SpringyNews: Light the Torch

September 2016

5 Tips & Tricks For Igniting Interest, Curiosity, & Learning

The official start of the Olympics begins with the torch being run into the stadium and igniting both the cauldron and the symbolic beginning of the games. 

Similarly, the start of the school year is upon us, and whether you're an Academic, Public, or School Library - you've just commenced your year-long 'learning Olympics'.

This edition of LibGuides Tips & Tricks is all about igniting the flames of interest, curiosity, and learning...inside the library, and out.


1. Visually Promoting Guide Content

During the parade of nations, Olympians wave their flag... proudly representing their country. This helps TV watchers identify who comes from where. 

The same concept applies to your users! Help them visually identify your guide content using guide thumbnail images. Each guide thumbnail is a pixel-version of a flag - wave yours proudly!

Embed your guide thumbnail in:

  • Blog Post: Blog your new guides complete with a thumbnail image for visually compelling posts. 
    Pro-Tip: Use the large thumbnail size for a clear visual.
  • Pinterest: Create a LibGuides Board and use thumbnails to promote new guides. 
    Pro-Tip: Use the small thumbnail size for optimal feed display. 
  • Twitter: Tweet your LibGuides on social media using the new social sharing functionality
    Pro-Tip: Use the medium thumbnail size for optimal feed display. 
  • 'By Subject' Guide Index: Create your own visual index of guides by subject using thumbnails that link out to guides.
    Pro-Tip: Don't overwhelm users, 6-8 images max. 
  • Featured Guide: On your website create a featured guide visual that is updated frequently. 
    Pro-Tip: Create an 'Image Gallery' box and then use the widget to embed this box everywhere!
  • Handouts: Jazz up your handouts with screenshots of your LibGuides.
    Pro-Tip: Use the full-size thumbnail size and resize down as needed to avoid pixelation. 

Create a Guide Thumbnail:

  • Navigate to your guide and Select the Publication Status button
  • Click the tab titled Guide Thumbnail > generate a screenshot.
  • Choose your Thumbnail Size
  • Right-click & Save Image or use the Image URL to embed in your website, blog, etc. 
Guide thumbnail

2. Get Social! Promote Your Unique Content on Twitter & Facebook

One of the best aspects of the Olympics is watching sports you wouldn't normally watch.

Your curiosity is piqued. Your interest is engaged. You'll spend hours watching something...just because it's a bit unusual. 

The fact is, unique content is easily promotable because it's out of the ordinary.

Engage your users' curiosity in a similar fashion by creating and promoting your unique and unusual content. 

Unique & Interesting Guides We've Seen, Live Now

Unique Olympic Sports


  • Race Walking
  • Dressage
  • Steeplechase
  • Trampoline Gymnastics
  • Modern Pentathlon

>> 10 Strangest Olympic Sports

Promoting on Twitter & Facebook

Got your unique content ready to go? Here's how you can promote it on social media!

  • Navigate to your Guide > Select the Publication Status Button > Select Change Status & Share
  • Make sure your guide is set to Publish
  • Select Social Sharing Tab > Compose your Message and Post
  • Pro-Tip: We automatically add the guide thumbnail and the link to the guide in the compose message, so don't waste valuable Twitter characters when we already include it!
LibGuides Publication Button

3. Putting Your Best Foot Forward... Every Time You Share Your Site

Each member of the U.S. Final Five Gymnastics team wore leotards that cost between $700 - $1,200 a piece. With more than 3,000 crystals attached, these dazzling costumes represent the star power of the women wearing them. 

Sharing your LibGuides system on social media sends a similar message. When Simone Biles walks out onto the mat she shines in her uniform. You, like her, need to put your best foot forward. 

Using the LibGuides System Screenshot for Social Media Visuals

We've engineered the LibGuides System Screenshot Thumbnail to contain important social metadata markers. 

This means every time you share your LibGuides URL on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, it retrieves the system screenshot and displays it in the social post...automagically. 

Seamlessly and easily bedazzle your social posts.

Creating a System Screenshot (Admins Only)

  • Navigate to Admin > Look & Feel
  • Select System Screenshot Tab
  • Click Generate Screenshot
  • Update as often as you'd like!

See It In Action!

We've shared the same LibGuides system (buzz.springshare.com) across four social media platforms - our system homepage displays in each posting! 

Facebook
Facebook Post

Twitter
Twitter Post

Google Plus
Google+ Post

Pinterest
Pinterest post


4. Athletes Train - Invigorate Your Training Regimen!

Olympic athletes are constantly mixing up their workout regimen to invigorate their muscles. We challenge you to do the same, albeit with your brain! 

Whether you're an expert LibGuides user, or a total newbie - it's important to take, and retake, training! Learn something new, perfect a skill, or reinforce a learning outcome. 

Sign-Up Today!


5. Coach Yourself - Learn Your Browser's Inspect Element Tool

Coaches don’t always share the limelight, but their zeal provides a strong support for up and coming athletes. Developing a learning desire in others is only possible if you're a life-longer learner at heart.

This tip is so powerful and easy - you'll be right-clicking your way to advanced CSS knowledge in no time.

Have you ever wanted to change one element in your LibGuides system, but you don't know how? For example, changing the size of your guide title or changing the font-color of your box headers?

Using your browser's Inspect Element tool, you'll be able to identify unique classes and IDs for targeted CSS customizations. The more you use it, the better you'll become!

Judges ruling? 10.0's across the board!