The Minneapolis Public Library redesigned their Web site with CSS and dropped using tables for layout. Way to go! (OK, there are still some tables – notably holding the banner area together up top – but this is a very worthy effort and better than all tables for layout.) The new site opened a few weeks ago.
They added RSS feeds(!):
- What’s New at the Minneapolis Public Library has items of interest about the various libraries (not a list of new books).
- What’s New in the LIST is a URL list of items of interest that I assume are chosen by library staff.
- Today at the Minneapolis Public Library is a calendar of events.
Much applause and much cheering for this fine accomplishment.
Subscribing to the feeds was a bit confusing. Each one has separate .xml and .rss feed. The .xml link is live and you can connect to the page which is supposed to be formatted for MS Internet Explorer to read; the .rss must be copied and pasted in your aggregator to subscribe. I went to the .xml file and subscribed via Bloglines. This worked fine except for the event calendar feed which was a mess. I went back and changed all my subscriptions to the .rss files and all is well.
They explain the live bookmark feature in Firefox and that you will see the familiar (if you’re a Firefox user) orange icon in the lower right corner when a page has a feed. You assume that you will see this icon on their pages but it’s absent in two of the three because they’re missing the auto-discovery tag in the head of the documents (their web-links page is configured correctly). Maybe it’s coming.
(They also mention that Apple’s Safari browser can subscribe to these live links. That’s a feature that won’t be implemented until the next OS X (Tiger) appears on April 29.)
Another thing: the main aggregator link for “What’s New…” at the library links to the library home page and not the “What’s New…” page.
Finally, there’s no feedback email address for the Web site. All sorts of commenting addresses but nothing for the Web site.
A Couple of Suggestions
- I would love a “new acquisitions” feed! Every book, CD, magazine, etc. would pass through it and I could link to my account and reserve it. Categories would be nice too: Fiction, Nonfiction, Childrens; then all the music categories.
- Move the selected web-links over to del.icio.us and join in social bookmarking.