LibGuide Standards: Loose Regulations and Lax Enforcement

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Reference Librarian

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© 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Springshare’s LibGuides product has become the preferred method for librarians to create online subject guides. In the spring of 2019 LibGuide authors and administrators at Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) member libraries were surveyed to learn more about how libraries use this ubiquitous library tool. The two surveys focused on procedures and standards related to the creation, revision, and appearance of LibGuides, and librarians’ general thoughts and perceptions about guides. Most authors surveyed felt that the creation of guides is useful, but many raised valid reservations. Results of the survey reinforce prior studies’ findings that guides are often created and then forgotten. Even at institutions with established standards and criteria for LibGuides, there is pushback on their enforcement. Lack of time is cited by both groups as a reason and justification for this behavior, as are problems keeping links and content current, and problems learning the technology. In addition to better enforcement of established rules and best practices, this study revealed a need for usability testing for guides and more training for guide authors.


Course guides; LibGuides; Research and instruction; Research guides; Standards


Library and Information Science



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