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LibGuides Best Practices

A LibGuide about LibGuides

Welcome to the Meta Guide

Welcome - in this guide you will find:

  • Best Practices for guide creation and maintenance
  • Instructions for common tasks
  • Guidelines for standardization
  • Link to other meta-guides for your reference

Best Practices Overview

Before you publish your guide

  • You've checked guides for similar guides and master/template content to use
  • Guide's metadata follows conventions
  • The guide has been edited for conciseness
  • The guide has a clear visual hierarchy
  • Menu titles are brief
  • Contact information is listed
  • Profile box does not appear on every page
  • Colors and fonts are standardized within guide (same size, style, and color)
  • Guide has a friendly URL
  • Guide has been checked for accessibility

Naming your Guide

Course Guide metadata largest to smallest: year before term, campus before instructor. Use course codes instead of full names.

ENGL 100
ENGL 100 2019 Fall
ENGL 100 Penticton Smith

Topic Guides: the topic in the briefest plain English required.

Seed Library
Census 2020
Raspberry Pi

Program-Level Guides: Spell out the name in plain English as it is in the calendar. If there is another word essential for findability add it after the program name.

English for AACP

Citation Guides: the name of the citation style or a brief description of the content.

APA for Business

Reusing Content

Reusing existing content will save time and improve consistency.

  1. Whenever you add new content such as a page, box, or link there is an option to add new or reuse
  2. Select reuse and search for your desired content
  3. Search results will show existing content that can be reused and where that content is located. Finding none proceed to "add new"
  4. If you want to copy the content and make changes, choose "Make a copy of this..." Do not select this option if you want updates to the parent content to automatically carry over to your content.


  • Links are reused wherever possible to speed updates and reduce broken links
  • Links of lists are limited to the Top 10 Most Important
  • Links are annotated (1-2 sentences max)
  • Use permanent links for library resources
  • Proxy URL has been added to the front of database/on-campus resource links
  • Linked content is in link boxes--so that use statistics are being tracked and the link checker can be used
  • Guide has been given a friendly URL

Course Guides

Wherever possible use these steps to reduce the overall number of course guides:

1. Create one master course guide

2. Add sub-pages with instructor or term specific content

3. Update the course guide each term to remove sub-pages that are no longer relevant

4. Consider including course-specific content as sub-pages on the main program-level guide (sub-pages can be found by title in the "search all guides" box but will not show up in the course guides list)

Choose the right Guide Type

Course Guide: guides for specific courses

Subject Guide: guides for specific programs/departments (displays as Guides by Program in some menus)

General Purpose Guide: citation and plagiarism guides (displays as Citation Guides)

Topic Guide: for topics that do not fit into one of the above (can be tagged to display in lists for a program)

Internal Guide: for staff use

Template Guide: for templates to reuse for later guides

Make sure your guides work for everyone

  • Images all have ALT tags or short descriptions in the Image Description Field
  • Links open in the same window (system default); if link opens in new window or tab, user is told in description.
  • Formatting has been removed from information copied and pasted from outside sources
  • Run the URL of the print version of your page against the WAVE tool to double-check accessibility
  • Test your guide using a screen reader or your computer's built-in text-to-speech

Maintaining your guides

  • Review guides once a semester to check for broken links, content updates, and any changes to contact information.
  • Delete or unpublish guides if outdated, unused, or being redone
  • Use the Link Checker to check for broken links in boxes EXCEPT for Rich Text
  • Whenever possible reduce guide duplication by using a master course guide

This site is maintained by the librarians of Okanagan College Library.
If you wish to comment on an individual page, please contact that page's author.
If you have a question or comment about Okanagan College Library's LibGuides site as a whole, please contact the site administrator.