Session Title

Guiding the Way Forward: Mobilizing Staff to Build a User-Centric LibGuides Collection

Description

In July 2018, the College of Charleston Libraries hired a new Virtual Services Coordinator as well as a new User Experience Coordinator. These librarians, in addition to their reference and instruction duties, inherited oversight of a suite of Springshare products, including an extensive collection of LibGuides. Despite using guides for most library web pages, content and design had not been systematically reviewed since migration to LibGuides v2 in 2014. With departmental support, the newly hired librarians have set a goal of establishing and implementing best practices for guide development and maintenance that are informed by user research, universally designed (with special attention on reducing cognitive load), and feasible for librarians to keep up with alongside of various other duties. So far, a number of non-Springshare tools, including browser plug-ins and Google Forms, are being utilized so that part-time and student staff can assist with checking guides for broken links, even if they do not have a LibGuides account. Enlisting help from these staff makes the project more manageable for overstretched librarians, who then have more time to implement deeper changes to their guides. Best practices for designing, standardizing, and maintaining guides are being written. A plan for usability testing based on an existing student library advisory board is currently in the works. We envision an ongoing program of review, testing, and revision to foster a dynamic, user-centered web experience.

Start Date

20-3-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

20-3-2019 4:30 PM

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Mar 20th, 3:30 PM Mar 20th, 4:30 PM

Guiding the Way Forward: Mobilizing Staff to Build a User-Centric LibGuides Collection

In July 2018, the College of Charleston Libraries hired a new Virtual Services Coordinator as well as a new User Experience Coordinator. These librarians, in addition to their reference and instruction duties, inherited oversight of a suite of Springshare products, including an extensive collection of LibGuides. Despite using guides for most library web pages, content and design had not been systematically reviewed since migration to LibGuides v2 in 2014. With departmental support, the newly hired librarians have set a goal of establishing and implementing best practices for guide development and maintenance that are informed by user research, universally designed (with special attention on reducing cognitive load), and feasible for librarians to keep up with alongside of various other duties. So far, a number of non-Springshare tools, including browser plug-ins and Google Forms, are being utilized so that part-time and student staff can assist with checking guides for broken links, even if they do not have a LibGuides account. Enlisting help from these staff makes the project more manageable for overstretched librarians, who then have more time to implement deeper changes to their guides. Best practices for designing, standardizing, and maintaining guides are being written. A plan for usability testing based on an existing student library advisory board is currently in the works. We envision an ongoing program of review, testing, and revision to foster a dynamic, user-centered web experience.