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Solving Problems: Money

Who doesn’t have problems with money?  Library budgets continue to shrink; resources become unavailable; and there aren’t enough people to do everything that has to be done.  So I was particularly interested in the "Solving the Money Problem" session.  Can money problems be solved?  Well, some librarians have found out how!

What a great title and one guaranteed to get your attention!  And Laura’s presentation was fascinating!  She had no money, minimal technical skills, and a website that needed updating.  Could it be done?  She proved that it can!  After looking at a variety of products, she decided to rebuild the Park County Library’s website with WordPress (the same platform on which this blog is hosted), in part because it is free.  Because of her technical development limitations, she cut and pasted code from other sites and was able to put features on the site and train five library staff members to build and maintain portions of it. 

After building the site, Laura did some usability testing by recruiting volunteers to do tasks on the site while she observed them and asked what they were doing and why.  (The $16 for chocolate was used  to reward the volunteers — the only money spent on the site.)

See Laura’s blog for her complete presentation and other resources.

It seems that money problems are everywhere!  Sarah Houghton-Jan from the San Jose Public Library told us about The Broke Library’s Guide to a Better Web Presence, listing 20 steps to achieve that.  You can see her presentation on her blog, where she has the list.

This was a great session, with lots of practical information well presented.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and IL 2008 Blog Coordinator

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