Can totally see how this is a nuisance for staff, and it would make me
die on the inside, too! As a short term measure, could you set up and
advertise an alias (something like
to get directly to the web site, or would that not work with the

Also, do you have access to web analytics to help build a case? It's
hard to say "these are low" if you don't have a favorable benchmark to
compare them to, but there might be some more leverage there, too.
Maybe reach out to a similar institution and see if they'll share and
benchmark web analytics with you?

And ew, SharePoint. :D At my last academic library, that's what campus
IT used for the main campus site, but unit webmasters were allowed to
opt out, and the library took the opportunity to move to Drupal.

I'd also suggest chatting with any ExLibris user communities out there
and seeing how others are integrating those tools into their websites
and seeing what web platforms they're using.


On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 8:11 AM, Matthew Sherman
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This is actually becoming an announce to our employees because we have to
> spend so much time explaining where the library site is.  We are pretty
> much an Ex Libris shop at the moment, Primo, Metalib, SFX, all locked
> behind Sharepoint.  I am not sure what the main campus site is using for a
> CMS, but I suspect it is more flexible than Sharepoint for web
> development.  We only get a moderate amount of non-student or staff
> traffic, but where the site currently is located is not intuitive and makes
> it hard for students to want to use.  The make the UX/IA part of me die a
> little inside.  We have definite interest among many of the library staff
> to get it freed and more visible, but we are having to figure out what it
> takes and how to sell it to all of the requisite parties involved.  Thanks
> for the input.
> On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM, Nina McHale <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Matt,
>> Not odd at all! I've dealt with this issue for most of my career. In
>> the three academic libraries I've worked in, the library's site was
>> NOT part of the overall college/university portal. In fact, it was
>> more the case that we (me, the web person, and my supervisors) were
>> establishing our autonomy apart from the overall institutional web
>> presence with campus IT. Library sites need separate navigation,
>> information architecture, and content management and strategy.
>> Administrators outside of the library and campus IT don't always
>> understand how complex library sites have become, so explaining this
>> is a good first step. Find some sites for similar institutions that
>> you like, and show them as examples. If you present it as a positive
>> move--and point out that you might be able to take some work off your
>> IT department's hands by taking on the library site yourself--they'll
>> likely be more willing to consider it. Approach them as partners.
>> As far as burying the library's site behind a log in, how much
>> non-student traffic do you have in your building? You might be able to
>> make a case, based on that and what your mission to serve your
>> community is/might be, to bring it out from behind authentication.
>> Other questions for you:
>> -Do you have any kind of proxy authentication for journal/article
>> databases in place in addition to the portal authentication? If not,
>> you'll obviously have to consider that.
>> -What platform is the school on? Would you choose something
>> similar--another instance of the same software--or go out on your own?
>> Do you have the skills/staff to do that? Where would you host it?
>> Nina
>> On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 7:40 AM, Matthew Sherman
>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> > Hi Code4Libbers,
>> >
>> > Slightly odd question for you academic library folks.  Why does your
>> > library have its website where it is on the university site?  For
>> context,
>> > the library I currently work at has our library site hidden within the
>> > campus intranet/portal, so that students have to log into a web portal to
>> > even see the search page.  This was a decision by the previous director
>> who
>> > was here before my time and an assortment of us librarians think this is
>> a
>> > terrible setup.  So I wanted to kick out to the greater community to give
>> > us good reasons for free to the website to more general access, or help
>> us
>> > to understand why you would bury it behind a login like they did.  All
>> > thoughts, insights, and opinions are welcome, they all help us develop
>> our
>> > thinking on this and our arguments for any changes we want to make.
>>  Thanks
>> > everyone and have a good week.
>> >
>> > Matt Sherman
>> --
>> Nina McHale
>> @ninermac
>> Developer, Aten Design Group

Nina McHale
Developer, Aten Design Group