Tales from a Web Librarian

Website Launch & other January Things

January was a month of stress, sickness, elation, election depression, and challenges! As you may know, between the months of May and December 2016, I devoted much of my time to developing and designing a new library website for Stony Brook University. When I started in May 2016, there was an initial launch date set for the end of August 2016. You're right to think that, as the only person working on the website redesign and development, I went through a significant period of stress as I navigated and learned the nuances of the former site's coding and language. Luckily, I had the expertise of the former webmaster and the help of the library's Senior Programmer to get me through the most trying times of development.

By mid-September (yes, I blew by the initial August launch date) the new site was mostly ready. And by mostly ready I mean it was a bare bones design and basic structure with many, many bugs but could be launched if we really, really needed. However, in light of the new semester, we (thankfully) decided to push the launch date. It was just as well, since the Fall semester brought with it teaching responsibilities, senate committee meetings, faculty meetings, conferences, events, writings, and a number of other engagements that kept my days busy!

With a new launch goal set for "winter session" I got to work mid-December refining, cataloging (the spreadsheets I have, oh my), and de-bugging the new site.

Things began falling into place - hierarchies became obvious, design choices became natural. I designed banners that were striking but simple, added small responsive functions that made pages feel nice, created order where there once wasn't. It felt really good.

And then the holidays happened. And with joy came sickness. Horrible, seemingly never-ending sickness. I was sick with a cold for about two weeks, beginning the day after Christmas. Everyone around me was sick. It was a blackhole of sickness.

And then. And then.

The website was scheduled to launch Jan. 13th (leading into a long weekend culminating in MLK Jr. Day) but I came down with pneumonia (panic), my car died (battery), and I missed the entire week leading up to the launch (ahh!).

HOWEVER -  due to circumstances beyond my control (unrelated to illness) -  the site launch was delayed a week and I was able to rest and heal.

We launched a few days before the Spring semester and holy moly what relief it brought!

I'm incredibly proud of the new website and am so grateful for all of the help and feedback I received during the process. It's an indescribably amazing feeling to build a website and then see it accessed, used, and lauded by your colleagues, faculty members, students, and administration.

Like, wow.


There are a few other things of note that happened in January...

-I was one of ten people accepted into the Children's Literature Fellows Program. I applied for the fellowship back in November (submitting my children's picture book story "The Sun & the Moon," as well as other credentials, for consideration). The year-long program awards Fellows an Advanced Certificate in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature.

-I participated in the Women's March on January 21st 2017

-Finished revisions on my book chapter, titled "Mobile Applications in Libraries"

-Began drafting a piece for a book, tentatively titled We Can Do I.T. : Women in Library Information Technology

-Published an online certificate course on Information Literacy

-Elected Chair of the Communications & Outreach Committee for the University Libraries

-Visited Newport & Providence, RI (for fun!)

LibraryDana Haugh