WaSP Stings Libraries Over Outdated Books

WaSP bookmarkI’m a big fan of the Web Standards Project (WaSP), but my inner librarian groans over their latest tactic. In a recent post they warn: ”How many outdated web design and development books are lurking in your local library, school or college, waiting to corrupt an innocent mind?” True enough. Library shelves do indeed suffer from outdated materials of all kinds, and librarians have their hands full keeping up.

Where I take issue is their proposed tactic. They want fans like me to go around putting warning bookmarks in the offending tomes. How much better a use of energy it would be if WaSP fans contacted collection development librarians with lists of books to pull and prioritized lists of suggested books to add. That’s what I used to be (a collection development librarian, that is) and I would have welcomed an assist like this.

I know it lacks the flamboyance of littering the shelves with cute little bookmarks, but it’s so much faster and more effective, not to mention better library manners. Think — you could even donate some of the good books and put WaSP placards in the front — or maybe even include some WaSP Good Book bookmarks for readers to pluck and enjoy.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Anna Belle,

    The bookmark placing is used to not only attract the attention of the librarian and library but to attract attention to the patron and/or user of the book who finds this bookmark.

    This ‘street team’ approach was developed to reach an audience who otherwise may not know about web standards and become interested enough to look deeper. These same people may then reach out to others and help spread the information. The others could be coworkers, bosses, educators, and so on.

    It really is time to help those beyond our reach get the message about Web Standards, this is only one way in which we can try to help.

    Each bookmark has a link to a list of suggested books which cover standards and should be helpful.

    Many libraries have reference personnel who are more than happy to take recommendations on new titles or suggestions of new books — maybe the patron finding this bookmark will print such a list and hand it to the library staff or suggest the link to the library staff? Others have contacted us and said they might just donate the books to the library on their own [another great idea which this bookmark project inspired].

    It is our hope to help others see the importance of web standards – at all levels – not just Educational institutions, but also to the general public who may be interested in developing a web site. It would be very helpful if they had the right resources or books to guide their work.