Archive for August 20, 2014

LibGuides: Not Just for Grown-Ups

Guides with bright primary colors? Check!
Guides with cartoon videos? Check!
Guides with links to PBS and Scholastic? Annnd check!

Did you know that libraries serving the smaller set are using LibGuides? Yes, LibGuides from Springshare can be for kids, too.

LibGuides allows school librarians and media specialists to select and share information and resources with students, parents, and even teachers. Why let students go to Google—where they’ll find everything and walk away with nothing—when they can have a professionally curated collection of resources at their fingertips. LibGuides in school libraries can also help boost the usage of the stuff the school or district already pays for. And it collects statistics to show how the library or media center adds value.

Take a peek at some of these school libraries that are using LibGuides to help their students:

Colchester Public Schools

Colchester Public Schools

Colchester Public Schools

  • Colchester schools in Connecticut use a LibGuide to highlight their Birthday Book Club. The guide includes an awesome video featuring real students. What better way to connect books and kids!

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School

Lawton School

8th Grade Mock Trial

  • When eighth graders at Lawton in Summit, New Jersey, need to prepare for mock trials, they have all the information they need at their fingertips – from constitutional history to legal precedents.

Knowles Elementary School

Knowles Library Embedded Video

Library Manners Embedded Video

  • Knowles Elementary in Cedar Park, Texas, has a brightly-colored exciting LibGuide. Check out the cute Library Manners video for first graders!

River Ridge Elementary School

River Ridge LibGuides

Primary & Secondary Resources

  • Fifth graders at River Ridge Elementary in Austin, Texas, can learn about primary and secondary sources right from their librarian – within LibGuides.

Some tips for creating LibGuides for kids:

  • Use readable, clear font
  • Keep text to a minimum
  • Use images that convey meaning
  • Embed videos
  • Use color in ways that help guide students
  • Get kids’ attention with fun polls

Do you have an awesome LibGuide for kids? Let us know about it! Share it with us at Facebook or Twitter!

LibGuides 2: MAJOR update!

As promised, we released a biggie over the weekend, including widgets, site search, connections to LibSurveys for Surveys & Forms, and an awesome new content type, LibAnswers 2 Widgets.

Widgets – bring LibGuides 2 content into any other website (including into guides) using widget embed code.  So far, you can create these widgets (known in LibGuides 1 as the API Utility) :

  • List of Guides
    • Filter your list by subject, owner, type, group (CMS only) or even by a search term!
    • Create a simple list or a framed list
  • List of Databases from your A-Z list
    • Filter by subject, database type, vendor, or by a search term!
    • Display the “Best Bets” at the top if you want
  • Embed a Guide, Page, or Content box
    • Reuse guide content ANYWHERE
    • Control height and width right from the widget create screen

Search – new, improved, mega-awesome site search is here! The search is not only shiny and improved but results now include filters!

Limit search results by:

  • Group Assignment (CMS Only)
  • Assigned subjects
  • Assigned tags
  • Guide type
  • Contains content type

Bonus: Terms searched in your site appear in your Statistics (CMS only)!

Go to Statistics > Searches to view terms searched in your LibGuides 2 system

Have a LibAnswers 2 system as well?  Search that system right from the LibGuides 2 search results, and vice-versa.

Click the LibAnswers button to execute this search in your LibAnswers 2 system

LibAnswers Widgets asset type – Speaking of LibAnswers, have you ever wanted to create an Ask Us button or question form in your guide without having to log into LibAnswers and copy code?  Well now you can!  The peanut-buttery goodness of LibAnswers 2 Widgets is available right inside the chocolaty deliciousness of your guides with the new LibAnswers Widget assets.  Add an asset and it can be reused anywhere in your guides!

Add any LibAnswers 2 widget to your LibGuides 2 system

Note that for the LibAnswers Widget asset type to appear in the Add / Reorder menu, you have to have an account in the LibAnswers 2 system that’s associated with your LibGuides 2 system.  LibGuides 2 admins, if your guide authors don’t have LibAnswers accounts, you can pre-populate your LibGuides 2 system with your LibAnswers widgets, no sweat! Your guide authors can then choose “Reuse Existing Widget” and be on their way.

Link Checker — a faster, more powerful link checker has been integrated into LibGuides 2.  As with LibGuides 1, the link checker runs every Saturday.  Click the view icon to see the list of guides in which each link appears.

LibSurveys asset type (CMS only) – We are creating LibSurveys sites for each LibGuides CMS site.  Until your LibSurveys site is set up and accounts created, you will not see surveys in your system.

Guide authors will use the LibSurveys content type to embed forms and surveys in their guides.

There were several minor bugs that we stomped as well:

  • Drop-down menu on Subject pages no longer show subjects with 0 guides
  • CMS only – Homepage templates no longer show in the templates drop-down on the Create Guide page
  • Mapped sub-pages were not clickable from Preview mode; now they are
  • Related Guides list on A-Z “by subject” pages no longer shows unpublished guides
  • Profiles page (prf.php) only shows Admin and Regular profiles that have at least 1 published guide
  • Regular users are now able to create an Editor account from the Guide Editors screen if necessary
  • Columns display properly in Internet Explorer 8 public side
  • Print icon added to default side-nav template
  • Profile boxes no longer display errors after editing a title
  • CMS only – Homepages retain the default column settings

We will be doing more updates this week as we officially launch LibGuides 2 and exit our beta status. Thanks to everyone who’s hung in with us during the beta process—your input has been invaluable!