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Rethinking “Services”: A User-Centered Taxonomy

About the Talk

October 25, 2016 9:00 AM

Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

Academic libraries often struggle to find language and web architectures to reflect the services we provide. Inside the library, students and faculty can find the spaces, technologies, learning opportunities and expert help that we so thoughtfully acquire and cultivate for them.

But on our websites, we often articulate library work in expansive, catch-all “Services” menus. We work very hard to devise labels for what we do and lament that users don’t make the connections between our services and their needs. A language shift and a new model of thinking about and describing services is needed.

The Web Team at the NCSU Libraries challenged librarian stakeholders to have conversations about the technologies, spaces and expertise that we offer, without using the word “services.” (That’s harder than it sounds.) The resulting structured content model and “user activities taxonomy” allow us to dynamically align and present service elements around user goals rather than our organizational structure.

What you’ll learn: •How to engage stakeholders in conversations about taxonomy development and content structuring •How we implemented a Drupal taxonomy to dynamically build a set of "/do" pages for our users •How to sell a paradigm shift from traditional definitions of services (including where we are still struggling) •How applying taxonomy to your website highlights what is missing

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