I first heard about LibGuides on a blog post from Camilla Elliot, where she used the Victorian State Library’s Bushfire LibGuide as an example. In the months that followed I heard about other libraries using LibGuides, and finally requested a trial myself. Once I started uploading content and creating the guides I was hooked!
LibGuides are an incredibly easy way to create a professional-looking library web page, and at BGS we have used LibGuides to create our Library homepage. We have then linked to other guides from that page, as well as to our Library blog (The Pulse) and our Reading blog (The Gathering). There are multiple options for customizing pages, as you can see if you go to the LibGuides Community site and look at how other schools and universities have set up their pages. Gulf Oil Spill Information Centre, by University of South Florida Libraries, is a good example to start with to see the amount of information that can be included in a guide.
LibGuides are made up of a number of boxes or ‘widgets’ on a page into which you can put specific types of content, depending on which style of box you choose – eg text and images, RSS feeds, books from your catalogue, video clips, lists of websites. The size of the columns on a page can be easily altered, and you can rearrange boxes on a page or move them to a different page. You can also copy an existing box onto another page or copy an existing page into another guide.
Once a guide has been set up, you can add pages which sit along the top as tabs, or you can add subpages to any of those pages. We have set up our Assignment Help guides as a separate guide for each year level and subject, and under those a page for each unit or topic. Within each topic we can then add subpages according to the requirements of each assignment.
It is very easy to set up other people as editors or guide creators, which means that other staff and teachers can also be creating guides and adding content to existing guides. We pay for an extra module which allows us to upload our own images and this has been a good choice, as we can make our guides much more visual.
If you would like to trial LibGuides, email the very helpful staff at Springshare.