There's a reason that one of the earliest lessons we are taught in life is how to share. The fundamental principle that holds libraries up is the importance of community, of allowing everyone the same access to information -- with the hope of expanding knowledge for the greater good.
Libraries have also been tasked with keeping up with technology. While you all might be acquiring new tools, it's not only important to learn how to use them, it's also good practice to learn the best ways to let patrons know what is now available to them. Share the new possibilities! Here are some ideas.
LibStaffer, designed to help you schedule your team for work, is typically thought of as an internal tool.
The Public Calendar Page - Want to share a LibStaffer Schedule? You can! Every schedule has the option of creating a friendly URL. This creates a public Schedule page. Share the URL and people can see the schedule without having to log in to the LibStaffer system.
This public Schedule page is set to tell search engines not to index it, so you can share the schedule only with those who need it. Your general community should not see it in search engine results lists.
LibWizard has four useful components -- one of which is the survey. You can make unlimited surveys, and while there are a large variety of possibilities, using this feature to gather feedback is certainly one of the most popular.
What This Says About You - How does gathering feedback fit into the idea of sharing what's newly possible there at your library? When you go out of your way to ask your students, patrons, faculty, etc. what they think -- and even better, what they want -- you're effectively sharing the responsibility.
You're letting them know that the library is what we ALL make of it. You can ask for feedback at the bottom of your answer pages in LibAnswers FAQs. You can attach feedback survey links in the follow-up emails in LibCal for events or instruction sessions. And so much more. Our ideas in this newsletter are about "letting people know," so let them know you care. Just remember -- they'll only believe you if you're really listening. So don't forget to follow up on the feedback.
People are addicted to their phones. The phone is acting as watch, television, alarm clock, computer, movie theater, calendar, grocery list, camera and more. It's no wonder people are rarely without their trusty companions. The LibAnswers Platform comes with an SMS number, which is certainly convenient as more and more people prefer to text than call.
Give Out Your Digits - There are many ways to publicize your SMS/Texting number.
The important thing is to get it into their phones. Just do it. Soon you will be getting texts, which you can answer from within the LibAnswers system.
Tech Squared - Libraries are handling room bookings in many different ways today. We've heard stories that range from old-school pen and paper organizing to using mounted iPads or Digital Signage devices that are on the wall outside the room or set of rooms to inform users about the availability of the room(s). To see how LibCal plays well with such tech, click on the images below to check out blog posts written about both cases! Use of tech like this is an excellent way to advertise that the rooms are bookable. Even if they miss it in an announcement, a simple stroll past the rooms themselves will let them know it's possible because of the impact of such "signage."
LibCal Spaces has GCal and Exchange 2-way sync! If you have touchscreen panels, like Room Wizard or Creston Panels, you can use 2-way Exchange/GCal sync to display real time room availability and allow for booking!
LibInsight is our big data tool designed to store all your data to help you to look for possible correlations, examine year-over-year results, and more. But some may not know that you don't have to enter all the data yourselves! You can use datasets to collect patron feedback data, set up as a survey that gets shared via the LibInsight Widgets!
Which Widget Will It Be? - You can create in-page iframe widgets, side-button widgets, URL-based widgets, and the popular embeddable pop-up widget. You build them and then decide where you want to put them. Sit back and watch the submissions roll in. The data will be in your LibInsight system for you to analyze as you wish.