July 30, 2014

Library Journal's Own Digital Shift

The latest additions to LJ:


Editor’s Note:

We’re getting our online house in order. Soon, Library Journal will have a proper home for the daily mix of news stories, reviews, features, columns, and research we publish to the web and in our newsletters.

In the meantime, you’re going to see LJ content published in a couple of different places, all still under the LJ banner.

Above you’ll find a list of new sections we’ve built out so far; we’ll keep that list updated as we introduce other elements and as we weave them together in new ways over the coming weeks and months.

For those curious to hear a bit more, read on:

As all web librarians and bloggers will know, building a functional web presence from scratch is no small feat. Revamping the existing web presence of a 136-year-old brand that has been building online in fits and starts for the last 15 years is a more complex challenge yet. Up until now, we’ve been renovating and building out additions as best we could, but it’s time for us to move house altogether.

For a little background—thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine—here is one of the earlier iterations of the magazine online:

LJ Digital 2011 10 31 00 54 46 Library Journal's Own Digital Shift
LJ Digital as it appeared in 2000

Since before Y2K, the LJ homepages have been a somewhat modest one-size-fits-all affair, serving as an archive of the print magazine as well as home to original news and tech stories, newsletter articles, and a growing number of topical webcasts and virtual events. As LJ has expanded in all of these areas, we’ve yearned for more flexibility and room to grow.

With a new CMS and web publishing framework, we can now build something closer to the home we’ve desired. We’re also taking the opportunity to reintroduce the many facets of LJ that deserve more individual attention; put another way, all of the kids are getting their own rooms and the family room is getting a 63-inch HDTV.

More literally: we’re keeping the umbrella homepage that will pull together the latest from all of the underlying content areas, like news, reviews, collection development, features, event coverage, and more. At the same time, we’re working to give each of these subcommunities a proper presence of their own—we want them to shine individually and to reflect the more specific personality of the content they highlight.

We started the process in July with the launch of The Digital Shift, a co-effort with our sister publication School Library Journal to feature coverage of technology, ebooks, and all things relevant to librarians serving an increasingly tech-hungry patron population.

More recently, we debuted two of our annual features—the 2011 Placements & Salaries Survey and the 2011 LJ Index of Public Library Service–on a new subdomain, features.libraryjournal.com.

Just this week we christened LJ Reviews, which will house reviews and commentary from our book and media review staff along with dozens of Prepub Alert annotations from editor Barbara Hoffert on hot titles coming down the pike and Cheryl LaGuardia’s E-Views blog. On November 17, we’ll expand that site to include the rest of our reviews coverage and collection development articles.

My colleague Heather McCormack described it best in the latest issue of BookSmack!:

Library Journal review content is moving in phases to a cleaner, meaner platform, and you can see the first step via our blogs Prepub AlertE-Views, and In the Bookroom. The last blog is hosting a new series called “Librarians’ Best Books of 2011″ that will prime you for the November 17 publication of our Top Ten Best Books of 2011, plus beloved runners-up and the crème de la crème in genre fiction. More bests follow on December 1 (how-to, core nonfiction, YA lit for adults, and graphic novels) and December 15 (audiobooks, DVDs, video games, and music). During this time, columns and topical short takes that would normally deploy in BookSmack! will instead be posted on our new Reviews site, so be sure to check in and update your RSS feeds. Come November 15, all reviews will live on the Reviews site, including those that originated in the magazine.

The Reviews revamp will also include the launch of a new LJ Reviews database, with the first public beta debuting on the November 17 and which we’ll cover in more depth soon.

Come the new year, we’ll be well on our way to weaving all of these sections back together. But a move is a move, and that means we’ll be kicking up a bit of dust here and there until we get all of the pieces settled. We’re working to make the transition as smooth as possible, and we appreciate your patience.

In the meantime, one of the best ways to keep abreast of all the latest stories and in-house changes under way is to sign up for one of our free newsletters. You can also find LJ editors on various social media channels—including Facebook, two Twitter accounts, and Tumblr—where we’re available to field your questions and hear your comments.

If you’ve got any specific thoughts or questions about the moves mentioned here, let me know in the comments, or send me a note—jhadro@mediasourceinc.com or @hadro on Twitter.

As always, thanks for reading —

Josh Hadro
Executive Editor, Digital Products

Josh Hadro About Josh Hadro

Josh Hadro (jhadro@mediasourceinc.com; @hadro on Twitter) is the former Executive Editor of Library Journal.

Share

Comments

  1. Carol Coffey says:

    Josh, the organizational changes look great, but I’m more concerned with how the website functions on a practical level. Will the email and printing functions work better in the new site(s)? When I click to email an article I expect it to work like other news sites, but instead it tries to open the Outlook client, which I don’t use. The print function is even worse. Most “print” links lead to a nice clean copy that doesn’t waste paper, but the print link on LJ articles does the exact opposite. I just tested it again by printing the Charles Brown article using the “print” link. The article should have taken at most 2 pages, but instead took 6 pages to print. It printed the header, all the buttons (Newsletters, Libraries & Librarians, etc.), as well as the text of all the links that drop down from those buttons, one per line. The headline of the article doesn’t appear until more than halfway down the second page and continues onto the 3rd page. Pages 4-6 are all the images from the lower part of the page, again one after the other. That was in Firefox. When I started to test it in IE 8, it was going to take 8 pages so I stopped it lest I waste more paper and toner.

    I apologize if this isn’t your purview, but I’ve tried to find a place on the website to comment about this before and came up empty. LJ has great content but makes it so hard to share that I frequently go elsewhere.

  2. Josh Hadro says:

    Carol — this is absolutely something we’re aware of and making sure is core functionality on the new sites.
    As an example, take a look at the print and share options at the bottom of this article column (the same for every article on one of our new platforms):
    http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/10/research/major-medical-library-closing-its-doors-to-patrons-and-moving-to-digital-model/
    The first button on the left creates a genuinely printer-friendly version of articles, while the next button creates a draft message in your default email client.
    The rest of the icons there should also make it as easy as possible to share the article to the channel of your choice, but if you see a link-sharing service not listed there let me know and I’ll see if it can be added.