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A Black woman drinks from a water bottle while using a laptop with MyGuide displayed on the screen.

New "MyGuide" portal tailors library resources and guides to your courses

While some websites track you around the internet to more effectively put ads for shoes in your Instagram feed, the University Libraries are now using your major and course list to bring you the most relevant library resources when you log in with your Miami ID.

MyGuide is a new web portal containing research guides and top journals and databases for the subject areas of your major and the courses you’re enrolled in for the semester. It also makes it easy to contact the librarian subject expert for support with research or assignments in each of your subject areas, and shows an at-a-glance view of your currently checked-out items.

“The library has a huge wealth of resources, and sometimes the challenge can be zeroing in on just the ones that matter to you,” said Web Services Librarian Ken Irwin. “MyGuide gives library users a starting point that focuses on the librarians, databases, and other resources relevant to their needs.”

Screenshot of MyGuide
A screenshot of the new MyGuide

Because libraries are committed to preserving user privacy, providing relevant search results can be difficult without knowing the context of a person’s search. With tens of millions of print and digital resources and more than 500 databases available in the Libraries’ catalogs, filtering through results or identifying relevant databases can be challenging. In an effort to help folks navigate this sea of information, the Libraries offer subject guides and instructional videos that curate and cover resources specific to these areas, but the guides and videos themselves need to be sought out, too.

MyGuide accomplishes both goals of preserving privacy and better connecting users with resources. By only reading data associated with users’ secure Miami ID when they log in, it keeps Miamians in charge of their data and the information they share with the Libraries. At the same time, it automatically curates a personalized dashboard with the people, databases, journals, and other resources to best support their success.

“This truly innovative website underscores our commitment to providing the excellent personalized support we’re proud to be known for on campus,” said Jerome Conley, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. “Connecting all Miami’s students, faculty, and staff with the resources and guidance they need to grow, discovery, and succeed: that’s our vision, and MyGuide is a significant advancement forward to achieving it.”

Creating MyGuide was a feat of in-house programming involving Irwin and fellow Web Services Librarians Meng Qu and Jerry Yarnetsky, the Libraries’ systems department, and Miami University IT Services.