After years of working with our clients and hearing from them about which priorities they want to tackle with their Springshare tools, we've learned many things about the libraries themselves. For instance, how big or small the teams can be, how eager they are to innovate or how thinly spread they are. We discover more and more about the challenges the librarians face. And, we're very excited to also be privy to the hopes they have for the library including which sorts of ways they want to level up their services for their patrons.
One of the things we have recognized -- is that many institutions would love some help. Springshare has launched Consulting Services, which as we said in a recent blog post, "...is all about us spending quality time singularly focused on helping customers with specific projects."
It's been a great pleasure to work with the Parlett L. Moore Library at Coppin State University on just such a consulting project. We interviewed the Head of Reference, Research & Instruction, LaTrice Curtis-Istance who reached out to us for the assist. What follows is a Q&A style look at how their experience came about and the result.
Q: How (historically) did you and your team get trained and learn to use your Springshare tools?
A: First, we (myself and 3 coworkers) attended the LibGuides Basics session. Then I attended many more sessions and viewed tutorials as it was clear that our needs (to use Springshare and the LibGuides CMS as our library website) required more than the basic LibGuides session.
A: After a year of working with the platform and understanding the requirements for a professional website, I was about to learn CSS myself when I happened upon the announcement for the consulting service.
As my campus was also overhauling its website and my library dean was unsatisfied with the beta version, I jumped at the chance to have a live consultant. Guidance on site organization and customization were the main objectives.
We were unable to secure a general site consultant prior, so to have one based at Springshare who knew library needs and not only the tech needs was amazing.
LaTrice further explains that, "Previously, we had a very basic library page that was not conducive to offering the remote services required by Covid restrictions and a new world of academia and service provision (more long-term)."
A: I worked with two people, Dave Ware (our Regional Sales Rep) and Carrie Williams (Springy Expert & Consultant).
Dave was fast and efficient, and Carrie was a literal Godsend!! I was comfortable with Carrie as she was the leader on most of the tutorials and sessions I attended. She was caring, intuitive and patient.
LaTrice continues on about her Consultant saying,
She was also gracious enough to let me vent about the project in general. She was a delight and I told her on more than one occasion that I would squeeze her to pieces if we ever met in person.
A: We learned that patrons want flexibility. Flexibility includes access options, resource types, and assistance options.
The world has long moved away from set business hours and patrons want to be able to access information and assistance long beyond traditional business hours.
LaTrice recalls, "These last almost two years has also shown that options are a must anyway, because life happens out of the blue and adjustments need to be made on the fly."
Springshare has helped us meet the needs of patrons and our professional service delivery needs as well.
Springshare's Consulting Services is a new offering that has really taken off because sometimes --libraries big and small -- need a little expert help. Coppin State University's Moore Library team cares so much about the patron experience and ensuring that visitors to their LibGuides CMS-powered website find it easy to use. Going forward, it's important to the librarians that whether their students and faculty are on-campus or online anywhere, they can get the support that they need. Our Consulting Team is so happy they could contribute to this goal.