June 11, 2009
LibGuides: the Future of Research Guides?
Chances are, you’ve heard of LibGuides, a platform for creating research guides from Springshare. For any readers exhausted by all the talk of web 2.0 and the latest tech fads, put the skepticism aside, LibGuides really does live up to the hype.
Putting together a research guide with LibGuides is easy (if you can navigate your way around Microsoft Word, you can manage LibGuides). A single guide is actually multiple boxes of content, anything from database links, a catalog search box, RSS feeds, embedded videos and more. On top of that, those boxes of content can be shared across different guides; for example, if I create a box with a tutorial on terms & connectors searching, I could import that box into other research guides. There’s an investment of time required to create content on LibGuides, but the task of updating those guides should be faster than paper or regular HTML guides, and could be shared.
The other investment required is money – a LibGuides subscription ranges from $899 to $2,999 annually. However, it’s a fully hosted system, requiring no IT support or resources to setup or maintain. A number of law libraries have already jumped on the LibGuides bandwagon, and the AALL CS-SIS is maintaining a list of those libraries on their wiki.
One last thing: the exact pronunciation of “LibGuides” has been a source of some controversy (well, at least at my institution). Thankfully, the company has settled the debate in their LibGuides F.A.Q. It’s “Lib” as in “liberation”. [EF]
Editor's Note: Please welcome Elizabeth Farrell to LLB as a contributing editor. Elizabeth is the Research/Instructional Technology Librarian at Florida State University College of Law Research Center. She recently has co-developed and taught an upper level course in environmental legal research at FSU. Elizabeth received her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati and her M.S. from Florida State University. Before joining FSU, she was a senior legal research associate at LexisNexis.
Elizabeth's post on LibGuides is the first of many I believe LLB readers will find informative and stimulating. I agree with Elizabeth. LibGuides looks like a great web service for creating hosted research guides that has legs, meaning its adoption base is already sizable, continues to grow, and has, in my opinion, proved itself sufficiently that it is not a fad. I would love to use it in my little county law library but the licensing fee may be too pricey, in other words, decision pending.
Welcome aboard Elizabeth! -- Joe Hodnicki
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By the way, if you're going to be at the CALI conference next week, Gorson Russell (Duncan Law), Jennifer Behrens (Duke Law) and I will be speaking on Libguides on Friday.
Posted by: David Walker | Jun 12, 2009 1:32:20 PM
LibGuides would surely be user friendly if using it would only mean using the Microsoft Word.
Posted by: Legal Aid | Jun 11, 2009 9:19:20 PM