Thursday, September 6, 2012


What is the overall purpose of a library subject guide? I'm trying to write a philosophy rooted in the parlance of teaching and learning in the higher education arena. "Libguides" are the name of a specific platform of templates.

Libguides are a communication strategy formed of subject content and informed by the process of learning with information, all within a disciplinary context.

Libguides are "learning objects." They guide students in learning with information (whatever the format) while learning about the information practices within a discipline or profession. Libguides may be used to by learners to reflect on or frame the changes in the way they see, understand, conceptualize, or experience something (that which they are learning) and then communicate their new knowledge or perform tasks.

Okay, all that is the ideal. What my libguides currently do: frame the ways of finding different types of information within a specific field. They focus on navigating library tools, accessing info, with sideways links to using info ethically (citing, avoiding plagiarism) and evaluating. Is it possible to construct libguides which could come closer to the ideals above?


While looking at the library & information literacy literature on libguides, I was excited to come across this article, thinking that it might get me closer to my ideal:

Yelinek, K., Neyer, L., Bressler, D., Coffta, M., & Magolis, D. (2010). Using LibGuides for an information literacy tutorial. College & Research Libraries News, 71(7), 352-355, 

which portrays a tutorial that, while based on the ACRL “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,” is not interactive (although each section includes self-grading multiple-choice quizzes). This is very similar to what we had as our Research Skills Tutorial and Library Virtual Tour in the early 2000's. I think it goes against the principles of deep learning and informed learning above, and it leaves me as frustrated with the "competency-based approach" as ever.

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