The shoemaker goes barefoot!

Libraries are the most known ‘information houses’. So you’d hope that a library (and its Web site) would exhibit stellar information presentation properties. No such luck. In my experience library Web site are among the most confusing, convoluted, frustrating site you’ll ever run into. I have had numerous encounters, which could provide dozens or more examples of this. I was just trying to access a book on one of our University’s Library’s electronic book subscriptions. With all the site hand-overs I cannot categorically state whose to blame for creating such a Kafka-like experience, but I still hold my Library responsible for not complaining and demanding a correction. Maybe it will happen. Here is what I sent to my library representative:

“Dear <name removed>,


I have just spent (wasted?) an hour trying to access a book on our Safari collection. I managed to find it (<link removed>) and the page gives me a link. Given that there is no indication what I can/not do with this ‘hit’ (other than export/save/email the ref — which is a separate link) I did the only reasonable thing, clicked on the link. That sent me to another page (<link removed>) which is totally blank, except for a link (<link removed>) and some search fields, all of which keep taking me further AWAY from (what I thought to be) my ‘hit’.

Maybe I’m an idiot, assuming (that awful word) that I could just click the link and see the book. But that would be way too easy, wouldn’t it?

Please do not hesitate to show me in which way I’m an idiot — as long as I can get to see the book; or, perhaps it’s not me?

Thanks, all the best.  ”

So far no reply. Will report further, if there’s anything worth reporting.

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