...says Heather Westerlund the IT Manager at Walden University Libraries.
Walden University is a 100% virtual University servicing over 50,000 students all over the world. And with a staff of only 20 librarians, Heather has to make sure her tools are not only easy-to-use but also intuitive.
The Library came on board with a LibGuides CMS system in 2010 - using it to house their library website and over 4,000 LibGuides they've created over the last 7 years.
Currently, their LibGuides CMS system is the home for 14 separate academic departments.
Each department uses a LibGuides CMS group to house their website.
According to Heather, harmoniously sharing LibApps with so many other departments has been very very successful.
LibGuides CMS is very easy to use and it's very attractive. Previously, many Academic Departments were on dated CMS that was difficult to update and some Departments didn't even have a web presence at all. When they saw what the library was doing, they took notice and got very excited.
Their LibGuides CMS system is not only the web presence for 14 Academic departments but also two University-wide Intranets, a Library Archive, and a Library Staff Intranet with 232+ published internal guides. The Library's restricted Intranet is a LibGuides CMS group 'walled off' from the other Academic Departments and acts as a portal to internal documentation.
Our LibGuides CMS group Intranet has made how we onboard new staff in the Library much more efficient and has facilitated knowledge sharing and training for all staff.
And to really make use of their LibApps tools, Heather has created LibWizard surveys embedded inside their restricted Intranet to allow staff to give feedback on pages.
Plus, the Library maintains a Tip Of The Week LibGuides Blog - pushing out research tips to students on regular basis.
All of this is accomplished inside one LibGuides CMS system.
The library shares a LibAnswers system with 13 Academic departments.
With over 1,171 FAQs, the LibAnswers system has grown to become a University-wide knowledgebase. Garnering over 1,822,794 views since 2012.
Students come to one place to search for financial aid help, library skill FAQs, or Writing Center assistance. Students really seem to love the FAQ system.
But it doesn't end there, the library plus four other Academic departments use LibAnswers LibChat to provide live virtual reference assistance to students.
Since January 1, 2017 - they've answered a total of 2,666 chats with the Library representing 600 of those chats.
Their LibCal system is also shared with 5 other Academic departments. Seventeen calendars had a total of 993 events in 2016.
The Center for Student Success and the Library share a public calendar and use LibCal for event management. They then use the LibCal widgets to promote the events on the library website. Easy peasy!
The Library makes extensive use of their My Scheduler to schedule Doctoral appointments with Subject Liaison experts. But, they're not the only ones! The other Academic departments are also making use of the My Scheduler. Since January 1, 2017, they've have a collective 1,392 bookings.
The Library doesn't really own the LibApps systems anymore. Each Academic department has control over their own LibGuides CMS groups, LibAnswers FAQ groups, and LibCal Calendars. We did form a working group for creating best practices for styling but otherwise, we all live very harmoniously inside these shared systems.
Utilizing the entire platform of Springshare tools makes it easy for the Walden Library to make use of cross-tool integrations.
"When we can just do something once internally and it gets pushed out to everywhere its embedded is a TOTAL WIN."
Here are just a few examples of the cool integrations they're doing:
The Springshare platform is one of the easiest application suites we've ever used. It is so intuitive meaning very little training is required for our users so it saves a lot of time. Staff really enjoy working in LibApps, which you can't say about a lot of software. Staff are excited to go in and edit and play around with content. Springshare has been extremely responsive to improvement and feature requests. I personally rate good tech support highly and we really appreciate that.