Summer Projects

Two months ago, I outlined the projects I was working on for the spring that would have likely carried on into summer. Here’s a quick update on those.

Updating Floor Maps

It’s likely we’ll be using the LibCal custom mapping option in the fall for this. Price turned out to be the determining factor even though the main competitor had a much better feature set. We’ll have to wait until the 2023-2024 budget gets finalized this summer (our fiscal year ends on June 30) before we can proceed. I’m hoping to get double duty out of maps for new signage in the library, flyers for students needing to find study rooms or call number locations, etc.

Twitter on the Home Page

It’s pretty likely we’ll drop our Twitter display and replace it with a LibCal hours widget. We also display the day’s hours in the top right corner of the header (the display is keyed to an XML file on the web server the determines what message to display); we hope to take advantage of the LibCal API to power this same sort of display. One thing that we need to mull over is what counts as “news” from the library and how we should be sharing it. Twitter was the place where we posted brief, timely tidbits and the more formal library news blog is where we put more expansive announcements for larger projects. I think we’ll need to do some research with our users to get a better sense from them about what they expect “news” from the library to include.

Live Display of Available Computers on the Home Page

The campus IT folks now have the system working with new software to keep tabs on use of desktop computers, which means we can get the dashboard display on the home page working again. It’s a fair question, though, how important this info is to today’s students. When we first set this display up over a decade ago, a smaller percentage of students had their own laptops or tablets and were thus more reliant on us to provide a computer. I’m going to be doing some thinking (and research) about whether it makes sense to at least add in a display of how many laptops are available for borrowing, which means finding a way to tap into the Alma APIs for live data.

With spring classes having only ended last week, I’m still in that traditional excited and optimistic mode about all the projects that I hope to see to completion this summer. Typically, when August rolls around, I look at my project board and sigh at the reality of where we are. Still, I have good reason to believe that this summer will shape up to be one of my more productive ones.