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KSL Research Guides Style Guide

Modules people can copy to their guides. Keep them "linked" so they change on your guides when updated.

Collection Strategies Librarian

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Brian Gray
Kelvin Smith Library 201-F
(216) 368-8685

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Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Required Content

Your profile needs to have:

  • picture
  • email address
  • phone


All guides MUST:

  • Use a KSL designed, tested, and required template.
    • Under the Side-Nav layout, there are 2 versions for "research" and 2 for "events". Use whichever one best matches your need. The main difference is the "event" template does not automatically display the librarian's LibGuide profile, so you add custom contact information somewhere in the guide's content.
  • Contain at least one profile or a box describing who to contact.
  • Contain Ask A Librarian module & VPN reminder module on the first page (KSL templates do this for you automatically.)
  • Links must be in the "link" content type.
    • Do not embed links directly in the free text. Use a text box, followed by "add link", and go back to a text box.
    • Not adding links correctly, bypasses assessment tools (such as link click counts), bypasses the link checker, and prevents the batch fix or change of links.
    • Librarian-conducted usability testing shows users find and use the links when pulled out separately. 
    • The link tool guarantees that accessibility requirements are all met.
    • Links cannot be absent from an URL. Use bulleted list in free text instead.
    • Recommendation: "Reuse Existing Link" in the system rather than creating the same link additional times. Allows you to change a single link and it modifies on all guides where used.
  • Books must be in the "book" content type.
    • Using ISBN (when available) pulls in key metadata and cover art.
    • Use the permalinks from the catalog.
  • Databases must be in the "databases" content type.
    • Do not create a "link" to point to a database. URLs and authentication change often and the database list is maintained for accuracy. All changes are repeated throughout the guides.
  • Guides need a friendly URL. Subpages can also have friendly URLs for convenience.
  • "Group" is reserved for FC and SC. Do not assign your guide to a group as the templates are different.
  • Box headers use consistent capitalization, etc.
  • Guides must have one or more of the subjects listed. At a minimum, you would list the department it supports.
    • "Event-specific" should be used when appropriate.
  • Guides must have one or more tags as defined by you.
  • Course guides should be created as a subpage for the appropriate subject guide.
    • This is important for Canvas automatic linking AND to drive users to the related content in the subject guide as students progress through their coursework.
    • Recommendation in partnership with faculty: The course subpage should be maintained for about 4 years as students may return to them to find a resource they remember using, and the subpage can be retired after 4 years if the course no longer taught.
  • Each assigned academic department must have a primary guide.

Additional information:


Guides can also have:

  • KSL Facebook module
  • RSLs module
  • KSL phone numbers module


Tips & Tricks

  • Organize around "actions" rather than types of resources
  • Look at "guide overall" and "details" statistics to see if usage suggests possible improvements
  • Repurpose content: create a box on one guide and link to it OR point to other guides; No need to recreate and maintain identical content in multiple places.
  • Use bullets, images, and white space to break up text-heavy content.
  • Teach "how to use" or "why to use" a resource (i.e. not just lists of resources).
  • Limit to the top 3-5 resources to avoid pointing every potential resource. Focus on a few but point to the appropriate subject categories in the databases list for more tools that can be used.
  • Re-use links and books already in the system. No need to create a new link and new book for already used items. It creates additional maintenance work and will reduce the usage data for those items.


Check Your URLs on a Regular Basis

  • From LibGuides administrative interface, go to Tools > Link Checker. You can filter to your name. Delete it from the Link Checker report once fixed. It will only reappear if it breaks again.
  • A common mistake that causes a link to be reported broken is it has not been updated to a newer "https" URL.

Additional information:

How are we using guide "types"?

  • Course Guide = Created to support a specific course (but, these were to be phased out years ago and merged into subject guides)
  • General Purpose - default by system; catch-all for anything else
  • Subject Guide = Main guide for each academic department
  • Topic Guide = Events or programs
  • Internal Guide = Should never be used for a publicly viewable guide

Profile Picture Specifications

Go to LibApps > My Profile > Profile Image


  • Use the same profile image used on the KSL website
  • PNG or JPG
  • 200px wide x 140px high

Get Online Help

Research Tools

KSL on Facebook & CampusGroups

KSL Favorite Guides

Think Forum Related Guides

These guides were created to support the previous Town Hall series and the current Think Forum Lecture Series. They are listed in the order of newest first.

Research Services Librarians

You can contact a librarian by phone, email, chat, or in-person to assist in all your needs. See our Ask A Librarian services page.

KSL Phone Numbers

  • KSL Hours Hotline: 216-368-6500
  • Service Center: 216-368-3506
  • Ask A Librarian Text Message: 216-220-8261
  • Freedman Center: 216-368-0932
  • Special Collections: 216-368-0189

CWRU Libraries Discovery

CWRU Libraries Discovery