I can commiserate!
The tactic we've used at our university was to use the data migration from
LGv1 to LGv2 as a means to convene guide authors and rethink
* the future overall layout of our guides (new side menu has been our
design choice but complicates preexisting three- and four-column layouts);
* their intended use (pastiche of related but independent boxes on the
guide or something with a simple flow/concise content -- it's a
philosophical discussion, for sure);
* breakdown of content (when it is appropriate to have long detailed pages
or break down into sub-pages, which have their own issues...);
* the strict use of accessibility policies (must set up strict policies
about funky colors & fonts, minimize use HTML tables, content column layout
w.r.t. responsive design, etc.).
I feel our internal conversations and meetings about rethinking LibGuides
v2 with our staff have gone over well, and reiterating appropriate "best
practices" or suggestions whenever I field a LibGuides question have
birthed some improvements in guide construction. It's an ongoing battle, of
There are some heavy-handed tactics in place here too. For instance we've
hidden the Fonts button in the guide editor using CSS.
This doesn't stop custom html or copy/pasting Word content (ugh) from
getting through, but it does allows us to say, "nope, we're not supporting
On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM, Joshua Welker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I lol'ed several times reading your message. I feel the pain. Well, it is
> nice to know I am not alone. You are right that this in particular is an
> organizational problem and not a LibGuides problem. But unfortunately it
> has been an organizational problem at both of the universities where I've
> worked that use LibGuides, and it sounds like it is a problem at many
> other libraries. I'm not sure what it is about LibGuides that brings out
> the most territorial and user-marginalizing aspects of the librarian
> Does anyone have any positive experience in dealing with this? I am on the
> verge of just manually enforcing good standards even though it will create
> a lot of enmity. LibGuides CMS has a publishing workflow feature that
> would force all guide edits to be approved by me so that I could stamp
> this stuff out each time it happens.
> To enforce, or not to enforce, that is the question--
> Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of
> outrageously poor usability,
> Or to take arms against a sea of ugly guides,
> And by forcing compliance with standards and best practices, end them?
> Josh Welker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Will Martin
> Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 11:34 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LibGuides v2 - Templates and Nav
> > 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 improved 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.
Web Services Librarian
O'Neill Library, Boston College
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