TTW readers know I love a good “Ten Things” post! Run, do not walk to:
- Communicate with the academic community
- Get proper subject librarians who know their stuff to generate the content for the library website!
- Provide high-quality, easy to use tools to put the content the users created online in various formats (see 4)
- Keep the content updated
- Provide consistent interfaces, preferably a single consistent interface where possible
- Present users with the resources they use, making things one click away
- Structure information, making it customizable where this is appropriate
- Make sure that everyone in the library is on the same page regarding services, ensure that users are getting the course offerings they want/need
- Provide a library toolbar
- Not actively talking (listening) to the academic community
- Cut away the subject-specific angle and quality assurance in favour of a “streamlined”, centralized appearance
- Go static
- Implement technologies that help administration, but not the user
- Bolt bits on the old design to make it two-oh
- Federated search, but no training
- Cut away the OPAC in favour of ancillary systems (for example eJournal and database repositories)
- Rely on third parties with whom you have no trust relation to store important information
- Focus on what’s new/important/good rather than what’s being used
- [BONUS] Providing five databases when one would have sufficed
Well said. PLEASE click through and read the explanations for all of the points. I would urge academic library folk to look at these very seriously in a staff meeting.
In my book, this is gold:
… if you’re not actively working with the academic communities you serve — and I mean really listening to them, helping them do their work in their way — you’re not going to do a good job. Libraries and librarians are mostly good at librarying, unfortunately the rest of the world isn’t interested; stop it.
The same might be said for instructional support in many institutions. <cough> Firefox <cough>