Libguides and UX

Wiegand, Laura K. Wiegandl at UNCW.EDU
Mon May 5 17:38:06 EDT 2014

Hi all,

I am interested in opinions on Libguides from UX, web and system librarians. We are a medium academic library that several years implemented Drupal as our CMS and created custom subject guides ( that re-used data from other parts of our site, could be integrated with other parts of our site, that I thought were more usable and looked neater (as in clean) than Libguides.  Fast forward 5 years later and we've hired some librarians who come from Libguide schools who really want them. I can't deny that the Drupal guides need a facelift both on the front end, but more importantly on the editing side, and doing so can be bumped to the top of my to-do list because we need to migrate to Drupal 7 anyway.

My question is, should I give in to the dominance of Libguides? My resistance is based on these principles:

*         Students don't notice the tabbed navigation and subpages

*         Students find the inconsistency of libguides confusing, i.e., some librarians put best bet databases in one box, some put them in a different place.

*         Students want efficiency, and so prefer simple (but not boring) layout

*         Students are pushed to yet another different looking library interface

*         Libguides is just another silo of data (i.e., another eResources A-Z, another list of librarians, not integrated with the main website)

*         Librarians can create new guides extremely easily, so there tends to be a crazy proliferation of one-off guides.

*         It's librarians, not students, that really love libguides.

*         We would be paying for a service that we can support in house via a CMS

I understand that Libguides are great for libraries that don't have their own CMS, or strong IT support.  I also understand that there are template adjustments that can be made and style guides that can be written.

Am I right, wrong? Are they really that awesome, or do they come with their own set of UX and data problems that would be better served by an in-house CMS?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, Laura

Laura K. Wiegand
Coordinator of Discovery Services
William M. Randall Library<>
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5616

wiegandl at
Phone: (910) 962-3680


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