Thursday, November 12, 2009

Energize Your Website or Subject Guides with LibGuides

Presenter: Sharon LePage, Chaminade University

LibGuides from Springshare allows the quick creation of online resource guides, including tag clouds, feedback, and templates that save you from having to make everything from scratch, and without needing any programming knowledge, and with minimum tech skills.

Some boxes, including popular guides and popular tags, are automatically generated. You can even inlcude a photo of a library or librarian. 

  • Time consuming. Planning takes a long time. What to call it, which resources to include. 
  • Manual migration of the existing guides took a while. 
  • $900-2500 per year -  but worth the cost.
LibGuides Can Be Used For:

  • Subject guides
  • Course guides
  • Information guides
  • Homework guides
  • Tutorials
  • Clubs
  • Website (some libraries replace their websites with LibGuides)
Some of the features you can include:
  • Display RSS feeds
  • Get feedback or ratings from users
  • Chat widgets
  • Allow users to rank the sites you link to
  • Embed search boxes for your catalog, or search engines, etc.
  • Book covers from Amazon
  • Reader's guide widget
Some Advantages of using LibGuides over creating your own guides:

External host (springshare)
External tech support
Good if your staff isn't tech oriented
Good if your website standards are too rigid

Easy steps to Create a LibGuide (It actually walks you through the process)
  • Sign in, click to create new guideSelect a template, name the guide, add contributors
  • Create a new box or include an existing box from list.
  • Use command bar to configure your site. 
  • Preview and publish. 
The MyAdmin tab is like your blog dashboard. It allows you to change settings and manage your guides. 

The API tab allows you to create a new widget without programming.

The Usage Statistics tab allows you to track which guides are popular.

If your institution wants a consistent design, you can have the company adjust the page, or you can purchase a module that allows your programmers to do so.

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