Avoiding Deja Vu All Over Again

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Presentation by Gary Atwood (Springfield College) and Kelcy Shepherd (UMass) on web site management. Presented at the 2009 Massachusetts Library Association Conference. Kelcy Shepherd created this …

Presentation by Gary Atwood (Springfield College) and Kelcy Shepherd (UMass) on web site management. Presented at the 2009 Massachusetts Library Association Conference. Kelcy Shepherd created this presentation with input from Gary.

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  • 1. Avoiding Déjà Vu All Over Again: Sustainable Approaches for Managing Academic Library Websites Massachusetts Library Association, May 7, 2009
  • 2. Ground Rules
    • Talk only when permitted.
    • Leave your seat only when necessary.
    • Keep your hands to yourself.
    • Stay on task.
    • Keep your hands and feet inside of the car until the ride has come to a complete stop.
    • Do not taunt happy fun ball.
    • This will go down on your permanent record.
  • 3. Ground Rules
    • Talk only when permitted.
    • Leave your seat only when necessary.
    • Keep your hands to yourself.
    • Stay on task.
    • Keep your hands and feet inside of the car until the ride has come to a complete stop.
    • Do not taunt happy fun ball.
    • This will go down on your permanent record.
  • 4. About This Session
    • Not a “how to” session on the nuts and bolts of web coding.
    • Instead, “big picture” management of your website.
    • Informal, discussion-based.
    • Q & A format.
    • Jump in at any time with questions, or to share experiences from your own institution!
  • 5. Who are you people? How’d you get into this?
  • 6. Who’s maintaining the website at your library?
  • 7. Suggested Practice
    • The individual or group responsible for maintaining the website must have the authority to do so.
  • 8. What’s the purpose of your website?
  • 9. Sample Website Mission
    • The UMass Amherst Libraries website exists in support of the Libraries’ mission, in particular working to build and maintain a rich information environment, facilitate access to it, and create a hub of campus and community scholarly activity. It is an essential point of access to the Libraries’ collections, to the interfaces to our online tools, and to information about the Libraries’ services.
    • The website is a user centered tool that is continually improved through formal evaluation mechanisms and user feedback. As such, its design, organization, and content are dynamic, evolving, and current.
  • 10. Sample Website Goals
    • Goals for the Libraries website are to:
    • Enable self-sufficient discovery and use of library resources, while also promoting, supporting, and providing services for mediated use.
    • Produce and maintain high quality, current, and relevant content appropriate to a scholarly environment.
    • Provide interactive services that facilitate communication between users and library staff.
    • Implement user-centered design principles and incorporate the results of regular evaluation.
    • Represent and promote the Libraries.
  • 11. Sample Website Scope
    • The Libraries website includes all web pages and web-accessible systems intended for public use that are developed by staff of the Libraries. Web-accessible commercial systems (such as the Aleph catalog), though generally considered by users to be an integral part of the Libraries website, are organizationally distinct and for the purposes of this document are not considered to be part of the Libraries website.
    • The Libraries’ web servers are to be used for the Libraries website . Content intended primarily for Libraries staff is not an appropriate part of the Libraries website, and should be posted on LibWire or a departmental/division wiki. Personal content of Libraries staff is not appropriate for the Libraries website.
  • 12. What policies do you need to support website maintenance?
  • 13. How does your website relate to your parent institution’s website?
  • 14. Suggested Practice
    • Identify your website’s purpose and mission.
    • Develop policies that put the mission into action.
    • Know the goals, mission, and guidelines of your parent institution’s website (so you can figure out what you can or can’t get away with).
  • 15. What workflows and software do you use to maintain your website?
  • 16. Suggested Practice
    • Use software that helps you control the look & feel of your site.
    • Select a system that suits your institution’s needs.
  • 17. Final Thoughts
    • Usability testing is key to improving your website.
    • Website management is an iterative process – your website is never “done.”
  • 18. Thanks!
    • Gary Atwood
    • Reference Librarian
    • Springfield College
    • [email_address]
    • Kelcy Shepherd
    • Digital Interfaces Librarian
    • UMass Amherst
    • [email_address]