Hey there, LibChat users – we’ve got several exciting updates to our existing chat widgets to share!
Encourage users to add a name to the chat: Instead of auto-filling the “Guest” name in the initial chat form, we’ve added a new checkbox option. Users can still chat anonymously, but we think the switch will encourage users to share their real name.
Ask Users a Custom Question: Prompt your users to answer a single question right in your chat widget. Ask anything, whether it’s “What’s your initial question?”, to “Is this for a class? If so, what’s your course number?”. Their intial answer will show up in the operator panel – here’s what it looks like:
Comments/Feedback at the end of the chat: We’ve added a new comment box to help collect feedback from your users on your chat service. It displays underneath the star rating when a chat concludes.
- color_backg: “#E7F3EF” (Background color)
- color_border: “#AFB6B4″ (Text input borders and main border color)
- color_heading: “#3278E0″ (Heading/Title & Chat button color)
- And here’s what those settings will create –>
As usual, we’re super excited about these changes to the chat widgets! For our next act, we’ll be updating the embed code pages to generate the color customizations automatically – keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks. If you need more instructions on customizing your chat widget, these customizations (and a lot more!) are covered in our help documentation.
If you’re not chatting with LibChat yet – why not?! Check out the features and view a 3-minute video of the new functionality – and when you’re ready to jump in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get chatting!
A brand new version of LibAnalytics is coming your way – and 10 out of 10 early-adopters agree, the new functionality is bananas-awesome. Here’s a quick taste:
- More field & data types, including multi-value select, date-pickers, and sliding scales, to name a few
- Enhanced Access Control limits access to Datasets to just users you designate
- New Widgets to make data capture by librarians and non-librarians easier
- New and Improved Charts with a bevy of new filtering and reporting options
For a great overview of the new functionality, check out our recorded overview:
We’re also thrilled to introduce our newest cool feature - Dataset Templates. We’ve heard from many ninjas that the toughest part of getting started with LibAnalytics is creating Datasets (formerly “instances”), so we’ve come up with a little something to help. These templates were created by the Springy Trainers, and are based on the things *we* used to collect at our libraries, like:
- Instruction Session Stats
- Pre-Instruction & Post-Instruction Assessment
- Library Instruction Session Request Form
- Database Trial Feedback
- Reference Statistics
- Circ / Info Desk Statistics
- Liaison Program / Faculty Support
- Staff Presentations / Conferences
- Weeding Projects
- Website Feedback
- Book Purchase Request
- Foot Traffic / Study Room Statistics
You can copy these templates into your system (select Create New Dataset & use the dropdown to Copy Fields From Springy’s Templates), then change the fields and values as necessary to make things relevant for your own institution. To view the full list of Dataset templates & detailed instructions, visit the Help Site.
The new LibAnalytics represents an entirely new code base, so if you haven’t switched to the new LibAnalytics yet, we’ll be migrating clients in stages this summer. Please contact us at email@example.com and we’ll work out the best way & time to migrate your site to this awesome new system!
In the words of Dr. Frankenstein, “It’s Aliiive!” – the LibAnswers update, that is. In case you missed our preview post last week, remember: you can check out a full list of the new features available at
. We’re super excited to tell you about the new Email features. You can now choose to funnel emails sent to a specific email address – like firstname.lastname@example.org – straight into your LibAnswers system.
Instructions for setting up the new Email features can be found below. We highly recommend that admins take a look at the new Email Settings page (found under Admin Stuff -> System Settings) to confirm settings.
If your Libanswers system is on the libanswers.com domain:
We’ve set you up with a generic email address already – ask@*.libanswers.com (where * is the lead part of your domain). Change this to whatever you’d like – head to Admin Stuff -> System Settings -> Email Settings.
If your LibAnswers system is on your own domain (ex: school.edu):
We’ll work with you (and your IT folks) on set up – email us at email@example.com to get things rolling. There are two primary options:
- Ask your IT folks to redirect a whole domain (like @ask.yourlibrary.edu) to LibAnswers. Similar to setting up Custom Domain Mapping, this requires your IT to set up a DNS record. Contact us for specific instructions. This is the most reliable way to receive and send mail with a non-libanswers.com address. [Please note - this will apply to the entire domain - it won't work for one address in the domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend using a dedicated domain, like @ask.yourlibrary.edu, for this reason.]
- If your IT folks aren’t keen on setting up a custom domain, you can forward specific email accounts to an Incoming Email Address. Patrons can still email email@example.com, but the message will forward to firstname.lastname@example.org for ingestion into LibAnswers. Contact us and let us know what you’d like email@example.com to be (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Plus, LibChat is here!
We had a code rollout last night – read on to discover the new features we’ve added!
- E-Reserves Updates- we’ve introduced a ton of new features for the E-reserves module!
- We’ve added a new E-Reserve Request Form option! This makes it easy to collect reserve item requests from instructors. For more information, check the FAQ, Jack.
- We’ve added a new IP restriction option, so you can restrict the E-Reserves area by IP
- You can now reorder E-reserve items in courses
- You can now create E-Reserve items directly from the E-Reserve page in a guide
- You can now create E-Reserve folders directly, independent of items
- We added a “Course” filter on the E-Reserve Items control alrea, making it easier to manage items
- We’ve added Hex Color Pickers across the site, making it easier to select color options
- We’ve overhauled the Guide Layout/Colors screen, making it easier to create your guide look and feel
- CampusGuides Clients have a new Access Restriction option: Limit access to your system to logged-in users only. In other words, only people who have an account in your CampusGuides system can view published content in your site. To enable this option, shoot us a message – email@example.com.
- Credo Search Content Box - Add a search of your Credo Reference content, and display results right in your guides! To see it in action & learn how it works, check out our help guide.
- We also added lots of little niceties and fixes, including:
- You can now submit the “Add Box” page by hitting enter, instead of needing to manually click “Submit”
- We’ve added character limit warnings to several areas, including custom profile fields, adding tags, etc.
- Discussion board posts should now reflect your local time
As always, thanks to everyone who suggested new features. Keep em coming, we love to hear from you!
Five years ago, George Bush was president, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, Steve Jobs announced the first generation iPhone, and a library-loving company called Springshare came into being. What a long way we’ve all come since then! As you can tell, we’re feeling a little nostalgic on this, the 5-year anniversary of the first LibGuide. Sadly, that guide has since been retired, but like all nostalgic people, we enjoy looking at snapshots through the years – and we thought you might too!
Here’s the first iteration of the LibGuides home page – thanks to Michael Stephens for sharing this image!
The admin page, circa 2008 – thanks to Kelly Smith at Eastern Kentucky University for this one!
And we saved the best for last – an old 404 message, shared by Elizabeth Brixton. Just so you know, it’s really Slaven’s fault.
We’ve come a long way in 5 years – from one guide to almost 250,000 (whoa!), and from a handful of librarians to over 44,000 (double-whoa!). Many thanks to all of you for being part of the Springy community – you guys never cease to amaze, educate, and delight us. And wow, time really does fly when you’re having fun!
By now, most of you know about our Best Of site. It houses a collection of guides considered “Best” for one reason or another – best page layout, best collection of resources, best use of images… you get the idea.
The best part of Best Of? We’ve already contacted the original guide authors and asked them if they’re willing to share their awesome content, so you’re free to copy any featured guide into your own site and reuse / remix it to your hearts content!
This week, we’ve added a new group of awesome guides to Health & Wellness Resources. These guides were compiled by the experts at Eugene Public Library and Berkeley Public Library, & showcase resources that cover everything from Fitness & Exercise to Nutrition, and from Alternative & Complimentary Medicine to Men’s & Women’s Health. Check them out – they’re sure to put a spring in your step!
We’re always looking for new guides to feature in Best Of. If you’ve created or know of a guide that makes you go “Whoa, that’s awesome!”, let us know!
Hey there, Springy Nation! We’re hunting for a few great Web Developers to help us carry out our mission of creating awesome web software and providing even awesome-r service to our libraries. If you have mad skills and a thirst for innovation (or you know someone who does), we want to talk to you!
This is what we’re looking for:
- LAMP skills of the ninja caliber, including 3+ years PHP / MySQL experience and Unix / Apache skills
- Experience in scaling web infrastructure
- Front-end JS programming experience (e.g. jQuery or dojo)
- Bonus Round: worked with Nginx, Mobile tech, or Solr? Experience with any of these is a plus. Worked with all three? Where have you been all our lives??
- You need to be a self-starter and self-motivating type. We work in a typical startup fashion so you’ll be wearing many hats and doing a lot of things – at once – hence having great organizational and multitasking skills is essential.
In a typical week, you’ll:
- Create front- and back-end interfaces for new or existing products, letting your creative juices run free
- Work with our partners (other library-centric companies) to integrate their tools with Springy and vice versa
- Dream up new ideas that will rock the library (software) world
- Every one us (including our mad genius CEO) also helps with support and making sure our customers’ needs are taken care of, so you’ll be talking with our customers regularly, troubleshooting bug fixes and such
- Great pay and benefits (health, dental, 401K, etc.)
- Very flexible vacations/time off policy
- Working from home (yes, you heard it right, though slackers need not apply – see the point above about needing to be a self-starter and self-motivator)
- A very supportive, library-centric environment (half of our team is librarians).
If this sounds like your dream gig, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what makes you awesome.
Are you an agent of change? A harbinger of innovation? A cutting-edge rawking pioneer? The most integrating’est integrator the biblioworld has ever seen!?
If you answered yes to any of the above – then SpringyCamp wants you!
- Integrated Springshare products in cool & innovative ways!
- Integrated your Springshare content in outside systems (Facebook, CMS, LMS & More!).
So what are you waiting for? Submit your proposal NOW!
Here at Springshare, we really do love librarians – so we whipped up a little Valentine’s gift for all our libraries. Check out these new-and-awesome features, and let us know – will you be our Valentine?
- Enhanced Content in Books from the Catalog box*
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enter an ISBN and automatically retrieve information for any book? Now you can! Just enter an ISBN, and we’ll automatically pull in the item’s title, author, and cover art.
CampusGuides Mega Bonus: Our CampusGuides clients can also pull book descriptions, bestseller lists, Subject Categories, Publisher information, and other enhanced content from Bowker – for free, to be used in your guides!
- Translate Public Screens
LibGuides en Espanol? Francais? Italiano? Libraries can now customize the hard-coded text on public screens in their local language. If your local language is English, you can also customize the text to meet your needs. For example, change the search box drop-down to read “This Site” instead of “All Guides”. To customize your language file, email email@example.com to get started!
- New “Edit Box” menu
You’ll love the consolidated menu in the “edit box” area. We combined all box edit functions into one screen. Just click “edit box”, and you’ll be able to change the box title, type, colors, etc. Even better, you can grab each box’s direct link, as well as an API call for any box, all in the same screen!
- Add Longer Descriptions to the Links & Lists box
We get it. 500 characters for description in the Links & Lists box wasn’t enough, so we’ve upped the length of the description field to 1,000 characters.
- Using the Serials Solutions A-Z Import Tool?
Now you can update the 3-letter Serials Solutions ID for any previously imported link! Just head to your A-Z import guide and select “edit link”. You’ll see a new tab for “Serials Solutions” – click it to change the Serials Solutions Database Identifier.
- CampusGuides clients can now upload files up to 10MB in size
CampusGuides folks – we’ve doubled your file upload size from 5MB to 10MB.
- Update to AddThis Button
The email function in the AddThis button on public screens is back up and working properly!
- Guide Status Notification on all screens
Seriously – sometimes it’s all about the little things. We’ve added a note to the edit guide screen that lets you know the guide’s current status – Unpublished, Published, or Private.
* Please remember – free use of Syndetics cover art and Bowker content is limited to use within LibGuides and CampusGuides
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!