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Libguides pilot at UCD Library 2013. Author: Ros Pan

  1. Exploring use of LibGuides as an additional online environment to facilitate UCD Library online services and information to users Ros Pan Project Lead UCD Library Leabharlann UCD University College Dublin, An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Átha Cliath, Belfield, Baile Átha Cliath 4, Eire
  2. In Ireland…
  3. Re-use others work! • “Search and explore 329,898 guides by 54,863 librarians at 3911 libraries worldwide!” • Can re-use their guides and pages of guides (with permission) • Need to explore how that works further, to get them into our look and feel
  4. Project details • Are adopting a project approach, work packages, deliverables, success factors etc etc • – all project details are there in our published “guides” • Pilot team: Julia Barrett, Joshua Clark, Lorna Dodd, Michael Ladisch, Jane Nolan = 3 authors plus managers and outreach staff • Set it up with custom domain so that the URL looks like it is us which is desirable – breadcrumb trail take you back in the end to the library website
  5. Context • UCD Library has a number of online environments for users. Most of these are primarily for resource discovery (catalogue, Find it, Repository, digital library). • We also make use of social media channels, mainly for short communications and PR items to our users. • Regarding online environments to provide in-depth information and e-learning to users there is really currently just the Library website, which was professionally re- designed and re-organised and pruned in 2011 at significant cost and contains some sections that are essentially online tutorials, and use of pdf guides for detailed supports of various kinds. • The CMS-based website is edited primarily by the Outreach unit but that is broadening to include other members of the Planning and Administration support team: one question is why can’t people use the CMS?
  6. How to justify LibGuides? • LibGuides ( is a good way to provide more information skills materials, eLearning material and in-depth research guides fully online • LibGuides is a good way to achieve a wider distribution of content-creation and maintenance across the library staff, with significant advantages compared to broadening use of the CMS • LibGuides can be fitted into the overall management of our online environments, maintaining an acceptable level of quality and uniformity in the content alongside a wider content editing group of staff
  7. The website and LibGuides…
  8. What we subscribe to • We have purchased the more expensive version, used to be called Campus guides, now called LibGuides CMS, do pay nearly 1k more a year for that. Not expensive. • Main advantages to us: – Can have essentially separate instances of LibGuides. In other words each Group has its own home page and this is good if you want to use the product for a diverse range of things – Each could have own header and footer, own colour scheme (not doing these) each gets own top page and if show subject headings and tag clouds to users only see the ones used in your group – Can present one group as guides, one group as online subject rooms, the others as portals if you wish. – Other advantages too: can store docs and images etc on the remote server with this version.
  9. With the CMS version each “instance” can have its own header
  10. The pilot areas In the pilot we are indeed using it in a diverse way, 4 trial areas: • Bibliometrics Michael Ladisch • Maps and GIS Jane Nolan • Subject Guides Lorna Dodd • General Library guides Michael Ladisch
  11. Milestones 2013 • 17 Jan commence project with kick-off meeting • 8 Feb 12 month subscription starts • Mar 11 and 13 main in-house training • 31 May 4 sets of pages ready to go live, library staff update held • 3 Jun 4 sets of pages go live • 30 Nov live use for semester completed, statistics analysed, qualitative user feedback obtained • 21 Dec report and recommendations tabled 2014 • 31 Jan decision reached on continuing recurrent expenditure for year 2 to complete full year of pilot, and future beyond that
  12. The very top home page of the UCD set You can keyword search guides, browse them or use tags or subject categories
  13. A Group home page
  14. Where are we? • Had a good look round other users • Good that get mobile version automatically, printable version quite good too • Got training done and unpublished guide where we have tried out all the main box types – the system is based on boxes on pages • Unearthed quite a lot of managerial issues: – Mirroring of commonly used content – Subject headings to use – Tags to use – Relation of group/subject category/tags – Keeping standard font and colour scheme – Keeping administrative record on hidden page of when created, reviewed, what images and docs are uploaded and used in that guide etc
  15. Mobile version You can shorten the mobile version by suppressing non- essential boxes as you create the guide
  16. Our Training guide – all box types tried
  17. Training guide – all box types tried
  18. Individual guide template - draft
  19. Another page of the Arts guide
  20. Similar look for each subject page..
  21. So far.. • Very promising, it works alright!, very easy to use • Have to get to grips with the groups/guides/pages of guides and boxes on pages • Also groups/subjects/tags: what are all for? • Boxes of content is a different way to present info • Got to get to grips with mirroring commonly used content from a master set, not duplicating it • Are a lot of admin issues to consider up front and things to do with new guides e.g. friendly URL for every guide, every page of every guide, every subject category you create etc. • The 4 areas will all have very different challenges to them
  22. Success Factors • Statistics and qualitative feedback during the period of live testing of the pilot pages shows a significant usage of the pilot content by our users. This is the key success factor: many pages e.g. numerous maps by theme web pages, were taken off the website due to minimal usage bar the three remaining; subject pages were removed from the website due to minimal usage levels bar 4 or 5 of them - evidence has to be there that a different platform generates usage or there is no return of library staff time invested • It is agreed that LibGuides can be adapted to an acceptable look and feel for UCD Library • It is agreed that there are significant advantages to using LibGuides rather than the CMS for these pages • A managerial system is in place and agreed to ensure quality and look and feel of the LibGuides content is maintained, that can be extended to a mainstream use of the product • The performance of the hosted solution and company support if found to be satisfactory
  23. If successful and we subscribe • This project is exploring the concept that the CMS-based website should be restricted to: – acting as a portal to our various resource discovery tools – providing terse practical information regarding visiting the library, borrowing, training and our collections – offering general news and publicity about the Library – providing detailed collection level descriptions of Special Collections until such time as a different approach goes live. These make up a third of the current web pages. • LibGuides would provide the platform for: – eLearning materials tutorials – user guides and support services alongside them
  24. Finally…. • • have a good look round all of their customers Thanks for listening

Editor's Notes

  1. UCD Library is currently piloting LibGuides. LibGuides, from Springshare, is a remoteley hosted website/portal/online solutionIt provides an easy to edit interface, the idea is that many library staff can contribute online content using this inexpensive toolThere is of course a price to pay for an easy to use interface –less flexibility than you would find in a local website, more things are hard coded and not easy to adjust – it is a trade off.
  2. There are only a few users in Ireland presently: the URL at the end can be used to browse all the current users. It is very focused on US customers.
  3. This is Athlone IT
  4. This is Dundalk IT
  5. And here a very different choice of opening home page from U of Ulster.
  6. There are a lot of customers and guides and with permission you can reuse them.Quite a community spirit to it all, sharing code and so forth.
  7. A few words about the project approach. As soon as you pay up you get listed in the community listing. So to avoid just a bare skeleton if you go to currently you see 4 “guides” but there are all just our project outline, various experimental colours of headers etc all of which we have abandoned are evident in these
  8. Context of trying this out.When it comes to eLearning materials detailed tutorials and guides we really only have the website.That was pruned a lot and redone in 2011The CMS system – we are extending out who can use it BUT not that user friendly.Some sophistication in our web pages e.g. right bar has number of elements to it, summary box, expanding stacks, in a CMS these all present as pieces of a page could be 25 bits of a page in the admin screen to pick from to edit.Plus overall T4 system not the greatest = successful as standard look and feel, well controlled but limiting really when it comes to broadening the content edit base, not what is supposed to happen really.
  9. As a manager this is on my mind, once spent in excess of 40k on the website why do we now have to fork out 2 or 3k pa on this other online platform?There are good reasons but I want the authors to try the CMS as well to clarify the benefits of one against the other
  10. Colleagues just itching to get on with it but these sort of questions come up. Other questions too like how frankly dated and grotty libguides looks in a lot of out of the box implementations, and what can we do to bring it up to acceptable standard in relation to the website standard?To note: the next release will have updated looks to pick out of the box.Also to note:you can if you wish and havethe skills apply your entire website CSS to the product to get a full integration to your website and a few libraries have done this.
  11. Purchased more expensive version, got a goodwill 10% discount and for our size and FTE 24,000 3.5k is the sort of price, so not expensive product I would say.Couple key advantages to the more pricey CMS version, one can store all our guides and media used in the guides in the cloud, on their server.But MAIN one is that you have this groups feature = totally different instances of libguides and can brand them totally differently, colour scheme, graphics on the header and footer.I see big advantages to this, my project colleagues are not so sure, pilot will explore that.
  12. An example of the advantages of each group being able to have its own header
  13. This is the 4 topics in the pilot, other colleagues wanting to get in on the act, possible fifth one would be using it as front door to our new range of eLearning materials and providing menus for teaching staff to pick from.
  14. Not long into the project as you can see there. Main training done, now into further exploration and building the content for a June 3 launch.
  15. After experiment, have gone for very plain blue headingsHEX value can be used to match our websiteHave used cut down top graphics and footer also matching website broadly speakingCan apply in full your website CSS if have the know-how, we are not doing that at this point.See here is our very top page. 4 groups down the left side, not expecting to promote this top level much but can get there in the breadcrumb trail.
  16. This is the home page of another one of the groups, under development – this is the level I would expect to promote and slot into our website at various points to replace current sets of web pages. Compared to earlier example it has less boxes and no profile of the librarian as this group does not belong to any one individual.See search and navigate options for users here, search box, subject categories, tags.Individual guides when have them will list down the middle.If the home page layouts do not suit OR you have only 1 guide in a group you can use a LibGuide AS your home page.
  17. Current place in projectBeginning content developmentMobile version is good featureInteresting to date, lot of background managerial issues need to consider to avoid muddle into the future if permanently using this project, see them there.Can’t make people do all of this, has to be a management system, check on the style and guide shape too, to avoid going back to mess we had before – one issue exploring how to combine wide content edit and creation freedom with some standards and quality and editorial control.
  18. Quick look at the mobile version, as would expect main pages become an expandable stack and each box in this version appears one under the other.You can just do a couple things with the mobile setup – such as background colour of it all
  19. We have a guide to accompany the 40 page starter manual that we have produced and the training companion guide has examples of all box types explored
  20. Another page of layout, trying couple of simple surveys and polls that are included. Limited but much easier than say SurveyMonkey
  21. We have a guide that all authors will use as a templateStill working on it – has altered since this draft was doneWant some boxes in common – all to have admin page, which is hidden from users (also useful when developing new content for a live guide) link to website on a tab, a discussion board as can be seen here.On the Introduction first page include various options for feedback on the guide and submitting useful links.Beyond that the authors can add to their Introduction page and arrange all other pages as they wish.You can have 1 column = entire width of the page, 2 or3 columns so do not have to use the boxy 3 column portal look if you don’t want to.
  22. What do we think so far?Few points there, overall I would say positive at this stage.Quite bit of management stuff to work out and document.
  23. As we are doing a project approach, one of the things have to specify up front is success factors.I am putting a lot of stress on usage statistics as the key one.
  24. Finally, what IS this going to be for users if we keep it in relation to the website and other resource discovery tools.If we keep it, will be some pruning of the current website so there is some logic.All tutorial type into intoLibGuides, all of our guides moved to LibGuides and so forth…
  25. Couple of links for those who are interested.