We’re seeking SpringyCamp proposals and there are only two days left to get your submission in!
What is SpringyCamp, you’re probably asking yourself! SpringyCamp is Springshare’s bi-annual virtual conference where you can learn how colleagues from around the world are using Springshare tools. Springshare4Everyone is this year’s conference theme and we’re looking for submissions on how you’re using Springshare products – easy peasy!
Submit your proposal by March 10th.
We have a belated Valentine’s Day present heading your way (we didn’t forget, we promise!) in the form of a LibAnswers update! Read on to learn about all the new features.
Notes associated with individual questions got an upgrade:
- Multiple Notes - Add multiple notes to questions to track the internal history of a question. Notes are now Rich-Text optimized, so feel free to add links, lists, and even tag questions for later follow-up as a searchable way to retrieve past questions.
- Share Notes outside LibAnswers - Ever felt the need to consult on an answer with someone outside of your LibAnswers system? You can now email new notes to users outside your system – and best of all, replies to your notes are automatically added as a new note on that question.
SMS Threading & Updates
We’re making it easier to keep track of discrete SMS interactions with:
- Better “Previous Messages” Views - We’ve improved the info on the ‘View Previous Messages’ link so you’ll get a more complete picture of the full SMS conversation.
- Edit SMS Transaction & Threads - By default, the system defines an SMS “thread” as all questions & replies from one user in a 24 hour period. If new replies are part of an older original thread, move the new conversation to the old thread.
- SMS Notifications to multiple numbers - We’ve added more notification options to let you know when new questions come in to your system. Head to Admin Stuff > System Settings > SMS Notification Number and add multiple numbers separated with a space.
Secure / HTTPS module
We now offer HTTPS support in LibAnswers – both for full sites, and for widgets and APIs.
- If you’re loading LibAnswers content or embedding LibAnswers widgets into a separate https site (Blackboard / Moodle / Desire2Learn / etc…), our new HTTPS support will avoid those pesky ‘unsecured content’ error messages. Email us at email@example.com to set it up!
- New API Security Features - We’re adding new options for security-conscious sites to help keep API data secure. You can:
- Turn off the API entirely
- Add IP restrictions so only certain users can generate API calls
- Force API calls to load over HTTPS
Please note – HTTPS support is currently available for sites on a *.libanswers.com domain. We’re still investigating HTTPS support for sites with custom domains.
Admins, head to Admin Stuff > Metadata > Keywords Tab to see these new features:
- Keyword Admin Screen - View all the keywords in your system and view questions assigned to a keyword. Need to add/edit keywords? You got it!
- View Questions Without Keywords - View the questions that aren’t assigned any keywords and add them with one click.
- Blocking Options for Email & SMS - Has your system received a spam email or SMS message? Then SPAM it! You’ll find a new ‘Spam’ icon in your Unanswered Queue. Click to report suspicious spammy emails and we’ll rollout a red-carpet SmackDown!
- Improved Notifications in LibChat - We’ve upgraded the LibAnswers notifications on the LibChat screen:
- Replies to existing questions will display
- Preview new questions
- Want to answer the question? Just click it to claim it you’ll go straight to the answering page
- New System Backup API - Grab a full feed of your public knowledge base!
We noticed a great exchange happening right now in the Springshare Lounge – it’s the type of conversation that reminds us of the power found in the collective knowledge of the Springy Community. The discussion kicked off as a request for information on adding LibChat widgets to library databases. The librarian hive mind didn’t disappoint (no surprise there, it never does!), and strategies for embedding widgets in several major library databases have already been outlined.
Catch up on the conversation: http://springsharelounge.com/group/academic-librarians/forum/topics/adding-libchat-widget-to-library-databases
We get excited when we see discussions like this take off – particularly on topics like embedding content in library databases, to which we don’t have direct access. We love seeing your ideas and questions creating such fruitful conversations – High-five, Springy Community!
Winter breaks and holiday closures are just around the corner. Here are some cool tips and tricks from the Springy Elves to help get the word out on holiday changes to your library hours.
- Change your System Tagline – You’ve got 140 characters to communicate info on holiday closures. Instructions
- Create a custom “Closed” Banner – Sometimes words just aren’t enough – hang up the “closed” sign! Instructions
- Remind Staff via Admin Alert Box – Even elves need the occasional reminder that your site is going on break. Instructions
- Set an “Away” Success Message – Questions submitted via the question form can trigger a “hey, we’re away!” alert. Instructions
- Dont forget the SMS Auto-Responders – Make sure to let folks submitting questions via SMS know you’re away. Instructions
- Hide the question submission form – Allow patrons to search for questions, but prevent them from submitting new questions until you’ve returned from break. Here’s how
- We have a slew of suggestions on things to keep an eye on in your LibCal site.
We hope these suggestions and ideas help make it that much easier for you to relax this holiday season. Happy holidays from all of us at Springshare!
A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette posted a great blog item this week on the hilarity of creating the perfect LibGuides Profile picture. All jokes aside, we’ve heard from many libraries that adding a profile pic really *does* increase patron familiarity and comfort level when approaching librarians. So picking a good picture is important – and here’s why.
- We all call 1-800 customer service numbers and chat online with nameless faceless support. Interacting with the library should be different. It should be relationship-building.
- Patrons hear the message “this is your library”. With your profile pic, you’re connecting with them as their librarian. Your Library. Your Librarian.
- Library Anxiety – your profile picture can help to reduce this very real issue. They already know what you look like, so approaching the reference desk is less inhibiting.
Plain and simple – you’re letting users know who you are. That you work at *their* library and you’re there for them.
Poll time! What’s your current profile picture?
Good Morning Springyland – we’ve rolled out a LibAnswers and LibChat update! This time around we’re focusing on some of your most requested features – here’s the highlights reel:
- File Transfers - Patrons and Librarians can now share files via chat, all with the click of a button.*
- Operator-to-Operator Chat - We’ve made it easy to chat with other online LibChat operators. Just click on another operator’s name, and you’ll initiate a private, back-end chat.
- Transcript Download and Email - It’s here! Head to the Transcripts management area, and you’ll be able to download transcripts. We’ve also added an easy email option for individual transcripts, making it easy to share interesting chat logs with your colleagues.
- Was this Helpful? Voting – We’ve added a super simple way to generate patron feedback on the helpfulness of answers in your public knowledgebase.
- User File Uploads - Patrons can now submit files along with the questions they submit; uploads are fully supported in the question form as well as via emailed submissions.*
- New API Options: We’ve added a host of new APIs, making it even easier to embed your LibAnswers content in other sources. Head to the widgets and API area to find these new options:
- Full Question API – use this to grab the full question and answer content for any public question.
- Search API – Send a search query to your LibAnswers system and get a list of results back – great for building your own search box and displaying results in the same page!
- Query Spy Updates: we’ve added some excellent features to the fount of knowledge that is Query Spy:
- One-click IP lookups – you’ll find IP addresses listed in your Query Spy results – click them for a quick view on patron’s location info.
- Internal/External IP reporting – Admins: head to System Settings and define your internal IP range, so Query Spy reports can reflect searches coming from inside / outside your IP range.
- New Filters available to narrow in on query source and questions users selected.
- Query Re-run – want to see the search results your users saw? Hit the spyglass to view their search results.
- Most Popular Queries – find the most popular search terms used to search your system! Head to Query Spy > View Statistics and scroll down to view the new “Popular Words” report.
- Question Form Updates: We’ve added a host of new options to your system’s question form. Admins, head to Admin Stuff > Question Form to enable these options.
- Receive Response via SMS – Patrons in a hurry can now submit a question with the system question form, but choose to receive an answer via SMS.
- A Third Free-Text Field is now available for more in-depth data collection.
- Character Limit for Question/Details has been upped to 64,000 characters, making it easier to capture all the information a patron might submit.
- New Queues: We’ve added new queues to help you keep track of bounced emails (ie emails not received by patrons) and spam messages (questions submitted to your system marked as spam).
As always, we’re sending out a million thanks to our user community for sharing these fantastic feature ideas – you guys are the best!
* Note: File upload and transfers are limited to 5MB; files are stored for 1 week, then deleted due to privacy concerns.
SpringyCamp – Focusing on UX may be over but you can still join us ’round the campfire. SpringyCamp recordings are now available! We’ve recorded each presentation separately so you can pick and choose which sessions you’d like to watch!
- Download presenter PowerPoints;
- Use Pru’s integrating LibGuides with Blackboard code;
- Contact presenters with your questions;
- Participate in our active discussion boards.