[See Julie Arendt's comment below for a couple of corrections.]
Apparently the Morris library staff is a bit irked at how hard the library is to find from our splendid new website. They are passing out slips of paper encouraging folks to email the University Web Advisory Group (email@example.com) to ask why Morris doesn't qualify for a link. So, let's see, as of 3:56 pm on Thursday, Morris library cannot be found under "About SIU". It's not under "Academics". It's not under "Research". It's not under Info For "Current Students" or "Future Students". You can, however, find it under info for Faculty and Staff (it's the seventh item under "Academics" on that page; "Office of the Provost" is the first). I suppose faculty and staff may care about the library.
I frankly don't see what the library staff are complaining about. You would have thought they'd have seen the writing on the wall when we left the books out past the Poultry Center. Athletics gets a full tab, top center, equal billing with academics and research. What is there to complain about?
Another little thing that some people will find only a triviality, others will find a telling illustration of the way things work around here. A more serious analysis follows after the break.
I'm just enough of a webmaster to both forgive whoever designed the new webpage for failing to include the library (while presumably pleasing the administrative types for whom the library was not a priority), but also to know something of the agony caused by a complete campus facelift of this type. We've been through this mess before. The first time on my watch was when Walter Wendler's administration mandated campus use of a god-awful template that required things like links to stirring words "from the Chancellor" and to the latest weather forecast (which I found rather more valuable than the Chancellor's remarks, but still). Far from consulting the people with real expertise in Art and Design, our administration forced them to tear down their own superb website and replace it with the crap SIUC was pushing.
This sort of change is an unfunded mandate--save for the marketing firm--that demands that multiple campus offices "upgrade" their webpages to the brave new standard. Once one gets below the few centralized pages that Web Services can manage, most websites are maintained by departmental staff who have other things to worry about--and aren't professional webmasters. Such updates thus require hours upon hours of tedious work, work that could have been spent on other things. And many things like links to the library will be lost in the ensuing chaos. Multiple links on the sectional website I more or less manage, that of the Classics section, and that of my department, are now down, thanks to changes that were installed from on high, without any warning. Basically it looks like any links to the old SIUC servers have gone down (though this may be an unrelated issue--I don't have enough technical expertise to be sure just what damage I and our office staff have noticed in the last couple of days in indeed due to the overhaul).
Webpages and websites do need to be revamped every so often. But our most recent revamp was not that long ago (December 2009). And redesign comes at a cost, not only the cost of the outside firm, in this case, but the internal cost as the rest of us try to play catch up. Every new Chancellor we get believes that they have found the silver bullet, the new logo, marketing firm, or slogan that is going to turn things around. So we get to buy new letterhead, pay for new signs, and redo web pages. We've got better things to do, and better things to spend our money on.
I would especially welcome informed comments on this whole topic (web design and implementation) from real webmasters, not phony ones like me.
[Ok, one little concession: while the Chancellor is rather easier to find from our homepage than the library--she is quite prominent on the About SIU page (the second item in the most prominent side bar)--she does not promote herself nearly as much as some administrators do on the pages for their domains. Someone, though, had better get the new logo up on her webpage. That bell tower thing is so 2010.]