Rebuilding BUILD IT

In January 2005, the idea of a library information literacy tutorial first emerged.  Thirteen years later, BUILD IT, aka Bellevue University Information Literacy Development Interactive Tutorial, is still going strong. Officially launched in the fall of 2006, and featured in Vol. 9, No. 4, (“Get Ready, Get Set, BUILD IT!”), is essentially a guide to the Bellevue University Library and its many resources and services.  Along the way, it has become an important component of many classes, introducing students not only to the concept of information literacy but also to the basics of organizing and writing a research paper, while teaching them to navigate the library website.

BUILD IT became an ongoing project for the library as we continuously adjusted its content to reflect the changing library technologies and services. However, no change was bigger than the complete overhaul it went through four years ago. The program it was originally created in, Microsoft Frontpage, was no longer supported and BUILD IT had become non-compliant with the current HTML standards. The entire tutorial was rewritten in HTML5, an experience that required first learning basic HTML and also CSS.  To learn more about this year-long process, check out BUILD IT: The Makeover from the Summer 2014 issue of More Than Books.

Inevitably, things changed again, necessitating yet another redesign, and so began another year-long effort. To sum it up, BUILD IT needed to be moved from its current location, a server not really meant to host projects permanently, in fact, scheduled to be taken down altogether.  With library server space limited to what we were already using for our library website, we needed a way to incorporate BUILD IT into the website itself, rather than existing as a stand-alone site. For this project, we chose to use LibWizard, a recent add-on to LibApps, the platform we use to create our library LibGuides. LibWizard was introduced just a couple of years ago and one of its stated uses is to create interactive tutorials to show students how to use the library and its tools. Intended more for short tutorials, we may have stretched it to its limit with the 100 plus pages that make up BUILD IT including five modules, five interactive quizzes, and several videos. LibWizard, though challenging to use in this way, provided opportunities to give BUILD IT a more modern look and feel, with embedded videos, a side column, and more interactivity while providing a stable new home.

While the redesign process provided us these new opportunities, we also encountered a number of challenges. When the redesign process began, LibWizard was a new platform with a steep learning curve and limited customization options. Rebuilding BUILD IT within this new platform involved thinking about the presentation of the tutorials content in a new way, and working with custom CSS and HTML elements to help see through our vision. The LibWizard platform has had multiple updates throughout the last year which have helped move the redesign along, while simplifying our design process and bringing much needed stability to the platform.

This new LibWizard version of BUILD IT is now in available for “Beta” testing. This means that while some pages, features, and functionality may continue to change over the coming months, it is ready for review and feedback from the Bellevue University faculty and student communities. We are hoping to use the feedback provided during this “Beta” testing to improve the look, feel, and usability of the tutorial, with an estimated launch date of Summer 2018. You can find the “Beta” version of the new BUILD IT on the Library website. Select “Library Tutorials” under the Find drop-down menu, and click the Beta preview link in the BUILD IT callout box. Submit user feedback by clicking this link.

***Written by Margie McCandless; Reference Support Specialist and Joel Hartung; Assistant Director, Library Systems

Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than BooksV. 21 No. 2, Spring 2018.

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