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LibGuides Best Practices

LibApps LTI

IUPUI has installed the LibApps LTI into Canvas. This means you can easily embed subject and course guides as well as databases into Canvas.

There are two ways to embed content: Manual and Automatic. (For a quick demo of both, see this video from Springshare.)

General Changes to LibGuides for Canvas Integration

Published Guide

Only published guides appear in Canvas. So, if you are not seeing a guide, it might be because it is Private. Change the status to Published in LibGuides. Your subject librarian can do this for you.

Previous/Next Button

Librarians need to uncheck the previous/next button in LibGuides you are going to use in Canvas. The previous/next button causes display issues when embedded in Canvas.

If you aren't sure if your guide has previous/next enabled, scroll to the bottom of a page, if you see arrows to the next page, then you need to disable this in LibGuides admin. Contact your Subject Librarian to do this.

Example of Previous/Next at the bottom of a LibGuide:

Screenshot of previous/next buttons at bottom of libguide

How to Disable the Previous/Next Button

  1. Login to LibGuides
  2. Go to the guide you want to disable the Previous/Next buttons
  3. Click the Layout button [it looks like a landscape] in the right-hand admin bar below the gold header bar.
  4. Click "Prev/Next Links."
  5. Make sure the box is NOT checked.
  6. Click "Save.

Screenshot of how to disable the prev/next buttons in LibGuides


Manual (LibApps Library Content)

Manual Canvas Integration

In order to add LibGuides content manually to a Canvas Course site, the instructor must add their subject librarian to the Canvas course site as a Librarian. See the IU Knowledgebase for more information about Canvas roles and how to add new users to your course.

Where to Add Content

There are several places you can enter LibGuides content into Canvas manually. The best places to add LibGuides content are: Modules, Assignments, Pages, Quizzes.

Adding content to Modules works a little differently than adding to Assignments, Pages, or Quizzes. See below for full details.

  • Modules This is a good place for a specific page or box from a guide, relevant to that specific module.
  • Assignments List of databases or resources – single page or box relevant to the assignments.
  • Pages – More general The entire guide would be good as one of the resources. In addition, you can add a list of subject databases.
  • Quizzes Tutorials that have quiz components – individual box or entire tutorial guides.

All of them have the same options to present either guides or databases.

What Content Can Be Added

  • Guides & Guide Content
    • Full LibGuide
    • Single Page
    • Content Box from a guide
  • A-Z Databases
    • All A-Z Databases
    • Databases for Specific Subject + Subject Specialists
    • Databases for Specific Subject (list only)
    • Specific A-Z Database
    • New/Trial Databases

Adding Content to Modules

  1. Click "Modules" in the left-hand navigation in the Canvas Course site.
  2. Click + to add new content to a Module. NOTE: If there are no Modules, then you'll need to add a new Module before you can add content.
  3. Add "External Tool."
  4. Choose "LibApps Library Content." NOTE: Do NOT choose "Library Research Guide." This is the name of the Automatic integration that embeds a research guide into the left-hand navigation in a Canvas course site. To configure the automatic option, see that section of this page.
  5. Choose your LibGuides site (there is only only option) = LibGuides -
  6. Choose what you want to display, guides or databases (see above for a list of the content you can add).
  7. Choose the content.
  8. Click "Embed Content."
  9. You'll go back to the External Tool pop-up, click "Add Item."

screenshots of adding libguide content to module in canvas course site

Here's what this looks like embedded.

screenshot, example of what embedded libguide content looks like in Canvas modules

Adding Content to Assignments, Pages, and Quizzes

  1. You have to add a new Assignment, Page, or Quiz to embed LibGuide content.
  2. When the new page pops-up, enter the title.
  3. Embed LibGuides content via the options above the text editor. NOTE: This may look different depending on the content you have the ability to add. Scroll through the text editor options and you should see "LibApps Library Content" as an option.
  4. As with adding content to Modules, choose your LibGuides site (there is only only option) = LibGuides -
  5. Choose what you want to display, guides or databases (see above for a list of the content you can add).
  6. Choose the content.
  7. Click "Embed Content."
  8. Click "Save" if you don't want content to be available to students right away. Click "Save and Publish" if you want the content to be immediately available to the class.

Screenshot of adding LibGuide content to Canvas course page


Automatic (Library Research Guide)

Automatically add a Course or Subject Guide to the Left-Hand Navigation in a Canvas Course Site

To add LibGuide content to Canvas automatically, your subject librarian needs to enter the Canvas course code as metadata into a LibGuide. The guide will appear in the left-hand navigation of the Canvas course site as "Library Research Guide."

Library Research Guide Button in Left-Hand Navigation in Canvas

Here's how to do that:

  1. Login to LibGuides
  2. Go to the guide you want to embed into Canvas
  3. Click the gear icon in the right-side admin options below the gold header bar.
  4. Click "Guide Metadata"
  5. A new box will pop-up.
  6. Name = lti
  7. Value = the Canvas course information. You can make this as micro or as macro as you want. See below for details. In addition, if you are working with, for example, a TLC which has three classes associated with one libguide, simply enter multiple lines of metadata.
  8. Close the box.

screenshot of LTI

Canvas Course Information - How to add to Value Field in LibGuides

All courses in Canvas have a unique name. For example, FA15-IN-POLS-Y103-23969. (If you, as a librarian, are not added to the Canvas site, you can still create this name by referencing the Course Listings.)

  • FA15 = Semester and Year ; FA=Fall ; SP=Spring ; SU=Summer
  • IN = Campus
  • POLS = Department Code
  • Y103 = Course Number
  • 23969 = Section Number

Here is how you enter the course information in the Value field, depending on the level of detail you have in the LibGuide. NOTE: There is a script enabled in the background that removes the semester information. So you do NOT enter the semester/year information.

  • If you have a Subject LibGuide that you want to display in Canvas for all students of a discipline : IN-POLS
  • If you have a Course-level LibGuide that you want to display in Canvas for all students of a course, regardless of different sections : IN-POLS-Y103
  • If you have a LibGuide for a specific section of a course : IN-POLS-Y103-23969

NOTE: More specific Values will override less specific Values in Canvas. For example, if IN-POLS is entered into the value field of the Political Science subject guide - it will display the subject guide in all POLS courses in Canvas. However, if there is a specific course guide created for POLS Y103, and IN-POLS-Y103-23969 is entered into the value field of that single guide, Canvas will display the individual course guide, not the subject guide.

Here's what it looks like in Canvas.

Canvas screenshot of automatic LibGuides integration

Reorder, Hide, and Unhide Left-Hand Navigation Options

By default, options in the left-hand navigation of a Canvas course site are displayed in the order in which they were added to Canvas. This means we can't control where the LibGuides content shows up in the list.

Make sure you don't have the Library Research Guide tab hidden. If you don't see it in your course navigation bar, it is hidden.

If you want to hide, unhide, or re-order the options, here is how you do that.

Adding a Tab to Left-Hand Nav (Manually Created Course)

The Automatic Library Research Guide feature only works for courses in Canvas that are coded as IN. For example, FA16-IN-POLS-Y103-13246.

If you have created a course manually OR the course has a non-standard code and the LTI won't work but you still want to link to a library course or subject guide in the left-hand navigation column, you'll need to add the Redirect Tool. Here's how to do that:

  1. Login to Canvas and navigate to the Canvas site.
  2. Click "Settings" in the left-hand navigation.
  3. Click "Apps" in the top navigation bar.
  4. Scroll down until you see the "Redirect Tool" which looks like a blue curved arrow. Click on it.
  5. Click "Add App."
  6. In the pop-up, name the Tool - Library Research Guide. And add the URL.
  7. Check the box "Show in Course Navigation."
  8. Click "Add App."
  9. The link will appear towards the bottom of the list of option in the left-hand navigation for the course site. To move it up higher, see instructions on how to Reorder Left-Hand Navigation Options.