Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Library’s Buzz

Dani Guzman, Product Marketing Director, Ex Libris

This month, our focus is on methods for developing libraries, their resources, and their services. We take a look at how librarians are tackling this issue from several angles, including the growing role of Linked Data in library world, what user experience means today (especially in a highly mobile digital environment), and how to make sure improvements actually do improve things (reviewing the advantages of testing and incremental changes). And in the spirit of open discussion of all the latest issues related to libraries, librarians and library science, we enjoy listening to a lively podcast as much as the next person. Where? See below.

A Linked Data Landscape 

In the online edition of American Libraries magazine, Erik Mitchell, librarian at the University of California-Berkeley, addresses the growing Linked Data publishing landscape. The increasing use of such shareable information has raised new issues of licensing, standardization and effective system design. Our own Linked Data Collaboration Program, for example, is bringing Ex Libris customers together to discuss these ideas for features in Alma and Primo. (See our paper on “Putting Linked Data at the Service of Libraries”.) Mitchell reviews some of the latest developments in Linked Data and suggests what libraries preparing “for a linked future should focus on….” Read more>> 

Small-Scale Usability Studies 

Jason C. Simon, a Technology and Serials Librarian at Fitchburg State University (FSU), writes in the Library Journal about FSU’s experience improving the library’s website. With students not finding what they wanted (or not knowing the site exists at all), FSU embarked on improving the user experience. As with our own Primo user experience project, the first step was to conduct research into user behavior. Simon provides readers with insight into the creative solutions FSU came up with for a solid and reliable small-scale usability study with limited resources, and some pointers on getting started. Read more>> 

The New Digital Divide

Library patrons are using mobile devices more and more as their primary computing tools. That means libraries need to revisit their approach to digital access. “A website designed for quick lookup will frequently be insufficient” for a modern mobile user, says Meredith Farkas, a lecturer at San José State University School of Library and Information Science. Mobile-first design, Frakas explains, serves all virtual visitors by ensuring a responsive, mobile-friendly experience. Read more>> 

Incremental Improvements Start with A/B Testing 

The Scholarly Kitchen blog brings us the insights of statistical analysis researcher Phil Davis into the use of the A/B testing method to make incremental improvements to user experience. Davis was intrigued by the lack of apparent interest in interface development among scholarly publishers. In this article, he persuades us of the need for an emphasis on the process of incremental interface improvement. According to Davis, keeping website users coming back is really a choice. Read more>> 

Attending to the Whole Student: Higher Ed’s 2016 Trend 

Universities are beginning to take a more holistic approach to student success, notes the president-elect of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Stephen Bell. In 2016, academic librarians can play a central role in making the push to serve the “whole student” a success. “We are adept at applying both technology and personal interaction to reach out and connect with students,” Bell writes, praising librarians for “proving themselves more perceptive than other learning and support units….” Read more>> 

Hearing Voices: Librarian-Produced Podcasts

American Libraries magazine tells us that “librarians will find podcasts on subjects as varied as the collections they curate.” To prove the point, Steve Thomas, branch manager at Gwinnett County Public Library and a producer of his own podcast (Circulating Ideas), provides details and background on a slew of interesting podcasts available today. Read more>> (But only on your day off – you might spend hours listening to the podcasts Thomas highlights.)

1 comment:

  1. Web page size is an important aspect of modern Web design. ... Increasingly mobile-based Internet traffic causes many pages to display slowly on mobile. See more mobile usability guidelines