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The home page of the University of Sunderland made an immediate impact on me. Part of the text says that it is a ‘dynamic modern university’. The immediate web impact is in line with that message. If that is what they wanted to convey, they succeeded – with this reader anyway.
Continuing the theme of Universities and music 😉 they currently offer a Nike MP3 player on the home page as a prize.
Moving through to information services yields another pleasant surprise. The library web presence is fresh and light. Immediately recognizable as a Plone-based site. As a short-staying visitor, I did not really assess how usefully or otherwise resources were arranged on the site. But I did like the sense you had of being in a managed space.
Moving through to some of the the library online services …. oops. Various of the linked services have their own style. It is like stepping out into the cold. Because of the good work done in creating a consistent ‘space’, they seem ‘outside’ in some way.
It is this type of experience which drives the desire to be able to better surface library resources in a variety of environments as a more integrated part of the user experience. Which is, of course, not always easy! Even for resources under the libary control. It will have to get easier.
Note: I went to the Sunderland site because I noted on the excellent BBC that Estelle Morris, former UK secretary of state for education had joined the University.