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How to: LibGuides: Home

This LibGuide is designed to provide helpful information for librarians creating their own LibGuides.


Welcome!  Knowing how to use Springshare to create LibGuides is important.  However, as the popularity of LibGuides increases, more and more librarians and information services professionals believe that LibGuides can be powerful tools that actively reflect and contribute to the research done by those that use them.  

LibGuides do not need to function only as biliographies of research resources or manuscripts particular to a specific field or discipline, but they can actively engage the manner in which students and faculty complete research and they can serve as a bridge between academic departments and library services

In this guide, we will assume that you know the basic ins and outs of the Springshare LibGuide system and are capable of using its functions.  If you are unsure how to create a LibGuide or want to get a better idea of how other university libraries use LibGuides, be sure to visit the appropriate link in the box named "Additional Information."  These links will direct you to  the appropriate LibGuide within the Springshare community.  In addition to these guides, be sure to click on the appropriate tab in order to find the information best suited for your task or concern.  In order to receive information pertinent to organizing tabs, click on the ORGANIZING TABS tab.  To learn about how to better organize the pages maintained in your LibGuide, click on the ORGANIZING PAGES tab.  To discover the different boxes that will help you distribute and manage content, click on the BOX CATEGORIES tab.

Getting Started

As a subject librarian, you probably spend a lot of time and effort locating research materials for the academic departments that you serve.  Do those departments know about your work and the research guides that you create?  One of the major issues currently facing subject librarians is how to best market resources particular to the fields that they represent.  The LiBGuide offers you the opportunity to help this situation.  Be sure to:

  • CONSULT WITH THE DEPARTMENT YOUR GUIDE REPRESENTS In order to best serve the specific department that your LibGuide represents, contact them and ask them if there are certain features that they think are necessary for the LibGuide on which you are working.  Often, it is best to contact the department chair, director of undergraduate study, and director of graduate study in order to obtain this information.  If this does not provide results, contact the department's administrative assistant and ask that he or she send your letter of inquiry to the department's list-serve.
  • LINK GUIDE WITH ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT Link your guide with the specific department that your guide represents. Consult the academic departments that you serve and ask them to add your LibGuide or Guides to their department website.  This will increase the visibility of your LibGuide and keep people interested in the work that you do for them.
  • USE IMAGES WHEN APPROPRIATE Images not only serve to enhance the visual appeal of your guide, but they also allow you to communicate important information to your customers.  For example, each image tells me something specific about Emory University.  By hyperlinking the image to appropriate webpage that the image represents, you can direct your customers to important information that may be of special interest.  Click on each image!  See where it takes you.
  • UPDATE CONTENT  It is important that LibGuides for particular subjects/disciplines be updated to reflect newly acquired resources for that particular discipline or subject.  Not only does this allow you the best opportunity to reflect how the Woodruff Library contributes to individual disciplines, but it also allows your customers to easily and efficiently learn about new resources from which they may benefit.
  • CREATE A BACKUP  Don't tempt fate.  Create a backup of your LibGuide by selection the "Create Backup" option on the Admin toolbar under "Guide Settings."

Have you created a LibGuide that you really like and that meets the research needs of the academic department or course for which it was written?  Did another Librarian create a LibGuide that you want to model? Do you need to create another guide? 

  • CREATE A TEMPLATE FOR YOURSELF By creating a template for your LibGuides, whether they be for specific subjects or courses, you can create a consistent form that reflects the best strategies for communicating information to your customers.  Also, creating a template for yourself expedites the time it takes to create LibGuides.
  • USE THE TEMPLATE OPTION  The template option allows you to use a pre-existing LibGuide as a template for any LibGuides you may make in the future.  When creating your new guide, simply select the "Using an existing guide as a template"  This allows you the opportunity to use any guide in the Springshare community, including your own, as a template for your new guide.

Finally, consider your LibGuide as a means of communicating information to the department that your Guide represents.  In order to best fulfill this capability, be sure to:

  • CONTACT DEPARTMENT ABOUT UPDATES TO GUIDE  Anytime you update the content of your guide, be sure to inform the department that your Guide represents.  This allows your customers to have immediate access to new research resources and keeps them knowledgeable about your and the Library's efforts to enhance research opportunities.
  • OPPORTUNITIES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS  The Home page of your LibGuide can be a good place to mention any opportunities, announcements, or events specific to the department that your guide represents.  It can also be a good place to mention any Library events or announcements that may be relevant to the department that your guide represents.

These suggestions will not only contribute to your ability to market library resources to the departments that you serve, but they will enhance your customers ability to conduct research in an efficient way.

Home Page Content

In addition to a Welcome Box, it is worth considering what content you feel should appear on your LibGuide's homepage.  While this decision requires some flexibility and should reflect the guide's intent and purpose, overloading the homepage with content can overwhelm users rather than direct them to specific services and capabilities that you would like to underscore throughout your LibGuide. 

Remember, the homepage should be a landing page that may underscore core services and resources and direct users/customers to other pages that contain important resources.  Are there specific resources or services that your customers need?  The homepage can be a great place to underscore those resources.

Depending on your LibGuide, you may want to highlight key Library resources in order to immediately introduce customers to helpful information with which they might not be immediately familar.

Additional Information

Need help?  The following links provide important information contained within the Springshare community.

Post to LibGuides

Want to post content to your LibGuides as you browse the Internet?  On your admin page, select the "Post to Lib Guides Button for your Browser."   This link will direct you to the instruction page whereby you can install the button that will allow you to add content to your LibGuide(s) as you browse the Internet.

Peripheral Boxes

Trying to figure out what to place in your peripheral boxes?  Given that we are on the Welcome page, perhaps it may be useful to create a "Links to Guides" Box that will direct your users to other LibGuides that are either of great importance or that match the discipline that your guide represents.   This not only gives customers the option to conduct more thorough research if they need to do so, but also provides them with a breadth of information that may be of specific importance to them.  At the very least, it gives customers an idea of the kind of work that subject librarians accomplish and allows them to find information about those librarians and their work, which may be useful for students seeking research help or instruction.

New Books

Sometimes creating a box specifically for marketing new books can liven your LibGuide.  By creating a "Books Box" that introduces customers to the new books that have arrived, you can alert customers to new scholarship that may be of great importance. 

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