Shannon Roddy and Amy Taylor, both from American University Washington College of Law, gave an energetic and engaging presentation on the many uses of libguides.
(First, we must deal with the question of pronunciation: are they LIB-guides or LIBE-guides? Our presenters fall squarely on the side of LIBE-guides, while I am more of a LIB-guide person. And so the debate continues…)
Focused more on the creative side than the technical side, this presentation was filled with imaginative ways to use libguides: from the more common uses of subject research guides and course materials, to “survival guides” (surviving your first year of law school or your summer clerkship) and highlights of specific programs and events at your school or firm. From basic information centers on circulation policies to showcases of rare books. One libguide idea that I found especially interesting was having a libguide for each faculty member, with one tab for publications, one for the CV, one for teaching materials, and so on.
The advantages of libguides are many: they can generally be created without the help of IT, so content is entirely in the hands of librarians. They can be enhanced by branding, as well as multiple medias—embedded documents, pictures, and videos. As such, they can appeal to several different types of learners, including visual and auditory.
The session closed with tips for librarians using libguides (monitor the libguides regularly to make sure they’re still current, and bear in mind that there is only so much customization that can be done), and then we broke into small groups at our tables to share our own experiences with libguides.
A really excellent session—I left with several ideas about libguides at my own library.