Work Projects Completed 2015-2016

Staff at Embry-Riddle just completed annual performance reviews.  For the year from March 2015 through March 2016 I had three major projects, all completed before their respective deadlines.

Hunt Library Website Redesign and Launch

Last year I completed the planning, analysis, and requirements for the new Hunt Library website.  This year I began the development of the site organization and building of the site pages and content.  I worked with the university’s Web Team to develop features of the content management system for library hours and news.  Once the design was completed, I worked with the library’s Assessment Team to assess the usability of the website which resulted in some small but important improvements.  The Hunt Library website launched on time with little disruption to our online services.

Hunt Library Website (Pre-Launch)

See the current Hunt Library website at http://huntlibrary.erau.edu.

Project Abandon ColdFusion

Sometime in early 2015, we were told by the university’s IT department that the ColdFusion server was old and was going to be decommissioned. So I started “Project Abandon ColdFusion” to systematically analyze and replace all ColdFusion forms and applications.  I looked to utilize our existing third-party services.

All of the ColdFusion forms and applications were successfully replaced before the ColdFusion server was decommissioned in September 2015. ColdFusion forms were recreated using Springshare’s LibWizard (ex. Research Request form).  The Frequently Asked Questions application was replaced with an FAQ using LibAnswers.  The Library Reported Issues application was replaced by a dedicated queue in LibAnswers (see form) which was successfully implemented and improves on the previous method.  I developed a Recommended Websites replacement with LibAnswers by using a dedicated and highly-customized Frequently Asked Questions group.  The internal professional journal routing application was replaced (temporarily) with a shared spreadsheet in SharePoint (now a form).  The Library hours feed on the Hunt Library website was replaced by a Google Sheet developed by the Web Team. The News page was replaced using the website CMS blog function at http://huntlibrary.erau.edu/news.

Hunt Library Staff SharePoint Site

Previously, the library was using a combination of a third-party wiki and a shared network drive to function as a staff intranet.  Last year the university made SharePoint available to departments and the library administrators made the decision to utilize it for our new staff site.  I attended some training sessions and was made an Administrator for the Hunt Library SharePoint site.  The library’s SharePoint Site was completed with fully-functional sites for library departments, teams and committees, and staff information, help, policies, and procedures.  All content from the previous Hunt Library Staff Wiki was either archived or migrated to SharePoint.  Designated staff from each department and team are now adding apps and content to their own sites.

In addition, I conducted training sessions for library departments, teams, and individuals on using SharePoint.  I created a basic SharePoint Help page and will continue adding to it.  Soon, I will begin a series of about ten “SharePoint Tip of the Day” emails to give staff useful SharePoint help in bite-sized pieces.

Hunt Library Staff SharePoint Site

Conclusion

It was a lot of work but it was enjoyable to have three large, high-impact projects to work on.  It is rewarding to complete projects on-time and be able to have tangible results to show for the effort.  It was a very successful year.

Code For Every Librarian

FLA Conference 2016 - Code For Every Librarian Presentation

On June 12, 2015 I gave a short presentation titled Code Every Librarian Should Know at the NEFLIN Library Technology Conference 2015.  For the Florida Library Association Conference 2016 I decided to submit a proposal for a longer version of that talk and possibly another on library intranet best practices.  Then last Fall I was contacted by Cheryl Wolfe, Web Services Administrator, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library about collaborating with her on a presentation.  I told her about my two ideas and she liked the one teaching code.  She renamed the presentation to a friendlier-sounding Code For Every Librarian and our proposal was accepted!

During our Code For Every Librarian session (on March 2, 2016 from 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm) Cheryl and I taught some very basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code using examples from library catalogs and websites, blogs, Summon, and Springshare services.  The session was well-attended with several people standing in the room and doorway of the admittedly-small meeting room.

Below are links to our presentation materials.

Code For Every Librarian PowerPoint – http://goo.gl/UDKgtn
Code For Every Librarian Helpful Resources – http://goo.gl/XjpsQV

If you want to learn some basic HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, I recommend these two websites with self-paced training:

Codecademy – HTML and CSS – www.codecademy.com/en/tracks/htmlcss

W3Schools – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – www.w3schools.com

FLA Conference 2016 - Code For Every Librarian Presentation

Jeeves and Wooster Collection

 

Jeeves and Wooster collection (all)

I have long been a fan of P. G. Wodehouse and his Jeeves and Wooster series.  In the US it was always difficult to buy these books—even though most of the stories were published here, sometimes before the UK release.  I already owned Life with Jeeves, a compilation of three books: The Inimitable Jeeves; Very Good, Jeeves!; and Right Ho, Jeeves.  But the only other Jeeves book I found in stores was The Jeeves Omnibus, a compilation of Carry On, Jeeves; The Inimitable Jeeves; and Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves which I didn’t buy because I already had one of the three titles.

Late last year (2015) I decided to spring for the entire set from the UK.  I already had compiled a list of titles and so I signed on to Amazon UK one evening.  Ordering was easy and the books were due to be “dispatched” in short order for a January 2016 delivery.  I chose to have the books shipped together to save money.  The entire order cost £173.53 (£121.70 plus £51.83 shipping) or $271.29 for 16 books.  Worth every pound and pence.

Amazon UK’s service was excellent.  Twice I received a surprise package at my door containing books with the message: “We’ve sent this portion of your order separately at no extra charge to give you the speediest service possible.”  Perhaps Amazon intentionally overestimates the shipping time, but I received all of my books well before the estimated date.  They crossed the Pond and arrived in perfect condition.

Sure, I could have saved the shipping cost and bought the ebooks.  But where’s the fun in that?  I’d much rather look at this matching set of physical books.  Wodehouse books certainly fall under “Buy–Print” on my “Book Worthiness Scale”.

P. G. Wodehouse is one of only two authors who can consistently make me laugh out loud (the other being Douglas Adams).  The plots are a bit repetitive if you read the stories back-to-back within a short period of time.  They were published months apart and weren’t expected to be read in one sitting.

I have read only the three books in Life with Jeeves and the 34 stories in The World of Jeeves.  I’ll dole out the other books in-between serious reading whenever I need a laugh.  I’ll write more once I’ve read a few more books in the series.

If you’re interested in sampling some Jeeves and Wooster, you can download My Man Jeeves and Right Ho, Jeeves for free.

Jeeves and Wooster collection (set)

Library Technology Launchpad Relaunched

Library Technology Launchpad Version 2

​Today I relaunched my Library Technology Launchpad website. I moved it from WordPress.com to my own host and gave the site a redesign. The previous version ran from 2011 to 2013 with social media updates continuing through 2014.

View the website at libtechlaunchpad.com.

At Library Technology Launchpad I’ll cover technology relevant to librarians and libraries. Covered topics will include:

  • Links to library technology news
  • eBook purchasing and subscription trends
  • Mobile library websites and eReader apps
  • Online information resources
  • Social media and libraries
  • Library user experience (UX)
  • Cloud computing for libraries
  • Institutional repositories ans scholarly communication
  • Research data management
  • Search engine tips and tricks
  • Useful general technology information

Library Technology Launchpad is also on social media.

The Library as Publishing House Chapter Published

Last year I submitted a proposal for a chapter to a book on the 21st-century academic library. My subject was institutional repositories and how libraries were now functioning as publishing houses by providing a platform for digital journal publishing.

“The academic library takes on the new role as institutional publishing house using institutional repository services to manage journal publishing and conference planning. Librarians must know the journal publishing workflow including online article submission, peer-review, editing, publishing, dissemination, and marketing. To manage conference planning functions, librarians need to understand event functions such as presentation submission, program scheduling, registration and third-party payment systems, proceedings publishing, and marketing.

Librarians at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University launched an institutional repository not only to showcase intellectual output, but to digitally publish new and existing journals and centrally manage professional conferences for university faculty and students.”

I asked Anne Marie Casey and Chip Wolfe to colCreating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Stafflaborate and our chapter was submitted last Fall.

This month the book Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff was published and I received my copy this week.

From the description on the back cover:

“Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff focuses on research infrastructures, bringing together such topics as research and development in libraries, dataset management, e-science, grants and grant writing, digital scholarship, data management, library as publisher, web archiving, and the research lifecycle. Individual chapters deal with the formation of Research & Development teams; emerging scholarly forms and new collaborative approaches to knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation; managing small databases requiring the same level of support as large databases: metadata; digital preservation and curation; and technical support. Support for such services is provided in a chapter that considers how assessment and data now drive decisions and new services in higher education and more specifically in academic libraries and how statistical data can help to tell stories, make decisions, and move in new directions. Conceptualization of the research process is also examined through the presentation of a research lifecycle in the university environment with the library as an integral partner and leader. The library as publisher, an increasingly important topic, with new institutional repositories tied to journal creation, curation, and management is examined with a discussion of the workflow and expertise necessary for the library to be successful and responsive to the research needs of its institution and become a leader in providing publishing services to its faculty.

This volume, and the series in general, is a valuable and exciting addition to the discussions and planning surrounding the future directions, services, and careers of the 21st-century academic librarian.”

The book is available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Customizing LibAnswers to Create a Recommended Websites Service

When we learned that the university’s ColdFusion server was getting old and the IT department wanted to decommission it, I began “Project Abandon ColdFusion” to migrate all of our home-grown ColdFusion applications to other services. The last of these services was our “Recommended Websites” service.

I searched many options. The service needed to be free, easy to use and maintain, and preferably something the library was already using. This led me to LibAnswers and its FAQ groups. With a bit of customization, it could be made to function as a Recommended Websites service. So with some advice and help from Kelly Robinson, the site structure and layout was built. Research librarians on the Recommended Websites Committee entered in website names and descriptions and assigned topics and keywords.

The new Recommended Websites service launched on August 20, 2015 at http://hunt-answers.erau.edu/rw.

The new service received some recognition from Springshare, the creator of LibAnswers, on their Twitter page.

Springshare Twitter post on Recommended Websites