One of the recurring themes in the LibGuides thread was that libraries
need better policies regarding content and style management in guides. I
wholeheartedly agree here, but my attempts to do so in the past were shot
down in favor of giving all librarians maximum freedom.
I have two questions:
1) What kind of policies do you all have in place for subject guide style
and content management?
2) How do you get librarians to buy in to the policies, and how are they
Information Technology Librarian
James C. Kirkpatrick Library
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LibGuides: I don't get it
I have followed this thread with great interest. In 2011 Erin White and I
researched many of the issues the group has been hitting on, demonstrating
the popularity of LibGuides in ARL libraries, the locus of control outside
of systems' departments, and the state of content policies.
Our most challenging statement in the article to the library tech
community (which was watered down a bit in the peer review process) was
"The popularity of LibGuides, at its heart a specialized content
management system, also calls into question the vitality and/or
adaptability of local content management system implementations in
One of the biggest challenges I see toward creating a non-commercial
alternative is that the library code community is so dispersed in the
various institutions that it makes it difficult to get away from the
download tar.gz model. Are our institutions ready to collaborate across
themselves such that there could be a shared SaaS model (of anything
really) that libraries could subscribe/contribute to? The barriers here
certainly aren't technological, but more along the lines of policy,
As for Research Guides in general, I see a very clear divide in the
public/tech communities not only on platform but more philosophical. From
the tech side once it is all boiled down, heck why do you even need a
third party system; catalog the databases with some type of local genres
and push out an api/xml feeds to various disciplines. From the public side
there is a long lineage of individually curated guides that goes to the
core of value of professionally knowing one's community and serving it.
On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Galen Charlton <[log in to unmask]>
> On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 6:53 AM, Wilhelmina Randtke <[log in to unmask]
> > There's not a lock-in issue with LibGuides, because it's used to
> > host pathfinders. Those are supposed to be periodically revisited.
> > One of
> > big problems is that librarians will start a guide and never finish,
> > or make one then never maintain it. Periodically deleting
> > everything is a good thing for pathfinders and subject guides, and
> > people should do it anyway. No one's talking about tools for
> > digital archives, which have
> > in issues and are way more expensive.
> Lock-in doesn't have to be absolute to be effective, it just has to
> has raise the bar sufficiently high to make users think twice about
> migrating away.
> This applies even if the data to be moved is transitory and constantly
> changing. For example, if a library has been diligently updating their
> pathfinders, but wants to switch platforms, if there were no way to
> export them to load into the successor system, the effort of redoing
> them or doing a lot of copy-and-pasting could be prohibitive.
> As a general statement -- and I know that this battle has been
> bitterly fought in the ILS space -- I believe that *all* library
> software services, whether based on F/LOSS software or proprietary
> software, should provide a way for the library to obtain a full dump
> of their data, in an accessible format, at no additional charge.
> I see that LibGuides advertises the ability to make local backups of
> individual pages and also provides (via a paid add-on module) an XML
> export function. I don't know if SpringShare will also provide free
> one-time exports on request, but I would hope they do.
> Of course, even if one has the data in hand, data migrations can still
> take a lot of time, effort, and expertise.
> Galen Charlton
> Manager of Implementation
> Equinox Software, Inc. / The Open Source Experts
> email: [log in to unmask]
> direct: +1 770-709-5581
> cell: +1 404-984-4366
> skype: gmcharlt
> web: http://www.esilibrary.com/
> Supporting Koha and Evergreen: http://koha-community.org &
Head, Digital Technologies