date, you can show/hide courses (and all the e-reserve content they contain) by date. To edit your course visibility dates, head to E-Reserves –> E-Reserve Course List; click the “Course Visibility” drop-down to choose a custom date range for your course’s visibility.
Let’s hear it for code updates! We can’t wait to share the latest features & updates with you, so without further ado…
Simpify. Eliminate. Integrate. (Part 1).
Check out the latest edition of Springy News for a great visual walkthrough the new SEI changes! Here’s the highlights reel:
- Guide Index Screen – Say hello to the new central management hub for your ‘guides. We brought the heat, and revamped the Guide Index – now, you can view and edit guide info, editors & co-owners, tags, & subject categories for your guides all in one page. There’s also a wealth of new filter, sort, & export options from the guide index screen – it’s bonkers!
- Guide Editing Toolbar – Scroll, and the toolbar scrolls with you!
- Change Guide Info – We’ve reorganized the guide settings menu – now, everything is in one screen, separated by tabs, so the function you want is easier to find! We’ve moved lots of things to this screen, including the Guide Publishing options, Subject Categories, and Friendly URL.
- Add Box screen – We’ve added so many new box types over the years that the “Add Box” window was screaming for reorganization. Check out the Box Types Explorer, which outlines the box features. Added bonus: for all our Netbook users, you won’t have to zoom out to add a box!
Check out this month’s Springy News for screenshots & more info!
- RSS & Podcast Feeds – These box-types will now update more frequently, so the feed content you present will now be fresher than fresh.
- New Mobile Display – We’ve optimized the mobile version of your guides – users will now be presented with a guide’s tabs as options, rather than automatically expanding the 1st tab.
- Delete Link Info – When you go to delete a link from one of the “Links” box-types, you’ll see a list of the pages where the link has been reused, so it’ll be easy to see the impact on your guides!
- Admins: Rich Text Editor update – Admins can now hide elements in the Rich Text Editor (such as “Font family”, “Font size”, etc) – this can help minimize inline styles that your guide authors may be adding. Email us and let us know what you’d like to hide!
After we gave a sneak peek to our clients via last week’s newsletter, today I am pleased to announce that the Mobile Site Builder and LibAnalytics systems are now available for anybody to check out. These two new tools expand our Springshare web platform in two important directions – mobile web and statistical analysis. Both of these are hot topics for libraries, and since our goal is to bring the latest and greatest web technologies to our clients this is a natural extension of our product lines.
Mobile Site Builder (http://springshare.com/mobile) works with LibGuides or CampusGuides and it enables libraries to effortlessly create and maintain a professional-looking mobile website. We handle the coding, the automatic redirects for mobile devices, hosting, etc. – you just log on, create menus, submenus, add content and voila – your mobile users have information on the go. Mobile Site Builder is offered as a module to LibGuides/CampusGuides so our clients will feel right at home in terms of the ease of use and familiar interface. Oh, and did we mention it costs only $299/year? You won’t find a better deal for a comparable mobile tool, so get in while the going is hot. For more information, check out http://springshare.com/mobile, and let us know if any questions pop up.
LibAnalytics (http://springshare.com/libanalytics) is our new platform for recording, tracking, and analyzing data at your library. LibAnalytics grew out of our Reference Analytics module in LibAnswers. We took Reference Analytics, which was targeted for gathering reference statistics only, and added tons of new features, more fields (up to 30 metadata fields to track) and data types (multi-choice, numeric, & free-text), improved filtering, better charts and reports, greater flexibility, and … LibAnalytics was born.
If you like statistics and data (who doesn’t, right?) LibAnalytics will feel like data-Nirvana. Instruction Statistics, Reference Statistics, Workflow Statistics, … literally any type of statistical information can be recorded, tracked, and analyzed in LibAnalytics. And the pricing starts at $299/year for a single instance. Yes, you read that right - it’s affordable, it’s powerful, it’s great looking, it’s easy to use, it’s… a typical Springshare web-app. Take the first step toward becoming a Data Ninja: http://springshare.com/libanalytics.
Developing these tools wouldn’t have been possible without our awesome client libraries who are always giving us fresh ideas and great feedback, so big thanks to everybody who contributed their comments, feedback, and ideas which resulted in these two really neat, and really useful new tools. Onwards and upwards!
I’ll tell you a secret; Spring is my favorite time of year. It’s not the fresh-faced daffodils and tulips, or the Sparrow’s returning song, nor is it the return of reasonably priced berries in the grocery store. Hands down, the absolute best part of Spring is the super energizing phenomenon of Spring Cleaning. If you’re like me (giddy about cleaning and passionate about lists), read on for ideas on doing a bit of Spring Cleaning in your guides!
- Are you using the same content over and over in your guides? Now’s a great time to come up with a Reusable Content Strategy for your links to resources, content boxes, and even entire pages.
- Create a centralized “Storage“, or “Template” guide, and create “linked” versions of that content throughout your guides
- Any future changes to your storage content will automatically update in all the “linked” versions across your site!
- Thinking about a site redesign? Check out the Best Of Customizations for a bit of inspiration!
- Been holding on to outdated, unpublished content? Spring is a great time for weeding and decluttering!
- Looking for ideas on new goodies to embed in your guides? Check out Using Interactive Tools in your Guides for some fresh ideas!
Have more ideas for bringing the Spring Cleaning mindset to your guides? Share them in the comments!
This past weekend our friends at Serials Solutions announced that custom database names are available via their API, so we are now able to import those custom values into LibGuides!
The way it works is as follows – if your resource has been assigned a custom name in the Serials Solutions interface, we will import the resource into LibGuides using that custom name. For any resources that do not have a custom name assigned, we will use the default resource name provided by Serials Solutions as we have done in the past.
If you have already imported your resource list and would like to update your existing links to use the custom names, just run the A-Z import tool from within LibGuides and be sure to check the box for all links you wish to update. Any links that were previously imported using the default name will be updated to use your local, custom name – it couldn’t be easier!
If you’d like to learn more about this tool, check out our guide: A-Z Resource List Management
In our recent code update, the Form & Survey tool got a massive face lift. If you’re not yet familiar with the Form & Survey tool, it’s all kinds of awesome. It’s a standard part of any CampusGuides/CommunityGuides system, and offers a centralized way to manage, deploy, collect and analyze just about any type of form-based information. Creating forms and surveys only takes a few minutes, and we make them super easy to deploy by providing persistent URLs, and simple embed code. Results are collected in real-time, and can be exported directly into excel.
How can you use this tool? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few examples:
- Use it like a survey tool to collect:
- Formal feedback about library programs and services
- Targeted feedback about your guides (or any web-presence you maintain)
- Feedback on special events and programming
- Use it like a form builder to collect:
- New materials suggestions
- Appointment request forms
- Interlibrary Loan request forms
- Requests for live instruction sessions
In our recent update, we added many new features to this tool. We expanded the types of questions you can ask, which now include radio buttons, checkboxes, and drop-down selections, as well as single- and multi-line free-text fields. We did a massive update to the overall interface (mad props to JC!) – now, you can view a form’s properties/css style and a preview of the finished version side-by-side, so you can see your changes update as you edit! Form styles are fully customizable, so you control every aspect of the look and feel. We expanded the preference options, so you can control your form’s visibility dates, assign multiple email addresses to receive submission notices, and create optional password protection. We added an easy “copy” feature, so if you’re adding a new form or survey, you don’t have to start from scratch!
We’re very excited about these new updates. If you’re a current CampusGuides/CommunityGuides customer, you can check out the changes right now! If you’re not, what are you waiting for? Email email@example.com and request your free demo account!