September 16, 2008


I'm still in the midst of updating usage stats at my new place of work. More will probably come on that as publishers do have a variety of ways of providing this information, even if it's counter compliant.

Today, I realized that one of my former places of work had changed the vendor they used to provide their listing of electronic journals. This itself is not a problem; the main thing to me is that this type of listing is available. What I did notice was the total lack of branding. Once you click on the e-Journal list, there is nothing to indicate which library the list is for or to even navigate back to the library's main website. The main logo is for the vendor! So, the user may not even realize they are still looking at resources provided by the library. And, once a user has done significate searching, they'll either have to use their browser's back arrow (possibly many times) or navigate some other way back to the library's website. If they find what they are looking for, no problem, it will take them to their selected title in whatever database. However, if not, then they're on their own for returning to the library's home page.

Most vendors offer the ability to brand a site - to put your library's name on it and to even customize the look and feel to match that of your library. This gives continuity to the user and subtly reminds them that this is a service provided by the library. It's also key to provide at least a link back to the library's home page for this type of listing.

One of the aspects of my new job is to do that type of branding when possible. It's something I strongly believe in. Yes, it takes extra time, but in the end it helps promote the library and the services being provided to users, which in this day and age of budget cuts is crucial.