Saturday, September 26, 2015

Life without LibGuides

I wasn't prepared for how much I would miss my beloved LibGuides. Lovingly created, carefully curated, my guides over the past two years have been the base of my work with teachers. 

When teachers asked for support with a unit or a research skill, I'd create a guide and house it within our library website for easy finding and future use. 

When working with students, the guide was the home base for the task, the unit, the project. We all knew where everything was and it was easy and pleasing to the eye.

These guides became an ever-expanding network of resources, a visible artifact of what I could offer to our students and their learning experience.

Without my guides, I'm feeling a little bit lost. 

The only solution, then, is to build them again. 
My current school doesn't have a LibGuides subscription, so I'm using trusty Google Docs to gather and present the resources teachers need. I'm making them as attractive as possible in the time I have. 

It's working. 

The first teacher who asked for a guide was pleased with the result. She had worked with a LibGuide librarian before, so she already knew the benefit of a focused collection of resources. She told her colleagues, and word is starting to spread.

I can do everything I did before; they're just not as pretty and as inter-connected as the LibGuide platform. And, I can't call them LibGuides, so I call them "Research Guides."

Hallmarks of a Research Guide:
It includes everything students need to successfully complete a research task...

  • Links to relevant databases with usernames & passwords
  • Links to websites that require further searching
  • Links to specific web pages and videos for the topic
  • Focus questions
  • Project directions
  • Note-taking templates
  • Rubrics
  • Clear, organized structure used across all guides
  • Attractive, with good use of visuals

Here are the guides I've made for teachers in the first quarter. 

Note: I've taken off database usernames and passwords, but those definitely need to go right with any subscription sites given. Also, links to materials created by the teachers may not be available depending on the permissions they have given me for sharing.

Librarian friends, feel free to copy and edit these as you like with attribution and share-alike!

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