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Libguide Libguide: Getting Started

Three important tips

Before you even start to build your LibGuide, there are 3 important things to keep in mind:

1. Always consider reusing content.

Just about everything in LibGuides - pages, boxes, content of all kinds, database listings, even Library Guides themselves - are designed to be re-used. So always think about re-using existing content rather than creating new content.

There are 2 types of reuse:

  • Mapping/Linking - where your reused versions are tied to the original (a change to the original flows through to the reused item). This is the default.
  • Copying - where your reused (copied) version is independent of the original.

See LibGuides Help on Reusability.

2. Don't paste text directly from Word.

It's always tempting, when developing these sorts of resources, to prepare your text in a Word document, and then copy into your LibGuide. If you are going to do this, then you should use the Paste from Word icon. If you are copying from another type of source, such as a webpage, you should use the Paste as plain text icon. This is to avoid behind-the-scenes problems with HTML coding.

See this guide's box on Copy and paste as plain text.
See also LibGuides Help on Adding and Editing Rich Text/HML Content Items.

3. Other useful documents

3.1 If you are a Library Officer setting up a new Library Resource Guide, please see the:

3.2 If you are Librarian putting content into a Library Resource Guide, please see the LibGuide titled Library resource guide template - explained.

3.3 Another document that both Library Officers and Librarians might find useful is the:

Get a Libguides account

To create a LibGuide you will need a LibGuides account. To get an account, contact a member of the LibGuides team:

  • Tric Bowman (team-leader)
  • Kylie Clarkson
  • Tim Eggleston

Contact a member of the team, or your supervisor, to arrange training.

Decide what type of Library Guide you are creating

Springshare, the LibGuides vendor, categories LibGuides into several types, and we are using 4 of these (we have renamed them to suit our own purposes):

  • General Purpose Guide
  • Library Resource Guide
  • Research Skills Guide
  • Internal Guide.

The following list shows how we use these guide types:

General Purpose Guide

  • General information and help guides supporting information literacy, library skills and library services, targeted at all Library users
    Example: Information Literacy LibGuide
  • Guides providing information and resources for CSU Library staff which are not published for public use
    Example: Reference Toolbox .

Library Resource Guide

  • Library Resource Guides: subject- and discipline-specific guides for new CSU students, based on CSU key study areas.
    Example: Accounting LibGuide

Research Skills Guide

  • Research Skills Guides: Guides supporting individual units or subjects in collaboration with academic staff, as an information literacy tool. These are intended to be accessed through Interact sites and not the main Library Guide index page or Library website
    Example: COM120 Library Skills Tutorial

Internal Guide

  • Staff Guides - guides for library staff use.
    Example: this LibGuide LibGuide is an internal guide!

Remember that, in practice, you will probably be re-using a guide (probably a template) rather than creating a new guide. See Using templates, to the right.


1. LibGuides can have one of three “statuses”:

  • Unpublished: in preparation, and available only within the Libguides admin interface, to LibGuides administrators or those with editing rights to that guide;
  • Published: available to everyone and findable within our Library Guides site;
  • Private: available only to those who have or know the URL.

2. If you are working in the LibGuides interface, you might also see some “private” guides that are for training, practice, and testing.

3. All LibGuides that are to be publicly available need to be submitted to Susanna Back and Tric Bowman who will arrange for quality assurance.

Using templates

To ensure consistency across Library Guides, a number of templates have been developed. Please use the appropriate one for the type of Library Guide you are creating. But note: these are not templates in the LibGuides sense. Rather, they are existing guides which you can copy and use as a template.

See below for links to our 3 “templates”. Note that these link to the “templates” in user-view.

To create a Library Guide from a one of our “templates”:

  1. Log in to LibApps
  2. In the LibApps Dashboard, click on Library Guides
  3. In the LibGuides Shortcuts panel, click on Create Guide
  4. Click on the radio button for Copy an Existing Guide
  5. In the Select a Guide box, type in words which will search for the title of the Guide you wish to copy. You can type in template, and you can then choose from the list of matches.
  6. In the Guide Name box, give the new LibGuide a name, and, if desired, a description.
  7. Select the Guide Type from the drop-down. (See Decide what type of Library Guide you are creating)
  8. Click on Create Guide.

You will be taken to the first page (tab) of your new tutorial. Note that there will be content already included, according to the type of template.

Suggestion – Create a friendly URL:

Each LibGuide's URL displays above the line of tabs. Click on the “Edit Guide URL” symbol beside it and enter the guide’s title, or an appropriate abbreviation, as the file extension in the “Add/Edit Friendly URL” field.

CSU Library's 3 "Templates" ...

Please note: You must not simply edit these templates; rather, you need to create a copy (as explained above), and that will be your new guide.

More help

Springshare has a very good, though quite long (59:22) video tutorial on Building a guide. It's available from Springshare's list of training videos at A-Z List of Videos.

For a shorter option (3:16 min.), to get you started, try the Create a new guide in LibGuides2 video as below: