Author Archive

How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers

We must fundamentally change how we view libraries and move from a historical idea of libraries as merely physical repositories to seeing them as an opportunity for proactive community engagement.

- How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers | The Guardian Larra Clark

There is a great opportunity for public libraries in this area as one of the few public spaces left. But there is also a place for academic and special libraries as well. The community doesn’t differentiate between the different kinds, to them we’re all simply libraries.

Is Your Responsive Design Working? Google Analytics Will Tell You

Smashing Magazine Logo

Google Analytics has some great multi-device features built in; however, with responsive design, we are really designing for form factors, not for devices. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how WURFL.js and Google Analytics can work together to show performance metrics across form factors. No more guessing.

Smashing Magazine is one of the best of the online webdesign magazine. It’s well worth keeping up with for new techniques.

Library Terms That Users Understand [eScholarship]

eScholarship logo

This document is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It compiles data from usability studies evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology, and provides an extensive list of resources.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. Jargon is one of my biggest concerns about library website design. We use all these terms just assuming that our patrons understand them without checking that they do.

Digital First Aid Kit: where to turn when you’re DoSed or have your accounts hijacked – Boing Boing

- Cory Doctorow

Digital Defenders Partnership logo
A group of NGOs, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, offer a suite of tools for diagnosing and mitigating the kinds of attacks faced by dissidents and independent media all over the world, especially when they threaten the powerful.The Digital First Aid Kit includes a secure communications layer, as well as sections on hacked accounts, DoS, seizure of devices and malware attacks on your site and network. You can modify and share the kit, downloading it from github, where it carries a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Digital Library

Watercolor of a purple flower.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (
Bequest of Miss Louise Veltin, 1937
John La Farge

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a collection of digital reproductions of artworks that it has been able to verify as out of copyright. They are marked on the individual record pages with an “OASC” (Open Access for Scholarly Content) graphic below the image. There are the basic non-commercial, educational, or fair-use limits and a lot of use information including how to cite them on the FAQ.

Copyright-free image archives

You inevitably need images for something, a new design or a blog post, and while the web is full of photos, most of them aren’t for reuse or only in limited ways. This is a collection of places to find copyright-free imagery you can use however you need.

  1. The British Library’s Flickr collection

    The British Library’s Flickr collection

  2. The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

    The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

  3. pixabay


  4. Photos Public Domain

    Photos Public Domain

  5. SplitShire


  6. freerange


  7. PD Photo

    PD Photo

  8. free stock photography

    free stock photography

  9. Gratisography


  10. - Public Domain Pictures – Public Domain Pictures

University Websites: Top 10 Design Guidelines

In preparing a new full-day course on designing university websites, we conducted a range of user studies. In total, we tested 57 higher-education sites with users in the United States, Canada, UK, and Taiwan. We recruited prospective students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as parents of prospective students. Users were asked to think aloud while performing exploratory tasks

Congress requires publicly funded research to be publicly available

The new Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which Congress passed yesterday, contains an important — and fantastic — provision: it requires that scientific research funded by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education be placed in a free online repository within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

- Congress requires publicly funded research to be publicly available - Boing Boing Cory Doctorow