Friday, April 27, 2007

research for the web librarian

Concepts are nice... concepts are great... concepts SEEM easy... Sure, they say, I've seen it done on a million websites, why can't we just... fill in the blank. If you're a systems librarian, you've either heard this or you haven't been in the field long enough. (Of course, it could well be that you are the golden one whose every move is met by complete, utter, and immediate success and quite frankly, that I am not... You might also be quicker on the uptake than I am... if so, have mercy & send your free advice my way... it's good kharma...) And sometimes things work out well & you're able to do it relatively painlessly and quickly.

But more often, once you try to port the idea to your real-life site, things fall apart. Maybe I should qualify that, they fall apart in one browser, not the other... And - if you're like me (which, if you're a systems librarian (as opposed to a developer in corporate), you probably are), you have no omniscient programmer gurus nearby from whom to get answers about your specific problem. So you find that research is the only way to find solutions. Put on your reference librarian hats, folks! Though the research (and the trial process that occurs post/during-research) can be pretty time-consuming, it becomes a learning experience. The investment you make in time this go 'round will save you future.

So here's some of the things I've been looking at this week as I try to refine a new web interface I'm working on & to network with the web librarian gurus already in the know:
actually, lots of articles at
from SitePoint, a sample chapter of Jason Beard's The Principles of Beautiful Web Design & other articles found there
Visual Quickstart Guide: Javascript and AJAX for the Web by Tom Negrino & Dori Smith; more articles at
PPK on Javascript: The DOM

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