Lindsay Roberts

Connecting people with information

Are LibGuides Really Helping Students?

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I know many academic librarians are very attached to their LibGuides, understably so. LibGuides provide an easy-to-edit venue for academic librarians to share their subject expertise with students and other librarians. Do to their individualized nature and treatment of Guide Creators as “authors,” LibGuides are considered by some to equate published works in service to the profession. Certainly, the time it takes to create a well-designed and informative guide rivals the time it takes to craft a research article or similar scholarly project.

Yet, the question has been asked, “Are LibGuides really helping students?” Many students seem to have no idea what LibGuides are or how to find them. In fact, I had never heard of LibGuides until starting the MLIS program at DU. Now that I know about them, I frequently use them when helping students answer questions in disciplines I’m not familiar with. Yet, in spite of efforts to publicize LibGuides to faculty and students, they don’t seem to be catching on.

While the idea of sharing subject-specific resources is a great and timely one, I worry that we are too hung-up on the LibGuides platform. If we are trying to meet students at the point of need, working with instructors to embed resources in learning management systems like D2L or Blackboard seems the best way to reach busy students.

Thoughts? Suggested articles in support of LibGuides for student learning?

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