Monday, August 27, 2007

Turns out we've been hip all along...

I just loved this article in the Washington Times, reviewing Heidi Ardizzone's new book "An Illuminated Life", about librarian Belle de Costa Greene, curator of J.P. Morgan's massive personal (now public) library. Given all the hype lately (does it count as "hype" if it's just within the library community?...) about librarian stereotypes and images, this article does a great job of actually talking about the professional side of this intriguing woman's life. The book is not getting great reviews in general, but I definitely want to learn more about this woman, who proved a long time ago that librarians can actually have (gasp) lives.

I think she may be new my idol... :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back in Business...

Well, I'm finally back from vacation, still freaking out about the upcoming semester and the new website... The new students arrived this week, so we've been pretty busy with orientation and outreach efforts.

On an entirely different note, did anyone see Andrew Keen on The Colbert Report? Is it just me, or is his entire persona pretty much pretentious and obnoxious? I mean, I definitely disagree with most of his viewpoints, but I had never actually seen an interview with him, and I didn't realize his whole personality and demeanor were so condescending in general. Ick-o-rama.

And seriously, what is his deal? Can he really believe the internet is killing culture, or is this all just a guy putting on a show to be controversial and sell a lot of books (which would make it kind of ironic that he was on the Colbert Report, no?) I mean, I can't seem to grasp his argument that the internet is putting "real" artists out of business.
What the heck is a "real" artist anyway? I would think the internet just allows all artists to put their work out there, and let the world decide what's good and what stinks. I see it as a great tool for discovering talent and a promoter of the arts. I just can't seem to wrap my head around his argument enough to really find all that much sense in it...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Panic, Setting In...

Well, it's already two weeks into August, and I'm officially starting to freak out. I can't believe the fall semester starts in two weeks! On top of planning our library instruction sessions for the term, as well as our outreach and promotion, we just found out that we are a go on the new website, but the person who will be designing the CMS template (and so basically, the site) will be leaving at the end of September, so we need to be ready to launch by the end of August.

Wait, what?!!! You'd think with all my complaining and scheming and daydreaming that I would be ready for this by now, but when you actually start to put your ideas in motion, all sorts of problems and issues arise. Suddenly we are getting very critical of our planned navigation, and how will we deal with third and fourth-level nav, and what about server stuff, and what are our online forms coded in?! Oh, and we want to overhaul the content too, so new pages have to be created for all the first and second-level links. Yikes!!!

Some issues we've already encountered:
  • What to call that pesky database page? People obviously get confused by the term (and rightly so, in my eyes.) So far we've settled on Online Resources.
  • What links should go down the left-hand side of the page? These will be our main navigation, and will stay consistent on all pages, so they need to be helpful and fairly self-explanatory. (Right now we're thinking of using Research Tools, Library Services, Special Collections, About the Library, FAQ, and Contact Us.
  • What size screen/resolution to design for? Too big and there will be side-scrolling, too small and there's way too much white space. We're thinking 1024x768 might be a good middle ground...

The homepage will also feature a box that gets populated from our blog, and a MeeboMe widget for IM reference.

So, yeah, I'm definitely freaking out a bit here. But alas, my dream of a site redesign is finally being realized, so the scary deadline is also a sign that we will actually get the new site we were hoping for in the foreseeable future.

If anyone has any insight on good library website design, or sites they think are particularly well-done, please send them this way, I know for a fact that I am in over my head, and would be so thankful for any tips!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Lolz

This is how you know you read I Can Has Cheezburger? way too much. Here is how I "called" in sick last week: