Getting Started: Adding Content

LibGuides instructions and help for the staff of Columbia University Libraries.

Database Link Tips

You don't have to enter that database name and proxy link--they're already imported into LibGuides 2!

When you want to add a database link, simply choose the "database" content item option.

Then start typing the name of the database--when you've typed 3 or more letters, a list of suggested databases will pop up:

You have the option of including descriptive text about the database, and displaying it below the link, on mouseover, or hovering on an "info" icon. Here are examples of each:

Reuse Content!

One of the best things about LibGuides is that you can reuse almost everything: guides, pages, boxes, and individual content items. 

You can even copy guides created by people at other libraries! Just make sure you ask their permission first. 

Mapping vs. Copying

The most important thing you need to know is that there are two kinds of reuse

  • Mapping / linking:
    This is the default. It means that your reused versions are tied to the original. You updated the original? *snaps fingers* The mapped version is automatically updated too! This is great for things like library hours, contact information, database widgets, etc. 

  • Copying:
    The copied version is independent from the original. If you change one, it doesn't change the other. This type of reuse is handy if you like what someone has done, but need to add your own spin. Copying is great for things like citation information - let's say you want to add your own examples, or need to tweak the examples so they use APA format instead of MLA.

Can I reuse it?

  Map Copy
Database Links 
Other Content Items
(Widgets, books, etc.)

How to Reuse and Repurpose Content

Reusing Content Boxes and/or Pages

Have content that you repeat in multiple guides? Want to use content that someone else at Columbia created, without copying their entire guide? It's easy to reuse content in LibGuides!

To reuse a box, simply click "Add Box" and click on the top right tab that says "Reuse Existing Box." Choose the guide you want to pull a box from; in the list, bold indicates a page and non-bolded items are boxes.

To reuse a page/tab, click on the "+" to add a new page and click on the top right tab that says "Reuse Existing Page." Choose the guide you want to pull a page from, and select the page. Then decide if you want that page to be a top-level tab, or a sub-tab.

Copy or Map?

So, for your box or page, do you want to map it or copy it?

     PROS    CONS

Automatically updates, each time the original box or page is updated.

Best for your own content, in cases where customization isn't needed. Also works for division-wide shared items like citation pages.

   Content can't be customized to your guide. If you map content from someone else, you won't have control over when they edit it (since it auto-updates).

Allows you to make edits, to customize content. Copying allows you to create content quickly, by basing it on old content, but also customize it for a specific guide.

Best for copying someone else's content, or for content that you want to repeat but customize for each guide.

   When changes are needed, you will have to update content in multiple places.

Reusing LibGuides from Other Librarians or Other Institutions

Reusing content from other institutions is easy, whether you wish to copy:

  • an entire guide (merely editing your profile box and database links)
  • one page
  • one box

It's common practice to email the original author first, and request permission to copy their content. Once you copy content in LibGuides, the LG system automatically emails the original guide author to let them know that their content has been duplicated, so it's nice to give people a heads-up.

You can duplicate content from within Columbia Libraries guides, or from any other institution that uses LibGuides 2. (Note: You cannot currently duplicate content from LibGuides 1 guides.)