> 4. Admin controls are not very granular. With most aspects of editing a
> guide, you either have the option of locking down styles and templates
> completely (and oh your colleagues will howl) or allowing everything
> (and oh
> your eyeballs will scream). Some of these things could very well be
> in the future, and some probably will not.
This! My librarians have successfully resisted every attempt to impose
any kind of standardization. Visual guidelines? Nope. Content
guidelines? Nope. Standard system settings? Nope. Anything less than
100% free reign appears to be anathema to them.
The result, predictably, is chaos. Our guides run the gamut. We have
- Giant walls of text that no one ever reads.
- Lovingly crafted lists of obscure library sources that rarely (if
ever) bear any relation to what the patron is actually trying to do.
- A thriving ecosystem of competing labels. Is it "Article Indexes",
"Article Databases", just plain "Databases", or something more exotic?
Depends which apex predator rules this particular neck of the jungle.
- Green text on pink backgrounds with maroon borders. Other pages in
the same guide might go with different, equally eye-twisting color
schemes. I'm not even sure how he's doing that without access to the
style sheet, but he's probably taught himself just enough HTML to mangle
things in an effort to use "friendly" colors.
- Some guides have three or even FOUR rows of tabs. With drop-down
submenus on most of them, naturally.
- A few are nicely curated and easy to use, but they're in a distinct
I've tried. I've pushed peer-reviewed usability studies at them. I've
reported on conference sessions explaining exactly why all these things
are bad. I've brought them studies of our own analytics. I've had
students sit down and get confused in front of them. Nothing has gotten
through, and being the only web type at the library, I'm outnumbered.
Just the thought of it makes me supremely tired.
I'm sorry if this has digressed. LibGuides is not at fault, really.
It's an organizational problem. LibGuides just seems to be the flash
point for it.