Friday the 31st of July will go down as a day of infamy. Well maybe not, but it will be remembered by some as a day they got really grumpy. On that day Statistics New Zealand announced to the library world that that night they would be launching the redevelopment of their site. There was no advance notification of this, and by the way that will mean that any links you have will most likely be broken.
The howls of outrage were pretty much instantaneous as the ramifications of this were immediately understood by many out there in Library land. For many libraries, especially Tertiary Education libraries, that meant that hundreds of links would be broken on Saturday, and there would be no-one to fix them. Worse news was there would be no redirect in place. The anger on the Internet was palpable.
Now it is impossible to actually gauge the ramifications this change had, as we will never know how many went to visit the Statistics links via their libraries. But we do know it meant a lot of work last week for a lot of librarians.
While the start of this post is a vast brickbat firmly lobed at Statistics New Zealand, that’s not going to be the whole story. No there are two bouquets due.
First, the site redevelopment itself: while the process with which it was announced was flawed, the actual site redevelopment is excellent. From my exploration, the site’s navigation is vastly improved.
Secondly, and I think more importantly, was an example of collegial cooperation, instigated by the staff in the Statistics New Zealand library. Claire Stent, who was also stuck with a similar problem, used the It-Sig wiki pages to create a page with the new URL’s. This I think is one of the amazing things about librarians and the internet. Rather than just bunker down, and fix her own problems, she looked at the technology to aid others in the same boat. Well done Claire!