Hacking Blackboard: Customizing Access to Library Resources Through the Blackboard Course Management System

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lynda M. Kellam, Data Services & Government Information Librarian (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Academic libraries have long been trying to gain access to users through their favorite online spaces, such as social networking sites. In this article a project of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's University Libraries, which integrated library resources with the campus course management system, Blackboard, is detailed. The main objective was to push the best resources to students based on their actual needs. For years, static HTML Web pages were created, but the proliferation of these pages required tremendous maintenance. In addition it is not certain that students are able to access the most relevant resources buried deep in the Web site. Because of these challenges, the Course Resources Tool and the Library Resources Portal were created to provide high levels of customization based on information that was gathered from users as they log into Blackboard. The tools have been customized so that subject specialist liaisons can integrate library resources at the major, department, course, and course section levels. Despite some difficulties in launching and promoting these projects, there has been positive feedback. There was also an increase in usage statistics that rivals the use of the library's main Web site. This article describes the tools, documents the difficulties with each phase of the project, and discusses the lessons learned. Also, a brief overview of possible expansions of the Blackboard Course Resources Tool and the Library Resources Portal is provided.

Additional Information

Journal of Web Librarianship 3(4), 349-363
Language: English
Date: 2009
Blackboard, course resources, academic libraries, course management systems, Web application, integration, customization, subject specialist, Google, Library 2.0, ASP.NET, Web services, research guides, subject guides

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