The current project is a library website. There is a meeting of the minds when working for a library, because we are all committed to providing information on a universal basis. We recognize that this is essential to a free society, and a free mind.
It meant the world to be able to work on a library website. Because libraries CARE about getting the word out to everyone. The New Library Web Site is up and running as of January 2014. Here is the link to the new website for Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. It took close to three years to develop. I could not have worked with better people; Dean Carol Hixson, Dr. Casey Frechette, Mr. Berrie Watson, Tina Neville, and Deb Henry. An extraordinary group of people, both in terms of technical expertise, and simply, great as human beings.
That means, taking into account: Accessibility. Mobility. And Localization. In other words, building websites without a presumption of a privilege of health or wealth. Websites that are bandwidth-greedy are available only to those with the privilege of wealth. Websites that are not built with accessibility in mind are available only to those with the privilege of health. And those that are built without regard to localization are available only to those who speak English. Knowledge should be available to all. Through websites, advancements for inclusion, multicultural and global perspectives, and community engagement become reality.
Dr. Frechette had organized data into a grid-like structure. In order to help the teams visualize the site with the grid system, I set up a small website so that the design team could understand the structure as it related to one of the early goals of the website (incorporate a carousel and have it feature prominently in the site).
Each of us on the site architecture team found ourselves developing or customizing plugins and scripts in order target certain areas for testing. Dr. Frechette was drop-dead amazing in his customizations of certain plugins, as was Mr. Watson in his customization of mail-to scripts.
Theme work requires multiple iterations as development keeps pace with developments in the major platform itself. A significant amount of time is dedicated simply to keeping current, lest deprecated code freeze up the new site.
When developing websites, you can not forget the users. They need a place to practice without fear of breaking something.
Support documentation also needs to be developed. This is one early prototype.
Another example of an early prototype for support documentation.
This site had a Google Map embedded within the navigation. We learned later that the content of Google Maps was not accessible to assistive technology, and started to investigate other possibilities for maps.
This site had a map with wireless hotspots that became visible when a mouse was run over the map. This was in the days before we understood that websites that rely on mouse functions are not accessible websites.
Now, we have learned how to use iframes to advantage when we do NOT want assisitive technology to be burdened with the content, and to provide duplicate, and alternate content available in alternative formats for any content in iframes that is critical to students. Great thanks to the people at Ask-A-Librarian.org who developed these widgets in close coorporation with our accessibility and language needs.
Now that we have gone to WordPress as a platform, we revisited incorporating feed from variouis sources. The platform is much more stable for this.
Currently, only the data streams from the library facebook page have been incorporated into the site, but others may follow.
We are finding that Google Analytics Dashboards are a great way to create fine-grained, customized reports for each of the departments within the library.
Analytics is particularly challenging in library websites, as they tend to incorporate pages that live not only outside of the content management system, but in other domains.
Google Tag Manager has been an incredible asset in allowing us to track events, such as clicking on outbound links.