Feature - Novanet Springshare Show & Tell Day


On Friday December 12, over forty librarians from across Novanet came to the Dalhousie Killam Library for a “Show & Tell Day” for SpringShare products. The event came about as the result of a conversation about LibGuides 2.0 migration planning between Denyse Rodrigues (Mount Saint Vincent University) and Sarah Stevenson (Dalhousie University): “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a bunch of people using different SpringShare products in the same room, and talk about what does and doesn’t work?”

After conscripting Gwendolyn MacNairn (Dalhousie) to the cause, we tested the idea through the Novanet General listserv. The response to the concept was far greater than we expected, so we set to work creating a programme. We recruited presenters from SMU, StFX, MSVU, Dal, and NSCC to discuss their experiences with LibAnswers, LibChat, LibCal, LibAnalytics and LibGuides 2.0 migration.

LibAnswers & LibChat

Terri Milton (MSVU) presented on MSVU’s experience using LibAnswers to answer questions from patrons, consult & delegate internally, and create public Frequently Asked Questions.

Saint Mary’s University has been using LibChat to accept and address SMS noise complaints at the Patrick Power Library. Brigit Bell and Susan Cannon took the group through the implementation of the service and gave a live demonstration from Brigit’s smartphone. The service, which allows anonymous complaints by text-messaging directly to the Access Services desk, has been both popular and effective.


Dalhousie University Libraries started the implementation of LibAnalytics in the summer of 2014 to improve data collection for public services and teaching activities during the fall semester. Gwendolyn MacNairn and Lindsay McNiff walked the group through the challenges of standardizing the collection methods (each library location kept different information), deciding what to track, and what data fields will be dropped or modified in 2015. Overall, Dalhousie has found LibAnalytics to be a very helpful tool for analyzing busy periods at our service points.


Rita Campbell demonstrated how she is using LibCal for scheduling research appointments with St Francis Xavier students. Rita has found this a convenient and efficient way to schedule appointments and gave the group a demonstration of how it works.

LibGuides 2.0 – Migration Stories

This session featured speakers from 4 institutions: Denyse Rodrigues (MSVU); Lise Brin (Saint Francis Xavier); Amy Paterson (Nova Scotia Community College); and Lindsay McNiff (Dalhousie). Denyse gave an overview of the new features and she and Lindsay talked about migration preparation and pitfalls to avoid. Denyse also talked about why MSVU chose to go with sidebar navigation. Amy Paterson demonstrated what can be done using LibGuides CMS and CSS coding to customize their guide site. Lise Brin demonstrated how she has used LibGuides widgets to keep the library hours updated on their website.

The participant feedback has been very positive, with interest in more consortial events in the future. Selected presentation slides and additional resources are available at http://dal.ca.libguides.com/springshareday2014

The organizers wish to thank Novanet and the Dalhousie Libraries for their generous support of SpringShare Day.