18 comments on “Many university library websites suck!

  1. Missa! I just came upon your site with arrogance. Would you like to join our prayer group since you seem to have nothing to do? We say ten rosaries a day. I see you are one of the old running people who are unemployed. You could say the prayers while you run. We’re praying so we don’t go to hell when we die. Happy days! Desmond

  2. Hi Roddy. This is an interesting post, but I am not sure it is about federated searching or web design or both.
    OTOH I don’t think “links were frequently broken” and “the interface left a lot to be desired” are substantial reasons to dump federated searching. I think these “reasons” are due to shortcomings of the vendor or the librarians who chose the wrong product in the first instance or poor design. http://www.bearhunt.com seems to be fast enough but it is true, it only retrieves the top hits. I wonder is there is something in its technology that it stops the search at a predetermined time interval instead of continuing until all searches have had a chance to complete.

    Anyway, there are notable Open Source federated searching products being used by academic libraries (i.e. VuFind and blacklight) amen of commercial alternatives (Primo, AquaBrowser,m Encore, etc.)

    I think I can recognise Library C.

  3. I say!

    “If finances are so bad, and there’s no other viable way, they should get rid of a member of library staff and invest instead in improving the services that are actually needed.”

    Well said.

  4. A very interesting, and slightly worrying post. It certainly made me look at our home page in particular with fresh eyes. If you fancy having a look at it please feel free (http://libweb.lancs.ac.uk). I’m aware that it does suck on some levels, but I think I’ve been looking at it too long to be objective any more.

  5. Pingback: Does Lancaster University Library’s website suck? « Roddy Macleod's Blog

  6. Pingback: Does our Library Web site suck? | Michael Dunne

  7. There are some librarians that get and understand the importance of curating content in a digital age. In fact its more important given the iterations that digital content goes through. Here’s an article by Carole Palmer http://www.lis.illinois.edu/articles/2010/02/deluge-scientific-data-needs-be-curated-long-term-use that that describes curating scientific content. Here is a followup and review article: http://tastethecloud.com/content/scientific-data-needs-be-curated

  8. Libraries, as they exist today are disappearing, in Philly they are closing public libraries because of funding. Let’s face it, we don’t need thousands of online libraries. We need a system that create more focused libraries with a centralized way to discover and access them. A consortium of Universities should force this on the Gubmint and then act as the entity that operates it. Just IMO.

  9. Hi Dave,

    I think the position of public librariies is different to the position of university libraries. Also, the impact of public libraries can vary a lot depending on where you are in the world. Public libraries have a very important role to play in developing countries.

    Speaking generally, I agree with CILIP “high-quality library and informmation services are fundamental to the success of our society”.

    I agree that MUCH more could be done to provide, as you say ‘more focused libraries with a centralised way to discover and access them’ [and their content].

    In the UK, JISC doesn’t seem very interested in funding such services.

    But, getting back to the gist of my original post, too many university library websites are not up to the task of providing access foor theiir own users.

    WRT centralised ways to discover information, it’s good to see that Suncat http://www.suncat.ac.uk/ is continuing to develop. Now, it provides access to journal TOCs.

    What is Really needed is a good showcase to university research output. Something along the lines of http://futurity.org/ but for all universities, or perhaps at least a federated set of national services similar to Futurity.

  10. Pingback: Bibliothekarisch.de » Blog Archive » links for 2010-03-25

  11. Pingback: Nice library use of Netvibes « Roddy Macleod's Blog

  12. Pingback: Another university library website that sucks (IMHO) « Roddy Macleod's Blog

  13. Pingback: Some university library blogs suck, some could do better, and some are quite good « Roddy Macleod's Blog

  14. Pingback: Does our Library Web site suck? « Michael Dunne

  15. Pingback: Why do some university library websites suck? « Roddy Macleod's Blog

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