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LibGuides Best Practices

Assets - using and maintaining

What are assets?

With the launch of LibGuides v 2 - Springshare introduced Assets. Assets are the individual pieces of content that you add to your guides. These could be databases, books, etc. When you add content to a guide, it will automatically be added to the asset list.

The great thing about re-using assets, is that, if a link changes or a description needs to be updated, you only have to do it one time. NOTE: This doesn't apply if you copy an asset instead of solely re-using it. See below for details.

How to use an asset

If something already exists in the LibGuides Asset repository, there is no need to upload it again. Simply re-use the existing asset.

Here's how you do that:

  1. When you add content that is a database, link, media, book, document, rss feed, poll, or remote script, there will be the option to reuse existing. NOTE: with databases, there is not an option to add a new database, you must always choose a database from the A-Z database list.
  2. If you want to change the wording or otherwise alter the item you are reusing, check the box next to Copy. NOTE: This creates a NEW asset, different from the original. So if you are fine with the item as it is, do NOT check copy, as that means if it needs to be updated, it only needs to be done once, and that change pushes out to all places that have re-used the image. 

screenshot of reusing a link in LibGuides

screenshot of copy check box in reuse link

How to manage assets (edit & delete)

During your twice yearly review of your LibGuides, you should also review your list of assets. This will allow you to delete assets that are not being used.

You can also edit assets from here. So, if you have the same link on multiple guides, you can come to this one place to edit all of them.

Here is how you manage your assets:

  1. From the top Orange header bar, click Content.
  2. From the drop-down, click Assets.
  3. Under Owner, enter your last name. This will display a list of all the assets you have in LibGuides.
  4. Click the arrow next to Mapping Count. This will re-sort the list with all assets with 0 mappings first. 0 mapping means the item isn't being using on any LibGuide, and can be deleted.
  5. To delete an asset, click the x to the right of the list.
  6. To edit an asset, click the paper and pencil icon to the right of the list.

screenshots of how to edit and delete assets in LibGuides

Check PDFs for Basic Accessibility

Any PDFs you add to your LibGuides should be accessible. To check your PDF to ensure it is accessible, follow these steps in Adobe PDF:

  1. Open the PDF.
  2. Click "Tools" in the top header bar.
  3. Under "Protect & Standardize," click "Accessibility."
  4. Once "Accessibility" is activated, click it in the right-side navigation.
  5. A list of options will pop-up, click "Full Check."
  6. "Accessibility Checker Options" will pop-up, you can just leave everything as it is, then click "Start Checking" in the bottom right corner.
  7. In the left-hand column, a list will appear with any issues.
  8. For basic accessibility, expand "Document."
  9. If  "Image-only PDF" has a green check box and says passed, then the document is accessible to screen readers.
  10. If your PDF does not pass, then you'll need to do one of the following: remove the PDF; provide a text version transcript of the PDF; or find a better version of the PDF that is not image only.

How to add databases from A-Z

[How to add databases from A-Z]

1) Click Add / Reorder drop down menu

How to add databases from A-Z list

2) Choose Database

Choose Database from the Drop Down Menu

3) Search your database

Search for Database and Save

4) Put your own description if you want and save

Put your own description

Images - alt text and sizing

In order to ensure images are ADA compliant and size properly regardless of the screen on which they are being viewed, for every image you use in a LibGuide:

  1. Enter a meaningful Alternative Text. Try to describe the image as completely, but succinctly, as possible.
  2. Use % instead of fixed numbers (e.g., 200) for the image width and/or height. Just enter 100% (or whatever percentage you want) in the width field. Delete any default height number that may appear as that can distort the image.

screenshot of image properties box in libguides

Moving Content (Pages, Boxes, Box Content)

NOTE: To move content, you must be in Firefox. You can add content to LibGuides in Chrome, but you cannot MOVE content in Chrome.

Moving Pages

To move the pages of your guide (the tabs in the left-hand navigation of a guide):

  1. Click the PAGE link to the right of the PAGE URL towards the top of the page.
  2. Under Reorder/Move, click Pages.
  3. A pop-up will appear listing all the pages in the guide. Drag/drop the pages to the order in which you want them. NOTE: From here you can also make pages sub-pages or pull them out to be top-level pages.
  4. Click Save.

screenshot of LibGuides - moving pages

Moving Boxes

You can rearrange boxes within a page, OR move a box to another page on the guide.

To move boxes on a page of your guide:

  1. Make sure you are on the page of the guide that has the boxes you want to move.
  2. Click the PAGE link to the right of the PAGE URL towards the top of the page.
  3. Under Reorder/Move, click Boxes.
  4. A pop-up will appear listing all the boxes on that page. Drag/drop the boxes to the order in which you want them. NOTE: From here you can move a box to another page in the guide. But you will want to also go to that page to reorder the boxes - as the boxes default to bottom of the column when you move them to another page. Also, note that there may be hidden boxes from LibGuides version 1 when we had three columns instead of two. So if you see any hidden boxes (they will be indicated as such) - drag them to column 1 so they are visible.
  5. Click Save.

screenshot of libguides - moving boxes on a page

Moving Content within a Box

There are two ways to reorder the content of an individual box on a page.

Option 1:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the box and click Add/Reorder.
  2. At the bottom of the pop-up, click Reorder Content.
  3. The box appearance will change so that you see the type of box. Drag to reorder the box content how you want it.
  4. Click Save.

screenshots of libguides - moving box content

Option 2:

  1. On the page that has the box content you want to reorder, click the PAGE link to the right of the PAGE URL towards the top of the page.
  2. Under Reorder/Move, click Content Items.
  3. All the boxes on the page will shift into reorder mode. Move the box content for any box.
  4. Click Save in the box you reordered.

screenshot of libguides moving box content

Use multiple box types within one box

You can mix and match box types. So, for example, you can have plain text, then a database link, then a book, then more text, then a link to a website.

For example,

screen shot of LibGuides showing different box types together in one box

Here is how you do this:

  1. Add a box to a page. Click Add Box - Column 1.
  2. In the new box, click Add/Reorder.
  3. Choose the type of content you want to add. (See here for explanations of the different box types.)
  4. Continue Add/Reorder, until you have the box content as you want it.
  5. If you want to change the order of the content, see here for a step-by-step guide.

Screenshot showing icons in LibGuides for adding a new box and adding box content

Checking Links

Make it practice to regularly check your guides for broken links. Ideally monthly but at least before the start of each semester.

Note that Link Checker does not check hyperlinks in text boxes. So if you have text like this with a hyperlink, it won't check it. That is why a best practice is to add links as Links.

To check for broken links in your LibGuides:

  1. Login into LibGuides
  2. [Top orange header bar] Tools
  3. Link Checker
  4. In the box below “Owner” put in your last name.

Screenshot of link checker location


screenshot of owner box on link checker