Archive for September 25, 2008

Link Checker Function in LibGuides

I am pleased to announce the availability of the link checker function in LibGuides. The system will check for broken links inside LibGuides boxes (for all boxes except the rich text box type) twice a month and produce the report which will enable you to fix these broken links easily. The function is available on the main admin screen, please see the screenshot below.

As always, your feedback and suggestions are always appreciated so try out the link checker and let us know what you think.

An Exciting Content Partnership with HowStuffWorks.com

The Springshare Team would like to announce that HowStuffWorks.com, the Web site famous for its easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works, will be working with the LibGuides product as our first content partner.  HowStuffWorks will create free multimedia “Hot Topic” Guides for library users of all ages.  The HowStuffWorks portfolio of Guides is already available at http://hsw.libguides.com for:

HowStuffWorks is developing even more guides slated to be available in Fall 2008 including:

  • World History
  • Government & Politics
  • Weather &  Natural Disasters
  • Home Improvement / DIY
  • Gardening
  • Recipes
  • Cooking 101
  • Auto Repair
  • Space & Solar System
  • Classic Cars
  • Adventure
  • Travel
  • Small Business
  • Health & Fitness

The guides have been created by Kristiana Burk, a former librarian and teacher who holds an ALA-accredited MLS from the University of Kentucky. She is currently Channel Director at HowStuffWorks and welcomes any ideas or requests for more information at kburk@howstuffworks.com.  Librarians and subscribers to LibGuides are encouraged to copy HowStuffWorks guides in their entirety, enhance the template guides with their own programming and resources or pull certain articles and video links from them to create their own customized guide on a given topic.  Enjoy!

OpenSearch Compliance and LibX Browser Bar Support

LibGuides is now OpenSearch compliant!  From the OpenSearch Wikipedia page:

“OpenSearch is a collection of technologies that allow publishing of search results in a format suitable for syndication and aggregation. It is a way for websites and search engines to publish search results in a standard and accessible format.”

What does this mean for your library patrons?  The OpenSearch specification provides web browsers with a means to auto-detect search engines, and query sites from within the browsers internal search bar.  This works in modern browsers such as Internet Explorer 7+ and FireFox 2+ (pictured below).

By adding OpenSearch to LibGuides, we get the additional benefit of automatic support for the popular LibX browser plug-in for libraries.  For those of you not familiar with LibX, it allow libraries to create a custom browser toolbar, allowing simple searching of catalogs, databases, and now LibGuides! 

To see this in action you can visit the LibX Edition Builder and go to the ‘Catalogs & Databases’ tab.  Enter your LibGuides URL into the ‘Auto Detection’ box (seen below), and the Edition Builder will add LibGuides search support to your LibX toolbar.  Thanks to Godmar at LibX for helping us with this implementation!

Thoughts, comments or questions about these new features?  Don’t keep them to yourself – share your ideas with other LibGuides users at the Springshare Lounge.

New LibGuides Features, and Improved Community Site

Thanks to the (awesome) feedback and ideas from our client libraries LibGuides is getting better all the time. The latest round of feedback/ideas resulted in the 4 new features we just released.

  1. The new look for the Community Site (http://community.libguides.com), with cleaner interface and the ability to browse guides by Subject. See more in-depth description of the new community site at the end of this post.
  2. Improved “Browse All Guides” page for individual LibGuides sites, giving users the ability to browse/list of guides at your institution sorted by Title, by Subject, and by Author. For example check out the new browse all guides page on our demo site – http://demo.libguides.com/browse.php.
  3. The new API function for generating the list of Subjects for your LibGuides site. This new API function is available under the “Widgets & API” tab on the main admin screen. With this new API function you can embed the list of your LibGuides subjects into any other webpage outside of LibGuides.
  4. LibX search integration with LibGuides search. This is really cool – LibX is a popular open-source library search browser toolbar and now you can search your LibGuides content via LibX. We have worked with LibX developers to make LibGuides full text search available thru LibX. A separate post on how to configure LibX toolbar to search is coming later today.

New look for the Community Site
You will notice a new look with the tabbed interface when you go to http://community.libguides.com. The new site makes it easier to find interesting guides and look for ideas for creating new guides for your particular subject speciality. Simply click on “Explore Guides” tab and select “Guides by Subject” (here is the direct link – http://community.libguides.com/community.php?m=g&s=all). We also aggregated the list of all our client libraries, together with the google maps mashup showing all of them on the world map, into the “Browse Institutions” tab (http://community.libguides.com/community.php?m=i). We are planning further improvements to the Community Site, so please let us know what else you’d like to see there.

Honorable Mentions III

We have not highlighted a LibGuides related blog post in some time, but when we saw the post on the Gonzobrarian blog today, we couldn’t resist!

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 it’s coming out of the budget, but we’re getting this.”  We’ve got it, and it’s living up to the hype.

Now that’s an awesome start to a very positive review of LibGuides!!  Be sure to check out the rest of the post here:

http://gonzobrarian.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/libguides/

Monthly LibGuides Stats – August 2008

Here are the most recent cummulative stats for the LibGuides community; over 20,000 content pages were added last month!

Community Sites: 337
Librarian Accounts: 5782
Total Guides: 14,596
Total Pages: 90,180