Do librarians need basic HTML capabilities? -Reply

Donna Reed donnare at
Wed Jun 19 17:18:03 EDT 1996

I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer here.  A more valid
question is how does the library see its role in the Webbed environment 
and what level of responsibility are librarians willing to take.
Our library, for example, has been asked to coordinate the county Web
effort.  This includes participating in the development of a
regional Web presence (called RITNet).  I act as the coordinator for the
project and also am overseeing the reorganization of the library's Web site.

On the county level, we decided early on that the way to create a
meaningful site was to disperse responsibility to the departments and
agencies involved.  We wanted departments to produce "official" sites 
that included the ability for citizen interaction.  To get these sites 
rolling, top level administrators, information services divisions,
information officers, clericals and volunteers.  The administrators buy
off on the project and let the info. officers coordinate the
information.  Volunteers work with me to get the site going and the
department takes over maintenance once the site is launched.    We are 
now trying to use this model to revitalize our library's site and to make 
sure that it is being maintained on a regular basis.  

Back to the question.. should librarians learn HTML... 

HTML is a here today sort of a thing.  Who knows what the environment 
will look like in five years?  Learning HTML is not much different than 
learning a new word processing package.  The catch is that it is much 
easier to direct those who are creating the documents if you know what 
is possible.  Librarians who are aware of international standards and 
issues, AND who combine their professional knowledge with 
HTML basics produce sites that are of great benefit to their community.    

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Donna Reed                            Multnomah County Library
Community Information System                TEL (503) 248-5238
Program Specialist		            FAX (503) 248-5226
          E-mail: donnare at

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