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Making the website of a cash-strapped academic library work: lessons on LibGuides.

The University of Illinois at Chicago Library has been gradually overhauling its website over the past few years. This has happened in fits and starts, in the midst of reduced staffing, reduced budgets, the loss of support infrastructure, and burgeoning demands from administration. How can a tiny team with big responsibilities keep it together?

To make it work, we have doubled down on existing systems to offload administration: shifting our self-hosted website to a University-supplied host, adopting a consortial discovery system, and leveraging more features of the Springshare systems to which we already subscribe. This has saved money and bandwidth, sometimes at the cost of less control and a loss of features once taken for granted. But it has nevertheless provided a foundation for stability, and a launchpad to reach toward the future.

This poster session would present a timeline of our decisions, a map of the systems adopted, and a description of how we have bent Springshare systems to our needs. It will feature technical guidance, gotchas, and a wish list for an as-yet unrealized academic library content platform.


3:30 PM