Web4Lib Electronic Discussion

An electronic discussion for library-based World-Wide Web managers.

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To post to this list, send your message to web4lib@listserv.uc.edu. Only subscribers may post.


The Web4Lib electronic discussion is for the discussion of issues relating to the creation, management, and support of library-based World-Wide Web servers, services, and applications. Any questions regarding the pertinence of any particular topic should be sent to one or more of the listowners.


Web4Lib is specifically aimed toward librarians and library staff involved in World-Wide Web management, but anyone is welcome to join the discussion. Those not interested in a library-oriented Web discussion may wish to join one of the general Web discussions hosted by the W3 Organization. There are presently around 4,700 subscribers world wide and an average of 5-10 messages a day.


The Web4Lib list and website are respectively managed and hosted by Galen Charlton and Dorothea Salo. LISTSERV hosting for the mailing list is provided by the University of Cincinnati.

The list was formerly run by Roy Tennant and has had several hosts:

It is an un-moderated list, but only subscribers may post messages. The software program LISTSERV is used to provide an automated method for persons to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. If you have any difficulties, please contact one of the list admins.

Posting Policy

The following policy governs all postings to the Web4Lib list. These policies will be enforced by the Web4Lib Advisory Board. Please note that repeated violations of these policies may result in the removal of offenders from the list.

  1. All messages must relate, however slightly, to the general topic of World Wide Web systems and libraries or library staff. The list owner and Advisory Board interprets this rather broadly, but messages that are clearly off-topic will not be tolerated.
  2. Advertisements are not appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to, announcements of new products and free trials by those who stand to gain from such announcements. However, a simple statement that offers a way to follow-up for more information on a service or product is tolerated if it accompanies a substantive message discussing a subject appropriate to the list. Announcements of conferences, workshops, new publications, and position openings appropriate to the topic of the list are allowed.
  3. Virus warnings (not bug reports), are strongly discouraged. In addition, before forwarding information about a virus or some other purported disaster you may wish to check Snopes.com and Virus Hoaxes for hoax information, urban legends, and other rumors.
  4. Personal attacks such as name calling and personal insults will not be tolerated. Comments that are intended only to enrage the recipient rather than contribute to thoughtful discussion are prohibited.
  5. All postings must be free of copyright restrictions that limit distribution. For example, posting a significant amount of a copyrighted work verbatim requires the permission of the copyright holder. To verify that such permission was obtained, all postings of this nature must include a statement that this is the case.
  6. The preferred format for list messages is plain text. Subscribers whose mail clients default to other formats such as HTML should configure them to send plain text when posting to the list. Sending MIME file attachments of any kind is prohibited; to prevent the spread of viruses, etc., any attachments are automatically stripped from your message before posting.
  7. All posts to Web4Lib are permanently stored in the publicly accessible archive.

Guidelines for Appropriate List Behavior

The following guidelines are offered as advice for how to best participate in this discussion in a manner that will both contribute to the experience of all readers and also reflect well on you.


Web4Lib began on May 12, 1994. The article "Web4Lib: The Library Web Manager's Electronic Discussion List" in Ariadne describes the early history of the list.

Related Lists

Our German cousin InetBib coincidentally also began in May 1994. They have enjoyed even more success, since they have more subscribers and have had a conference for a number of years.

We also consider the Publib and XML4Lib discussions to be family members.