Tag Archives: LibGuides

Tech Sharecase, 8 March 2013


We looked under the hood of Kaltura to see how tags and categories are set up and what analytics are available.

Draft of Wall Street Journal LibGuide

To make it easier to see all the print and online options for the Wall Street Journal, a new LibGuide is in the works. We previewed the new guide, which also features instructions with annotated screenshots of how to get to the News Pages feature in Factiva. We also discussed whether it would be worthwhile to do a similar page for the New York Times.

Screen Capture Software

We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Captivate and Camtasia for video screen captures and SnagIt for image capture.

Guide on the Side

The library website for the University of Arizona features tutorials that appear to the left of selected databases. The libraries at the university developed their own open-source software (available for download) that others can use to design their own tutorials. Examples of some tutorials:


We looked at examples in Factiva where the content found in search results actually links you out of the database and onto other parts of the web; some of those sites you are directed to are open, others are paywalled!

Google Sets

If you are creating a spreadsheet in Google Docs and want to create a list of similar items in a column, you can type two sample items in separate cells (such as pigeons and ducks) then easily have Google Sets supply in cells in the column additional items that are similar in nature. While the example on this page just shows days of the week as items you might want to auto-fill in a spreadsheet, it works with lots of other things as well (cities, colors, kinds of dogs, etc.) More details can be found on this post on the Google Operating System blog.




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Running Reports on Your LibGuides

Thanks to the “Statistics” module in LibGuides (you have to log in to see it), you can run reports that can help you answer questions like:

  • On this particular guide I did, what links are getting clicked the most and the least?
  • Which page on this guide is getting the most views?
  • Which guide of mine has gotten the most views?

If you’re interested in looking at statistics that cut across all of our LibGuides, you can do fun things like run a report on the Databases page to see what database links are most often clicked on during a specific time period:

Database links on Databases page ranked by clicks--26 Dec 2012 through 22 Jan 2013

Or you can see what LibGuides got the most page views during a time period you define:

Most popular LibGuides between 1 Jul 2012 and 22 Jan 2013

How to Get to the Statistics

  • Login at the “Admin Signin Link” on the top right of any LibGuide
  • Once you’re logged in, click “Statistics” from the yellow bar at the top of the page:

LibGuides--Statistics on dashboard

  • Use the drop down to select which guide of yours you want to analyze:


  • The default report you’ll see for any guide you select focuses on the pages in that guide and ranking them by views:

Default report view

  • Click “Links” to run a report listing the links on your guide as ranked by clicks:

Stats on links on Psychology LibGuide

For the report on links, keep in mind this important caveat noted in the Springshare documentation:

Links is a sum of the clicks on specific content in your guides; these clicks are tracked in Simple Web Links, Links and Lists, Books from the Catalog, Documents and Files, and Dates and Events box types. They are not tracked in the Rich Text Box.

In other words, links you’ve manually added in blank spaces in various boxes won’t be counted; links that have been added using the link lists feature will be counted:

What links are counted


Feel free to ask me for help running and interpreting these reports.

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Tech Sharecase, 14 September 2012

NFC (Near Field Communication)
We watched this video to learn more about this new technology that is increasingly being found in new smart phones.

The video shows how small tags that look like little stickers can be programmed to communicate with NFC-enabled phones and transmit messages or commands to the phone.

Mobile Device Usage at Each CUNY Campus
We took a look at the latest annual “Student Experience Survey” (pdf) from CUNY’s Office of Institutional Research to see data on what technologies students use regularly (see table 6a, which begins on page 22). We were surprised that 74% of Baruch students report regular use of a smart phone, a number higher than what we had expected.

We shared a number of hacks and workarounds for LibGuides.

Make the tabs for a page taller by inserting the HTML tag <br> in between two of the words in the page name:

For an example of a guide with tall page tabs, see Sandy Roff’s recent guide to European history.

We also talked about the custom fields that we can add to the template for all librarian profile boxes. Those fields could include things like space for a biography, recent publications, courses taught, etc. The admins for our account can set this up. For details on what’s involved in setting it up (just a few minute’s work), see this help guide from Springshare: Additional Fields – Profiles in LibGuides.

If you want to link to a specific box on a specific page, you can get the URL for that box by following these steps:

  1. Click “Edit” in the top right corner of the box you are interested in and then select “Edit Box Info” from the sub-menu that appears.
  2. In the “Edit Box Info” window that opens, click the tab labeled “Box Link and Embed Code”
  3. The URL for that box should be the first thing shown on the tab you’ve opened. Copy that URL and use wherever you want to send your user straight to that specific box.

If we want to republish a box on some other web page (such as a page on the library website), you can just grab the embed code that appears in the same place you get the box link.

Finally, we looked at the way that you can use an image instead of text for a link. When you are adding links in a “Link Box” you can use the HTML for an image in the “link title” field:

So on the “Managing the Sources You Find” box on the guide for undergraduate honors theses, the link for Zotero doesn’t just have the plain text “Zotero” but instead an image found on the Zotero website. You can find the URL for an image you want to use this way by going to another site with the image you want and then right clicking on the image; after you right click, look for a menu option labeled “copy image location.” That will grab the URL for the image that you’ll need when you are adding the link in your LibGuide.

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Tech Sharecase, 9 May 2012

We discussed the Viewshare service from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress. Viewshare is a free service for exhibiting digital collections. Linda led the discussion as she’s using Viewshare for displaying information pertaining to film festivals as part of project she’s working on.

We also spent some time deliberating on how to list databases on the new redesigned website and looked at examples of how other libraries have used LibGuides to do so.

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Consistent Themes with the New Library Website Design

I’ve run across NYU’s website and am impressed at how their LibGuides incorporate the overall Library website design and theme. Rather than looking like the separate platform it is, it conforms to the overall appearance with colors and typography. I hope we can achieve something similar with the redesign for our LibGuides and other integrated platforms.

NYU Website Homepage

NYU Website Homepage

NYU LibGuides

NYU LibGuides

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Tabs and Interior Pages in LibGuides

There’s an interesting thread of comments on the Academic Libraries group on the Springshare Lounge about the problem of students not noticing that LibGuides have tabs and thus missing all the other pages. A couple of solutions have been proposed so far:

  • Add a table of contents box on the home page that offers links to each page in your guide (many of us already do this)
  • Add a HTML break tag when you are typing in the page title so that the tab is taller than usual (see this “Company Research” guide from Eastern Michigan University for an example)
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Tech Sharecase, 22 July 2010

Janey Chao, Stephen Francoeur, Ellen Kaufman, Jim Livornese, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman, Kevin wolff

We discussed Steven Bell’s study of LibGuides (pdf), which he presented at 16th Annual Reference Research Forum at the ALA Annual Meeting this year. Bell asked whether LibGuides help students do better research? The results of the student were inconclusive.

Gartner Research
On the CUNY Portal, we have limited subscription to Gartner Research (we do have access to the magic quadrant charts).

IT Needs for the Library
Jim Livornese asked us to talk about what IT needs the library has. Suggestions we discussed included:
  • better, faster, more stable PCs at the ref desk (the best we can offer) that have dual monitors (one angled for the patron, another for the librarian) and speakers (so we can play videos to patrons as needed)
  • digital signage
  • longer period for guest logins (2 days? 3 days? 1 week?)
  • better sense of who to contact in BCTC for what
  • software that makes image on instructor’s classroom PC display on the student PCs
  • multiple projection screens in the classrooms (and more whiteboards)

BCTC Projects
Jim Livornese ran through a list of projects that BCTC will be looking into or developing further: podcast producers, Boxee, iTunes U, media development, etc.

We watched the BYU video that was just released and parodies a recent ad campaign from Old Spice. Here is the BYU library video:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/2ArIj236UHs” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Here is the original Old Spice commercial:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/uLTIowBF0kE" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

It was noted that Yale and Middlebury have similarly well-produced videos for aimed at attracting applicants.

RSS Reader in Microsoft Office 2010
The new version of Outlook in Microsoft Office, which we are all getting in our desk PCs soon, has a RSS reader built in.
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New Features in Profile Pages in LibGuides

When you create a LibGuide, the system also creates a separate profile page about you (based on the profile information that you provide). I just noticed today that that the template for those profile pages have expanded greatly. Now, in addition to your basic contact information being listed, there are additional tabs of info that you can add content to:

  • Office Hours. I just put 9-5 for mine.
  • More Information. You can put whatever you want here. I put code in for a widget that displays my availability information from my Outlook calendar. When we get that CV system up and running, maybe we’ll be able to republish selected info from it here.
  • Guides. This tab automatically lists each the subject guides that you are the author of.

Here’s my newly customized profile page.

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    Unusual Uses of LibGuides

    In addition to using LibGuides to create subject pages and course pages, libraries have used LibGuides for a few other interesting projects:

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    Usability Tests of LibGuides

    A post on the course blog for Meredith Farkas’ social software class at San Jose State University’s SLIS program points to a number of formal and informal usability studies of LibGuides that are worth browsing:

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