I don't think that there is anything like this. I think there are some lone wolves out there who have suggested standards, but I haven't seen anything similar to what has been discussed. If there were, I'd think one of us would know about it. 

Count me in!

I say we create flexible data models:

It would be nice if the general flow looked like this

data -> [library standards] -> search backend -> result -> [web design presentation standards] -> view of result


Cornel Darden Jr.  
Library Department Chair
South Suburban College

"Our Mission is to Serve our Students and the Community through lifelong learning."

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 29, 2014, at 12:17 PM, Joshua Welker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> As Brad mentioned, one of the most interesting takeaways from this
> conversation on LibGuides is the (lack of) recognized best practices in the
> library community. If the folks here are representative at all, this is a
> big void in our profession. This is not an acceptable state, IMO, because as
> more and more library resources become web-based, more and more librarians
> are having to curate web-based content (e.g. LibGuides). Yet, most of us
> lack the time and expertise to figure out how to do it well. It seems like
> every organization is trying to reinvent the wheel themselves (or just
> forgoing wheels altogether).  It would also be a great help for web
> librarians if there were some sort of official library web standards that
> could be used to help get buy-in from other librarians and administrators
> who otherwise would not be cooperative. (Yes, I know that there are all
> sorts of general accessibility standards, but something with a librarian
> stamp of approval would be most helpful.)
> I have two questions:
> 1. Does anyone know if anything like this already exists? I know there are
> about 8 trillion library groups, so there's a good chance, but I didn't find
> anything in a few minutes of searching.
> 2. If not, does anyone think it would be a good idea for a group like this
> to get the ball rolling on creating some official best practices for web
> design and web content for the library community?
> Josh Welker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brad
> Coffield
> Sent: Friday, September 26, 2014 1:17 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LibGuides v2 - Templates and Nav
> On a different note, just wanted to say that I have found this entire thread
> massively interesting and very useful. *pats self on back for starting it*
> lol Thanks to all who've been chiming in. (not trying to shut it down)
> I'll probably be starting another thread eventually on something that was
> discussed in here: best practices and creating rules for guide creators.
> We're a small school and everyone who needs to be on board is on board with
> creating a "style guide" and a peer-review process to ensure the style guide
> is followed. I've been tapped to be the one to create the style guide which
> is both exciting and daunting. I want to cover all the little stuff - some
> naming conventions etc. but also want to build something that will help us
> all follow best practices for web design and accessibility.I'll likely lean
> on the group's expertise for these at some point this semester.
> Many of our guides aren't getting the usage they should to justify the time
> spent creating and maintaining them. Beyond the time issue to properly
> develop them I think that a real part of the reason is that they are just so
> user-unfriendly and difficult to navigate. There were some hilarious
> comments earlier in this thread about others' school's out-of-control styles
> and we have that too but its even just more than that. I think we were
> operating under a "let's get all kindsa stuff up here and it's gonna be
> awesome!" paradigm and now we need to restructure and look at these as real
> websites that happen to be guides. The v2 migration is a great time to do
> it. </ramble>
> On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 2:04 PM, Brad Coffield <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> I also think all of these ideas are awesome. The idea of a third-party
>> space, or even someplace sponsored by springshare, to share
>> customizations etc. could help so many of us. Even short of developing
>> a plug-in system, having someplace to share template customizations, CSS,
>> etc. would be HUGE.
>> Github seems like a very reasonable option though it's true the tech
>> bar for admission is pretty high. It would be great if we had a place
>> where those admins Cindi mentioned who aren't super tech-expert but do
>> some customizations and would like to do more  (and I would put myself
>> in that
>> group) could go to download custom templates, CSS mods to tweak etc..
>> Even if it was just screenshots and text files for download.
>> Springshare's Best Of guide is really handy and has been useful to me
>> in the past but I think what we're all talking about transcends the
>> capabilities of that site.... Or maybe not? Could all of this be
>> housed on a regular old libguide?? Different sections for different
>> types of customizations and boxes with individual submissions? Someone
>> would have to manage it and the submissions.... which might make it
>> untenable.
>>> On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM, Joshua Welker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> If we are talking about a set of _curated_ community plugins, Github
>>> (or any of umpteen git platforms) would be fine. A Springshare person
>>> and/or designated community persons could control the repos,
>>> approving pull requests and managing releases and all that. A new
>>> release would be sent to an approval process that would check for
>>> bugs, performance problems, security, etc., and this part would have
>>> to be done by a Springshare person most likely. If it is approved,
>>> regular LG users could enable the plugin by checking a box on an
>>> admin page that lists all the approved plugins.
>>> Regular
>>> non-techy users (who you indicated are the vast majority of LG sites)
>>> would never have to touch git or even know repos exist.
>>> As far as communication platforms, the only thing that might be
>>> helpful is an IRC channel. Otherwise, Github bug trackers, SS lounge
>>> (maybe with a new developers group), and listservs like this one
>>> would be sufficient.
>>> These social issues are one thing. The more difficult part IMO is
>>> determining how the plugin system would work. Wordpress and Drupal
>>> offer a good model with their systems of hooks. For instance, there
>>> could be an on_page_load hook. A plugin could register with that
>>> hook, which would tell LG under-the-hood to run the plugin whenever
>>> the page loads. The hook would pass an object into some kind of init
>>> function, where it could be manipulated in PHP and then returned. We
>>> could come up with a small handful of these hooks that would handle
>>> just about any use case the community might have. (Off the top of my
>>> head: on page load, at a scheduled interval, on loading the "add box"
>>> menu, on loading the "add box content" menu, on loading the admin
>>> guide index page.)
>>> Here's a trivial example of sorting all the boxes on a page by title:
>>> Josh Welker
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
>>> Of Cindi Blyberg
>>> Sent: Friday, September 26, 2014 8:16 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LibGuides v2 - Templates and Nav
>>> On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 7:29 AM, Alex Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> @Cindi: In my defense, I was being rhetorical as to why there's no
>>>> plugin system. I wasn't trying to second-guess how you develop your
>>>> products.
>>>> Though I'm glad you're considering allowing more sophisticated
>>>> customization for LibGuides. Navigation in particular is a thorny
>>>> issue.
>>> No worries! I hope my response didn't come off as reactionary. We are
>>> happy to answer questions, even rhetorical ones. ;)  (I hear you, but
>>> we were like, yeah, why *doesn't* that exist? Let's *do* it!)
>>> As for Gist/Git, there are repos out there, 20-some of them.  We
>>> would very much like to replace the Lounge with something else in the
>>> future, and while I think GitHub is too high a bar for most of our
>>> users, it could play a role in us sharing with you and vice-versa.
>>>> There's some simple stuff thatare worth documenting. For example,
>>>> Josh mentioned that:
>>>> "The admin controls in LGseem to all be loaded dynamically via
>>>> javascript, which makes them both very hard to customize and very
>>>> easy to break. I have also noticed that changingthe ID of certain
>>>> HTML elements in your template can have the unintended(and
>>>> undocumented) effect of erasing particular admin features from your
>>>> template."
>>>> I've listed these IDs here:
>>>> 9f083aa03c287931d9f0#file-required-for-admin-html
>>> We actually had this on our list of things to add to the LibGuides
>>> documentation. So, thanks for that, Alex! :)  I'll see that it gets
>>> added--you're not the first one to alert us to this issue (nor was
>>> @gollydamn).
>>>> Any ideas on where/how we can share things like this? I tried
>>>> tweeting it to my 6 followers. To my surprise, it was not widely
>>>> reported on :p
>>> We are happy to RT - just tag us @springshare. We also have a blog
>>> <>, and a web newsletter that goes out to
>>> every person with an account. I realize that this is us sharing
>>> rather than you sharing--if something else works, go for it, and if
>>> we can help, just ask.
>>> Keep being awesome, and know that we welcome your feedback. :)
>>> Thanks!
>>> -Cindi :)
>>>> On 2014-09-25 23:48, Cindi Blyberg wrote:
>>>> OK, one more tidbit on this.  I was chatting with Slaven, our CEO,
>>>> and told him of the chatter on the list and the idea of a
>>>> community-developed, curated set of plug-ins, along with templates,
>>>> themes, etc., and he's totally excited about this idea.  He (and
>>>> I!) would love it if you all would chime in on this and other ideas
>>>> on the Lounge so that we can figure out how to make them happen.
>>>> We're going to set up a group on the Lounge for techie admins, but
>>>> our Lounge admin is in the midst of moving so it might take a day or
>>>> two.
>>>> Thanks for all this great feedback, everyone!  We are listening,
>>>> and want to make these things happen.
>>>> -cb
>>>>> On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM, Cindi Blyberg <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi Alex,
>>>>> That's a great question! I would surmise that a plug-in system and
>>>>> other advanced tech features don't exist yet for a couple of reasons.
>>>>> First, we're a small company.  We have eight products and a small
>>>>> development team; right now the priority is getting out v2 apps.
>>>>> Second, we have more than 4500 LibGuides customers, and some have
>>>>> more than one site.  The vast, vast majority of those folks use
>>>>> LibGuides out of the box, with a few color customizations that
>>>>> they accomplish with the UI (or a lot, as you've seen...).  Some
>>>>> folks are advanced enough to figure out and alter the default CSS
>>>>> and put their customizations in the Custom JS/CSS field.  Then there
>>>>> is this group.
>>>>> :)  There are a few LibGuides admins who do customization at this
>>>>> group's level who aren't on this list (or are you?
>>>>> :)
>>>>> ).
>>>>> I'd also second the Lounge ( as a good group.
>>>>> There's an academic libraries group there, which is quite active.
>>>>> Cheers.
>>>>> On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 1:07 PM, Alex Armstrong
>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> The web content workflow and governance issues that were brought
>>>>> up are
>>>>>> really important. I would love to discuss them at excruciating
>>>>>> length.
>>>>>> But
>>>>>> content ownership conundrums and the frustrations of WYSIWYG
>>>>>> editors are broader issues that can be usefully taken up in other
>>>>>> threads.
>>>>>> I de-lurked here because I saw an opening to discuss LibGuides
>>>>>> with other people who have a stake in it, especially as a
>>>>>> lightweight CMS. I think Josh's description of its limitations was
>>>>>> very good.
>>>>>> His feature propositions, including that of a curated plugin
>>>>>> system, were even better.
>>>>>> I have a question though: Why doesn't it exist already?
>>>>>> LibGuides is limited, though the v2 API looks promising for
>>>>>> client-side stuff. We should be talking with Springshare about
>>>>>> improving workflows for admins -- such as (an example I came
>>>>>> across
>>>>>> today) being able to upload more than one image at a time. And,
>>>>>> in the meantime, there's other stuff we can do now: community
>>>>>> docs, templates, themes, best practices, etc. I've been surprised
>>>>>> by the lack of this material, considering how widely LibGuides is
>>>>>> implemented.
>>>>>> Does anyone else find this stuff interesting?
>>>>>> Alex
>>>>>> On 09/25/2014 05:48 PM, Cindi Blyberg wrote:
>>>>>> One more great guide to share - a literary journal from a k12 in
>>>>>>> Australia:
>>>>>>> For you LG admins out there - it's a series of RT content types
>>>>>>> that's governed by an external stylesheet.  They have LibGuides
>>>>>>> CMS, and this private guide is in its own group.
>>>>>>> *back to lurking*
>>>>>>> On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Cindi Blyberg
>>>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>  Jesse reminds me that I meant to point out that there is a
>>>>>>> "Paste from
>>>>>>>> Word" button in the RTE that will strip out all that microsoft
>>>>>>>> nonsense.
>>>>>>>> Not quite what you were asking for (suppressing tags from the
>>>>>>>> RTE--I passed that suggestion on to the devs) but it's what we
>>>>>>>> refer people to who break their formatting accidentally with a
>>>>>>>> massive paste.  There's also a "Paste as Plain Text" button
>>>>>>>> that has a similar effect.
>>>>>>>> On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM, Jesse Martinez
>>>>>>>> <[log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>  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 course!
>>>>>>>>> There are some heavy-handed tactics in place here too. For
>>>>>>>>> instance we've hidden the Fonts button in the guide editor
>>>>>>>>> using CSS.
>>>>>>>>> span#cke_12 {display:none;}
>>>>>>>>> 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 Comic Sans!"
>>>>>>>>> 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 psyche.
>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>>> everything:
>>>>>>>>>> - 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 minority.
>>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>>> Will
>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> Jesse Martinez
>>>>>>>>> Web Services Librarian
>>>>>>>>> O'Neill Library, Boston College [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>> 617-552-2509
>> --
>> Brad Coffield, MLIS
>> Assistant Information and Web Services Librarian
>> Saint Francis University
>> 814-472-3315
>> [log in to unmask]
> -- 
> Brad Coffield, MLIS
> Assistant Information and Web Services Librarian
> Saint Francis University
> 814-472-3315
> [log in to unmask]