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Done in WordPress: The Grove Library

Submitted by Amanda L. Goodman on November 1, 2013 - 10:56am

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of posts profiling library websites developed on the WordPress platform, excerpted from The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries, a forthcoming LITA Guide to be published in December.

The Grove Library website

The Grove Library website is a beautiful, seemingly simple website with a great user interface. The needs of the online patron have been thought through thoroughly. For instance, the navigation uses simple, direct language such as “Find” and “Services For,” which eliminates some of the uncertainties of where to click to find information. By hovering over one of the top horizontal menus, a drop-down menu appears, which also responds to natural questions a user may ask. Examples include: “What you can borrow or browse,” “How to join,” and “See what I have out.” This kind of forwardness is an illustration of best practices from Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. This bestselling usability book boils down to this: remove any obstacles that make your user pause to think what that image/word/navigational element means. One of his best examples is that job is a more user-friendly word than career or employment. Be short, simple, and direct. The Grove Library website exemplifies this philosophy. Read More »

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Done in WordPress: Scholarly Publishing @ MIT Libraries

Submitted by Amanda L. Goodman on October 18, 2013 - 12:13pm

Editor's Note: This is the first of a series of posts profiling library websites developed on the WordPress platform, excerpted from The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries, a forthcoming LITA Guide to be published in December.


At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, WordPress has been used to create an informational hub on open access Scholarly Publishing @ MIT Libraries. Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Open Access Project, describes open-access literature as being free and accessible by anyone who has access to the Internet. Suber also writes that open-access literature may be collected in repositories for all content that is produced by that institution or be part of peer reviewed journals. MIT’s Scholarly Publishing website was built to assist faculty and “researchers who have questions about their options and rights in the world of scholarly publishing.” Read More »

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Explaining Web Service APIs with Library Examples

Submitted by Jason Paul Michel on October 10, 2013 - 10:50am

Editor's Note: Jason Paul Michel is teaching the ALA Editions ecourse Introduction to Web Service APIs Using PHP and HTML , which starts October 15. This post is adapted from his book on the topic, a PDF version of which is included with the ecourse.

Libraries have lost the battle. The web is now, and has been for a while, where people go to find information.

But that is a vague statement. Imagine the web as a huge, vast cityscape. Most of this city consists of sparsely populated back alleys and warrens, while standing at the center are a few heavily populated monoliths: Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, IMDb, Flickr, and a few others. These are the places people go to find information. Read More »

eContent Quarterly Issue 1: Partnering for Sustainable Collections and More

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on October 1, 2013 - 3:51pm


ALA TechSource has published its first "official" issue of eContent Quarterly, edited by Sue Polanka and Mirela Roncevic. During the summer, we published the preview issue, still available for download in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Now we’re ready to take your subscription order and deliver Vol. 1, No.1. Regularly priced at $150, one-year subscriptions are now $99 with this coupon code: SECQ13. Read More »

Sample Chapter- Planning for Your Library's Drupal Site

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on September 27, 2013 - 10:29am

Ken Varnum is teaching the upcoming ALA Editions ecourse Using Drupal to Build Library Websites. As with all The TECH SET titles, we've posted an interview with Ken and a sample chapter. You can go directly to Scribd to read Chapter 3 "Planning" and share with your colleagues.

Atingo and the Swedish E-Book Lending Model

Submitted by Marshall Breeding on September 17, 2013 - 9:15am

Editor's note: This post is adapted from an article to be published in the October issue of Marshall Breeding's Smart Libraries Newsletter.

Two Scandinavian companies—Publit a Swedish company involved with e-books and print on demand, and Axiell, which develops software for libraries and archives—have jointly launched Atingo, a company offering e-book lending products and services to libraries. Though in an early pilot phase and not currently available in the United States, the service provides an interesting example of a business and technology model implemented abroad. Atingo initially will focus on publishers and libraries in Sweden, but opportunities in other countries may develop.

Swedish E-book Lending Model Read More »

Improve Your Library's Mobile Website: Up from Start

Submitted by Bohyun Kim on September 9, 2013 - 1:00pm

Editor's note: Bohyun Kim will present the ALA TechSource worskhop Improving Your Library’s Mobile Services Thursday, September 12, 2013. This post is adapted from her August/September Library Technology Report (vol. 49; no. 6) "The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations"

1. Create a Mobile Website

If your library does not have a mobile website yet, the number one priority is to provide one, even if it includes only the most basic information. A couple options offer quick start.

The WordPress content management system, for example, has many plugins that instantly reformat any WordPress site into a mobilefriendly format when the site is viewed on a mobile device. WP Mobile Detector, WordPress Mobile Pack, and MobilePress are examples of such plugins. Read More »

Archive of the 2013 ALA Annual Tech Wrapup

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 8, 2013 - 2:07pm

The 2013 ALA TechSource Annual Tech Wrap-up was a huge success. We had great presentations from our panel, and great participation from our audience.

If you missed the event, or want to experience it again, you can view the video archive of the event here.

Again, the URL for the archive is:

eContent Quarterly Preview Issue Ready for Download

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on July 2, 2013 - 2:19pm

ALA TechSource has launched the new eContent Quarterly with a free preview issue announced at Annual Conference. Sue Polanka and Mirela Roncevic are coeditors.

On the heels of the No Shelf Required 2 book, Sue Polanka was ready to try a new approach to covering the dynamic e-book marketplace for libraries. Not wanting to go it alone, she thought of Mirela, who had impressed her with outstanding editorial direction during their collaboration on an IGI book. She persuaded Mirela to join her as coeditor, and they proposed the digital journal to ALA. Mirela covered the e-book market for Library Journal. A contributor to Sue’s No Shelf Required blog, she wrote the Library Technology Report "E-Book Platforms in Libraries," which covers offerings from 51 leading e-book vendors. Read More »

Makerspace Programs at Conference

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on June 28, 2013 - 10:49pm


Yvette Leigh, a branch manager at Chicago Public Library, shows off one of the CNC Mills at the Harold Washington Library Makerspace at a preconference on Friday. Attendees got a tour of the makerspace, scheduled to open July 8. The space also has Laser Cutters and Makerbot Replicator 3D Printers. 

Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables, a supplier and consultant to the lab, wrote a detailed description of the lab's equipment. Read More »