In This Issue
“Wise to resolve, and patient to perform” - Homer, The Odyssey
New Year’s Day has come and gone. Students and teachers are back in the classroom. Libraries are buzzing (figuratively and, in some cases, literally) with activity. Librarians are hard at work in the many places and many ways they support their communities.
Mid-January may be a time for the jokemasters to make light of New Year’s resolutions already forgotten, but at Springshare we know this is the time of year not of broken resolve but of new energy and determination to move forward.
In this edition of Springy News, we offer several features designed to help you maintain your resolve to better serve your patrons at all times of the year. Check out 5 Tips for Keeping Your Guides Fresh, Take Your Stats to the Mat, and our latest Product Updates. And if you’re going to be at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, get the scoop on our special ALA Midwinter Event.
Let’s have a great year together!
The Springshare Team
Springshare is heading to ALA-Midwinter! Drop by Booth #429 and show us your newest guides, ask questions about your current and future Springy products. Meet some of your favorite Springys in person!
Partner Event - The Power of the Summon Service to Lead Users to Better Research Outcomes
Join Serials Solutions and librarians from Case Western Reserve University (Brian C. Gray), Wake Forest University (Rosalind Tedford) and the University of Denver (Carrie Forbes) and learn more about how powerful and seamless integrations between Summon tools and Springshare's products (including the LibGuides publishing platform and LibAnswers reference suite) enable librarians to directly impact and improve the overall discovery experience.
Event Date: Sunday, 27th January 1:30pm-3:00pm (PT)
Location: Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Parliament Room
January may mark a new beginning, but you know that change doesn’t simply follow the calendar. Things don’t stay the same for long in today’s world of libraries, research, and information sources. Your LibGuides shouldn’t stay the same either. Keep them fresh and up-to-date using some of the tips and tricks presented here, and you’ll keep people coming back. And let us know your own ideas for making sure there’s always something new under the banner.
There's No Place Like Home
The first page of your guide, whether you call it Home, Getting Started, or something else, attracts more eyeballs than any other page. If you want folks to know about something new, that’s the place to shout it out. And if you want to show it’s never “same old same old” on your guide, that’s the place to make it clear.
Is there a new database in your subject area? Highlight it on the home page. Do you want to feature new books or journals in the collection? Stick them in a home page box. Is there a new service your users should know about? Showcase it in that prime piece of online real estate.
Make the “What’s New” box—whatever you call it—stand out. Keep it at or near the top of the page. Include images, selected use of color (for fonts or or the box background), and catchy titles.
One caveat: make sure what’s “new” is really new. Nothing screams “Stale!” like a page with “news” that’s weeks or even months old. Toss news items before their expiration date. If there’s nothing new or noteworthy to share, delete the “What’s New!” box temporarily, and bring it back when the time is right.
Turn, Turn, Turn
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have something different appear on a page each time it’s opened—without having to continually edit the page?
- Go to a guide—any guide—and create individual boxes for all of the content you want to feature in the rotation. (It can be an unpublished guide or a hidden page on the guide where you want the content to appear.)
- After that's done, jot down the box ID numbers of the boxes you created. This is fairly easy; just hover your mouse over the 'edit' link in the upper right hand corner of each box. It will show you the box number.
- Copy the code in this text file. Paste it into the Plain Text Editor of a box on the home page (or any page) of the guide where you want the rotating content to appear.
- Go to the third line of the code—the one that has a list of numbers between brackets. Replace those numbers with the box ID numbers you jotted down in step 2.
var randomBoxes = [12203444, 12203675, 12203721, 12203825, 12203901];
- Change “####” in the code—it appears four times—to the institution ID of your LibGuides site. (How to find your site ID)
Click Save and Close and then reload the page a few times to see the rotation in action. That’s all there is to it. When you want to add different content to the rotation, just edit the boxes you created in step 1.
Tip: Bookmark this FAQ for fast reference to this SpringyTech Tip!
In Any Event
Your library is part of a larger community—a university, a school, a city or town, a company or non-profit. Events, large and small, scheduled and unanticipated, are taking place all the time. That’s an opportunity for you to create fresh, timely guides and to let your community know your library and your LibGuides are THE place for up-to-date, useful, and relevant information.
- Author appearances, book readings, summer reading lists. Prepare a guide featuring works by an author or authors in your collection, biographical information, reviews and literary criticism.
- Local and national holidays and celebrations. Highlight events in the community, local legend and lore, what’s open and closed.
- Controversies and debates. Help members of your community make informed decisions with detailed facts, analysis, and opinions from sources they may not know are available to them.
Even tragedies and disasters give libraries and librarians the opportunity to go beyond their usual helpfulness, through LibGuides and more, to provide valuable information and resources in difficult times.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But when it comes to links in your LibGuides, if it is broken you’ll want to know about it and get it fixed ASAP. A broken link can be frustrating to a user, but if they come back a month or two later and it’s still broken they’ll wonder “Who’s mindin’ the store?”
Fortunately, every LibGuides and LibGuides CMS author has access to the LibGuides Link Checker which runs automatically once a week. To find broken links in your guides, select Tools > Link Checker from the command bar. You can view broken links in your own guides or in all guides in your system, and you can limit them by guide status (Any Status, Published, Private, or Unpublished.)
The Link Checker automatically identifies broken links in all of the following (see Sidebar). Of course, fixing them is up to you.
For more on the LibGuides Link Checker see the “Tools” page of our Introduction to LibGuides.
Go With the Flow
You have every intention of keeping your guides fresh and up-to-date, using some of the ideas here and others of your own. But you have so many other things to do. How do you find the time?
Good planning is the key, but don’t plan your LibGuides tasks and goals in isolation. Make sure they fit into the overall ebb and flow of your year.
If you are in an academic library, you might schedule your major guide reviews and revisions and introduction of new guides for the breaks between semesters. If you’re a school librarian who works over the summer, that would be a good time to focus on updating and refreshing your guides.
Of course, every institution and every librarian is different. Nobody knows your work flow better than you. Plan your LibGuides updates for times that makes sense, but DO plan them and you’ll find staying fresh is a breeze.
Life of Pi(e) Charts - Collecting Stats Pre-LibAnalytics
All Stats in one Place
Are you collecting?
- Instruction / Class Statistics
- Foot Traffic Statistics
- Reference Statistics
- Pre / Post Instruction Feedback
- Website Satisfaction
- Library Satisfaction
Bottom-line: you can collect and store all your various library statistics in one place.
Does the Work for You - Charts & Graphs
- Does the thought of creating pie charts and bar graphs make you cringe?
- Have you spent hours trying to edit the title of a chart's legend?
- Still can't figure out how to change colors on that line graph?
Bottom-line: LibAnalytics creates charts and graphs for you.
Bonus: All charts are printable & downloadable.
Filtering - Get the Data You Need
- Want to learn how busy the reference desk on Sundays between 8pm-10pm?
- Or how often Prof. Smith brings his Introduction to Literature class into the library?
- What about foot traffic on the 2nd floor on Friday evenings?
Bottom-line: LibAnalytics lets you create (and save!) filtered reports so you're only seeing the data you need to make decisions.
- Trying to figure out what you want to collect and how to organize your data collection variables?
- Looking for inspiration on statistics you'd like your library to start collecting?
- Feeling stuck and don't know how to get started on your stats-gathering path?
Bottom-line: we make it easy to get started with our Dataset Templates that you can use and edit to fit your institution's needs.
- Are you trying to collect website feedback or library satisfaction data?
- Looking for pre/post instruction feedback?
- Are you looking for data from 'the horse's mouth'?
Bottom-line: with LibAnalytics you can collect data internally (Reference Desk Statistics) and externally (Website Feedback) using easy to embed widgets.
Coming Soon: Springy Central Sign-on!
It's almost here - with just ONE username and password, you'll be able to log in to all of your Springshare tools.
LibGuides & LibGuides CMS Redesign
LibGuides is getting a major style update! We're revolutionizing the layout and style of LibGuides - soon, the default layout options will be more modern, user-friendly, and easier to navigate and maintain. But don't let our enthusiasm scare you, particularly if you have a highly-customized site. The new layout and style options will be available as an opt-in feature.
Guide tabs will be fully customizable using CSS! You won't have to create your own tab images anymore!
LibGuides CMS Bonus: With our new layout options, boxes can span across columns allowing you to choose different column layouts throughout the page.
LibAnswers Updates? Yessiree!
We've got a ton of LibAnswers updates in store:
- Centralized Keyword Management
- Improved Notes Functionality
- Full HTTPS support
- ...and more!