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Toolkit for Librarians

For STLCC Librarians

Best Practices Document


  • Naming convention: Course Guides should be formatted as follows:

    • Course name - Instructor - Semester e.g. ENG 102 - Popper - Fall 2012.

    • If the Course Guide has a specific name (e.g. Election 2012), you can add it at the end.

    • If there is no specific instructor, just leave it out (e.g. STR 050 - Spring 2013 - Smart Start).

  • If you are creating a Research Guide in a broad liaison subject area, include liaisons from other campuses as co-owners or editors.

  • Adjunct librarians: add a full-time librarian as co-owner or editor.


  • Include a brief description of the purpose and/or scope of the guide.

  • Keep text as brief as possible.

  • Try to limit number of tabs to one row.

  • You can adjust column widths, but don’t leave empty columns or tabs. If you are not ready to make the guide public but wish to share it with someone who is not a co-owner or editor, make it private and share the link.

  • Remember that the Guides are teaching tools – include information on the research process as well as specific resources. For example, the Career Exploration guide includes information on terms used in subject headings (vocational guidance) as well as links to specific reference books and websites.

  • Each guide should include the Librarian’s profile box on at least one page, either the home page or the last one. Consider removing the profile from other pages.

  • Link to boxes in "Sample Boxes" (under HELP-Library Guides Resources (Boxes)) on the dashboard or to boxes and pages from other guides when appropriate. Remember that you cannot edit linked boxes; they will change when the original is changed. This is good for search boxes that may need to be changed system-wide. If you wish to edit the box, copy it instead. Your copy will not be linked to the original.

  • Make sure you use the appropriate box or asset types. When you are adding assets to standard boxes, Links and Databases allow link checking and statistics gathering. Books from the Catalog assets allow links to the library catalog as well as pulling in cover art and book information when you use an ISBN.

  • Clearly identify links which will require login from off-campus.

  • If you create a document to add to your guide, use the standardized Handout Template for attached documents (available to the right).

  • Consider linking to closely related guides using the Guide List option.


  • Add images. Try for at least one on each page.

  • When adding images or sound, obey copyright restrictions, if any.

  • Use percentage widths for your images so they resize for different-sized devices. The percentage should be based on the box (e.g. if you want the image to fill half of the box, make it 50%). Leave the height blank.


  • Make sure your image has a descriptive alt tag if it is part of the content. If images are decorative, you can leave the alt tag blank or add “decorative element” as the tag. For screenshots or other images that have text on them, be sure that content is also conveyed in the actual text.

  • Screen readers skip gallery boxes, so use them only for decorative elements. (This may be updated after 10/18 webinar.)

  • High contrast and consistent fonts are important for accessibility. Our system settings will ensure we have these. If you copy and paste from other applications (e.g. MS Word), use the “paste as plain text” or “paste from Word” utilities in the rich text editor.

  • For subheadings within boxes, designate them as h3 or h4 (under the Normal menu), as screen readers can identify those tags. Screen readers can also identify the bold tag <b>, so use bold font for emphasis.

  • Always left-align (do not center) your text for ease of reading.


  • Preview your guide in multiple browsers.

  • When you publish the guide: create a friendly URL, associate with subject categories, and add tags. If you are tagging with a phrase, simply space between the words. If you are using multiple tags, separate them with commas.

  • To keep the LibGuides home pages uncluttered, assign subject headings sparingly (1-3). Assign tags more liberally.

  • For Course Guides, assign only subject categories that are course prefixes (e.g. ENG).

  • Make sure you associate the guide with the appropriate group (e.g. Course Guides, Research Guides, etc.)

  • Have another librarian proofread your guide before making it public.

  • Advertise your guide (e.g. e-mail to Reflib and instructors, post on Facebook and Twitter).


  • Keep your subject guides up to date. We recommend looking at them every semester to keep them fresh and current.

  • Use the Link Checker tool, but remember that it only checks for broken links, not redirects. Check your active web links to make sure the sites are still appropriate.

  • When making changes it sometimes takes a minute or two for the changes to take effect. Occasionally you might have to refresh the browser to see the changes.

  • Indexing may take overnight, so your changes may not be immediately searchable.

Accessibility and LibGuides

Please review this recorded webinar and guide. (You will need to login with your LibGuides credentials).

Springshare: LibGuides Accessibility Updates and Privacy Policy

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000