A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

Links we Love

I’m always coming across interesting articles – some old, some new – that have relevance to the work I do. And I like to imagine, to the work that many of you do. In this bi-weekly post, I’ll link you to most of them, and I’ll tell you why I’ve have or intend to read them.


One: Making Virtual Teams Work: 10 Basic Principles

8 min. read

This one I’m reading because my supervisor recommended it. I’ve read as far as the 4th principle, and even though this article is from way way back in the internet age (2013), it’s fantastic. I’ve worked in two or three virtual teams this year. One experience was awful. Another has been good, but not fantastic. In terms of improving my own behaviour as a virtual team member, and as a team lead/guide the article is practical. 


Two: Do We Need Libraries?

10 min. read

I may have missed Computers in Libraries but apparently the keynote speaker, Steve Denning, had great things to say. I’ve skimmed the first few paragraphs of this article which supposedly distills and expands on his address, and it looks like my twitter sources are right. Despite the redundant title, the five “right” approaches he suggests libraries take resonate with me. The first, ‘how can we delight our patrons?’ is a really fun approach. He notes that it requires fantastic staff to make this happen, and I agree – we’ve got to make sure we’ve got engaging, customer focused library staff and leaders. This takes planning, and then a supportive hands-off approach. Library staff with brave new ideas need to be in enivronments that foster and encourage them to experiment. And they need management teams who are ready to see them fail, and together they have to learn from the experience and do it all again. Overall, the article is a great read, although to be honest, anytime I see the phrase ‘future of libraries’ at this point I sort of tune out. Skip those paragraphs at your own risk. 


Three: What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks

15 min. read

I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I will. With our current website template about to be thrown out the window to make way for a more responsive one, all things web design I want to read. Once the template replacement is finished, I hope we can look at some of the processes you (our loyal fans and readers…) go through on our site. And then, I want to make those easier. That’s the goal. Wish me luck. And, if you’re looking at re-vamping your library website, this might be a useful article for you too!


Four: Responsive Logos Part I: Tips for Adapting Logos for Small Screens

5 min. read

In the same vein as the last link, I’m currently absorbing as many articles on responsible responsive web design as I can. This one is a great read for a library looking at re-branding their library, or looking to create a new logo. While it’s unlikely I’ll personally be designing any logos in the near future, it’s interesting to know a few best practices in the field. The examples used illustrate to me the importance of having a logo that displays (well) on varying screen sizes. I’m going to have to look into this a little bit when it comes to moving our logo onto the new site; I noticed that mobile device use on sols.org is up nearly 10% from last year. If you’ve got an analytics program running on your site – it’s definitely something to check out. As if Google’s algorithm change wasn’t enough of a prompt to go responsive. Logos and images are an important consideration during any web transition or re-design.


Five: The Internet’s Original Sin

25 min. read

Can you tell yet that I’m obsessed with the internet? Well, you should be too. This article details exactly what’s wrong with the web and how to start fixing it. I gave two webinars on privacy in the library this spring, and Zuckerman explains thoroughly, and very well, what I tried to get across in 15 mins. Trust me, the 25 mins is worth it and you’ll come out of it with a much better understanding of how the web works, and why it works that way. 


Bonus: Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Brownies

Prep time: 15 mins

Bake time:25 mins

Enough said.