Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy

A recent article came my way and got me thinking - called The Library Web Site of the Future, the author (Steven J. Bell) talks about how academic library websites can be more relevant to its audience. Bell observes "a significant disconnect when it comes to faculty use of the library's website as a gateway, or portal, to access that wealth of electronic content."

Can I dismiss this as "oh, poor academic libraries having a hard time"? Or it doesn't pertain to me because I'm a public library? Well, I took it to heart and thought about the same thing. What does one visit a library website for? If you look at the search terms entered on the ALD site, many of you are seeking the latest authors and titles in books and in movies ~ and for all ages, too! Based on this evidence, we are carefully reviewing the content on the current website that doesn't relate much to our materials.

On the other hand, we ~ too ~ provide electronic content! Databases, downloadable titles, online electronic titles that even read the book (yes, you are missing something if you haven't yet experienced a Tumblebook!). Are you finding this content elsewhere? Is it more convenient to access besides visiting our website? This blogger feels like adults are finding electronic content in other ways, means and places but that we should continue to provide this information to the students we serve. They are being taught what databases are and how to use them in their schools and are advised on finding materials which come from credentialed sources.

So, my takeaway? Don't worry, be happy - a new website is coming soon!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'm late, I'm late! A holiday on Monday can just throw off your whole schedule ~ including blogging weekly. Sorry for the delay. An update to website work:

  • finalizing search results pages

  • inputting forms ~ this is great stuff for us on the back end, believe me!

  • more training on inputting content on the back end

  • continued "construction" of the back end database to meet our needs

Besides website work, I thought I'd follow up with and its search engine. I used it the other day when staffing the AskColorado virtual reference "desk." Not finding what I wanted out of my Google results, I thought of sweetsearch and switched. I was impressed with their results and liked the hits returned. Some were the same as what Google found; others were more on target and directed. Now I wish I could remember a specific example to share but one does not come to mind. Suffice it to say that I will be returning to sweetsearch when I need more directed answers to questions. Google will continue to be good for a more general search. They say it takes doing something seven times before it becomes a habit ~ let's see if I can remember to use another search engine the next time I need extra help! What are your favorite search engines? Why?

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Sense of Accomplishment

Today was spent at our soon to be opened May Library! I shelved some fiction titles, some children's movies and music and ended up alphabetizing the Jazz and Latin music collections. Whew! Do my muscles feel it - the bending and lifting, the fingers moving to and fro, the brain constantly trying to remember the alphabet! I left with some muscle relief medication and also a huge sense of accomplishment - the term about some village to create something big certainly applies here.

Conversely, the website does not provide this same sense of physicial-ness but the hope is the same in that you will want to browse the collection and check items out that are of interest to you.

The countdown to the opening of the May Library is 13 days ~ the website more like 2nd quarter. Stay tuned and thx for your continued patience!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Celebrating groundhogs and new search engines!

Who said this blog had to be constructive all the time? Today's post comes flying from the fingers with what's at the tip of my fingertips. It is Groundhog Day and we'll just have to see if this burrowing creature wishes us spring or more winter.

In the meantime, to completely mash two different topics together, i thought i'd blog about a new search engine called Sweet Search. Created by professionals to give you what's relevant, they're calling themselves a more selective search engine. I'm going to try running various searches on it to see how this tests out against my habit of Googling - let me know what you think!

Lastly, to try to stay relevant to blogging about website updates, here are some of the things being worked on:

  • creating forms
  • deciding content on the Business & Research page
  • functioning of the Staff Picks when you click on "From: name"