Special Libraries Association

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The Librarian As Webmaster workshop

Special Libraries Association
Florida and Caribbean Chapter

The Librarian As Webmaster

Workshop Feb. 11, 2000
Energy Technology Resource Center, Tampa, Florida

The Web and the Public Library” by Jason Biggers, Principal Librarian for Electronic Reference and Information, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

The introduction of the Internet has revolutionized libraries. We can offer services that a few years ago would have been cost-prohibitive. The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library began offering services with a web page on the TBLC server. Jason noticed there was little use in the beginning, but with offering a brochure for publicity, and interactive services, by the end of 2001 they hope to have a complete blend of internal and external services. The library comprises 32 locations, serving nearly one million people.

The web site is comprised of more than 380 web pages. They use Websense for filtering. This allows complete control of what is allowed on staff and public machines, with different machines having different levels of filtering. It now filters out all chat, but they are thinking about changing this because of interactive reference. With Websense, sites are reviewed by humans and filters are updated daily. There is a time limit on public workstations of 30 minutes when others are waiting, and this is strictly enforced. Patrons who violate policy are kicked off.

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