Reinventing Research Guides:
 LibGuides at Two Academic
          Libraries
       Emily Frigo & Laura Harris,
     Grand ...
Overview of presentation

•   History of research guides

•   Questions raised in the literature

•   Implementing LibGuid...
The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
Persistent Questions: Scope

How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be?

                   Narrow Subjects…
Persistent Questions: Scope

How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be?

                   Broad Subjects…
Persistent Questions: Scope

How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be?

                   Course Guides…
Persistent Questions: Guidance

Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own
          ...
Persistent Questions: Guidance

Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own
          ...
Persistent Questions: Guidance

Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own
          ...
Persistent Questions: Guidance

Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own
          ...
Persistent Questions: Design/Terminology

What kinds of design and terminology will make the guides most readable?
Persistent Questions: Design/Terminology

What kinds of design and terminology will make the guides most readable?

      ...
Persistent Questions
 Design/Terminology
Persistent Questions
                    Standardization
How much standardization can and should there be among guides?
  ...
Persistent Questions
                    Standardization
How much standardization can and should there be among guides?

 ...
Persistent Questions
                    Standardization
How much standardization can and should there be among guides?

 ...
Persistent Questions: Workload

What impact does guide management and maintenance have on librarians'
                    ...
Persistent Questions: Promotion

How can guides best be brought to the attention of those
            for whom they are in...
Persistent Questions: Promotion

How can guides best be brought to the attention of those
            for whom they are in...
Persistent Questions: Promotion

How can guides best be brought to the attention of those
            for whom they are in...
Persistent Questions:Promotion

                            How can guides best be brought to the attention of those
     ...
The Missing Ingredient:
                                                    What Do Users Think?




Picture used under a ...
The librarians at GVSU and BC were frustrated with the
      systems they used to create subject guides!




             ...
Implementation

                               Why LibGuides?


   Workload
      Easier to use
      Boxes and pages c...
Implementation

       What should LibGuides be used for? What shouldn‟t it be used for?




quot;It is tempting, if the o...
Implementation




Librarians continue to
be enthusiastic about
   using LibGuides




                         Picture fr...
Survey Results & Analysis


•   Lack of information about users of research guides in
    library literature
•   Survey co...
Survey Results & Analysis
                  Scope: Non-users


•   Prefer more specific    • “info departmentalized”
    g...
Survey Results & Analysis
                    Scope: Users

                            • “I think it would be
•   “Right”...
Survey Results & Analysis
                Guidance: Non-users


•   Significant number      • “„How-tos‟ to use the
    ex...
Survey Results & Analysis
                      Guidance: Users

•   “How to do research” and descriptions desired
    in ...
Survey Results & Analysis
           Design/Terminology: Users

•   Close to 90% found tabs at top of page
    helpful at ...
Survey Results & Analysis
                    Design/Terminology
What users and non-users expect to find under a tab label...
Survey Results & Analysis
                       Design/Terminology
What users and non-users expect to find under a tab la...
Survey Results & Analysis
                Promotion: Users

Where to link from?

•   Strong response for Blackboard and
  ...
Survey Results & Analysis
               Promotion: Users

Should you link from library website?

GVSU (link on library ho...
Survey Results & Analysis
    Promotion: Users
Survey Results & Analysis
              Promotion: Users
How do you hear about these pages/guides?

                  GVSU...
Survey Results & Analysis
             Promotion: Non-users

Where to link from?

•   similar preferences to users
•   oth...
Next steps…
quot;This sounds like a really, really cool tool! I wish it
would have been created a few years ago instead of...
Next steps…
Promotion and Design:
 • market to major stakeholders at university
• get on Blackboard and syllabi
• integrat...
Many options…
Many programs
Questions?
         Comments?
 For more information, go to:
http://libguides.gvsu.edu/acrl09
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Reinventing Research Guides: LibGuides At Two Academic Libraries

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Presented by Emily Frigo, Laura Harris, Ken Liss, and Maura Seale at the ACRL 14th National Conference, 2009.

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Reinventing Research Guides: LibGuides At Two Academic Libraries

  1. 1. Reinventing Research Guides: LibGuides at Two Academic Libraries Emily Frigo & Laura Harris, Grand Valley State University Ken Liss, Boston College Maura Seale, Georgetown University
  2. 2. Overview of presentation • History of research guides • Questions raised in the literature • Implementing LibGuides at GVSU and BC • Student survey • Next steps
  3. 3. The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
  4. 4. The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
  5. 5. The Beginning: MIT Pathfinders
  6. 6. Persistent Questions: Scope How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be? Narrow Subjects…
  7. 7. Persistent Questions: Scope How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be? Broad Subjects…
  8. 8. Persistent Questions: Scope How broad or narrow in scope should research guides be? Course Guides…
  9. 9. Persistent Questions: Guidance Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own paths? MIT Pathfinder…
  10. 10. Persistent Questions: Guidance Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own paths? Lists of sources…
  11. 11. Persistent Questions: Guidance Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own paths? How to search…
  12. 12. Persistent Questions: Guidance Should guides lead students to the research sources or help them find their own paths?
  13. 13. Persistent Questions: Design/Terminology What kinds of design and terminology will make the guides most readable?
  14. 14. Persistent Questions: Design/Terminology What kinds of design and terminology will make the guides most readable? Library Jargon
  15. 15. Persistent Questions Design/Terminology
  16. 16. Persistent Questions Standardization How much standardization can and should there be among guides? Standard Look
  17. 17. Persistent Questions Standardization How much standardization can and should there be among guides? Standard Color Scheme
  18. 18. Persistent Questions Standardization How much standardization can and should there be among guides? Standard Format
  19. 19. Persistent Questions: Workload What impact does guide management and maintenance have on librarians' workload?
  20. 20. Persistent Questions: Promotion How can guides best be brought to the attention of those for whom they are intended?
  21. 21. Persistent Questions: Promotion How can guides best be brought to the attention of those for whom they are intended?
  22. 22. Persistent Questions: Promotion How can guides best be brought to the attention of those for whom they are intended?
  23. 23. Persistent Questions:Promotion How can guides best be brought to the attention of those for whom they are intended? Picture used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user umwdtit.
  24. 24. The Missing Ingredient: What Do Users Think? Picture used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user NJLA (New Jersey Library Assocaition).
  25. 25. The librarians at GVSU and BC were frustrated with the systems they used to create subject guides! Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertrazrblog/97360035/
  26. 26. Implementation Why LibGuides?  Workload  Easier to use  Boxes and pages can be copied  Community  Boxes and pages can be copied from other institutions – are we moving back towards MIT‟s model?  http://springsharelounge.com  Web 2.0 features  RSS feeds (including podcasts)  Books from the catalog  Videos  Files  Delicious tag clouds  Google search boxes (including Google Scholar)
  27. 27. Implementation What should LibGuides be used for? What shouldn‟t it be used for? quot;It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.quot; - Abraham Maslow Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa/2756149674
  28. 28. Implementation Librarians continue to be enthusiastic about using LibGuides Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mllerustad/2486134394/
  29. 29. Survey Results & Analysis • Lack of information about users of research guides in library literature • Survey conducted at GVSU and BC o Questions addressed persistent issues around research guides  Scope  Guidance  Design and terminology  Promotion  A caveat....
  30. 30. Survey Results & Analysis Scope: Non-users • Prefer more specific • “info departmentalized” guides at both BC and • “information regarding GVSU each major” • GVSU non-users expect • “where to look for certain to find subject topics of research, or for resources; many certain classes” mentioned courses and • “information about majors particular books or references to use in a specific field”
  31. 31. Survey Results & Analysis Scope: Users • “I think it would be • “Right” amount of cool to narrow down information the resources you • Descriptions offer even more” preferred (over 90%) • “Descriptions are • Differences between useful because it was BC and GVSU only just this past preferences for types week I learned of guides JSTOR is more of an archive site”
  32. 32. Survey Results & Analysis Guidance: Non-users • Significant number • “„How-tos‟ to use the expect help, how-tos, information online” explicit guidance at • “„how to‟ kinds of both BC and GVSU things related to • Some expectation of typical academic credible, reliable, work” high quality • “where to look for information at GVSU credible information”
  33. 33. Survey Results & Analysis Guidance: Users • “How to do research” and descriptions desired in addition to lists of resources at BC (75%) and GVSU (77%) • Majorities at BC and GVSU had not used librarian profiles to contact librarians o But is the percentage that have higher than those who have contacted a librarian at all (31% and 26% respectively?) o Or are students as hesitant to approach librarians through the guides as they are to approach the reference desk? (a.k.a “library anxiety”)
  34. 34. Survey Results & Analysis Design/Terminology: Users • Close to 90% found tabs at top of page helpful at GVSU and BC • 92% at GVSU and 82% at BC found individual guides quot;very easyquot; or quot;fairly easyquot; to find from the main LibGuides page What's in a name? • 97% at BC liked quot;research guidesquot; • 75% at GVSU liked quot;library guidesquot;
  35. 35. Survey Results & Analysis Design/Terminology What users and non-users expect to find under a tab labeled “Databases”…
  36. 36. Survey Results & Analysis Design/Terminology What users and non-users expect to find under a tab labeled “Reference Books”…
  37. 37. Survey Results & Analysis Promotion: Users Where to link from? • Strong response for Blackboard and syllabus • Facebook ranked lower, ~20% - quot;If it's on Facebook...people will know about it!quot; - quot;NOT Facebook that is unprofessionalquot;
  38. 38. Survey Results & Analysis Promotion: Users Should you link from library website? GVSU (link on library home page) • 50/50 split between those who had or had not used guides BC (link several layers in) • 20% had used guides, 80% had not * But how did users hear about the guides? • only 35% from the library website at GVSU
  39. 39. Survey Results & Analysis Promotion: Users
  40. 40. Survey Results & Analysis Promotion: Users How do you hear about these pages/guides? GVSU BC Blackboard 7.6% 5.9% Few users accessed guides from Blackboard, but ~90% recommended we link from it. = Opportunity for marketing
  41. 41. Survey Results & Analysis Promotion: Non-users Where to link from? • similar preferences to users • other suggestions: o library homepage (45%) o university website o email reminders o department website
  42. 42. Next steps… quot;This sounds like a really, really cool tool! I wish it would have been created a few years ago instead of now when I am about to graduate.quot; quot;To be honest, I'd never heard of them before, but I wish I had. It seems like the most helpful thing right now would be getting the word out, encouraging professors, TAs, and tutors to mention them as a resource.” quot;This is the first I have heard of them, but they sound very helpful. Do you do class presentations?quot;
  43. 43. Next steps… Promotion and Design: • market to major stakeholders at university • get on Blackboard and syllabi • integrate with instruction • more course guides • more guidance and 'how-to' To do: • Deeper analysis of survey data • User testing (2009-10)
  44. 44. Many options…
  45. 45. Many programs
  46. 46. Questions? Comments? For more information, go to: http://libguides.gvsu.edu/acrl09

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