New this fall, Thompson Library has acquired access to the springshare software, LibGuides, and our librarians are delighted with the potential to deliver information in a clean, simple format targeted directly to our users who need that information.
LibGuides is an online accessible library tool which allows our librarians to create more than just simple subject bibliographies.
They can now provide virtual one-stop centers for access to subject-specific library resources and information, organizing everything faculty and students might need to complete their research in one place and in simple easy-to-use format.
Each of our librarians have been busy this summer creating several new guides that range in subject matter from Art through Women’s & Gender Studies (alphabetically speaking) — and everything in between.
Many more guides will be coming throughout the fall and winter as new uses are found for the software that can provide quick and easy access to resources (both print and online), resources that can sometimes be obscure or difficult to locate will now (through LibGuides) be available in a central location.
While the guides vary greatly in subject matter, the organization of the new UM-Flint LibGuides remains constant, making them easy to navigate and even easier to use.
Each guide begins with a welcome (or home) page. Across the top of the guide are several tabs in dark blue, each tab identifying the sort of information found within.
Each tab may have additional sub-levels (appearing as a drop-down list when user does a mouse-over above a tab).
Each level provides a new page.
Each page contains information related to locating (and using) various resources that are specific to the subject of the guide.
This may include a simple bibliography list of books and their call numbers.
It may also include a list of online resources and databases containing relevant data.
For lists of online resources, each item in the list may also be a live link, taking the user directly to the source for quick access to any item described within a list.
Each guide may also contain useful information on how to conduct research in a given area, instructions for using various tools and databases or other information useful to the researcher.
What else might a user find in a LibGuide?
Perhaps quick-links back to other library services, such as Mirlyn, Interlibrary Loan, RefWorks — or even other LibGuides.
The guides provide librarians with the ability to insert useful widgets into pages as well, so you might find a widget that lets you chat in real time with a reference librarian.
Or you may find another widget that lets you search Mirlyn, Course Reserves or Summon directly from a guide page without having to navigate back to the library home page.
As instructors, you may want to assigned your class a research project that requires your students to use library resources. You can work with your liaison librarian to include a LibGuide page for your course with special instructions or links specific to your assignment.
LibGuides do not require login. Information within any online LibGuide is open to public view.
As such, the guides do NOT take the place of library Course Reserves (which protects copyright requirements and restricts access of online resources to only currently registered Flint students via login, or by recognizing a computer physically on Flint campus via IP address).
However, the new LibGuides are a great place to direct students to begin their research.
And instructors can work together with their librarian to customize a LibGuide to improve research support for you (as the instructor), your students and your discipline.
LibGuides. A new way to provide information to the people that need it, when they need it.
LibGuides help us to better fulfill our Library motto:
Linking People with Ideas!