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Style Guide and Best Practices (libguides)

Page Name Standards

Please follow the GCC Template Standards when naming each page in the left navigator. The "Find Articles" "Find Books" format ensures consistency for users and offers a more effective experience for students.

Long Nav or Short Nav?: Student Responses to Two Different Navigational Interface Designs in LibGuides Version 2   

Original Research Article 
The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Available online 17 March 2018, Pages 
Aaron Bowen, Jake Ellis, Barbara Chaparro 

Box Types

There are a number of options for boxes (standard, tabbed, gallery, profile). Consult the Springshare Boxes Guide for a description and detailed instructions. Keep in mind that tabbed and gallery boxes do not read well on a mobile device and we want the navigational options to remain on the left navigator, so we recommend using "standard."

Writing for the Web

Visit Springshare's Writing for the Web Guide for tips and best practice suggestions on headlines, language, and writing style.

Add Subjects

Adding Subject headings to a guide can make them easier for users to find. See Springshare's Subject page for directions.

Links and Hyperlinks

When adding a link or hyperlink in a guide, follow this format:

  • To link to a page within your guide, have the link open in the same window.
  • To link to an outside page, the link should open in a new window.


  • If I link to another box on this page (Assets), it will open in the same window.
  • If I open to an outside page, like a Springshare adding links or a GCC page, it will open in a new window. 

When adding a link or hyperlink, you will choose a new window by clicking on the "Target" tab and selecting the "New Window" dropdown. 

This image shows the drop-down window titled Target and the choice New Window.


Assets are the list of things you can add into boxes such as a database, book from the catalog, etc. Consult Springshare's Adding Assets to Guides for a detailed description and instructions.


Consult Springshare's Images Guide for Best Practice suggestions and detailed instructions on adding images.

  • Images must be copyright free or copyright allowed with attribution. See the ERC Committee Images Resources Guide for suggested places to find usable images.
  • Note-- you are required to include Alt Text on any image to be ADA compliant. See description from Sharepoint below:

Alt Text

Alt Text or Alternative Text Fields are just as important as your image.

This does not mean that your description needs to be a paragraph, but it does need to illustrate why you included the image.

Golden Orb Sprider - golden body with black and gold legs - less venomous

For example, if you guide is talking about two different types of spiders and you have included an image of one of them:

Good Example:

  • Golden Orb Spider - golden body with black and golden legs, less venomous.

Bad Example

  • spider


If your image is purely decorative, leave the Alternative Text field blank! This will allow screen readers to skip reading the image. (Ex. a decorative 'swoosh' under a heading.)


Screen Shots are a whole other story.
If you are using a screenshot for instructional purposes and you have included captions, be sure to also include those in the instructions on the page as well. Check out how we used the screen shot below.

Daily distribution, Mon 14.6%, Tue 10.5%, Wed 17.5%, Thu 11.2%, Fri 18.5%, Sat 12.6%, Sun 15%

If you are using a graphic to illustrate data, be sure to include that data in the alt text.


Alt Text: Daily distribution, Mon 14.6%, Tue 10.5%, Wed 17.5%, Thu 11.2%, Fri 18.5%, Sat 12.6%, Sun 15%

Or include a caption with the image that explains what image is demonstrating.


The chart above illustrates the Daily Distribution as follows:
Mon 14.6%, Tue 10.5%, Wed 17.5%, Thu 11.2%, Fri 18.5%, Sat 12.6%, Sun 15%


Add the Citation Guide

Please add a page redirect URL adding the Citation Guide. This is a master guide, and redirecting users to this page means we only have to update the information on one page. (See master pages) for an explanation. 

**Please use this URL for your redirect:


Redirect a page to a different URL


What is a redirect URL

A page redirect allows you to take users to a different URL when they click on that page's tab or side-nav item in your guide. This is a great way to link to other related guides, your library website, or just about any URL, right from within your guide's navigation menu. For example, you could add a page to your Psychology subject guide titled "APA Citation Guide". You could add a redirect URL to that page so that, when a user clicks on it, they will be taken to your guide on that topic.

Adding a redirect URL 

  1. While editing your guide, click on the page you want to customize in your guide's navigation menu (i.e. tabs or side-navigation).
  2. Click on the  Page menu, which is located next to the Page URL above your guide's content columns.
  3. Select Redirect URL from the dropdown.
  4. In the Redirect URL field, enter the full URL (including the http(s)://) to the page you're linking to.
    • If you are linking to another guide, make sure you are using the guide's public URL and that the guide's status is Published or Private.
    • If you are linking to an external website, keep in mind that redirect URLs are not included in the LibGuides link checker. 
  5. If you would like to open this link in a new browser window or tab, select the New Window checkbox.
  6. Click on the Save button. A blue alert message will appear at the top of the page letting you know that a redirect URL is in place.

Removing a redirect URL

To remove a redirect URL from a page, simply repeat the steps above. Except, for Step 4, delete the URL so that the Redirect URL field is empty when saving.

Selecting Redirect URL from the Page dropdown

Adding a redirect URL to a page 

Tags, Subjects, and Groups

You should fill in a Subject category and Tag with any keywords that would help guide students when searching. If you have a general subject or class guide, please also designate the correct Field of Interest Group (drop-down choices).


Changing a guide's subject categories

  1. Click on the pencil () icon next to the Subjects field at the top of the guide.

Clicking the pencil icon to add subjects

  1. In the window that appears, select the subject categories you want to apply from the dropdown.
    • You can assign a guide to as many subjects as you'd like.
    • However, you can only choose from the listed subjects. Only Admin users are able create new subject categories.
  2. ​Click the Save button.

Assigning subjects to a guide


Adding tags to a guide

Tags provide a way to organize guides by keywords. Primarily used to weight and filter search results, you can also create widgets that allow users to view guides assigned to your tags.

  1. Click on the pencil () icon next to the Tags field at the top of the guide.

Clicking the pencil icon to add tags

  1. In the window that appears, start typing the name of your tag in the text field.
    • If that tag already exists in the system, select it from the dropdown list of results.
    • Otherwise, you can add your new tag by simply pressing enter when you finish typing.
  2. ​Click the Save button.

Assigning tags to a guide

Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike License Tag

All guides are available under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.