This presentation will share with the audience how the LibGuides Management Team at UConn Library applied the lessons learnt from our previous mistakes to build more accessible and pedagogical sound research guides using LibGuides v2. I will share the issues, challenges, and successes of applying guidelines and best practices in a consistent way to improve the user experience while accessing our research, course, general and topic guides.
Type of Library
LibGuides, learning objects
From Chaos to Planned Future: Transforming LibGuides from Pathfinders to Learning Objects
In 2008, our library adopted LibGuides version 1 as the platform to deliver subject, course, general purpose and topic guides. As a co-chair of the implementation group, our goal was to transition from static web pages to a more dynamic system to deliver information about all our general and subject-specific resources. Over the following years, I realized that our initial goal lacked enough specifics or a clear understanding of what the ultimate purpose was for creating these guides. Should guides simply be lists of resources? or should they be learning objects that allow for unmediated learning? Those were questions that were not addressed before adopting LibGuides. Furthermore, the lack of guidelines and best practices for the creation of guides made the overall look and feel of the site a hodgepodge of guide types, formatting styles, contents, and colors. Guides did not follow accessibility standards and tended to mimic print pathfinders with links instead of call numbers. By 2015, there were about 800 guides in the system which made it hard for users and librarians alike to find relevant guides to answer research questions.
In 2016, a new group was created to address these issues. The LibGuides Management Team (LGMT), a cross-departmental team, was charged to create a new policy and guidelines for building, reviewing and maintaining LibGuides. To manage the review process, we utilized the Publishing Workflow, an automated system in LibGuides that allows a set of reviewers to revise guides before being made public.
This presentation will share with the audience how our group applied what we learnt from our previous mistakes to build more accessible and pedagogical sound research guides using LibGuides v2. I will share the issues, challenges, and successes of applying guidelines and best practices in a consistent way to improve the user experience while accessing our research, course, general and topic guides. I will discuss the different approaches we used to create the guidelines, train staff on how to use the new version, as well as, what were the LGMT expectations regarding using the guidelines to revise, merge and/or collaborate with other librarians to create share guides when necessary.
Attendees to this presentation will walk away with the following takeaways:
- How to request the necessary authority from Admin to implement new guidelines and best practices across the organization
- How to communicate changes, expectations, and deadlines to all guide owners
- How to start the conversation of converting pathfinder-type guides into learning objects
- What types of training (how to create/edit guides; instructional design for guides) and help were offered to support staff during this process
- How to successfully implement the Publishing Workflow
- What works, what didn’t work and what can be improved in the future