SpringyNews: Summer DIY Projects

June 2017

5 LibGuides DIY Tips You Can Do in Under an Hour'ish

For those DIY enthusiasts, summer time poses endless possibilities.

Time to refresh, reconfigure, re-think.

Come up with creative life (or LibGuides!) hacks.

Time to look at something old in a new way.

These LibGuides Tips & Tricks do just that, focusing on ways you can bring your DIY creative energies to your LibGuides.

We spy LibGuides-DIY in your future.


1. Using Redirect URLs to Redirect Users to the Right Webpage

It happens to the best of us. You're updating a LibGuide and you change the existing friendly URL.

No big deal right?

Well, actually, it can be! Basically, you've broken the connection to your LibGuide. And users who've bookmarked that URL will now be served a 'Webpage Does Not Exist' message. 

Not only can that affect your library's brand but also the trust the patron has in your services.

You can easily add in redirect URLs pointing the old URL to the new one. This way, when a user accesses the old link, they'll be automatically redirected to the new one!

Bonus: You can redirect the user to *any* URL. So it doesn't have to go from one LibGuide to another.
You can redirect them from an old/outdated LibGuide URL to your Library Website, Blog, anywhere!

Steps:

  • Navigate to Admin > Metadata & URLs > Friendly URLs tab
  • Select Friendly URL > Add Redirect URL
  • Enter your old redirect URL and the new friendly URL

Use It For:

  • Decommissioned guides and guide-page URLs.
  • Unpublished guides that should be redirected to your website, blog, LibGuides homepage, etc.
  • Newly published guide replacing an older outdated LibGuide.
redirect urls in LibGuides

2. Searching & Deleting

A great way to spend a crafternoon is throwing away stuff you don't need anymore. 

Well, this creative LibGuides-hack helps you clean out the gunk that can build up in your LibGuides system.

Repurpose the LibGuides Search & Replace tool as a Search & Delete:


3. Adding Administrative Info To Your Database A-Z List

A consistent theme in a lot of DIY projects is organization. Whether you're crafting a new bullet journal to organize your tasks or felting together a new sock drawer organizer - you're essentially DIY'ing organization.

Extend those same DIY principles to your LibGuides Databases A-Z List. Recent updates have added a ton of new features that will make organizing and maintaining your A-Z list a breeze. Unlike those Pinterest Penguin Cupcakes - you're going to nail and not fail these! 

Hiding and *Not* Deleting Databases

If you're going through a round of database renewals, its really tempting to delete canceled databases from your LibGuides A-Z List. Deleting a database asset not only removes it from everywhere it's been reused but it also deletes all its usage statistics... no bueno.

Instead of deleting it, hide the database instead! It hides it from everywhere it's been reused and retains all of its usage stats. 

And, if in the future you resubscribe, simply unhide the database to add it back to your public A-Z holdings.

hiding libguides databases

Store Database 'Admin' Data Right In Your A-Z List

Your databases have login credentials, stats or SUSHI passwords, and other login credentials.

Organize all that info in one place - right inside your LibGuides Database A-Z List!

Set up Your Credential Types

Login to LibGuides and navigate to Content > A-Z Database List > Settings tab > Login Credential Types. From here, add your login credential types (i.e. SUSHI, Stats Portal, Admin). 

Add To Each Database

Next, navigate to each database > edit. Then add the applicable login credentials for each one!

libguides login credentials

Easily Mass Update Your Databases

If going database-by-database to make updates sounds like a daunting task, we've streamlined the process!

Download your existing Database A-Z List > make updates > and reupload the same file!

libguides databases import template

4. Streamline Internal Issue Reporting... Using LibWizard

Are you constantly getting emails about broken LibGuides links?

Or images that need proper alt tags?

Streamline your internal reporting process using LibWizard!

Create an internal reporting form using LibWizard and embed that form right inside your LibGuides Dashboard Alert Box.

LibGuides authors can seamlessly report internal issues right from their LibGuides dashboard.

Need emergency help right away? Create a form that sends an SOS notification to all librarians! Great for when you're flooded with chats and you need help right away.

Update Your Dashboard Alert Box
(Admins Only)

1. Login to LibGuides
2. Navigate to Admin > Alert Boxes
3. Dashboard > Add Box
4. Add LibWizard Forms & Info

SHNU's Shapiro Library Uses LibWizard Forms Right On Their Dashboard

SHNU Libguides Dashboard


5. Excluding Websites from the LibGuides Link Checker

In case you missed it, we completely rebuilt the LibGuides Link Checker. It runs every 30 minutes and brings you awesome new features! Like, the ability to dismiss links or edit the broken link right from the report.

But wait, there's more!

Why You Should Add Exclusions

libguides link checker exclusion

If you know of websites that are guaranteed to show false positives, then you should consider adding that domain as an exclusion. 

This way, your LibGuides authors won't get freaked out when they check their report and see a bunch of false positives. 

Plus, you're saving them, and yourself, valuable time.

Adding an entire domain, i.e. mylibcat.org, will automatically exclude all links that begin with that domain.
For example: mylibcat.org/bookitem-12345.html

Why Would You Get False Positives?

  • Servers that require a password or login - like your databases/authentication layer.
    • - The Link Checker cannot log into that site to verify the page. 
  • The company / organization who owns that server set it up to refuse any connections from spiders, crawlers, etc., to save bandwidth / resources.

What Domains Should I Add to the Exclusions List?

  • Proxy URL / Domain - i.e. https://lib.idm.oclc.org​
  • Courseware Domain - i.e. https://www.springyu.blackboard.com
    • - Moodle, Sakai, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, etc.
  • Library Catalog Domain - as it may not allow pinging.
  • ... just about anything that requires a login.