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SpringyNews - Communities Reimagined

July 2020

Recent Updates - June & July

The LibCal team have been busy bees! Check out these major highlights from the last two months.

Spaces & Equipment

Seat Reservations - In case you missed it, the new Spaces add-on module - LibCal Seats - was just released! Learn more about our new seat booking and building capacity utilization tool on the Places for All page. We already have new features on the way for Seats -- check them out below!

You can now search for Internal Notes in bookings via the Booking Explorer, for both Spaces and Equipment.

Microsoft Teams integration for Events and Appointments

The much-requested integration for Microsoft Teams to support online Appointments and Events is here! Once it's set up and enabled in LibCal Admin > Integrations and authorized for individual users, it'll show up as an online location for a calendar event and generate Teams meeting links for appointments!


Zoom webinar and password creation support is here!  If the Zoom account used to create an online Event has the webinar feature enabled, you will now have the ability to choose whether your event is a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, and the option to set a password.


Accessibility feature - Ever wanted to modify the colors and patterns displayed for the different statuses on the admin-side availability grid?  Now you can! Admins can go to Admin > Appointments > Settings to set this system-wide. Users can go to Appointments > My Settings > Color Settings to set it up for their own Appointments.

The LibGuides team has spent most of the last month doing back-end improvements to LibGuides and LibApps. Hand-in-hand with expanded use of online classes and virtual services, use of LibGuides has really shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we weathered the spring without downtime, we wanted to get under the hood and improve things even more, before back-to-school is upon us. 

As previously announced, we rolled out an updated rich text editor!  This update is cleaner (and fully-functional!) and allows you to use the built-in browser spell-check capabilities.

On the smaller fixes front, we fixed an issue that was causing Font Awesome icons in guide titles in search results to display as code.

You'll swoon at all the great new things the developers have worked on for LibAnswers clients.

LibChat Sound Settings: Good news! Admins can now customize the sounds that play for each event that happens in LibChat, including new chat, new patron reply, new internal message, and new ticket. Head to Admin > LibChat Setup > Settings > Audio Alerts to sample and customize sounds for all users of the site.

Ticket Preview URL: If you’ve ever needed to collaborate with a colleague on how to answer a ticket, but the ticket is currently unclaimed, we’ve added a shareable ticket preview URL, so others can view the ticket’s contents without claiming the question. To grab the new preview URL, head to the LibAnswers Dashboard and select Quick Look -> Copy Preview URL.

Query Spy Bulk Delete: If your Query Spy data has ever been bombarded by an IP address that generated a bunch of non-human-looking searches, site admins can now delete in bulk Query Spy results which were generated by a specific IP address in Stats > Query Spy.

Shared Group System Reporting: In July, we started adding new reports to provide aggregated reporting for Shared Group System sites. These include new high-level annual reports with new detailed reports coming soon.

24/7 Reference Cooperative: Institution and Co-Op Admins can now view a breakdown of the number of Co-Op chats which were answered by each participating Group Member Library. It's now easier to see and view transcripts by institution. Additionally, email addresses are no longer required for follow up tickets!

Fixes and smaller improvements:

  • If you transfer a ticket to an address book address, and that addressee replies to the transferred ticket notification, those replies will no longer generate a new ticket. They will now become threaded with the original ticket, as expected.
  • Removed iFrame Chat: To provide a better overall user experience, we’ve removed the “iFrame Chat” option from the LibChat dashboard.
  • Sites with shared chat departments will no longer see an error regarding Unknown Users.

The LibStaffer team has some new things to share with you.

Drop Shift Functionality: We're excited to add this highly-requested feature! Now staff members can give up shifts without still being responsible for the shift. With this option enabled, staff can drop a shift, and that shift will remain unassigned.  Schedule admins can go to Admin > Schedule Settings > edit schedule > Drop shift to view and choose an option, which also specifies how long before a shift occurs it is allowed to be dropped.

Smaller Fixes and Features

  • We fixed an issue preventing some Schedule Admins who are Regular Users from being able to approve Time Off requests.
  • We addressed an issue preventing the removal of shifts from Outlook, if a staff member was unassigned during the Find & Replace process.
  • We resolved a sort issue on the Dashboard with Open Shifts.

For this release, the LibCRM team is pleased to bring users the Roles & Permissions functionality. This much-requested feature set will enable admins to designate who can do what in their LibCRM system.

With the Roles & Permissions functionality, system admins can create new roles in the system, then assign them specific permissions in the People, Organizations, and Interactions modules. Also coming soon are Roles & Permissions for the Reports area. Admins can head to Admin > Roles & Permissions to get started.

For People, Organizations, and Interactions, you can assign Create, View, Edit or Delete permissions. A role can also be set to View Statistics for People and Organizations.

The LibInsight team has been spending time on backend work along with a few accessibility fixes, but they have one big improvement announcement from our June release.

COUNTER 5 analysis reports are now ignoring rows for non-Database content included by the SUSHI provider in Database Master reports. Conversely, these reports now populate the Journal, Book, and Other tabs based on the Title Master Report only.

This will ensure that only Database metrics are shown in the Databases tab, only Journals metrics are shown in the Journals tab, etc. (Note: we will be removing some additional non-database metrics from Databases > Usage > Titles reports in a future release.)

This month, we have a couple of recent system-wide updates to share with you!

Since Microsoft now recommends Microsoft Edge as the default browser and is only releasing security updates for Internet Explorer 11 to support backward compatibility, we've made the decision to no longer support Internet Explorer. For full compatibility with Springshare tools, please access your sites from Edge or another modern web browser like the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Springshare now encrypts all databases (including backups) at rest that contain customer data. We use industry-standard AES 256 encryption.

Upcoming Updates

The LibCal team has a bunch of new features lined up for this summer/fall!

Appointments and Events

Time zone public page support - We're super excited about rolling out this popular request. This feature allows you to more clearly indicate appointment and event times with users spread across different states, regions and countries.

A more secure way to set up online meetings and events integration with Zoom OAuth support.

Spaces & Seats

We asked for feedback for the brand new Seats module, and we heard your suggestions! Here are some things we have at the top of our list:

  • Automatically cancel a Space or Seat booking if a patron has not checked in within a certain window.
  • Seat pagination on the public side to improve browsing and loading times.
  • Streamlined patron booking page: when there is only one option in a location/zone/capacity, the drop-down will be set to that option by default.
  • Contact tracing and peak occupancy reports.
  • The option to automatically insert a LibWizard survey in the check out confirmation page.

In case you missed it, we're working on new curbside communication and checkout features with LibAnswers, including ILS integration! This is a work in progress so we don't have too many details to share yet, but you can learn more in our recent blog post!


We have a few things on their way for LibGuides!

Later this year, we will make LTI 1.3 available to take advantage of its new features and improved security.

  • This means action must be taken on your end - but not to worry! It won’t impact your current, LTI 1.0 manual content placements or guide/E-Reserves metadata.
  • However, you will be required to work with your Blackboard, Canvas, or Moodle admin (if that’s not you) to set up another LibGuides tool in your LMS with the updated URLs and Secrets. 

Usage is still running higher than normal during these COVID-19 times, and the LibGuides team will be continuing its backend work to ensure things are still up and running smoothly leading into the busy fall semester.

We do have a few accessibility updates in the works to address color contrast and alt text issues!


There are some exciting things coming down the pipeline for August!

Microsoft Teams Integration - Wahoo! In addition to our existing Zoom screensharing options we currently have available for Zoom, we're adding support for Microsoft Teams! The process will work very similarly to our existing screensharing options, and we'll be sure to have our FAQs up on our Help Center as soon as they're complete! 

OAuth authentication support for our existing APIs - We're adding foundational support for a new generation of LibAnswers APIs! With this release, we'll introduce our new version 1.1 APIs. These will function similarly to our existing APIs, but will require OAuth authentication for additional security and peace of mind. We're planning to build on this foundation to bring you lots of existing functionality in the future, including....

Write APIs for LibAnswers tickets - We're adding POST APIs so it'll be possible to create tickets in LibAnswers from third party forms/sources! Now instead of complicated workarounds involving forwarding non-LibAnswers tickets from various sources, you'll be able to create tickets in LibAnswers by POSTing using our shiny new APIs!

Macro Improvements - Soon you'll be able to apply macros to internal notes. Also, we're adding file attachment support for macros!

These updates are still on the to-do list for LibStaffer: undefined

  • Personal time zone features for remote workers that live in a different zone from the LibStaffer system time zone.
  • Remember when we added Locations and Departments, to begin organizational hierarchy support? We'll be rolling out features tied to these settings, as we have for Positions.
  • We do not have an ETA for these features yet, but we wanted to let you know they are coming this fall!

The LibInsight team is continuing on with their backend work, but they have a UI improvement on the way!

We're adding the option to filter column views on COUNTER 5 Usage reports for Database, Journals, and Books tabs. This means users will be able to toggle which columns they want to see, making usage reports more readable and more usable when downloaded.