Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

A Short History of Subject Guides


Published on

This is part 1 of my longer LibTech 2011 conference presentation, "LibGuides on Steroids": Expanding the User Base of LibGuides to Support Library Instruction and Justify Workload

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

A Short History of Subject Guides

  1. 1. A Short History of Subject Guides <br />Pathfinders to Subject Guides to LibGuides<br />
  2. 2. Pathfinder, c. 1970-1995<br />developed as part of the Model Library Project of Project Intrex, Massachusetts Institute of Technology<br />step-by-step orientation, reference, and instructional tool to information sources<br />intended to support the first 3-5 hours of research<br />uniform in arrangement and content<br />limited to a single 8.5 x 11 inch sheet<br />“The result is an efficient and productive library experience.”<br /> (Canfield, 1972)<br />
  3. 3. Pathfinders, c. 1970-1995<br />Pros (for users and librarians):<br />Pathfinders addressed two related problems <br />of reference work:<br />“the orientation problems of library <br />users”<br />“the repetitive instructional <br />demands placed on library <br />staff” (Cipolla, 1980)<br />
  4. 4. Pathfinders, c. 1970-1995<br />Cons:<br />Pathfinders originated two problems inherent in subject guides:<br />workload: the need to create <br />Pathfinders and keep them <br />up to date<br />marketing: the need to broaden <br />their use among patrons <br />(Canfield, 1972)<br />
  5. 5. Online Subject Guides, c. 1994-<br /><ul><li>developed from Pathfinders or subject guides enhanced with HTML links (Cox, 1997)</li></li></ul><li>Online Subject Guides, c. 1994-<br />Librarians have examined subject guides in the <br />light of…<br /><ul><li>usability
  6. 6. accessibility
  7. 7. marketing
  8. 8. information literacy
  9. 9. workload</li></ul>(Vileno, 2007)<br />topic selection<br />inclusion criteria<br />design guidelines<br />target audience<br />usage<br />user evaluations<br />
  10. 10. Online Subject Guides, c. 1994-<br />Librarians have approached the workload issues associated subject guide creation in various ways: <br />static HTML<br />database-driven subject guides<br />course management systems<br />Web 2.0 technologies<br />blogs<br />social bookmarking Web sites<br />wikis <br />(Corrado 2010)<br />
  11. 11. And then came LibGuides, 2007-<br />“subject guide in a box”: CMS available from Springshare (<br />maintained on Springshare’s web site<br />created by librarians!!!<br />extremely popular (over 2,000 institutional subscriptions)<br />many enthusiastic conference presentations<br /> (<br />
  12. 12. To summarize…<br />Subject guides have been in use in libraries since the 1970s.<br />They are intended to… <br />provide reference help and instruction to library users and<br />raise the level of reference questions and improve reference staff morale.<br />Web subject guides provide reference assistance, instruction, and 24/7 access to users regardless of location.<br />Major issues of subject guides are… <br />marketing (how to get users to access/use them) and<br />workload associated with their creation and maintenance.<br />LibGuides…<br />provide subject guides with Web 2.0 features that students will access and<br />provide a solution to one of the workload problems of subject guides.<br />