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Emory's LibGuide on LibGuides: Best Practices & Guidelines for Creating and Maintaining LibGuides

An internal guide for Emory Libraries.

Overview of LibGuides Handout

Left hand side navigation

Emory Library's LibGuides Task Force recommends using left hand side navigation.  You can decide whether you want to customize by adding an additional column. Guides default to Side-Nav Layout, but you can change to "Woodruff Side Nav + 2-column"

Woodruff Side Nav +2-columns

Assign to a Group

Guides should be assigned to a group (Law, Main, Oxford Libraries, Rose or Health) for them to appear when searching.

If you've already created a guide, you can still assign it to a group using the Type/Group tool at the top of the guide editing page:

Note: After the merger of guides for Law, Main, and Oxford Libraries, and the addition of Rose and Health, all LibGuides exist within the same system. Guides that were created before the merger should have already been assigned to the appropriate group, but new guides require manual assignment.

Designing Your Guide

LibGuides supports responsive design, meaning your guide will appear differently depending on the screen size of various devices. Content placed in your guides will rearrange to suit the user's screen size.

When viewing a Side-Nav layout guide on small devices the layout will change to this format:

  • The navigation will be at top.
  • Box(es) in the left column will be second.
  • Box(es) in column 1 will wrap around below the left column.


  • When using Side-Nav layout, limit the box(es) you add underneath the navigation in the left column so that readers will focus on the main content in column 1.
  • Break up content so there is a natural flow when the columns are rearranged.
  • Group similar or themed content closer together in a column so they don't get separated.
  • View your guide on multiple screens (or resize your browser window) before publishing.

To check mobile look while on Chrome: right click on page> inspect> click on second icon from the top left (phone/tablet icon)



Left Navigation Conversion

For Help:

Change a guide's navigation / page layout

A guide's layout not only determines where the navigation menu appears on the page, but also its column layout. There are two types of layouts to choose from:

Tabbed navigation: the page navigation will appear as tabs across the top of each page. Each page of a tabbed guide can be customized to have up to 4 content columns of different sizes.
Side navigation (aka side-nav): recommended the page is divided into two columns -- the first containing the page navigation menu, and the second containing the page's content. Unlike a tabbed navigation layout, the number and size of each column cannot be adjusted (unless you create a custom guide page template).

When switching between layouts, please keep in mind that the boxes on each page will shift accordingly. You will need to manually reorder the boxes on each page, as needed.

Boilerplate content for LibGuides

Boilerplates provide copyable content about common Emory Libraries' resources.  The boxes/pages can be reused or redirected to in other LibGuides. Most of this information is of a general nature that would be relevant to course guides and subject guides in various disciplines. Examples of current boilerplate boxes are:

  • "How to search the discoverE catalog"
  • "Ask a Librarian" 
  • "Evaluate sources"
  • Interlibrary Loan information

Woodruff Library Boilerplate Content

Health Sciences Library Boilerplate Content

Rose Library Boilerplate Content

If you have suggestions about content of the current Woodruff Library Boilerplate content for research guides use the Boilerplate Feedback Form. We appreciate your input!

-The RESC LibGuides Task Force