The Universe at Your Fingertips
Block 3 Sessions, 1:00-1:45 p.m.
Program L

An Accent on Access: Writing HTML for the Widest Possible Audience

Michael J. Reagan
Circulation Unit Coordinator, Database Coordinator II
California State University, Northridge


Michael Reagan (ree-g'n) is not a talk radio "personality" and knows of no connection between his family and Ronald Reagan (ray-gun). He has been a seminary student (St. John's, Camarillo), a Navy officer, a social worker, a public librarian (Glendale, 1972-1982), a programmer, systems programmer, manager of data processing in a manufacturing firm, and an academic librarian at California State University, Northridge since 1990.

With its 1994 shake-up, Northridge suffered a semester-long interruption in actual library service, creating a substantial virtual library with CD-rom databases and Telnet connections from a local area network to serve students in temporary trailers, a refurbished exhibit hall, and a hastily constructed white plastic dome. An all-out effort over the summer of 1994 allowed Northridge to return to the central core of the Library building for the fall semester, but electronic access remained an important part of the Library's services.

Because of its flexibility and the proliferation of new resources, the Library replaced a DOS menu approach to electronic resources with a World-Wide Web interface in 1995. Michael has been the primary trainer of Library faculty and staff on Internet and WWW topics, has written or rewritten or taught the writers of almost every page to be found at http://www.csun.edu/library/web/ and is currently working with Library Systems Administrator Eric Willis on configuring a new Web server in the Library itself, to eliminate dependence on a campus-wide server currently sharing computer cycles with an e-mail system serving over 20,000 users. For Northridge, with its parts of its Library still operating in temporary quarters pending the demolition and rebuilding of the Library wings, the Web has become mission-critical.

As a library school student at UCLA (M.L.S. 1973) Michael discovered Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science. The principles expressed in that work have served him as a touchstone both in library work and in data processing. His presentation today is an application of the second law: Every Reader His Book.


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