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LibraryH3lp Blog

LibraryH3lp is software used by libraries, educators, and non-profits for better customer service.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Updates to categories and 3mail

Saturday, April 27, 2019
Hi all!  Just a couple quick updates we wanted to let you know about...

Nested categories

Recently, we introduced a new feature called categories which allows you to tag your chats with topical categories for all kinds of meta-analysis.  We've expanded the notion of categories to optionally include hierarchy.  You can nest your categories within other categories to build structure into your meta-analysis and/or to help organize categories when multiple departments might share the same account.

Nesting "printing" under an existing "info-commons" category.

Showing all tags that start with "info-commons*" using the asterisk * wild card.

Inline images in 3mail

We've also added a new feature to 3mail -- sending inline images.  Previously, you could include images in emails as attachments, but now you can also elect to include an image in the body of your email message.  You can use the image button in the 3mail editor, Ctrl-v, or drag and drop to insert an image.

Inline image screenshot in 3mail

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Categorize Your Chats

Sunday, March 31, 2019
LibraryH3lp has offered tag for follow-up pretty much since the beginning. But now we've expanded the notion of tagging chats beyond follow-up by introducing categories. Yes! Now, you can tag your your chats with topical categories for all kinds of meta-analysis. Here is the basic lay of the land:

  • Nothing looks much different until at least one category exists in your account.  Before there are any custom categories defined, tagging chats for later follow-up will continue to function as usual.  
  • Administrators can create categories with which operators can tag chats.  
  • Administrators can set things up so that operators are reminded to categorize the chats when they close the chat in the webclient.
  • When at least one category exists, operators can tag chats with the available category or categories in addition to the usual "Tag for Follow-up."

We plan to roll out this new feature to all servers in the next week or two.  As as 10 April 2019, categories are only available on our Canada, Europe, and Singapore regional servers.  As of 27 April 2019, categories are available on all servers.

Setting up and managing categories (administrators only)

Administrators can create, edit, and delete categories in the dashboard, Chat History page, or in the webclient for staffing.  The management functions appear in the "Manage Categories" in the tagging dialog.

Administrators can also enable a reminder to all operators to tag chats when the operator ends the chat in the webclient.
Managing Categories as an administrator
Update 27 April 2019: Categories also support hierarchies so you can nest a category under another category.  Read our more recent blog post for details.

Tagging chats with categories (any operator)

Once an account admin has created at least one category, operators can categorize chats anywhere they have been able to use the original tag for follow-up option.  This means categories are available for operators to use in:
  1. the webclient for staffing in active chats;
    Tag chat in webclient for staffing
  2. the webclient or dashboard, in the Chat History area;
    Tag individual chat in bottom pane of Chat History
  3. the chat management page used by those folks staff in a separate software client like Pidgin or Adium.
    Tag chat in chat management page (for folks not using webclient for staffing)
When any of those "tag chat" buttons are used and if there are categories defined, operators will get a chance to tag the chat with one or more categories, plus follow-up if desired.
Tagging a chat with categories

Show me my tags

The tags for each chat will show up in the Tags column of the Chat History table. If the Tags column is hidden (which was the old default since not everyone uses tag for follow-up) and any of the chats displayed in the table have tags, you'll be asked if you'd like to reveal the Tags column in the table.

Chats tagged with categories in Chat History table

Search by tags

Tags and categories are incorporated into our powerful Chat History search interface.  You can use the Advanced search form to create your search, or you can use the simple field labels and type the search out, power searcher style.

Searching over the last week for chats tagged with either "access" or "research".

Here are some examples:

range:week tag:follow-up
Find chats over the last week tagged "follow-up".

tag:(follow-up,access) range:year
Find chats over the last year tagged either follow-up or access.

And you can combine other fields, use wildcards where supported, and use negation.

tag:*a* queue:*lib* from:2019-02-11 to:2019-03-31 queue:!*arch* operator:ref*
Find chats over that date range where there is a tag including the letter "a" by operators where the username starts with "ref" on queues including "lib" anywhere in the name, but excluding queues with "arch" anywhere in the name.

Note: tags are case-sensitive for searching.  

Categorizing in bulk! 

Additionally, Chat History has a new, special button above the table for tagging multiple selected chats simultaneously.  For example, you might use transcript keyword search to locate a group of chats and then tag them all at once.

Tag chats button in Chat History
The bulk tagging dialog is a bit fancier if multiple chats are getting tagged because in such situations users will need to specify which tags are to be added to the selected chats and which tags should be removed from the selected chats (if a selected chat happens to have that tag).

Tagging multiple chats at a time in Chat History


Give categories and tagging a whirl and let us know what you think?  We'd love to hear feedback, including any specific ideas you have for improvement!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Updates to Chat History and 3mail (now with Message Templates!)

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Here's the rundown of the latest round of improvements now live on all LibraryH3lp regions.

Chat History

Improved sorting: When you sort the table by multiple columns, the sort order of each column is included in the header as a parenthetical number.  Sorting precedence starts at 1 and goes up from there for each additional sorted column.  Click the parenthetical number to change the sorting precedence.

Chat History sorted by Operator, then Duration

Resetting Searches: You can slice and dice chat searches every which way.  When you're done exercising those keen ninja search skills, there's a reset button available to get you back to the default view of the latest week's worth of chats.  Previously, this button cleared out search completely, which meant you would see all chats for all time which, in retrospect, was a bit much.

Search reset button circled in red

Refreshing the table:  To see any new chats started since the Chat History page was loaded in your browser, there's a refresh button just above the table.  We fixed a bug that sometimes created an unnecessary next page of results. 

Tag column: Did you know there was a Tags column available in the table?  It is hidden by default since not everyone uses Tag for Follow-up.  But if you and your colleagues do use Tag for Follow-up and if the Tags column is visible, then you'll see "follow-up" for any chat shown in the table that were tagged for follow-up.  We've added a reminder to the Chat History page that asks if you'd like to reveal the Tags column when it detects there are chats tagged for follow-up and the Tags column is hidden.


NEW! Message Templates: Store commonly used bits of text as templates on a mailbox within the mailbox settings.  These message templates can easily be inserted into an email draft to save you some (possibly lots!) of typing.

Auto-responder (vacation): Fixed bug which made editing your auto-responder reply vexing.

Bulk Move/Spam/Tag/Trash actions: Fixed bug where the email listing could get out of sync when some actions were performed on all emails shown.

CC Recipients: If present, the cc recipients for an email will be shown when viewing an email.  Previously, you had to click the info icon for an email to see any cc recipients.

Mailbox Reply-To: A custom reply-to email address for your mailbox can be added in the Queues Management page of the admin dashboard.  A reply-to address should be an established, institutional email address that forwards its email to 3mail.

Double-check emails to self: If you try to send an email to your 3mail mailbox from your 3mail mailbox, you'll see a prompt that lets you know this is the case, just in case emailing yourself wasn't your actual intent.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Important update for LibraryH3p API users

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
LibraryH3lp is unique in many ways, and one of the things we have always done differently is to have an API-driven design.  Because we have actual APIs and use those APIs to create everything you see in LibraryH3lp, you can script, integrate, and automate anything you might want to do with any of our products.

The flip-side of this is we have to work continuously to keep that API secure in the wild-west of the Internet and we plan to put in place further API protections in the near future as part of ongoing security efforts.  Unfortunately this is a breaking change to our API, but it is not a breaking change to our SDK.  

Python SDK users need to update to version 0.2.0 using pip 
If you have put in-place LibraryH3lp automation using the SDK, all you need to do to keep your code working with our API changes is to update to the latest SDK.

Here's how: pip install lh3api -U

Custom scripts using cURL, PHP, or other?
If you use the LibraryH3lp API for automation but not the LibraryH3lp Python SDK, then you'll need to amend your requests to include X-Api-Version as part of the request header.  That's it!

None of this sounds familiar?
Don't worry, only users that have specifically written custom code using our APIs need to make any changes.  And if you are simply using our presence API to check for the status of your queues or users, no changes are needed.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Screensharing with Guests in Chrome 72+

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Great news everyone!  If a guest chats with you in Chrome 72 or higher, you can now screenshare with them with no special extension, plugin, or download required for either party.  That means that any guest using a secure chat box in Chrome (72+) or Firefox or Edge is available for screensharing to operators using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari should the need arise.

Safari probably will support guest-side screensharing. Eventually. Someday.

And alas, Internet Explorer 11 will never support screensharing.  As Dr. McCoy would say, "He's dead, Jim."  But the good news with Internet Explorer 11 is that snapshots will work.  In fact, the awesome snapshot tool, which allows operators to paste in screens shots, mark them up, and send them to the guest, works in any modern browser. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Even more updates to 3mail

Saturday, January 26, 2019

For the third straight week, we've released updates to LibraryH3lp's email module, 3mail.  We're on a roll!  For those of you not already familiar with 3mail, the 3mail module transforms a queue in your LibraryH3lp account in to a mailbox shared by all operators staffing the queue.  So if you don't already have an email solution for customer support or are looking for something different, 3mail might be just the thing!  Unlimited use of 3mail is included in all subscriptions at no extra charge.

NOTE: To ensure you have the latest, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Reload/Refresh in your browser at the login screen.

Larger editor for drafts

The real estate allotted to the editor when creating replies to messages was a bit on the small side so we increased the editor's height for more spacious editing.

Improve message delineation within threads

We've added a splash of color to the start of each message within a thread.  There is also an expand/collapse icon to roll-up or roll-down message content.  

Additionally, we're hiding quoted content by default.  You'll see a '...' where the quoted content is hidden.  To see that quoted content inline, either hover over the '...' or uncheck the checkbox in the message header labeled, "Hide quoted content".  We're still investigating ways to make quoted content display even better, so expect more improvements to come in the near future!

Phone number auto-complete

If you've opted for the SMS add-on and have 3mail configured, you'll now see phone number autocomplete when sending text messages via 3mail.  The autocomplete suggests up to 10 matches for any 3-character or longer sequence and works much like the type-ahead autocomplete for regular email messages within 3mail or canned messages within chat.

3mail Bug Fixes

  • Can now delete attachments to drafts.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

More updates to 3mail (and Sharing Tool)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Last week, we announced some updates to LibraryH3lp's email module, 3mail.  This week we've made even more improvements!  For those of you not already familiar with 3mail, the 3mail module transforms a queue in your LibraryH3lp account in to a mailbox shared by all operators staffing the queue.  So if you don't already have an email solution for customer support or are looking for something different, 3mail might be just the thing!  Unlimited use of 3mail is included in all subscriptions at no extra charge.

Also we've added a new markup tool for marking up snapshots in the recently released sharing tool.  We'll cover that first and then dive into 3mail updates.

Update 2019/01/26: These updates are now available on all servers. To ensure you have the latest, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Reload/Refresh in your browser at the login screen.

Sharing Tool update

Previously, there was a markup tool called "Highlight" which (in retrospect) would have been more aptly named "Shadowbox" since everything outside the selected rectangle was darkened and the tool didn't involve a color selection at all.  So renaming it is exactly what we've done.  The new "Shadow Box" tool is the old "Highlight" tool. 

Plus we've added a new "Highlight" tool that works exactly as you would expect a highlighting marker to work using the available color tools.

Shadowbox and Highlight Tools for Snapshots (and meet Cherry, our latest LibraryH3lp hire!)

3mail email address autocomplete

We've added type-ahead autocomplete when adding email addresses to drafts.  The autocomplete suggests up to 10 matches for any 3-character or longer sequence and works much like the autocomplete for chat canned messages.

3mail address autocomplete typeahead with drop-down suggestions.

Double-check when sending emails with no subject

There's nothing wrong with sending an email with no subject, but sometimes that's not what you're after.  So now 3mail will confirm with you before sending emails without subjects.

Double-check when sending email without a subject

3mail Bug Fixes

  • Fixed display of inline images in emails.
  • Can easily reply to any message within an email thread, not just the last.
  • Avoid redundant use of Re: and Fwd: in subjects when sending emails.