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Posts Tagged ‘Digital Strategy & Website’

In a Few Years Time: Digital Library Strategy – slides and mindmaps

Posted by gazjjohnson on 10 March, 2009

Some weeks ago a lot of us attended a Digital Library Strategy workshop here in the library, led by Ken Chad.  I’ve written about the day, but I’ve just been passed Ken’s slides and the mindmaps from the session.

The mindmap was generated by small groups talking about the challenges, opportunities and issues around each of the 4 areas of discussion. They reflected back on the presentations from Ken and Richard, but also on the experience and insight of the various group members taking part.  They’re in no way a comprehensive point of view, and as you can see no ranking order is applied to them.  Each one is a comment, idea or concept in its own right.

But these will help the Library in shaping its future Web 2 and digital strategy developments for the next 3 or so years.  More about that in the near future…

Posted in Digital Strategy & Website | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Library Web Site of the Future

Posted by sarahw9 on 23 February, 2009

dwilson212508-105_0001Steven Bell’s article The Library Web Site of the Future Inside Higher Ed was published at a timely moment for us here at Leicester, where the digital library strategy is up for discussion. 

In short he says libraries should stop thinking that they will attract users by providing lists of resources or search boxes or portals.  Most users have their own one or two favourites and they have already got their own ‘backdoor’ route there.   Long lists don’t tempt people in to look for more, they just confuse people.  Also they are increasingly disinclined to go out and visit an external website or potal. 

Rather than attempting to mimic search engines academic librarians should aim to differentiate their Web sites. They should devote the most eye-catching space to information that promotes the people who work at the library, the services they provide and the community activities that anchor the library’s place as the social, cultural and intellectual center of campus. That shifts the focus from content to service and from information to people. Academic libraries must promote their human side. The library portal experience should emphasize the value of and invite stronger relationships with faculty and students. That means going beyond offering a commodity that, by and large, the user community can well access without the Web site. The next generation academic library Web site must leverage what academic librarians can do to help faculty and students improve their productivity and achieve success.

 Even more interestingly….

Academic libraries are already moving in new directions that may provide the answers, and it suggests the library portal no longer needs to compete to be the one-stop portal where faculty and their students begin their research. These pioneering libraries distribute the content across the institution’s network and beyond. They are putting the links where faculty and students can find them easily. It changes the library website paradigm from “you must visit our portal” to “we’ll be where you are.”

In the broadest sense (forget websites for a minute) this is certainly how I envisage we should be working by providing routes to tailored resources with course tutors and departments.  Providing generic lists of databases and search engines, which mostly look all the same to people is not going to help anyone.  We have to get deeper into modules.  Academic staff need a basic understanding of what tools we can use, whether thats a Custom Search Engine, or nifty tool that makes academic journals easier for their undergraduates, a Netvibes page of resources for a module, setting up an RSS feed into the course module on Blackboard or similar via Delicious.  Thats before we have even started looking at information literacy, evaluating resources and where we want to go. 

Still I’m not sure that we should abandon our portals or search boxes entirely though; perhaps we need both.

Posted in Digital Strategy & Website, Service Delivery, Technology & Devices, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

I’ll take a satnav any day

Posted by gazjjohnson on 13 August, 2008

I’ve been a “proper” librarian for a change today, and that means I’ve been out of the office and moving things around on shelves.  One of the many tasks I’ve had on the to-do list for a bit was updating our guidance for geological surveys in the library.  Having reformatted the page, I thought I’d best wander to the physical stock and check it all tallied.

It did…for the most part.  However, there were a few nasty little errors and a handful of omissions to correct.  There was also a shelf and a half of books out of sequence for…well I’m guessing a while looking at the dust on them.  I decided that it would be more effective to shift them myself – given that by the time I’d worked out whom to ask to sought this out and waited for them to fit it into their work-plans it could be term time!

Thus when I link to the geosurvey help page from Rooms2, I’m going to quite content in the knowledge that it’s an accurate guide!

[Edit: And the page is live…]

Posted in Collection management, Subject Support | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Far beyond the distant shore

Posted by gazjjohnson on 12 August, 2008

Just returned from teaching the last of today’s sessions with the non-English language native overseas students (there must be a shorter term for them that escapes me right now).  Officially the first teaching of the new academic term for me, and a very positive experience.  Lovely students to teach and interact with; very attentive and polite.  Add to that fact that someone else wrote the exercise, corralled them in the room and even sorted out passwords and the like.  And all in our nice shiny DWL IT-Room1.  I could get used to that kind of teaching – so thanks Selina and Evelyn for that.

One of the reasons I came back to the more mundane world of subject librarianship was the chance to do a bit of student interaction again, so I know I’ll go home with a smile on my face today.  Or at least until the rain hits me.

That done and dusted it’s back to some web programming; for once not Rooms2 but rewriting an old page on Geological Surveys to go onto the normal website.  Of course this means I now have to try and remember how to use Contribute…

Posted in Subject Support, Training | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What do library users want?

Posted by AJ Cann on 21 July, 2008

ideascale I don’t personally use the Digg website much, although I do look at some of the RSS feeds from the site. One thing which is very clear about Digg is the fanatical loyalty it manages to generate in its users. By allowing people to vote up (or down) their favourite stories, Digg captures the hearts and minds of users through tapping into the phenomenon of “continuous partial attention“.

Now, I can’t think of any circumstances where a library would want to cature the hearts and minds of its users, but then again, I’m not a librarian, so it’s possible that someone else here might be able to 😉

And that where Ideascale comes in. Ideascale lets you set up your own Digg-clone so that people can vote on things. Like whether there are enough books in the library, the coffee is too expensive, or that librarians should all wear Star Trek-style uniforms. Or whatever.

Of course, it might be that this level of participatory democracy is just a little bit too scary, or that it might be better not to know what library users think, or to give them a voice. After all, we’ve never done that sort of thing before, so why start now?

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Rooms2 Builder – bringing it all together

Posted by gazjjohnson on 17 July, 2008

Like many of my fellow Information Librarians, I’m currently beavering away on the creation of Rooms2 (the successor to the highly popular Subject Roomsavailable from the Library pages).  I will admit that whilst I know the final product will doubtless be as popular as its progenitor, the experience of working out just how (and in some cases why) the CMS software does things is making for a pretty interesting learning curve.

As doubtless those folks following my Twitter feed are now well aware.

What has helped a lot is taking copious notes. The manual for Rooms2 is okay, but as a resource it leaves a few gaping holes.  Not to mention that naturally we’re customising elements of the site and this is very much a standard resource for all users of Rooms2Builder.  I’ll make these notes available to any of my colleagues who are interested sometime next week.  They’re not intended to be the definitive guide but they might help you avoid the odd pitfall or head-scratching moment that I’ve had; not to mention giving Joanne (Dunham) a moment’s rest – she’s probably reached the point of dreading each of my emails with a new builder question.

I will say it has been getting easier each day I’ve been working on it.  I’ve learned the nuances, I’ve relaised what the shadows are all about, and I don’t think I’ve broken a functional content module (CM) in…well hours anyway.  Hopefully now I’ve (almost) created my first Room2, the next half a dozen will get done a bit faster.

Posted in Subject Support | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »