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LibGuides Toolbox  

Boxes for Subject Librarians to Use in Their Own Guides
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2014 URL: Print Guide

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Recommendations and Requirements for the Use of LibGuides at the OU Libraries


  • If you have a subject guide listed on this page: that is not a blog or wiki, AND you still want it, you need to move your content to a LibGuide BEFORE the start of winter quarter. If you want stats about how often your guide was viewed last year, ask Kelly. If you have a lot and think this will be a problem, ask Kelly.
  • Create a LibGuide for research assistance on a disciplinary subject (e.g. a major or a department) or for a specific course. Create a web page on the new web site for other information.  Consult the web team if you need assistance.
  • All LibGuides will include the librarian profile.
  • External links in LibGuides should open in a new window or tab. How to do this.
  • Write ALICE in all caps, even though it's not an acronym; also, it's OhioLINK, not Ohiolink.
  • Save yourself a lot of time and effort: Copy and customize boxes from this LibGuides Toolbox and suggest additional boxes for us to put there!
  • For subscription sources, use URLs (from ALICE or InfoTree) that will allow off-campus users to login. See  the box below this one for more info on this.
  • Have someone proof your guide before publishing it.
  • Tag your guides with a few, select, useful words of description.
  • The header and the color scheme are set by our administrators (Tim, Chad & Kelly). If you have suggestions for improvement, let us know.
  • Use the system default fonts and font sizes; do not customize fonts.
  • Use standard left-justification for paragraphs.
  • For Guides to specific courses, use this format: [course number]: [course name] [(optional instructor's name and/or term)] Example: PBIO 209: Plant Ecology (DeForest/Spring 2012)


  • Rather than copying item information from ALICE in your LibGuide, link to the item information using the permanent link for the record.
  • Generally, guides should include annotated (what is it good for?) lists of select resources, not a comprehensive list of resources.
  • Encourage faculty to include LibGuides in their Blackboard pages. LibGuides has a video tutorial about this: Try it yourself in our instruction community in Blackboard so you can tell them how it easy it is.
  • Read and use Boston College's “LibGuides: 9 Steps to Better Usability and Design” at
  • Look at other libraries' LibGuides at examples and community and steal their ideas.

Other Things You Should Know

  • We are subscribing to this product to make the creation and updating of subject, topical, and class web pages easier and faster for the librarians. This means that you are responsible for creating and keeping your guides accurate and up-to-date.
  • We can revisit these recommendations and requirements whenever you want.

(Kelly Broughton)


Using the Boxes in This "Toolbox"

This page is designed to help Subject Librarians who are creating Guides for their various subject areas. I've created some generic boxes which should be relevant to Guides on almost any subject. Please let me know of any needed changes to these pages--or new ones to create!

How to Use These Boxes

In the process of adding a new box to a page you will encounter this popup window:

The area highlighted in red is what we're considering at the moment. The default is to Create a New Box, which is what you will want to do for all content that is unique to the Guide(s) you're creating. If, however, you want to use one of the boxes in this "Toolbox" (or in some other Guide), you should choose either to LINK to it of COPY it, the 2nd and 3rd choices in the dialogue box.

LINKING to a box means that you can't edit it at all, which is a disadvantage. On the other hand, if we change something in the "source" box (e.g., a URL or improved wording), the box you link to will be automatically updated.

COPYING a box gives you the ability to edit it. In this way, you can customize the text that accompanies the search forms, although I strongly recommend that you not mess with the HTML coding inside any of the search forms.


Toolbox Editor

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Tim Smith
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Learning Commons,
Alden Library
(740) 593-2634
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COMS/MDIA Librarian

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Jessica Hagman
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Alden 206
Phone: 740-593-2697
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