Skip to Main Content

SpringyNews - Are You Connecting?

September 2021

LibGuides Tips & Tricks for Making Connections

To establish a connection with someone we want to: A) be where they are, B) make them feel welcome and included once they arrive, and C) place information where they expect to find it. There are so many ways to do this, and LibGuides and LibGuides CMS are valuable tools in making these objectives a bit easier.

Here are several ideas we brainstormed, including one for those starting out with our Lean Library partnership!

Pairing an Icon Legend with Resource Icons

This summer's SpringyCamp had a stellar presenter lineup. Stellar! We found inspiration in even the smallest of mentions, like in Jessica Riedmueller, Dr. Taine Duncan, and Hannah Hanshaw's presentation Finding UNITY in the Community: LibGuides as Tools of Inclusion. Their community-driven Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Community Resources guide focuses on meeting the needs of marginalized and at-risk communities - so it's important to get the right type of information to them easily. Something simple like adding resource icons to all of their links, along with an icon legend, went a long way in quickly communicating information to their users.

We loved this idea, so we decided to provide some more detailed instructions in this issue's Tips and Tricks page.

This tip requires HTML/CSS, so we recommend taking extra precautions, like using a separate text editor and adding your custom code via a Media/Widget asset, to prevent accidentally breaking page functionality!


HTML/CSS Knowledge Required

How to Create an Icon Legend

For this SpringyNews tip, we're using LibGuides resource icons, which can be uploaded to your site's icon library and assigned to databases and link assets alike. And importantly, you can add alt text for these images that have semantic meaning (i.e., they are not purely decorative) so they are useful to those with low vision who are using a screen reader.

  1. The first step is to add your chosen icons and assign them to your databases and links, of course! In case you don't have any icons yet, follow these steps from our last issue of SpringyNews to complete this initial stage.
  2. Once added, you can grab the image's HTML to display it in your own legend. The easiest way to do this is to:
    • Head back to Content > Assets > Icons.
    • Use your browser's Inspect tool to view and copy the element.
    • Paste the HTML, which will include the image's source URL.
    • Adjust the alt text to describe the icon.
  1. Once you have your icon images, create a table using the rich text editor that has two columns and a row for each icon.
  2. In Source view, grab the table's code and paste it into a separate text editor. 
  3. In the text editor, add your image URLs to the first column's <td>. Then add your icon description to the second column's <td>.
  1. Once your HTML table is complete, paste the code into a Media/Widget asset wherever you want the legend to appear. And you're done!

and Its Legend!

Questions about adding, managing, and displaying icons and their legends? Or styling with HTML/CSS? Head on over to the Springshare Lounge! We've got some great features, including a Q&A section for just these types of questions.

Adding Custom Dublin Core Metadata for Discovery Layers (LibGuides CMS)

Connecting with your users can be as simple as being 'where they are'. Many of you already know this and integrate your LibGuides content inside of courseware tools, discovery layers, and more. But, did you know you can customize how your LibGuides content displays inside of your discovery layers?

Yes, you can! Using OAI-PMH, you can display LibGuides content in your discovery layers and any other tool able to ingest OAI-PMH formatted XML content.

Let's see how!

Display your LibGuides content inside your discovery layer!

What is OAI-PMH?

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a way of structuring metadata for interoperability between repositories. In plainer English, it allows your LibGuides content to be harvested and ingested into your discovery layer (Primo, Summon, EDS, BiblioCore, etc.) via XML. The process is automatic so as you publish and unpublish your LibGuides, that content is dynamically pushed into your discovery tool.

Not All Discovery Layers Allow for XML Ingestion

Check with your discovery layer provider to see if they allow you to setup XML integration using OAI-PMH. 

Change the 'Default' in your Discovery Layer

If you don't add custom metadata to your LibGuides, your LibGuides content will appear in your discovery layer with whatever 'default' label your discovery layer uses. 

  • Be sure to check this! Some discovery layers use 'Book' as the default. You don't want your LibGuides to be labeled under the Book type.

Each LibGuide has Dublin Core Metadata

Every LibGuide you build is formatted with Dublin Core metadata.

With LibGuides CMS you can:

  • Add additional Dublin Core fields
  • Overwrite the existing Dublin Core values

Add Custom Dublin Core Metadata

With LibGuides CMS, you can add custom metadata to each guide you build.

You can add custom metadata:

The Result!

Adding custom metadata allows you to customize how your LibGuides content displays in your discovery layer - including the ability for users to filter on it (DC:type)! 

If some LibGuides are Research Guides and others are Instructional Guides - you can customize each group of guides with their own DC:type.

Identifying Inclusively with Profile Pronouns

In case you missed it, in June we added a new default field to LibApps profiles: Pronouns! Now it's easy to let folks know which pronouns you use. 

To Add Pronouns to Your LibApps/LibGuides Profile: 

  1. When logged in, navigate to LibApps using the blue button in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on My Profile in the orange command bar.
  3. On the Profile Box tab, add your pronouns to the Pronouns free text field in the  Title / Pronouns / Image section.

Once added, your pronouns will be visible below your name wherever your profile appears in your LibGuides site and on your default LibGuides profile page (if it's enabled).

We were very excited to introduce this change as it represents a new option to make your virtual space more inclusive and welcoming to users.

While You're There...

The start of the school year is a great time to ensure your profile is current! 

  • Use the multi-line address field to add time zone and/or ORCID.
  • Update your profile image and double-check contact info.
  • Add your work-related social media accounts.
  • Embed a chat and/or Appointments widget.

Preparing Guides for Lean Library's Workflow for LibGuides

With the Lean Library's Workflows for LibGuides, you can embed your LibGuides right at the point of need. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your patrons download the Lean Library Plugin for their Chrome, Firefox, and other compatible web browsers;
  2. Inside your Lean Library Admin Dashboard – you control which LibGuides display on specific websites;
  3. So if your patron navigates to, your Google Scholar Advanced Searching LibGuide pops up!
  4. Patrons can read, dismiss, and continue on with a better understanding of how to get full-text or peer-reviewed results.


Utah State's Google Scholar LibGuide displaying as a pop-up in Chrome via the Lean Library Browser plugin


Getting started with the Lean Library Integration Add-On?
Here Are a Few Tips for Preparing Guides!

Customizing Admin Reminders

When we talk about connecting with users, those 'users' aren't always students and patrons. Connecting to our staff and other LibGuides contributors is just as important! Adding, revising, and revamping admin alert box content can keep people up to date with current policies, provide inspiration, and potentially open the door to better communication among your guide creators and managers.

  • Embed a link to the storage/blueprint guide.
  • Place shortcuts to the Help Center and LibGuides training site for staff questions.
  • Link to the Springshare Lounge for inspiration and Springy community-related questions
  • Encourage collaborators to share the preview link with other staff to prevent overinflating statistics.
  • Add a "report a problem" LibWizard form for staff to submit any changes needed to reusable content, broken database links, etc. Then admins have one place to check for updates/issues.
  • Use headers and bullet points for readability.