Friday, July 21, 2006

Web pages, a love/hate relationship

One of the great things about being part of a state wide academic library consortium such as OhioLINK is we get a wide selection of databases for our users. One of the drawbacks of said consortium is said databases change with some frequency as we try to get the best price and service/selection for library patrons. Several databases have undergone changes at the end of the fiscal year, June 30th, and will require a great deal of library web page updating so patrons during the summer sessions do not see interruptions. As library web master, an 'other task to be named later' job I fell into, this type of change is generally my jurisdiction. Luckily, the portion of the library web page detailing databases and database information is a section that has become the director's baby.

However, and there is always a however, a summer project three years ago was the creation of a set/compilation of children's author and information web pages for the resource center. Each page covers a single author and includes books we have (with catalog links), reference books that have author info, article resources, internet links, and - of course - database recommendations. Last count shows I had, conservatively speaking, 75 author pages.


Except now I have to go through and change the databasae recommendations portion of 75 individual web pages. Right now I'm up to the "P's" (just finishing Philip Pullman) and hope to have all done by the end of today.

The 'what I did on my summer vacation' portion of this term was to begins a full library web page redesign, the second in three years, beginning with the resource center pages. I hasn't happened so far since I am still learning to use the web editor in question. I'm using Dreamweaver and and found it is not at all difficult to edit existing pages. But I would like to utilize css in the new design, making sure we conform to web standards of w3c, and this is more challenging.

So, while I do love playing with web pages and the creating part of the process, I do also hate the pure tediousness of updating such a big chuck of web resources. I wouldn't be doing it all in one day - make that two - except the library web stats indicate this group of pages are a top ten every month.

Done in by success.

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