Web Project Management for Academic Libraries (Chandos Internet) Paperback – 4 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Jody Condit Fagan is Content Interfaces Coordinator and Associate Professor at James Madison University, where she manages Web projects relating to the library's content systems. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters relating to libraries and the Web and is editor of the Journal of Web Librarianship. She received her MLS from the University of Maryland College Park and an MA in History from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jennifer and I wrote this book because libraries and similar organizations (non-profits, government agenvies) are *different* than the commercial sector. First of all, most libraries don't have dedicated web project managers, but rather people are expected to take on projects as well as their original job. Second, the library environment has numerous internal stakeholders that can make the job of moving a project forward more challenging. Third, most libraries are new to both project management techniques and formal web development practices. Finally, the institutional environment can present restrictions, such as web templates, style guides, etc. that commercial web sites don't have to deal with.
Here are some topics our book addresses that the core texts may not:
- Balancing "buy-in" from internal stakeholders with end-user input
- Effectively communicating about the project with the larger organization
- Working with library administration and in the institutional context
- Making time for selected web project techniques (knowing you may only have time to add just one technique to your repetoire)
- Working with projec team colleagues who have full-time, non-web jobs.
If you identify with any of the above challenges, I urge you to buy our book. More than anything else, I hope this book inspires conversations across the library world about effective web project management. When I started out in a major research library 10 years ago, the library had no dedicated web staff, and all projects were run by a committee of well-intentioned librarians. Things are beginning to change, but many problems have stayed the same.
If you are in the commercial sector, you probably don't need our book, and I'd recommend either of these books. For that matter, they make great reads for any project manager:
Web Project Management: Delivering Successful Commercial Web Sites
Real Web Project Management: Case Studies and Best Practices from the Trenches
One of our goals was to create the book that we wished we had when we were leading our first web projects. What would I want to know if I had no idea where to start, if web projects at my library frequently created anxiety or ran amok, if I had never seen usability testing or project specifications in action? So, Jody and I included plenty of examples and advice based on both our experiences and our research.
Now that the book is published, I've been referring to it regularly. Last week, I needed a quick list of possible project team member roles. I checked the book (p.65). The week before, I helped a colleague create a draft work breakdown and project schedule for her project. I checked the book (p.240). Not long before that, I needed a way to describe a project sponsor to a potential project sponsor. I checked the book (p.45). Next time I need an example of a testing script (p.191-192), a reminder of how to best lead a meeting of librarians and programmers (p.107-108), an overview of ways to get user input (p. 139-147), or a group exercise for creating a realistic project schedule (p.236-237), I'll check the book.