Google Featured Snippet

As you may have seen elsewhere on my website, I created and maintain a library technology website called Library Technology Launchpad. On that site I write about various topics relevant to librarians such as websites, online resources, open access, and others. My most popular series is the Basics and Resources Series. In this collection of articles, I have covered topics such as APIs, Discovery Services, Linked Data, OAI-PMH, proxy servers, and more.

While searching for some sources for an article posted today, I was pleasantly surprised to see my own work as a featured result. I entered the search terms “library discovery services” (without the quotes) into Google and got back a screen of search results. There at the top as the “featured snippet” was a description from, and link to, my Library Technology Launchpad website.

Google featured snippet for library discovery services

So from a search that resulted in 324 million results, Google selected my article as the top source for the topic. In order to see whether Google was basing this ranking on my searching or browsing history, I asked a colleague to perform the same search. She confirmed that she also got my website as the featured snippet.

Anyone who posts articles to the Web hopes to get listed on the first or second page of Google search results. Although I’ve frequently found posts or pages from my Library of Motoring website high in Google results, this is the first time that I have had, to my knowledge, an article featured on Google. That it is a professional library article makes it more satisfying. Hopefully this inclusion indicates a high search ranking for my Library Technology Launchpad site as a whole.

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.

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.