Monday, August 25, 2008

Loud and Clear

While there hasn't been information on this blog about the behind-the-scenes work being done with updating the website, we've been busy! Our latest work involves the contracts and once they are signed, I will announce the information here. Sorry no text messaging capability to let you know first.....but then I'm not as high tech as the Obama campaign!

In the meantime, we hope you are liking the row of library materials across the top of the page. We added a row at the bottom of the page, too, if you scroll down. The bottom row features materials which staff have reviewed through podcast or video. Why do I point these features out? Well, it's rather a sneak peak of the concept of the new website. If you've ever visited Netflix or iTunes you can see how they use a grid pattern to display their materials. In our focus group work last year, we hear from you that it was all about getting into the catalog. What we will present with the redesign is the catalog and more of it!

So, until next week's blog, take a look at Netflix and iTunes and try to picture how a library website can look so very differently!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Next Generation.........

I feel like I'm living on the cusp of great and wonderful things. As my son heads towards his junior year of high school, my primary job is to force him....err guide him towards college choices or at least career choices. It comes to mind something I recently heard that many occupations haven't even been created yet!

Websites, too, will be forever changing as new technologies and new ideas bring new features to websites. Bandwidth may be our enemy (or maybe it will be the cost to have decent bandwidth!) but we already see changes happening that we would not have foreseen even five years ago. What - buy and sell things online? To strangers? Share the books I've read or the photos I've taken with anybody surfing the internet? Network virtually? Play games online with people from other countries?

A new term that has been added to my brain is "prosumer" - and we are all prosumers! We are producers and consumers. In the web 1.0 world, we were all consumers. Passive readers of information sought and found on the web.......until web 2.0 where people could produce information and look what happened! We can't get enough of youtube!

The new ALD website will be a prosumer-driven site. Not only will we provide the library materials but we will also provide the forum for you to produce - give us your reviews! The world is changing and we are now spending more time interacting virtually. Where do you interact virtually? Why? How big of a prosumer are you?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Looking for all the right places

Okay, so the title of this blog is a take off of the song "looking for love in all the wrong places" - I thought it might need explaining since my knowledge of songs is limited to those decades when i was growing up and i've been pretty much stuck there.

But the title fits, in that we're all looking for information about lots of things ~ what's the best car for gas mileage, best digital camera, finding the latest movie review or best way to get in shape. How do we go about looking? My guess (and statistics seem to prove this out) is that we're starting with a search engine and just typing in the words that make sense to us with the hopes of finding something with those words that resonate. It does not matter as much to us if the site is a .com or a .edu or a .gov; unless you're a librarian! We are ~ in the main ~ happy with our search results.

So what's the point of the blog, you ask, if you've read this far? As we redesign the website, you will no longer find lots and lots of website links like you do today. We created a large portal of information on various topics ~ all things Colorado, consumer health, business, etc. etc. But, why should we post websites when you use search engines to find them yourself? Do you see your public library as a resource for finding websites? My guess is that you use the library for finding books, computers and programs (in order of importance). This blogger wants to know if I'm wrong!