A little more than two years after I realized how (really) bad the problem was and about 18 months after I prototyped my solution, our new library website, catalog, and knowledgebase launched last week — just in time for the fall semester opening.
It’s all built on Scriblio, includes a very simple new books list that you can narrow by subject and get via RSS. And if you search for subject areas like anthropology, economics, english writing, or any of a few dozen other topics, you’ll find our librarians’ subject guides listed at or near the top to help you out. You can also use the facets, clustered metadata shown in the right sidebar that reflect the aggregated results of that search†, to easily explore the collection or find the exact resource you need.
This started out simply, but the distance from prototype to working, um, product is difficult, dangerous, and frustrating. Still, when successful, it’s also wonderfully gratifying. And none of this would have happened without the help and support of a number of friends and colleagues both inside and outside the my library (callouts: Zach, Matt, Lichen, Jessamyn, Jon, Elaine, David, Anne, Dwight, Chris, PSU, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a lot of fellow library bloggers who’ve shared stories, spread the word, and helped make magic).
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
One more thing: This site isn’t perfect, but it’s a library catalog we can fix. Tell me what’s wrong, or better yet, download the software, join the list, and let’s work on it together so we can all have a better system.