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Librarianship: Developing a Genealogy Website
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In this course you will be introduced to all the components of planning and building a genealogy library website. There are many specialized books and websites to help you in the building of an organizational website, of whatever size. This course is designed to give you an overall understanding of all the areas that are involved, in some of which you may realize you will need further training. You will be introduced to the issues of planning, design, usability, accessibility and the technical language and definitions you will need to proceed on your own, or with a team, to build your genealogy library website.

Course Content

Module 1
The "Accidental Webmaster"
Planning Your Website
• Questions to Ask First
Choosing a Committee
Developing a Timeline
• Tasks to Include in a Timeline
Library Website Policies
Models for Website Structure
• Linear Path Model
• Hub of a Wheel Model
• Hierarchical Model
Further Reading

Module 2
The Technology of Web Building
The Language of the Web: Hypertext Markup Language
Web Authoring Tools
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Content Management Systems
• Graphic File Formats
• File Size
• Thumbnails
• Image Maps
• Image Editing Software
• Flash
• Captivate
Database-Driven Websites
Further Reading
• Websites

Module 3
Web Design
Design for Usability
The Look of The Website
• Templates
• Home Page or Welcome Page
• Statement of Purpose
• Lower Level Pages
• Colour
• Fonts
• Page Length
• Contact Information
Site Navigation
Accessible Design
Further Reading

Module 4
Writing for the Web
Who Are You Writing For?
Make the Pages Scannable
• Use Meaningful Titles
• Make the First Words Count
• Highlight Words
• Use Headings and Subheadings
• Use Bulleted or Numbered Lists
• Limit the Amount of Text on a Screen
Make the Text Concise
• Don't Be Verbose
• Make the Paragraphs Short
Watch Your Language
• Use the Active Voice
• Use Objective or Neutral Language
• Use Common Words
• Do Not Abbreviate
• Do Not Use Jargon
• Decide on the Spelling of Words
• Do Not Use Humour
Use Links Wisely
Write So That You Can Be Found
• The "title" Tag
• Headings
• Important Words at the Top of the Page
• Meta Tags
• Ask Users
Edit, Edit, Edit
Develop Web Writing Policies
Further Reading
• Websites

Module 5
Web Content
Web Content Collection Development Policies
Types of Web Content
• Information
• Instruction
• Promotion
• Communication
• Services
What Do Your Users Want to Find?
What Content Do You Already Have?
Unique Local Content
• Postcard Collections Online
• Newspapers Online
• Obituary Indexes Online
Partnerships Outside the Library
Instructional Materials
Further Reading

Module 6
Website Usability and Accessibility
• Website Accessibility
• Tables
Evaluating a Website for Accessibility
• Code Validation
• Evaluating for Accessibility
• Other Types of Files and Accessibility
Website Usability
• Card Sorting
• Surveys
• Observational Testing
Further Reading
• Websites

Module 7
Finishing, Publicizing, and Maintaining Your Website
Forms on the Website
• Internal Search Engines
• Web Calendars
• Blogs
• RSS Feeds
Publicizing the Website
• News Media
• Cyndi's List and Other Genealogy Gateways
• Mailing Lists
• Notify Sites That You Know That Might Link To You
• Tell the Search Engines You Exist
Maintaining the Genealogy Library Website
Updating the Genealogy Library Website
Further Reading
• Websites

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