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LibGuides Goals

In our content, we value:

  1. Impact; create content mapped to specific user goals that promotes generative learning.
  2. Visibility; form and promote information hubs, using metadata to help users find and navigate them.
  3. Usability; make your content organized and scannable for a variety of user needs.
  4. Accuracy; manage content strategically and intentionally to ensure it is reliable and up-to-date.

LibGuides Practices

Map your content to specific user goals.

Ladder leaning against a stucco wallHelp users quickly recognize that your content has the information they need. If they can't determine that within 3-8 seconds, they'll look elsewhere. 

Map your content's scope to your users goals. 

Provide a focal point and a group of visually distinct steps or sections.

Place high value content at the top of pages and sections.


Create content that teaches.

Teaching desk with an apple and a stack of books.Satisfying a user's need is useful but teaching a user to satisfy their own need is invaluable. Instead of listing sources users might currently need, show them where and how to find what they'll ever need.

Assess user needs and usage when managing content like "new books" lists.

Prioritize connecting users with tools over connecting them with sources.


Help develop information hubs.

wagon wheelHubs help users find, discover, and use all content serving a specific goal in one place. Content not serving that goal is distracting instead of supportive. 

Organize subject content by subject and include all source types.

When related content already exists, link to propose collaborating on it.



Add metadata to optimize visibility.

Library card catalogUse guide metadata to help users find and discover it.

Use guide names and friendly URLs that are easy to find and remember.

Add "subjects" to create a path to your content on the landing page.

Add guide "tags" to improve search engine optimization (SEO).


Design for (a diversity of) user needs.

countryside rainbowUsers are unique and have a variety of permanent and temporary physical, cognitive, and sensory experiences. Use experiences on one end of that spectrum to make content accessible for everyone on it. 

Use proper heading levels to create useful visual and auditory structure.

Create descriptive links and headers to enable confident navigation.

Give images alternative text for users unable to see or load them.


Provide user with a clear roadmap.

A forest wooden pathUsers want to scan content and quickly identify and use the information they need. Help them preserve their cognitive reserves for using your content, not spend it on finding it.

Enable scanning by using headers, short paragraphs, and bullet points.

Use friendly, informal language to help users feel confident and at ease.


Consider your time, role, and expertise.

HourglassAll content has a lifecycle and needs to be regularly reviewedConsider whether your role and/or expertise enables you to manage it effectively. 

Keep your workload within your limits (time, expertise, etc.).

Identify opportunities for content linking and co-management.

Check your links at regular intervals.


Use mapped content (ex: link assets) when possible.


Reusing content centralizes its management. Use link assets that already exist instead of creatin gyour own to rely on asset owners to manage them. 

Use ISD-owned link assets to avoid having to update URLs and names.