#19 Dummy Guides

Dummy Guides

There are many guides and manuals on the market which describe themselves as ‘dummy’ guides, or guides for the uninitiated.

These types of guides are invaluable in libraries. You should create them for as many processes and topics as you can find time for, from such things as borrowing a book, through logging on to the school network, to creating a web page.

For ‘dummy’, I would actually substitute the word ‘clear’. This is really the point of these guides; clarity.

Rules for construction of these guides could be summarised as follows:

  • Use clear, non-technical language.
  • Use lots of relevant illustrations and graphics.
  • Construct the guide in a step-by-step format.
  • Illustrate each step.
  • Use arrows and text boxes to illustrate points further, if necessary.

These guides are time consuming to create, but the outcomes can be very satisfying for the librarian, the pupil and the teacher, and are worth the time invested.

See other tips: Google, Blogger, deli.cio.us for some practical examples.

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