Thursday, January 11, 2007

Links & what I've been up to...

Well, lots of deep thinking has taken up my time - for example, how fear destroys problem-solving & innovation, things like that. I listened to this week's excellent SirsiDynix webinar (& I hope that you did too!) on "Making 'Play' Your New Year's Resolution" about the Learning2.0 staff development program that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Library developed - [see info on the presentation at - you should soon be able to listen to an archived version of the event... I recommend it!] I hope that there is some way for our organization to do this (or a truncated version thereof?) We're talking about bringing a Library2.0 presentation to staff soon, but offering an entire hands-on, play-oriented program would add another (important) dimension.

Other links I've been looking lately:

The upcoming SirsiDynix institute about other libraries who've used the Learning2.0 curriculum among their staff - (Feb. 5)
also -

Besides Learning2.0, I'll mention that Bill Drew has come up with a custom Google search engine for the ALA list of Best Free Reference sources - I knew about Rollyo, but I didn't realize that Google was providing the roll your own search experience - where have I been? (

And there's always CSS. My ongoing battle to become fluent with the proper methodology and standards in modern web design brings me - repeatedly to these sites (often to explain to others the power of CSS design) - -

For example, I spent what seemed like forever getting rid of really mungy code from converted Word .docs for a new online exhibit on William Webb, An African-American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut (; getting it semantically as correct as possible given my knowledge at the time & applying CSS.

So I finally had a good idea about how to balance 2 competing needs in the design & offered it up to the department that had spent so much time developing the content. They were terrified that it would take months of recoding to make that change & there was a definite deadline for completion. I tried explaining about CSS & how my previous work on the code meant that this change would be a quick & easy one by using CSS. They weren't convinced (I guess that I didn't communicate it all that clearly) until I showed them - within an hour or so, the whole site was both changed over & tested & several proofing errors were caught along the way.

[yes, I now realize that I could go back & further improve the code - considerably - but at the outset my CSS skills were even less than they are now... I mean basic CSS is easy & obvious, it's the mixed-up interpretations that various browsers give to the box model that makes layout in CSS much more difficult for me... I'm relieved that I'll be heading to a NELINET course next month in Advanced CSS - it should help!]

Some screenshots of recent projects (that actually have a product attached vs. updates, underlying code fixes & communications/meetings): Aerials site; site; hours page update with a little twist - slight, minor none-too-frightening change in fonts & table style (just to mix it up); William Webb site

Aerials page screen shotLoveYourLibrary website screen shot

William Webb site screen shot

William Wewbb site screen shot 2

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