Tidying up: tips for managing your guides, assets, databases, and images

Just like your office or home, maintenance is an important part of keeping your LibGuides site in tip top shape. This includes updating or getting rid of unused guides & assets; reducing duplication in your assets library; keeping your A-Z Database List up to date; and optimizing your shared Image Manager library -- and that's just for starters!

When it comes to upkeep, there are some tasks that all users can do, while some things only Admins (or Regular users with extra permissions) can do. The goal of this Springboard is to divide up these chores to make it easier for everyone to chip in!


For all guide owners

Weed unused and unneeded guides

Just like your print collections, weeding your LibGuides collection is also important. Not only will managing your guides be easier in the future, but it will also be much easier for patrons to browse and search for guides.

A really good way to reduce clutter is by getting rid of guides that are unpublished, unusued, or unneeded. The steps below can help you get started.

  1. Log into LibGuides and go to Content > Guides.
  2. Filter the Owner column of the table by your name.
  3. Click on the Updated column heading to sort it in ascending order.
  4. For each guide, consider whether or not it's something you want to keep. For example:
    • How long has it been since you've last updated it? If it's been a while, is the content still current and/or relevant?
    • Is the guide currently unpublished? If so, do you plan to use it again? (e.g. is this a guide you publish only during certain times of year?)
    • Does it contain boxes or pages that are being reused in other guides? (aka a "blueprint" or "reusable content" guide)
    • Is there any other reason why you need to keep it?
    • If you're on the fence, take a look at the guide's usage statistics for the past 6-12 months: are your users still viewing it? Or has it just been collecting dust?
  5. For those guides you absolutely, positively do not need anymore, consider deleting them. Before you do, don't forget:
    • When deleting a guide, all Link, Media/Widget, Book, Document/File, RSS Feed, Poll, Remote Script, LibAnswers Widget, and LibWizard Item assets will remain in your assets library, so can still be used.
    • However, all pages, boxes, and rich text/HTML content items will be deleted. If they were being reused in other guides, then they will no longer appear.
    • Statistics for deleted guides are retained and will appear in reports with its original ID number and a title of [deleted].
    • An HTML backup is automatically created when a guide is deleted and can be viewed under Tools > Data Exports > Guide HTML. Although you cannot restore a guide from a backup, the backup can help you to recreate the deleted content in a new guide.
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Clean up unused and duplicate assets

Reusability is a very helpful feature of assets (i.e. links, books from the catalog, documents/files, media/widgets, etc.). When a user creates an asset, it's stored in your assets library (Content > Assets). This allows anyone to reuse that asset in other guides. However, if users aren't in the habit of checking for assets to reuse, they may unintentionally add duplicates of existing assets to your system. 

Your system's assets library can grow pretty quickly as more and more users create and update their guides. Over time, there will inevitably be assets that are no longer used in any of your guides. These are what we call "zero mapped" or "unmapped" assets. When an asset has no mappings, this means that it's not currently being used in any guide in your system.

By regularly checking the assets you own, you can help identify and delete your unmapped assets. This not only reduces the clutter in your system, but it also makes it easier for other users to find the best asset to reuse in their own guides. When checking your assets, you can also identify any duplicates that you might be using. For example:

  • If you are using a duplicate asset, but there is a different one that has a higher mapping count, you can remove your duplicate and map that other one instead.
    • TIP FOR ADMINS: do you have hundreds (or even thousands!) of unmapped assets? The Springy Support Team can help you delete these in bulk. Learn more...
  • If you own an asset with a high mapping count, but you spot duplicates with no or few mappings, work with those other users to swap their asset with yours and delete the duplicates.
    • TIP FOR ADMINS: the Springy Support Team has a tool that can help you merge duplicate assets. Learn more...
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Check for broken links in your assets

As time goes by, the URLs of your links and book assets may change or go offline. If that happens, users may end up with a 404 Page Not Found error instead of the intended page. To help you prevent this, LibGuides has a built-in link checker tool (Tools > Link Checker) that reports broken links every 30 minutes (on the hour and half hour). If you spot a link, book, or database asset that you own in the list, you can edit that asset's URL directly from the Link Checker page.

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For Admins & Regular users with extra permissions

Managing assets and guides for all users

Because Admins and Regular users with the Manage Assets permission (available in LibGuides CMS) can manage all assets and databases, they will be able to manage all assets in your LibGuides system. As mentioned above in the Delete assets with zero mappings section, Admins have the added ability to request a couple of bulk updates:

  • Deleting all unmapped assets: if you have a large volume of unmapped assets (i.e. assets that are not being used in any guides), the Springy Support Team can help you delete them in bulk. This can be done by asset type, too, so you could ask to only delete unmapped Link assets if you'd like.
  • Merging duplicate assets: if you find multiple duplicates for the same assets, the Springy Support Team can help you merge them together. For example, if you find 15 copies of the same link to WorldCat, you could merge their guide mappings and statistics into a single asset. (This does not delete the duplicates automatically -- you could either delete them manually after the merge is run, or you could ask the Springy Support Team to delete your unmapped assets after you are done merging assets.)

Similarly, Admins and Regular users with the Edit All Guides permission can edit, unpublish, and delete all guides in the system, as mentioned above in the Weed unused and unneeded guides section. 

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Managing databases in your A-Z List

These same users can also manage the A-Z Database List, as well. It can be helpful to periodically check your databases to make sure that your holdings are accurate and the URLs are correct. While you're at it, take a moment to review each database's descriptive info, such as its description, assigned subjects & best bets, new/trial/popular tags, and alternative name(s)/keywords. All of these make it much easier to browse and search your A-Z List, which can be a huge help to patrons -- especially if they're approaching your resources for the first time.

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Utilizing the shared Image Manager library

The Image Manager allows you to centrally store libraries of images. Each LibApps user has her or his own personal image library, where they can upload, store, and reuse images in their guides and elsewhere. But did you know that there's also a library shared by all users in your LibApps system? Only Admin users have the ability to add, organize, and remove images in the shared Image Manager librayr; however, all users can reuse the images in it.

Consider adding frequently-used images to your shared library, such as your library or institutional logos; database logos; event logos; images of library staff, spaces, or resources; or even generic stock images. By taking advantage of your shared library, you're making it easy for all guide owners to find and insert images into their guides.

When adding images, you can organize them by folder to make them easier to browse. The Image Manager also allows users to search for images, too. To help with this, you can supplement the text in the image names with optional keywords. You can also add default alt text, too, that way your images will be accessible right from the start.

Learn more

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Related Springboards