Not sure if I've talked about LibGuides before. But if I haven't, then it's time! LibGuides is probably the best website design tool ever made for librarians. I don't know what I did before I found it....well, I do...I stumbled along trying to make something work. But this tool has literally changed my library world! For the first six weeks this school year, we had 10,717 hits on our LibGuides pages. I know our library webpage has never had 10,000+ hits in any six weeks!
Springshare has done a good job of making a "plug and play" website specifically with librarians in mind. I've seen lots of differenct uses by lots of different libraries. Most university/ college level libraries use it to design course guides--help for students enrolled in different courses.
At the high school I use it more to design specific project pages for different teachers. This way, I can tailor it to the specific project. I add the teachers' assignment, due date and whatever library resources are pertinant to that project. I send the link to the teacher and link it to our library page; however, the class doesn't have to be in the library. And I know the pages get used because I can see the statistics.
Before LibGuides, I know our library databases weren't used to their potential. Now I know they are being used and I can tell you how much. I can add a link to our Destiny catalog and I have a standard page to add with all our Noodletools information. I add this page to every project--even if the teacher doesn't plan on requiring a citation page--sort of a "peer pressure" to encourage it anyway! We can also add links for Google books, Google scholar, embed videos, add documents and files or even ask survey questions.
I know I have not tapped the potential of the site--I'm still at a beginner level. But I tell you what--if I only had $500 in my budget--I would purchase LibGuides before anything else!
Here's the link to Springshare.com if you want more information from them.