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SpringyNews - Building Blocks for Optimal Learning

December 2019

Recent Updates October and November 2019

Highlights from the October and November updates for LibCal include:

  • Events By Association - You can now associate library/department hours from the Hours Module with an Event calendar. Once linked, you’ll get an alert if an event gets created that falls outside the library/department’s open hours. It will say, WARNING! THE LIBRARY IS NOT ALWAYS OPEN FOR THE TIMES SELECTED FOR THIS EVENT. Pick a calendar first. Then go to Settings > Calendar Settings > ‘Linked to LibCal Opening Hours’ > to choose! 


  • Featured Image - Add a featured event image to the card view layout. Display at the top of the event card or inside the event card. First make sure your calendar has card view enabled at Admin > Calendars > Settings > Calendar Default Display. Select where you want the featured images to display.  At event creation, scroll down to Featured Image where you can upload or add via image manager.

Other Notable Enhancements:

  • Google Maps displays the location of your LibCal event using geo-location. 
  • You can now search by equipment barcode on the “check out” tab.
  • You can switch languages for the public facing pages.
  • When emailing attendees from the Manage Event > Email Attendees page, the logged-in user sending the email is now BCC'ed.
  • Are you syncing Appointments with Google or Exchange/Outlook? Now you can see the last time a calendar was synced! Head to your Appointments page to see this information.
  • In Equipment Booking, all elements on the admin pages can now be navigated via keyboard.

To read about all the new features from the November code release, check out the blog post. 

With the 2.29.0 release we’re moving a step closer to wide release of Co-Op functionality! We’re focused on bringing you the ultimate in cooperative chat technology. In the meantime, we have these great new features and updates as we get everything ready to bring you those big new features.

  • Behind the Scenes - We’re hard at work on critical Co-Op functionality, including robust reporting, activity reports, fully integrated backup staffing FAQs, integrated feedback functionality, and so much more!

  • Chat Widget Accessibility - You can now tab to the chat conversation pane and scroll up and down using the keyboard. Previously,  if the patron was using just the keyboard to navigate, there was no way to tab over and activate the upper area of the chat, so it wasn't possible to scroll back up through that content unless you were using a mouse.
  • LibChat Greeting - A new chat message that automatically displays to patrons after the chat has been claimed but before the librarian’s first reply. It’s a fast way to make sure the patron is acknowledged and helpful if your chat service is hopping! Consortium and Co-Op folks can also set up different greetings for chats claimed by a local LibAnswers librarian versus a non-local librarian. See LibChat > Chat Widgets > During the Chat > Greeting Message to Create One.
  • Tagging Chats - Let's tag chat transcripts / interactions! Users can tag during the chat or after the fact via the chat transcripts tab. Later you can filter the transcripts by this tag. Chats can be tagged via LibChat > Transcripts > Quick View > Add Tag, and you can also tag a chat while it’s in progress using the new tag chat icon (new chat dashboard only).

  • Moving Internal Chats - For users who’d like to keep patron chats away from internal ones, we’ve added a new account setting that will allow you to move Internal chat content – including department chats and op-to-op chats – into its own tab. To edit this setting, click on your email address in the top right corner of the screen and head to Account Settings > LibChat Settings.

Additional new enhancements:

  • Default Follow-Up Queue - We’ve added a widget setting so users can identify which LibAnswers queue should (by default) receive follow-up tickets created from chats that start in this widget. 

  • Knowledge Base Quick Look - Preview any ticket’s contents in the Knowledge Base.

To see everything new in LibAnswers from the November code release, check out the blog post

LibGuides is being worked on behind the scenes to bring about back-end improvements. Here are some popular new features from the updates in October and November:

  • Blog Content Searching - People want to be able to search the system blogs and guide blogs because the blog writing can really take off quickly. ADMIN > Look & Feel > Page Layout > Search > Search Results Customization > Drag Blog to the tabs area. Your search results page can be switched from Tab to Bento as you like. All blog pages have a search box on the right so you can easily search within a blog.
  • Regulating the Regulars - There is now no reusing of boxes from LibGuides whose sharing is set to NONE. Also, Regular users can’t reuse boxes on unpublished LibGuides to which they do not have access. They must own or have edit privileges to a LibGuide to do that. Note: Regular users can still reuse boxes from Published and Private guides that are not limited as outlined above.
  • LTI Tool: We updated the LTI Preview tool so that you can test your metadata even if you have a failover guide in place. Go to LibApps > Admin > LTI Tool Builder > LTI Automagic > LTI Page Builder and click the Preview button at the bottom of the section to preview how your LTI tool will work inside your LMS.

Accessibility Updates:

  • We corrected a missing form label for the Google Search and Poll Asset types.
  • ARIA labels are updated to allow a Guides search widget and an AZ search widget to live on the same page.
  • We added an ARIA label for the email address in the command bar on the admin side.
  • We added an icon and screen reader text to the Help link on the Command bar so that screen reader users are notified that this link opens in a new window.

Eager to learn about all the cool new updates that have hit LibInsight? Some of them are here:

  • Let's Hear it for "Other" - We added a tab called “Other” to the E-Resources / COUNTER 5 dataset. COUNTER 5 data includes usage for items beyond Journals, Books, and Databases, for instance Newspapers or Newsletters, Dissertations, Reports, etc. You might want to see and analyze that stuff, too. Do an analysis in your COUNTER 5 dataset and check out the Other tab to see these titles.Are you new to COUNTER Release 5? Check out these resources to help with planning your dataset.
  • Help Where You Need It - We added links to training materials when you create an E-Resources / COUNTER 5 dataset. Datasets > Manage datasets > Add New Dataset > E-Resources/COUNTER 5 > Next, then you’ll see the links on the right.
  • Account List Option - You'll see a newly-added display option to Multi-Select fields called Account List. Now, you can – in one step – get everyone who has an account in the system into the field for selection by the user. This is great for things like “Please indicate who taught your orientation session.” Or, “Who answered your question?” 
  • Display Inactive Accounts in Entered By Fields - If you've had turnover and want to save some space in your data entry pages, you can turn off the display of Inactive accounts in your Entered By fields. You'll find this in Admin > System Settings.

Our development team has been working behind the scenes to tighten up and modernize the LibInsight code. 

LibStaffer is getting more exciting each time we look at it! Peruse the highlights from the October and November updates so you can see what's possible now!

  • Multi-language - You can select from English, French, and Spanish right now for the public side and/or the back end. 
  • Minimums Count - We added a minimum number of hours per week, not just maximum hours. Library Managers in charge of the schedules wanted to make sure that staff minimum hours were being met.
  • Swap and Give-Up Shifts Restrictions - You can now set a cut-off point for shift swapping and giving up. This will help prevent last-minute swaps or too much unpredictability in your staffing. You can select from 30 minutes to 24 hours before (in listed increments) as your window. To limit giving up shifts, go to Admin > Schedule Settings > Edit Settings > Give Up Shifts > Enable restriction. 
  • LibCal Hours Integration - This new enhancement lets you link LibCal hours to a schedule in LibStaffer. This way, you can overlay opening and closing hours for that location on your schedule. 
  • Staff Member Selection Filter - During the Clear/Delete shift process, it is now possible to pick a particular staff member to remove from shifts for a specific date range. 
  • Default Staff - For those Admin level users or Regular users with Schedule Admin permissions, you can now set a default staff view for this page. By default, you can limit the view to only certain staff vs. everyone in the system. Simply choose the users you want to see in the default view and click “Set as Default View." The next time you visit that page, you’ll automatically see that filtered view.

There are so many more awesome additions to LibStaffer from this November code release, including enhancements in the Approval Page, Reports, and Workflow Forms. Check them all out here.

LibWizard is going to wow you with its cool new features and enhancements. Read about some of them here: 

  • Ranking Field - LibWizard has a new field type. You can ask people to rank from high to low or bummer to awesome, or however you want to phrase it. Add the field and list your line items. Make sure the question reflects how you want the items ordered/ranked. For example, ask your survey taker to rank the "kinds of events" in order of most- to least likely to attend.
  • Limit Number of Submissions for Forms, Surveys, Quizzes, and Tutorials - If you're using forms for some sort of sign-up purposes or some other purpose for which you'd like to limit, you can. Go to Options > Submission Behavior > Set submission limit.
  • Device Preview - Wish you could preview your work in LibWizard by device so you can see how it will look in different formats? Now you can! Click on Desktop, Tablet, or Mobile and see what your form, quiz, survey, or tutorial will look like!​


  • Image Choices - In surveys, quizzes, and tutorials, you'll find a new option. For a really engaging question, you can now add a multiple choice field called Image Option. You just add an image for each choice by either uploading an image file or entering the URL of the image from the web. You can also add an image caption, which can either be hidden or displayed below the image (recommended). 
  • Mobile Grids - The Grid question type is now more mobile-friendly. It now displays where the items on the left of the Grid are now each their own section and the things on the top are now displayed below each of the sections.

LibCRM updates are here for you from the October and November code releases.

  • Bulk Import Organizations - You can now bulk-import a list of organizations into LibCRM, and the Create New Organization name field now has an auto complete feature. The bulk import helps automate more of your LibCRM setup. The auto complete feature helps you normalize organization names and avoid duplicates with slight variations.
  • Address Field Display Options - Get even more efficient! Select which parts of the field you want to show in a profile. Plus set default country and states. Admin > Manage Form Fields > Field for Person Types > Fields Applicable to All Types > New Field > Field Type > Address Field (whew!), then choose which fields you want displayed, and set default country or state.

Filters are magical. We’ve added several to make quick work of searching through your data in the tables in the People, Organizations, Interactions, and Tasks areas. Use a single filter or combine multiple to narrow the data further, including narrowing by date range!

  • People/Organizations: Search / filter by keyword, Name, Type, Email, Owner, or Number of Interactions; you can also filter Last Interaction by date range.
  • Interactions: Search / filter by keyword, Subject, Source, Type, Owner, or Interaction with…; you can also filter Interaction Date by date range.
  • Tasks: Search / filter by keyword, Subject, Owner, Related Projects, Associated Profiles, Number of Assignees, or Status; you can also filter Due Date by date range.

In this round of updates, the LibCRM team has improved the UI of several pages.

  • UI - Moved the main page button (e.g., New Person, New Organization) to the top right corner of the page. 
  • UI - Changed the “Refresh” button to an icon and moved next to the main button (top right corner).

There are also updates to the Manage System Emails page (now called Manage Unmatched System Emails). To read more about all the improvements, check out the blog post.


Upcoming Updates

In addition to our upcoming Co-Op functionality, we'll also be introducing a few nice-to-have features in LibAnswers, including:

  • Include System Messages in LibChat Transcripts - We're updating chat transcripts to include system messages, to give a more complete view of what happened during a chat exchange. Once this feature rolls out, you'll be able to view information on when chats were claimed/transferred, when contact info was requested/received, when screensharing sessions were started/ended, and more! Note that, at least initially, these system messages will not display in the transcripts that patrons receive.
  • Display Number of Active Chats In Progress - The Chat Activity Tab and the Chat Transfer window are getting updated to display the number of patron chats that each operator is currently engaged in, so you'll know who's busy and who's more readily available to accept new chats!
  • Improving Multi-chat Overlay View - We're making some quality of life improvements to the Multi-chat Overlay View, and optimizing the buttons, controls, and view ports so they take up a bit less space. This way, focus can remain on the chat in progress.

LibWizard is unstoppable as our team magically makes the tool indispensable. 


  • Individual Answer Choice Feedback - This enhancement is for radios, dropdowns, and checkbox question fields. At present, we allow combined feedbacks (either correct or incorrect feedbacks). There has been a demand to provide a custom feedback message based on each of the possible answers. 
  • Position - We're adding the ability to reposition the standalone tutorial canvas (slides) to the left or right. There have been a number of requests for this.

On the horizon for LibCRM:

  • Email Module – Users will be able to create emails to reach multiple people. Additionally, they are going to be able to create reusable distribution lists of recipients.
  • Bulk Import – We are working on improving this functionality. We plan to fix some bugs encountered and make it more flexible to better support our customer needs. 

Get a glimpse into the future of LibCal.

  • New Community Page – We are reworking/revamping the LibCal Community page to provide a better experience for our users. It's getting some positive TLC!
  • Granular User Permissions – We will be continuing to add more granular user permissions to LibCal so admins can continue to restrict functionality of regular users. We're aiming to prevent errors/unwanted actions, etc. that are currently open to regular users.

LibInsight gets you more of the stats you love!

  • If your Calendaring dataset in LibInsight is connected to your LibCal system, you'll soon be able to view statistics for Spaces and Equipment.

LibStaffer's upcoming feature enhancements are all about making the manager's life easier.

  • Time Off – Admins will soon be able to add time off for multiple staff members in the same time off “request.” Currently, you can only key in time off for one staff member at a time.
  • Time Off – Let's say someone requested time off and it's been approved, however, that person is already scheduled to work. We will be adding an option to remove a staff member from an existing shift assignment if the requested time off is during that shift. 

Look ahead to what's in store for LibGuides and LibAuth.

  • Language Keys - Coming soon! We're adding language keys for LibGuide blogs. If your main system language is not English, or if you have groups of guides in another language, you'll soon be able to customize labels on blog pages. Please email us if you're interested in adding translated phrases for blogs.
  • OAuth2 - Coming soon to LibAuth will be group permissions for OAuth2 connections. If your SSO is OAuth2, you'll be able to refine authentication to allow certain groups of users to authenticate to your Springy resources.