In This Issue
Our bags are packed, airplane tickets in hand and Slaven's spent all morning blowing up his neck pillow. Springshare's heading to the American Library Association Annual Conference - Anaheim! We're 'Going Back to Cali' with amazing new tools, products and tricks up our sleeves. Visit us at Booth #712 for hot tips, warm hugs and cool tools.
Speaking of cool tools, you might have heard that we're getting ready to launch LibChat in early July as well as several other amazing updates to LibAnswers, CampusGuides and LibAnalytics. In this case, believe the hype - our chat is so good you'll want to throw your mouth away!
Escape the heat and check out what the training team has in store for you this summer with amazing new sessions ranging from Using Springy Tools in Instruction to Advertising your LibAnswers Service. Grab a cool glass of lemonade - these sessions aren't to be missed! Can't attend a live webinar? We've got you covered with recorded sessions! Learn more below.
Hope to see you in Cali!
Scared of Flying,
The Springshare Team
Summer is here and while your burgers are sizzling on the grille, Springshare has been cooking up brand new products as well as awesome updates for you. Muy caliente! If you're heading to ALA Anaheim, be sure to stop by Booth #712 for a taste test! Not able to attend? We're rolling out these updates selectively in July.
LibChat, Early July
If you haven't heard the news, Meebo has been bought out by Google and will go offline as of July 11th. Don't fret, Springshare has you covered with LibChat! Seamlessly rollover your chat service from Meebo to LibChat - available in July before Meebo shuts down.
True, LibChat won't be free like Meebo was but remember that you get what you pay for with free - including unexpected cancellations. Don't forget, with all of your Springshare products you can expect the same outstanding level of support, service and product development that has made Springshare a leading library-centric company. We're positive that once you see LibChat, you'll be saying 'Meebo-who?'
LibChat. Twitter. SMS / Texting. Email (coming soon). Searchable Knowledge Base.
LibAnswersYour Total Virtual Reference Package
CampusGuides, all the goodness of LibGuides plus awesome features. It's a grilled burger with all the fixings and watermelon on the side!
Pull up a lawn chair, pour a glass of lemonade and say Hello to Your Data ;).
Use LibAnalytics to track and analyze vital statistics @ your library!
Summer, a time for you to relax and kick-back? Or crazy mayhem of weeding, cleaning and learning? Regardless, the Springshare Training Team has you covered with brand new webinar-based training sessions! Whether you're lounging in your hammock or running around the library - take a break, pour yourself a lemonade, curl up in front of your laptop and learn something new with us!
Using Springy Products in Instruction
This training session covers ways you can use our suite of products to encourage contact, create an environment for active learning, prompt feedback and address various learning styles all while streamlining your workload.
Are you using Springy Tools for Instruction? Share your story!
LibAnswers Style: CSS & You
Wanna customize your LibAnswers system in really cool ways? This session walks you through some of the ways you can customize your LibAnswers site using CSS!
- You must be an admin-level user in your LibAnswers system and
- You must be familiar with HTML/CSS to join this session.
Need a CSS refresher? Check out the W3C Schools CSS Tutorial.
Advertising LibAnswers will help you answer this age old question: If you have a service and no one knows it exists, do you actually have a service?
This session will cover:
- Why advertise?
- What is the goal of advertising?
- Promotion of your service and placement of your advertising.
Best Practices for LibAnswers
This session will cover general 'best practices' for implementing your LibAnswers system and ensuring your FAQs are impactful with 'Writing for the Web' suggestions.
These are not hard & fast rules - it's best to understand your demographic and their needs.
Springy Widgets & APIs - Get Your Content Out There!
Learn how you can use our Springy Widgets and Robust API to put your content anywhere.
This session will cover:
- What's a Widget & API?
- Examples of Widgets /APIs at other libraries.
- How to use the LibGuides, LibAnswers & LibCal Widget & API Utilities!
Session Recordings - We've Got You Covered!
We know your schedule is blowing up like brats on grill. We've got you covered because all of our training sessions are recorded and available to you 24/7. Raise the roof!
For most libraries, spring-cleaning actually takes place during the summer months! You're weeding the collection, reorganizing materials, attending meetings about rolling out a new service, revamping your policies and even dusting off your LibGuides.
Here are some quick tips & tricks you may not know about to make your life easier!
Did you know you can easily show / hide comments and profile boxes within the guide with only one click? Save yourself time and avoid clicking 'Hide' fifty-two million times!
- All new pages / boxes added *after* you've toggled will default to standard display;
- Toggle Comments / Profile Boxes as often as you'd like!
While you can't hide individual boxes, you can move a box to a hidden page.
Use hidden pages to:
- Keep your guide-content looking fresh;
- Retain usage statistics;
- Store content that isn't quite ready for prime-time. When it's ready:
- Un-hide the Page or
- Move boxes from a hidden page to a live page!
Change the Look & Feel of Boxes
The box customization menu got a face-lift in our last update. Use our color-picker to customize every aspect of the box!
Create a floating box:
- Edit box Info > Box Colors Tab
- Enter in #ffffff (hex value for white) for:
- Box Header Color
- Box Title Font Color
- Box Border Color
- Voila! Now your box is floating in mid-air!
Use Arrows for In-Page Navigation
Use arrows to create Previous Page / Next Page Navigation.
- Modular Guides - Users need to systematically walk through a series of steps / pages;
- Long-Pages With Lots of Scrolling? Use Previous / Next at the bottom of your pages so users don't have to scroll back up to the top of your guide;
- Supplemental to Tabs - Ensure users can find the next page by adding in more navigation.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again! Advertising your LibAnswers service is the best way to increase usage.
- How many times have you heard, 'If I only knew this service existed...'
- Library Anxiety - not everyone is comfortable approaching the reference desk so advertise your LibAnswers virtual reference tool everywhere!
- Promote Your Brand - Services are extensions of your brand.
Advertising. Impacts. Branding.
Advertising During Programs / Instruction:
- Instruct users to interact with LibAnswers - search and submit a question!
- Remind them to bookmark the site or where to find it on your www.library.org website
- Mobile - everyone has a smartphone nowadays! Have them open up LibAnswers on their mobile phones and remind them to bookmark the site
- Got LibAnswers SMS? Have them participate in a Welcome Activity:
Text into your number with the SMS keyword 'Welcome'. Users receive an instant response back with a customizable welcome message.
More SMS advertising during instruction techniques!
Use interactive tools that advertise your service!
- Create a Blabberize video highlighting your LibAnswers service;
- Display QR Codes connecting patrons to your mobile LibAnswers site;
- Post QR Codes on your stacks, bookdrop, business cards, book spines... everywhere;
- Build a Voki talking avatar showcasing all your virtual reference services and embed it in your LibGuides profile!
Advertise. LibAnswers. Everywhere.
Consistency is KING when you embark on an advertising campaign.
- Create Consistent Signage - Business Cards, Posters, Table Tents, Classroom Whiteboards, On Printers, In Study Carrels, etc.;
- During Interactions With Patrons - Did you remind them about your LibAnswers service?;
- Digital Signage - Computer Screensavers, Lendable Equipment like iPads, etc.;
Meet your new best friend, the LibAnswers API & Widget Utility!
- Library Website - Take a cue from University of Houston folks and embed the Ask Us Widget on your Library's Contact Page.
- Library Databases / Catalogs - Your patrons are using these services a lot, and they're probably getting lost and confused while using them! Rasmussen Librarians embedded their LibAnswers widget into their discovery layer. KUDOS!