Web Analytics and Us: A report from the LITA National Forum

In my role as web developer at the Smithsonian Libraries, I recently attended the LITA National Forum in Columbus, OH. At the conference, I participated in an 8-hour pre-conference session on website analytics and how to use them to understand and improve the usability of a website. Since this is Open Access Week, I thought a summary of this session might be interesting to share.

Creating a Digital Library

Now that our new website is up and running, we are planning the next phase of its development by deciding what features should and should not be part of the Digital Library. In any well-designed (web) project, there are hours and hours of planning and writing and discussing what the website will and will not do and this is an expected part of the process. However, at the outset of our discussions, we had to discuss a the single most important part of the project: What is a digital library? 

We have a new website!

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce our new website and future home of our digital library. You can now find us on the web at this link. Be sure to update your bookmarks! http://library.si.edu/

Ta da!

Our break was a little longer than we anticipated but we’re back and better than ever! Welcome to our blog’s new home on the web:  blog.library.si.edu . Come on in and make yourselves comfortable! Explore our content with the improved categories feature on the right. Catch up with what we’ve posted on Facebook through our integrated feed. Pass along your favorite posts with the new share buttons. We’ll be back to posting new content on a regular basis soon!  

We’re taking a break!

Slatless Gentleman’s trunk. American Box & Trunk Factory Catalogue, 1906 The Smithsonian Libraries blog is going on a short hiatus while we perform some upgrades and changes. For many years we have been at this location, but the environment has changed and we are moving to a new home. The digital suitcases are packed and the virtual moving van is being loaded to carry all of our authors, posts, comments and images to our new home. We expect that the move will take at most a week. Our last post here will be today, February 24, 2012. We’ll leave this site up and running for quite a while and when we are moved into our new home and everyting is unpacked and ready to go, we’ll announce our new location here. We hope that the new version of the Smithsonian Libraries blog is up and running by March 3rd. Thank you for your patience in this move. We hope to minimize the growing pains, but we think you’ll like our more »

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Smithsonian Research Online

During the week of January 16-19th, I visited the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) to discuss several matters relating to the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) program and to offer technical support and training to STRI library staff. I was accompanied from Washington by Digital Services Head, Martin Kalfatovic, who was to attend a three-day Encyclopedia-of-Life meeting at Barro-Colorado Island during the same week. Together we met with Oris Sanjur (STRI Associate Director for Science Administration), Vielka Chang-Yau (STRI head librarian), Angel Aguirre (librarian), Klaus Winter (STRI scientist) and Eldredge Bermingham (STRI Director). Everyone was in agreement that STRI-authored publication data ought to be collected in one place and that the SIL is doing a good job of coordinating this program across all Institution units. The Director and Associate Director will discuss the specific needs of their unit and report back to SIL, who will propose a workflow to accomplish this. Meanwhile, I held a brief introduction to the bibliographic tools, EndNote and Zotero for STRI library staff and volunteers. While more »

Announcing TL-2 Online

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce that the online version of Taxonomic Literature II, or TL-2, is now online on the Libraries' website. We are calling this TL-2 Online. What is TL-2? TL-2 is an essential tool for Botany research that includes botanists and their publications from 1753 to the present. Comprising fifteen volumes, seven original and eight supplemental, Tl-2 is organized alphabetically by author and includes some biographical information about each author.  The main content for the author entries is the publications that he or she has written. TL-2 was constructed such that each author is assigned a unique abbreviation and each publication a unique number. There are nearly 10,000 authors and over 37,000 publications in TL-2 and the entire set of data is cross-referenced in the two indexes in each of the fifteen volumes. To put it simply, TL-2 is a database published in the form of a book. Now that the Libraries, with generous permission from the publisher, has digitized and placed the content online the door more »

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