Monday, September 13, 2010

How LibGuides Link Librarians

I'm not sure how many of you use LibGuides at your libraries or how many of you have even heard of LibGuides. Just in case here is a little background. LibGuides is a knowledge sharing system which allows librarians to create individual guides or pathfinders that link users to library resources. While providing access to resources these guides also embrace the push towards web 2.0 by allowing librarians to share RSS feeds, podcasts, videos and polls.
I have had the pleasure of using LibGuides for the past few years while working at Ashland University and at my current position at Stark State College. I love the simplicity of creating guides for my patrons and the fact that I can update or change information in the blink of an eye. Along with the ease and enjoyment of creating LibGuides I'm finding there is an added bonus feature, so to speak.
LibGuides are a great way for librarians of all walks, to network and share ideas. I know I am always looking to my colleagues for ideas and I'm finding that LibGuides is wonderful for this! One way to gather ideas is to use the LibGuides Community Site. The Community Site is set up as a database of its own. You can search for guides by subject, school, author or keyword. I not only get ideas about guide design and layout but I find great links to online tools and resources. But this isn't the best part. If you find a guide that you would like to re-create but you don't know how or you find a tutorial created by another librarian you can contact them! Each guide has the author prominently displayed along with their contact information.
In the past three years of using LibGuides I have been contacted by four librarians from all regions of the country, asking me how I created something or asking if they could use a particular activity I posted. On the flip side, I myself have contacted numerous librarians asking them similar questions and never once has a librarian ever said "no".
So many of us are working on similar projects or putting together similar courses for our students and faculty without much time to get them done. Why reinvent the wheel when we can work as a community and share are ideas. The networking options through LibGuides and other social media tools are endless for librarians!

1 comment:

Diane Schrecker said...

Add another contact to your listing, yesterday I had an inquiry/request concerning the Learn About Our LibGuides created for ACRL 2009.