Digital Culture

ALA Day One – Website as a Branch

First program/panel: Website as a Branch. The room is standing room only, so I’m forced to sit way back on the floor, which limits my view of the slides. The notes below are largely from the verbal portion due to that.

Presentation by Broward County Library in Florida. Short bullet point summary:

  • Put yourself in the user’s place when you start the redesign.
  • Then ask your users what they want.
  • Identify user sets that you want to focus the website towards.
  • Struggle with IT on campus wide issues.
  • Identify technology and how to best use it to present information to users.
  • All users agreed that navigation is a key issue.
  • Staff needs more efficient way to update site.
  • Cross-referenced navigation…users don’t want to have to backtrack in order to go to another portion of the site (in web speak: multiple entry points for each piece of content).
  • How do you usability test distance users?
  • Update/discard content…not something that librarians are NOT very good at.
  • Keep in mind that users only tell you when something is wrong. If no one complains about the website, it’s doing ok.
  • Empower librarians AND make them responsible for the content…where they should be.
  • Give users warning of change, and allow them options for some time.

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.

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