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SpringyNews - Milestones

December 2020

LibGuides Tips & Tricks: Reboot for 50!

How time flies! For the 50th issue and tenth year of SpringyNews, we dug into the archives to find a few LibGuides tricks worth revisiting, especially for these 2020 times. We updated with each one too, so it feels brand new!

June 2017: Fixing Broken Connections

Three years ago, Springy Talia wrote up a great tip to prevent users from encountering the "the requested page cannot be found" error that can happen when friendly URLs change or the friendly URL's associated guide is no longer visible.

When new guides are launched, hidden, or deleted, it's easy to forget little things like URLs. Fear not! You can prevent a dead end by adding a LibGuides redirect. It'll point the old URL to the new one. This way, when a user accesses the old link, they'll automatically land on the new one!

Steps:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Metadata & URLs > Friendly URLs.
  2. Select Friendly URL > Add Redirect URL.
    1. If the old URL is assigned to a guide, find it on the Friendly URL list and delete it in the Actions column first. Otherwise, you will get a "currently in use" error.
  3. 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  • Unpublished guides that should be redirected to your website, blog, LibGuides homepage, etc.
  • Newly published guide replacing an older outdated LibGuide.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

Read the original tip in "5 LibGuides DIY Tips You Can Do in Under an Hour'ish."


2020: Friendly URL Checkup

There's a good chance you made some site changes this year. ;) Now may be the time for a friendly URL assessment!

1. Deleted guides with friendly URLs

Steps:

  1. Find friendly URLs still assigned to deleted guides.
    1. Navigate to Tools > Data Exports > Guide HTML tab. Take note of the friendly URLs listed next to guides with a "deleted on" date. If there are a lot, use the buttons in the top-right corner to export the list. Determine where, and if, each link should be redirected. 
    2. Use your judgment! If the guide was deleted a while ago, a redirect may not be necessary.
  2. Find friendly URLs assigned to unpublished guides.
    1. Head to Content > Guides and filter by Status: Unpublished. Follow the same steps as above.
  3. Use your Deleted Guide and Unpublished lists to:
    1. See if these inactive friendly URLs are still linked on your guides using the Search and Replace tool. Replace them with the new URL if it exists.
    2. Go to Admin > Metadata & URLs > Friendly URLs tab. For each friendly URL identified in steps 1 and 2 that needs a redirect, create it by following the steps in the initial list above!

October 2018: Creating Engagement Through Story

2020 was a year of rapid change in library services, and while it's tempting to announce what's new whenever and wherever you can, repeated tellings can start to sound like a sales pitch. In 2018, Springy Talia discussed the benefits of using storytelling to share a service, program, or project.

Sharing Pandemic Stories


Stories, well... they open people up. They become more receptive to hearing what you have to say. When you tell a story, it feels more genuine, and your patrons will see opportunities to connect with you.

Emotionally-connected patrons/customers become library advocates... resulting in a measurable increase in library usage.

During the pandemic, telling your story, or illustrating a patron or library need through a story, shows that you understand your patrons' needs or struggles. Creating a sense of personal understanding we all need right now.

Read the original tip that includes story and LibGuides site examples in "5 Tips for Letting LibGuides be Your ‘Voice’."


2020: Storytelling with Infographics

As you know, visuals can make stories and information more eye-catching and easier to digest. One popular way to do this is with infographics. Their combination of color, text, and imagery make them an effective way to convey a message. To ensure readability, though, there are a few things to keep in mind!

  • Use high contrast between background and text for low vision users. 
  • Large images can create loading issues for users with slow internet connections. Keep infographics concise.
  • Add alt text to all images for users who cannot load or see images.
  • Include important information, or better yet a summary of highlights, as text before or after a large infographic image.

For advanced users with coding familiarity, you can even create an infographic with HTML and CSS! This allows screenreaders to recognize and read headers and content. We created one to celebrate our 2020 milestones.

  • Head on over to check it out and download the code snippet!

December 2019: Bootstrap Alerts

Sometimes you need to catch a user's attention - whether it's a reminder, a warning, or an alert. In December 2019, Springy Laura provided some steps for creating a standout message with Bootstrap's alert classes, along with some live examples like the ones below. 

Want to use these examples? Find and copy their code using the Inspect tool.

Bootstrap's alert classes make it easy to create an attractive, standout message, although they do require familiarity with HTML and CSS. With them you can:

  1. Feature must-see alerts at the top of your library services, student success, or similar guide. 
  2. Add alerts to your storage guide, then insert them into your homepage's template. 

Watch our Training Tidbit session video for step-by-step instructions, and read the original LibGuides tip in "Small Steps, Big Impact."


2020: Alerts with Accessibility in Mind

While LibGuides is WCAG 2.1 compliant out of the box, small changes like color choices, text size, and content organization can affect the accessibility and readability of your pages. If you'd like to improve the text to background contrast of your Bootstrap alert, you can make a small CSS change!

The below alert adds an optional heading, a white background, and a thicker left side border.

Read the original 2017 LibGuides Tips & Tricks covering 5 tips for building accessible LibGuides content

If you'd like to create a similar alert, we've added a couple of code snippets below!

Note: your mileage may vary, especially if your site has CSS modifications. For an introduction to adding CSS to your LibGuides site, watch our related training session.