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Best Practice Guide for LibGuides

Created for the LCR staff, this guide will help you to get started, understand standards, and share tips, tricks and tutorials.


When creating LibGuides keep in mind design techniques that enhance the usability of your guides. Also remember that users have different learning styles and this must be taken into consideration in your design.

Here are some resources that provide excellent guidelines for design that promote the usability and versatility of your guides:

LibGuide Types and Subjects


When updating/creating guides be sure to assign a "guide type" so your guides may be more accessible to users. The LibGuides Working Group recommends that the U of C Guide Types are limited to 3 classifications:

1. Subject guides

2. Course guides

3. How do I guides

This decision was based on our review of many academic LibGuides sites where there seems to be great confusion over the classification of guides as "topic guides" or "subject guides".

To assign a guide type to your guides, use the "tool" icon in the upper left corner of your guide. Alternatively the guide type may be assigned when a new guide is created.


In addition to assigning a "type" it is a good idea to also affiliate your guides with a "Subject", so that the guides will be listed under appropriate subject headings.

Tagging is the assignment of a keyword or phrase to web-based information. This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. In LibGuides, tagging allows users to find a guide they want to view. 

When creating new guides, editors should assign both subject categories AND tags. 

  • New subject guides should have “subject guides” assigned as as a subject category, and also have "subject guides" assigned as one of the tags.
  • New course guides should have “course guides” as both a subject category and tag. 
  • Editors should add additional tags as appropriate – broad subject category (e.g. business)  and perhaps a more specific subject term based on the guide's content (e.g. marketing).

Tags can be multiple words (standard practice is no more than two) but the tags should be separated by a comma.  Tags must be separated by spaces, so if you have a two-word tag that you want to add, use an underscore instead of a space, like this: instructional_technology
You can see the tags associated with a guide at the top of each guide page.  Clicking on a tag will display a page that lists other guides with the same tag.

Course specific guides

NURS301 - Nursing Inquiry (SP 2015)

Use the course abbreviation as seen in the U of C Calendar (ALL CAPS) & course number (no spaces between) / space / dash / space Official course name / in brackets and only if necessary the session (SP, SSD, F, W, FW) and year.


Guide status


  • Invisible to the public
  • Can only be accessed from the admin interface
  • Not indexed by search




  • Available to everyone
  • Appears in the All Guides list on your homepage
  • Appears under any subjects or group that it has been assigned to
  • Indexed for search


  • Only accessible to people who know the URL
  • Not visible on the homepage
  • Not indexed by search

Note: The ability to change a guide's status is limited to the guide owner and admin-level account holders.

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