Websites: design and role

  • Full library discoverySeptember 15, 2013 – The scope of library discovery services continues to evolve. We might characterise the situation we are in now as full collection discovery. The model is of a cloud-based, central index, where the goal has been unified results across collection types delivered in a single search box.The full collection includes material...read full entry...
  • Discovery vs discoverability ... January 02, 2013 – I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck...read full entry...
  • Two things prompted by a new website: space as a service and full library discoveryAugust 31, 2012 – Drawn by a Tweet I looked at Stanford's very nice new library website just now. I only spent a few minutes there but I was immediately and strongly struck by two things. Each makes so much sense that I imagine they will become routine. The first was the foregrounding of...read full entry...
  • Effective web presence ...May 31, 2011 – We are growing used to the idea that simply making things available on the web does not necessarily make them widely discovered or discoverable. I have used the phrase 'search engine interoperability' in these pages already. This is a play on 'search engine optimization', which some do not like (although...read full entry...
  • Decentred network presenceApril 30, 2011 – We still tend to think of the website as the focus of institutional presence on the network. And, often, mobile or other presences are seen as somehow derivative. Clearly the importance of mobile - especially now with tablets and smartphones - has changed that view and changed the way we...read full entry...
  • Influencing how you are seen in results ...October 10, 2010 – Two websites I regularly look at are the The Guardian and Times Higher Education. In my lazy way I will often just pop the names into Google when looking for them. I have been interested in how they are characterised in Google results, based on what they put in the...read full entry...
  • A web-siting: NCSU Libraries reduxAugust 27, 2010 – Susan Rector from NCSU Libraries left a nice note on my entry about library websites. She pointed at some discussion of the redesign on their libraries blog. I was particularly interested to read about their objectives with the new site: Streamline access to search functions and core user tasks Provide...read full entry...
  • 3 stages of library websites ...August 22, 2010 – While writing about subject pages and library websites the other day, it occurred to me that we might think of library websites in three stages - which emerged successively and continue to exist together. Always mindful of the rule of three ;-) We might clumsily call these stages: [1] fragmentary,...read full entry...
  • Resource/course guides and content managementAugust 19, 2010 – I have mentioned Libguides a couple of times, which seem to be quite widely used. I have been interested recently to come across some other initiatives which aim to organize subject- or course-based library resources within a consistent content management environment which reduces custom effort. I enjoyed listening to Allie...read full entry...
  • Navigation structure: web sitings ...August 03, 2010 – The following graphic was noted in a variety of places recently. It clearly struck a chord! My own bugbear on library websites is physical address (I sometimes want to know where the library is) and director or staff contacts (which are sometimes really quite hard to find!). This reminded me...read full entry...
  • Mobile .. Top Tech Trends 1June 29, 2010 – I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking about the exercise, it seemed to me...read full entry...
  • Indirect discoveryJune 13, 2010 – I have found that the phrase Discovery happens elsewhere has quite a bit of resonance in discussion. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in a variety of places. Most clearly, this happens through network-level services like Google or Twitter, but also happens in personal services (my RSS...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at The University of RochesterMarch 28, 2010 – I was struck by several things on the home page of The River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester One was the cover flow display of a small selection of new books. It may not provide a very full experience but it is a nice hook and links to...read full entry...
  • Ting: collaboratively sourced library infrastructureMarch 07, 2010 – Ting is an initiative which is creating a shared systems and data infrastructure for Danish public libraries - and potentially others. At its heart is a 'data well', an enriched aggregate of data (see a list of data sources here). Another important component is Ding, a Drupal-based content management system...read full entry...
  • Bruges Public Library catalogueFebruary 09, 2010 – Prompted by a recent entry, I got a note from Koen Calis, Librarian Bruges Public Library, about their catalogue, Cabrio. Here is quite a full presentation which covers a range of interesting feature: Cabriology The Bruges Aquabrowser ExperienceView more presentations from Koen Calis. I was interested in their adaptation of...read full entry...
  • VIAF design patternJanuary 03, 2010 – A blog entry by Paul Walk - An infrastructure service anti-pattern - drew some attention a while ago. He argues against a model in which a service provider independently develops APIs and a user interface, and in which, accordingly, the APIs are developed in advance of actual use or explicit...read full entry...
  • Institutional researcher pages: an exampleJanuary 02, 2010 – I have written a couple of times recently (here and here) about institutional and indvidual reputation management. Think, for example, of faculty profiles: the managed disclosure of expertise and research activity. This has often been an informal personal or departmental activity. However, there is now a variety of institutional initiatives...read full entry...
  • Community bibliographyNovember 01, 2009 – I prefer 'crowdsourced' to 'user contributed' but neither works very well for me. In particular 'user contributed' does not seem a good term at all for a variety of reasons. Anyway, I was looking at the new catalogue at Ottawa Public Library powered by Bibliocommons earlier (following a mention by...read full entry...
  • Government URIs: a write to replyOctober 17, 2009 – Tony Hirst alerted me to an interesting document on the structure of URIs in UK government websites. There were two things of immediate interest. The first was the emphasis a Government agency was putting on information architecture in a web environment. Other documents will follow. This is from the introduction:...read full entry...
  • The library website: a unified service?September 13, 2009 – I mentioned the reworked University of Michigan Libraries website a while ago. Although it is still a layer over various other resources, I liked the way that the site aimed to project the library on the web as a unified service not as a set of unrelated opportunities. This extended...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at the University of MichiganJuly 16, 2009 – I came across the University of Michigan beta library website the other day. I thought it was interesting what they had done. Its central part is organized around three areas: search, browse, and get help. News is prominent, alongside a 'feature'. I liked the way the search results were laid...read full entry...
  • Visible peopleJuly 07, 2009 – I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is to find the name or contact details of the library director on many library websites. And in some cases to find the names of other relevant library contacts. This is especially the case given the emphasis on the human touch...read full entry...
  • Ranking, rating and recommending July 05, 2009 – We are now accustomed to being able to rank or recommend on websites. More importantly, we are accustomed to seeing resources ranked, related or recommended. To the extent, I suggested in a recent talk, that when we don't see these features on a site it is as if as if...read full entry...
  • What's on your mind ...March 31, 2009 – Ohio State, our neighbors to the South, have a nice tag cloud feature on their home page. I am not sure how they are generating it, but they have clouds based on the behavior of different classes of audience. Here are students ... Here are faculty/staff ... Update: I see...read full entry...
  • The intrusion of adsMarch 30, 2009 – We are now used to seeing ads on web pages, and it seems quite normal. In fact, occasionally, they are even interesting or useful. And Google is certainly working hard to make them even more so. Tom Wilson has published Information Research for many years ... Information Research, is an...read full entry...
  • The archived website as historical documentMarch 30, 2009 – Presentations from the JISC conference last week are now available on the website. I attended the session on web archiving and was struck by the presentation by Niels Br├╝gger (PDF of session here; he begins at page 64). Kevin Ashley's overview of institutional issues and Paul Cunnea's discussion of national...read full entry...
  • Web-sightingsMarch 11, 2009 – A few features I noticed recently on library web-sites ... Oregon State University explicitly notes resources that are unique to the institution ... These include the University Press, the institutional repository, and a range of digitized materials from different collections. With the exception of the University Press, these are materials...read full entry...
  • More on repositories and search enginesFebruary 11, 2009 – I referenced a note by Andy Powell on institutional repositories and Google in an earlier post. Herbert Van de Sompel left a comment pointing to a short document he has prepared addressing some of Andy's concerns based on recent work with OAI-ORE. Here are a couple of the opening paragraphs...read full entry...
  • SEI - search engine interoperabilityFebruary 10, 2009 – I have used the phrase search engine interoperability in these pages a couple of times. This is a play on search engine optimization, which some do not like (although I think we should not avoid using a standard industry term). We value interoperability in libraries, and I think that a...read full entry...
  • A signed network presence: people as entry points againFebruary 04, 2009 – The phrase 'people are entry points' has stayed in my mind since I heard Dan Chudnov use it at a meeting a while ago. It tends to occur to me also when I read, as I just have, documents which talk about 'providers' and 'users' of information, as in many...read full entry...
  • Library website analyticsJanuary 20, 2009 – I have just been looking at the presentation [ppt] given by Tony Hirst and Hassan Sheikh to Internet Librarian International last October. They report the results of their analysis of traffic to the home page of the Open University Library using Google Analytics. Here are some of the things that...read full entry...
  • Holiday note 3: knitting a web presenceJanuary 01, 2009 – I find website appearance both more and less important, as I suggested in a post a couple of years ago (although it seems only like a couple of months ago ;-). Less important because I now experience many sites as part of the feed-based universe which makes up much of...read full entry...
  • A local viewOctober 17, 2008 – I have had a chance to see more of the Science@Cambridge 'portal' and to hear from Cambridge colleagues how they plan to evolve it. As I noted, I particularly like the way in which access to the literature is surrounded by feed-based contextual services. I wondered about a view of...read full entry...
  • Library resources on the webOctober 06, 2008 – Cambridge University Library has launched an interesting new website science@Cambridge. It provides the increasingly common combination of metasearch, catalog and e-resource search. However, around this it provides a range of contextual services, many of them feed-based and dynamic. What I thought was especially interesting was the focus on providing access...read full entry...
  • Optimal disclosure of published materialsOctober 01, 2008 – Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner released an interesting report a little while ago on How scholars navigate to scholarly content. This is a followup to a similar study carried out in 2005 [pdf], and one of the interesting strands of this report is an account of changes in that period....read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • Disclosure and diffusion - synchronization and syndicationJuly 16, 2008 – David Bigwood on his blog stats: Making your content available in more places makes metrics hard. Before Bloglines, Google Reader, Facebook Blog Network, Planet Catalog, and all the rest I could get a feel for the number of readers. Didn't matter too much to me, this is done for my...read full entry...
  • The institutional web presence againJune 25, 2008 – I pointed to Brian Kelly's note about the evolution of the University of Bath's web presence the other day. Brian works at UKOLN, which is at the University of Bath. He uses the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to chart how the University's web presence changed over the years, and makes...read full entry...
  • The Bath University recordJune 20, 2008 – As more of the "institutional record" gets pushed to the institutional website ('brochureware', prospectuses, course catalogs, annual reports, newsletters, etc) it raises interesting questions about who manages that institutional memory and about how it is managed. I worked at the University of Bath for many years. My former colleague Brian...read full entry...
  • Mobile access againMay 29, 2008 – My colleague Bruce Washburn sent me a note prompted by the mention here of the NCSU provision for mobile access to the library website and catalog. Bruce worked on mobile access to RedLightGreen some years ago. He also worked on the Worldcat Facebook app. He makes an interesting comparison: We...read full entry...
  • Mobile accessMay 28, 2008 – I was interested to come across the provision for mobile access at NCSU Libraries. Here is the library page. Given that one does not want a very long list, it makes for interesting decisions about what is important or of interest to mobile users. "Wolfline status' gives access to the...read full entry...
  • Boxed in: a set of search boxesMay 10, 2008 – Libraries have major challenges in developing their websites. Think just of the information resources they provide access to. There are locally managed resources: a catalog, a repository or two, informational pages, and so on. And there are many remote resources: licensed databases, links to web pages, and so on. And...read full entry...
  • FlakesApril 29, 2008 – I think the Pageflakes grab-bag approach works better for some things than others. Anyway, here are three sites that have come over my horizon recently. My colleague Karen Smith-Yoshimura alerted us today to a page of library blogs assembled by British Library staff. I was interested to see the classification...read full entry...