Setting up LibStaffer for the first time

We know - getting a new system is both really exciting and fairly daunting all at the same time. You have this shiny new system...with nothing in it. What do you do with this totally empty system?? Let's walk through the things you ought to learn & discuss before you start setting up your system and then help you set everything up!

Who is this Springboard for?

While it's initially sent to the first Admin level user created in the system, that doesn't mean only that person should take a look! (Unless you're a solo librarian...then it just makes sense, of course! ;) ) This guide is for anyone who is helping to initially set up the system. Others may or may not be Admin level users in the system, but they can still understand the options and help discuss / form the plan for how you'll use the system, so feel free to share the information!

Featured training sessions

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Join our Springy Training Team for the Planning your LibStaffer Schedules workshop, offered regularly. This session is for folks who want to learn more about managing their schedules, from adding staff to creating shifts. We’ll discuss what you need to know before you start setting up your schedules and how to plan an efficient workflow.

Visit the Springy training calendar to register for the next available session! While you're there, also look out our session focused on setting up your LibStaffer system for the first time.

Or, if you're unable to make it to a live training session, check out the recordings of our training sessions anytime in our training video collection

Step 1. Configure your system settings

Before you start adding user accounts for your colleagues, it can be helpful to get your system settings configured first. This will make sure that all of the settings are the way you want before users start adding content to the system. The most important of these are your Date & Time Settings, as these affect things like adding shifts, calendar syncing, clocking in & out for shifts, and more, so be sure to select the proper time zone for you system.

Learn more

Step 2. Add user accounts

This is where you can start giving your colleagues access to LibStaffer. When you add an account, be sure to select the appropriate level of permissions for that user, based upon how you need them to use the system. For example, if you will have other folks helping you manage the system, you'll want to make sure they have admin-level access.

If you want to add someone to a schedule, then they need to have at least a regular-level account. While creating each account, it's also a good time to define that person's maximum hours per day/week/month, their regular working hours, and pay rate. You'll also have the opportunity to select each user's position(s), department, location, and direct supervisor (who will have the ability to approve the user's time off requests, when mediation is enabled).

Although optional, you can also create an organizational hierarchy in LibStaffer. This is essentially a hierarchy of your work locations, departments, and positions, which you can use to organize your staff members. Position assignments can also be used to limit which staff members can work certain shifts.

Once you've given everyone access, encourage them to explore the system hands-on and start creating content. Don't forget to share our documentation and training resources, too, in case they need any help!

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Step 3. Add holidays & time off categories

Holidays and time off categories apply to every schedule, so it's helpful to set these up first. Defining your holidays can be a helpful reminder of days where the library is closed, or is at reduced staffing. When you add a holiday, it will be skipped over by the Auto Scheduler so you don't accidentally schedule someone when the library is closed. If it happens that you are open, but with reduced staffing, you can still manually assign shifts on those days.

Time off categories are a helpful way for you to track the types of time off requests made by your staff. For example, you could create categories for Vacation, Sick Leave, Personal Time, or Travel. When a staff member submits a time off request, they'll select the corresponding category. This lets managers know the nature of their time off request, helping them to apply the appropriate policies when approving or denying the requests. It also allows managers to browse or filter time off reports by category, making it easy to see time off activity and tally accruals.

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Step 4. Create schedules

LibStaffer allows you to manage multiple schedules, each with its own roster and settings. When creating a schedule, one of the first decisions you have to make is whether or not to allow staff to give up and swap shifts. If a person gives up one of their scheduled shifts, this will allow another person to claim the shift and work in their place. Swapping, on the other hand, allows two people to switch shifts with each other. If desired, you can require all shift swaps to be approved by a manager before going through.

Next, you'll want to assign staff to your schedule. This should include everyone who can be assigned to shifts on this schedule. Once you assign people to the schedule, you can designate individual users to serve as schedule admins. Out of the box, only system-level admins can manage schedules, including creating and assigning shifts. By designating a regular-level user as a schedule's admin, this allows you to delegate that responsibility to others. For example, you could allow your head of circulation to manage the circulation desk schedule, without having to give her full admin access to LibStaffer.

Optionally, you can also enable a time clock for your schedule. This will allow staff to clock in and out for each of their shifts, helping managers determine how many hours each person has been working each week. (If the time clock is disabled, you can still use the Scheduled Shifts report to see the total number of shifts scheduled per user.)

Learn more

  • Create a new schedule
    Learn how to add a new schedule to LibStaffer, customize its settings, and assign & elevate staff.
  • Adding and managing schedule notes
    Learn how to display a note to staff, either on specific calendars or all calendars in the system. Notes display directly on a schedule's calendar on the date selected.

Step 5. Assign shifts

Once you have your schedules created, you can begin creating and assign shifts. When creating shifts, you can choose to create them one at a time, or you can create recurring shifts. Recurring shifts are helpful, especially if you have the same shifts each day of the week. Not only will it save you time creating shifts, but it also allows you to find and replace assigned staff should you need to make a bulk change to shift assignments.

After creating your shifts, you're ready to start assigning staff. You can either assign staff manually to each shift, or use the Auto Scheduler feature to let LibStaffer do the heavy lifting. The Auto Scheduler works by looking at each person's availability for a shift which is determined by a user's working hours, maximum hours per week/month, and time off. Of the people available, it will first give preference to anyone you've designated as a favorite for that shift. If there are no favorites to pick from, then it will randomly select another available person to work. 

When you run Auto Scheduler, you get to pick the dates you want to automatically schedule. Whether you assign shifts every week, or a semester at a time, Auto Scheduler can make the process faster and easier.

Learn more

Step 6. Workflow forms

Workflow Forms enable LibStaffer admins to create a customized online form for staff use, and then goes further to facilitate the entire lifecycle of the form after the initial submission. You can create “stages” for each Workflow Form so different staff are notified whenever a form reaches a given stage. You decide who can review submissions, and then those staff members can leave notes and communicate internally regarding the content of form submissions. By the end of the process, you have a full history and audit trail of each form submission and the workflow/history around it – who assigned which stage to a given form, who left notes about it, etc. For compliance and record keeping reasons itself this Workflow Forms functionality is worth its weight in gold.

Workflow forms have the potential to greatly streamline the way your library processes various staffing-related forms, such as:

  • Job (or Volunteer) application
  • Equipment requests
  • Professional Development requests
  • Travel requests
  • Consent forms
  • On-boarding forms
  • Staff suggestions forms
  • Vacation/Time off request forms

Learn more

  • Create, edit, and manage workflow forms
    Learn how to create and customize a workflow form, including its settings, fields, and stages. You'll also learn how to review and process form submissions.

Step 7. Reports

When it comes to the day-to-day management of your staff, LibStaffer provides several different reports that can make your job easier:

  • Scheduled shifts: view a summary of all filled shifts for the date range, schedule, and staff member(s) of your choice.
  • Unfilled shifts: view a summary of all unfilled shifts for the date range and schedule of your choice.
  • Time off/unavailability: view a summary of all time off submitted by date range, staff member, status, and category.
  • Pending swaps & given up shifts: view a summary of pending swaps and unclaimed given-up shifts, by date range, schedule, and type.
  • Swaps & given up summary: view a summary of all given up shifts and swaps by staff member, schedule, and date range.
  • Time clock: view a summary of when each staff member has clocked in and out for their shifts, including the calculated duration and earnings (if a pay rate has been specified in the user's account settings).
  • Available hours: view a summary of each user's available working hours, as set in their account settings.
  • Staff current status: view each user's current clock in status, along with their current shift and next scheduled shift. Clicking on a user's name in this report will allow you to view the user's staff information page, where you can give up, swap, and split shifts on their behalf.

Setup Checklist

Before you go, consider reviewing the following checklist to make sure you have everything set up and ready for action. If you missed something, no worries! Check out the sections above for help tying up any loose ends.

System settings

  • Have you configured your system settings, such as date & time settings and access rules?
  • Have you created your organizational hierarchy, including locations, departments, and positions?
  • Do you need to set up the Azure OAuth 2 integration to allow staff to sync their shifts with their Outlook calendars?

Staff and user accounts

  • Does everyone who needs a user account have one? (Remember: a staff member must at least have a Regular account to be assigned to a shift.)
  • Have you set up each user's working hours, maximum hours per day/week/month, position(s), pay rate, etc., as needed?
  • Has each user been introduced to LibStaffer, including their account details, dashboard, and how to give up, claim, and swap shifts?
  • Does each user have the appropriate email/SMS alerts enabled for their account?

Holidays & time off categories

  • Have you created the appropriate time off categories for your staff to use? (e.g. sick leave, vacation, travel)
  • Have you added upcoming holidays that will affect your staffing?

Schedules & shifts

  • Have you created the schedules you need for various locations, departments, or services?
  • Have you assigned the necessary staff to each schedule? If using Auto Scheduler, have do you want to designate any favorite users for shifts?
  • Are there any Regular users who need elevated permissions to manage a schedule?
  • Are each schedule's settings for giving up, swapping, and claiming shifts set appropriately?
  • Have you enabled the time clock for schedules where staff must clock in and out?
  • Do you need to add any notes to your schedules?

Workflow forms

  • Do you want to use workflow forms for managing job applications, requests, or other workflows?
  • For each workflow form, what information do you want to collect? Have you added the necessary fields?
  • For each workflow form, have you set up each stage of the workflow? Are the correct staff members being notified for each stage?
  • Do staff know their responsibilities for processing the workflow form submissions?
  • Don't forget to set a form's status to Active to begin collecting submissions. You can close or schedule a date to close the form and stop collecting submissions.

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