The purpose of this paper is to gauge how university libraries are currently handling web policies as well as to see if the role of the library webmaster has evolved.
A survey was created and an invitation to participate was sent to various electronic discussion lists. Most of the questions were quantitative and were coded to find trends in the responses.
Most of the respondents either are reference librarians or webmasters, and they are mostly staff or faculty. As increasing numbers of resources become available electronically, university library web pages are going to continue to play an important role in academia. Survey responses indicate that most libraries (52 percent) have developed a web policy and 64 percent have formed a web advisory committee to maintain their web content. Responses also indicate the desire for further training in keeping up with the new technologies and the increased workload due to the time spent in maintaining web pages.
Actual policies could have been collected but it seemed beyond the scope of this paper.
Developing a policy or forming an advisory committee is desirable as technology becomes more sophisticated and content and resources are proliferating, as seen in the trends indicated by this survey. Therefore, the amount of the web work can be decentralized and should be shared by all parties involved in order to maintain and enhance the quality of the library's web site.
While there have been many articles written about the role of webmasters in libraries, there appear to be few that deal with the policies of the library itself in regard to creating content for the web. This paper would be useful to academic librarians dealing with web policies.
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