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Search & A-Z Management Release is Here!

Brand new to LibGuides today are some big new updates that are sure to get your fall or spring semester off to a great start! The best news is that more is yet to come! 😃
First, let’s talk search. As we announced on August 18, we’re rolling out a new and improved search that will present you and your users with links directly to the pages that match your search terms. ICYMI, here’s that list of features for our better more efficient and effective search engine:
  • In-Context Snippets – Search results show snippets of the page where the search term appears. To see snippets, use the Tabbed search page configuration.
  • Search Focus on Page vs. Guide – This helps patrons land on the correct page based on their search term rather than guessing what is the most relevant page within the guide based on the search.
  • Faster Guide Edit Indexing – Guide changes are included in the search index within 5 minutes (we are working on getting this down to 1 minute or less).
  • Search within Guides – Restrict your search to individual guides.
  • Search within LibGuides CMS Groups – Search content within groups, with proper access permissions (e.g. internal groups only for logged-in users, etc.).
  • Separate Search Indexes for Local vs. Community – Regardless of what your community-indexing setting is your local LibGuides search will always work and local content will always be indexed for local searching within your own system.
Next, let’s talk about assets. Your database assets are possibly your library’s most valuable collection, and they are certainly sought-after. With such a prominent place in your services, they deserve an equally-prominent place in your LibGuides system.


On the public side of things, we’ve added a Settings tab on the A-Z List page so that you can make big changes in small amounts of time. Add a LibChat widget (LibAnswers required), change the look of the page, add Permitted Uses, and manage your Vendors and Types from one place. We’ve also brought the A-Z List page into web accessibility compliance, adding information for screen readers and making sure that all the page components and contrast levels comply. Accessibility improvements include: icons (and hidden text) indicating when links open in new windows; higher contrast ratios for icons and other text; keyboard-accessible drop-down menus, navigation by letter, and Share icons.

Login fresh to your LibGuides system to see the new pages and functionality for your database assets. Not only does each asset have a full page, but we have added more fields to the database goodness. You can filter your list on any field or attribute assigned to an individual asset. Need to know how many Best Bet databases you have for Agriculture? No problem! Which business databases allow ILL? Easy! How many are New? Trials? Popular? Check, check, and check!

We’ve also added these awesome new fields and features to make your A-Z management A-maZing!
  • Import AND Update your databases – New resources? URL change? Subject Additions? No problem, include the LibGuides asset ID in your spreadsheet to update existing databases.
  • Popular – Create a quick list to direct users to the most highly-used resources.
  • Alternative Name/Keywords – Add access points to resources.
  • Internal Note – Add information useful to the library but hidden from patrons.
  • Hide Databases – Cancelled? Down? Otherwise unavailable? Just hide it!
  • Permitted Uses – Define which resources can be used for ILL, Course Packs, the LMS—whatever you need.
  • Library Review – Write a review for your patrons and contribute it to the LibGuides A-Z Community (CMS-only).

What’s this about an A-Z Community, you ask? That will be the second part of this two-part update! Don’t worry, all additional changes are going to be behind the scenes, so you will not have to alter any templates or CSS. With the A-Z Community features, you’ll be able to analyze your A-Z holdings next to those of the entire LibGuides Community. You’ll see how many institutions have a database marked as a best bet for a subject, are conducting a trial, even what other databases share that subject assignment and other institutions’ similar subject terms. Stay tuned!

16 thoughts on “Search & A-Z Management Release is Here!”

    1. Hi JoAnn –

      If you’re using the default page template, all you need to do is make sure you have databases designated as Popular in your system. The box will appear automatically once databases are designated as Popular. If you’re using a custom template, you just need to add the appropriate keyword to the template and, of course, make sure that there are databases designated as Popular in your list. This guide provides the info on the keyword:

      We’re currently investigating a situation a couple of customers have reported where the keyword is in the template and databases are designated as Popular, but the box isn’t appearing / isn’t updating. I’m hoping to have a fix for that situation out sooner rather than later.


  1. Hi there –
    Is there anyway to show just the title in the “popular database” list, but keep the descriptions of databases showing in the main a-z list? Our page is looking kind of text heavy with the descriptions showing both places.

      1. Hi Camila, thanks – we were going to recommend the CSS trick, glad you figured it out. Please do let us know if you have further suggestions and ideas, we’re always working on making our A-Z list better and more useful. Thanks!

      2. Hi Camila,
        How did you suppress the descriptions in the “popular database” list with CSS? We want to do the same thing with ours.

        1. Hi, Laura,

          Here’s what you’ll need to add to your custom JS/CSS under admin>look and feel>custom JS/CSS, between

    1. Hi Tom, it is possible to hide them via css but we strongly recommend against it, as it would penalize your users who rely on accessibility aids and screen readers to navigate your A-Z pages. We’d welcome suggestions from clients how to make sure both sets of users are taken care of. In the meantime, if you do insist on removing the icons please email us at support and we’ll provide the custom css to do so. Thanks much!

      1. Hi Slaven,
        Many thanks for this. I fully understand your point and that not including this icon raises accessibility issues. In this case then, is it possible to stop these links opening in new windows (and therefore meaning the icons are not required)? Looking at the setting that are available for both the A-Z list and Resource Icons, I cannot see how this might be possible.
        Thanks again,

          1. Hi Tom, regarding the resource icon links, they are controled by the global setting for link openings i.e. Admin > System Settings > General > Guide Options > Window Target setting.

            We’re still looking into other options/more choices to offer to admins to make sure that both sets of users (those that need assisted technologies, and those who don’t) have the best experience. Thanks so much and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

  2. I see that we have the possibility to designate a database as popular. Is the ability to break the “trial” databases into a separate category from the “new” databases coming sometimes soon?

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