hello ala.org

I have to say I had no idea when I wrote my post the other day that the redesigned ALA.org was going live this week. It looks pretty good, with my minor nitpick being the main page title says “ALA | ALA | Home” in my browser bookmarks which seems a little weird (titles seem borked sitewide actually). Was sort of hoping to see a “Hey it’s live!” page link with info about the transition but honestly, it’s so darned nice looking and normal looking, that seems like a minor quibble. What do you think?

Also: if you see something that is not just not to your tastes but actually broken, please be part of the solution and take the time to email the web team and let them know what happened. Every new site launch comes with a bunch of unexpected little glitches, let’s help ALA fix theirs.

done messing with themes

Okay, the website is fixed and set to go with the new style. I’ve done a few things here so if you regularly read via RSS, you might want to take a peek at it. Here are the improvements:

  • New stylesheet. Easy to read, photo of me, slighty different layout.
  • Style switcher now works in all styles so if you don’t like this one, pick another one (in the lower right) and you’ll always be able to get back.
  • I pulled in some RSS feeds so you can see the last five books I’ve read [this will encourage me to read more speedily] and the last five questions from Ask MetaFilter [often compelling]. I did this using feed2js. Big thanks to Meredith’s husband Adam for suggesting it.

Everything else should be the same. Please contact me if you see something broken.

pimp my library

Do you ever watch that weird TV show Pimp My Ride where people bring in their lame old cars and get them tricked out in these crazy unbelievable ways? I read this article by Stephen Manes about the glories of libraries; he concludes by saying

My biggest complaint is that some libraries’ Web sites don’t detail the amazing range of services they offer online until you cough up a card number. Memo to those insular institutions: Put the info in the shop windows out front and I bet you’ll see a lot more card-carrying customers walking through the electronic doors.

I’ve got an idea….

Pimp My Library would take some ratty old library with an outdated web site, half-busted computers, no good YA room and terrible signage and trick it out to a level suitable for a modern-day information crossroads. Librarians and other staff would be forced to take the day off under the guide of professional development and would be returned to a sparkling new ergonomic and fashionable workplace with accessible standards-compliant web site. We’d still call the library. It can be done. Maybe we’d need to call the show something else though. Side note: Manes mentions an error in Wikipedia’s personal computer entry. Someone with a sense of humor has since fixed the error, all in the last three days. [thanks mark, rick]

A critique of the new LJ website, and a hopeful note

Jenny has a post about the Library Journal redesign discussing the sort of online cachet they had built and how the redesign and the newly added fee-based barrier was squandering it. The good news seems to be that the situation will be changing real soon now which is good to hear. I wonder if the TechBloggers will still have to post to the blog via email? update: LJ techbloggers assure me they can log in and post now, great news all around.