Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Componential Study of LIS Websites and Blogs as Tools for Communication

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Componential Study of LIS Websites and Blogs as Tools for Communication

Article excerpt

Introduction

Libraries and LIS professionals have made their presence felt in the virtual world of late. The users are more tech-savvy, they look up for information first on the web. It is a different matter all together that all the information they want is not on the web. Librarians strive their best to sort, sieve, review, acquire and organize resources according to the information needs of the users. Resources both print and electronic are purchased by the libraries, some subscribe to databases and consortia. Some open source resources are also available on the web. All the information that is acquired, in which ever form it is should be brought to the notice of all the stake holders. Users should know about the collection details; resources and services available, instruction classes, other library activities and extension activities, etc. A notice board of the library does not serve the purpose, as it cannot encompass all the information the libraries want to convey and share with their users. And to communicate all the information through notice board, it entails that the users should visit the library physically and keep a tab on the notice board or notice register. To avoid the physical barrier as such, library web sites and blogs are good answers nowadays for libraries to keep up with the changing times and make their presence felt in the electronic environment and be vocal about their resources, services, activities and current updates in the field.

LIS web sites and blogs are to be created keeping their vision, mission in view. A lot of planning goes into their creation by the library professionals. Many things are to be conveyed to the users in simple language and easy to use navigation tools. A lot many things are also to be avoided which make web sites or blogs a cluttered place or just a glossy thing. A library web site and blog is a tangible form of showcasing the library on the web as well as communicating with the users. Related information is also provided to the users by giving external links and redirecting the user to the concerned website.

Create a Website or to Blog?

A website is static in nature where contents are not updated that frequently and it is organized in pages but the chronological order of page creation is not shown in the website content uploading.

A blog is a type of website in which the contents appear chronologically i.e. the recent posts appear first. Blogs are mainly authored by individuals or by a small group of people. Blogs also have a comments section in which users can respond to it. Blogs have evolved from personal pages and diaries on the web. Blogs are dynamic in nature as they are updated more frequently and new content is added which shows in a chronological order (new content appears first). Blog updates are also known as blog posts.

All blogs can be a type of website or a part of website but all websites cannot be called blogs. Sometimes a blog is created as part of a website to have interaction with the users or as a form of marketing strategy.

Review of Research and Development in the Subject

Diaz, Karen (1998) has done extensive study on the subject of library websites. She says that for good or for bad, libraries make their presence felt by creating web sites to keep pace with the rest of the world. She says that after a decision has been made to create a web site, the question pops up next of what to include in it. The organization's requirements and complexities are kept in mind while planning is done for a site as it plays a variety of roles. She says that a library web site plays the role of a workstation and it allows the users to know electronically all that the library has to offer. It helps the reference librarian to help find information for the users. It is a tool that helps the user to find if a particular book is available and if yes where it could be found. She also says that it is a better tool that allows the librarian to hear from the users through interactive forms, chat rooms and e-mail links. …

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