Skip to Main Content

Best Practices for LibGuides Accessibility

This guide includes instructions for updating individual LibGuides to be as accessible as possible.

Why are links important?

There are several reasons why how you include links in your guides is important:

  1. Contextual links let users know where the links will take them.
  2. Broken links are frustrating.
  3. Some hyperlinks can create keyboard navigation "traps," which are problematic for those using keyboards to navigate the guide.
  4. Some links descriptions are frustrating to view.

Check for broken links

While making other accessibility updates to your guides, verify that all links work and go to the pages you expect them to. For assistance, use LibGuides' built-in link checker. If links are broken or incorrect, edit or remove them.

Create contextual links


Check hyperlinks to make sure they include brief, descriptive text. Avoid pasting full URLs as your hyperlinks. Avoid using "click here," "read this," etc. as your hyperlink. Modify your hyperlinks as needed.

Reusable Link Assets

The best practice is to use the "Link" option instead of making hyperlinks. This creates a reusable asset. Whenever possible, try to use this option instead of hyperlinks and transition hyperlinks to reusable link assets. 

To do this, select the "Add/Reoder" option at the bottom of the box and select "Link." Make the link name descriptive. 

Check the display of link descriptions

If you include descriptions of reusable link assets, have them show beneath the link. Both the "Hover item title" and "Clickable 'info' icon" have accessibility issues. While the clickable "i" icon works well with a screen reader, it is ignored when using keyboard navigation. It is also frustrating when viewing the guide on a mobile device.

How to edit link description display

Choose the option to "Edit" your link. In the "Description Display" drop-down menu, select "Beneath item title." Select "Save."

"Description Display" drop-down menu


Remove hyperlinks from emails

Including your email address as a hyperlink creates a keyboard navigation trap. According to California State University Northridge's "Web Accessibility Criteria - Keyboard Traps," 

"Keyboard traps occurs when a keyboard user cannot move focus away from an interactive element."

Bad example: "Contact the Science, Mathematics and Engineering liaison librarian:"

To resolve, simply remove the hyperlink and show your email as unlinked text.

Example: "Contact the Science, Mathematics and Engineering liaison librarian:"