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Standards & Styles

Using LibGuides Assets

Along with rich text and images, LibGuides Assets are the content of your guides. Add them to any standard or tabbed box using the Add/Reorder dropdown menu.

What makes assets special?

  • Assets are stored in the LibGuides system independently from your guides, so it is not easy to delete them accidentally.
  • You can gather data on the use of each asset to help you make decisions about updating and prioritizing content.
  • Like pages and content boxes, assets can be reused, simplifying updates.

Best practices for using different types of assets appear in the tabbed box below. Each section includes a link to step-by-step instructions on the Springshare support site.

Reusing an asset? Inherited a LibGuide?

If you find the need to reuse a LibGuide asset, or if you have inherited a research guide from a colleague, please be sure to update the personal links within. Be sure to check links to email, "Recommendation for Purchase", "Profile" and other personalized elements that may exist within the guide. 

Best Practices by Asset Type

Advantages of Using Database / Link Assets

There are several reasons to use database and link assets rather than creating HTML hyperlinks within the rich text content of your guides:

  • Automatically arranges bulleted lists of resources that are neat, consistent, and easy to create.
  • Automatically formats descriptions of the resources below the linked title and limits their length.
  • Allows the system to gather data on uses of the links/databases.
  • Allows global URL changes, streamlining updates.


Database links are created only by administrators and are stored in a separate repository from the other link assets. Each one leads to the appropriate "more info" page rather than directly to the database platform, allowing remote users an opportunity to learn more about the database contents and features without needing to authenticate themselves. If you need to request a change to the existing list of databases, contact your LibGuides administrator.

  • Databases are always reused from the databases list.
  • Databases should be listed on the Databases page of any subject guide. The Library links to these pages so that users can browse databases by subject.
  • Include a brief custom description, displayed below the name, relevant to your guide users' needs.
  • List databases in order of importance or popularity, not alphabetically.
  • Divide long lists of databases into smaller groups to help users find the most appropriate resources more easily.

Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding databases to your guides.


You can create a link asset that leads to any website except one of the Library's subscription databases. Some examples include DELCAT Discover records, blogs, government websites, journals, news sites, digital archives, and professional organizations.

  • Whenever possible, select "Reuse Existing Link" rather than cluttering the repository list by creating duplicate ones.
  • If desired, use the option to create a custom description tailored to your guide.
  • Select the option to display the description below the title.
  • List links in order of importance or popularity, not alphabetically.
  • Divide long lists into smaller groups to help users find the most appropriate resources more easily.
  • For links to subscription e-journals or other proprietary resources:
    • Use the DELCAT Discovery permalink for a journal or individual article whenever possible. This cuts down on dead links and enables users to be authenticated with ease.
      DELCAT link button
    • If you must create a link that leads directly to content within a particular database or publisher's site instead of DELCAT, select the option to Use Proxy. This enables remote users to authenticate themselves and gain access. (NOTE: Some vendors and publishers include proxy information in their permanent links, while others do not. Test your link for error messages, and if you need help, contact your LibGuides administrator.)
      Use Proxy option
    • To create a link to a list of e-journals in a particular subject, use the Browse by Subject options on the library's E-Journals page and copy and paste the URL from your browser's address bar. (Example: Environmental Sciences).
      Browse by Subject
    • Add the blue UD access icon under Resource Icon to indicate that this is not an open resource. UD logo

Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding links to your guides.

Best Practices for Adding Books and E-Books

You can use Books from the Catalog (BftC) assets to feature both print and electronic books in the library's collections. Unlike ordinary links, these assets are designed to display the cover and location information of the book. They may also be used for, but may not be as effective for displaying, other items in the library's collections (e.g., videos, finding aids).

Best practices for adding Books from the Catalog (BftC) assets to your guides follow. Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding Books from the Catalog (BftC) to your guides.

  • Use the ISBN to retrieve descriptive data about the edition, including the cover. Syndetics uses the 13-digit ISBN, while Amazon uses the 10-digit ISBN.
  • If the book does not have a cover image available, use the blue cover option, or upload a thumbnail image.
  • For print books, add the book's call number and location in the Library's collections, as listed in DELCAT.
  • For e-books, type E-book into the location field.
  • For e-books, assign the UD resource icon, indicating that the resource is available only to current UD students, faculty, and staff.
  • Copy the permalink from DELCAT into the URL field, even for e-books. This allows remote users to view details about the title without needing to authenticate themselves.
  • Check the description for strange characters and misspellings. You may choose to shorten it as well.
  • Select the option to display the description below the title.

Best Practices for Adding Media / Widgets

The LibGuides system allows you to embed videos and other dynamic content (e.g., vendor tutorial videos, PowerPoint presentations, Google Docs) as Media/Widget assets. Best practices for adding media to your guides follow below. Ask your LibGuides administrator if you need help locating and using embed codes, and visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instruction for adding media widgets to your guides.

  • If you need to develop and store video or other dynamic content for your guides, please consult the Digital Content Specialist.
  • When copying embed code for media hosted on a public or commercial site, look for options to remove advertising and protect users' privacy.
  • For accessibility, any embedded video must include captions or be accompanied by a time-stamped transcript.
  • Do not embed video content that has been posted in violation of copyright.
  • Provide proper attribution for content produced outside of UD.

Embedding Spreadsheets (instead of HTML tables)

Some types of data are particularly useful when organized into rows and columns. However, using HTML to create tables makes our guides less accessible to those using assistive technologies. We recommend organizing your content using Google Sheets and then copying the embed code into a LibGuides widget Learn how to embed Google Sheets (and other documents) here.

Best Practices for Adding Documents / Files

If you need to share step-by-step instructions or long narratives with library users, consider putting the text into a document asset. Using documents assets can reduce clutter in your guide and deliver your content to users in an easy-to-print format. 

Before you add the document to your guide:

  • Use a common document format (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF).
  • Optimize your document for web use (to reduce file size), if applicable.
  • Give your file a descriptive name.

When you upload the document:

  • Give the document a descriptive title.
  • Provide a brief description of the document and/or how someone could use it, and select "Display beneath item title."
  • If you need to keep the document confidential or limited access to particular users, add a password.

After uploading a document to your guide:

  • Be sure to revisit these assets periodically (beginning of each Fall semester) to ensure that their content is current and applicable. 
  • NOTE: If you need to replace your document with an updated one, you will need to change the name slightly (e.g., add v2 or the date of the update) so that the system recognizes that a new file has been uploaded.

Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding documents to your guides.

Best Practices for Adding RSS Feeds

Add a feed to your guide if you want to share the latest news on a particular topic or from a particular source, recent blog content, or up-to-date search results.

  • Give the feed a descriptive name.
  • Choose a number of items to display that will keep the list from overwhelming other content on your page.
  • Choose to display the description beneath the title.
  • Select the appropriate option for proxied or open access, depending on the source.

Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding RSS feeds.

Best Practices for Adding Polls

Add a poll to your guide if you want to gather library users' opinions on a question.

  • Give your poll a name, often a question.
  • Define up to 10 options for users to select.
  • If needed, add a URL to a corresponding option.

Visit the Springshare support site for step-by-step instructions for adding polls to your guides.