Well, it’s about time… April 10, 2006Posted by nanette in Uncategorized.
…that something was posted here other than Tim's daily del.icio.us links, which, interesting though they are for Tim, are not very exciting content for a weblog.
My name is Nanette, and I am a public librarian in the same community where Tim is an academic librarian. I managed to wheedle my way into an invite to write for the YALT Blog during one of our (all-too-frequent) conversations about libraries and technology. My main interests are public libraries and technology, especially making tech more accessible for our users (including staff). I'm actively involved in several professional organizations, including the oft-maligned ALA (as well as three of its divisions–ALCTS, LAMA, and PLA–and one roundtable, NMRT) and the Illinois Library Association. I'm also an alum of the Illinois State Library's Synergy leadership program (class of '05) and a board member for my library school's alumni association.
Though I am not nearly the technology expert that Tim is, I'm learning. I've been doing a lot of minor tech-type stuff at work over the last several months as part of my library's major web site redesign, including a bunch of research into how to improve online catalogs to make them more usable and intuitive. This led to a proposal for a session at the 2006 Internet Librarian conference, which I'm hoping will be a practical, "how to fix your library's online catalog" session for public librarians. Nobody needs to be told that the majority of online catalogs stink. A-duh! Most of us agree on that at this point, and continually repeating that fact only serves to frustrate us further! And it seems like vendors–for reasons that are beyond my grasp–don't have much of an impetus to make them better or more innovative, which is why I advocate taking matters into your own hands, listening to your users and your staff, and doing what you can to make your nasty, fugly, difficult-for-mortals-to-use online catalog into something better.