Apple and orange

You are not a patron. So act like it.

As a staff person, your view (mental model) of the library's website is incredibly different from that of a patron. It's so very different, that you can't even pretend to be a patron user.  It's vital that this is acknowledged.
a magic unicorn made of foil on a purple background with a place under the text

Why do web myths live on in libraries?

Why do these myths continue to be perpetuated in libraries? Perhaps because so many of us grew up alongside the web. We were initiated in the very early days, when it was truly a Wild West-type environment. Not everyone realizes…
The word "TOP 10" written in vintage dirty metal letterpress type on a whitewashed wooden background with ink and paint stains.

Top posts of 2018

What was popular this past year, here on the blog? Here’s the list: Because You’re Not Getting Much Done Anyway (2017 edition) Social media isn’t what it used to be…and it never will be again (Part I) Free Online Tools…
Screenshot of LunaPic homepage

No Photoshop? Try free LunaPic instead

I work with a good number of smaller libraries that don’t have professional graphic artists on staff and also rarely have the money or expertise to use high-level design software, such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.  Oftentimes, our clients…
Podcasting studio

I got to talk TRS-80s with the Library Pros

If you’re not familiar with the Library Pros, they’re a librarian and a library IT professional, podcasting interviews with folks doing interesting things in the library field.  Bob and Chris approached me earlier this year, after seeing my crazy stream…

Cliphy: Add fun to words

I spend a fair amount of time testing out new online tools, usually of the free variety. Some don’t work as advertised. Some are cool, and I sing their praises to the virtual rooftops. Others are just useful in very…
Woman with voice sound waves

Is Alexa killing off websites? Not quite.

I ran across this Medium post by tech futurist Michael Spencer the other day. In it, Spencer claims that websites are about to disappear because of AI-powered voice assistants, like Alexa.  (It’s pretty short, I suggest you take a moment to…
Podcast on tablet

Should your library be podcasting?

Confession time: I haven’t listened to podcasts in quite a while. I was only sort of marginally aware that they had even made any kind of comeback; it was only after a coworker raved about her podcast habit that I…
CTA (Call To Action) marketing concept on colorful sticky notes

Make your links and buttons more effective

Before we can talk about links or buttons, we’ve got to cover an important concept in online marketing. It’s called the CTA (“Call To Action”). Douglas Karr, writing for MarTech, defines as CTA as: A call to action is typically…
Teens with cell phones

New social media rules for us #olds

A common question from librarians is “Where are the kids online?”  Of course, the answer to this question changes regularly. Teens shift their allegiances to social media channels periodically (remember when all the teens were on Facebook?).  The short answer though,…
Tough questions

Measuring is easy, but the questions are hard

If you’re in charge of your library’s social media and/or content marketing, then you already know that measuring your work isn’t all that hard.  Getting stats for virtually anything you post online is relatively easy these days; there’s built-in and…
Quick Survey Just Ahead

Tell me your worst trouble spot right now

It’s still pretty much a new(ish) year, and I’m interested in addressing even more topics that would interest you, the blog reader. This quiz will help (but let’s be real, it’s pretty limited), but please feel free to add your…
Background image of typesetting letters

5 tools to ease your font headaches

Fonts are complicated. I won’t pretend that I’m anything like an expert, because I can barely differentiate between a typeface and a font to begin with*.  But I have to work with fonts all of the time, and I’ve come to…
Charts and graphs

The plural of anecdote isn’t data

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted this:     How many times have you heard “But the patrons want…” with no real data to back it up? #libux — Laura Solomon (@laurasolomon) November 5, 2015 The response to that,…
Fast delivery

Get the web details you need–FAST

Today’s post discusses my latest “Headache Avoidance” tool. If you work on designing and/or developing websites, you are almost certainly accustomed to vague conversations, that don’t give you all of the details you might need in order to troubleshoot an issue.  In…
Colors

Make your web colors better

Colors can be fun, but they can also be complicated.  There’s a lot of psychology involved with choosing colors as well.  I really enjoy putting together or finding color palettes for different websites or projects that I get to work…
Delete button

How hard *is* it to delete your account?

How many accounts do you have spread across the Internet? I couldn’t even begin to guess how many accounts I have. Social media accounts, accounts to comment on blogs, ecommerce-related accounts, gaming accounts…the list goes on.  Every once in a…
My teddy bear web design tools

My teddy bear web design tools

Some people have a teddy bear. Some people have a security blanket. I have some little browser extensions that make me feel better on a daily basis, that are far more useful than Mr. Teddy.  I’m willing to share these;…