Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow and Progress Made !

I am of the persuasion that spring sports are meant to be played in spring - with warmer weather and none of this white stuff on the ground! With my griping out of the way, I am ready to report on website progress made:

1. Writing reviews - which has been disabled for fixing, is now operational again. There are some cosmetic changes still to be made, but the function is good!

2. We're working on adding content to the OnDemand tab.

3. Some minor fixes have been made in the Spanish page facets to get a couple of these working.

On a related note, I want to share a couple of things reported in a talk by Vanessa Fox, search-engine expert. She says "about a quarter of web searches are one word; another quarter two words; 3% are eight words or more.+" Is it any different when users come to the library website? I'm thinking yes, because many titles are more than two words, right? But if you consider author searches then maybe we're just entering two words.

One of the things we are discovering is that the more specific you can be in the search box, the better your chance of your result rising to the top. Here's a couple of examples:

*The Help by Kathryn Stockett. In the search box "The Help" is a title keyword search and "The" is a throw-away word not being searched so we are left with a myriad of hits based on "Help" in the title. But, try searching "The Help Stockett" and see where you find the title - on the first page of results!

*Here's another example. The movie "Up" is now out in DVD and available in libraries. Again, using a popular word alone in the search box returns way too many results. But ~ if you use "Up Asner" in the search box, you end up with the movie on the first page of results!

At least from a library point-of-view, a little more information will return more satisfying results. Try it and let me know what you find!

+Cited from Joseph Janes, "Info the Woods," American Libraries, January/February 2010, p 34.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Tuesday - A New Tab Is Born!

We continue to chug along with improvements to the website. At this time we have no date to provide you for a beta launch - but please stay tuned!

The latest update is the addition of a new tab. It's been awhile since we've posted an image of the home page - here's the top part showing you the tabs. As you remember, we've had the tabs for Books, Movies and Music as our standard navigation by format for browsing. With the addition of more ebooks into our repertoire it makes sense to add a tab called On Demand. Much like you've seen on other websites, On Demand for libraries means access to information electronically. You will be able to find audio books, ebooks, streaming titles and an entry to our research databases. Within research databases you will find e-reference titles, too. Under this tab we will link out out movie and tv show resources as well as music to provide users with a full-bodied experience since we don't have these resources available as part of the collection. Comments or input about this new tab? Would love to hear from you!

Monday, February 8, 2010


This past week we worked on and worked on hammering out the basic philosophy of the new website; things you've read here but put all together in one piece. The purpose of this piece is to better understand and then develop what staff need to know about the new website - for themselves and to talk to patrons.

We also consolidated the major work into buckets of work and have attached hours to them. So, onward and upward we progress!

To digress from website work, did you watch the Apple announcement of its new device, the iPad? Being a Mac family at home, we were engaged with about the first half of the presentation. My daughter was excitedly saying, "I want one, I want one!" The jury is still out, rather you can't get your hands on one yet but I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see if this changes the reading community. If you can play games on the iPad with its larger (more senior-friendly?!?!?) screen, then is reading going to be easier and more enjoyable? Publishers are just beginning to create interactive books where you read the print but can follow along on a website for additional content. The iPad might provide a 3-D experience of reading where you see the location or can see the action as it happens. Will the concept of imagination be lost to us?

In the meantime, welcome snow! At least we're not on the East Coast digging it all out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Website Work Continues/Book My Love Contest!

Website preview parties have been in full swing introducing the new website to staff. Thanks to all staff who have been able to come and preview - interact - ask questions!

We continue our work and prioritization of it so that the major issues can be resolved sooner than later.

In the meantime, please check out our teen Facebook. We're running our Book My Love contest through February 15 to name your favorite teen title! To enter, you only need upload the cover on the wall. Check out other entries on the Fan Photos Wall. Got any bets for which title might win?