Web Content Working Group – April–August 2019 Report

The group met 4-6 times this reporting period.

Recent Activities

First Activity
Did an informal survey with committee members and other librarians. There was confusion about the purpose of the Professional Tools on the website, some content was very outdated, and many weren't even aware of the Professional Tools' existence. All agreed that unless Google pushed the PLA content to the top of the Results page, it wouldn't be found.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

Second Activity
Looked at the Google Analytics from the last year to determine the use of the Professional Tools. 57 different tools got 149 or more hits in that time period. The heaviest hitters were Community Engagement Outreach, Marketing Strategies, Programming Resources, and Careers with 3000+ page views. Assigned sections for updating to 5 committee members.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

Third Activity
Committee members worked on updating their sections and logged the hours they spent on the project. A rough estimate was 40 hours which did not include watching or listening to videos and podcasts to assess currency. Although much of the content was dated, it was hard to find anything current to replace it. This was especially true for the Technology and Virtual Reference sections. Our overall conclusion was that when an idea or service is new, there was lots of content. However, after a few years, there was nothing new on the topic. Did it just go away or was it institutionalized into library land?
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

Fourth Activity
Discussed the Hanging Sections. Careers in Public Libraries — needs constant care as a pdf on library jobs and a salary survey link was 10 years old — learned that current salary information is behind a paywall. Resources for Libraries Serving Persons Experience Homelessness — the group felt this didn't belong in the Professional Tools and thought it would fit better with the Social Worker Task Force. Post-Election Resources — very dated and another election has occurred since the page was posted — most of the content dealt with diversity and inclusion which would fit better with the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Initiative.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

Fifth Activity
Created a list of the inconsistencies in style throughout the entire page for Steve to "fix" on the website. Recommended that next year's group go through the entire website and make recommendations for removing, revising, and/or merging sections. Debated whether the Professional Tools should be trend spotters or evergreen but came to no conclusion. Recommended a new section on Sustainability to align with ALA initiatives.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

What will your group be working on for the next six months?
Work in the next six months will be determined by the incoming chair.

Does the group have any policy recommendations, ideas with financial impact, or other items to bring to the PLA Board for discussion or action

Do you have any suggestions for future products or resources (excluding conference programs) to be developed based on your group’s work?

Are there other PLA/ALA committees your group might collaborate with to benefit the work of all?
If the Professional Tools want to capture library trends, it might be best to work with the various initiative groups to collect and curate content in a timely manner.

Have there been any issues related to meeting participation/attendance for any of the group’s members?

Is there anything PLA could have provided during this time that would have helped your group with its work?

Submitted by Theresa Jehlik on 08/27/2019