Library Issues Personal

It can be revealed…

While I hesitated to talk about this before it became official and was announced, but I’m going to take over as webmaster for the UTC Library. I won’t be leaving my position in Reference/Instruction, and will still be teaching and being a reference librarian. This is just an additional duty that I’ll balance by doing less desk time overall. My skillset is probably atypical for a reference/instruction librarian overall, so this is an opportunity to leverage my technology skills to the benefit of the library.

This is an interesting thing for me to move into, since I effectively left a webmaster position to move into what I really wanted, Reference and Instruction. But this is a direction that I find interesting in librarianship, the taking of something that has for years been considered the domain of systems, and moving it to reference/instruction. A month or so ago there was a Blended Librarian webcast about these sorts of new positions in libraries…a sort of Instructional Technology librarian, who bridges the ability to do web design, instructional design, and other issues relating technology and the patron.

So my summer project: to redesign the library website, with usability in mind. We’ll almost certainly be moving to a CMS as well, and are evaluating those now. If anybody out there has tips/thoughts about open source CMS’s as far as pros/cons, let me know. As well, if you’ve got favorite library sites/must haves/other tips, I’m open as well. I know what I want, but it’s always good to hear what others find valuable.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

4 replies on “It can be revealed…”

Yay! That sounds like a fantastic opportunity!
As for CMSs, I assume you mean some sort of learning/content management system? The only open-source one I’m vaguely familiar with is Moodle, but it seems to get pretty good reviews. (
Also, they might have ideas over at Maricopa ( where they seem to be pretty in tune with instructional technology.
I assume the university already uses Blackboard or something similar?

Congratulations! My position is very similar and I enjoy the mix of duties. I love working with patrons, but sometimes it’s nice to just sit in my office and do Web design stuff. The best part is when I get to do both the public service and tech side at once with online information literacy tutorials and the like. It’s good to have techies with public service knowledge and public service librarians with tech knowledge. Good luck with the redesign!

Congrats I suppose are in order. We played with Moodle as an Open Source CMS, but it didn’t work out as our IT infastructure wasn’t prepared to handle it. The other one I’ve heard about is Jupiter. I’m realigning the library site this summer as well, if you have any brilliant ideas please share.

We use Plone and it seems to work well – but I only work with it on the authoring side. Many congratulations!

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