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LibConnect Handbook

LibConnect documentation


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About LibConnect

What is LibConnect?

LibConnect is a Customer Relationship Management platform built for libraries. This tool offered through LibApps can help you gain a better understanding of our users and their needs. Many of the features of LibConnect with its powerful task management and flexible design can help outreach, development, and liaisons track relationships and demonstrate value.

What is the Purpose of LibConnect?

Focus on measuring engagement
Manage outreach in one place
Identify gaps in outreach efforts
Collect information for annual reporting events
It is important to note that this tool is not about measuring work done, but rather tracking data that we are obligated to report, learning about the connections we have with Virginia Tech and the world at large, and doing so in a way that allows for anonymity.
For years data collection at the University Libraries centered around reporting numbers to ARL, ACRL, and IPEDS. Now, in light of the PIBB and the present-day need for data-informed decision making, there has been an increasing emphasis on data collection throughout the libraries.
As of fall of 2020 the Data Analytics Team collected data about the work that happens throughout the library. But the distribution of work (liaison duties, consultations, instruction) across department lines can create unintended inconsistencies. For example, consultations occur library wide. For this one area, data currently is reported using 10 separate data collection devices (e.g. forms, apps, etc) and resides in 4 systems (Teamdesk, Dreamfactory, Springshare, Google Forms). This is not good data collection practice. By having different principles, definitions, data structure, and mechanisms across the libraries, problems with data collection and reporting can and have occurred, including issues of timeliness, consistency and transparency. In addition, siloed data must be manually consolidated for reporting, making the process time-consuming.
A single data collection system would coordinate and consolidate the large number of reporting systems currently being used and increase the efficiency for gathering data of reports. This will allow the Data Analytics Team to focus on analysis of programs and services and creating dashboards to supplement annual reviews, departmental reports and the strategic plan, instead of gathering and combining data for reports. This would also remedy current data collection unevenness in the libraries; some areas collect very granular data and others do not emphasize data collection at all.
LibConnect will help to create consistency by using the same principles, definitions, data structure, and mechanism across the library. This will make it easier to implement new data collection points or amend ones that need to be changed. As we systemize gathering core library metrics (that are not currently gathered, or not gathered/reported systematically) and solidify metrics/milestones for the upcoming strategic plan, this will benefit creating instructional tutorials and other educational tools to ensure that 1) information is being recorded and 2) when a change is made to data collection it is made in one place and affects all areas.
Over time, and perhaps within the first year, the University Libraries will see a net cost savings, as departments that are paying for individual systems no longer have to foot that cost, and departments that have built data collection apps will no longer have to pay employee man hours to spend time and effort maintaining these individual systems.

Why LibConnect and not another tool?

This system, and several others were evaluated in 2019 by a Library Council Task Force. The taskforce recommendation is as as follows, along with the criteria:
The system that best suits our needs at this time is
. LibConnect is a Customer Relationship Management system with project management and reporting. There is the ability to record individual interactions, and there is a lot of flexibility to accommodate recording the different and sometimes disparate aspects of work of the University Libraries.
Additionally, the task force is recommending this product with the understanding that the setup of the product would be somewhat unique to a CRM system to allow anonymity where appropriate. This could include de-emphasis on contact with specific individuals, however we do believe that the system is flexible enough to accommodate work-arounds and still be a valuable and viable tool for data collection, as well as be a tool for gathering enough information to build relationships with individuals and organizations where appropriate.
Some of the factors that go into our recommendation:
Security: LibConnect is HTTPS, and encrypted in-transit and at-rest.
Data Storage: Data is stored in the cloud using AWS.
Data Extraction and Reporting:
Extraction: The system has an API for extraction and spreadsheets of data can be downloaded in the interface. The API extraction would need to be built out by working with Springshare staff. This is on the features list, but it is not on this year’s timeline.
Reporting: The reporting system allows a user to create templates of different types of reports, including being able to dictate which data types should be included, which fields should be included, and naming and saving those templates so they can be run with two clicks in the future. Users have the ability to pull data using custom fields from the system created by the user, and they are working on a scheduling system so that a user can have the reports run automatically and the user just shows up to download them on certain days of the month. The system provides a list of all of the reports that have been created, who created them and when. Finally, the system generates a block of text that describes the report and adds it to the top of the spreadsheet. For example, "This report contains interactions of the type Instruction that include Faculty members of the College of Science organization." He said their goal is that every report is self explanatory if you come back to it months later.
Flexibility: This is a new product, and doesn’t have a lot of features, however the core functionality and flexibility that is needed in a data collection system is there. With every update the product includes more features. Depending on how it is initially set up, there is the needed flexibility to allow for each area to collect additional data they need/want to make decisions while still standardizing the areas of data collection for combining and reporting to governing bodies.
Price: This is one of the lowest cost options. The quote was for $3,499.00 per year.
Expertise (Low Code): This is a low code solution. We can customize the look of the page with coding, but no coding is required for the actual setup and use of the application. A system administrator would not have to know or utilize coding to update or maintain the system.
Integration(with current tools): This software is a Springshare product. The Library currently uses a suite of Springshare products, including LibCal, LibGuides, LibAnswers, LibStaffer, and LibInsight. Currently, LibCal and LibAnswers can be automatically integrated into LibConnect, although Springshare is actively working to integrate their other products. Also worth mentioning is that data can be batch uploaded into the system, which would make initial setup very easy.
Ease of use: This system has a fairly intuitive interface for end users and structure that mimics other systems currently being used in the library. It has good help documentation and a responsive support team. As noted above, there is the ability to customize the look of the page with coding.
Legal/University approval: Springshare (the company that developed LibConnect) is approved. They have signed the full FERPA agreement, and the library has not had to go through the procurement process to add modules to the LibApps instance in the past. The task force is fairly confident that LibConnect is a module in the LibApps instance, and as such would not need extra approval.
Levels of access: This software has both Admin and User access permissions. LibConnect is currently working on updating the permissions system, to enable the creation of groups in the system, assignment of those various groups different permissions on each data type in the system (create, view, edit, delete for either all owned by the user, all not owned by administrators, and all), and then finally, assignment of individual users to those groups. The update will allow a very deep nuance in permissions and the library should be able to have a lot of different levels of access to the system as needed. These permissions can also apply to things like running reports in the system as well. As of communication in May of 2020, roll out is anticipated by the end of June of 2020
Visualization tools: LibConnect currently has some rudimentary visualization through the people and organization profiles but not through the reports. It will, however, have an API to build a connection to other visualization tools.

LibCRM will be able to ingest our data that has been collected in various systems across the library, based on a sample structure provided. They would need to do the work on the backend, and have indicated that they are happy to do so. They are also working on more ingest systems similar to what already exist for People and Organizations that would allow a user to do the ingest themselves. He said they would expect that to be released before the end of the year.
LibCRM has a sufficient
library for both initial configuration and for users, as well as a
to help with setup and live training opportunities. The cost of these are covered under the subscription cost.
The goal was to find a unified system that was at least as good or better than the current systems being used across the library (Data Collection Apps, Teamdesk, Google Forms, LibInsight Forms, Qualtrics forms). The composition of the task force included representatives who had built, structured, were currently using or had extended knowledge of the above systems, as well as representatives from IT.

Navigate LibConnect Homepage

Homepage Overview
Notification Settings
LibConnect News
Homepage Overview
Images (click to enlarge)
Landing Dashboard
When you log into LibCRM, you land on your personalized dashboard.
In addition to the latest news and announcements from Springshare, you'll find the following: Manage Notifications, Overview, LibConnect News, Tutorials, Email Campaigns (we do not use), ILS Sync information, and graphics of Interactions, Projects and Tasks

Quick Start

Note: Currently being updated to reflect the new user interface 10/4/2022
, including slideshow and transcript


Interactions Overview

Interactions allow you to record different methods of interacting with people and organizations. For each interaction you add, you will assign it an .
The form is a long form, however you do not need to fill out every single field. Required fields are marked with an *.
The entire interaction form is pictured below, or you can go directly to the
to see details. Detailed information about and are in the sections below, along with screenshots.

If image is not correct: scroll down to the bottom of the embedded picture and choose the Desktop Image Icon

Creating a New Interaction

You can create a new Interaction from many different places: the Interaction page, within a Person Profile, an Organization Profile, or a Project.
from the Home Page
within a Profile (Person and Organization)
within a Project
from the Home Page
From the Records dropdown on the top ribbon, choose Interactions.
Then choose the New Interaction button at the top right.
Enter in the information requested. See Filling out a New Interaction for more information.
Images (click to enlarge)


Filling Out an Interaction

Filling out an interaction is just a matter of filling out the form fields. You do not have to fill out every field for every interaction. Below is a short video that guides you through the process to enter an interaction.
Detailed information about and are in the sections below, along with screenshots.

Fields in the Interaction Form
Interaction Title
General Info
Interaction Source
General Info
General Info
Record Owner
General Info
Interaction Type
General Info
Interaction Date
General Info
Interaction Time
General Info
Internal to library
Fields for All Types
DEI related
Fields for All Types
Community Engagement related
Fields for All Types
Number of participants
Fields for All Types
Strategic Plan Area
Fields for All Types
Strategic Plan Sub-Area
Fields for All Types
Outcomes (Optional Details)
Fields for All Types
Detailed Location (Optional Details)
Fields for All Types
SCUA Areas of Research (SCUA)
Fields for All Types
Fields for All Types
Audio/Visual Reformatting (SCUA)
Fields for All Types
In House Use (SCUA)
Fields for All Types
Additional Info
Additional Info
Additional Info
Related Project(s)
Additional Info
Related Tasks(s)
Additional Info
General Info
Interaction Title
Each Interaction has to have a title.
Please make it concise and descriptive, similar to an email subject line title. Interaction titles are keyword searchable, however, for the most part they are a way for you to be able to understand your interactions.
Name of workshop or class you are instructing
If you are at a service point, simply the word “Reference” will work.
When to use
Every interaction
Field Type
Open Text Field
Selection Choices

Interaction Types

Instruction Event
Non-Instruction Presentation
A reference interaction is a (usually) 1:1 interaction that typically takes place at a service desk, and involves external clients/patrons. Does not include items recorded in ILS (book checkout, etc).
Additional Questions
Reference Interaction Type: Please choose whether the interaction was a reference interaction, directional (i.e. where are the bathrooms), or assistance with printing.
Images (click to enlarge)

Show hidden columns

Adding many Interactions at one time

If you would like to upload many at one time, the system has the ability to upload the data from a spreadsheet. Contact or about how to do this.
Currently the system has no way to add recurring interactions.

People and Organizations

There are two types of profiles, person profiles and organization profiles. A Person Profile is centered around individual people. An Organization Profile is centered around organizational units including units within Virginia Tech, within the Library, and extending out into the community.
All profiles can be connected to Interactions and Projects by adding them where Profile is requested.
Person Profiles should be connected to Organization Profiles by creating a Connection.
Go directly to


A Person Profile is centered around an individual person. Person Profiles can be connected to Organization Profiles by creating a person-to-organization Connection.

Searching in Person Profile records

Navigate to the person profile page by going to Records > People at the top of the page or click on People in the
There are several methods that can be used to search for person profile records.
Record Owner
Clear Search
Use this filter to show profiles containing that search term in the Name, Email, Type and/or Record Owner fields.
Note: This search will not return information from open text fields like “Description” from person profiles or “Details” from Interactions.

Anonymous or Unknown Person Profiles

The following person profiles are set up to preserve anonymity of our students, or to record interactions where the patron may be unknown.
Note: Before you create an anonymous profile, contact
List of Anonymous Profile Names
Library Patrons
Patron / Library User, Unknown
General library patron. This profile is mainly for user services and reference desks.
Library Front Desk, VetMed
This "person" is used to keep track of the reference/informational and directional interactions that take place at the Vet Med Library's front desk on a monthly basis.
VT Student, General
General VT student profile for anonymous students
VT Student, Undergraduate
General undergraduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Freshman
General freshman undergraduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Sophomore
General sophomore undergraduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Junior
General junior undergraduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Senior
General senior undergraduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Graduate
General graduate VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Resident Intern
General resident intern VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Master's Degree Graduate
General Master-degree seeking VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, PhD Degree Graduate
General PhD-degree seeking VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, MD Degree Graduate
General MD-degree seeking VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Student, Veterinary
General veterinary VT student profile for anonymous students.
VT Faculty, General
General VT faculty profile for anonymous faculty members.
VTCSOM, Faculty
VTSCOM faculty profile for anonymous VTSCOM faculty members.
Community Partners
Community Partner, General
General non-VT community partner. This designation is used when you know the patron is a non-VT community member.
Prospective VT Student /Family,General
General prospective student or family member, currently non-VT for anonymous library patrons
VT Alumnus, General
General graduate of VT.
Non VT Colleague, General
General profile for anonymous faculty, & staff (including libraries) outside of VT

How to use
When using anonymous profiles, always go from the most specific information to the least specific information. For example:
If you know that the person you are interacting with is a senior undergraduate, then choose VT Student, Senior.
If you only know that this person is an undergraduate student, then choose VT Student, Undergraduate.
If you only know that the person is a student, then choose VT Student, General.
If you don’t know at all, you can choose Patron / Library User, Unknown.

If you are using an anonymous profile and you know the organization that person is attached to, attach the organization type as well. For example:
If recording an interaction with a student from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, add VT Student, General and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to the Profile section of the interaction.

Create a New Person Profile

Navigate to a new Person Record
To create/add a new person profile first go to Records > People at the top of the page.
Do a search to see if the person is already in the system, and if not
Fill out the form to add a new profile by clicking on the “New Person” button at the top

Fill out A New Person Profile
The table below describes the fields used in a person profile.

First Name
Last Name
Record Owner
Email Subscription
Pronoun write In
(Record) Co-Owners
Phone Number
General Info
First Name
Each person record has to have a first name.
Images (click to enlarge)

Selection Choices (where applicable)

Person Profile

Use the link provided above to see the different types of person profiles.

Creating Many Profiles at one time

If you would like to create multiple profiles at one time, the system has the ability to upload up to 10k profiles at a time. Contact or about how to do this.


Organization Profiles are centered around different organizations within the Library, the VT campus, and beyond. Organization Profiles are connected to person profiles through Connections.

Searching in Organization Profile records

Navigate to the person profile page by going to Profiles > Organizations at the top of the page or click on Organizations in the
There are several methods that can be used to search for organizational profile records.
Record Owner
Clear Search
Use this filter to show profiles containing that search term in the Name, Email, Type and/or Record Owner fields.
Note: This search will not return information from open text fields like “Description” from person profiles or “Details” from Interactions.

Create a New Organization Profile

Creation of organization profiles is restricted.
Contact if you would like
a new profile created
need the ability to create organization profiles
Organization Profile Types


About Projects

A project allows you to create, organize and collaborate on related interactions and tasks.
Within a project, you can also upload notes and attachments, allowing you to easily share important documents, meeting minutes, etc., with your team.
When creating a project, you can either start from scratch or apply preset settings saved to a project template

Searching in Project Records

Navigate to Projects from the Dashboard by clicking Projects from the Records menu at the top of the page or scroll down to Current List of Assigned Projects.
There are several methods that can be used to search for project records.
Use this filter to show projects containing that search term in the Title, Status and/or Project Owner fields.
Search by project status, whether it is Active, Completed or Inactive. Active: the project is in progress. Completed: the project is finished. Inactive: the project has not been completed yet, nor is it actively being worked on.
Project Owner
Write in the project owner or click on the arrow to choose a project owner from library personnel
Due Date
Search by project due date. To utilize this search, you can choose between two dates. A calendar will appear to facilitate this search.
Clear All
The Clear All acts as a button that will reset your search. NOTE: Searches will carry across search pages (for example, narrowing a field on a person profile search will carry across as you change tabs and begin searching interactions), unless you use the Clear All.
Use this filter to show projects containing that search term in the Title, Status and/or Project Owner fields.
Image (click to enlarge)
Show hidden columns

Creating a Project

Navigate to a new Project Record

To create/add a new project, navigate to Projects by clicking Projects from the Records menu at the top of the page.
Do a search to see if a project is already in the system, and if not
Fill out the form to add a new project by clicking on the + Project button at the top of the page.

Fill out a New Project Record

Project Title: Give your project a descriptive title.
NOTE: Although there is currently no naming convention, it would be best if we could come up with some kind easy to remember project naming convention, especially if this is a feature that will be heavily utilized. Please send suggestions to or This section will be updated as naming conventions are adopted.
Project Status: Choose the project status. It can be Active, Inactive, or Completed.
Project Owner: By default, you will be the project record owner, however you can change that.
Project Members: Select library personnel who are collaborating with you on this project.
Associated Profiles: Choose Person or Organization Profiles associated with this project.
Brief Description: Add a short overview or mission for the project.
Project Details: You can use the Details field to add a more detailed overview of the project, links, or other information.
Start Date: Specify a start date for the project.
Due Date: Specify an end date or due date for the project.
Parent Project: If this project itself is part of a larger project, you can designate it’s parent project from the projects listed. This can help to keep related projects more organized.
Create: Click Create to create the record. This button will be grayed out until the Project Title and Project Status are entered.

Project Templates- discontinued

Project Templates have been discontinued as of 6/2/2022. According to the developer, there are other plans for the Project Management module later this year (2022), and Project Templates may be revisited and recontinued at that time.
Update 1/20/2023- no updates to the project management module were made after 6/2/2022 for the year of 2022.


Tasks allow you to keep track of your progress towards certain goals or outcomes. Tasks can be part of a larger project, or simply a reminder to follow up with a person by a certain date.
NOTE: Tasks should be created for individual use, and are not tracked by the library. Tasks is an add-on productivity/organizational feature provided in the LibConnect module. Please utilize this feature (or not) as it works with your work flow.
Each task can be assigned to one or more users and has its own status, so you can track its completion.

Adding a New Task

Navigate to a New Task Record

Go to Records > Tasks.
From the Tasks page, click on the + Task button
Alternatively, find the project, person, or organization profile where you want to add a task click the + Task button from the Related Tasks panel (projects) or Tasks tab (profiles).

Fill out a New Task

2. On the New Task page, use the Task Title field to briefly describe the objective of your task.
3. Set the Task Status.
By default, your new task will have a status of Pending. However, you can change this to Completed if needed.
4. Set the Task Owner.
By default, you will be the owner of the new task. However, you can choose a different owner if needed.
5. Use the Assignees field to select the LibConnect account(s) who will be responsible for completing this task.
6. Click the Select Profiles link to add any person or organization profiles that this task will involve.
7. In the Description field, add any additional info about this task that may be helpful.
8. Enter a Start Date (optional) for the task.
9. Enter a Due Date (optional) for the task.
10. Set the Priority for the task -- choosing from: None, Low, Medium, or High.
The priority assigned to a task will be listed on the Tasks page allowing you to quickly identify higher priority tasks.
11. From the Related Projects dropdown, select any projects this task is a part of.
12. Use the Attachments panel to upload any files from your computer that you'd like to include with the task.
13. Click the Create button.
This task will be added to the Tasks page and will also show up in the Tasks area of each project, person, or organization that was selected.

View and Manage Tasks

View and Edit Tasks

On the Records > Tasks page you can view all tasks in LibConnect. From here you can:
a. Click on a Task Title to view an individual task or click its View Task link.
While viewing an individual task you will also have options to edit or delete the task (if your role allows for either).
b. Use the filters to narrow the lists of tasks returned on the page.
c. Quickly see how many pending and completed tasks there are currently.
d. To edit a task, click on its Edit Task link.
e. To permanently delete a task, click on its Delete Task link.
Caution: Deleting a task will result in the task no longer appearing on any profile or project associated with the task. All data related to the task is permanently removed.
f. Click the + Task button to create a new task.


When you create a new person profile record, one of the most important fields to fill out is the connection field between a person and an organization profile. Connecting people and organizations is important for reporting purposes.
In LibConnect, a connection allows you to track how two profiles are connected -- between a person and an organization profile or between two people profiles:
Person to Organization (most important)
Person A is a part of Organization B
Person C works closely with Organization D
Person to Person (least important)
Person E works with Organization F
Person G has collaborated with Organization H

Adding a Connection

When adding in a new person profile record, it is important to add in how they relate to an organization or organization.
When choosing an organization you want to be as specific as possible.
If you know that a faculty member works in the College of Science in the Department of Chemistry, choose only the Department of Chemistry.
If you only know that professor is in the College of Science, choose College of Science.

Add a Connection when creating a new Profile

Clicking on the +CONNECTION button in the Connections section will send you to a new screen.
Once you hit ADD in the New Connections screen, you will be back in the new person record.

Connection Type

Choose the connection type from the drop down menu. You can choose Person to Organization or Person to Person

Connection Name

Person to Organization: If that person works for or in an Organization, choose “is a part of,” otherwise choose “works closely with”
Person to Person: This type of connection is not important for library data collection, however you still have the option of creating this connection The two types of Person to Person connections are “has collaborated with” and “works with”.

Connection With

This is a keyword field that will bring up choices of different organizations or people (depending on connection type). Choose as many that apply, however, keep in mind that you want to choose as specific a record as possible, and since the Virginia Tech organization records are linked hierarchically, it is likely you only need to manually link a single person to one organization.

Editing/Deleting a Connection

Note- you can only edit or delete connections on profile records you own.

Edit a Connection

Open the Person record and go to Connections
Scroll or use the search function to find the connection you wish to edit
Click on the three dots to the right of the entry, which will bring up a menu. Use the pencil icon to edit the Connection.

Delete a Connection

Please be careful!!
Open up the Person record and go to Connections
Scroll or use the search function to find the membership you wish to delete
Under the three dots on the right-hand side, use the trashcan icon to delete the connection
If you delete a connection in error, re-add the connection or contact or immediately and ask them to restore the connection


LibConnect has a robust reporting system. You can generate custom lists of people, organizations, interactions, projects, or tasks. When generating a report, you can filter profiles or interactions using any combination of their system fields or type-specific fields. Unless you have specific permissions set up, you will only be able to see reports that you create.
If you created a report that you need to run regularly, you can set up scheduled reports to run automatically. Or if you have a report that is heavily reliant on setting up and selecting filters, you can save it as a report template. A report template saves the filter settings you have in place, allowing you to easily apply them to future reports.
When viewing a report, you can customize which table columns to show or hide, giving you a customized view. You can then export that customized report to an Excel (.xlsx) file if needed.
You can also view and, if you have the necessary permissions, edit the listed profiles, interactions, projects, or tasks directly within your report.

Create a New Report

Go to Reports > Report Files.
On the Report Files page, click on the + Report button.
From the Select Report Type & Template modal, select the Record Type for the report you want to create (People, Organizations, Interactions, Projects, or Tasks).
For the Start From option, select Blank if you want to create a report without any preset filters, or select Template if you want to create a report using a saved template.
If you are starting from a template, select the one you want to use from the Report Template dropdown.
Your new report will be preset with that template's filters, but you can further customize it as needed.
Click the Next button.

Customize and Generate Your Report

After you create a report, you can select filters to apply to your report.

Primary Report Filters

To add or remove filters, click on the Select Filter link.
For filters that have been added via a template, you can adjust the values as needed, clear them, or delete the previously selected filter.From the Select Filter modal for the chosen report type, select and deselect the fields you want to filter by.
To include custom fields added to your Person, Organization, and Interaction Types, select the Custom Fields radio, then select and deselect the custom fields you want to filter by. Project and Task reports do not have custom fields.
When finished, click the Apply button.

Additional Filters

For People, Organization, and Interactions reports, you'll find the Additional Filters panel. This allows you to add filters related to a profile or interaction's associated activity.
For people and organizations reports, this includes filtering by associated interactions, projects, and tasks.
For interactions, this includes filtering by associated people, organizations, projects, and tasks.
Additional filters allow you to limit the report based on the data you've associated with it, whereas your report's primary filters allow you to filter based on data about a profile or interaction. For example, if you wanted to generate a report of people that were involved in a specific project, this would allow you to add a filter for that project's title.
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