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MIT Libraries Staff Web

PSDocs Style Guide: Before you write

Style Guide for Public Services Documentation

When adding a new page

No: Yes:


First check for an existing page(s) that already documents the topic or to which additional content may be added.

Single sentence documentation

If a procedure can be described in 1 sentence, it probably doesn't need to exist on its own. Check if the information belongs with other procedures. Is there another page you can add the content to?

Create a new page before determining its location

Determine where the page should be in the hierarchy.

  • Which section of the wiki should it belong in (Circulation, Reference, Facilities, Troubleshooting, Policies and Procedures, Document Delivery)?
  • Should it be directly under that section, or one level below that?

Develop a new wiki template

Use the PS Docs template. Learn the procedure for Adding a new PSDocs page.


When writing content

Consider why staff use PSDocs and tailor content to meet staff needs or answer staff questions:

  • While helping a patron at a physical or virtual service point
    • Find a policy or procedure
    • Find who to refer to
    • Solve a problem
  • In training
    • Training new staff
    • Learning new procedures or policies, or changes to existing procedures or policies
    • Refreshing knowledge or understanding
No: Yes:

Public information: PS documentation is not needed for publicly shared policies and procedures (e.g., a guide to finding films).

Put information for the public in a LibGuide or other publicly accessible web page.

Committee and department pages: PS Docs should only include information for training, refreshers and service point use

Put non-training/refresher documentation on a department wiki or LibGuide

Avoid using:

  • Attachments - most attachments are not searchable through the wiki
  • Video tutorials - audio cannot be used at a service point

Keep information on the wiki page:

  • Add the content directly to the wiki page 
  • Link to video tutorials on the Libraries website

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Review writing style guidelines

Review information on the writing style tab.

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