Petuchovaitė, R. (2004), "Managing Your Internet and Intranet Services: The Information Professional's Guide to Strategy (2nd ed.)", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 60 No. 6, pp. 697-698. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410410568188
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Four years ago, the first edition of this book by Peter Griffiths was published. It probably was a discovery for many librarians starting their carrier in the unknown Web world, whether in public or private environments. The second edition comes into a totally different world, where almost globally the Internet has become a part of everyday life, not just for librarians and information specialists, but also for many people of different ages and occupations. Today, shelves of bookstores and libraries are packed with seemingly miles of books about the Internet and all its aspects, as is confirmed by the reference list of this particular book. The reader may well raise the question: “Why another one?”
Professional experience establishes the author's credentials as an expert in the subject. So the book is written by an information professional and, in the author's words, “aims to help library and information science (LIS) professionals whose responsibilities include the management of a Website”. The book focuses on strategic decisions and management of Web sites rather than on technical matters. The language of the book is easily comprehensible, free of technical jargon. The author's insights and ironic comments will definitely appeal to the readers: “On the web the world is your competitor. The cybercafe has its uses beyond serving coffee and providing tourists with e‐mail facilities”.There is some very useful advice how to act as a cyber‐detective pursuing to protect your intellectual property and copyright. It may be said that the material may be useful for the wider LIS community, but it is best fitted for a UK audience, as it presents mainly UK‐based experience in the matters that are location‐sensitive, e.g. legal and regulatory issues.
The contents of Managing Your Internet and Intranet Services cover a large and dynamic subject, organized in 13 chapters with some references at the end of each. The structure of the text follows the logical process of Web page creation, starting from an introductory: “The Internet revolution” chapter and ending with the “Golden rules of the Web page content” and “Resource list”. The latter also serves as a short explanatory dictionary of the main terms. Readers will find in the book the answers to many typical questions that are asked while planning a new Web page: why have a Web site? (Chapter 3 “Getting on the Web”), Who will be responsible? (Chapter 2 “LIS professionals and the Web”) What is a good library Web page? (Chapter 6 “Populating and organizing your Website”), etc.
The “Business case for creating a Website” (Chapter 4) discusses in detail the reasons and rationale – including business planning and budgeting matters – of Web page creation and maintenance. Web pages can be beneficial to the organization, but they also cost money: development stages require considerable investments, and also one must expect constant maintenance costs. Thus it is important for Web presence of organization or services, as for any other business item, to consider results and achievements.
It is regrettable that in this book such important issues for libraries and librarians as intranets and extranets have received just one chapter – “Your intranet” (Chapter 10). I would advise that readers interested specifically in the intranet turn to other sources; maybe some of those listed in the references. In this book one will find a basic understanding of the intranet, briefly covering its potential, common uses and problems. The final paragraph of the chapter presents extranets, a form of intranet where access of third parties is allowed, becoming more and more popular especially in the provision of services for customers and stakeholders.
In conclusion, this book is not for those who have been in the Web page business since the appearance of the first edition, or who had started even earlier. At least, not for reading it from beginning to end, they can happily skip paragraphs and chapters, browsing for some specific topics and advice. Nevertheless, this book – with a wide coverage of the main points – will be a very useful starting point for librarians before the engage with Web page management, and also useful for LIS students. To some extent, it also can serve as self‐learning material for librarians to gain confidence in seeking Web page‐related responsibilities, besides their traditional LIS roles. And, if put at an appropriate time on a senior manager's desktop, the book itself may be an advocate for the indispensability of LIS skills and professionals in the team responsible for the Web page and its services.