Snakes or Ladders? Evaluating a LibGuides pilot at University College Dublin Library
- Publisher: Elsevier
Information literacy | Libguides | Academic libraries
Online subject guides are commonly used by libraries to provide information support to students. LibGuides (a cloud-based commercial product launched in 2007) represent one of the latest incarnations of the traditional subject guide or portal, and are widely used across American academic libraries. In Ireland however, library subject guides of entirely local design and hosted on a local web server still dominate. This paper outlines the project management process involved in implementing a LibGuides pilot at University College Dublin Library, including the planning, design and implementation of a new range of subject-related guides. The pilot nature of the project necessitated a strong focus on evaluation, particularly in assessing the effectiveness and suitability of LibGuides as a platform for delivering information literacy support, both from an administrative and end-user perspective. A two-stranded approach was used in this review process, incorporating quantitative web statistics and analytics alongside qualitative feedback from students, academic staff and Library staff. Feedback that was gathered suggested that the LibGuides subject guides were generally viewed very positively by both staff and students. Notwithstanding this, awareness (as indicated through usage statistics) remained moderate during the pilot, pointing to the importance of the visibility, positioning and promotion of guides.