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Standards & Styles

Standards for Creating New Guides


The LibGuides administrator has designed a recommended template for new guides using cascading style sheets (CSS) that set the colors, fonts, and other basic styling for University of Delaware Library guides. This helps create a consistent look and feel across the Library web site and research guides.

  • For Course General, Subject, and Topic Guides: Use the UD TEMPLATE - 1 COLUMN template for creating a new guide.

Additional guidelines for creating each of these guide types follow below and in the Guide Layout section of this guide. For step-by-step instructions, visit the Springshare support site page on creating new guides.


Give your guide a title. Titles of academic subject guides should reflect the terminology used in the University's programs of study (e.g., Hospitality Business Management). For course pages/guides, use the course mnemonic and description as your title (e.g., HIST268: Colonialism and Nationalism). To help users narrow down their search for your guide, including the last name of the course faculty member (in parenthesis) is also a recommended best practice: e.g., ENGL110: Freedom Riders (Bannowsky). This information is provided in the University's Course Descriptions database. 


Choose the appropriate guide type for the guide you are creating:

  • Course Guide: a guide that you've created for a specific class.
  • Subject Guide: a guide that provides resources for an academic subject area, like History or Anthropology.
  • Topic Guide: a guide that covers a topic of interest to library users, such as Genealogy or Delaware History, that does not represent a program of study.
  • Internal Guide: a guide intended for staff use only.

The Library does not use multiple groups of guides, so you can ignore that part of the field.

Friendly URL

Giving your guide a friendly URL makes sharing and remembering its location much easier.  For example, this guide uses a friendly URL ( instead of the URL created by the LibGuides system ( Best practices for constructing friendly URLs include:

  • Use lowercase lettering.
  • Don't use underscores, ampersands, or spaces.
  • For subject and topic guides, use brief versions of their subjects:
    • /sociology
    • /latiinamericanlit
  • For guides created for specific classes, use the include the course number (with section number, if needed to differentiate between guides):
    • /posc328
    • /engl110-010


Assign at least one relevant subject from the existing list to your guide to help library users find it more easily. (Most UD guides have two or three.)  For any course guide, use "Course Guides" as one of the subjects. Library users can search and browse using subject terms on the Library's research guides home page.  


Like subjects, tags help users find your guides when they search all of the Library's guides using keywords. You should use three to six tags for each guide. Paradoxically, adding too many tags can make searching less effective. Use tags from the existing list whenever possible.

For course guides, use "course page," the instructor's last name, and the course mnemonic as tags. If a course is cross-listed, provide both mnemonics. For example, if "ANTH216: Introduction to Material Culture Studies" is taught by De Cunzo and is cross-listed as HIST216, the tags could be: anthropology, class page, De Cunzo, ANTH216, HIST216.

Description (Optional)

Use this optional field to describe the scope of a guide if it is not evident from the guide title. The text of the description is searchable, and the text is displayed at the top of the guide.