Blogging with LibGuides

Blogging is a great way to share news, stories, and announcements with your users. Within LibGuides, you'll find two types of blogs:

  • System blog: think of this as the primary blog for your LibGuides site. This exists at the system level and is just a click away from your LibGuides homepage (when using the default page layout template). If you're looking to have just a single blog for your library, then this will be the best option for most sites.
  • Guide blogs: in addition to your system blog, you can also add a blog page to any of your guides. This is a great way for anyone to create their own personal blog on any subject or topic. For example, if your Geology subject librarian has her own guide, she could add a blog page to share news on upcoming conferences, notable journal articles, new books in your collection, etc.

Both types of blogs have features that can help you share your posts outside of LibGuides:

  • Email notifications: users can subscribe to receive email notifications each time a new post is published. The list of subscribers can be viewed and managed in the blog's settings.
  • Social media: if your LibApps Admin(s) has connected a Facebook or Twitter account to your LibApps Social Channels, you can share links automatically when you publish new posts.
  • RSS feed: each blog has its own feed -- just enter the blog's URL in your favorite RSS feed reader to subscribe.
  • Widgets: you can create and embed a Blogs widget into a webpage (such as your library website) to display a list of a blog's latest posts.

Example of a system blog's homepage

Setting up your system blog

Every LibGuides site has a system blog, which you can manage by going to Content > Blog. By default, only Admin users will be allowed to edit the blog's settings and add, edit, or delete posts. However, these permissions can be extended to all Regular users, as well.

Initially, your system blog will be set to Disabled, which means it will not be visible to the public. This gives you time to set things up before you start adding and sharing content. Again, only Admin users can do this at first, but Regular users can be given access, as well.

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Adding a blog to a guide

In addition to your system blog, each guide can have a blog page, as well. This will appear in the tab or side navigation list just like any other page. The only difference is that it will display a blog instead of the usual columns, boxes, and content items.

Guide blogs enjoy the same features as the system blog, too, including social sharing and subscription options. But unlike the system blog, user permissions work differently. Since this is a page in a guide, the same users who have access to edit the guide will also be able to edit the blog's settings and posts. This includes Admins, the guide's owner, users assigned as editors to the guide, and Regular users with the Edit All Guides permission.

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Creating and publishing blog posts

After setting up your blogs, you're ready to start adding posts. Your blogs posts will appear from newest to oldest, allowing your users to see your newest posts right at the top of your blog. However, if you want to highlight a particular post, you can pin it to the top of your blog. That way, it won't get shuffled "below the fold" by newer posts.

New posts begin as drafts, which you can save until you're ready to publish. That way, if you can't finish writing in one sitting, you can save your draft and come back later to finish. Once your post is ready, you can choose to publish immediately or schedule it to publish on a specific date and time. Whichever option you choose, you can simultaneously share your post on a connected Facebook and Twitter account, too.

When creating and editing a post, the built-in rich text editor makes it easy to add formatting and styles to your text. It also allows you to insert images, lists, links, and tables, along with Databases from your A-Z List and Books from the Catalog assets. 

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Sharing blog posts

There are several options for sharing blog posts with your patrons, including email subscriptions, social media sharing, RSS feeds, and customizable widgets. That way, your patrons can stay in the know even if they don't visit your blog very often.

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Managing blog post comments

The great thing about blogs is that your readers can leave comments. This allows you to build discussions around your posts, respond to feedback, and engage your audience.  Anyone who has a LibApps account in your LibGuides site can comment. This includes:

Whenever someone leaves a comment or reply on a post, the post's author will receive an email notification that includes the timestamp and text of the comment.

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