Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Special Circle of Hell

What possesses online publishers to change the URLs for their electronic journals and databases? Do they really think that it's better branding to have the publisher name in the root of the URL, because I've faced that change yesterday and I've got a big change change along those lines coming up in the next few weeks. Yesterday's change only took twenty minutes to fix in the off-campus access file, but I didn't know about it until someone reported a problem. I have lots of warning about the upcoming problem, but I can't do anything about it until the new URLs are operational. Of course, the publishers don't think it's a problem because their servers do internal redirects of the old URLs, but it breaks the off-campus authentication. Fine, I'm old and bitter. The worst part: the company responsible for the upcoming problem claims that its doing this in response to consultation with librarians. Right.

Meanwhile, I've gotten the third piece of marketing announcing the arrival of the new version of the resource. It's a box with a picture of an arctic survey team on the cover. Orange dots decorate the package. Inside are a small pamphlet and a USB key in the shape of a puzzle piece. The computer files include tips on how to search the resource, posters for the resource (the three pictures in the marketing campaign), computer wallpaper and other marketing paraphernalia. What it doesn't have is the off campus access settings for the new version, because, naturally, a new version needs a new URL. But the USB key looks cool. And the address on the box had the postal code. Someone was paid to come up with all these puzzle pieces and orange dots. I have a request as to their eventual reward - it's at the top of this post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Down in the Flood

As I write this, the flood waters of the Assiniboine River have not quite crested but will later this week. With any luck, the damage will not be extensive, and most of the people evacuated from their homes will be able to return to them. I've been fortunate. I haven't really been affected by the flood, except that everyone in Brandon lives in its shadow. Or should that be its wake?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Seeing The Big Picture

Adventures in library marketing, volume two: I get a follow-up mailing from the library resource I described in the earlier posting. The cover of the package has a photo of a man taking a sample from some body of water - a river, a lake, I can't tell. And orange dots are superimposed on the picture, sort of coming from the water sampling tool the man is holding. Inside the package are nine jigsaw puzzle pieces. When I assemble them, I get the left half of the same picture. The catch phrase here is "See the big picture without missing the smallest detail". Except that the address is on the package is missing the university's postal code. Which is why I'm receiving in May an announcement about something starting in April. Which leads to wonder if the marketing department reads their own copy. And why they have jobs at all.