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LibGuide Best Practices: Introduction

TCC Library's best practices, standards, and guidelines to follow when creating and updating LibGuides.


This guide will help you create a usable, readable, and well-designed guide.

Intended Audience: This guide is for TCC Librarians, members of LMT, and CTLs that create, maintain, and edit LibGuides.

Content/Scope: This guide contains TCC Library's Best Practices for Libguides.  It serves to improve the consistency and quality of LibGuides from the TCC library. 


Introduction to LibGuides

LibGuides is a content management system specifically geared toward librarians. It is a tool to help librarians create and manage web content. When developing a guide, think about -- what function does it serve? Be clear on your purpose and then reflect on it when designing your guide structure. 

SpringShare Support Guides

You can think of guides like Matryoshka dolls.

Guides are the largest, outermost Matryoshka doll - they contain all of the other dolls, or in this case, pages, boxes, and content.

Pages are the 2nd Matryoshka doll. They provide structure to your guide and the content within it.

Boxes are the 3rd Matryoshka doll. They contain the actual content you want to share. There are 4 different types of boxes in LibGuides:

  1. General: used most of the time, general boxes can contain text, links, databases, books, etc.
  2. Tabbed: similar to General, except you can create multiple tabs within the box, each of which can house its own content items. (It's like an extra Matryoska doll within the box!)
  3. Gallery: displays images, which rotate within the box.
  4. User Profile: displays any user's profile in your system. This is the only type of content this box type displays.

Content items are the smallest of the dolls. They include text, links, databases, books, videos, widgets, RSS feeds, polls, etc.

A guide can contain many pages, a page can contain many boxes, and a box can contain many pieces of content.

LibGuides structure in a hierarchical chart

LibGuides 2.0 box content options

You can use any combinations of these options within one box; a visual divider will appear between content types.

Logging into LibApps

Springshare has a single sign-on process. 


Go to LibApps to access your profile page. Click on the My Profile tab and fill in with these requirements. 

Creating Your Profile
1. Your title should be Librarian.
2. Your profile should include a professional photo of you. Photos should be a simple headshot with a
professional background. Please speak with your supervisor if you need to have a photo arranged.
3. Your profile should include:
  a. Your name.
  b. Your phone number.
  c. Your TCC e-mail address.
  d. Your campus.
4. If your guide is generic to all campuses, you have the option of using the 'Your Friendly Librarians’
profile box in place of your personal profile. If the guide is specific to your campus, use your own
professional photo and contact information.
5. Embed appointment scheduler and select time availability in LibCal.
6. Your profile box in LibCal (your professional photo and the information you include) should match your
profile box in LibGuides.
7. If you include a profile box it should only appear on the right side of the front page. 

Changing your Personal Statement on your Profile

1.  Go to LibApps

2. Find My Profile tab

3. Find Profile Page tab

4. Look in Page Settings Box- click to edit Personal Statement

You can also add your pronouns to your profile.


Within LibGuides, assets are "content objects" that contain some piece of information and can be reused across many guides. Specifically, assets are the following LibGuides content types:

  • Link
  • Media / Widget
  • Book from the Catalog
  • Document / File
  • RSS feeds

Assets can be reused in other guides either by linking to them (mapping) or duplicating them (copying). Reusing assets are an important part of the LibGuides platform as it makes it easy to

  • centrally maintain common and canonical resources.
  • share a wide knowledge base across all subjects.
  • keep track of your resources.


Manage Assets


An asset can be edited or deleted from the Asset Management screen. Be careful when deleting as an asset from this screen as it will also remove mapped versions of it too!

There are several things you can do on this screen:

  • Add new assets - these include URL links, books from a catalog, documents/files, media/widgets or RSS feeds.
  • Modify Assets - click the edit button in the Actions column to edit that asset. This will also update any mapped versions of this asset.
  • Delete Assets - click the x button in the Actions column to delete an asset. This will also delete all mapped versions of this asset.
  • Filter the Table - you can filter by asset type (link, book, etc.), name, description, and creation date by clicking on the table column header.
  • Export Assets - Using the links just above the top right of the table you can export your assets as an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF. NB: This action will only export the assets displayed on the screen -- depending on how many assets are shown per page.

Reusing Assets

A powerful feature of LibGuides is the easy reuse of any asset. Assets can be easily reused by mapping or copying from an original asset. An original asset is an asset that was created from scratch.

Reuse an existing link

Mapped Assets

A mapped asset, or a "reused" asset, is directly linked to an original asset. If the original asset is changed in any way then all mapped versions to that asset will be updated immediately. A mapped asset can only be edited by the original creator (or by an administrator).

Copied Assets

Make a Copy option

A copied asset works a bit differently than a mapped asset. A copied asset is a duplication of an original asset that retains all the same information, yet becomes an entirely new asset with a new owner. A copied asset will not update when the original asset gets updated.

Asset Types

A link is a fundamental element of the web and LibGuides makes it easy to create one.

Here are some examples of link assets

Deleting an Asset

Deleting an asset from a guide

When you delete an asset from within a guide you will only remove that specific instance of the asset. If the asset to be deleted is a mapped or copied asset then the original asset will not be removed.

Remove Mapped Asset popup

Deleting an asset from the Asset Management page

When you delete an asset from the Asset Management page you will also remove ALL mapped versions along with it. Be careful when you make this choice as will be permanently gone! Copied assets will not be removed if the original asset is deleted.

Delete Asset popup



Images are a unique kind of asset and are accessed separately from other kinds of assets because they don't automatically get shared between users. An image asset can be managed only by the user who uploaded that image asset.

You can configure your image assets by accessing the Image Manager menu option from the LibApps Dashboard.

.Image Manager link from LibApps menu

The Image Manager allows you to upload and organize the image assets you use across your guides into your private Personal Library. More so, there is also a Shared Library of select image assets that all BC libraries users can access. 


Personal Library

Your Personal Library is a private space for you to upload and organize your image assets. Image assets may be uploaded to your Personal Library before you begin working on a guide or they can be uploaded and immediately used during the guide creation workflow.

Uploading a New Image Asset

Uploading a new image asset is as easy as clicking the "Upload New Image" button. Once it is uploaded, which should only take a few seconds, a thumbnail representation of the image asset is placed in the "ROOT (default)" folder in your Personal Library. All image assets are stored on Springshare's private server.

Deleting an Image Asset

To delete an image you will click the x button on the top-right of the image asset thumbnail. BE CAREFUL! Once you delete an image asset it'll also permanently remove it from any guide that currently uses it!

Creating a New Folder

Organizing your image assets into folders is a good idea and can certainly help sort through the dozens of images you may collect over time. To create a new folder first give it a name in the input box that is labeled "Create New Folder" and then click the Create button. You'll see the newly named folder listed in the FOLDERS directory. 

Moving an Image Asset to a Different Folder

There is a small truck button in the action menu below the image thumbnail. This button, when clicked, will display a small drop down menu where you can choose the Personal Library folder where the image should be placed.

Other Image Asset Functions

  • The magnifying glass button will display the image asset at full size.
  • The chain/link button will display the full URL where the image is stored.

Shared Library

The Shared Library is a folder separate from your private Personal Library that is available to all LibGuides users. This folder will contain a set of common image assets that should be reused rather than uploaded multiple times across numerous users. This will help keep variations of the same image under control.


TCC Library Policy, Section 5: Website Overview

The Library website is a curated collection of links and content on a variety of subjects.  The information 
includes, but is not limited to, a cloud‐based library management application managed by the Library, 
online databases, discovery products, and links to other selected resources. 

The Librarians are responsible for creating the content and links to other websites based on the selection criteria for electronic resources outlined in the Library guidelines. Changes to the webpage content and links may be made by Librarians as appropriate under the direction of library management. 

The Library website accommodates a broad range of computer capacities and serves patrons of varying abilities. However, access to some Library web resources may be restricted to Library patrons due to the limitations of license agreements.

Government, non‐profit, and commercial websites free from excessive marketing may be included based on recommendations from Librarians who determine the sites’ informational and/or educational value.  Included websites must meet the following criteria: 
(1) The site's owner or sponsor is easily identifiable, and contact information is provided.   
(2) The site does not charge for access.   
(3) The site meets the evaluative measures of currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

 Every effort should be made to ensure that the Library’s information is accurate and up‐to‐date.  The  Website and E‐Resources Team should continually review the website content for accuracy as part of a  regular maintenance routine.  Since website content may change or disappear entirely without notice,  the Library cannot be held responsible for the content or accuracy of websites not maintained by the  Library.  While every effort should be made to keep links current, website visitors should inform Library staff of any non‐functional links or links that are inconsistent with the above-stated criteria.  

Only information necessary to measure the number and timing of visitors to different areas of the 
Library website to help make these sites more useful should be stored. Only the following information 
should be collected:  
(1) The address (IP) of the visitor's computer or Internet provider.   
(2) The date and time the visitor accesses various web pages.   
(3) The name, email address, postal address, telephone number, and Campus-Wide Identification 
Number (CWID) of a visitor to the Library website, only if the information is needed to allow 
access to a subscription service or to complete a request submitted via the website.

Metro Campus Library: 918.595.7172 | Northeast Campus Library: 918.595.7501 | Southeast Campus Library: 918.595.7701 | West Campus Library: 918.595.8010
email: Library Website Technical Help | TCC Acceptable Use Policy | MyTCC | © 2021 Tulsa Community College