Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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LibGuides 2.0 Switchover Updates

The library LibGuides Committee1 has been working through the details of implementing LibGuides 2.0, a redesigned and rewritten version of LibGuides. Last week we had several productive meetings to explore different aspects of this transition, and I wanted to give everyone an update on our progress and what to expect.

Going Live

Since we are going live with Summon 2.0 at the end of this semester the committee felt that an August rollout in time for Fall semester was best.

Migrating LibGuides 1.0 into 2.0

Springshare can migrate our content from the old version of LibGuides into the new version, but they can only do that once. We need to decide when we want to migrate:

  • Early Summer: this gives the most time to work on new guides when they are not live, but any important changes will need to be made in both LibGuides 1.0 and LibGuides 2.0.
  • Late Summer: if we migrate just before we go live, we may have to do some cleanup on live guides before Fall semester starts. However, over the summer you will only need to maintain LibGuides 1.0 versions.

If we end up migrating later in the summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t start making changes to your existing guides in LibGuides 1.0. Those changes will migrate into the new system (and more folks will have gone through migration, meaning that Springshare will work out more kinks before it is our turn).

LibGuides Best Practices Template

Last summer, the LibGuides committee developed a “Best Practices” template that encouraged a standardized homepage layout with standardized tabs and labels. The template will easily migrate into the new LibGuides infrastructure with no major changes. We are working to get a sample of the Best Practices template up in LibGuides 2.0 and will share that soon.

Database A-Z Table

We currently use a home-grown Database A-Z/Subject list made by the intrepid folks on the GVSU Web Team. The LibGuides 2.0 project has a more robust A-Z list built-in, and consolidating all of our public-facing database management tasks into one system would have some great benefits:

  • Provides a less-fractured experience for patrons (since only one place to find Databases)
  • Gets folks into Research Guides who otherwise wouldn’t visit (DB are in the top 5 visits always, LibGuides are around #26)
  • Simplify the workflow for managing databases for both the ERMS team and R&I
    • No more asking Jeff to add databases to your subject list - you can do that yourself!
    • When ERMS updates a link in the master list it will fix links in every LibGuide automagically.

That said, we still have a few questions about how this transition would work:

  • LibGuides has built-in A-Z and Subject listings, but how would we do databases by format? (We have some ideas)
  • How easy is it to add multiple subjects to a database? Is that something that “Librarian” level accounts can do, or is that only a task administrators can do?
  • How do databases display on automatically generated “By Subject” pages - can we order them or is it alphabetical?
  • Won’t have the categories “Most Useful” and “Also Useful.” See the above point about ordering - without these categories we need a way to order the databases.
  • How can we flag items as to the level of full-text or scholarly content? Is anyone using that information now?2

Several of these questions can be answered by simply playing with the tool, so in the next week I’ll be loading some Databases in and tinkering with it. I’ll write up the results from our tests (and the answers to questions we ask Springshare) soon.

The group felt that the benefits of consolidation were worth trying. Jeff also made the point that if we find the LibGuides Database A-Z list doesn’t work for us, we can always go back to our home-grown solution.

The committee will meet again in a few weeks to discuss our findings, and we’ll be sure to update you on our progress. Until then, if you have any questions shoot me an email.

  1. The LibGuides committee is Kim, Hazel, Judy, Gayle, me, and Beth (the chair).
  2. It’s hard to tell if folks “use” this, because very few people sort the tables by these features. Since they are visible on the results pages, people just scan them when looking at the results pages. I suspect we’ll be doing some usability tests on the database list this summer, so I’ll try to ask some questions that can give us insight into how folks see that page.