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  • Reimagining LibNews

    Stemming from a meeting where individuals started complaining, Robert Slater and I began throwing some ideas out about how we might correct the issues that were aired regarding LibNews. After the initial brainstorm, we included Jason Strutz for his perspective and I think we all came to the conclusion and agreed that LibNews has issues and we should be able to do something about it. The question remains though, how should it be corrected?

    We'd like to gather your feedback on issues that you'd like to see corrected and any suggestions as to how you would fix things. We'd appreciate feedback for the next two weeks (12-24) at which we can synthesize all the complaints and solutions and propose a remedy.

    Issues that should be addressed:

    • One-off announcements seem random and discussion doesn't belong
    • Cross-posting between LibNews and LibFacs annoys those of us on both lists
    • Notices about service outages can be too frequent
    • Messages would be archived for more than the current year and a half
    • Allow for nested comments in one location on a single topic
    • Reduce the amount of e-mail to check
    • Reduce the amount of e-mail some feel they need to store
    • Make announcements more eye-catching

    LibNews would still exist for immediate announcements, but perhaps we can modify it to address these issues.

#1
rslater@illinois.edu Dec 10, 2009 4:00 pm quote
I can't claim any credit for this idea, but I wholeheartedly endorse it. Both Jason H and Jason S had been feeding me their good ideas on how to move from a very messy communication medium (list-serv emails and multiple, un-threaded and disconnected responses and side conversations) into something that could still be used for broadcast communication (still leveraging the old lib-news account) but making the management tool for that list-serv be a more discussion oriented system (like a blog, wiki, forum, etc). We'd still all be able to "simply" subscribe to lib-news if we wanted and get the same amount of information we get today. The only change would be that if you wanted to reply/respond to a lib-news post, you'd need to follow the link (included in the lib-news email) back to the discussion management system (whatever it turns out to be) to make your reply. Your reply would then be there, archived in perpetuity- no more hording of lib-news posts in you email or on your hard drive!
#2
steele1@illinois.edu Dec 10, 2009 4:38 pm quote
I'm all in favor of finding a better tool for internal library communication, and I'd like to be involved with planning for the libnews replacement. Help Desk participation in development the new solution is important. A lot of the problems with libnews as it stands result from operator misunderstanding of how to use it effectively, but that's just due to human nature. Nothing we could fix with training. If we can enable clear and rapid communication of important information to everyone in the library and at the same time eliminate the annoying aspects of the current situation this would be a very good thing.
#3
jmhamltn@illinois.edu Jan 4, 2010 3:17 pm quote
Citing a lack of feedback, this idea will continue to stew a little bit until more pressing matters are dealt with despite the Dec. 24th deadline.

Feedback is definitely still welcome and encouraged.
#4
chirolas@illinois.edu Jan 4, 2010 3:41 pm quote
We tried once to get the many listservs moved to the forum. We got a lot of resistance. Maybe with the new features in newer forums we could get better acceptance. As I recall, people wanted real time e-mail with the postings in the forum. Not something phpBB could do at the time. They did not want to have to remember to go check the forums or wait for the next day to be told of recent postings. I've used forums in other locations and they offer so much more than the listserv for topic strings, searching, organization. So yes, lets try anything we can to get off the the Libnews-L listserv and use a better tool. My 2ct.

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