Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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I've recently come to realise just how important aesthetics and usability are in all websites, including electronic databases. Having a web designer boyfriend means I recognise the importance of design and usability in the corporate world, but it's become apparent that it's also important in the academic world. I'm interested in web design and particularly usability of web interfaces and had been reading a Visual Design for the Modern Web (well recommended for those interested in the basic principles of designing an effective website). The book has some particularly interesting sections on user interfaces and navigation. Not long after reading the book, I...

Yesterday I attended the Mashed Libraries Unconference held in London. There were around 25 participants in the event - mainly from the UK, although one had even come all the way from Germany (an ExLibris representative). Most people were library techy people, many from systems departments in academic libraries. There were also quite a few not so techy people like myself there though, and although some of the programming went way over my head, there was a lot to be learned and some interesting things that were not so difficult to achieve. We started the day with some short presentations about mashups...

Apologies for the lateness of this post, ILI08 was now over a month ago but since then finishing my Diploma, going to the States, and starting my new job have taken priority. Now things have calmed down a little, I've got chance to write the post I promised. The day itself, the journey, the venue After leaving home at an unearthly hour and being ill on the train down to London (maybe marshmallow flavoured Rice Crispies Squares aren't such a good idea at 4am!), I got to the Novotel just before 8am. As it was the final day of the conference, I...

This post follows on from an earlier post about the use of Facebook Pages for Libraries. There have been a number of further developments since then both internally and externally. Internally, our Facebook page has gradually increased interest in terms of the number of fans it has. We currently have over 200 fans - not a massive amount but not bad without any formal marketing yet. I've had verbal feedback from some students who feel it is a good way to be kept up-to-date with Learning Centre services and resources as they use Facebook regularly. I'll be writing a progress report...

I've spent the last two weeks in Orlando, Florida and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been across to the States before but it was a few years ago now and I visited Washington DC, Boston, and New York City. Visiting Orlando was very different, everywhere was very flat and things were definitely a lot more tourist oriented. As this was purely a personal holiday, you may think its unlikely that I can relate my experiences at Disney to my work in an academic library. However, something which really stood out to both myself and my partner was the excellent service we...

When I first starting using RSS feeds a couple of years ago, I used Google Reader and had a widget on my iGoogle page which I used to read my feeds. As my collection of feeds grew and I switched to Pageflakes as a homepage, I decided to move my feeds into Bloglines. I'd heard a lot of positive things about Bloglines and I certainly wasn't disappointed - the interface worked well and I just found that I gelled with it. I even wrote a blog post about how great it was last year. I have been using Bloglines Beta and...

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm coming towards the end of the taught part of my librarianship course. I am going away (to Orlando!) a week today and my aim was to complete the Diploma before we go. I'm pleased to say I have achieved my aim (although I haven't received confirmation that my assignment has been received yet which is a little worrying, hopefully it will have arrived today). I'm still waiting for results for three of my assignments but as long as I pass them I will have completed the Diploma. I still have my dissertation to do...

I've already passed this on to some who I know are using Facebook within their libraries but I thought I'd mention it here as well. Jane Secker of the LASSIE project is talking to some non-librarians at the end of this month about how libraries are currently using Facebook (if at all). Please complete her short survey if you have time to help with the research....

Well, the time has finally come - on Monday I had an interview for a professional librarian post and I was successful! I'm also coming very close to completion of my Diploma (I'm going away at the end of this month and my aim is to complete my final assignment before I go) so hopefully soon I'll be able to say with pride that I am a qualified librarian. I'm so excited about starting a professional post, I can't wait to be able to work more closely with academic schools to help support the students and further develop our services. I'm moving...

There are many things I love about my job, but around this time of year each year you can usually find me with a big smile on my face. We’ve just finished Fresher’s Week and despite being physically and mentally shattered, I feel great. This year I was involved in helping with a number of library tours and teaching sessions introducing students to our Learning Centres. We spent a lot of summer preparing for the sessions as they were a group we hadn’t had much contact with in the past. We were trying new techniques (we used Captivate to support the...