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SpringyNews: Summer Projects Checklist

June 2015

On Your Timetable: Build a Better Staff Intranet

Improving staff workflows, bettering internal communication, making processes more efficient… that’s the holy grail for any workplace. But these initiatives often hit roadblocks due to the lack of easy-to-use tools to create a functional, affordable, and effective Staff Intranet.

Springy tools to the rescue – the same tools you use to better serve your patrons (LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibCal, LibStaffer…) can serve a double-duty and become a backbone of an effective Staff Intranet.


Create an Internal Staff Calendar with LibCal v2

Setting Up Your Internal Staff Calendar - Easy as a Sunday Morning

Create an internal calendar and add categories so colleagues can tag their events properly.

  • <Oprah VoiceYou Get a Category, And You Get a Category, Everyone Gets a Category! </Oprah Voice>  - Create categories for everyone who works in the library using that calendar.
  • Give Departments Some Love - Create categories for every department in your library
  • Categories for Event Types - Create categories by type, and don't be afraid to get specific. I.e.
    1/2 Day Off, Full Day Off, Appointment, Staff Meeting, Conference, Holiday, Leave of Absence, Webinar
  • Color-Code Categories: Give categories colors so you'll easily spot them in your calendar.
    • - Vacation Time
    • - Conference
    • - Reference Department

Adding Events - Tips for Staff

Once your calendar has been set up, staff can easily add events and tag them with the appropriate categories.

LibCal Adding Events


Filter on Event Categories - Get the Info You Need

Use various category and tag filters to easily see who is doing what.
Some examples: 

  • View all the vacation time this month
  • Who's going to a conference
  • The next Reference Meeting
  • All of Sally's Webinars this year
  • ...and more!

Remind staff to bookmark this calendar, or feed it directly into their Outlook/Google/etc. calendars using the iCal feed. 

LibCal Filtering on Events

Create a Searchable FAQ Database with LibAnswers v2

LibAnswers Internal FAQs

Create an Internal FAQ group in LibAnswers that's searchable, organizable via topics, and easily updated when policies change. Only staff who have login access will be able to view Internal Groups in LibAnswers. 

Q. What's the current fines & fees policy?
Q. How many times can eBooks be renewed?
Q. When's the next fine forgiveness week?
Q. When are we doing stats week?
... Answer anything and everything that staff have questions about!


Setup (Admins Only)

Building Your Internal FAQ Group

  • LibAnswers v2 system and select Admin > Groups
  • Create an FAQ Group > Group Availability > select Internal
  • Customize your group, build a friendly URL, define user permissions, and more!

Creating Topics

Meet with staff and brainstorm how FAQs should be organized. By Department? By Function? 

  • Navigate to Admin > Metadata > Select your Internal Group
  • Click 'Add New Topic' and repeat for all your topics!

Building FAQs

Users with FAQ-building permissions can start creating and publishing FAQs right away. 

Tip: Use FAQ Scheduling to Publish/Unpublish FAQs that are time-sensitive. 
I.e. 'Summer Hours FAQ'

LibAnswers Internal Group WidgetsSharing FAQs at Point-of-Need

  • Build internal FAQ widgets and embed them on your internal staff intranet, LibGuides CMS guide/group, internal blog, etc. 
  • Build internal FAQ widget by topic and embed on point-of-need pages
  • Subscribe to the RSS feeds and get the latest FAQs right into your inbox/feed-reader

Create a Cloud-Based Intranet With LibGuides CMS Groups (v2)

Building LibGuides is super-easy, and let's say it - more than a little bit fun. ;P The same goes for building a Staff Intranet Group in LibGuides CMS.

Setup (Admins)

Navigate to LibGuides CMS > add Group and select Internal

Define User Access: (admins automatically have access)
Add Regular-level Users to this Group and assign:

Venn Diagram
  • Group-Admin Access: They can administer, customize, and view unpublished guides.
  • Regular Access: Ability to build and view published guides in this group.
  • Read-Only: View only the published guides in the group but not build/publish guides.

Accessing Your Intranet:

  • Bookmark the Group Friendly-URL and share with staff. Users must login to access it. 
  • Logged-In Access - If already logged in to LibGuides CMS, user can view any internal groups and navigate to them from the homepage. 
    Internal groups will appear as italicized. 
LibGuides CMS Internal Groups

Important: Do NOT add assets to your LibGuides CMS system that you do not want all authors to have access to. While Internal Groups are secure from public view, it does not stop authors from reusing sensitive assets elsewhere in your LibGuides system.

Save Time with Automated Staff Scheduling

It's not easy to keep track of everyone's time-off requests, availability, max hours, preferred shifts, and shifts at other desks when building a schedule. 

Use LibStaffer's Auto Scheduler to handle all that juggling for you. 

Here's how:

  • Create your LibStaffer schedule and assign staffers to it. Remember, staffers can be assigned to more than one schedule at a time. 
  • Have staff input their time-off requests including days when they're not scheduled to work.
  • Chat with staff about their favorite shifts and use the 'favoriting function' to assign staffers to their preferred shifts. 
  • Run the automated scheduler twice, for a designated time-frame. First, run it for all your favorited staffers and the automated scheduler will assign them first. Then, run it again to staff the unfilled shifts. 
  • Voila! You've scheduled your staffers automagically!

The automated scheduler obeys time-off requests, shifts on other schedules, and max hours per week/month. You won't have to worry about accidentally double-booking staffers or scheduling them when they're not supposed to be working. 

LibStaffer Auto-Scheduler