Testing Embedded LibGuides Content on External Sites

At my library, we’re thinking of using LibGuides to manage our database lists for the redesigned library website. I’m just experimenting here to see how well the API from LibGuides works that lets you publish a box from a LibGuide on an external website. Currently, we use a homegrown database to manage the display of databases in A-Z and subject breakdowns on the library site. We also use LibGuides for the usual kinds of subject guides. To help my colleagues who make LibGuides feel confident that the database links they use are the latest ones, I have a privately published LibGuide that maintains a canonical set of URLs. When librarians create new LibGuides and want to link to a given database, they don’t have to copy and paste URLs; instead, they can create a link that has a URL that is mapped to the canonical one. If I have to update the canonical URL in LibGuides, then all the LibGuides that use that mapped URL will automatically get updated with the latest URL.

With no effort to customize the look of this box from my philosophy subject guide, here’s a box republished via API:

Teaching in a Paperless Classroom

Last fall, I taught one of the library’s three-credit courses again. I decided to teach it in a way that would use as little paper as possible by using a combination of Google Docs, WordPress, and LibGuides. I have been meaning to write about this for months now. This morning, I did a presentation at the Teaching and Technology Conference here at Baruch College at which I spoke about my little experiment. I’m presenting my slides here as a way of sharing how it worked out for me. When I prepared my slides in PowerPoint, I typed out a script for what I would say in the notes for the slides; if you download the PowerPoint or PDF version of my slides, you’ll be see what it was that I had intended to write as a lengthy post on this blog. If you just want to take a spin through the slides, you can find them embedded below.

Gale Resource Centers and LibGuides

Watching this video from Gale about the redesign of their Resource Center products reminded me of the philosophy our library is trying to develop as we roll out LibGuides at Baruch College. The new Resource Center platform will have a much more contemporary look to it. Blocks of text are deprecated somewhat to make more room for video, photos, and other graphics. What I really like is the way a spotlight is shone on the curated aspected of the content: an “Editor’s Picks” box is one of the most prominent element on the page. In our LibGuides pages, I’m hoping that we are moving away from a kitchen sink approach to providing subject guides and more of approach that shows the expert advice of a unique individual librarian. I suspect that what can make our content connect with students is if our students sense that the resources presented are the best things to start with and represent carefully edited choices made by experts.

My Summer Projects

Personal Projects

  1. Port over the decade old content from my Teaching Librarian website into a new Drupal version.
  2. Finish editing of an article about McCarthyism and the central library of the New York Public Library. I’m hoping the journal editors will let me post a pre-peer reviewed draft online.
  3. Rework my syllabus for the LIB 1015 class that I taught for the first time this spring. Since my fall class will be part of the college’s learning communities program, my students (all first year students) will also be in a philosophy class (an intro to ethics course). The philosophy professor and I are looking for points of alignment between our courses.

Projects for My Co-workers and Me

  1. Expand my library’s collection of LibGuides.
  2. Work on ways to improve the answering percentage among the six CUNY libraries that share a group subscription to QuestionPoint (answering percentage is ratio that compares the number of questions your library puts into the cooperative service to the number of questions your library answers).
  3. Revise an old plagiarism tutorial.
  4. Write a proposal for a text message reference service.
  5. Rething the process of taking in requests for research consultations and for delegating them to librarians.
  6. Do usability testing of the union catalog shared by CUNY libraries.