I am excited to blog today about the new South Carolina Association of School Librarians website. I am on the Information Technology Committee, and some of our focus has been on getting our website renovated. We hired a SCASL Webmaster, Mike Heath, and I kid you not when I say this is significantly more (and better) than I even imagined it could be. My desire, that of wanting a more 2.0 feel, has been accomplished way beyond my own expectations. Update your feeds folks. Our old blog is very much in all likelihood going away.
The position and the job
When SCASL advertised for a webmaster, I jumped at the chance to apply, knowing that I would be able to bring about a more relevant site. Hang I even helped write the job description during my time on last year’s IT Committee. I was disappointed when I did not get tapped to be at the helm renovating our web presence. But I soon realized the best man for the job was tapped–Mike Heath. Current SCASL president Joe Myers can be thanked for this. Mike has far exceeded the expectations I had or our site.
More 2.0ish, complete with RSS!
The new site now behaves much like a blog, and has tabs with much more content. The home page (blog) is now serving as a place to make announcements and more! The tabs for other information includes committees (complete with descriptions, members, and on some, even current initiatives!) The site has an rss feed to, making it easier for those who are drinking the 2.0 koolaid to keep up. SWEET! No longer can a SCASL member say “I do not know what SCASL is doing.” Much needed transparency has happened with this transition to the new site.
My favorite part so far??
The site has created forums, and they are are subscribable with the power of RSS–as a whole, by group, or by topic. The forums are already very active. I think the forums here will finally allow me to drop my last hold on the old way of networking with SC librarians, that of my email subscription to the SCASL listserv. I really do not think it will be long before I totally abandon our listserv. The forum approach is just so much better, allowing me to ignore topics I’m not interested in (i.e. SC Picture Book Awards discussions). Here’s a screen shot of the forums–have to give a screenshot as the Forums are a Members only portal in the new website.
This is going to be so much better, and best, I can see it all in my reader. I don’t have to visit the website at all (unless I feel like commenting back on blog posts or forum posts). I don’t have to have my email inbox filled up with tons of emails. I can pick and choose the content that I want in my reader, allowing me to ignore content unrelated to what I do. It’s just a significantly better framework for me to cultivate the information I want and need and ignore that I don’t want to know about. And done simply through the power of RSS.
A Special Thanks
I must thank Heather Loy as well. Heather, as the Information Technology Chair this year (and soon to be incoming President-Elect for SCASL) cast a vision after much hashing the topic around with the Information Technology committee members. We as a committee developed a survey to glean wants, needs, likes and dislikes, and went from there to get a page that worked for us, one we wanted to view, one that made us WANT to be a member of SCASL. Thanks to you, Heather, I do believe it worked!! And thanks to the committee as well. Standing ovation! All deserved accolades folks!