Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Editorial: Makerspaces, Agile, Reading Lists and Migrations

In issue 78 we move Ariadne to a new delivery platform, have articles about makerspaces and digital scholarship centres, agile website usability testing, embedding reading list materials into a virtual learning environment, and include some event information and reports.

Ariadne has changed many times over its 20+ year life so far, and this year is no exception. When we inherited Ariadne at Loughborough we upgraded the Drupal based system that Bath had been using for some time and we have run with that for a couple of years. However we’ve found it increasingly time consuming to maintain for little gain to the journal - many of the Drupal blogging features we don’t need or use get regular updates and security patches for example. So during the life of this issue we moved Ariadne from Drupal to a static web site managed by Hugo and git. As this migration might be of interest to other sites, Jason Cooper has documented the process we used.

Makerspaces are a popular addition to libraries, both academic and public. Heila Pienaar, Isak van der Walt and Sean Kruger describe how the University of Pretoria Library built a Digital Scholarship Centre on the success of the Library’s Makerspace. They show how such a centre can be established, how it can fit with inter-disciplinary work and how Makerspaces and Digital Scholarship Centres overlap.

Helen Singer and Jane Bilson provide an explanation of how the University of Hertfordshire followed ‘Guided Learner Journey’ principles by embedding resources in their VLE. This will be of interest to many academic librarians looking at how library reading lists can be leveraged to make more impact and improve the student experience.

Over in the USA, Kathryn Gucer presents a case study of how Agile methods can improve web site usability testing. This was based on her experiences working with the Animal Welfare Act History Digital Collection at the USDA’s National Agricultural Library. They used a low-cost, in-house Agile approach and she explains how this testing method allowed them to quickly home in, and correct, usability problems and misconceptions in the design of the collection’s new web user interface.

We also have a couple of event reviews to round out this issue: Dan Towns tells us of his experience Figshare Fest 2018 where he joined many Institutional Repository and Research Data Managers. Meanwhile Richard Goodman provides a conference report from Educause 2018, the large educational techology conference held in Denver, Colorado, USA.