CIL: Hacking Blackboard: Customized Content Portals

The folks at UNC-Greensboro discussed their work in pulling the college’s Blackboard software to deliver library materials specific to academic subjects and departments. This is nice, as it uses informaiton that’s already available – the declared major listed in the student database – to pull up these customized spaces. These serve as an overlay to the traditional libray site, and push relevant databases, course reserves, and chat connections to librarians.

While we don’t use blackboard in the public sphere, I think it might be possible to create a similar space for our patrons. Each user’s experience at the library website has the potential to call on a variety of different sources – our standard pathfinders, catalog content and account info, electronic resources, downloadable materials, blog content, and potentially more – so to put the things each person uses most often could be pretty useful. It also gets me a step closer to my personal Shangri-La of offering single signon to our patrons. Dare to dream.

Jumpety jump jump for (shamefully brief) notes.

Hacking Blackboard: Creating Customized Content Portals

Richard Cox and Lynda Kellam

University of North Carolina – Greensboro

Creating academic spaces

Not Facebook – keeping that as a social area

Pushing relevant resources to students based on field of study

Pointing that it wasn’t a replacement for main library area, just a supplement

Hacking the Library Tab: Creating topic-specific entry points to the library

Creates custome portal based on declared major – when you’re logged in, it uses your information to bring relevant materials (Banner database)

Probably don’t need to get this specific for our patrons, but can use the portal design for inspiration

ASP.net as the app for the portals

Active Directory, SQL Server as database platform, MS Live Mesh

MS Live Messenger for chat widget – able to query specific people. If they’re not, it brings up generic chat. If noone’s available, it brings up email form

issue with double majors – which one to use

Stats: Google Analytics data – showing a decent number of people returning

Next plan: mobile app

What are our resources: catalog – website – blogs – portals – MyDiscoveries/Aquabrowser – e-resources – Overdrive

exploring the intersection of libraries, technology, and community

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