As many of you know, the last six months have been one of webpage upheaval for me and our library. After a 10 year love (sometimes hate) relationship with FrontPage, I found myself missing the web authoring software after our district made the decision to transition to SharePoint. FrontPage is going away, so it is logical that we needed to move to something that would receive technical support.
While SharePoint has some great features, the templates created for the media centers are extremely restrictive and just do not meet the needs of the webpages and research pathfinders I need to design for our students and teachers. in the spring, I tinkered with PBWiki—while I do like PBWiki (the web 2.0 version), I was not able to embed code for everything I wanted to embed. I then looked at LibGuides over the summer, but it didn’t seem to meet my needs at the time given the pricepoint, which while reasonable, was not in my budget at that time. In addition, there was a lag in some of the communication (partially due to the fact that some of my email went to spam because of email server filters).
Ruth and I tinkered with Google’s web pages in August, but we found they did not embed code for widgets very well, so we jumped ship to Wikispaces. While I am not 100% thrilled with Wikispaces, it gets the job done, and it is very easy to embed code and widgets most days.
However, while reading the InfoEagles Library blog from Twitter friend Elisabeth Abarbanel (http://twitter.com/eabarbanel), I am seriously giving LibGuides a second chance! The interface still has a clean look to it, but it appears more features are now available, including a “Share This” application and a printer friendly icon. I like how Elisabeth has incorporated resources as well as tabs for different resources students can use as part of the research project and research pathfinder design. The layout is clean and organized, and it seems like it is easy for students to see the information in each “box”.
I also like the widgets and Facebook app available, too! I don’t recall these features from my summer 2008 trial, but I may have simply overlooked them. The widgets and Facebook app would make it easy to publish and promote our pathfinders from our SharePoint “home” portal as well as our blog.