A week or so ago, my library’s subscription to LibGuides went live! I have designed three research pathfinders so far, and I am totally in love with the clean design I can produce with ease. I had looked at LibGuides last summer but held off on purchasing as our district was in the midst of a major web authoring software transition. Thanks to Twitter and Library 2.0 friend Elisabeth Abarbane, I became aware of what a perfect fit LibGuides would be for me and my library program!
LibGuides allows you to integrate your favorite Library 2.0 features, such as embedded video or SlideShare presentations, your favorite del.icio.us linkrolls, PollDaddy polls, and more! They also have their own great “in house” apps, such as an easy to add “rate this page” feature. If you use the “links and lists” feature, users can evaluate each resource you add to that box (see the link to this example).
I also love the integrated “Share This” web 2.0 feature; in addition, I love how easy it is to “Tweet” that your guide has been published. Being the widget addict I am, I also love how easy it is to create a widget for your LibGuides site! :-) Best of all, you do not not have to have any special HTML or web authoring knowledge to create professional and organized looking pathfinders—the LibGuides platform makes it easy to publish pathfinders that are easy to navigate and browe. I am incredibly happy with the content I have created and am energized by the possibilities for additional content I’ve yet to add!
They also provide extremely reasonable pricing in addition to excellent tech and customer support—I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out of thanks to my customer care specialist Mazen M. Khoury, Springshare CEO Slaven Zivkov, and the great folks in tech support who are incredibly helpful when you have a question.
While there are a few final tweaks to add, here are the three pathfinders I have created so far:
While I still love and will use the library wiki as portal, I believe LibGuides is going to eventually become our main information commons or hub by July 2009.
I feel LibGuides is going to help our library in our mission of helping our students hone their information literacy skills and prepare them for research beyond their time at Creekview—take a peek at the schools in Georgia using LibGuides!
I will be rolling out these first pathfinders next week, so stay tuned as I gather feedback from our users to help me tweak the pathfinders and to see how they like the new LibGuides platform!