In This Issue
The 2012 Summer Olympics may be over but you can go for the gold with this latest edition of SpringyNews. Opening the ceremony, LibAnalytics will dazzle and impress with more than enough features to oooh & aaah anyone looking to solve their data dilemmas. Learn how LibAnalytics is being used at two libraries with real stories from Olympians Jenica Rogers and Stephanie Rollins.
Moving to our next event, Springy Tips & Tricks is the returning champion hoping to defend its world-record. You be the judge! Closing out our Olympic games, we have the latest & greatest Product Updates for you. These are guaranteed to have you waving the Springshare flag.
Borrowing the Olympic motto, Springshare supports "Swifter Service, Higher Standards, Stronger Statistics!"
Your cheering squad,
The Springshare Team
LibAnalytics allows you to capture data - plain and simple. Whether you're interested in gathering instruction statistics (Samford University), library satisfaction, reference statistics or even foot traffic/usage statistics (SUNY Potsdam) - LibAnalytics is the flexible tool for you. LibAnalytics for the gold!
- Capture numerical & qualitative data - with 50 field options, you can capture multiple choice, multi-select, numerical, sliding scale and even date/time data points.
- Produce robust & filtered reports - Is the library's study rooms busy at 5pm on Thursdays in the month of September? How many prep hours does it take to teach one instruction class on average? You can answer these questions!
- User controls - each DataSet has user controls so you can determine who has access to add records and even view reports on a DataSet by DataSet basis.
- Record data on the go - Walk around your library recording foot traffic on your iPhone or iPad or Droid. LibAnalytics is 100% web-based so it can be accessed from anywhere.
- Gather patron feedback - LibAnalytics isn't just for internal data recording! With customizable widgets, you can collect and analyze patron feedback like:
- Website Feedback
- Library Satisfaction
- Pre/Post Instruction Assessment
- ... and more!
Gather Data On:
No matter what you're collecting - LibAnalytics can work for you.
- Website Feedback - Who are your visitors? Did they find what they need? How often do they visit? How would they rate your site?
- Instruction | Event Feedback - Who are the attendees? Did they enjoy the session? Would they come again? What did they learn? How would they rate the overall program?
- Library Satisfaction Survey - How accessible are library resources? How convenient are they? What do they like to use the library for? Rate your overall satisfaction of the library resources and services.
- Study Room | Meeting Room Usage - Which spaces are used the most? How many people use them? What are they used for? When are they in high demand?
- Foot Traffic Statistics - How many people visit your library? Who are they? When do they visit? Which spaces and services are used the most? When are these spaces and services in high demand?
- Reference Desk Statistics - What questions are patrons asking? How are they asking them? How much time does it take to answer them? When is reference services in high demand?
Check out other uses of LibAnalytics!
Jenica Rogers from SUNY Potsdam and Stephanie Rollins from Samford University both use LibAnalytics - albeit for completely different purposes. Talk about freedom in data collection! Checkout how these Olympic hopefuls are using LibAnalytics in their libraries.
Meet Your Olympians!
Q: How are you using LibAnalytics in your library?
We're using LibAnalytics for three projects: Measuring Research Help Desk traffic, measuring Technology Help Desk traffic, and counting building use statistics.
I started by using two instances – one for library instruction statistics and one for feedback from faculty and staff. This fall, I will use 5 DataSets – a library instruction request form, a student pre-test, a student-post test, faculty assessment/feedback, and library instruction statistics.
Q: What capabilities does LibAnalytics provide that make it the right solution for you?
There are several quick and clear advantages. Anyone can add data after an easy account creation by an administrator. The interfaces are clean and straightforward. No one can (easily) accidentally modify data entered by someone else. (Those three make it a really useful tool if students do your data collection!) It's incredibly customizable, so That Weird Way We Do Things Here isn't a problem. The web-based data-entry means we can use a tablet computer to walk around the library and count users for our Building Use Stats, cutting out the need to walk, count, then return to a workstation to enter the data. After we enter it, the system does all the counting, analysis, and presentation of the data for us. If I want to dig deeper and do more nuanced analysis than the pre-generated reporting, I can download the full data set into Excel and crunch it to my heart's content. Supervisors (the Reference Coordinator, Technology Coordinator, me, the Crane Music Librarian, etc) can log in and look at the ongoing data collection as needed, when and where we want to use it, freeing other staff from preparing reports for us, and allowing us the freedom to just explore the data. And given all of those features, the price is unbeatable.
The ability to have a wide variety of customizable fields and the ability to “slice and dice” the data. The reports are fantastic – equivalent to running an access database without having to know how to use something like Access.
Q: LibAnalytics has powerful reporting features. How are you using them to inform decisions at your library?
... the data help shape virtually every decision I make about how we offer services and change or protect user spaces. - Jenica
LibAnalytics is a major feeder into our annual report, telling me about use of our service desks, our facilities, and our computers, and across days, hours, and weeks. The granularity of those reports makes it dead simple for me to decide whether or not we need to extend hours on Friday nights, or if the 11 pm to 1 am hours are well used in comparison to the 8 am to 10 am block, and thus where do we need to bulk up or draw down our student employee staffing. That kind of intuitive "Is X better than Y" question is something that comes up often for me, and to be able to back up my instinct with clear data easily gotten makes me very, very happy. By lining our Building Use Stats data collection up to the same points in the day, we can now also compare across our two libraries -- which is busier at noon on Tuesdays, the music library or the main library? How many students were using the computers in our main library before 10 am during the Monday/Wednesday/Friday course blocks? How did overall weekly usage of both facilities change over the course of the semester? All these are questions I can answer in minutes using LibAnalytics, and the data help shape virtually every decision I make about how we offer services and change or protect user spaces in our libraries.
With LibAnalytics, we were able to tell that instruction has risen 47% over the past year. We are examining a new model of reference service to account for the increase. We also are able to tell which departments on campus are using us/not using us and can target instruction/outreach to meet these opportunities. We can now measure things such as information literacy standards and other data, both qualitative and quantitative that has never been captured before. And, on a weekly or even monthly basis, with the feedback generated through our LibAnalytics DataSets, we can make immediate changes to our instruction program.
Q: What has the response of staff been?
Almost uniformly positive. Some people simply don't like change, even smart and cool change, but once everyone was trained to use LibAnalytics, figured out how to make it work for them, and discovered how responsive Springshare staff is when we make some egregious error and have to come running for help, it's gone very smoothly. And those of us who have need to use the data for decision-making approach it with glee, I think. It's just so much easier than the old ways...
The response of the staff has been – “wow, this is so easy!” By having options for librarians to run reports for their own instruction sessions, they have valuable qualitative and quantitative data for evaluations. Librarians can now say something like “I taught 72 library instruction sessions which included a total of 1,135 students. This entailed 54 hours of preparation and resulted in a total of 68 hours of teaching.” In addition, with faculty and student/comments, we have useful data to support our value.
Q: The importance of statistics-gathering in libraries has grown in recent years, what do you think accounts for this refocusing on data collection?
In an era of Google and Wikipedia, we are constantly being asked to justify our value, our very existence. - Stephanie
There's a strong trend in higher education toward assessment and evidence-based decision-making, coupled with the ongoing and perhaps eternal crisis of budgets facing many institutions right now. Our accrediting agencies are asking hard questions about institutional assessment, our supervisors and budget arbiters are asking even harder questions, and in most cases "I think that our students like this" isn't a good enough answer. However, data that shows that building use in the Crane Music Library increased 30% over the previous year makes it easier to justify a request for funding for upgraded furniture, and can also serve to indicate to external bodies that student needs are being met by our facilities in improving ways. That said, the challenge most of us face is that gathering the data and turning it into something that can be used is really hard! So we're not only spending a lot of time on it because our institutions are focusing more clearly on using data to drive our decisions, but because we aren't positive about the best way to go about doing it with the resources we have available to us.
In an era of Google and Wikipedia, we are constantly being asked to justify our value, our very existence. LibAnalytics helps us tell a more complete story of what we are doing and thus promotes our value to our dean, our administration, and the community.
These Springy Tips & Tricks are raising the gold standard and soon enough, you'll be breaking records and shot-putting your content out there.
LibGuides - Vaulting to the Next Level
Propel your LibGuides into the stratosphere with these easy tips! Your users will be declaring 10.0's across the board!
- Want to create a box that spans across all columns? Follow these instructions and you'll be Spanning Columns faster than Usain Bolt!
- Navigation isn't just for Olympic sailors! Create A-Z Anchors in your guides so users can quickly jump down to their fav resource.
- Forget about disqualification! With our newest Statistics package release, we retain statistics for deleted content!
- Who needs jazz hands when you can create a slideshow! Our Rotating Images code is a great way to add visuals to your LibGuide!
LibAnswers - Track & Field... Questions
LibAnswers: the all-around champion! These tips will have you high-jumping your way to success.
- Email integration now allows you to route all your reference emails into your LibAnswers queue.
- Widgets/API - embed your 'More Ways to Ask Questions' box everywhere. Talk about promoting your service!
- Track your system's usage with Query Spy and you'll be able to answer the age-old question of how patrons are using your system.
- Use the notes fields and the transfer question features to easily relay unanswered questions to your colleagues. Passing the baton couldn't be easier!
LibGuides CMS - Take the Plunge
Did You Know?
How do athletes make it to the Olympics? By taking it to the next level - and you can too with LibGuides CMS!
- Create a secure intranet! With our latest update, you can setup login access for a specific group and all guides within that group! What does that mean? It means you can create staff intranet of resources, documents and procedures and protect viewing to your logged in account holders. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set it up!
- Create a testing ground! We all need a practice track for playing around, whether it's for customizations or new organization. Setup a group, or as many as you'd like and practice to your heart's content!
- Bonus: Testing grounds aren't visible to the public so you won't have to worry about hearing the crowd's roar. ;)
- With LibGuides CMS E-Reserves module, you can now proxy authenticate your e-reserves pages!
LibCal - Triathlon of Power
It can schedule events, book rooms and create one-on-one consultations with librarians. LibCal - your triathelete!
- Advertise a calendar event with the Event Button feature. It's easy! Just navigate your way to a created event > Create Event Button > select your button colors and size > copy & paste the code.
I'm An Event Button >> NEW: LibChat Training Session
- Streamline interfaces by feeding your My Scheduler appointments directly into your desktop/web-based calender.
- This way, patrons can self-book appointments and you can easily keep track of them!
- Tougher than an Olympic Judge - use Room Booking Mediation to control who can/cannot access your rooms.
LibAnalytics - Jump Data Hurdles
Leap over hurdles and vault the data chasm with these LibAnalytics tips.
- Use LibAnalytics for more than just internal statistics recording - the robust widgets help you collect data right from the virtual mouths of users! Check out how Stephanie Rollins is using LibAnalytics to gather faculty & student feedback on Samford University's instruction program.
- User permissions - if you want to allow non-account holders to record data, like student employees or library pages, bookmark your widget's URL and share with students/pages or place it on a private LibGuide.
- Library Instruction Sign-Up Form - Stephanie Rollins is using LibAnalytics so faculty can sign-up for a library instruction session and easily forward session information to the teaching librarian via the Email Notify field!
- Bonus: Create a LibCal calender displaying your Library Instruction schedule!
- Are you running the same report every day/week/month? Save time by using Saved Reports.
- Select filters;
- Generate Report;
- Save Report;
- Once saved, you can access your saved report from the 'Saved Report' drop-down.
And now, for the closing ceremony, our latest & greatest updates!
LibGuides/LibGuides CMS Update (August 2nd, 2012)
It's Here, It's Here! Statistics Update
- Deleted stats are here to stay - Deleted items no longer affect your statistics! Deleted items statistics are retained and display as [deleted] in your stats reports.
- Daily stats reports - Goodbye monthly aggregate stats!
- Custom Date Ranges – Run reports on any date range, and create daily, monthly, or yearly reports.
- Charts? Charts! - Create zoomable charts right in the system, and print/export them into any program.
- New Links Report – Reused link clicks are aggregated *across your entire site* in one glorious report.
- Mobile Views – Check! Discover whether hits are coming from mobile vs. desktop users.
- And, for LibGuides CMS (formerly CampusGuides) users, we have brand new stat reports just for you! Grab reports on Search Phrases (the terms users search for in your site search box), User Sessions, and Browser/OS Information.
Brought to you by the Letter I - Integration
- Add a LibChat Department Widget to every page in your site with one click (Sys Settings -> Integrations).
- Add a LibChat Personal Widget to your profile box with one click (Edit Profile Box -> LibChat Integration).
- The LibAnswers box-type got a huge upgrade – with one click, you can:
- Embed the Auto-suggest Search Box, OR
- Embed your Question Form, OR
- Embed an entire Question & Answer from your public knowledge base!
Bits & Bops
- File Security (LibGuides CMS Only):
- Secure Documents & File attachments by adding password protection;
- E-Reserves Module subscribers can rest assured that their E-Reserves files are secure and cannot be accessed by routing to the direct URL.
- New API Option – display a list of guides for an individual user.
- Redirected Pages can now be opened in new windows, using the new check-box option.
- Tweet Updates on published AND private guides.
- New Character Counter & Tag Parser in the plain-text area of the Rich Text box.
- Mobile Footer customization now available.
LibAnswers & LibChat Update
LibAnswers (June 27th, 2012)
- Answer Page Redesign - Redesigned & more closely mimics the answering workflow.
- Email Integration - Route all reference email (and replies) directly into your LibAnswers system. Set up one or more email addresses, then pull in any emails sent to those accounts as new questions. Patrons ask questions via email, librarians answer via LibAnswers, and patrons can reply via email (vs. clicking a link for a reply page).
What does this mean for you? Email threads all saved and searchable in your LibAnswers system. One place. All questions. AH-MAZING!
- Instructions: Setup Email Integration
- Replies for Public Answers - Reply directly to patrons, even for public answers.
- Email Templates - Customize the auto-generated emails that come from your LibAnswers system (Sys Settings -> Email Templates)
- Dashboard Notifications - See how many unanswered questions await you in your queue right from the Dashboard, queues, or “Add a Transaction” pages.
LibChat (August 2nd, 2012)
- Revamped Button Widget! The button-style LibChat widget has been revamped to float on-top of the webpage so users can search the web & chat at the same time.
- 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 pre-chat question: Prompt users to answer a single question right in your chat widget. Their initial answer will show up in the operator panel – here’s what it looks like:
- Chat Feedback: Collect feedback from your users on your chat service via a comments box. It displays underneath the star rating when a chat concludes.
New Color Customization Options: Change the widget colors directly in the embed settings. Three setting control the overall look:
- 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 –>
LibAnalytics Update (July 16th, 2012 - rolled out selectively)
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!
- More field & data types - Multi-value select, date-pickers, and sliding scales, to name a few;
- Enhanced Access Control - Limit access to DataSets to just users you designate;
- New Widgets - Capture data by librarians and non-librarians easier;
- New and Improved Charts - Create robust reports with new filtering options.
Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. So we've taken the guesswork out of creating your DataSets (formerly “instances”)! 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
Copy these templates directly into your system then change the fields and values as necessary to make things relevant for your own institution. View the full list of Data Set templates & detailed instructions on the Help Site.