It was a big decision for us to choose to subscribe to LibGuides because it is expensive, and did require cuts elsewhere in our budget to find the money (I don’t think anyone is in a position to make budget increases right now!). I’m going to explain why we think it was worth it and will definitely be continuing with our subscription, with the following caveats:
When we were investigating LibGuides I found it quite difficult to find detailed, unbiased reviews of what the platform could do, what it couldn’t do and whether people thought it was worth the cost, so that is what I will attempt to provide here – along with a helpful record for me in case I need it to justify the cost in our budget this year 😊. I have no affiliation to or connection with LibGuides/Springshare. I am not ‘promoting’ the product and neither I nor the FOSIL Group get any benefits from this post. It is just my opinion.
As a school we do not have a Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that I can tap into. I have no experience of a platform like Firefly and, given you have chosen to use this Emily, it is highly likely that we could have achieved something similar if we had had access to that. I would love to hear more about what you do (I’ll make a post over the next few days about how to add images to your posts in case you have time to share something of what you do with the community and want to put some images in). We do have Moodle, but it is not widely used within the school and when I had a play with it, it did not do everything I wanted and I was aware that, because it wasn’t really used, I would have to train pupils to use it in a way that I didn’t feel was necessary with LibGuides because they are more intuitive.
This was our solution to the asynchronous EE support problem. It is not the only solution and different schools have very different circumstances. Just because it was right for us, I am certainly not suggesting that everyone needs to do it this way. While there are reasons that I decided not to use OneNote (which I will explain below), I am certainly not criticizing anyone who does feel able to provide their support in that format.
Very visually attractive and easy to navigate and edit
Easy to reuse resources between guides, in either a mirrored or copied format
Easy to lock down my content…
…but everyone can see it
Student and supervisor resources are in the same place
Can bring all library resources together into the same place. Great for making a Library website. Massively customisable if you want to.
No SSO for databases. With LibGuides CMS you can password protect areas or use “CAS and SAML/Shibboleth/ADFS”. I haven’t really explored this because the only page I want to protect is the A-Z Databases page and, as far as I can tell from conversations with their support team, this isn’t possible.