CMS and Random Library Fact

This morning I attended the CMS program at Simmons sponsored by NEASIS&T. First we heard about WordPress from Theresa Maturevich, who used WordPress to build the Beverly Public Library site, which won the Massachusetts Library Association’s Public Relations Award in 2009. Next we heard from Michael Witwicki, who spoke about ExpressionEngine; then Steve Sanzo, who spoke about Drupal, and finally Anna Burke (a Simmons GSLIS grad!) and Talia Resendes from Springshare, who presented LibGuides. All of the talks were interesting, especially considering that of the four CMS we heard about, only two – ExpressionEngine and Drupal – were designed to be CMS; WordPress was designed as a blogging tool, and LibGuides was a web platform for subject and research guides. These last two retain their original functions in addition to expanded ones, but it’s a case of the people behind the software adapting the product in response to the (unintended/unforeseen) way(s) people were using it.

Now for the random library fact: it’s not hugely surprising, but I read in G. Edward Evans’ Developing Library and Information Center Collections that library books shelved on the top and bottom shelves have lower circulation rates than those shelved on the middle shelves. This makes sense, because the books on the middle shelves are closer to most people’s eye level; no one has to crouch or stand on tip-toe to see them. It’s a compelling argument against using the lowest and highest shelves at all – if you have the space. (Bookstores, in comparison, tend to use their highest shelves for overstock.)

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