I love LibGuides! I have created several for the academic library I work in, and while I am still learning all the possibilities, it is quite easy to jump right in and get started. This is probably the key to their success: you don’t need any sophisticated programming or design skills to create a good solid guide. The hardest part about LibGuides is figuring out how to pronounce LibGuides (to resolve this dilemma, I propose the name be changed to ‘BraryGuides).
At the college where I work, the library currently has no control or influence over our own website. We are lucky to at least have a link on the site to our LibGuides. Despite our lack of control over our own website, we have been able to create online content for and about our library using LibGuides. For example, I created a guide called Zollinger Library, and on this guide, we can put information about the library and our services, and this can be updated in a flash. We have been able to gain some control over the online presence of our library.
Not all libraries have the kind of road blocks we have when it comes to their websites, but the ease of creating LibGuides opens up the possibility of creating online content to everyone on the staff, regardless of their technical knowledge. Library employees can create guides about any area of expertise, interest, or passion. It is possible to respond quite quickly to patrons’ needs and interests. I recently learned that an American Studies class had an upcoming assignment to give an oral presentation about the Civil War in the southwest. I immediately began working on a LibGuide and accompanying book display to suggest and promote the resources that could be used for the assignment.
LibGuides has hit on a winning combination of ease and usefulness, and it’s no wonder they are so popular.