A big component of thinking on the flip side is thinking about how your patrons experience things. And that's really hard - especially from the perspective of a librarian. You can't 'unlearn' things, so it's hard to remove your predispositions. The following LibGuides Tips & Tricks give you ideas for thinking more like your patrons while still reducing your workflows and policies, and coming at things from a fresh new perspective.
- Happy LibGuiding!
Part of enacting the flip-side, is to flip your thought process on things. Entirely. Flip the script. Come at a scenario with a totally fresh perspective. And for many of you, how to handle the first page of your LibGuide deserves that fresh perspective. Some of you use it as a 'Welcome' page to introduce patrons to your guide. Others use it as a 'Hit List' highlighting the best resources on that topic.
But, what about making your first page a blog?!
Crazy? Maybe. Innovative? For sure. Let's scope it out.
Thinking like your patrons doesn't have to involve huge changes to have a big impact. Small, tiny changes can sometimes have a big result.
To that end, did you know that you can change the 'Login to LibApps' language at the bottom of your LibGuides screen? For you, it makes total sense. Login to edit my LibGuides. But thinking on the flip side, like your patrons, this might be super confusing. They might even try to login using their library account, especially since that behavior is ingrained in them from other library-owned websites.
"If they need help, they can just go to our library homepage" is a bit reductive. Sometimes, your help needs to be where they are, and not the other way around.
And if there's one thing that confuses patrons, it's library databases. Some databases are ejournals and articles. Others are databases of ebooks. And other databases can help them learn a new language. So, what exactly is a database and how do your patrons know which ones to use for their current needs?
Consider creating one that contains:
This is an optional keyword you can use to add a box to your A-Z List from one of your guides. Just replace the
HTML/CSS Knowledge Required:
The default LibGuides A-Z page has some custom stylings and if you want your newly added box to match the look and feel of that page, you'll need to add some inline CSS code.
All that stated, here is some CSS code that should give you a running start in styling your content box to look like the other side column content:
<id>in the code below with your content box id (see Step 2 above).
We often focus much of our energies on the content inside our LibGuides. Finding and adding the right resources, checking links, and more. However, we don't often think about the usability of that content. Is it too text-heavy? Are there too many instructions? Is there too much copy?
Design and usability directly impact the usefulness of your resources. Study after study shows this to be true.
And if you're thinking of ways to reduce the amount of copy on your page but still include important information, use Bootstrap Tooltips!
Now that we're hopefully on the flip side of this pandemic, Omicron strain notwithstanding, it might be time to review your LibGuides content and double-check the accuracies of your policies and procedures. For many of you, that's not currently possible - but hopefully we won't see a winter COVID spike and the 'getting back to normal' process can continue into the months beyond.
If your policies have changed in recent weeks, or months, have you remembered to check every webpage? In the early days of March 2020, when everyone was suddenly online... librarians were throwing up web content at record amounts to suddenly meet that fully online need. Using Search & Replace, you can ensure that your policy content is consistent across your many hundreds of LibGuides.