In This Issue
Raise the Curtain
You’ve heard the hoopla. Absorbed the buzz. Felt the frenzy. LibGuides 2 is coming to town!
Beginning the first week in November, we’ll be previewing LibGuides 2 for all of our customers in special invitation-only online presentations, with the official launch not far behind. This issue of Springy News spotlights the coming changes, what they’ll mean for you — and when you can get your hands on it.
- Starting the week of November 4, we'll start giving webinars to clients with previews and demos of the new system. (Watch the Springy News box on your dashboard or follow us on Twitter — @springshare — for details.)
- Starting in December, we'll start issuing accounts on LibGuides 2 demo sites. This will give you the opportunity to play with the system first-hand and start planning your transition.
- After that we'll start building customized sites for clients, starting the process of converting existing content and building new guides using the new features. During all this time your current site will still be live and LibGuides 2 site will only be available to your librarians. (Visitors will still be using your current site.)
- When everything is looking the way you want it in the new site, we will work with you to “flip the switch” on LibGuides 2 at your institution.
But why let LibGuides users have all the fun? We’ve got plenty more to sing and dance about at Springshare, including dazzling new additions to LibAnswers and LibChat and what’s sure to be the latest smash from the Springy hit factory: LibStaffer staff scheduling.
Plus, you’ll be able to access and integrate all of your Springy products in one place through the new LibApps platform.
Ready to hear more? Let’s roll ‘em!
The Springshare Team
It started with LibGuides in 2007. But now, our stellar Springy lineup also includes LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibAnalytics — all making it easier for you to do your job and better serve your patrons.
Now for the next phase: unifying all your Springshare apps into one conceptual “platform”. We’re calling it LibApps — for Library Apps. (Very original, right? )
What does that mean for you?
- Springy Sign-On (SSO). You'll have one unified account for all your Springshare apps (current and future ones!) Sign on to any one and you'll be signed in to all.
- Seamless Transitions. Jump between individual apps (LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, LibAnalytics) via options in the top toolbar inside any app — and jump right back again.
- Integration of Common Elements. Manage all your images (e.g. in LibGuides and LibAnswers) in one Image Manager. Create and maintain one profile for all apps. Receive alerts and notifications from all of your Springy apps in one place.
- Central Admin Dashboard (for site administrators). Get an overview of all users and all activities on all of the Springshare apps at your library in one central place.
From black & white to technicolor. From hi-fi to stereo. From 21-inch vacuum tube to 42-inch HDTV. From LibGuides to LibGuides 2.
The best advances — in show biz and in libraries, too — don’t replace what came before. They make it better. Creative librarians won’t stop building great guides with the introduction of LibGuides 2. But they’ll build them in ways they only dreamed about (and asked us for) before.
Here are the highlights. Look for this symbol for features available only with LibGuides CMS:
What's in That Box? What's NOT in That Box?
Imagine all your favorite stars in one film! All your favorite bands on one stage! All your favorite LibGuides content types in one box!
We can’t help with your entertainment fantasies, but with LibGuides 2 there’s no limit to what you put in a content box or how you arrange it.
- Add a YouTube author interview between one Book from the Catalog and another? No problem.
- Stick some descriptive text between one set of links and another? Easy as pie.
- Mix database search widgets and PDF tutorials? Just pick one after another and put ‘em where you want ‘em.
Of course, you won’t have to mix and match. You can fill a box with only one kind of content just like you can now.
Special Effects and Set Design
Good web design matters. A nicely designed guide catches the eye and makes it easy for users to find the information they need.
LibGuides 2 makes it easy to design great-looking guides. Here are a few of the new options to take advantage of:
Add boxes at top and/or bottom of a page that take up the full width of the guide -- with 1, 2, 3, or 4 (that’s right, 4) columns of boxes in between.
Navigation on the left
Do away with tabs and columns altogether, if you like. Put all of your content in one wide column on each page with a navigation bar on the left.
Customize with Design Templates
Does the side nav option have you excited? Want to make it the standard layout for all the guides on your site? How about customizing it further, displaying and arranging elements as you see fit?
All of that will be a breeze with custom templates in LibGuides 2. Design a guide template using your own HTML markup, insert special keywords for guide title, description, content… and you’re all set.
For LibGuides CMS systems, the same simple steps will be available on individual guides, giving you the flexibiity you need to shape specific guides for specific purposes.
Color Me Excited!
Match your tab colors to your institution’s color scheme with ease. Use the point-and-click color picker for the colors of tabs, background, font colors, box headers, etc. Plus control box borders, shape, backgrounds… It’s all there.
Talk about a picture show! The new Gallery box type lets you put together a carousel or slide show of images almost as easily as entering a single image in a box. See an example in action below.
Keeping Tabs on Content
Tabbed boxes used to call for complicated CSS. Not anymore! In LibGuides 2 creating tabbed boxes takes just a few clicks. Now anyone can combine related content in a single box for easy access and organization that makes sense.
Looking Sharp — On Any Screen
The new Bootstrap-based layouts in LibGuides 2 ensure that your guides will look good no matter what kind of device they're being viewed on. Desktops, laptops, tablets, or smart phones – we have got it all covered.
Behind the Scenes: Even More to Shout About
We know your patrons are the ulitmate end users of your guides. Take advantage of the new features above, and they're sure to notice. But there's even more behind the scenes: backstage features and functions making their premiere with LibGuides 2.
Intuitive, in-context editing controls.
No more having to remember which item on what menu to go to for this or that function on the orange command bar. All the most popular guide and page editing commands are front and center.
Review, Revise, Publish.
There's a new LibGuides guide status flag coming to town: it's called "Submit for Review".
Let's face it: As your collection of guides (and guide authors) grows, it's not easy to ensure consistency. Look and feel. Terminology. Standard components… "Submit or Review" status is here to help. Give a guide Review status, and the site administrator will be notified. Once they are satisfied — immediately or after some back-and-forth with the author — the admin can change the status to Published.
In LibGuides CMS, any account holder can be made a reviewer and all reviewers will be notified when a guide is submitted for review. Who reviews which guides is up to you.
Picture This: Personal and Shared Image Folders!
Take control of your images with image folders. The new and improved Image Manager in LibGuides 2 wlll give every account holder the ability to create folders to organize the images used in their guides. Group them by guide, by topic, by image type, even by color scheme if you so choose.
Even better, LibGuides CMS users will have shared folders (managed by the site administrator) with images that any guide author can use. Only the admin can add images to shared folders, but once they're added they are available for all to use.
A-Z List and Asset Management
In LibGuides 2, the A-Z databases guide is created and updated automatically, so there’s no need to manually create A-Z lists anymore. Maintaining the A-Z list as easy as pie, too.
First, there’s a new content type called “database”. Admins add and edit database-type links to the system and they automatically appear in the A-Z guide. Of course, you can still import your databases list from other systems, too. The A-Z guide makes it easy for patrons to browse – or search – for databases by subject or by title.
LibGuides CMS takes A-Z management to the next level, with subject-specific best bets, trial databases, peer comparisons… Check the blue sidebar box above at right for more details.
Widget Builder and Power-Packed API
All the power of the familiar LibGuides API will be at your disposal to build new and flexible widgets in LibGuides 2. Put your guide content where your users are: in learning management systems, on Web pages, or embedded in guides. Pick what to display from a wide selection of menu-driven choices.
LibGuides CMS will have new, real-time RESTful APIs, making any content stored in your LibGuides system available for you to access, arrange, and present to targeted audiences or all users in LibGuides (or anywhere).
If you’ve loved the way LibAnswers lets you manage your virtual reference, you’re going to fall in love all over again with LibAnswers 2. (Available in coming weeks as an opt-in for all LibAnswers sites.)
Queue 'em Up!
Every question that comes in to LibAnswers is important to the person who asks. But not all questions are asked, or answered, in the same way.
With LibAnswers 2, you’ll be able to set up different queues for different purposes, customizing settings for maximum efficiency and quality response. Each queue can have its own email address, SMS number, and Twitter handle, assuring that questions from users get routed to the right place.
Plus, for each queue, you control:
- Who gets notifications when a question has been submitted.
- Which staff members have access to the queue to answer questions.
- What metadata questions appear on the Ask Us form.
Group Your Public FAQs
In LibAnswers 2, you can categorize, customize, and qualify your public answers in new ways. With LibAnswers groups you can target focused collections of FAQs to specific audiences.
Let business students browse and search business and management FAQs. Embed career and employment FAQs on a job searching help page. Guide professors and instructors to faculty-specific questions and answers.
Each public group can have its own:
- Home page
- Look and feel
- Set of topics
- Associated queue
Conversation and Collaboration Made Easy
Answering reference questions is not always a simple ask/answer proposition. Sometimes there’s back-and-forth conversations with users, and you could involve other librarians, too.
LibAnswers 2 shows the conversation — original question and answer, user and staff replies, and internal staff notes — all on one page with color coding to quickly see which is what.
Plus, we're making it simpler to cc others on any answer. And a new question status — "Pending" — is an easy way to let others know that a question has been claimed and an answer is in the works.
We have an awesome new chat widget builder so that you can build custom chat widgets for different use-case scenarios. Customize the fields/questions prior to chat? Check. Customize the look & feel of the widget? Check. Improved chat ratings & feedback/comments functionality? Check.
Oh, and there’s one more thing....
Co-Browsing in LibChat
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to “see” the webpage where you patron got stuck and needs help, so that you can actually show them how to get “unstuck”? Help them fill out forms, show them how to find stuff in databases, discovery layer, catalog…
Well of course it would be great. And that’s why we’re building a Co-Browse engine into LibChat so you can do all this, and more.
Yes, we’re super-excited about the new LibAnswers and LibChat – and once you see it in action, you will be too!
LibStaffer is a whole new product from Springshare, and you know what that means: your life is about to get a whole lot easier!
What Is LibStaffer?
With LibStaffer, you can:
- Create accounts for everyone in your library (think student assistants and volunteers!)
- Create unlimited schedules (STAFF ALL THE DESKS!)
- Schedule months or semesters at a time with Auto Scheduler (click and DONE!)
- Swap shifts with co-workers
- Submit and track time off/unavailability (Instruction sessions? Meetings? Vacations? No problem!)”
Schedule Your Stuff
See your weekly schedule at-a-glance! View a day, week, or month at a time. There's even a Timeline View that you can use to slide through the days.
Is your library more complicated? No sweat! Put all your services on one schedule:
Worried about double-booking? Worry no more. LibStaffer won't let it happen.
What Else Can LibStaffer Do? Glad You Asked
Favorites — Mark a Shift as Yours! Does Betty open the library every day? Does Luis always work Wednesdays at lunch? Are Sofia and Sara your go-to weekend staff? Mark them as the Favorite staff for those shifts, and they'll be scheduled every week.
Auto-Scheduler — This is Where the Magic Happens! If your library creates a master schedule that staff follow throughout the semester or season, then Auto-Scheduler is your friend! Set up your master schedule, then use Auto-Scheduler to fill it out for the entire period. What are you going to do with all the time you just saved??
Ch-ch-changes — Time Off and Shift Swapping. We know, we know... Sometimes things just don't work out. LibStaffer makes this easy! Enter the times you aren't available to work the desk, be it vacation, class time, or recurring meetings. Did something come up? Just click to swap with a co-worker. Hey Admins, you want to know what's going on? No sweat--you can approve or deny time off, and schedules can be set so that swap requests are mediated by you.
Get the Deets with Reports. What would a Springy product be without awesome reports? Generate a list on the fly – filled or unfilled shifts, or approved, denied, or pending Time-Off requests!
Springy products are designed to fit your library's wallet as well as its workflow. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your quote today.