Libguides and Libanswers: the Middlesex University experience of using Web 2.0

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Lesley Curtis-Brown, Senior Liaison Librarian for Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy and Housing Sheppard Library Middlesex University discussed the development of the Library’s subject guides.
Presenation given at the ALISS Xmas Special: Developing new resources in difficult times December 2010

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Libguides and Libanswers: the Middlesex University experience of using Web 2.0

  1. 1. Libguides and Libanswers: theMiddlesex University experience of using Web 2.0 Lesley Curtis-Brown, Senior Liaison Librarian, Criminology, Sociology and Housing
  2. 2. Historical Context• Subject WebPages began in early 2000. Experimental. No consistency in content or look• Working group and implementation of templates. Created/used to add a corporate feel and some consistency of content• Problems with the updating of guides/inflexible for our purposes.
  3. 3. Problems with the Guides as they were• Problems using the template/software• Updating of guides problematic – technical issues• Inflexible – structure led and prescribed content• Guides static and not up to date• Guides not interactive. Not able to utilise Web 2.0 features to engage users and push content to them
  4. 4. Working Group• Set up in March 2009 to look at the problem and possible solutions• Group decided on criteria to evaluate possible replacements to the current guides• Used/looked at a variety of software/platforms. Some were freely available• Libguides was easy to use – little support or training was required• Group used its findings and requested the purchase of Libguides
  5. 5. Implementation• Some in house training with mentors from the group and some documentation created• Sharing and collaboration enabled by the software. Copying guides form and content meant not starting from scratch• The Library Subject Guides went live for the beginning of the next academic year (September 2009)
  6. 6. Costs• Libguides: $1,758 (£1,118.39) per year - including custom domain and Add-on modules)• Campus guides - includes Libguides. The total is $2,958 (£1,881.80) per year• Libanswers: $1,358 (£863.92) per year (including custom domain and analytics)
  7. 7. Middlesex University Subject Guides: The user experience
  8. 8. Campus Guides page
  9. 9. Criminology Subject Guide
  10. 10. RSS Feeds, Slideshare Slideshows and Featured Books within a guide
  11. 11. The Author experience – My Admin Page
  12. 12. Yellow command bar at top of screen and Edit Options within boxes
  13. 13. Books from the Catalog box. Editmode and as the student sees it
  14. 14. Summary of How we Use the Guides Usage Statistics for my Guides
  15. 15. Ask A Librarian• Middlesex University began using the Ask a Librarian service in the summer 2010• Users type a question in a search box• The software will suggest matches from our FAQ database. The user may choose to submit their question for an answer• Staff login and answer the questions or refer them to each other. The user receives a response/answer by email.• These questions and answers may be added to the FAQ database or answered as private responses.• Library Staff may also add FAQs to the database
  16. 16. The User’s Experience
  17. 17. The Librarian’s Experience
  18. 18. Answering a Question – you can insertimages/attach Helpsheets and useful links
  19. 19. Recording Enquiry Desk Transactions
  20. 20. Statistics
  21. 21. Types of Query
  22. 22. Libguides• Project a success• Springshare have answered queries about the software and added functionality where possible as a result of customer feedback• Little down time• Users feedback – focus group were positive and gave constructive feedback• Management of the guides to ensure they are more consistent could be necessary
  23. 23. Ask a Librarian• Usage statistics may be generated and displayed graphically and exported to Excel• Also used to generate statistics of Enquiry desk use• Issue of management of the Guides/Ask a Librarian is important to ensure the use of them develops• Further discussion required on how we record our services to ensure reliability of statistics
  24. 24. Useful Links• Middlesex University Library Subject Guideshttp://libguides.mdx.ac.uk/• Springshare Company websitehttp://www.springshare.com/

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