Setting up profile types, form fields, and categories & terms in LibCRM

Before you begin adding profiles and interactions in LibCRM, you'll need to set up your profile types. In LibCRM, types are how you organize the various person and organization profiles in your system. Each profile you add to LibCRM must be assigned a type, so setting up your types is one of the first steps you should take when setting up your system.

For each each profile type, you can add one or more fields for gathering info unique to that type of person or organization. This is in addition to generalized fields shared by all person and organization types. For example, "College ID" or "Library Card Number" would be an example of a field you may want to display in all person profiles, while "Graduation Year" may be an example of a field unique to your Student profile type.

Throughout LibCRM, you'll find fields that allow you to categorize things like profiles, interactions, relationships, and memberships. These categories contain terms that you can choose from -- for example, with Name Prefixes, you could select Mr., Mrs., or Ms. LibCRM allows you to customize these categories by adding your own terms. Using Name Prefixes as an example again, this means you could add Dr., Prof., Pres., Provost, Fr., Gen., etc., depending upon your local needs.

The purpose of this Springboard is help Admin users add, customize, and manage profile types, fields, and categories & terms. To get started, log into LibCRM and head to Admin > Manage Form Fields.

The Manage Form Fields option under the Admin menu

Tip: we highly recommend that you set up your types, fields, & terms before you start adding profiles to your system. For example, let's say you add all of your faculty to LibCRM, but then decide you should have added a Name Prefix term of "Prof.". You can add the new term to your category, but you would then have to go back and edit all of those faculty person profiles to apply that new term. By taking a little time up front to plan all of the terms you're likely to need, you can save yourself lots of time later on. :)

Creating person and organization types

Types allow you to record different info about different groups of users. For example, there may be information that you want to record about faculty that may not be relevant for students or alumni. So, although all person types may share some basic fields (such as name and email address), you could set up a type just for Faculty with its own unique fields (e.g. publications, specializations, etc.), while setting up another type for Students with a different set of fields (e.g. major, class year, etc.).

In addition to Person types, like the examples above, you can also create Organization types. For example, you could create a type called Departments, which could contain the profiles for the various academic departments on your campus. If you want to track your interactions with vendors in LibCRM, you could create an organization type for them, too!

Examples of person types

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Administrators
  • Staff
  • Alumni
  • Community
  • Donors
  • Patrons
  • Volunteers

Examples of organization types

  • Departments
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Clubs
  • Vendors
  • Branches
  • Nonprofits
  • Offices
  • Businesses

Take a moment to jot down a list of all the person and organization types you want to track in LibCRM (this will come in handy later, too). Once you're ready to start creating your profile types, head to the Person/Organization Types tab and click the New Type button.

The New Type button under the Person/Organization Types tab

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Adding fields for person & organization profile types

Fields allow you to record different types of information in person profiles. LibCRM provides some system default fields for person profiles, such as First Name, Last Name, and Primary Email address (among others). These can help you to record the basics, but you most likely want to create your own custom fields, as well.

Taking the list of person and organization types you jotted down in the previous section, list out which (if any) additional information you want to gather for each. Then, consider which type of field would be most appropriate for that data. When setting up your custom person and organization profile fields, you can choose from several types:

  • Text entry, including single-line plain text, multi-line plain text, and multi-line rich text
  • Multiple-choice, including list/dropdown, checkboxes, and radio buttons
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Date and time
  • Numeric
  • Link to a URL
  • Accordion (allows you to group multiple fields into a collapsible panel)

As you're working on this list, you may find that some or all profile types have certain fields in common. If that's the case, you can add these as Fields Applicable to All Types in your LibCRM settings. This can save a lot of time, since you only have to create the field once and it'll display for all person or organization profiles.

Once your list is completed, head to the Fields for Person Types tab to add fields to your person types, and the Fields for Organization Types to do the same for your organization types.

The Fields for Person Types tab and Fields for Organization Types tab

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Customizing categories & terms

Throughout LibCRM, you'll find fields that allow you to categorize things like profiles, interactions, relationships, and memberships. These categories contain terms that you can choose from -- for example, for Name Prefixes, you could select Mr., Mrs., or Ms. 

LibCRM allows you to customize these categories by adding your own terms. Using Name Prefixes as an example again, this means you could add Dr., Prof., Pres., Provost, Fr., Gen., etc., depending upon your local needs. You can add and edit terms for the following categories:

  • Name Prefixes: this category populates the list of available name prefixes (such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.) in the Prefix field of person profiles.
  • Name Suffixes: this category populates the list of available name suffixes (such as Jr., Esq., or PhD) in the Suffix field of person profiles.
  • Interaction Sources: this category populates the list of available interaction methods (such as Phone or Email) in the Type field of interaction records.
  • Interaction Types: this category populates the list of available interaction subjects (such as "consultation", "events", etc.) in the Interaction Tags field of interaction records.
  • Interaction Locations: this category populates the list of available locations (such as Office or Classroom) in the Location field of interaction records.
  • Relationship Types: this category populates the list of available relationship types (such as "is supervisor of" or "works with") in the Relationship Type field of relationship records.
    • Relationship types are used to make connections between two person profiles.
    • Unlike the terms in other categories, relationship types are intended to be added as phrases.
    • For example: a relationship would be listed as "Person A works with Person B." In this case, "works with" would be the term from your Relationship Type category.
  • Membership Types: this category populates the list of available membership types (such as "is chairperson of" or "is division of") in the Membership Type field of membership records.
    • Membership types are used to make connections between a person profile and an organization profile, as well as between two organization profiles.
    • Unlike the terms in other categories, membership types are intended to be added as phrases. 
    • For example: a membership would be listed as "Person A is chairperson of Organization B." In this case, "is chairperson of" would be the term from your Membership Type category.

To get started, go to the Categories & Terms tab and select the category you want to customize. From there, you can view, edit, and add terms.

Options under the Categories & Terms tab

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