Librarians Don’t Miss a Beat!
Librarians in 96 countries have built more than 719,000 LibGuides. They build subject guides and course-specific guides. Some guides serve as the library’s website. There are how-to guides and guides that reach out to specific demographics. Using LibGuides to share knowledge is easy and that is never handier than when librarians must build guides to respond to current events. When you have to address the matters that your patrons find most pressing and which are, in a way, imminent like tax season or a holiday, a census, a hurricane or a particularly dangerous outbreak, it’s critical that the tool you’re using doesn’t get in the way.
When There’s an Outbreak…Break Out the Information!
The word “epidemic” hits the airwaves and the soundbites travel so fast, it’s a wonder that librarians can keep up. But that’s exactly what they do. We’ve seen LibGuides built on SARS and the H1N1 Swine Flu. You’ll find guides on MERS, which is caused by a coronavirus and some built on the Zika virus, transmitted by mosquitos. Whether the guides and pages were built right at the beginning in response to the need for information or after the fact in order to help people study and learn about the epidemics, LibGuides allows librarians to add:
- Images of maps showing the affected countries
- Links to the Center for Disease Control
- Videos of how to wash your hands
- Infographics with tips on how to put on a mask
- Access to useful articles, websites, and recommended databases to learn more
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is in the news today. Springshare has already found LibGuides popping up, many of them with notes stating they are works-in-progress because the librarians are currently assembling the information. The patron focused New York University Health Sciences Library has an excellent example whose subheading reads,
In recognition that people are interested in learning what is currently known about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak, we have gathered the following information
The Western Academy of Beijing Red Scroll Library has a Middle School Parents LibGuide to which they’ve added a brilliant page on the 2019 Coronavirus. Along with a lot of useful information, it features an infographic with symptoms, another with ways to reduce your risk, and even includes a video of questions being answered by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization.
The Cleveland Clinic has labeled this an evolving situation and added a page on the 2019-nCoV to its Infectious Disease guide that includes a downloadable toolkit. The American Embassy School in New Delhi, India has added a Wuhan Coronavirus page to their Current Events and Fake News LibGuide built by the school librarian. It shares articles about how the virus is reported, recommended databases and subscription magazines for news, government/NGO information sites about the virus, and more. Being able to pull a LibGuide together quickly to share vital information and curate ways to further delve into epidemics and pandemics is invaluable. These guides can continue to be updated keeping them, and their patrons, current.
The upcoming census is something you can certainly shed some light on for your patrons, even if your patrons are…libraries. The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council built a LibGuide called Census 2020 for New York Libraries.
- It shares key roles for libraries and contains information that is specifically tailored for Public, Academic, and School libraries.
- There is also information on how to be a census site.
- You’ll find a page on training sessions
Loyola University Chicago has a guide on the census that features an infographic called Census 101: What You Need to Know. It also contains census history and information on why the census is necessary, which may sound like the most basic question of all — but it needs to be answered.
If the 2020 Census hasn’t come up yet, it will and libraries have a vested interest in making sure people understand how important it is and aren’t afraid of it. LibGuides can help you share information about how the census impacts the community and many libraries are sharing what sorts of questions will be asked and even what won’t be. Like any survey you might share with LibWizard, more people tend to participate if they know what the information they provide will be used for and roughly how many questions there will be. They like to know it will make a difference if they take the time to do it. You can even add a discussion board to your guide or embed a LibChat widget so patrons know you are there to help with further questions.
Get Up to Speed with LibGuides on Current or Upcoming Events.
Whether you want to build a guide on the approaching Election complete with ways to see if you’re registered and important dates, information on what a caucus is, candidates, and anything else you choose to add, or if you want to build a page on the Academy Awards, or create a guide for a visiting author or whatever you have on the horizon, Springshare can help you strategize the best ways to do it.
Here are some upcoming free training sessions. All the times listed are U.S. ET.
- Build-a-LibGuide: For Tax Prep — THU, Feb 6, 2020 / 2:00pm – 2:40pm
- Build-a-LibGuide: Celebrations & Holidays — TUE, Feb 11, 2020 / 2:00pm – 2:40pm
- Build-a-LibGuide: Author Reading — WED, Mar 18, 2020 / 2:00pm – 2:40pm
We also have some recorded sessions you can watch at your convenience.
Check out all our live training sessions.