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Chasing a Moving Target Using the CMS in an Evolving Web Environment Carrie M. Macfarlane and Bryan P. Carson Middlebury College Library & Information.

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Presentation on theme: "Chasing a Moving Target Using the CMS in an Evolving Web Environment Carrie M. Macfarlane and Bryan P. Carson Middlebury College Library & Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chasing a Moving Target Using the CMS in an Evolving Web Environment Carrie M. Macfarlane and Bryan P. Carson Middlebury College Library & Information Services NERCOMP Annual Conference March 21, 2006 Copyright Carrie M. Macfarlane and Bryan P. Carson This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors.

2 Introduction Is there a net gain from using a content management system (CMS)?Is there a net gain from using a content management system (CMS)? Staff training exposes relevant issuesStaff training exposes relevant issues Why us?Why us? Training modelTraining model What works well, what doesn’t?What works well, what doesn’t?

3 Middlebury Libraries’ CMS Microsoft Content Management ServerMicrosoft Content Management Server LargeLarge –Middlebury Libraries’ sub-site Middlebury Libraries’ sub-siteMiddlebury Libraries’ sub-site ComplexComplex –connected pages –“redirect with blurb” document template “redirect with blurb” document template“redirect with blurb” document template –master lists master listsmaster lists Constantly changingConstantly changing Screenshot: lis/lib Screenshot: lis/lib Screenshot: redirect with blurb Screenshot: redirect with blurb Screenshot: title list Screenshot: title list

4 Training: A Challenge Easy mechanics at the document levelEasy mechanics at the document level –pasting into template –toolbar HoweverHowever –large, complex, changing environment –librarians’ time constraints –content and information architecture (IA)

5 Our Training Model HowHow –one-on-one –group WhatWhat –learn vocabulary and roles –create simple static pages –use more advanced templates –understand more complex functionalities

6 Benefits of Training Model CarrieCarrie –One-on-one task-oriented, as-neededtask-oriented, as-needed effective learning modeleffective learning model time-savertime-saver –Group reinforcesreinforces broadens scopebroadens scope BryanBryan –uncover unanticipated issues –establish communication with content providers (CPs)

7 Drawbacks of Training Model Not scalableNot scalable –more than one or two new CPs would require too much of trainer’s time –staff without web experience need more time to learn “big picture” concepts –some staff may never learn the intricacies of a CMS DisclaimerDisclaimer –your CMS might be configured differently –your CMS might not have to be your institution’s main web presence –in such cases, training might require less time

8 © 2006 Macfarlane and Carson The Libraries’ CMS is complicated and the training is time-intensive. Is it all worthwhile?

9 What ’ s Easy? CarrieCarrie –mechanics at the document level –maintaining good Information Architecture (IA) –sharing content BryanBryan –assuring consistent IA –troubleshooting –automatic global content updates

10 What’s Difficult? CarrieCarrie –vocabulary –quirkiness with editing tool –lack of access to HTML –different from a static web page (elements are stored in a database)

11 What’s Difficult? BryanBryan –inconsistency of Microsoft’s own terminology –current implementation doesn’t always mesh with some librarians’ concept of a web presence –organizational structure (who’s in charge?)

12 Is it all worthwhile? Yes, because advanced featuresYes, because advanced features –improve search function –facilitate navigation (findability) –enable content sharing –save time But there is room for improvement inBut there is room for improvement in –technical implementation –organizational structure

13 Improvements to this Model Web Librarian ComponentWeb Librarian Component –full-time –empowered to ensure new content is CMS-ready –proactively plan for the future of the Library site Student Worker ComponentStudent Worker Component –faster and less expensive (leverage the technology) –workflow: librarians submit content, Web Librarian sets up IA, students input content –institutional memory maintained by Web Librarian

14 © 2006 Macfarlane and Carson Conclusions CMS is complicated but worthwhileCMS is complicated but worthwhile Group training does not replace need for individualized trainingGroup training does not replace need for individualized training Librarians can’t do it aloneLibrarians can’t do it alone –need technical support Web Services can’t do it aloneWeb Services can’t do it alone –need feedback to provide appropriate support Intermediary must be well integratedIntermediary must be well integrated

15 © 2006 Macfarlane and Carson The End Carrie M. Macfarlane M. Macfarlane Bryan P. Carson P. Carson

16 Screenshot: lis/lib

17 Screenshot: “redirect with blurb” dissection

18 Screenshot: Title list


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