The LibGuides Tool is designed to support the goals of instruction. LibGuides simplifies for librarians the mechanics of guide building so you can focus on content curation. Today, librarians are building more than just subject and course specific guides. Instruction now also includes a strong emphasis on how to navigate the expanse of information. Learning can happen anywhere. The real discovery is in how many avenues you can take to get there. These LibGuides Tips & Tricks are a look at different angles and strategies you can use to practice what you teach!
Imagine a patron walks into the lobby of your library and finds a dedicated library information computer. Navigation buttons on the page let the user toggle between different areas -- even if the browser controls are hidden to prevent users from visiting other websites.
Decide what you want your kiosk to offer
You may want patrons to view a map of the library, search the catalog, or view a staff directory. You could add a page that explains how to use the library, or where to go to get help from staff. A LibGuide kiosk is as customizable as you can imagine! Kiosk pages are a great place to use widgets from your other SpringyApps.
Try some of these ideas:
Create a template (LibGuides CMS Required)
To keep your kiosk’s layout as simple as possible, use a template to create a custom layout.
Create your Kiosk LibGuide
Create a new LibGuide. If you want your kiosk to look like our example, set up the navigation to System Default Side-Nav layout.
Add a new page to your guide for each touchpoint you want patrons to see. The first page might be your library’s online catalog. Try displaying the online catalog in an iframe, or if you want a cleaner look, set up a tabbed search box. Add pages for library hours, a floorplan, or widget for upcoming events.
If you want to learn more about setting up a kiosk using LibGuides, come to our training session:
How long have we been asking students to write papers to show what they have learned? Why not shake things up a bit with LibGuides? Ask them to build a guide that explores their topic(s). The students will effectively map out the knowledge they've acquired while creating a tool that also teaches their classmates.
And, if you're following the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015), allowing students to create LibGuides in support of group or individual assignments is grounded in the frameworks:
Create a LibGuide for this Project
You can easily build an appropriately named guide for this alterna-paper. Then create tabs or pages for each of the students. Then you simply make Editor Level Accounts for the participants by going to Admin > Accounts > Add New Account. The Editor level account ensures the students can create content but only in guides to which they've been assigned. It's perfect for this use. Lastly, from the guide, navigate to the top right and find the cog icon in the action bar. Click on it. Go to Guide Editors then click in the box to select the names of the students you're adding.
Once saved, they'll have access to the guide and you can explain where you want them to create their content. Consider letting them work in groups if there are a lot of them by assigning several people to work on a tab/page. Collaborating is a useful lifelong skill!
They're Building More Than a Guide...They're Building a Place as Digital Citizens
Make sure your students include their names and a well thought out picture to help them claim ownership of the content they're creating and sharing. For some, this may be one of the first times they've created actual content beyond social media posts, responses, and pictures of their dinners. It's an opportunity for you to teach them about Digital Citizenship.
Often when we discuss instruction, we're referring to librarians working with students. However, instruction can also be collegial. And, that's where this tip comes in.
Take Advantage of the Footer Area
Next time you work on or update a guide, use the footer area to add in Creative Commons licensing information. This allows you to instruct other librarians on how they can use your guides and respect your authorship.
The creativecomons.org site says Creative Commons licenses help creators, "...retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve."
The LibGuides community is an incredible one with more than 607,000 guides. It would be prudent to clarify what you're willing to allow with regard to your work.
Forget the Labels That Came in the Box. Focus on the Particulars.
There is a terrific amount of work that is going into the LibGuides you're building and sharing at your library. The work shouldn't stop at providing excellent content. Are patrons finding them? Consider the names or labels under which the guides are being filed away. Do they accurately describe the collection of guides? If you can do better than guide type labels like General Purpose or Topic Guide, or if you're a public library and Course Guide doesn't apply, don't stick with what was preloaded into the system. Go to Admin > Look and Feel > Language Options> Global and customize the options from there. Sometimes instruction happens in the earliest most obvious stages. Teaching patrons how to approach your system is a great start.
If you missed SpringyCamp 2019 this year, you can still enjoy the terrific presentations by watching the recordings. Zoe Rath, who was most recently the Manager of Collection Development at Berklee College of Music, shared her presentation called Moving Beyond Subject-Focused LibGuides. If you've been thinking about other ways you can use your LibGuides system, this is a must-see!
Training webinars are certainly part of this age of instruction. They're the best way to get the basics or to learn how to approach particular features or to explore exciting projects via integration. Our training sessions are always free, designed with librarians in mind, and are set up to help you succeed. Make sure to mark these upcoming webinars on your calendar. Attend as many as you like.
Have you had a chance to check out the Springshare Help Center's Springboards? They're guides designed to be a big-picture overview of key concepts, workflows, and tasks. Today, you should delve into the Publishing Workflows feature in LibGuides CMS. If you're not using it yet, you'll learn what it's all about.