Libguides and UX

Cabus, Michael CabusM at PHILAU.EDU
Mon May 5 18:33:11 EDT 2014

  I wish I could find it...but can't;

I saw a great presentation on ux and libguides...the presenter, towards the start, just showed a series of say, 20 slides, that showed random libguides from universities...I don't remember if she included horror music, but watching that slide show was...horrifying to say the least...(this was her point and she was nice enough to mark out the library names, and promised us it was a random sample).

She was questioning our reliance on them, and really, I do too...the best use I have seen for them is integration within a discovery, if someone does a search on an engineering topic, the guide comes up..

Would perhaps other formats be better?  An interactive slide deck or presentation?  An interactive ebook? There are many new media out there...and maybe we should explore those instead?

Michael Cabus

From: Web technologies in libraries [WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU] on behalf of David Holt [dholt at SCU.EDU]
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: [WEB4LIB] Libguides and UX

Interesting question.  My opinion is that you may have these same problems using a CMS (such as Drupal) as you would libguides.  Both systems need a style guide to ensure consistency and meet patron expectations.

I was very reluctant to adopt libguides in my library for the same reasons you are listing here.  We were a late adopter.  However, after we purchased a subscription I did see the value.  For one, the SEO on libguides is quite high so you are going to attract traffic that you would otherwise not get.  If your library provides public services, or you simply want to raise the public profile of your library, then this may be valuable.

In terms of interface consistency, I think we are going to see a lot of libraries use Libguides 2.0 (which is just now coming out) as their main library interface.  There are a number of advantages of doing that (ease in creating search widgets, refreshing the content on the library's landing page, use of Bootstrap for mobile usage, ease in adding dynamic content, etc.).

Just my $.02,


On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM, Wiegand, Laura K. <Wiegandl at<mailto:Wiegandl at>> wrote:
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<tel:%28910%29%20962-3680>


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Electronic Services Law Librarian
Heafey Law Library
(408) 554-5195



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