Using Springshare’s LibCal for Student Engagement in Online Classes

Poster Description: Learn how using Springshare’s product LibCal can create a Research Consultation Form (RCF) that synchronizes with the librarians’ availability and allows students to easily book appointments. The form is embedded into the online courses, and the librarian and instructor collaborate to require students to use the RCF throughout the research process.

Poster: Click here to view Google slides.

Presenter Names: Nicholas A. Casas, Indiana University Northwest and Scott Hudnall, Indiana University Northwest

Presenter Bios: Nicholas “Nico” Alonzo Casas is Assistant Librarian for Teaching & Learning at Indiana University Northwest. His duties include implementing information literacy within the campus curriculum and coordinating instruction sessions. His research interests include information/media/digital literacy and misinformation. Email:

Scott Hudnall is Assistant Librarian, Coordinator of Reference Services & Emerging Technologies at Indiana University Northwest. His duties focus on coordinating Reference services and investigating emerging technologies for potential library use. His recent interests include animated GIFs and interactive training.

8 replies on “Using Springshare’s LibCal for Student Engagement in Online Classes”

Thank you for your presentation! Can you outline the tools you used to measure success? Did students indicate their feelings of relief via surveys? How did the professor come to the conclusion that the sources found were better than previous classes?

Thank you so much, Trina! We are going to send Qualtrics surveys out to these students next week, is which Finals Week and when their papers are due. We are going to ask them about if LibCal worked for them, if they found researching easier with a librarian, and some logistical questions about Canvas.

It’s funny that you mention the professor – he actually reached out to me last week and he says he’s noticed a huge different. He told me that thanks to my help and using LibCal for appointments, he’s noticed their topics were more thought-out. Also, 3 of the students were accepted into the university’s competitive COAS (College of Arts & Sciences) Student Research Conference! So that’s a huge success story.

Thanks for sharing about LibCal. It is helpful to see a bit of what it can do (since we don’t subscribe to LibCal, but have LibGuides and LibWizard). We use Calendly with our Outlook calendars for research consultation appointments. It seems to work pretty well for us (especially since there are only 2 librarians). What recommendations would you have for librarians at smaller institutions and what they could do with LibCal?

Thanks for your question, Bree! I’m not too familiar with Calendly, but if it’s working for your library, I would continue using it. For us, since we are also a smaller institution, cost was a consideration using LibCal. In the Springshare family, we can afford LibGuides and LibCal, but it’s harder adding LibWizard to it.

We are exploring LibCal for study room and equipment management too. Students can use it to book study rooms online and check out equipment.

Thanks for this presentation! Great reminder that convenience is key in getting student buy in–here the ability to send an email through the LMS with a link to libcal.

Great to see something like this in action. I do use LibCal and I have posted information in Canvas with links to my calendar. This quarter in one hybrid course, there were points associated with a librarian visit in the research assignment. Less then half the students opted for a librarian meeting, which is unfortunate. Your presentation provided the idea of a series, like you described, with an introductory One-Shot followed by two librarian meetings at different stages in the research paper. Thanks for the presentation!

For some reason, the points system hasn’t worked well for me either. If it’s spelled out in the instructor’s syllabus that students must attend or they have points deducted, then they will go. The key is to make it convenient on the students’ schedules, even if it means after working hours. It’ll require collaboration with the instructor since they need to spell it out on their syllabus. Thanks for reading!

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