Power Your Library Website with LibGuides CMS

 

Full & Unedited Interviews

Karen Grondin
University of Phoenix Library

LibGuides is a known entity in the library world! And we anxiously awaited the release of the CMS product. The Library selected LibGuides CMS in order to replace an outdated library website that was not user friendly, created barriers to access, and did not meet modern accessibly standards.

We were attracted to the flexibility of the CMS; we choose the system as we could create an entire library ecosystem which powered both a new library interface and an ever growing repository of research guides in the same system.

University of Phoenix

As we serve multiple institutions, we also needed a solution that would allow us to uniquely serve each institution in a global manner; the CMS product allowed us to do this with Groups.

We use the Groups feature quite a lot to help us organize guides according to their use. This allows us to apply unique styling to the groups, but also helps when we need to generate statistics on use for just the link assets that are used in those groups.

Another great CMS feature is page templates.  We don’t yet have a lot of public pages that use customized page templates, but we see the need for this growing. We have several internal groups where templates are in heavier use. Future versions of the library website will most likely incorporate multiple templates.  

We rely heavily on the Publishing Workflow, to ensure consistency. While we can provide training to all of our librarians on how to build accessible guides, we cannot expect them to be accessibility experts; therefore, we are using the Publishing Workflow to review each guide for both content and accessibility prior to publishing.

We greatly appreciate all of the effort the great Springshare staff has put into helping make LibGuides accessible.  We now have a Library that is more accessible, utilizing many great LibGuides features, while assisting all users with research.  As Springshare continues to grow the LibGuides product line, we look forward to adding new features to our site.  We are already thinking about/planning version 2.0 of our site!

- Karen

Sara Godbee
Stevenson University Library

Before our current website, we had a Wordpress page as the initial landing page for our website, the content pages of our site were created in LibGuides.

We knew we needed to change our website because we were experiencing frequent outages of our Wordpress page, and because it was managed by an outside consultant, we were at the mercy of their availability to get our landing page up and running.

Stevenson University Library

The committee looked at different options for our website, but decided to go with LibGuides for its stability and because most of our content was already handled through LibGuides.

I will say that having the ability to create different formatting in LibGuides through the use of html, bootstrap and CSS makes it pretty easy to program the main structure of the page. Having the overall framework/infrastructure (content boxes) of LibGuides also helps because we already understand that model.

We really like being able to handle changes to our website in-house, which we couldn’t do before. And we like the immediacy of changes. The SpringShare tutorials/webcast videos and notes were incredibly helpful in me being able to program this page and have it look like something cohesive.

The committee looked at different options for our website, but decided to go with LibGuides for its stability and because most of our content was already handled through LibGuides.

- Sara

Raven Fonfa & Jon Grennan
The Culinary Institute of America Library

LibGuides are amazingly user-friendly for both the patrons using the website and the library staff creating pages. The fact that it is a CMS designed specifically for libraries means it has convenient tools that match the type of content we need to provide to our users.  I often say in my Information Literacy classes that just like the bricks-and-mortar building is the library, the website IS the library.  It needs to be a fully functioning interactive portal to our resources and a source for information and instruction; LibGuides enables us to do that in one independent CMS platform.

CIA Library Homepage

We were able to customize the homepage using built-in options along with CSS to provide a streamlined page that displays Library resources and information to our users and coordinates with the look and feel of our institution's website.  We use:

  • The LibGuides CMS Groups to organize and customize department pages such as Archives and Reference & Research Guides.
  • The AtoZ Database List to manage our database links.
  • The tabbed box to put our Discovery, Catalog, and other search tools front and center.
  • Gallery boxes for announcements and new books, along with the image manager.
  • One of my favorite features is the ability to "Add Books from the Catalog" and create online bibliographies in just a few clicks.

It is very useful to be able to create different levels of account holders, so I can give library student workers access to edit assets for a project and I can also invite faculty to participate in creating and contributing to a guide for their course or department.

The staff at Springshare have always been terrific responding to questions; they gave us a a great deal of extra support while we built our new library homepage (and learned CSS at the same time.)  I am also expecially grateful to have access to the LibGuides community for advice and inspiration.  I have learned so much about what other libraries are doing just by browsing LibGuides. 

-  Raven

Anaya Jones
Mary Baldwin University Library

We wanted the ability to edit our pages independently from our University's media relations department. We've worked with Media relations to make sure that the Library website fits the University brand, but they appreciate not having to make frequent changes and we appreciate a more granular control over our pages and the ability to design the site we think serves our students the best.

Mary Baldwin University

We chose to use CMS because we wanted our "guides" to differ visually from our "site" and the CMS groups did that well for us. We have a group for our main landing page, another (very similar group) for the other website pages, and groups for research guides that serve a different purpose.

Springshare has phenomenal customer service and tech help.
They always respond to my pleas for help quickly and efficiently.

- Anaya

Jennifer Harris
Southern New Hampshire University Library

In brief, the LibGuides CMS platform is easy to use, flexible, integrates well with other Springshare products, and most importantly, offers features and can be designed to meet the needs of our users. We don’t have a large staff of developers to work on our website but we still need a robust, highly customizable site and LibGuides CMS has met that need for us.

SHNU Website

LibGuides CMS in particular offers a number of very useful features that the standard LibGuides platform doesn’t, like groups, secure file uploads and password protection, enhanced statistics, and more. These features are great enhancements to our site both for users and staff and the LibGuides CMS platform is quite affordable for all the functionality if offers.

We’ve also found LibGuides CMS to be a great platform for something as important and user-centric as the library website because as a vendor, Springshare is a pleasure to work with. We think that they do an excellent job answering questions and addressing problems in a timely manner, listen to feedback from their clients, and regularly offer training, updates, and enhancements to their products.  

The option to organize guides into groups has been very useful. We wanted to have our more traditional subject and course research guides designed and to function differently than our library homepage. By moving our homepage to its own group we were able to customize it (e.g. use a background image, different layout, etc.) without altering the design of our research guides.

Another option we’ve found useful is the ability to password protect guides. We have some content that, due to licensing agreements, needs to be restricted to specific users and groups. By using the option to password protect guides we’re able to restrict general access and grant it on a case-by-case basis but still present this content on the LibGuides platform with all the functionality, design options, etc. that our users have come to expect.

A third LibGuides CMS feature that’s been very useful is the enhanced statistics options. Being able to track data like sessions, referring URL, screen resolution, etc. has been helpful when making decisions.

... because as a vendor, Springshare is a pleasure to work with. We think that they do an excellent job answering questions and addressing problems in a timely manner, listen to feedback from their clients, and regularly offer training, updates, and enhancements to their products.

- Jennifer

Fathia Jones & Joy Symmers-Ables
​University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

We chose to go with LibGuides CMS to incorporate the website, LibGuides, forms/surveys (LibWizard) and E-Reserves into one platform, for a more streamlined look and ease of maintenance.  Now that we have a template for web pages, CMS provides flexibility, allowing more than one or two savvy programming people the ability to make changes to content, as well editing as some of the look and feel.

Some of the features that assist us in powering our library website are LibGuides which we have used to create and customize our homepage and various other guides by using groups and templates and tweaking our CSS with the help of the Bootstrap framework.

OUHSC Library Website

Other noteworthy LibGuide tools that make our customizations or content creation easier include gallery boxes, the A-Z List, E-Reserves and the built-in Blog Management console. Tracking our website statistics in LibGuides is also vital for knowing our most popular accessed databases and what our patrons are searching for on our website.

We also use other Springshare tools that link to our website such as LibCal to post events, LibWizard to create surveys and internal and external forms and LibAnswers for FAQs and to track our Reference Analytics.

Springshare’s documentation and customer support has been incredibly useful in helping us to continuously improve our website and our patrons’ user experience.

- Joy & Fathia

Heather Westerlund
Walden University, IT Manager

We think LibGuides CMS is the cat's pajamas because it allows us to provide a consistent, unified experience to our patrons across not only Walden Library's website, but across the University. LibGuides is extremely intuitive, our staff love using it, and the framework is accessible, responsive, flexible, and customizable. Plus, support is hands down the best of all our vendors, so it really was a no-brainer to go "all in" with our website.  

Walden University Library

In fact, other academic departments at Walden took notice of what the Library was doing, so we now happily share LibGuides with 14 departments and host over 22 independent sites. The improvements to groups, access, and account permissions in LGv2 have made it possible for us to effectively share content in a single system.

We have nearly 4,000 active guides; it's pretty amazing!

Walden University Departments

Not only do we use LibGuides to power the Library's website and instructional content, but our dedicated librarians maintain course reading lists and assignment help in 2,500 course guides. We embed LibApps content into our guides whenever possible, including: a University-wide FAQ search (LibAnswers); upcoming library webinars (LibCal); student doctoral research appointments (LibCal's MyScheduler); chat service and hours (LibChat and LibCal Hours module); library system alerts (LibAnswers Status Management module); and a "report a broken link" form (LibWizard).

What we're most excited about though is the new unified search that brings together our guide content, A-Z list, LibAnswers FAQ, and our discovery service, which we recently launched on the Walden Library's homepage and throughout our website.

Plus, support is hands down the best of all our vendors, so it really was a
no-brainer to go "all in" with our website.

- Heather Westerlund

Courtney Bruch
Colorado State University - Global Campus

CSU-Global is an independent, fully-accredited, 100% online university that is part of the Colorado State University system. As a public, not for-profit university, we primarily serve nontraditional students and working adults.

The library’s strategic plan included a website redesign and I began to weigh the different options available for hosting a new site. Since our library only has an online presence, I felt as if I needed a robust, visually appealing, and responsive library website.

CSU-Global Campus

I also needed a website that was simple to update and required a minimal amount of coding. The upgrade to LibGuides CMS allowed me (with the help of a great web designer) to incorporate all of the identified and necessary elements to create a library website that fit our institutional needs.

The many levels of customization in LibGuides CMS allowed an experienced web designer to create customized templates that made it easy for content contributors without that level of expertise to add information. 

The A-Z Database assets and mapping features now allow the library to incorporate new materials and resources in a simple, organized fashion. The groups feature will become important to us in the future as we expand the library.

The many levels of customization in LibGuides CMS allowed an experienced web designer
to create customized templates that made it easy for content contributors
without that level of expertise to add information.

- Courtney Bruch

Aaron Dobbs
Shippensburg University Library

We use LibGuides CMS to power our website because the University CMS doesn't allow us the flexibility we need to allow any librarian to create create pedagogically sound course, subject, and topic guides.

Editorial Note: They make strong use of Springshare product integrations with LibAnswers and LibChat widgets right on the homepage. Plus, they have a LibCal Hours widget always displaying 'Today's Hours'...right on the homepage.

Shippensburg University Library Website

Adam Shire
Wentworth Institute of Technology, Systems & User Experience Librarian

We are using LibGuides CMS as our library website because it offers a great balance of customizability and ease-of-use. Because of the ability to include our own styles and scripts, and create custom layout templates, we are able to make our site look and act the way we want, but at the same time we get to take advantage of lots of helpful built-in features (drag-and-drop content organization, image management, wysiwyg editing) that make maintaining and updating the site quick and easy. 

Wentworth Institute of Technology

We take full advantage of the ability to reuse boxes and widgets which helps us keep content up-to-date where it exists in multiple areas of our Library website. We also use a heavily customized template and several javascript widgets on our homepage. We use groups to control editing permissions, and to give our website a different look from our subject guides. 

We are using LibGuides CMS as our library website because it offers a great balance of customizability and ease-of-use.

- Adam Shire

Aaron Burrell
University of Suffolk, Digital Learning Systems Manager

We are using LibGuides CMS as our website due to the specialist nature of the CMS.  We originally were going to use LibGuides simply as a host for our reading and resource lists, but when we spent more time with the site, we got a better understanding of how we could utilize its flexibility to really customize the look and feel.  We believe that using LibGuides CMS fully would allow us a very clean, flexible website, rather than having an additional site, or by using the the widgets on another website. 

University of Suffolk

Why try and make two sites look and feel seamless, when we could do everything we needed in one.

In addition to LibGuides CMS, we are using LibCal in a number of ways, we use the My Scheduler for one-to-one appointments for our Academic Librarians, Academic Skills Advisors and our Digital Learning Specialists.  We have recently rolled out the My Scheduler system in a pilot project for a Business School academics to allow students to book personal tutorials.  We run a number of calendars for public and private workshop bookings, this has improved our internal processes immeasurably.  Also, we use the room booking tool.  We use this as it should be used for Group Study Pods for students, and for staff to book our training suite.  We also use it in a way that it wasn’t designed.  We have setup some equipment as rooms, allowing academic staff to book the audience response (clickers).  We had email chats with Spring support about this last year, and it is good to see the release of the equipment booking module. 

We use most of the available features, and we make extensive use of the ability to use custom CSS, we have made Libguides look very much like a different website, mainly to compliment our University’s website. This ability using Groups allows us to have a different look to each of our websites sections. We also make great use of the ability to create widgets, we pull through a lot of content via widgets to our University intranet and VLE. As these widgets are dynamic, any content changes, new guides created etc. automatically appear on other sites. We are also using the new Blog tool as our main blog linking to our social media sites.

We are very happy that we made the move to LibGuides CMS, there is so much functionality and flexibility that we would be silly to not make use of it beyond our reading and resource lists.  
I have found Springshare’s support to be very quick in replying to questions and very open to feature suggestions and enhancements.

- Aaron Burrell

Elissa Checov
Gwinnett Technical College

When we first discovered LibGuides, way back in 2008, it was THE answer to our challenge of reaching our users. We had been struggling with a means to design and deliver instructional content and LibGuides became our way to teach and to provide enhanced access to library resources. With the power and flexibility to change content as needed LibGuides v1 immediately became our website and LibGuides became our “thing” to pitch and promote our services.

Gwinnett Technical College

There are few on campus who aren’t aware of LibGuides and how the library engages with faculty and students with the common goal of academic success. We were early migrators to LibGuides v2 (ask us about Beta!) and added CMS because of the design and customization options.

Our collaboration with other departments helped drive the decision to upgrade. For example, we have a close relationship with our Distance Education department who use their own LG2 “Group” for faculty LMS training. They have their own additional LibAnswers Queue and use LibWizard too!

The Group and Template features really help us showcase and manage content for different purposes. Let’s say we don’t want breadcrumb on the faculty training LibGuide? With CMS they can be gone – just like that. As you can see, we use a tweaked default home page as our home page as our local customization expertise with CSS is still developmental. But we are so happy with what we can do and how we can support students and our colleagues on campus – because of LibGuides and other Springshare products. The CMS platform makes it so easy to integrate LibAnswers & LibChat, which are important ways to connect with our community.

Gwinnett Technical College LibChat Widget

LibAnswers' Query Spy helps identify what students want and need, which in turn, enables us to better serve them by developing FAQs or LibGuides.

We integrate LibCal and use the registration feature for some workshops.

And things we plan to do:

  • Add some self-serve room bookings
  • Find ways to feature LibInsight data in annual reports
  • Develop interactive LibWizard tutorials for active learning exercises in our instruction workshops and to integrate into the LMS
  • Use LTI with our LMS to even better engage with students – where they are,  and give them an optimal library experience

These LibGuides CMS features assist us in powering our library website:

Groups (both LibGuides and LibAnswers), template customization, CSS (although, as mentioned, we are not too good at this), A-Z Database List, resource icons, private & public guides, next navigation, side and tab LibGuides for different purposes. Images & widgets. The LibGuides community and the SpringShare Lounge. And, of course, the amazing Springshare support team.

But we are so happy with what we can do and how we can support students and our colleagues on campus – because of LibGuides and other Springshare products.

- Elissa Checov

Ben Rawlins
Georgetown College

We are using LibGuides CMS to power our website for a variety reasons.  We really like the flexibility of the platform and the ability to create different groups and customize the look and feel of each as we see fit and we found it to be better for us than WordPress, which is what our old website used. 

We like that it is built on the responsive Bootstrap framework which ensures that our users can access our website on any device of their choosing.

Georgetown College

Since we are a subscribing to the Springy Suite it made sense for us to transition our website to LibGuides CMS to allow for a more seamless integration of LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibWizard. We have created some LibAnswer widgets that are integrated into our website, such as the information on our circulation page which contains three different LibAnswer widgets. We love the fact that once we create a form or a widget in LibWizard or LibAnswers that all we have to do to add it to LibGuides and our website is select it from a dropdown menu. By using the widgets we only have to edit the information in one place.

We couldn’t be happier with LibGuides CMS and the flexibility that it provides us. We now have one platform where we can create LibGuides and update our website which makes updates and maintenance easier.

- Ben Rawlins

Ruth Graham
University of Worcester

Our Library Services website underwent a much needed update in September 2015.  We were already using LibGuides v1 for our Database A-Z and subject guides.  Rather than adding another system, it made sense to use LibGuides CMS for all of our webpages, integrating our other services with the Database A-Z and subject guides. 

We also began using LibAnswers to manage our askalibrarian enquiry service as well as powering our FAQs.

University of Worcester

With so many systems to manage - seven at the last count – styling LibAnswers to seamlessly interact with LibGuides has significantly improved user friendliness. We’ve applied the same stylesheets, headers (including navigation) and footers to LibGuides, LibAnswers, our link resolver and Journal A-Z, and have plans to update our other systems with the same styling.

LibGuides CMS has all the features we require of a CMS, with the added benefit of managing our Database A-Z. New developments pop up frequently, with major features such as blogging capability and unified search added this year. An upcoming job is to migrate our existing blog (on an in-house developed template) over to Springshare’s template. Reffie, our resident raptor and Library Services mascot, is looking forward to settling into the new blog.

Our students and staff have been very pleased with the changes we’ve made to our website, and often comment about how much easier it is to use.

Reffie Raptor

Integrating our different resource searches, which we call Library Search, into a single tabbed box on our homepage has been very positively received.  Hits on our website have increased by 240%, our subject guides page views have gone up 35%, and over 90% of hits on our discovery layer now come through our website. Having Library Search on the homepage has made it possible for us to locate timely messages where they will be most read, which is absolutely key when communicating access issues and changes to services.  

Hits on our website have increased by 240%, our subject guides page views have gone up 35%, and over 90% of hits on our discovery layer now come through our website. 

- Ruth Graham

Cheryl Kohen
Daytona State College

Migrating from LibGuides v1 to v2 provided us an opportunity to create a library website redesign. Built on Bootstrap, we knew LibGuides CMS would offer us a responsive design our current site was lacking. Though we've developed a good relationship with the college's webmaster, having little control over the styling behind the code was frustrating, and often created pages that weren't very user friendly.

Daytona State College

Because LibGuides CMS already has established templates, once the homepage, header, and footer were created, designing and inputting the content for the rest of the pages was fairly streamlined.

There are many features in LibGuides CMS that assisted me with redesigning an entire site, but most importantly were the helpful support staff at SpringShare, detailed documentation, and webinar recordings. Before I actually started really working with code, I spent a long time watching and reading through best practices and tutorials. This is how I learned about creating groups, which really allowed me to customize the different kinds of pages I wanted to produce.

Utilizing all of the SpringShare apps was one of the big motivators behind using LibGuides CMS for our entire site.  Much of the v2 apps are inherently integrated with v2 LibGuides, creating a real ease of use when selecting and embedding features.  This also provided a good justification to our college as to why we needed to host our site on another platform outside of just the college's main site.

I'm really grateful to the amazing support staff at SpringShare, and to other librarians who use these apps and provide excellent documentation. Our new DSC Library site was accomplished by endless troubleshooting, knowledgeable help desk staff, and standing on the shoulders of giants.

- Cheryl Kohen

Ruth Shumate
Tidewater Community College

The main reason for moving our website to LibGuides CMS was the new redesign of our college website. The focus for this new college website was for marketing and recruiting new students. The library’s focus is instruction and research, and we wanted a site that reflected this focus and improved upon our old homepage. Control of our content and the ability to make necessary changes in our given timeframe were also key factors.

Tidewater Community College

With control, we are able to keep our content fresh and current. I like the ability for multiple content providers (librarians, library staff, and faculty) to produce and edit our website instead of just one or a few experts doing all the work.

I love the ability to manipulate the layout of pages using templates. It is great that you can customize your pages and get additional help from SpringShare. The Forms/Surveys module (LibWizard Lite) is very resourceful for our library. I am so excited about the LibWizard and can’t wait to see what some of our instruction librarians create with the Tutorials tool.

We just got LibCal and are currently using it for scheduling rooms at our Joint Use Library.  The staff likes it so much better than the software we were using.  We are working on setting up our library hours using LibCal.  I am sure we will find some other uses for it when we get more familiar with it, as well.

With the new version of LibGuides v2 it was so much easier to follow
the “Look and Feel” of our college’s homepage.

- Ruth Shumate

Peter Neely
Columbia College, Stafford Library

We moved to using LibGuides CMS several years back, beginning with LibGuides v1. Stafford Library purchased LibGuides for the purpose of not only developing guides for our patrons, but for use as our website as well. This decision was a response to address our need for greater flexibility and control of the information we develop for the college campus. We needed a better content management system that could in itself be managed by librarians that may not have an in-depth know-how of coding or website design.

Columbia College

Certain features, such as the ability to map information, copy boxes into other guides and reuse content without the hassle of having to re-create that content, has saved us time and headaches. Staff appreciate the ability to quickly incorporate assets and quickly add new resources, such as databases, through use of the A to Z Database Management tool.

Necessary changes can be made on our time, allowing for seamless integration of new content, rather than waiting for departments external to the library to generate content at their availability. One thing I have noticed from reading similar responses is that many stress the phrase “The ability to…”, which is important to us.

With LibGuides CMS, WE have the ability to create and manage an adaptive and responsive website (and course/subject guides) for our campus community. Additionally, support has always been very forthcoming and quick to aid us in any hurdles library staff might come across.

- Peter Neely

Wendy Flannery
Think Library:

It is simply the only product in the market that has the simplicity, flexibility and power to deliver all our library information, resource access, and robust discoverability to provide our users with the best possible experience.

SSNT Think Education Library

CMS version is structured so that content is easily reusable, saving time and effort, and maintaining consistency throughout the site. It caters specifically to library content, such as the book content boxes, database A-Z central management, proxy integration, and allows us to be completely independent of IT department workflows. 

To get this robust functionality in any other way, would mean trying to piece together various applications and at a significantly higher cost – Libguides simply makes our work so much easier, and the user experience more satisfying. 

Finally, and critical when dealing with external vendors, the Springshare team are an amazing group of people who are passionate, super responsive, and fundamentally collaboratively in the way they work with clients – a pleasure to deal with them always.

- Wendy Flannery

Jeff Brunner
Washington & Jefferson College

After working with different content management systems and using LibGuides v1 for subject guides, we decided to move to LibGuides CMS for our website for several reasons. Most importantly, we recognized the necessity for flexibility and customization in v1. Now, those traits are more evident in LibGuides CMS.

Washington & Jefferson College

The ability to create Groups in LibGuides CMS was also an appealing feature. With Groups, we can organize content according to the needs of our patrons, and we are no longer constrained by external systems. LibGuides CMS empowers staff to edit, update, and revise our website without complex training. Simply put LibGuides CMS does exactly what we need it to do – that was not always the case with previous content management systems.

For our users, LibGuides CMS is an attractive easy-to-use destination, showcasing the Library’s resources: content guides, databases, discovery service, catalog, and staff. Because LibGuides CMS offers seamless transitions, our website is clear and consistent, making navigation a cinch.

Another appealing quality of LibGuides CMS is the outstanding support that’s available. Whether it’s feedback from the Springshare Lounge (a forum for Springshare users), help guides, or email exchanges directly with Springshare staff, explanations are clear, quick, and to the point.

- Jeff Brunner

Betsy Fronk
Chattanooga State

We use Libguides CMS because of its popularity and ease of use with our library staff. We were using a home grown CMS which did not use HTML5 or CSS3, did not take advantage of sharing content nor did it integrate other services like a calendar, chat or surveys/forms easily.

The features we love the most are:

Chattanooga State
  • Ability to create a uniform, easier-to-use set of pages,
  • Reuse content and either copy/map to it,
  • Built-in link checker,
  • Integrate other services’ widgets (either from databases, social media or integrated library systems).

I am a huge fan of Springshare – their support is wonderful.

- Betsy Fronk

Brian Holda
Cornerstone University:

We decided to use LibGuides CMS around the same time we were starting the migration process to LibGuides v2. We didn't know much about it (and still are learning), but were attracted to things like:

  • its robust customization options
  • the ability to upload larger files (20mb)
  • the better stats and analytics it offered
Cornerstate University
  • its ability to create and use surveys (LibWizard Lite) -- formerly, we used GoogleForms but didn't like all the Google branding and found it contrasted with the rest of our site
  • and, really, the overall help it seemed like it would give in managing our content for a reasonable price

We really love the LibCal and LibAnswers integration too!

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your website?

We have found the following CMS features especially useful for our website needs:​

  • Bootstrapped layout - when we first purchased CMS, none of our web team members were skilled enough in coding (or had the time to learn) to make our content responsive, though we knew we needed to head this direction. With bootstrap, though, it significantly decreased the time we needed to learn and code a responsive site, which has been a HUGE advantage to us.
  • FontAwesome Integration - at some point after we had gone live with our website, we realized that we had too many words, and wanted more graphics. We started looking at options for us to do this, and realized that FontAwesome was gave us more variety and control of the icons we used than anything else we came across. Ever since that time, we often instinctively look at FontAwesome for enhancing the design of our content.
  • Ability to create groups - this has allowed us to have our customized homepage while also using the A-Z Database homepage on a different part of our website...it also is very handy when we are testing out new customizations and designs.

The ease-of-use and ability to customize so much content is a huge bonus!

- Brian Holda

Ken Fujiuchi, Katherine S. Bertel, Andrew B. Chambers
Buffalo State College Library:

We had originally scheduled to migrate our website to Drupal for fall 2016, but this migration became urgent as technical issues with our previous content management system continued to mount; therefore, we started to prototype with LibGuides CMS. Through this exploration, we discovered that LibGuides CMS would be able to provide everything we were looking to accomplish. The key deciding factors for us were our familiarity with Springhare's suite of products and the ease of use because we had limited time to launch the new website.  

Buffalo State College Library

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your website?

The features of LibGuides CMS that we can’t live without are Bootstrap, templates, integration with LibApps (LibCal, LibAnswers, and LibWizard Lite), and the asset management. Bootstrap and templates allowed us to quickly redesign and prototype the new website. LibGuides CMS made it easy to implement suggestions and feedback throughout the redesign process, while maintaining a more consistent look and feel than our previous website. The LibApps integration has allowed us to include more advanced functionality that, in a different CMS, would have required a developer/programmer to implement. The asset management helps us keep our content organized and makes it easier to collaborate because content can be created, shared, and reused. 

Additionally, the intuitive LibGuides interface allows more of our librarians to participate in content creation and management. 

The flexibility and ease of use with LibGuides CMS allowed our team to develop, redesign, and launch our new website in just under 2 months, in time for the start of the semester. We have also been able to fix any issues we encounter on the fly, allowing changes to be made more quickly by any librarian.

- Ken Fujiuchi

Bruce Jensen
Kutztown University Library:

We started with LibGuides in 2009. It didn't take long for our LibGuides (and LibAnswers) pages to emerge as some of the most important components of our library's web presence, but we were never pleased with the obvious disconnect between the look of the site itself and that of our Springshare products. When we learned about the exciting new layout options in LG2, it was clear to us that the platform would accommodate an appealing look and feel while at the same time giving us a chance to consolidate the elements of our web services into one consistent package.

Kutztown Library
Kutztown Mobile Website

Equally compelling was LG2's Bootstrap integration. We were early in developing a mobile site, and our analytics had shown steady growth in its use through the years. The recognition that Springshare's new platform would enable us to look good on any screen, without having to maintain multiple sites, sealed the deal.

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your website?

The ability to quickly call up databases and other kinds of assets for inclusion in guides is great--as is the effortless integration of forms and surveys, which opens up myriad possibilities for teaching. And it's a real boon that we can now publish pages under a variety of templates, because entities across campus have over the years come to the library to put content on the web tailored for various events.

Nice that the Springshare community facilitates that kind of collaboration and support.
Please keep up the great work, guys. We love the way you understand libraries!

- Bruce Jensen

Amanda Peach
Berea College:

Everything our patrons do is driven through our website, whether they are searching for books in our catalog, using class guides to complete an assignment, or accessing our electronic databases. That level of visibility and frequency of use makes it essential that our website be adaptive and responsive, and yet that was not the case in the past.

Berea College

So, we knew we needed a product that would allow us to create a sophisticated and professional website that reflects our personality and community, but which was easy enough to put together that we wouldn’t need to rely on outsiders to build and maintain it. For us, LibGuides CMS was the answer. We were able to create the homepage we dreamed of that made use of all of the Springshare products we subscribe to and which was easy to use.

It is so easy that that almost anyone in the library could – with minimal training – make updates to our site, which means there is no longer just one gate-keeper for our site. The world doesn’t grind to a halt when that person is unavailable. Changes are happening all of the time.

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your library website?

Berea College LibCal HoursWe love how well the different Springshare tools play together in LibGuides CMS v.2. It is important to us that our students not feel like they are getting the run around; the research process and the library can be intimidating enough it is. We don’t want them growing discouraged by being referred to multiple outside sites to accomplish their goals. So, we plug Springshare tools like LibCal and LibAnswers into our homepage. The fact that they are all Springshare tools means they look similar, allowing for visual continuity, but more importantly, they all speak to one another. The tools are all customizable, allowing us to rename them with intuitive titles, such as like “Schedule an Appointment” and “Ask the Library”. It allows an approachable and cohesive user experience.

We also love the ability to use API to populate and update the content in our guides. Most of the content on our Library Services pages is pushed from LibAnswers, which means as changes in policies or procedure occur, only one place needs to be updated for the data to be refreshed everywhere. So, if tomorrow the cost of printing increases from .4 cents to .5 cents, we would only need to change that information in the answer for that question in LibAnswers and suddenly the new information would appear on every page/guide where the widget for that question is embedded. It allows us to be more efficient and consistent.

You're using a lot of Springshare tools, tell us about that!

The library is about more than circulating materials. It is a place where instruction occurs, where assessment happens, where collections are grown, and where relationships are fostered. Using Springshare tools has made it very easy for us to accomplish all of these interwoven tasks in one place.

We use LibCal:

  • to push our ever-changing Library Hours to our homepage via API
  • to provide students a self-service opportunity for scheduling individualized & tailored one-on-one reference consultations with Librarians or a Student Reference Consultant
  • to help us meet our instructional goal of increasing one-on-one reference consultations (ours were up 105% over last year’s numbers – more than doubled!! – since we implemented LibCalendar’s MyScheduler app.)

We use LibAnswers:

  • to gather Reference statistics. EVERY transaction at the reference desk – from “where is the bathroom?” to “how do I scan my document to a flash drive?” is entered into LibAnswers. The service is infinitely customizable and a part of our customization is the creation of a list of frequently asked questions and their answers, which the student worker or librarian only needs to click on to have it entered in the day’s statistics
  • as our FAQ, allowing patrons 24/7 access to a homegrown database of questions/answers relevant to, and unique to, our services and resources. Only a small percentage of the total number of daily transactions make it into the public FAQ. The rest live behind the scenes.
  • for staffing purposes. LibAnswers lets you pull stats about Reference Desk traffic by any increment you need: year, month, week, day, hour… So, you can look at a semester’s worth (or longer) of data and decide how to staff the next semester…
  • to train student workers. We are a labor college and our student workers are essential, which means training them right is of upmost importance.
    • Labor students can turn to it for answers to questions (all types of questions - reference, technical, or policy/procedure) when librarians and staff are not around to be asked
    • We evaluate all student-entered transactions for accuracy and thoroughness and based on those, use them to either re-teach students (when they are providing incorrect info) or to provide positive reinforcement when they have done well.

The Springshare Tech Support team have been so responsive and kind, just reaffirming our choice to go with LibGuides CMS. Reaching out to them for help is not intimidating the way it often is when reaching out to Tech Support with other software providers.

- Amanda Peach

Alex Armstrong
DEREE - The American College of Greece:

LibGuides CMS allowed us to put together an attractive and flexible website for our users. It's easy to use for content editors, while packing enough features to customize it as needed, without straining our budget.

In short, it was the best all-in-one hosted platform for us and our users.

Deree: The American College of Greece

The new templating system is wonderful. From a content editor's perspective the workflow is still distinctly LibGuides-y (guides, pages, columns, boxes, lists of links, etc.). But you can customize it so that from a user's point of view, LibGuides looks just like any other CMS. Our library site is no longer a LibGuides system that's used as a website; it's a website that happens to be hosted on LibGuides.

It comes up all the time, but it bears repeating: Springshare support is incredible.
The team responds quickly and is helpful even when they can't accommodate
every request I throw their way.

- Alex Armstrong

Brighid Gonzales
Our Lady of the Lake University:

With all of the nuances and specialized features that are required in a library website, we needed a system that would allow us to maintain the library website separately from the university’s website. Being a small library with a limited amount of staff, we also needed something that was user-friendly and would allow us to make any necessary changes quickly and easily. LibGuides CMS is easy to use, completely customizable and has a robust support system, making it a great option that met all of our needs.

ur lady of the lake university

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your library website?

Having the LibGuides system built on Bootstrap means its mobile-responsive right out of the box, which is great for making sure we’re meeting the needs of all our students no matter where they are. Features like the built-in navbar and integration with Font Awesome made it especially easy to build a customized site that looked sleek and modern. One of the best features in LibGuides is the templates, which allowed us to completely customize the HTML layout of our website. We also used templates to create consistency in our library research guides, including embedding content like our Ask A Librarian box into the template so that it appears on every guide, which also helps us maintain a consistent level of point-of-need service and availability.

LibGuides CMS is easy to use, completely customizable and has a robust support system, making it a great option that met all of our needs.

- Brighid Gonzales

Kellie Weigl
The Gordon Institute of TAFE:

Using LibGuides CMS for our website, makes it easy to own the content and keep it up to date, as we can now manage the updates ourselves, without relying on other teams within the institute.

With the customizations we feel we have successfully been able to implement our institute's branding through use of color, while still having control of the look and feel of the website.

The Gordon Institute of TAFE

The abundance of features and options allows us to customize our website and make it attractive and easy to use. Using CMS means we can easily separate the look and feel of our website from that of our guides (and potentially other pages too). And it is quite simple to manage even with our small library team.

As always, the support of Springshare in helping us with any issues and the prompt response to our questions has been a big help in designing and running our website using LibGuides CMS.

- Kellie Weigl

Paige Mann
University of Redlands:

LibGuides CMS is easy to use, easy for admins to customize, extremely flexible, and responsive to a user’s device. We emphasized these attributes when we proposed using LibGuides CMS for the library’s website. We stressed how it would equip us to better support the educational mission of our institution, and compared this against the limitations of the university’s web platform. The powers that be acknowledged its value and approved moving our library website to LibGuides CMS.

University of Redlands

What features of LibGuides CMS assist you in powering your library website?

  • Built upon the Bootstrap responsive web framework we were able to fix our navigation menu to the top of the screen (so that it follows users as they scroll down the page) and collapse the menu when user devices were too narrow to adequately display the full range of navigation options.
  • The ability to embed content boxes from LibGuides into other systems has increased the usefulness of our website and specific web pages. For example, we alert users of system downtimes at their point of need (e.g. the authentication page) and have inserted documents in third-party systems that wouldn’t otherwise allow us to do so.
  • The ability to add rss feeds along with a dash of creativity has enabled us to display book jackets of newly acquired book on our catalog home page (http://books.redlands.edu).
  • The ability to integrate content from multiple third-party systems (e.g. the catalog, course reserves, LibCal, Blogger, LibAnswers on our home page) helps create a more seamless research experience for our users.
  • The ability to have multiple headers and footers has enabled me to draft library websites that librarians from other institutions could pass on to supervisors or marketing departments in efforts to design and manage their own library websites, password-restricted subscriptions

You're using a lot of Springshare tools, tell us about that!

“When are you open?” was a frequently asked question and LibCal made it extremely easy and visually appealing to share that information with our users on our front page. LibAnswers has helped us provide answers to frequently asked and not so frequently asked questions. Since it logs queries both submitted and not submitted, it has helped to identify questions our users have but don’t share for one reason or another.

The flexibility and ease of use of LibGuides CMS truly assists our efforts to use technology to support learning and remove barriers that might otherwise hinder learning. Additionally, customer service is excellent and responsive!

- Paige Mann

Jen Booth
Georgian College:

The system allows us a ready to use platform that allows for the creation of research guides, but gives us enough flexibility to customize the main library website.

With all of our content now on one platform, we can optimize the reuse of content, benefit from site wide tools and benefit from the interoperability of other springshare products.

Georgian College

Customer service at springshare has been extremely helpful.
Requests are processed quickly, features are explained, suggestions and solutions
are found within a very reasonable time frame, if not immediately.

- Jen Booth

Chris Hoebeke
World Maritime University:

Academic libraries have a hard time fitting their web sites into the content management systems of the colleges and universities they serve, and usually have to run their own. Being a small library staff, we didn't want the responsibility of trying to integrate a beast like Drupal with our online library services, and LibGuides had a lot of the CMS elements and workflows that libraries require already designed and ready to use.

World Maritime University

 

With code widgets for headers, footers, and the ability to load in our own JS and CSS, theming was pretty quick. Our front page with the Holy Grail of the single search was standard HTML and a little Bootstrap. The rest is adding and linking content.

The more we've worked with LibGuides CMS, the more we find ways to reuse content and automate linking and list building. It's getting kind of addictive and we all need to stop and get back to our other library work.

The features we like the most are templates and the ability to map existing pages and content boxes in different guides. They are great time savers and help us maintain consistency across the site. And then there are the widgets for code snippets, at the site level and at the guide level for minor tweaks and overwrites. The widgets open just enough of the code that matters to us.

We just got started, and our developer has been on vacation the whole time, so we're looking forward to seeing what he can do with it. That said, you don't need a developer to make LibGuides CMS do the heavy lifting for your library web site. And it will only get better as the community gets behind this product.

That said, you don't need a developer to make Libguides CMS
do the heavy lifting for your library web site.

- Chris Hoebeke

Kendra Wisson,
St. Clair Community College:

SC4 Library decided to use LibGuides CMS for our library website in 2012. It allowed us the ability to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the system, store a repository of content re-usable by our librarians, and keep all library web content in one central location.

Internally, asset management is simpler and more centralized for sharing among librarians. Plus, the platform is designed for libraries & integrates well with other systems that SC4 library already uses, including other Springshare products.

St. Clair County Community College

Having a strong library focused platform to jump off of has given us more time to focus on customizations and integration than we would have had if we had built the library website from the ground up. The system is user friendly and fun to play with, and is a great system to learn and develop your own web design skills!

LibGuides CMS is hosted so we never have to worry about down time or server maintenance or system upgrades. Springshare support is knowledgeable, helpful and always friendly & the Springshare lounge user community is a great resource for sharing ideas.

- Kendra Wisson


Kendra Wisson also shared with us a personal story, too good not to share:

"The college used to manage the library’s web presence, and as the library expanded its online offerings, it became apparent that the library’s website would need some major updates to help maximize the use of its subscribed tools and resources.

I was working part time at the reference desk at SC4 & the full time systems & technical services librarian position became available. I decided to do a little something extra for my interview. I created a mockup of a new library website using LibGuides.

The library director has since told me that my website mockup was a big selling point in offering me the position. So, thanks for helping me land a job Springshare!"

Springshare Editorial: You're welcome Kendra and we're so excited that using LibGuides gave you that extra edge in your interview!

Anne Heimann
Bryan College of Health Sciences:

We use LibGuides because we like to have CONTROL!!!  The system allows us to have 100% control over updates, content, links, customizations, etc.

Not having to work within the confines of IT and the organization template (which is not suited to a Library site) is one of the top reasons.

Bryan Health College LibGuides Site

Our site changes daily, sometimes hourly and we couldn’t do this without LibGuides. Of course, the great customer service and support is another reason.

There are several features that assist us in powering our site. Customization is one of them, the product is so flexible to allow us to really make the site our own, yet it provides wonderful guidance and templates that make it easy to do!  You don’t have to start from scratch, yet you get a finished product that makes it look like you did. Ease of use is a huge feature for us. We aren’t coders or techies, but with LibGuides you don’t need to be. We also love the ability to embed forms.

Our Library would not be where it is today without Springshare. It really runs on your products.
And a little work from us!

- Anne Heimann

Jennifer Kasch
Madison Area Technical College:

We are using LibGuides CMS as our library website because it gives us a lot of flexibility to easily make changes to our site.

We try to keep our site fresh and interesting and the ease of use of LibGuides CMS really allows us to do that.

Madison Area Technical College

I like that LibGuides (both CMS and not) are bootstrap based so our website looks great on any device.

Also, CMS allows us to customize the look and feel of individual guides so our homepage that we’ve created in LibGuides can have a look and feel that is unique from the rest of our LibGuides.

The level of support we get from Springshare is great. Questions are answered promptly and completely. Suggestions from clients are welcomed by Springshare and the product is being constantly improved. There’s also a great community of LibGuides users.

- Jennifer Kasch

Rhonda Kitchens
State College of Florida Manatee - Sarasota:

In today's marketing oriented education market place, the Library is lucky to get any real estate on the front page much less, be in a position to be able to arrange their resources in a way that fit the user and not the marketing department.

SCF Libraries

Using Springshare as our main digital presence is a way of not only presenting a user friendly face to our students, but also collecting data on how they are using it. This is critical in the assessment hungry environs Libraries now exist in as every move and expenditure needs to be justified.

In the time we've been with Springshare, the platform has continuously not
only grown with our needs but challenges us to grow with it.

- Rhonda Kitchens

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