I just had one of those epiphanies in which I realized I hadn’t written for a while. I’ve been meaning to, but have been preoccupied with teaching “Introduction to Sources and Services in the Arts and Humanities” online for the UIUC library school. It’s not so much the time commitment, which is considerably less than teaching a writing seminar. It’s more that I’ve been thinking about the course, but writing about it while teaching seems inappropriate. For the curious, it’s going okay so far. I’ve had a few successes and definitely made a few mistakes.
One success was choosing to have my students prepare a library research guide for an upper-level undergraduate course in the humanities. I knew I wanted to use something like LibGuides, and when talking about it with a colleague he suggested contacting Springshare, which turned out to be a great idea. I wrote Springshare asking if they could set up a domain for my course so that the students could learn to use LibGuides, and pointed out the mutual benefits (they get some free publicity and maybe get to hook students on LibGuides, and my students get to use the product that has become something of a standard in academic libraries in the last few years). Slaven Zivkovic from Springshare responded quickly and warmly to my request, and as far as I know my library school course is the first one to have its own LibGuides domain.
I’ve written favorably about LibGuides a couple of times before when it was a newer product. My enthusiasm for it hasn’t changed. It’s no surprise to me why so many libraries have subscribed, since LibGuides delivers a great product at a great price. Also, as my experience shows, Springshare is responsive to the library community in very positive ways. I don’t normally plug products on the blog, and at this point I’m not sure LibGuides really needs plugging, but I do want to give a hearty public thanks to Slaven and the folks at LibGuides both for making a very useful product and for letting my students use it.