Computers in Libraries 2007: Day 3 – Case Study of Website Redesign

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Where the library was…
they wanted to be a portal – have a customizabe customer experience
wanted to reach new audiences
weren’t quite sure what their customers wanted
created an rfp

Implementation of the website – by the website company…

discovery:
focus groups for the community – variety of types (ie., kids, teens, seniors, etc)
competitive research – looked at other library websites (bad idea, in my opinion… libraries aren’t competing with other libraries – they’re competing with amazon, barnes & noble, etc…

strategy:
mini portals – subjects, demographics, etc based mini portals… subject guides
needed a CMS that could handle blogs, rss, etc – new functionality
needed event management functionality
Ektron – their new CMS (dot net…)
Catalog – III
Federated Searc – webfeat
text messaging…
wanted to integrate all this stuff

cost – $150,000 – sounds pricey… but for what they bought, that’s about right for an outside web design firm to create a large-scale website.

I just checked out of the whole note taking thing, and am browsing their new site… some thoughts:
– kidspace – it’s not for kids – it’s for parents (just a quick visual look at the page)
– I’d say the same thing for the teens page
– I think with both the kids and the teens page, they most likely have great stuff for those user groups – but the main kids and teens page both look more like a hallmark cards page – very corporate.

they just mentioned they have more phases to implement. They have a great start – keep innovating!

Computers in Libraries 2007: Day 2: LibraryThing

Tim Spalding, LibraryThing

Showing LibraryThing – features, social aspects, etc

Showed a graphical timeline on what you’ve read (not yet released)

Regular people care about book data more than you would think

Claims his product is the only one that works with z39.50 and MARC

Showed a great example of tagging vs LoC subject headings. Used the book Neuromancer as an example – tagged cyberpunk… but that word isn’t mentioned in the usual LoC subject headings…

LibraryThing for Libraries:
added stuff – tags, other editions, etc – all LibraryThing data
(He used Seattle Public Library’s catalog as an example)
Find other books tagged a certain word, then shows all tags from that book and all related tags – great for browsing

Hmm… if you enable tagging just for a single library, and use only tags that that library’s customers entered… you’re not going to get great browsability

There needs to be an OCLC for user generated data

Computers in Libraries 2007: Day 2 – Comments in the Catalog: Community Interaction

Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County Library

Case Study

Comments are:
mini reviews
any title in the catalog
a “blog for every book” – cool way to think about it!

Gave brief history about their comments project:
started taking book reviews by kids and teens
then they thought – hey, adults might like to do this (not too successful)
mentioned that they custom-created this – Sirsi doesn’t support it

Gave a demo of it

It’s a mash-up
bibliographic info
enriched content
patron comments
audio reviews – podcasts can be added in – cool! Quick 2-3 minute booktalk
amazon reviews are pulled in
has an rss feed for each title

Uses Amazon’s API to pull in recent amazon reviews on books

They have More Titles About section

Has an RSS feed for all customer comments

How’s it going?
most heavily used feature on their site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Especially popular with teens
5700 comments, 3000 users over the first 11 months

Maintenance:
pre-screened for language – smart
the “naughty word filter” – it’s an automated script
Title comes up most often in the filter (because of “tit”le)
batched every four hours and sent as an email message – 6-7 web services staff get those
click a link to hide a comment – within the email – to catch bad stuff
They remove the vowels in bad words with a note that says “edited for publication”

Our to-do list:
ratings
avatars
user profiles
tag cloud

Related developments
WPopac
SOPAC
Millennium (from Innovative)
LibraryThing for Libraries

Computers in Libraries 2007: Day 2 – Rhumba with Joomla: Using a CMS to Build Community

Tao Gao and Catherine Buck Morgan

Joomla in Libraries – they created this

Why Joomla?
free open source
easy to use, install and it’s reliable
looked at Drupal – it’s much harder to grasp
separation of content and form
portable and extendable
strong support community

Why a redesign?
static html
table-based layout
etc… they needed to switch from an old web to a new web model

lessons learned from redesign:
surveymonkey was a great way to poll users
dang, I missed the rest…

phase II – design
agency rebranding, interface design and review, process stalls because of a new director…

Phase III – development:
explore cms options
find outside host server for development
joomla learning curve
translate graphical interface to the joomla templates
content migration…
identifying and incorporating desired functionality
continued to maintain and update static site

phase V: deployment nad evolution
staff to review website
new website goes live
site moved to in-house server
evaluation
growth and refinement

lessons learned:
few staff reviewed the site
day 1 – where and why questions – answering those for staff and customers
cms makes it easier to evaluate depth of content

now have:
2 web managers
25 authors
326 registered members, 130 not yet approves

Before:
homepage committee
pr committee
1 web administrator

Joomla:
movable boxes, easy to customize user interface

Nice extensions for Joomla – lots of add-ons

Computers in Libraries 2007: Day 2 – Using Social Media for Community Engagement

Andy Carvin, National Public Radio

Dang, it just dawned on me who this guy is – he’s a videoblogger!

andycarvin.com/complibraries.ppt

Traditional Media production:
until recently, to produce content for a large audience you needed to be a … publisher, broadcaster, billboard owner, etc…

Enter stage left: web 1.0 – most people read the net instead of producing for it, because producers needed: html coding skills, programming skills, graphic design skills, etc

Today: web 2.0 – the new stuff has come out

social software and the democratization of content… flickr, youtube – awesome – he mentioned blip.tv and videoblogging

common thread: online communities where people are actively encouraged to use and share each other’s original content

content production: all the cool kids are doing it:
48 million americans have posted content online
1 in 12 internet users publish a blog
1 in 4 have shared original content
young people more likely to post content
race, income, education less of a factor
latinos, african americans slightly more likely to post online content than whites
(from Pew Internet & AMerican Life Project)

Most famous example – blogs – talked a little about them – said blogging is “fill-out-a-form publishing” – that’s a great way to describe it

why are media outlets embracing web 2.0?
improving journalistic transparency
creating a public dialogue
tapping into public knowledge and creativity
new collaborative opportunities with affiliates
maybe it’s profitable, too?

Open Piloting – something NPR is doing
inviting the public to help create new broadcast programming
sharing rough drafts of shows before they’re ready for prime time
a focus group, but everyone’s welcome
gave examples of Rough Cuts and Bryant Park

Radio Open Source radioopensource.org…
a blog with a radio show…
invites users to submit, debate program ideas
users recommend guests, questions
ask users to participate on-air

bbc have your say (another show)
centralized forum for discussing news
They allow people to rate other’s comments – that’s cool
Then, BBC uses those comments elsewhere on the site – they pepper their official stories with the highly rated user comments

CNN iPreport
partnered with blip.tv
citizen journalism – asks users to submit photos, video for specific stories
very best clips included on air
other highlights archived in an online gallery
published early video from VT shooting – via a cell phone video

hmm… can public libraries do this? Ask customers to take photos and video of local newsish events, and publish them somewhere on the library’s website? And then pepper that with books and videos that customers can check out… that’s related to the customer stories? That’d be pretty neat.

USA Today
embedded social networking across site
not balkanized to a special section
users can comment on any story
comments featured on homepage, elsewhere
syndicating blogs from around the internet

OhmyNews – Korean online news service
publishes in korean, english, and japanese
dedicates 20% of its space to citizen journalists
invites public to submit content as volunteers
ones that submit consistently get paid

Global Voices – example of alternative to mainstream media that the mainstream media is now using

VoteGuide
Berkeley journalism students created blog and aggregator for California’s 11th congressional district
pilot project for larger national project

Minnesota E-Debate
candidates submitted text, video, voicemail
public rated responses, posted comments
users uploaded content about it and tagged it
result – dozens of podcasts, 100 videos, hundreds of photos, text comments
could be replicated nationally in 2008

NewAssignment.net
provide a platform for pro and amateur journalists to collaborate on stories together
collaborating with Wired news
developing endowment to pay pro journalists, cover expenses of amateur journalists