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SpringyNews - Automation Magic

August 2022

LibGuides Tips & Tricks - Automate It

Creating content for multiple platforms can be incredibly time-consuming, so we've come up with some handy tips for easily sharing and automating that process. Read on to learn how to share content directly from one platform or guide to another, without the need for multiple updates or manual anything.

1. Add a Twitter Feed to Your LibGuide

From March Mammal Madness to library cat memes, there's always something fun happening in the library Twitterverse. Since we know you're already using Twitter as an outreach and engagement tool, why not add that content to a LibGuide to further its reach and keep your guides looking fresh?

Here's How You Do It

  • Start at 
    • Enter your library's Twitter handle (for example: @Springshare) and hit the icon or enter.
    • To display a list of all tweets, select the "Embedded Timeline" option. Note: the "set customization options" link will allow you to set a maximum height and/or width for the embedded feed.
    • Copy the embed code.
  • Hop on over to the LibGuide you'd like the Twitter feed to display on and Add a Box and then Add/Reorder > Media Widget.
  • Name the widget, paste the embed code from Twitter into the "Embed Code" box, hit save, and you've got yourself a Twitter feed!
embedding twitter feed as a media widget

We've added the Springshare Twitter feed to this newsletter so you can see an example of this in action.

2. Embed Your Blog in a Guide or LibGuides Homepage

LibGuides Blogs are a great way to keep staff, students, and faculty up to date about what’s happening at the library! When a blog is embedded on your LibGuides homepage or on a specific guide, it will automatically update when you publish a new post - so you won’t have to worry about sharing or updating links. 

libguide with blog

Two Ways to Embed a Blog

  1. Embed a Blog on LibGuides Homepage (Admin level users)

  • From LibGuides go to Admin > Look & Feel > Page Layout > Homepage
  • Make sure you are using the Default Homepage
  • Click on the blog option below the boxes list and then drag and drop for desired placement.
  • Your blog will now appear on the sidebar of your LibGuides Homepage!
  1. Embed as Blog on a Guide Using a Widget (Anyone can do it)

  • From LibGuides home to go Tools > Widgets > Blogs
  • Select the blog you’d like to use > Select JavaScript code as the output format> Select the display options you’d like and preview how the blog will look on the left-hand side > copy the embed code
  • Hop over to the guide you want to use and create a box > select Add/Reorder > media asset type > add a name and paste in the embed code
  • Hit Save and voila, you've embedded a blog on your guide!

3. Best Practices for Reusable Content

We've all heard the phrase, "there's no need to reinvent the wheel." Well, there's no need to reinvent the LibGuide, either! Creating reusable content for your LibGuides system is a great way to save your team time and create consistency among your Library's guides.

reuse existing content box prompt

There are two ways to reuse content boxes:

  • Mapping: This adds a box to your guide that is linked to the original box. When you update the original box, the changes will be reflected automatically in the mapped version - so it's always up to date!
    • We like this option for its automation magic!
  • Copying: This makes an unlinked copy of the box. Because it's not linked to the original, you have the ability to edit the box as much as you need.
    • We like this option for boxes that need to retain a particular style, but not all the original content. 

Springy Tips for Reusable Content

  • ​​​​​Evaluate your current guides - Take a look at the guides that have already been created. Are some of the same boxes on multiple pages? Examples could include library contact info, citation information, directions for ordering books via ILL, etc. Replace these with mapped versions of a single box so if/when you need to update them, you'll only have to do it once.
  • Create templates to promote style consistency - Featured library resources, staff picks, or departmental information might need to be different from guide to guide, but visual consistency keeps things looking professional! Create templates that staff can copy and reuse for popular content types.
  • Use reusable content to support marketing efforts - If your library publishes a newsletter, use a mapped content box to link to your newsletter on multiple guides!
  • Store everything together - When using mapped content boxes, you can only edit the original box - so we'd suggest storing all reusable content together in an easy-to-locate reusable content storage guide.

For more on how to create a top-notch reusable content guide, check out this recorded training session!

4. Embed LibGuides Content in any Webpage

We've shared some great ways to embed content directly into LibGuides, but there's a way to easily embed LibGuides content into other websites, too. The Content Box widget allows you to embed a box from one of your guides in another webpage!

Here's How You Do It

  1. From LibGuides go to Tools > Widgets
  2. Select Content Box from the top menu
  3. Select the Guide and the Content Box you'd like to create the widget for. Note: In the Look & Feel section, the format options give you two basic options, Simple or Framed. Simple embeds the widget content directly into the page. Framed displays the widget inside of an iframe element on the page. Want more on that? Check out this FAQ on the topic.
  4. Once you've made your choices, copy and paste the widget code into the HTML of your website.

Springy Tip: Combine LibGuides tricks! Adding boxes from your reusable content guide to your library website is another great way to streamline your workflow.

5. Embed Library Content in LMS Courseware Pages with LTI 1.3

Our updated LTI tool offers tailored, subject-specific resources inside all of your courseware pages. You can use the tool to deliver a customized library landing page displaying subject-specific LibGuides, Databases, E-Reserves, and subject-expert librarians right inside your Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, or any LTI-compliant LMS platform.

To top it all off, the most recent version of the LibGuides CMS LTI tool is now fully certified by IMS Global, the non-profit collaborative dedicated to edtech interoperability, innovation, and learning impact! 

There are two LTI integration options, and you can choose either or both!

  • LTI Single Course - This method gives you the ability to select a specific piece of LibGuides content (a Guide, an E-Reserves Course, your A-Z list, etc.) to display in a specific courseware page. Each course must be edited in the LMS manually.
  • Automagic - this option allows you to utilize LMS course and guide and/or E-Reserves metadata to match the relevant guide(s) and E-Reserves content to the LMS course.
    • It also comes with a handy library page where you can show matching LibGuides results and optionally embed LibAnswers chat and FAQ search widgets, LibCal Spaces and Appointment booking widgets, and subject librarians.

Understanding the Automagic LTI Tool Get started with this recorded training session!

Our LTI tool works with a number of LMS systems and setup is different for each one. As such, we've created this LibApps LTI guide with setup instructions, FAQs, and more! Totally new to the LTI tool? Visit the product highlight page for more information!