Urban Library Journal, code4lib 2016 Conference, and the Metro UX SIG

Just a few quick updates:

There is a new issue of Urban Library Journal available, containing select proceedings from this past year’s LACUNY Institute that focused on privacy in libraries. It was also my first time editing an issue on my own.

The code4Lib 2016 Conference Website is now up and running. Take a look here. This year’s conference will be held in Philadelphia. I’m very excited about serving on the conference’s Website Group. It was great picking up on jekyll.js.

Lastly, I’m going to be speaking at the METRO Library Council’s User Experience User Group on October 14th! I’ll be discussing my book,  Usability and the Mobile Web. I’m looking forward to sharing my work with the folks at METRO!

Resisting the Databases A to Z List

The new semester starts tomorrow, and one project I wanted to launch was a redesigned electronic resources page on our library website. After reading Anthony McMullen’s article, “Resist the List,” I wanted to make fundamental changes to how our students view our A to Z pages.

McMullen argues that the Database A to Z list is user-unfriendly. Imagining that you’re a freshman who has to conduct research in a library, and presented with a long list of databases, vendors, icons, and descriptions, its really easy to get lost in what you’re looking for. So, instead of using an A to Z page, we launched page  that chunks databases into subject categories. This may or may not be intuitive for users, but a future usability test will help determine that. The page draws inspiration from Portland State University’s database page, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s database page.

I think one indicator to see if a database page is usable on a library website is if there doesn’t need to be that much instruction on how to use it. I feel that once info lit librarians/instructors no longer have the burden of teaching students on how to “use” a database page, then they can focus on other important topics.

My mom the librarian

My mom with Tiffany Craft and Mayor James Craft
My mom with Tiffany Craft and Whitesburg Mayor James Craft

I just wanted to write a pride post about my mom, Lina Tidal. For the last 29 years, my mom worked as a librarian for the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library, in our small hometown of Whitesburg, Kentucky. Today, she was recognized by the Kentucky House of Representatives, the Letcher County Fiscal Court, and was even given the key to the city of Whitesburg!  Continue reading My mom the librarian