LibGuides are a great way to organize information and resources for an information literacy session, a department, or some topic in library land. We can gather all sorts of stuff in one place to make life easier for our faculty and students. By doing this, we're showing that we are willing to spend the time to learn about new tools that we'll use to customize and facilitate their library experience.
When creating a LibGuide, it may be helpful to keep this three-pronged paradigm in mind:
BRAND: What will students remember? Try not to deviate too far from the template LibGuides gives us. We want the students to know they are looking at a LibGuide, at least in the beginning. Remember to consider the Big Picture, too: if we have multiple LibGuides called "Information Literacy" students will be confused. If your LibGuide is meant for a specific class, say so in the title. Likewise, if you're making a LibGuide as an all-purpose reference tool for multiple courses, put your name in the title. In other words, think of the system and its levels.
CONTENT: What do students want to know? I always pretend that my readers or listeners are asking, "What's in it for me?" or "Why should I bother giving this person my attention?" Remember to make the content you post relevant to the course assignment and/or the questions they would likely ask. Please don't do an information dump of all kinds of stuff they may or may not need in an attempt to be thorough. This just intimidates students. Avoid jargon, too. Do students really know what information literacy is? Scholarly journals are not some guy's diary, you know. Explain the jargon you use. Sometimes this can be done easily with a widget. Widgets are those boxes down the left side of this page that we've been using in the other LibGuides. It took me about a minute to import each into this guide.
FUNCTION: What do students want or need to do? Your LibGuide may be intended to help students with a particular research paper, speech or creative assignment, or it may be designed to group together and explain resources in a discipline. Keep this function in mind as you are creating.
Be creative, be focused, and remember to seek collaboration with your library colleagues and classroom faculty!
In case you are wondering, I didn't think this brand-content-function stuff on my own. It's from a great new book called The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam (Portfolio: 2008), and I thought it fit perfectly for this new LibGuide endeavor!