Session M, 1:00-3:00 pm
Untangling the Tangled Webs We Weave: A Team Approach to
History and Film Studies Librarian
Physical Sciences Librarian
Social Sciences Librarian
University of California, Irvine
Working in a cooperative team environment across libraries and job
classifications, librarians and support staff at UCI have mounted several
successful web projects, including two versions of the Libraries' home
page, a virtual reference collection, and a Science Library ANTswer
Machine. While on the face of it, UCI is simply another in the growing
list of libraries to join the great web migration, our team-based
structure, stressing shared responsibility and authority, make the
approach to these projects novel. The panel outlined below offers
insights into both the intellectual and technical processes that continue
to inform the design and implmentation of the UCI Libraries' presence in
cyberspace. The intended audience is librarians and other library staff
involved in creating, designing, and/or maintaining library websites.
The panel covers four broad areas:
- Background: the who, what, and why of the "teams"
In order to appreciate fully the work that went into the design and implementation
of UCI's various web projects, it is important to understand the context within
which we hold our deliberations and make our decisions. The critical elements
- The evolution of the projects (cooperative venture between libraries and
Office of Academic Computing)
- Initial home page design and implementation (reliance on external assistance
and working against very short deadlines
- The process of bringing responsibility into the library
- Confronting issues of maintenance/governance
- Learning to "publish" in a dynamic environment
- The UCI campus environment: academic, social, political factors that informed
This portion of the panel will address such issues as:
- How the unique structure of a highly inter- and multi- disciplinary campus
influenced our discussions about the content and format of the libraries' home page
and virtual reference collection
- How the attempt to define and refine "reference" altered the content and format
of the Virtual Reference Collection
- How best to insure participation from the widest possible range of library
staff in the identification and placement of sources on the home page and Virtual
- Operationalizing: look, criteria, standards
If a picture is worth a thousand words, might not a number of pictures replace
ten thousand words? This section addresses some of the difficult lessons we are
still learning about the relationship between content and design, including:
- What graphics or visual formats work and which ones make the user work.
- Who can/should suggest new sites to add and who makes the final decision about
enlarging or revising the "publication"?
- What makes a site a good candidate for UCI's homepage or Virtual Reference
Collection? How do we fight the quality versus quantity battle and still maintain
a dynamic site?
- Conclusion: where to from here?
A brief overview of new projects and electronic opportunities currently underway
at UCI, examining both how these fit into ongoing initiatives and how new
directions force reconsideration of standards, guidelines, and criteria.