Baby, it’s cold outside

Fortunately, I can still bask in the warm glow of the Interweb.  I like it when libraries make information available online; I love it when they do so in a format that regular people can understand.  Some librarians are completely unaware that using the library can be considered a customer experience; what’s more, most librarians eschew the word ‘customer’ when referring to users of the library.  To me, the only difference is that people have already paid for library services, whereas they have a choice of what to buy in a store.

I’ve noticed that library websites tend to resemble old Carnegie library buildings; many of them look a bit dated, there’s too much material in too little space, and it can be quite difficult to find what you want.  In defense of the Carnegie buildings, they possess a bookish atmosphere that can be very welcoming.  For websites, however, the effect is mostly negative.

The trouble seems to be that librarians want library websites to be created in their own bookish image-  organized by some long-dead system of classifying information, with one-click access to a dizzying array of bibliographic information, online databases, and other library bricabac.  Not easy to use at all, if you don’t have your Master’s degree in library science.

In fairness, there should be some continuity between the physical library and it’s website- that’s  natural.  But for library websites, the medium is the message.  It’s our way of staying relevant- and the time has already come that library users are expecting more than we are giving them.

Anyway, what all this was leading to is that I found a library website that impresses me- and right in my neck of the woods:

www.haynerlibrary.org

Best of all, it runs on wordpress, just like my blogola.  Is there anything that can’t be done with open-source software?

*If you guessed ‘open a Microsoft Publisher file’, then you’re right

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