Creating Current Events Guides

It’s been too long since my last blog post. Too many projects!

Well, I thought I’d blog about one of those projects: I’ve worked on creating research guides at my library that focus on current events. So far, I’ve done guides on the Occupy Movement, the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and the killing of Osama bin Laden. It’s a good way to:

  • direct patrons to trustworthy information (e.g., the Wikipedia page for Occupy Wall Street is tagged for a “neutrality” check)
  • promote the library’s digital resources
  • spotlight books in the collection, and
  • demonstrate that the library is at the forefront of the ever-changing information environment

We use the popular LibGuides program at my institution. It’s easy to create individual guides and you have some flexibility for organizing your content. Of course, you could always create a simple webpage, too.

In my current events guides, I generally try to provide the following information:

  • Brief intro to the topic
  • Latest headlines (RSS feed via Google News or Yahoo News)
  • News & Media sources
  • Embedded Video (e.g., PBS Video–particularly Frontline and News Hour clips, C-SPAN Video Library, and CBS News allows embedding of its individual news clips)
  • Background Info (e.g., CQ Researcher database articles)
  • Catalog search & a few selected book titles on the topic
  • List of relevant databases to search for articles on the topic
  • Suggested keywords/search terms
  • Primary sources

Once you have the guide published, make sure and provide a direct link from your library homepage, and promote it on the library’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. If particularly pertinent, send out an email or contact individual faculty members/teachers.

There are lots of great examples of libraries that have put together current events guides. Here are a few select ones:

Know of a good current events guide? Share it here!

2 thoughts on “Creating Current Events Guides

  1. Thank you for the information. I have forwarded this on to my library director and hope that it is something he will let me work on in the future. I am currently in library school and am loving all the new ideas that I am being exposed to and doing a library blog really got me thinking about the potential benefits to our library patrons. However, I am also constantly reminding myself not to get caught up in all of the excitement and over extend myself and burn out. I work full time as the administrative assistant to the library director, am married, and taking 6 hours a semester. So I find myself keeping a diary of sorts of stuff I want to try in my own library after I graduate (or close to it) so that when I apply for that librarian’s postiion, I can show off a little bit. I thought the practical advice you gave in”“I graduated from a top library school.” Yeah, so what?” was terrific, especially about marketing yourself. If I don’t do it, who will?

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