LibGuides: The Next Generation!

2007

Old LibGuides Icon

2013

LibGuides icon

It’s been 6 years since LibGuides was first released and oh, my, what a ride it’s been! Almost 4,000 live sites, 55,000+ librarians using it, hundreds of millions of page views every month, and hundreds of new features introduced since 2007.

We’re in this for the long haul, and behind the scenes we’ve been working on the next generation of LibGuides – the system that will keep things exciting for the next 6 years and then some. We’re changing the innards of the platform to make it easier to customize, easier to manage, easier to use, and easier to create beautiful content. We have so much new stuff to share with you, it’s hard to know where to begin!

We know you’re amped right now, but we also know that some of you may be having minor panic attacks at the extent of the change + your customizations, so we want to put your mind at ease:

This is an opt-in change starting this fall.

You decide the right time for your site to move to the new system.

You take however long you need to plan and execute the move.

In other words, you’ll continue to use your existing LibGuides system, just as you do now, and whenever you decide is the right time for your site to move over to the new platform – this fall or winter, next summer – we’ll make it happen. Your domain, your accounts, your content – everything stays the same in the new system, no worries.

And no, this is not an excuse to change our (awesomely affordable) pricing. This migration will not cost you a dime; our pricing will remain as it is now. The only change is that you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck…and that’s the kind of change we can all get behind. 😉

Breathing again? Super! Now let’s get to the list o’ goodies! 😀
(The big stuff, at least. There are literally hundreds of new features and enhancements we’ll share through our newsletter and emails to admins over the summer.)

  • Redesigned UI
    From the back end admin screens to the front end public view, it’s all getting a facelift. The new LibGuides is 100% jQuery and Bootstrap. That means fantabulous stuff like:

    • Responsive, bootstrap-based layouts.
    • More layout options – no more 1-2-3 column restrictions.
    • Easily customizable CSS tabs (no longer image based!).
    • Streamlined admin menu that follows you around whether you’re on your Dashboard or editing a guide.
    • Streamlined guide editing with in-context menus/options. For example, add a new page by simply clicking the + tab to the right of the rest of your pages!
    • 20 different box types making things confusing? Not anymore – we’re down to 3 box types (general, tabbed box, and lightbox). W00t!
    • Wait, what, only 3? How are we going to do anything with just 3? (Trust us, you’ll LOVE the 3.)
      • How often did you want to mix text, links, embedded content, documents, headers, etc. all in one box?
        Well, with the new LibGuides, you can with the general box type. Limitations be gone!
        Add sections of links with headings without CSS tomfoolery…it’s infinitely flexible.
      • Wait, wait, wait – a tabbed box?? You got it! Create tabs inside boxes and add whatever content you want – it’s super easy point and click construction.
      • Hold up, now – a lightbox? Like, for content slideshows or carousel-type image rotating goodness? That’s the one! Creating beautiful and dynamic content has never been easier.
    • Did you ever want your boxes to span columns? C’mon, you know you did…we know you did…and with the new LibGuides, you can!
    • You say you want to automatically embed Previous & Next buttons inside your guides? Sure, why not! It’s all right there, in the new LibGuides.
    • I’m sure you’re noticing a theme by now: flexibility. The new LibGuides is flexible – it will adjust to your needs, whatever they are.
  • More Admin Stuffs!
    We didn’t forget the site admins in our awesome-ifying, either! Here are a few things admins will be thankful for:

    • Centralized asset management (links, documents, embedded content, etc.): view, manage, edit, reuse…all in one place.
    • An automatically generated A-Z subscription database link guide. Say whaaat? Yup, the A-Z guide is a standard part of LibGuides now and is automatically generated to boot! You specify which items should be on the A-Z guide, associate subjects, and voilà: an A-Z guide that is a joy to use and maintain. 🙂
    • Publishing workflows (optional) – guide authors “submit for review”, admins approve the guide for publishing.
    • Redesigned API – anything stored in LibGuides will be accessible via API, so you can reuse that content anywhere else. LibGuides becomes your content store for your assets and tracks their cumulative use; you distribute them anywhere and everywhere…in or outside of your LibGuides site. 🙂
    • Fully customizable guide templates – write your own HTML template, inserting special keywords where you want the guide title, description, author info, content boxes, etc. It’s as awesome as it sounds, trust us on this one!
  • Redesigned Search
    Yes, we know. The LibGuides search can be made better, it’s a comment we heard quite often. So, we’re thrilled to share the great news – we redesigned our search from scratch using Solr on the back end, so this thing is powerful – really powerful – and offers features like:

    • Customized search term weighting.
    • Faceted search options.
    • Search history (for admins – think QuerySpy in LibAnswers) – see what users are searching in LibGuides (anonymously, of course) and whether they’re finding what they’re looking for.
    • And we have plans to enable sites to tweak the relevance ranking for your site’s search. Stay tuned for more on this later this summer.

    Want more? Okay! How about indexing your LibAnswers site in LibGuides so your FAQs show up alongside your guides? If you just said “sa-WEET!”, that is correct. 😉 (We’re amped about this for our Help site!)

*Whew* That was a lot to get through! And that was just the big stuff…

Join us in booth 563 at ALA for a 20 minute Flash Presentation on the LibGuides reFresh:

See the
LibGuides reFresh
at ALA!

Springshare ALA Booth 563

  • Friday, June 28: 6:00pm
  • Saturday, June 29
    • 9:30am
    • 12:30pm
    • 3:30pm
  • Sunday, June 30
    • 9:30am
    • 12:30pm
    • 3:30pm
  • Monday, July 1
    • 9:30am
    • 12:30pm

There will be other Flash Presentations on LibAnalytics Insight and LibAnswers Enhancements as well, so make sure you drop by booth 563 to get a presentation schedule!

Whether or not you’re going to ALA, you need to check out the latest SpringyNews for:

  • Lists of upcoming features for LibGuides (refresh) and LibAnswers (yes, LibAnswers, too!),
  • deets on what you can expect functionality-wise for the upcoming release of LibAnalytics Insight,
  • and a whole lot of great information about the Springshare Community, including the article “5 Ways Into the Springy Community”.

9 comments

  1. cpeterson658 says:

    Love what I’ve read about the improvements. I’m especially excited about the variety in the coming column layouts. There have been many times I thought it would be nice to have one box that would be able to go across two existing columns, especially if you wanted to show relationships between boxes. All things listed are exciting though – not just that. Looking forward to seeing some examples – hopefully you won’t keep those of us not attending ALA in suspense for too long!

  2. molliescarolyn says:

    When will those of us who aren’t attending ALA be able to view the demo?
    Also, how will the transition to the new version impact our current Libguides formatting? Will there be tweaking we will need to do afterwards?

    • Zinthia says:

      Hey There! Have no fear! Keep an eye out on the Support blog. After ALA we will post walkthrus and screencasts and MORE!

      The Redesign will not impact the current version of LibGuides, so we can all take a deep breath there. Upgrading to the new version will be opt-in, so you get to make the decision of when to switch – after you’ve seen the new version!

      • sburnsfeyl says:

        Hi there – when will the LibGuides Refresh walkthrus and screencasts be available? Or, are they somewhere else and I’m not finding them…? Thanks!

        • tresendes12 says:

          Hi There!

          Springshare here! We don’t have a definitive ETA for when we’ll be posting our screenshots and walk-thrus online. As soon as we have more information, we’ll definitely announce it online, via email and even inside your system via the box in the top-left corner of your Dashboard page.

          Best,
          Springshare

  3. Is the opt-in available now? Or will that happen later this fall? Thanks!

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