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Subject Librarian Community: LibGuides

Guide Design & Writing for the Web

Here are two "Best of the Best" Guides from the Springshare Community that offer useful advice and good tips on LG design. 

Working Inside the Box: LibGuide Tips for Librarians @ Agnes Scott College (GA). This web site echoes many of the same ideas and tips in "Liberating Libguides." The Home Page starts with how to "write for the web." The author also suggests a number of supporting software tools to help build more visually engaging guides with dynamic content including image capture and editing tools, RSS feeds, and creating widgets. There is also a tab for customizing LG for mobile users.

Libguide: Quickstart Help & Standards @ the University of Regina (Canada). This guide is dense with step-by-step detail but useful to someone new to the platform or needing a refresher.

More design tips from SpringShare:

  1. The first page in your guide is the most important.  As the first page users see, it's important to keep your 'Home' page up-to-date and fresh.
  2. Create a 'Best Bets' box on your guide homepage to outline the best bet resources on that topic. This way, the most important information is front-loaded on the first page of your LibGuide. 
  3.  Consider using the polling feature--make it prominent on the homepage--to get immediate user feedback on your guide.

Guide maintenance - annual checklist

Local Tips and Practices

Local tips and practices:

  1. Database Linking
    • Whenever linking to a proprietary library database in LG, always use its "hdl.handle.net" address in Coral. You can harvest that URL from this list of library databases.
      • Navigate to the specific database using Ctr'l-F (PC) or Command-F (for Mac)
      • Right-click on the hypertext title and select "copy link address" 
      • Paste link into LibGuides
      • Note: You do not need to select the "add proxy." It's included in the handle.net address.
  2. Canned Catalog Searches
    • You can build a highly customized canned catalog search using VuFind's various facets/limits
      • Conduct the initial search
      • Add any number of limits (e.g. topic, location, format)
      • Copy URL and use it in hypertext link. 
      • Here is the linked text--View books in the library--in one of my guides that incorporates multiple terms in search string to pull together books related to Christian theology and the global church, which would otherwise require a fairly complex search strategy. I use tinyurl.com to shorten the longer URLs one often gets in the process.
      • Drawing together in a canned search all of the titles in a series is another potential use. I've done this, for example, with the important Bible commentary series in several BITH guides.