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Building a low cost low labor library web site at HCC
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Building a low cost low labor library web site at HCC

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Co-presented with Jeremy Bullian in October, 2013, at Internet Librarian 2013 conference. How two busy reference/instruction librarians housed at different campuses - with no systems or web librarian …

Co-presented with Jeremy Bullian in October, 2013, at Internet Librarian 2013 conference. How two busy reference/instruction librarians housed at different campuses - with no systems or web librarian on staff - used LibGuides to build a unified web site serving five campus libraries.

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  • “Decentralized campus-based management” will become important to this story
  • The “cluster” is the faculty grouping for our “discipline” – so the 8 campus librarians comprise the “library cluster”
  • The lack of hierarchy and centralized functions leaves a lot to be desired
    in terms of momentum and direction for HCC Libraries – let alone advocacy for resources. It does, however, affordto us as individuals a great degree of autonomy. Each faculty librarian assumes situational leadership roles on particular
    issues, and while we work quite well together, we lack the overall unit
    cohesion of a more traditional organization.
    Prior to the Web site redesign project discussed in this article, the libraries’
    Web team consisted of one librarian who fit Webmaster duties onto
    an already full plate. He received and implemented input from the other
    seven librarians in the cluster. When the time came to revamp the site, a
    second librarian became involved. Having a partner assume some of the
    workload allowed the HCC Libraries site redesign to be completed. Having a
    second team member also provided someone to review ideas and to provide
    insight and criticism.
  • The version of NovusCMS in use by the college – we found to be lacking in social media functionality, and hampered by rigid hierarchy. WYSIWYG unreliable & unpredictable.
    Steve Krug is known as a usability expert.
  • The version of NovusCMS in use by the college – we found to be lacking in social media functionality, and hampered by rigid hierarchy. WYSIWYG unreliable & unpredictable.
  • LG framework provided a degree of uniformity due to the system template structure - while allowing campus-level variations.
  • Granted we are still in a different environment from the college web site – however the site-mapping allows for continuity with the HCC brand on the college site – and the Web2.0 look and feel addresses the “timeliness” issue noted in the program review. Detail javascript elements. Created a guide to serve as overall libraries’ homepage.
  • Detail elements of layout that are customizable: URLs, branding, breadcrumbs (assign any guide to serve as LG system homepage – makes it appear that the guides are a subset of the library site when in fact the opposite is true.
  • We did consider LibGuides CMS (then called “Campus Guides”) when deciding on the platform for the re-design. However, we felt at that time – and still do – that we lacked the manpower to fully exploit the capabilities of the system. Would offer “5 mini-LibGuides systems”, greater customization (e.g. CSS), potential to expand the system
  • We did consider LibGuides CMS (then called “Campus Guides”) when deciding on the platform for the re-design. However, we felt at that time – and still do – that we lacked the manpower to fully exploit the capabilities of the system. Would offer “5 mini-LibGuides systems”, greater customization (e.g. CSS), potential to expand the system
  • Too much of a good thing! 
  • Springshare.com and LibGuides.com – wealth of ideas and help from staff and users
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building a Low-Cost, Low-Labor Library Website Jeremy Bullian jbullian@hccfl.edu Alicia Ellison aellison@hccfl.edu
    • 2. Hillsborough Community College •Founded 1968 in Tampa, FL •Now has 5 campuses throughout Hillsborough County
    • 3. Among the state’s 28 community colleges, HCC ranks: • 5th in size in terms of full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) • 7th in terms of annual unduplicated headcount
    • 4. •Total Enrollment = 46,464 (2012-13) •5 campuses = 5 libraries = 8 busy FT librarians o 4 PT adjunct librarians at two campuses •0 Library Director/Dean
    • 5. •Librarians report to their own campus deans o “Decentralized, campus-based management” •Admin Liaison to “Library Cluster” o o o Supervises Tech Services Represents HCC to consortia Dotted-line relationships to librarians and campus deans
    • 6. •Prior to 2010: Web Committee = 1 librarian (Jeremy). •#2 team member (Alicia) joined because of Web redesign.
    • 7. Web Redesign – Why We Did It “The library website may seem bland and uninviting to students accustomed to more visually appealing domains. There is a transition when clicking from the main HCC site to the Libraries’ web page in terms of look, feel and timeliness.” Hillsborough Community College. 2009. “Task Force Findings, Final Report: Learning Resources Program Review.”
    • 8. Former Site: 2001-2010
    • 9. Former Site: 2001-2010, Tier 2
    • 10. The Project • Program review recommended completing a usability study. • Certainly considered a “best practice” and would have been ideal to implement. • Steve Krug: “You have to watch ordinary people carefully as they try to figure out what [the Web site] is and how to use it. There’s no substitute for it.” • Our circumstances < Ideal. • 0 release time/funding/resources.
    • 11. The Search • Web platform? We compared other college library sites. • HCC had NovusCMS. • Still somewhat static. Lacked a contemporary look & feel – dynamic “Web2.0” quality noted in the program review as desirable.
    • 12. Aborted Redesign in NovusCMS
    • 13. The Search – cont’d • Out of desperation we looked for alternatives. • Already using Springshare’s LibGuides for research pathfinders (common use) – 2008. o First CC in FL to sign on.
    • 14. Layout of our site •Umbrella vs Consolidated. o Umbrella: 5 campuses - unified look & feel, retains local requirements (resources, policies, “flavor”). o Consolidated: Dispenses with “flavor” in favor of uniformity & usability. o Winner = Umbrella organization.
    • 15. What’s Next? •Usability study? •Site re-design •Consider LibGuides CMS
    • 16. Advantages: •Ease of repurposing content •Mobile •ADA •Pricing, tech support •Friendly to non-techies
    • 17. Downsides: •Even with college branding – library pages still look like they’re in a different environment from college CMS. •Ease of use and abundant customizable real estate can almost impel a cluttered look. •“Canned” Quality: LibGuides systems look a lot alike across institutions.
    • 18. CMS Alternatives •Libguides CMS •Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress •SubjectsPlus, NetVibes •Your institution’s CMS
    • 19. Further reading •Our article in Journal of Web Librarianship. •Using LibGuides to Enhance Library Services: A LITA Guide. •"LibGuides: a CMS for busy librarians" by Daniel Verbit & Vickie L. Kline. Computers in Libraries. 31: 6 (July-August 2011) •“Best Of” LibGuides - Compiled by Springshare staff. o See: “LibGuides/LibGuidesCMS as Web Site.”
    • 20. Contact us: Jeremy Bullian http://libguides.hccfl.edu/jeremybullian Alicia Ellison http://tinyurl.com/contactalicia
    • 21. This material is based on a presentation given at Internet Librarian 2013 organized by: Information Today, Inc. 143 Old Marlton Pike Medford NJ 08055 U.S.A. Phone 1 (609) 654-6266. http://www.infotoday.com

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