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Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides
Jason Puckett for ACRL
Item Number: 978-0-8389-8817-6
Publisher: ACRL
Price: $42.00
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The e-book edition and the print/e-book bundle of this title are also available separately.

156 pages
6” x 9”
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8817-6
Year Published: 2015
AP Categories: P
Whether you call them research guides, subject guides or pathfinders, web-based guides are a great way to create customized support tools for a specific audience: a class, a group, or anyone engaging in research. Studies show that library guides are often difficult, confusing, or overwhelming, causing users to give up and just fall back on search engines such as Google. How can librarians create more effective, less confusing, and simply better research guides?
In Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides, author Jason Puckett takes proven ideas from instructional design and user experience web design and combines them into easy-to-understand principles for making your research guides better teaching tools. It doesn’t matter what software your library uses; the advice and techniques in this book will help you create guides that are easier for your users to understand and more effective to use.

Jason Puckett is also the author of the ACRL publication Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators.
Table of Contents


Foreword by Aaron Dobbs

About This Book
What Is Instructional Theory?
Searching the LIS Literature
A Note about LibGuides
My Background
Chapter 1: Research Guides and Instructional Theory
What Is a Research Guide?
What Are Research Guides For?
Terminology Used in This Book
Common Problems in Creating Research Guides
How Can Guides Teach?
Chapter 2: Learning Objectives in Research Guides
What Is a Learning Objective?
Defining Your Learning Objectives
The Stem
The Action Verb
The Outcome
Putting Objectives to Work in Your Research Guides
Building a Guide Structure from Your Objectives
Chapter 3: Learning Styles
What Are Learning Styles?
Learning Styles: Three Models
Perceptual Preference Modality
Kolb Experiential Learning Model
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
Applying Learning Style Theory to Library Research Guides
Examples: Using Learning Styles in Research Guides
Drawbacks and Practical Concerns
Summing Up: Some Simple Best Practices
Chapter 4: Designing and Writing for Better Usability
User Experience
What Is UX?
UX and Online Instruction

Visual Design for Nondesigners
Using Images
Focal Points
Unintentional Focal Points

Simplicity and Clarity
Consistency of Design
How Users Read on the Web
The F Shape
Above the Fold

Writing for the Web
Making Clear and Useful Links
Annotating Links
What to Cut?
Summing Up: Some Simple Best Practices
Chapter 5: Assessment
What Are You Assessing?
Using Rubrics and Analyzing Guide Content
How to Use Rubrics
Assessment Example: Rubric
User Surveys
How to Use Surveys
Assessment Examples: Surveys

Web Analytics
What Analytics Assessment Can Tell You
Assessment Examples: Analytics
Chapter 6: Planning, Coordinating, and Administrating Guides
Tying Guide Goals to Instruction Program Goals
Sample Instruction Goals with Research Guide Components
The Research Guide Coordinator
Control: How Much Is Too Much?
Guide Coordinator Case Study

Maintenance and Administrative Tasks
Regular and Periodic Maintenance
Accounts and Ownership
Collecting and Reporting Data
Upgrading and Overhauling
Extending Your Reach
Classroom Instruction
Make Guides Findable
Faculty Outreach
Social Media
Library Website
Your Mileage May Vary
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
Establishing Best Practices
Author Biography
About the Author

Jason Puckett
is Librarian for Communication and Virtual Services and Assistant Professor at Georgia State University Library in Atlanta, Georgia. He was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2010, in part for his work with technology in libraries. Puckett has a BA in English from Georgia State University and an MLIS from Florida State University. He has worked in libraries for over 20 years and has been teaching for the last 15 of those. He teaches professional workshops on research guides and other topics for Simmons College School of Library and Information Science and has previously co-produced a long-running podcast about information literacy instruction. For several years he’s been researching and speaking about how to make research guides better based on the principles in this book.

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This book will enable academic libraries to provide first-class research support for academics and graduate students and help undergraduates accomplish learning in more hands-on, in-depth ways.
Price: $75.00
Using LibGuides to Enhance Library Services: A LITA Guide
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LibGuides help you organize webpages, improve students’ research experience and learning, and offer an online community of librarians sharing their work and ideas.
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Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators
Item Number:  978-0-8389-8589-2
The first book-length treatment of this powerful research tool developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (VA), written for Zotero end users, librarians and teachers.
Price: $36.00