Type

Presentation

Description

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

More Information

Current staffing level in academic libraries have shrunk in the last 10 years due to budgetary constraints placing a lot of stress on librarians who are trying to balance workload that may include teaching library instructions, and offering reference and research services (online and/or in person) and many new functional roles such as digital scholarship, publishing services, etc… A way to lighten these burdens is by creating online guides that can allow for unmediated help to users at the point of need. LibGuides have been adopted by many academic libraries to serve that purpose but in many cases, research guides resemble more pathfinders with a long list of resources but with little contextual information to explain to users why they are useful, in what way and if they are ranked based on relevance or other criteria. This presentation will broaden the discussion on what to consider when creating unmediated library resources, and the importance of applying guidelines and best practices on building guides, as well as, the use of pedagogical approaches and instructional design methods in the creation of research, course and topic guides.

Type of Library

University Library

Keywords

LibGuides, learning objects

Ramos_Handout_1.pdf (232 kB)
Ramos Handout 1

Ramos_Handout_2.pdf (194 kB)
Ramos Handout 2

Share

COinS
 
May 4th, 10:00 AM May 4th, 10:50 AM

From Chaos to Planned Future: Transforming LibGuides from Pathfinders to Learning Objects

Plymptom Room

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

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.