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INF211/406 Research Skills Guide: Library guides

Understanding library guides

Library guides are typically used to collect and display subject-based or discipline-based resources for a specific audience. The best library guides are user-focused, and provide advice for finding more information as well as linking directly to resources. They often act as introductions and wayfinding tools for specific areas within a collection.

There is information in your Subject Outline about the specific type of library guide you need to develop. Make sure you read this information carefully. 

Top tips

Consider your users

Your library guide should address the needs of your users. Think carefully about what your users have asked for, what they need to do, what information they need, and how your guide can help them do that.

Make sure your content is reliable and updated

Libraries are trusted sources of information for our users, so everything you put into a libguide needs to be credible and reliable. Make sure that any content you make publicly available is as accurate as possible. You also need to make sure your links don't break, and your resources are accessible for your intended audience (e.g. that they will have the ability to login if your resource is behind a paywall/authentication).

Make the information easy to read & be organised

Use headings, create boxes, write titles that are meaningful and descriptive. Think about how much information is TOO much; you want to give your users everything they need, but  they are often better served by content that is concise and selective rather than exhaustively thorough. Write concisely, using simple language. Organize your LibGuides and LibGuide pages so users can easily scan and navigate them.

Adapted from Libguide Design: Best practices and guidelines.

Using images

Images are a great way to add visual interest to your page. However, copyright, image licensing and other conditions can apply when copying or re-publishing an image on the web, even for educational purposes. When selecting images to use, consider using a copyright-free or creative commons licensed image with an attribution.

Using images at University - this guide will help you to understand the copyright implications of using images in your work. 

There are a number of high-quality, copyright-free image databases. You can use images from these databases if you include a simple attribution.

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