Organizing electronic resources with a database-driven website
Harzbecker, J. J.
CitationJ. J. Harzbecker, K. Jeffery, L. Maggio, D. Flynn, M. Blanchard. "Organizing electronic resources with a database-driven website."
Statement of Problem: During a website redesign the Library identified the need for improving the presentation of electronic books, journals, databases, and educational materials. Many of these resources were not wellrepresented in the Library catalog and the growing online collections were a challenge to manage on the existing static website. Objectives: The Library sought to implement a database-driven website complete with subject indexing, increasing access and ease of management for electronic resources, along with supporting the Library's educational mission. Methods: Electronic resources were evaluated and placed in a relational MySQL database. A set of web-based forms was created using Adobe ColdFusion. Librarians generated a set of broad subject headings based on existing Library subject guides and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Each resource was indexed by subject and a set of webpage templates was designed for displaying these resources on the Library website and mobile devices. Findings to Date: The Library created a website that provides a central point for updating electronic resources. Staff may update resources 24/7, from off-site, without using HTML. The database-driven website allows immediate repurposing of resources; content supports curriculum-integrated Library activities. The new design allows easier searching of e-resource content by the BUMC community. Key Lessons Learned: A database-driven website requires a large initial outlay of staff time during its creation, but it is more flexible and easier to maintain than a static HTML based website. Future Directions: Electronic resource management requires constant attention. The Library will enhance the resource databases while working to incorporate Library electronic resource lists into School Portals, CourseInfo, and other curriculum pages using XML.