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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.


While much of our LibGuides style (layout, colour) is controlled centrally, when creating LibGuides keep in mind design techniques that enhance the usability of your guides.

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

LibGuide Types


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 necessary to assign your guide to "Research Guides". This ensures that it will show up on LCR's list of LibGuides by subject and owner.

In addition to assigning a "type" and "group" it is highly recommended that you affiliate your guides with a "Subject".

  • The subjects you choose will affect where your guide is displayed on the Research Guides by Subject page. (They are also the subjects that govern our A-Z database list, and appear n staff profiles.)
  • Consider these subjects as liaison areas, disciplines, or departments. If your guide does not fall under a subject area, and you would like to associate additional terms with your guide, see  "Tags".

The Subject list is "controlled vocabulary". To have a new subject added to the list, request this from Library IT by placing a Samanage request.

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.

  • Editors should add additional tags as appropriate – if a guide has already been assigned a broad subject category (e.g. business), perhaps a more specific tag based on the guide's content (e.g. marketing) would be appropriate.

Tags can be multiple words (standard practice is no more than two) but the tags should be separated by a comma, or hit enter after typing the tag. 
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.