Yesterday marked the start of Teen Tech Week, sponsored by the Young Adult Libraries Services division (YALSA) of the American Library Association. This year’s theme encourages libraries “to throw open their physical and virtual doors to teens and showcase the outstanding technology they offer.”
To celebrate Teen Tech Week, we’re highlighting a few of the many great LibGuides created for teen audiences by school and public librarians. The three guides featured here will also form the kernel of a new “Teen Interest” category on the LibGuides Best Of site. Feel free to use one of the guides as a template to reuse / remix on your own site! (The guide authors have given their permission.)
Newport News Public eLibrary
The Newport News Public Library in Virginia has created an attractive and dynamic “Teen Space” with a wide range of resources for its teenage audience.
The site offers everything from career and college information to homework help to books and magazines to special events. It’s all wrapped into the highly customized and tightly structured design that gives the Newport News eLibrary a distinctive online look and feel. (NNPL uses LibGuides for its overall online site.)
Be sure to check out the library’s use of tabbed boxes on each of the pages of its teen guide to keep the content compact and organized.
Walk in My Shoes: Exploring Cultures in America
Akira Toki Middle School
This guide, created by teacher-librarian Madge Klais at the Akira Toki Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, supports the study of multicultural literature for teens. It’s a companion to her 8th grade course in the school’s Unified Arts Program, and it’s filled with information, illustrations, and resources.
Madge hopes to have students add additional content, including book reviews, Animoto videos, and other items to the site as they proceed through the course.
Just for Teens
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Louise Hilton at the East Baton Route Parish Library in Louisiana designed this guide as a “one-stop shop” for area teens to find resources on arts and crafts, gaming, writing, teen reads, music, and more. It’s full of books, databases, websites, online classes, and creative ideas.
The guide also connects to the library’s social media presence, including Twitter and Instagram plus a Facebook page and Pinterest board just for teens.
Like all the best guides, “Just for Teens” is a work in progress, with new and changing categories and content to keep it fresh and fun.
Congrats to all three for these great guides. We’re looking for more Best Of examples, so if you’ve created or know of a guide that’s a cut above—in this category or any other—let us know!
Just as the librarians at Johnson & Wales University (Providence) found Springshare tools helped them earn a “Rock Star” status on campus, we’re pleased to report that another library recently earned kudos from their university community. Nova Southeastern University Libraries won 1st place in the professional category of the university’s 12th Annual Technology Fair for their creative adaptations of CampusGuides for educational technology. We spoke with librarians Carrie Gits and Courtney Mlinar to learn how CampusGuides helped foster community and knowledge-sharing across campus.
Q: Tell us more about the technology fair…
The Office of Information Technologies & Digital Media coordinates an annual Technology Fair to promote the use of technology in the workplace. They solicit entries from faculty & staff (professional, administrative, & technology). The fair traditionally has a theme (this year it was be green, work green, go green, live green) and aims to highlight technology projects and recognize initiatives across the NSU campus.
Q: Congratulations on winning first place! Why do you think you won the award?
We have discovered the possibilities with CampusGuides are endless! The judging panel loved the idea of personalizing library resources for students or classes and that an assessment piece could be tied into the guide. The versatility of the box types and page editing settings allow the authors to create the best educational tools for the user’s needs.
We also feel that staff recognized how easy the tool was to use and that it really did help the libraries become more efficient and effective in creating “green” online instructional and subject specific material.
Q: How did you describe CampusGuides to the judges – what were some of the things you highlighted?
We promoted CampusGuides as an opportunity for future collaboration and personalization (i.e., course reserves module, librarian directory profiles, and adding faculty and students as content creators for their own guides). We highlighted the product’s ease of use, that staff with a variety of tech skills can easily build, create, and edit subject and curriculum-specific guides quickly.
The Health Professions Division Library is also migrating many of their web pages into CampusGuides – library staff appreciate this as they can be in control of their department’s content and update it easily, even if they don’t have staff with lots of web development skills.
Q: What was the reaction of the judges to CampusGuides?
We were able to show examples of how each library has collaborated with faculty and other campus departments to build guides that are customizable for their classes and student needs – the attendees and judges LOVED this! The judges perceived the tool as organic and student-centered, with areas where students or faculty could make comments, give feedback and rate the resources provided on the Guides. They even inquired about creating a Guide for their specific program of study or classes.
Q: What do you think you’ve gained from this experience?
As mentioned before, we promoted CampusGuides as an opportunity for future collaboration and personalization. Thanks to this increased visibility, librarians have opened more opportunities for future collaboration and personalization with faculty and students. Plus, with our prize winnings, we are throwing a CampusGuides Authors appreciation luncheon bash!
The theme for our October newsletter is “mobile”! As a premier provider of useful (and cool) web apps for libraries we want to make sure we got your mobile needs covered as well. We released the mobile version of LibGuides, and the reviews have been uniformly great. We did not dive head first into mobile to get something out quickly – instead we carefully designed the mobile version from the ground up and it seems everybody loves it, which is music to our ears.
In fact, we are really excited that you are excited about LibGuides mobile, as this means everybody is going to love our upcoming mobile website builder tool! Creating mobile websites will be as easy and as fun as creating guides. We are putting the finishing touches on this new tool/module and will release it by year-end. The LibAnswers mobile interface is just about done and will be out by the end of the month.
The Newsletter also features an informative interview with the librarians at Johnson & Wales University Rhode Island Campus. They are doing some wonderful things with the LibAnswers SMS Module, and as a result their SMS Reference service is racking up huge usage numbers. No wonder Rosie (Dean of University Libraries) and her team are also known as the rock stars on campus! Great job Rosie, keep it up.
Going forward, each edition of the newsletter will feature an interview with an existing Springshare customer who will share their advice, and tips and tricks from the field about how they are making a real difference in their community by using Springshare tools and apps…
Read the complete newsletter at
What a great way to end the year – with Charles Darwin University becoming LibGuides member library #1000. Congratulations to all LibGuides sites for being part of such an amazing community of educators!
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Last week, Mazen Khoury and Kristiana Burk presented the final session in the ‘user experience’ webinar series. Many innovative ideas were presented during these sessions, and the response from the LibGuides user community has been overwhelmingly positive. We at Springshare would like to thank Kristiana and HowStuffWorks.com for all the hard work that went into creating these sessions, and we look forward to working with them in the future!
For those of you that were unable to attend one or more of the sessions, we have made Kristiana’s slides and videos available online at the LibGuides Help site. You should also visit HowStuffWorks LibGuides, to check out the many valuable (and reusable!) resources that they have created for the LibGuides community!
Northfield Mount Hermon School joined LibGuides this morning, bringing our total site count to 200! Our membership has just about doubled since January, and we have quite a few more groups that will be joining the community in the next few months.
Thanks to everyone for making the first half of 2008 a very successful one for Springshare and our LibGuides community members!
We wanted to take a moment to highlight two of our newest community members, and the innovative ways they are using LibGuides to provide more than just subject-guides.
Scottsdale Community College has both a “traditional” LibGuides system, as well as a second site which they are using as their library homepage. This allows the librarians to make website updates quickly and easily, without having to contact IT or a Systems Librarian whenever they want to add information to the library website. This is an interesting approach and one we expect to see more frequently as LibGuides matures with greater control of layout, customization, etc.
The Burlington County Library System has an *excellent* example of how LibGuides can be used in a public library environment. Their system contains guides for K-6 research and homework help, cultural information for new U.S. citizens, local real estate information, cooking tips, and much more. We will definitely be pointing other public libraries to the BCLS LibGuides site as an excellent “getting started” reference.
Springshare is proud to announce that our LibGuides community has reached 101 member libraries – including many of the world’s most innovative academic, public and special libraries! We are amazed at how rapidly our community is growing, and how LibGuides is quickly becoming a premiere destination for research and study.
Thank you to our existing members for making LibGuides such a success, and for those of you that are considering a subscription, we look forward to having you on board soon!
For a complete list of our community members please visit
Located in Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University is one of the first members of the LibGuides community located outside of the United States. One of Canada’s leading universities, Dalhousie is widely recognized for outstanding academic quality and teaching, and a broad range of educational and research opportunities.
Since joining Libguides a few months ago, Dalhousie librarians have created an incredible list of 145 subject guides, ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Italian Studies. I asked Fran Nowakowski, Information Literacy Coordinator at Dalhousie, how they were able to create so much content in so little time, and this is what she had to say:
LibGuides came along at exactly the right time for us. The method we were using for our subject content was not answering our needs but we needed something in place by September. When I saw LibGuides I knew it was what we needed. The interface is very easy to use and the LibGuides team are very responsive to suggestions for improvements particularly the integration of web 2.0 elements such as meebo and del.icio.us tags. The librarians love it because it is so easy to use and enables them to respond quickly to changing needs.
Kudos to everyone at Dalhousie for creating a very impressive research tool for their patrons!
LibGuides at Dalhousie University:
Congratulations to Ken, and the rest of the team at Boston College, for taking their “LibGuides @ BC” system live this week.
It really is amazing how much they have achieved in only a few weeks time, and I’m sure the best is yet to come!
If you looking for an excellent example of what the LibGuides system is capable of, I highly recommend that you explore what BC has created at
You can also find Ken’s original announcement, as well as his “rocket” image, at