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Five Tips for Letting LibGuides be Your “Voice”

December 1, 2018

Your library’s LibGuides are an intricate part of your advertising scheme to attract and disseminate information for your students. In the Springshare’s October 2018 issue of SpringyNews, the author offers five creative pointers for making your library’s LibGuides proactive in drawing the attention of your students. Refine your ‘voice’ and let your LibGuides do the talking for you!

The first tip is not to come across as a salesperson with a crafty pitch about how awesome the library’s resourceful tools and programming can be for its patrons. This can dissuade your students from wanting to delve any further into what the library has to offer and that necessary human connection can be lost. Instead, weave your LibGuides into a story of how you personally discovered a problem and the action you took to fix it. Was your library’s website not accessible? Did your library not offer adequate interlibrary loan services? When you discover a problem which your students are encountering, you can construct a LibGuide which helps to explain the problem, showcases the steps taken by the library to address the issue, and also provides context by conveying just why it was in need of resolution. Further, you can promote your library by putting the spotlight on your students, especially if your library was significant in assisting that student with an obstacle or question. Create a LibGuide which capture’s the attention of your audience with an engaging narrative that communicates the feelings and emotions which the patron felt. These measures will open the receptivity of your patrons and will come across as being more genuine and less cold.

The second tip is to make sure your LibGuides URLs are as descriptive as possible, and not as short as possible. Shorter is not necessarily better. There can be a tendency to think that in order for the URL to be friendlier to use, it has to be shorter, right? The answer is no. Web resources are much more likely to be clicked on when patrons can decipher what the website contains via the URL. Therefore, keyword use in a URL is a ranking factor! Try these five tips for creating descriptive-friendly URLs:

  1. Match your URL to the title of the LibGuide.
  2. Omit stop words: and, or, the, but, of, a
  3. Use dashes (-) and not underscores (_) to separate your keywords.
  4. Always use lowercase.
  5. To avoid making your URL appear spam-ish, omit keyword repetition.

Location is the third tip for spicing up your LibGuides. Be where your students are, whether that be inside Blackboard, Canvas, or Desire2Learn. Put your content where students will not overlook it! Students are going to spend a good chunk of time each week looking through their courseware tools. What better way to catch their attention than by creating LibGuides for their particular courses to appear right as they log in to their courseware tool page?

Who is reading your LibGuides blog? Did you know that there is a way to track the actual individuals who are subscribed (and who are not subscribed) to your blog? Knowing this information is helpful in tailoring your blog posts and delivery. Springshare gives the following instructions on how to retrieve this information:

From inside your LibGuides Blog (either at the guide-level or the system-
wide level) go to Blog Management > Subscribers > Export the List of  
Subscribers.

Lastly, the fifth tip to making your LibGuides pop is to create a “#TrendingNow” LibGuides widget. Your students are far more likely to delve into material if the subject matter is current and relevant to them. Do not make the topic too broad, such as a popular music LibGuide, but rather take a current trending album and break it down. Obviously, these #TrendingNow LibGuides will have a relatively short shelf life, so use tags to organize these particularly “in-the-moment” guides. Once they are considered “old news,” just simply remove the tag. Additionally, you can display all of your #TrendingNow LibGuides in one place by creating a guide widget. Follow these steps:

Log in to LibGuides > Tools > Widgets > Guides > filtered on tag = 
TrendingNow > change sort order to Date Published (newest first).

Embed this #TrendingNow widget on your library’s homepage, blog, and LibGuides A-Z list!

 

 

 

“5 Tips for Letting LibGuides be Your ‘Voice'” is from the October 2018 newsletter for Springshare.
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