Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Editorial and Technological Workflow Tools to Promote Website Quality, by Emily G. Morton-Owens

Library websites are an increasingly visible representation of the library as an institution, which makes website quality an important way to communicate competence and trustworthiness to users. A website editorial workflow is one way to enforce a process and ensure quality. In a workflow, users receive roles, like author or editor, and content travels through various stages in which grammar, spelling, tone, and format are checked. One library used a workflow system to involve librarians in the creation of content. This system, implemented in Drupal, an open-source content management system, solved problems of coordination, quality, and comprehensiveness that existed on the library’s earlier, static website.

Factors Affecting University Library Website Design, by Yong-Mi Kim

Existing studies have extensively explored factors that affect users’ intentions to use university library website resources (ULWR); yet little attention has been given to factors affecting university library website design. This paper investigates factors that affect university library website design and assesses the success of the university library website from both designers’ and users’ perspectives.

The findings show that when planning a website, university web designers consider university guidelines, review other websites, and consult with experts and other divisions within the library; however, resources and training for the design process are lacking. While website designers assess their websites as highly successful, user evaluations are somewhat lower. Accordingly, use is low, and users rely heavily on commercial websites. Suggestions for enhancing the usage of ULWR are provided.

Adoption of E-Book Readers among College Students: A Survey, by Nancy M. Foasberg

To learn whether e-book readers have become widely popular among college students, this study surveys students at one large, urban, four-year public college. The survey asked whether the students owned e-book readers and if so, how often they used them and for what purposes. Thus far, uptake is slow; a very small proportion of students use e-readers. These students use them primarily for leisure reading and continue to rely on print for much of their reading. Students reported that price is the greatest barrier to e-reader adoption and had little interest in borrowing e-reader compatible e-books from the library.

Librarians and Technology Skill Acquisition: Issues and Perspective, by Debra A. Riley-Huff and Julia M. Rholes

Libraries are increasingly searching for and employing librarians with significant technology skill sets. This article reports on a study conducted to determine how well prepared librarians are for their positions in academic libraries, how they acquired their skills and how difficult they are to hire and retain. The examination entails a close look at ALA-accredited LIS program technology course offerings and dovetails a dual survey designed to capture experiences and perspectives from practitioners, both library administrators and librarians who have significant technology roles.

Click Analytics: Visualizing Website Use Data, by Tabatha A. Farney

Click analytics is a powerful technique that displays what and where users are clicking on a webpage helping libraries to easily identify areas of high and low usage on a page without having to decipher website use data sets. Click analytics is a subset of web analytics, but there is little research that discusses its potential uses for libraries. This paper introduces three click analytics tools, Google Analytics’ In-Page Analytics, ClickHeat, and Crazy Egg, and evaluates their usefulness in the context of redesigning a library’s homepage.

New preprints

We've recently added three new preprints.
  • "Selecting a Web Content Management System for an Academic Library Web Site" by Elizabeth L. Black
  •  "Cataloging Theory in Search of Graph Theory and Other Ivory Towers. Object: Cultural Heritage Resource Description Networks" by Ronald J. Murray and Barbara B. Tillett
  • "Public Library Computer Waiting Queues: Alternatives to the First-Come-First-Served Strategy" by  Stuart Williamson
You'll find these and other preprints at