What criteria do you use when considering the publication of library pathfinders? Do you have procedures in place to regularly review their content and appropriateness?
These questions have been in my thoughts for some time now, and I have been prompted to write set guidelines for our staff as we move content to LibGuides.
Joyce Valenza's New Tools pathfinder has attracted much well deserved positive comment along with a suggestion for a slight reorganisation by Colette Cassinelli. This has led me to look at and evaluate Libguides content from many schools around the globe. I have taken inspiration from many, in particular from the LibGuides published by Leanne Windsor at TIGS and Cathy Oxley at Brisbane Grammar School.
In our context, several staff will have the opportunity to write and publish guides. Like Joyce and many other librarians, we have had guides in many different places and sometimes these have varied widely in standards.
The following guidelines have been written to remind us to consider as many options as possible. Your comments are welcome.
This site is the web portal to learning resources developed by the teacher librarians in conjuction with the Trinity Grammar School community of learners. http://trinity.nsw.libguides.com/index.php
Guides published here must meet the following criteria:
- Is there a demonstrated need for information on this subject?
- Has the appropriate faculty, department, subject teacher been consulted?
- Are procedures in place to notify all relevant stakeholders?
- Has a timeline been established for publication and review of guide?
Guides are to contain the following basic information:
- Guide description, includes purpose and scope of guide.
- Association to a Subject area so that guides are appropriately grouped and appear in the Subject search list
- Tags of a general nature, likely to be used by students or staff for retrieving material.
- Individual pages (tabs) within guides should be ordered alphabetically unless there are special circumstances, e.g. where HSC and IB tabs are used they should be adjacent. This rule also applies to sub-pages in dropdown menus.
- The Home page of each guide must contain a Links to Guides box in the upper left column. The contents of this box can be determined by the guide’s author, either a selection of related guides, popular guides or recently published guides.
- Each page added must include a description.
- A page should be added only when there is likely to be enough content to be used in 2 or 3 columns, i.e. enough to fill an average web screen. If there is not this amount of material, consider a box on a related page, it can always be moved to a new page should the need arise.
- Pages are to be added as tabs where possible unless sub topics clearly fit underneath a particular heading. A subject guide may have tabs for Year levels with pathfinders for those year levels as subpages.
- Pages should be hidden while editing, this applies particularly where a new page is being added to an already published guide.
- Each page should have at least one illustrative element, i.e. image, video or other visual. High quality images and screenshots should be used rather than clipart.
- Column width can be adjusted when needed, but the 3 column layout is the preferred default.
Content within guides should be selected for quality, authority, relevance and the reading level of intended audience. It should include as many of the following elements as possible:
- web links
- database search guide – list of suitable databases, recommended searches and/or journals
- embedded multimedia – webcasts, podcasts, webinars, video, audio, interactive content or any other non-textual format
- primary sources
- recommendations for mobile apps (multiple platforms)
- reading list of books, physical and/or etexts
- RSS feeds
- Recommended search terms for web, library catalogue and social bookmarking sites
- Images, charts, mindmaps, diagrams and other non-interactive representations of information
All guides are to be previewed by the Head of Information Services before publication.
Guides are to be allocated a ”friendly URL” at the point of publication.
What have I missed? Do you have further suggestions?