Imagining Web Content as an Investment
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QUESTION: Libraries experience challenges in effectively identifying and evaluating free Web content and managing the delivery of both free and fee-based Web content to clients. Regardless of how delivery occurs, human involvement is still essential in both the evaluation of resources and the oversight of the management process. SETTING: An academic health science center serving a large urban population. METHOD: In 2003 the library conducted an internal reorganization of staff to better respond to client needs and deal with a growing reliance on electronic/digital resources and services, and the library performs an annual assessment to make adjustments, if necessary. During the most recent assessment, a serious deficiency was identified by staff: no effective management of free and fee-based content being provided to clients through the Library's Web site. MAIN RESULTS: Oversight of the content management process was deemed essential, and an internal position of Web Content Coordinator was created that would oversee the entire management and delivery of Web site content, with advice from a new Web Content Team (WCT). Team members were selected based on job responsibilities or involvement in other library teams or service functions. CONCLUSION: The WCT meets twice a month and reviews new resources (with descriptions) to be added to the library's Web site, reviews and suggests subject headings, and reviews and revises the workflow to add content to the library's Web site. The WCT also helps coordinate and publicize trials and provides feedback to "re-promote" existing purchased content in the library's electronic collection.