One of the fruitions of my library’s attendance at a recent conference was to become more fully introduced to the increasingly popular service called LibGuides. After attending a session on it, the first thing my director mentioned was something to the effect of “I don’t care if it’s coming out of the budget, but we’re getting this.” We’ve got it, and it’s living up to the hype.
For those not in the know, LibGuides is an online service geared toward libraries that allows for innovative design of information-centered pathfinders and subject guides. In plainer English, it’s a way to better deliver helpful information resources and course specific guides to enable better information seeking behavior among library patrons. Reasons why to consider LibGuides:
- online interaction of users – submit polls, feedback boxes, enabling of comments for every section text is entered
- uploading documents – word, pdf, ppt, etc.
- embedding media – easy embedding for youtube, though not so for vimeo
- linking to one’s OPAC, databases, proxy connections
- RSS embedding
- online tech support
- complete customization of page – tabular or dropdown guides (or both)
We are in the process of transitioning to LibGuides and for me, the amount of options for customization is the greatest obstacle of the system, which truly is no obstacle at all. So many things to do, getting beyond the first steps of the planning stage will probably the hardest part of the whole process. Our approach has been to create a basic set of guides for general disciplines by dividing subjects according to liaison assignment. Next, we are contacting faculty to see who’re interested and how we can improve those guides and create more in-depth ones for courses or even particular assignments.
I’m curious about the future expansion of LibGuides. It is a hosted service, meaning that people are coughing up the moolah for it, yet the amount of subscribing libraries seems to be increasing each week. Could it eventually replace a library’s traditional Web page, even OPAC?
Take a tour.