Archive for Community

Train Future Librarians and Request a *Free* Suite of Springshare Tools

Graduating Librarians, Information Professionals, and School Media Specialists are entering a workplace that requires more and more specialized skills, knowledge, and experience. Things like:

  • Experience at building a LibGuide;
  • Knowledge of administering & maintaining a LibGuides system;
  • Skill in using virtual chat reference tools like LibChat;
  • Know-how with coordinating, managing, and advertising library events;
  • Expertise in building and creating interactive instructional tutorials.

At Springshare, we recognize that Librarians-in-Training are the future <cue cheesy music> of Librarianship and we want to help them be as prepared as possible for what’s to come!

To that end, we’re offering a free Suite of Springshare Tools to any and all LIS Programs, School Media Specialist certification programs, or M.Ed Programs, and others. If you’re not sure your school or program qualifies, just fill out the form below and inquire!

With your LIS Suite, students will gain real-world experience using Springshare Tools. Furthermore, it can serve as a living and online archive of their student work – invaluable to future employers.

What’s in the LIS Suite of Springshare Tools?

Each LIS Suite comes with the following Springshare tools and you’re welcome to choose one, a few, or all of the tools to utilize within your program. You don’t need to get the entire Suite if you don’t need it! But, we think you might like to make use of all the tools in your proverbial toolkit!

LibGuides LogoLibGuides CMS:  Students learn to curate knowledge and build multimedia-rich guides by:

  • Creating subject, course, or topical Guides
  • Creating a mock ‘Library Website’
  • Learning about Bootstrap in a user-friendly environment
  • Creating a mock ‘Staff Policies & Procedures’ manual

LibWizard Logo​LibWizard: Students learn to create interactive tutorials, quizzes, surveys, and forms to engage patrons by:

  • Building self-paced interactive tutorials and assessments
  • Assessing patron learning with quizzes
  • Creating engaging feedback surveys
  • Replacing paper forms with mobile-friendly online forms

LibAnswers LogoLibAnswers Platform: Students develop their virtual reference and reference interview skills by:

  • Practicing a live chat exchange using LibChat
  • Creating media-rich FAQs and learning best practices for keyword optimization
  • Practicing their reference interview via email, SMS, Twitter, and more

LibCal LogoLibCal: Students learn how to create engaging library programming and events, manage space bookings, and create their own one-on-one consultation scheduler by:

  • Practicing creating a library calendar with engaging events
  • Communicating and advertising events to patrons
  • Managing library spaces, study rooms, and bookable spaces
  • Creating their own schedule for librarian consultations and advertising them to patrons

Terms of Use – All the Fun Without the Jargon

  1. Your LIS Suite of Springshare Tools may only be used within your library school, educational, or certification program to train future librarians and information professionals on the use of Springy Tools.
  2. You / your designated group of local admins are front-line support for any questions your students or faculty have about using Springshare tools. They / you can have full access to our help documentation and training, but all support questions from students/faculty are routed through you. Basically, you know them better than we do so it makes sense for their questions to be answered locally!
    • If you / your designated group of local admins have questions or need to report any issues, contact Springshare Support.
You may not use Springy Tools to provide services to patrons or end-users.

What About Content on Other LIS Systems?

Since 2011, we’ve realized the importance in providing access to LibGuides for Librarians-in-Training. If you’ve created content on these systems, we’ve outlined your options below.

Request Your LIS Suite of Springshare Tools!

Ready to get started? Request your LIS Suite of Tools today!


Beyoncé’s Lemonade – The LibGuide Heard Round the (twitter)World

Lemonade LibGuide Screenshot

Lemonade LibGuide:

On April 28th at 9:09am, Jenny Ferretti, the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art, tweeted that she had published a LibGuide on Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album. The response, especially on Twitter, was astounding. In just 24hrs, Jenny’s LibGuide had over 14,000 views and her tweet has been retweeted and liked over 200+ times. The NYPL even got in on the buzz and tweeted Jenny’s LibGuide to their over 1.5Million followers. School Library Journal interviewed Jenny and wrote a blog post on the importance of building a LibGuide that unpacks the research behind the album. Providing much needed context so that users can make connections to and find references within the work

When we reached out Jenny to collaborate on a blog post, the first thing we discussed was, “What do we want to talk about that hasn’t already been said?“. What can we add to the conversation? Jenny, not surprisingly, had some great ideas about why she chose LibGuides, the overwhelming community feedback, and inclusion with instruction programs.

Why did you use LibGuides to create your Lemonade research portal?

I’m a fan of topical LibGuides, particularly those focused on recent events and popular culture. I’m a self-identified first generation American Latina. I have a fine art undergraduate background and I’m interested in various styles of fashion, music, television, and film. My background and interests help shape what I’m interested in discussing with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) students as the Digital Initiatives Librarian at Decker Library. I approach media and art from the perspective of an information professional. So when Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade was released, I wanted to unpack the hour-long film using resources from publications and popular websites.

I chose LibGuides as the platform to explore Lemonade because it’s a convenient tool that supports items in your library’s catalog or Worldcat, images, and gifs (which is pretty important when referencing Beyoncé). If you know the basics of how to make a LibGuide, you could make a guide right now. I have experience creating topical LibGuides after making “Understanding Civic Unrest in Baltimore, 1968-2015.” My personal research interest in Baltimore’s Civil Rights Era helped me understand that what happened in 2015 was not an isolated incident, but would our patrons know this? I wanted to create a space that had information about the history of civic unrest, community groups, and art.

When developing the Lemonade guide, I tried to accomplish a few different things. I wanted to compile articles and resources about Lemonade in one place. Articles analyzing and sharing information like all of the musical collaborators started showing up in feeds and timelines fairly soon after the visual album was released. I immediately wanted to categorize them and place them somewhere for others to find. For example, a recent addition is the #LemonadeSyllabus compiled by Candice Benbow through online suggestions.

Beyoncé samples three lines from a Malcolm X speech in the Anger chapter of the visual album. I wanted to hear the entire speech for context. I found that speech on YouTube and added it to the guide. Similarly, the Forgiveness chapter of the visual album includes three women holding photographs of their sons. Although I recognized the photos these women held as black men killed by police, I wondered if others had recognized them, or more importantly, knew their names. I sought out context and more information about the things I saw and heard in Lemonade.

Another goal of the guide was to share what is happening in the job market. If you stuck around the for the credits of the visual album, you would have seen seven directors names and seven cinematographers. Other credits, like poetry by Warsan Shire, styling, score and other music, choreography, production design, and more were also included. We can’t be Beyoncé, but we can unpack what it took to make something like Lemonade. I’d like our students to imagine working on something like the visual album if that’s what they’d like to do. It’s not a fantastical out-of-reach dream. Like many large-scale creative and artistic projects, it took a team of people to create Lemonade. For art and design students, it’s important to see who played what role.

The applications, beyond the LibGuide, are extensive. What are your thoughts on using it during library instruction?

Before Lemonade was released, I spoke with Siân Evans, Instruction Librarian at MICA, about Beyoncé’s performance at Super Bowl 50 and her Formation music video. We were both fascinated by creative choices like the nod to the Black Panther Party and the criticism Beyoncé received and controversy over copyright. In seeking to make research more exciting to undergraduate art students while also promoting critical thinking skills, Siân developed an instruction session which included a visual analysis of Formation, a discussion of Black Lives Matter, and an active learning component in which the students responded to the Super Bowl performance by researching the Black Panther Party in the library catalog, research databases, and special collections.

I sat-in on that instruction session and it occurred to me that our students might be more familiar with Beyoncé rather than the history of the Black Panthers. Engaging students through a popular point of reference is a great starting point for education. The Lemonade LibGuide includes a mix of printed books, publications, and work from popular websites. It can be used to demonstrate differences between primary, secondary, and peer-reviewed sources, as well as copyright, Creative Commons, and more.

Tell us about the response and feedback you’re getting from librarians, researchers, and activists around the world.

The feedback has been overwhelming in the best possible way. Within 24 hours the guide was viewed 17,000 times and has been viewed over 40,000 times to date. Two weeks after first publishing the guide, the shares and mentions on Twitter have started to slow down. Most of the positive feedback has been from those who work in libraries and archives. It has been shared on Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook by people like Sherrilyn Ifill, President & Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, institutions like New York Public Library, and publications like Library Journal and School Library Journal. It has it’s own hashtag: #libeyrianship.

Honestly, a lot of the comments I’m receiving are about how this LibGuide in particular is different from other LibGuides. Many people have commented that they didn’t think of LibGuides as a space for topical exploration. Hashtags like #woke, and comments that include the word “relevancy” and overall gratitude for my having created the guide usually follow retweets and shares. A lot of people want Queen Bey herself to acknowledge the LibGuide. Funny story: the night I published it and realized the impact of the guide online, I got a phone call from an unknown number with a New York City area code. For a second I thought to myself, “Bey???” but it was just my graduate school asking for a donation. 🙂

Many librarians have told me that they’ve either talked about it in instruction meetings or have intentions of copying the LibGuide. At least one library has copied the guide completely and adapted it to fit the needs of their students (with my permission and credit of course). LibGuides have always seemed like a resource for not only library patrons, but library professionals. I search for LibGuides on particular programs to get an idea of what someone else thought was an important resource or topic to mention.

My next step as far as using LibGuides goes is to develop a LibGuide Bootstrap Bootcamp with my colleagues at Decker Library. Once I realized LibGuides is based in the Bootstrap framework (after excellent support from Springshare), I realized LibGuides could be customized if you gave a few hours of your time to learning this code.

Decker Library (@deckerlibrary) will be hosting a Twitter chat about the LibGuide and instruction on Wednesday, June 8 at 2pm EST.
Follow along using #libeyrianship and @deckerlibrary
Official Announcement Coming Soon!

New Hanover County Public Library’s Knowledge Base in the Cloud

Rachel Langlois at the New Hanover County Public Library had a problem, she needed to create a cloud-based and mobile-friendly staff Knowledge Base. This Knowledge Base, replacing their paper manuals, needed to be flexible enough to be accessible by staffers anywhere and at anytime, but also secure enough so that patrons couldn’t gain access.

The New Hanover Public Library is a power Springy user, with subscriptions to LibGuides CMS, LibAnswers, LibCal, and LibInsight (not publicly accessible). So rather than turning to another tool or creating a VPN, Rachel thought to make use of the tools already at her fingertips! She created a Restricted/Password-Protected LibGuides CMS Group.

For a little background, with LibGuides CMS Groups you can create internal/restricted groups and guides assigned to those groups are automatically protected and not visible on the public side. It’s ideal for creating a cloud-based staff intranet, policy manual, or in Rachel’s case – a roving Knowledge Base. You can learn more about using LibGuides CMS to create a staff intranet here.

Only staffers at NHCPL with the password can access the Knowledge Base. So, it’s easy for them to call it up whenever and where ever they need it, from home or even while they’re roving the stacks – but with the safety and security of password protection.

And better yet, Rachel’s being green and saving effort to boot. If policies change, she only needs to update the Knowledge Base without having to reprint an entire new paper manual.

So kudos to Rachel for thinking inside the (LibGuides) box, and using LibGuides CMS to address this need! In fact, the Knowledge Base is now a standard section of on-boarding for all new NHCPL staffers.

Got 3min? Rachel even made a video so you can check out their Knowledge Base for yourself!
Note: The password in the video is no longer the password for the Knowledge Base. Strong security procedures for the win!

New Hanover County Public Library Knowledge Base Video Screenshot

Video opens in a new window.

We Asked School Librarians One Question…

At the American Association for School Librarians Conference (AASL) in October, 2015 – we asked School Librarians one question.

Why do you love LibGuides?

And the responses we got were as varied as they were astonishing.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Holly Bunt, Library Director at Western Reserve Academy “My students tell me that ‘LibGuides Rocks'”.
  • Amanda Smithfield, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet “It may surprise you to know that many teenagers do homework after 11pm. With LibGuides, they have everything organized right there, and they can access my content 24hrs/day.”
  • Kristen Rosebrock-Hayes, Laurel School “The teachers love it, they think it’s phenomenal.”
  • Brett Daggs, Honeoye Falls High School “LibGuides is absolutely the best thing I’ve discovered in the past 24months. It’s going to reinvent the way I instruct.”
  • Linda Swarlis, Columbus School for Girls “We’re able to personalize LibGuides for every teacher and to every class.”

Watch the full video:

Link opens in a new window

AASL 2015


Park View LibGuides: Learning on Their Time & Their Device

Stephanie Milles

Stephanie Mills
Park View Middle School

Stephanie Mills is a School Librarian at Park View Middle School in Cranston, Rhode Island. And to say that she is awesomazing, well, would be an understatement.

Through the Rhode Island Library Information Network for Kids, Stephanie and 70 other School Libraries in Rhode Island, have access to LibGuides through a single shared LibGuides CMS system. This way, participating libraries get their own customizable group and as students navigate through from elementary to middle to high school in Rhode Island, they’ll only have to remember one URL: It’s a win-win for librarians, educators, students, and parents.

The RILINK offices connected Springshare with Stephanie because she had some amazing things to share about how she’s using LibGuides to connect students to learning on their time and any device.

Here’s what she had to say:

The library has long been “research central” in a traditional sense but the need for libraries to be open and accessible at all hours has truly become an essential part of my program at Park View Middle School in Cranston. LibGuides allow students to see projects that I am collaboratively teaching and work on those projects from home, at their leisure.

One project that has been taught utilizing the LibGuide and Google Drive is a Constitution Jigsaw Puzzle. My instruction helped students learn the format of a Works Cited page and how to utilize as a way to create citations. Students could visit my plagiarism page to watch a small video clip, and take an online test about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Students then used all of the research materials and databases on a specific LibGuide page designed for the assignment. The links brought them to YouTube clips, articles and reference sources to answer the questions. All of the student’s answers and citations were typed into a Google Doc and shared with me. The note taking sheet was designed so that as students clicked on it, it automatically created a copy and saved it to their Drive, where it could be edited and shared. The classroom teacher and I commented on everyone’s documents as they worked in real time so corrections to citations or answers could be made as students worked. Some students worked on their note sheets collaboratively. At night, if I received a notification that students were working, I could easily use my phone or iPad to comment on student work. The LibGuide also allowed me a built in opportunity for exit slips and formative assessments. Currently, the survey on the LibGuide is asking for student feedback as to whether or not the LibGuide helped streamline their research. One of the best features of the LibGuide is that it automatically shifts to a mobile version so students can access the content rich sites from anywhere.

Park View Middle School LibGuides

Park View Middle School LibGuides

One of the five laws of Library Science includes the law, “the library is a growing organism.” LibGuides has allowed my library program to grow extensively because students are using the website as gateway to learning from school, from the public library, from home and from the bus stop. As a staff member working with different teams, many content areas and two grade levels on a daily basis, I am able to use the site as a parking lot for all materials. I’ve also found that certain pages I’ve created for one teacher are being used by others. A student recently told me they were looking for information for a common task on Sparta. She commented that she used the LibGuide and found I had linked to information from so she incorporated that into her research paper. No one had directed her there- she just remembered using the LibGuide for other assignments.

Using LibGuides for projects is just one of the ways I reach students outside of the library and school day- students can use our library catalog, place holds and see what other Park View students are reading through the main page. Our Twitter feed and Awesome Box stream on the homepage and students like to scroll through to find out what the hot new titles are or what students are working on in the library. A long time ago, someone said to me that libraries succeed when you “give ‘em what they want.” I believe that holds true today. Students want easy accessibility and guidance on where to turn for the best resources and LibGuides helps me provide just that.

Using LibCal to Create Dynamic Digital Signage

The University of Hull’s Brynmor Jones Library runs a program of drop-in sessions to cater to new and returning students. The sessions are over a 6-week period with up to eight individual sessions each day. In 2014, upcoming sessions were displayed on digital signage manually. The manual nature of updating the digital signage resulted in updates being missed and past sessions being shown. So, in 2015, the Library decided to do something different using LibCal Calendar Widgets! Mike Ewen, the LLI Online Coordinator, reached out and let us know what they’re doing!

Digital Signage at Hull University

Digital Signage @ Hull University
using LibCal Calendar Widgets

LibCal Calendar Widgets to the Rescue!

A specific induction calendar was populated with the drop-in sessions and each session assigned to one of four categories to allow the widgets to target them specifically. The visibility of the calendar was set to internal as only widget access was required. (Springy Note: You can create an internal calendar and still utilize public-facing widgets if you only intend to display the widgets, and not the full calendar, to your public.)

LibCal Calendar Widget Set-Up

The following widget settings were used:

  1. Widget Type – Upcoming Events List
  2. Filter by categoryRelevant drop-in category
  3. Event Details – Simple List
  4. Widget Request Format – JavaScript

Widget: JavaScript & CSS Tweaks

The  LibCal Calendar Widget JavaScript code provides the required data but for our purposes we only needed to display the next three events with time and date. To achieve this we made two small changes in the JavaScript, highlighted in red below:

Calendar widget embed code

Changing “ul” to “br” switches the formatting from a bullet list to a series of lines breaks. And changing the “l=5” to “l=3” means that only the next three events would display in the widget.

We created separate webpages for each drop-in category and embedded the LibCal Widgets in them. We then applied the following CSS to each page to style the widgets to our liking:

Custom CSS code


The Result?

LibCal Calendar Widgets: Before & After

LibCal Calendar Widgets: Before & After

Creating the Digital Signage

Finally, we displayed the separate web pages with the embedded LibCal Calendar widgets, using multiple webpage plugins, in our digital signage solution. The final output is displayed below.

Once the signage was set up we could leave it to run knowing that as soon as an event had ended, it would automatically be replaced by the next upcoming event! Bye bye manual, hello automation! 🙂

University of Hull Digital Signage

University of Hull Digital Signage using LibCal Calendar Widgets


Big thanks to Mike Ewen and the folks at the University of Hull Brynmor Jones Library for sharing this awesome LibCal Calendar usage!

Got Questions? Contact University of Hull Library!

Mike Ewen

Carl Barrow

SpringyCamp, Nov 18th-20th: Registration Now Open!

SpringyCamp: R2V2 Redesigning & Reimagining with v2 Tools


Program Information:

Dates: November 18 – 20, 2015
Times vary by day; all times are U.S. Eastern Standard Time

Cost: Completely, 100% free

Audience: Exclusive Event for Springshare Customers!

This is our biggest SpringyCamp yet! We even have a pre-conference for our advanced techie users (prior knowledge of CSS & Bootstrap a must). Register for all or just some of the events – you pick and choose which days work for you! And don’t forget to bring your virtual s’mores because this is gonna be a campfire you won’t want to miss.

SpringyCamp works best if we all work together: We do have a limited number of seats, so be kind and computer-pool with your colleagues. If several folks at your library want to attend and you’re going to participate via a single computer, just register once. This way even more folks can attend, making SpringyCamp a truly global event! 🙂

SpringyCamp Website

Tech Time with Springy Tools Pre-Conference

When: Wednesday, Nov 18th: 1:00pm – 3:15pm U.S. Eastern Time

Join us for our pre-conference to learn how to customize your LibGuides using a little bit of CSS, Bootstrap, and elbow grease! These sessions are great for people who are already familiar with using CSS and customizing the look & feel options in LibGuides. Learn more about customizing and styling your LibGuides – check out our LibGuides Admin 2 training session in advance!


Building Better

When: Thursday, Nov 19th: 11:30am – 3:30pm U.S. Eastern Time

Thursday is all about using Springy Tools to build a better user experience. From designing better guides to developing better services, learn how you can leverage the power of Springy Tools to engage your patrons in new ways!


Enhancing Collections and Library Services w/ Springy Tools

When: Friday, Nov 20th: 11:30am – 2:30pm U.S. Eastern Time

Friday’s sessions explore how Springy Tools can help you provide amazing service to your patrons. From improving communication to promoting collaboration to sharing collections. Find out how you can use Springy Tools to go above and beyond!


Watch ALA 2015 Springy Presentations By Guest Flash Presenters!

Whether you attended ALA in San Francisco, or not, you can still watch (and rewatch!) guest presenter’s Jessie Riggins (TBLC), Cathay Keough (Delaware Libraries), Aaron Dobbs (Shippensburg University), and Louise Hilton with Andrew Tadman (EBPRL) presenting on their use of Springy Tools!

Jessie Riggins

Jessie Riggins

Using LibAnswers for Statewide Ask-A-Librarian Services

Jessie Riggins – Tampa Bay Library Consortium

Jessie Riggins is the Member Services Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium. Jessie manages the statewide virtual reference program for the State of Florida, Ask A Librarian. The program consists of 130 public, academic, special and k-12 libraries. The live Chat and SMS service is open 84 hours a week, and offers 24/7 email.

>> Watch Now (11min 31sec)

Cathay Keough

Cathay Keough

Cathay Keough – Delaware Division of Libraries

Delaware Division of Libraries was the first consortium to use LibAnswers to power their statewide reference.
Hear from Cathay on why they made the switch and how Delaware Division of Libraries reference teams are loving LibAnswers.

>> Watch Now (11min 10sec)

Using LibGuides @ East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Louise Hilton & Andrew Tadman – LibGuides @EBPL

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

EBRPL is the largest library system in Louisiana, covering the capital city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding parish. We have nearly 350,000 card holders, 14 branches, and last year we circulated 2.5 million items. EBPL has 135 active LibGuides and last year they received nearly 150,000 LibGuide views. The largest LibGuide successes have been using them as ‘how to guides’ for Overdrive, and as a focal point for community programs such as out ‘One Book/One Community’ and for their Maker resources and programming.

>> Watch Now (7min 27sec)


LibAnswers: Not just for Library Answers @Shippensburg University

Aarron Dobbs – LibAnswers @Shippensburg University

Aaron Dobbs

Aaron Dobbs

Do you ever get questions about non-library topics? Ship Library sure does. They reached out to offices around campus and asked them what question they most commonly (and most easily/straightforwardly) answered. They worked out a process to gather, answer, and update the questions commonly asked across campus – and, because they’re librarians, they classified the heck out of the Q&A pairs and linked to the webpages which provide more information.

>> Watch Now (7min 14sec)

New Base Languages – Brought to you by Springshare

Now that we have Language Options in LibGuides v2 and LibAnswers v2, we felt it was time to kick it up a notch and give you what you’ve been clamoring for all these years.

After agonizing research that took the better part of 7 years and painstaking creation, not to mention incredible bouts of wordsmithing, we’re amped to bring to you: THE BEST BASE SYSTEM LANGUAGES OF 2015! Many, oh so many, words died in the creation of these base languages. But, lest they died in vain –  implement these base languages tout suite!

Never mind languages people actually speak – who wants those? These are way more fun for your users. And you. Okay, mostly you – but don’t you get to have fun too?! All work and no play makes librarians go cray cray. 😉

1. Discworld

In honor of Sir Terry Pratchett, we bring to you the Discworld base language, full of wizards, witches, tyrants, guilds, and of course, the Luggage.

Discworld language option in LibGuides

2. Pig Latin

Eway ewknay ou’dyay ovelay isthay optionway!

Pig Latin language option in LibGuides

3. Vanilla Ice

A surprisingly easy translation – just add ‘Ice Ice, Baby’ to the end of every word. Just remind users to ‘Stop, Collaborate, and Listen’. And in LibAnswers, we have the only tagline you need: ‘If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it!’

Vanilla Ice language option in LibAnswers

4. Princess Bride

We don’t want to live in a world where Princess Bride isn’t a language option – and now, we don’t have to. So put down the Iocane Powder, pardon us while we shout this a little louder, and this time we really mean it, any one got a peanut?

For LibGuides:

Princess Bride language option in LibGuides


For LibAnswers:

Princes Bride language options for LibAnswers

5. Pirate

This base language can serve oh so many purposes. Use it during International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Or on Halloween. Or when you’re feeling like a right ole’ scallywag, add it before that early morning instruction/workshop when you just want to mess with your users.

6. Bacon

You know that saying, “Everything is better with bacon”? At Springshare, we took that phrase literally. And not the new definition of literally, when we say literally – we mean literally. LibAnswers = Great. LibAnswers w/ Bacon = OMGWHUBAML [Oh My Goodness, where have you been all my life!] With Bacon Translation, scatter these salty bits anywhere and everywhere.
Note: For Vegetarians/Vegans we have ‘Tofu Bacon’ at your disposal.

Bacon language option in LibAnswers


P.S. French and Swedish language options are on the way…no foolin’! 🙂

Beautiful Website Design, Made Possible with LibGuides v2 CMS

Wexler_homeThe library team at Furman University has done some amazing work with customizing LibGuides v2 CMS templates to create a website for The Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University. Even though the site isn’t finished yet, and they’re still customizing their responsive design, they agreed to share it with us. We went ahead and picked their brains to share their amazing work with our community…

Q. Can you explain the Peter Wexler Project that the Furman University Library is undertaking?

A. The “Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University” is a digital collection that features the life’s work of Peter Wexler, a New York theater producer, designer, and artist. The collection will be built in CONTENTdm and use LibGuides v2 as its front end. The really cool thing about this digital collection is that Peter saved virtually every draft of every design he ever created in the last 50+ years, so that viewing those items in chronological order can offer some insight into his creative process.  Another cool thing about this project is that there are very few digital collections of theater design materials, so the theater arts community has already expressed their interest in the collection after a presentation at the annual conference of USITT earlier this year.

Q. What were you using, previously, to share & display the Wexler Project? How do you envision the LibGuides v2 role in this project? 

 But I think that the bottom line, coolest thing about LibGuides v2 is the potential for using the new template functionality to create layouts that are not only responsive but also make it easier for our content authors to create more usable LibGuides for our users.

A. We decided to use LibGuides v2 to build the front end to The Peter Wexler Digital Museum for several reasons.  First, LibGuides is currently our primary website platform so we’re very familiar with its functionality, flexibility and openness.  We’ve always been able to figure out how to do what we want to in LibGuides, no matter how “outside the box”, and once we’ve got something in LibGuides we know that we can re-use it (within LibGuides) or embed it on other platforms (using LibGuides APIs).  Second, we wanted the Peter Wexler Digital Museum front end to be responsive, and we needed to learn responsive website design, so the timing of the LibGuides v2 beta, which is built to be responsive, presented a happy confluence. [Note: LibGuides v2 utilizes Bootstrap 3.0.1] We also wanted a project to focus on to help us learn the capabilities of the new LibGuides v2 templates model.

Q. You’ve been playing with LibGuides v2 for a few months now! Which features are you most excited for and why?

A. There are so many things in LibGuides v2 that sound awesome that it’s hard to pick just a few.  It would be easy to say responsive design, enhanced content-types, the new A-Z list functionality, or single sign-on across all LibApps.  But I think that the bottom line, coolest thing about LibGuides v2 is the potential for using the new template functionality to create layouts that are not only responsive but also make it easier for our content authors to create more usable LibGuides for our users.

Q. How do you envision these features and overall flexibility and openness of v2 impacting the Furman Library? 

A. Providing a device-agnostic design is very important to us.  Like everyone else, we’re seeing increased use of mobile devices.  The university rolled out a new responsive design last summer so being able to create responsive LibGuides that better meet the needs of our users is a great enhancement.  Having more options to embed LibGuides content via APIs will help us do a better job of integrating with other university web platforms.

Q. You’re a librarian with big plans! What do you plan to do with LibGuides v2 in the future?

LibGuides has really become a core tool in our web presence.

A. Well, LibGuides has really become a core tool in our web presence.  I’m interested in finding out whether a responsive design will result in increased use of our content on small, mobile devices.  I’m also working on a bunch of Google Analytics custom event trackers that I hope will give us some insights into how our users are actually interacting with our content and how we can help them to become more successful at accomplishing their most important tasks.


If you’re interested in learning more about LibGuides v2, templates or loads of the other cool features, be sure to sign-up for our LibGuides v2 training sessions!

Wexler Digital Portfolio

Digital Portfolio