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Guidelines for Staff LibGuides: Home

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  • You can use LibGuides to create any staff guides that don't need to be private or secure.  For private info, use the Confluence wiki.
  • When you create a new guide, make sure to put it in the "MIT Libraries Staff Guides" group!  Since we use LibGuides for public pages, we need to be very careful to keep staff guides separate from the public guides.  Guides in the Staff Guides group will all have the proper staff guides header.
  • When you create a new guide or page please notify the maintainer of the staff web, so links can be made to it. Use the Request form.
  • Every site on the staff web must contain the name of the group or person responsible for it.
  • All pages should be kept up to date with current and accurate information. If a web site is owned by a committee that is disbanding or a person who can no longer maintain it, arrangements should be made for the ownership to change hands, or for the site to be  deleted.  The new "owner" needs to be identified on the page itself.

Page layout:

  • The fewer boxes, the better!  Keep it simple. No set limit to number of boxes allowed on page, but if it looks cluttered or if scrolling is excessive, consider reorganizing the page by using tabs.
  • You can choose to use 1, 2, or 3 column layouts.  Each second level guide should have a link back to the main Staff Web guide.
  • Set a maximum of 5 or 6 tabs per page.  Subtabs may be used as a last resort, but should be kept as simple as possible and labeled wisely.  Make sure the tab name and the page name match.  Don't link tabs to URLs outside of your guide, since the tabs are meant for navigating within your guide.
  • If you use tabs, make sure to link to the tabs somewhere on the main page.  Users don't always see tabs, so providing alternate navigation helps.  Note: When you link to the tab, don't just copy the link to the tab in edit or preview mode.  You can either copy the tab's URL on a live page, or you can copy tab's URL in edit mode, and delete the "ae" from the URL. 
    link for a tab you'd see in live mode:
    link for a tab you'd see in edit mode:
    (You'd want to delete the "ae" before the "content.php" in the link, so that the URL is correct.)
  • When given an option to have links open in a new tab/window, you should usually choose to have the link open in the same tab, since users often don't like to have multiple tabs.  The only situation where you should choose to open in a new tab is when you think that user will really want to keep the original window open.
  • Choose to "link to" or "copy" wisely.  Any time the content should be maintained by one person, use "link to."


  • Less is more!  Usability tests show that users get overwhelmed with a lot of content, so keep text to a minimum whenever possible.  Organize your content so that you can have fewer boxes and columns.

Other features:

  • Don't use tags feature.
  • You can either upload images and images through LibGuides (in edit mode), or store them on the wiki and link to them from your LibGuide.  

Making pages live:

  • Try to add a "friendly" shortcut URL for major pages.
  • Don't use subject categories per page.
  • Change the status of the guide to "Published" if you want it to be able to use the LibGuides search box to find it.  (But don't publish it if there's any sensitive or secret information in it!)  If you don't want the page to be searchable by Google or by the LibGuides search box, keep pages "private."
  • If you don't want a guide anymore, delete it!

Accessibility tips:

  • Please reference the slide deck linked below.

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