ASSOCIATES (vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998) -

Table of Contents

                          *"ARE WE UP YET?" 
                       OR LAUNCHING A WEBSITE*


                         Carol Borzyskowski
                         Library Associate
                       Winona Public Library

	Okay, so now everyone who is anyone is on the web and 
libraries are writing technology programs, policies and statements 
as fast as they can.  The big thing being: LET'S HAVE A PRESENCE!

	We are scurrying to keep up with public demand, provide 
services, and redefine our place in the 21st century with one of the
problems being how "virtual" can we become and still have a building
that people want to visit.

	Maybe that is just something I worry about.  I want to help 
patrons all I can, and I want to embrace computer technology, but I 
still want to check out a hard-covered book and place it into the 
hand of a patron who has managed to find a parking spot around our 
library--this means fighting the middle school crowd, the office 
buildings, and food restaurants--and physically come in to get a 
physical book to read, touch and feel.

	So, if I feel this way how did I end up being the web-writer 
at our library.  Me, gasp, a NON-PROFESSIONAL?  Well, no one else 
wanted to do it.  Sound familiar?

	The director was all for it, my supervisor was all for it and 
they were happy I wanted to do the thing.  I bought books (remember 
those, virtual readers?), I studied, I went to classes, then I got 
Netscape 4.0 and met "Composer" and wept with the joy and simplicity 
of designing a page.   Okay, they are simple pages, I just have the 
basics, but bubba, I do have a page! 

	Now, the problem started: lack of support.  Does this sound 
familiar?  I mean who the heck was I, a non-librarian, to take on 
such an august project?  I ran around and garnered support and info 
from the children's department, who were delighted to help, and glad
I was doing it, and a new staff member who is the best editor I have
ever met!

	I set up simple dummy pages, then I started asking Reference 
and Technical Services for information, and I am still waiting.  
Their pages are officially "under construction."  I asked Reference 
for the disks that held their reading lists, and instead got to 
borrow the lap-top so I could re-create them on my own.  I asked for
links...and had one of the student pages sneak in and find me some 

	What the heck is going on?  It seems to be the age old problem 
of professional staff not having the time or inclination to be able 
to do something, but not wanting the "non-professional" staff to do
it.  So the project is met with downcast eyes, evasions, and passive
aggressive resistance.

	How do I deal with this, you say?  Did I mention their pages 
are marked "under construction"?  Yes?  Well, did I mention that I 
put a "mail to" with comments and concerns on each page, to their 
e-mail addresses?  Hmmm?  Probably no one has visited the website 
yet, but all of you can!

	I also set up my own shameless self-promotion page--including 
some of my poetry, a short-story, and an essay.  I kept talking to 
the director who is pleased with the page.  I set it up as the only 
page on the local Winona Net.  I have it linked to our consortia of 
37 libraries.  I am spending my own time on files and coming up with
ideas.  I am a little miffed, but do you know what, I love doing a 
web page and I feel I have really expanded my LIBRARY ASSOCIATE 
horizons.  I don't get any more pay, or even any more time to do 
this, but I feel good!

	Check out the site, and e-mail me, okay?