It’s been interesting putting together a list of links for my library news page about the recent disaster. I went to the home pages of BPL, NYPL, MPL, SFPL, LAPL, ALA, ALIA, IFLA and a few others, to see if anyone had put up links on their home pages to disaster relief news and information that I could borrow, the way Yahoo, Amazon, IMDB, Apple and a few others did. Milwaukee Public had a link to a list of charities on another site, the other libraries didn’t have home page links, or didn’t as of this morning. Personally, I got most of my links either directly from blogs I read, Google, or through collaborative community sites like Metafilter and Technorati.
This is not a criticism, just an observation about responsiveness, and possibly scale. In our small library, staff can add a link to the library home page just by going into the blog software we use and editing it. I’m sure at larger libraries with site design either outsourced or done only by specialized staff [who likely have time off this week] home page changes can be slower in coming. I think as librarians we all sort of assume that people read the news someplace other than the library home page. What is our responsibility to be responsive to current events with our online presence as well as in person? If anyone has seen good library web pages about the current situation in Southeast Asia, please send them along and I’ll link them here.