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How to add a new institution to your LibAnswers Shared Group System

Do you have a new institution joining your existing Shared Group System? This springboard tutorial will guide you through the essential onboarding steps.


Step 1. Adding the institution to your LibAnswers

Contact the Springy Support team to request adding the institution to your LibAnswers system. Please let us know the name of the institution as you'd like it to appear throughout LibAnswers.


Step 2. Add user accounts

Once the institution has been added to your shared group system, you'll need to add user accounts for those staff members who need access to LibAnswers. This includes anyone who will be monitoring LibChat or needs to view chat transcripts & stats.

During this step, please pay special attention to the following:

  • Assign the appropriate user account level. 
    • Admin-level users have access to all areas of LibAnswers, including system settings and content from other group member institutions.
    • Regular-level users only have access to the institutions, groups, queues, and departments to which they're assigned.
    • If you would like a Regular-level user to manage the user accounts for their institution, you can assign them the Group Admin permission. This grants them the ability to add, edit, and remove user accounts in LibAnswers -- but only for their assigned group member affiliation.
  • When adding each user, select the newly-added institution as their Group Member Affiliation. This is what identifies each user as belonging to a specific institution, which is displayed on the Manage Accounts page in the Group Member column. For Regular-level users, this will also determine which chat transcripts they can view.
    • Regular-level users will only be able to view transcripts for their group member affiliation.
    • Admin-level users will be able to view transcripts from all group members.
  • Enable LibChat. Before a user can monitor and answer chats, you must enable LibChat for their account. This is also necessary for the user to view chat transcripts and create chat widgets.
  • Assign chat department access. You most likely have chat widgets being monitored by one or more local departments. For a user to monitor chats started from those widgets, you must assign them to the corresponding departments.
    • Note: you must first enable LibChat for the user before you can assign them to departments.
  • Assign FAQ group access (optional). If you would like a user to contribute to their institution's Group Member Policy FAQ group, be sure to give them a minimum of Editor-level access to it. While you're at it, you can also give the user access to one or more of your site's public FAQ groups, as well.
  • Assign ticket queue access (optional). If you would like a user to contribute to answering tickets in a particular queue, be sure to give them a minimum of Regular-level access to it.

Once you've created everyone's accounts, encourage them to start exploring the system and creating content. Don't forget to share our documentationvideos, and training calendar, too, in case they need any help!

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Step 3. Create group policy FAQs

Each location in your shared group system will have its own Group Member Policy FAQ group. If your LibAnswers system belongs to a co-op, this is a special group that can only be searched by co-op staff, allowing you to share information that shouldn’t be shared with patrons, like login credentials for co-op librarians to access your proprietary databases to assist your patrons, special alerts or instructions for co-op librarians, etc. Unlike regular FAQ groups, these are intended for internal use and do not have public pages.

By default, only system-level Admin users can add, edit, or delete FAQs in a Group Member Policy FAQ group. However, like any other FAQ group, Admin users can extend group access can to Regular-level users when creating or editing their accounts under Admin > Accounts.

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Step 4. Add public FAQ groups, queues, or chat departments (optional)

Although optional, you can add a public FAQ group, ticket queue, or chat department specifically for the new institution. This would allow users at that institution to:

  • Have a dedicated set of public FAQ pages for their patrons
  • Receive and manage tickets from their patrons separately from the other groups in your system
  • Monitor some or all of their patrons' chats in separate departments from the rest of the groups in your system

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Step 5. Create a chat widget for the institution

When creating a chat widget in a shared group system, the Group Member Affiliation setting allows you to link that widget to an institution. Chats started from that widget will also be affiliated with that institution, which is reflected in your system's transcripts and chat statistics. This, in turn, limits access to those transcripts to users with the same group member affiliation (as mentioned in Step 2 above).

For chats answered by co-op staff, this allows them to view the corresponding group member policy FAQs. This can help them to provide locally-relevant information when needed.

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