Not only is everybody using them, but it turns out – just about everybody likes them a lot too!
I went to two different sessions at the ACRL Conference regarding studies appraising the value of SpringShare LibGuides, one of Cornell University and Princeton University students and faculty and the other of student at Grand Valley State University, Boston College, and Georgetown University. In both cases, the rooms were packed – standing room only. Apparently, a lot of academic libraries are either already using LibGuides or are very interested in doing so. It felt good to know that we already have them at ECC and are making good use of them. For our students who transition on to a four year institution, this could make their transition that much smoother.
The session “Do the Outcomes Justify the Buzz?” reported on a survey of faculty, LibGuide authors, and students from Cornell and Princeton. They also collected data directly from SpringShare to inform their report. They found 100% of those surveyed believed that the guide was valuable for class and 85% perceived an improvement in student assignments as a result of LibGuide use. Of the students asked, 94% said the guide was valuable and 90% wanted to use one for another class. Course guides were the the most popular type of guide at Cornell, while customized guides with specific assignments were more popular at Princeton.
The other session, “Reinventing Research Guides: LibGuides at Two Academic Libraries” reported similar positive reaction to the guides. Among there recommendations were:
- Users often expected subject guides, but prefered more specific customized assignment or area guides
- Discriptions of resources were helpful
- Expected the guides to have help features, how-tos, and explicit guidance if they needed it
- Expected high quality information
- Majority had NOT contacted a librarian through the guides
- 90% liked the tabs at the top for navigation
- Around 85% to 90% found it easy to find the individual guides from the main page
- 90% wanted links directly to the guide placed in their course management system
- Survey turned out to be a great promotional tool – more than 4,000 responses
In addition to their survey findings, the presenters also went into the history of subjects guides. The have posted their presentations slides for viewing.
Aside from pride in the fact that we are already using LibGuides really well at ECC, I also walked away with a new perspective on how to pronounce LibGuides. I have been pronouncing it “Lib” as in rhymes with “bribe”, but it seemed the majority of presenters favored “Lib” as in “Liberty”. One presenter joked that that should be the subject of the next set of LibGuide surveys.