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A workshop for LIS prospective students and new professionals on roles in IT, web development and website management.

Andy Darley

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of CILIP NPD12

Who we are:
Richard Hawkins
Lisa Hutchins
Online Information Manager for CILIP
Former Adult and Community Services Librarian, Enfield Libraries
MA in Library and Information Studies, University College London
Self-employed web developer specialising in information architecture and content management
Director of web consultancy Onlineability
Former freelance content manager/producer for companies including ITN, The Independent, and Guardian Digital
Prospective LIS student at Northumbria University from September 2012
What we do:
Design the information structures of websites
Write, commission and edit content and organise it using metadata
Collect statistics, analyse them and research how sites are used
Manage all the day-to-day tasks of running a website
Make sure the users' needs always come first (usability)
Make sure websites are accessible to everyone who wants to use them (accessibility)
What we don't do:
User experience design
Specialist coding or database design
Software or app development
Requirements engineering
Systems librarianship
Indexing or abstracting
Purpose of this workshop:
To demonstrate the importance of information professionals in information technology, web development, and website management
To discuss the kinds of jobs available in these sectors
To talk about some ways this work is organised
Activity 1
Get together with your immediate neighbours in groups of three or four
Think briefly about some really dreadful websites you have encountered
Can you decide what made them so frustrating to use?
Information management jobs in the digital age
Some important concepts
How easy is this website or electronic resource to use? How hard must the user work to find the information they need?
Is it available to the widest possible audience; easy to read, navigable without a mouse, using plain English and usable by visually impaired people?
Information architecture
The underlying structure of a website or electronic resource; the way in which its content is organised and navigated
User-centred design
Discovering what your users and stakeholders want from your website or resource and then structuring the design and development process around those needs.
Why these matter:
As an information professional working in this field you will be championing the needs of your users in exactly the same way as a librarian assisting people with enquiries in a bricks-and-mortar building.
How these
into jobs:
Information architect
Working as part of a team to build and/or run a large corporate or organisational website/information resource
Content manager
Creating, commissioning, organising and promoting the information available through a website including through social media and search engine optimisation (SEO)
Website manager
Carrying out the day-to-day tasks of running a website including adding new content, removing outdated content, liaising with users and members of your organisation, researching usage patterns and initiating new features.
Accessibility consultant
Helping companies and organisations make their websites accessible to the widest range of people and comply with legislation and good practice
Audience researcher
Conducting research into how people use a website or resource, presenting the results intelligibly and translating them into achievable business goals
Ways of working:
An employee with a company or organisation
A contractor working for a set period of time on a project
A freelance working on a number of short-term projects at once
Running own business as sole trader, partnership or limited company
The skills you
will need:
Patient, organised, able to switch between detail and the big picture
Excellent people skills. Able to negotiate with other IT professionals to make sure your expertise is used to best effect
A skilled listener able to hear the things people aren’t saying, to rise above office politics and to get people from different camps talking to each other
Assertive, creative, a lateral thinker and a problem-solver
A passionate advocate for usability with the aptitude to keep abreast of technical developments across a wide range of technologies
Mentally tough enough to constantly sell the importance of your work as a champion of users -to the sceptical and downright cynical
Project management skills and the ability to draw up a brief and renegotiate it if necessary
A basic grasp of finance, compliance and tax rules (with professional help where necessary)
Record-keeping and the ability to stay organised and on top of paperwork
The ability to market yourself and your services
The ability to network and create opportunities
The library/website
So - what did you think?
We'd like to hear your feedback and questions, about this session and about the jobs we do.
You have a responsibility to
inform, understand and debate:
Open access
Freedom of information
Digital literacy and the digital divide
Online privacy and behavioural tracking
Open government – open data and open standards
Information Architecture and the World Wide Web by Morville and Rosenfield
The Information Architecture Institute (Library)
What is 'Information Architecture'? by Martin Belam
Boxes and Arrows:
ASIS&T bulletin: -
Journal of Information Architecture:
W3C's web content accessibility guidelines:
A Practical Guide to Information Architecture by Donna Spencer
The website owner’s manual by Paul Boag
While the tools and methods may be very different,
managing a website is in many ways quite similar
to managing a library.
If we extend this analogy we can see that the role
of the website manager shares many similarities
with the role of the librarian or library service
Activity 2
Part 1: Match the features of the library with the corresponding features of a website.
Part 2: Discuss the extent to which you feel the attributes of a good website manager are important for librarians or information pros too.
Nominate someone to report back your findings
Full transcript