I've been working towards making the library's online presence accessible to all audiences in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 is a federal law that requires agencies to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to electronic information and data. More information on Section 508 and its technical standards can be found at Section508.gov.
Today, I paid particular attention to contrast. Colors add design elements to your site but make sure it's compliant to accommodate those with difficulty seeing contrast between colors. The excellent video below came recommended by my coworker who recently ran a workshop for NOAA authors to help them understand the importance of contrast in their publications.
Our web pages were fabulously redesigned last year by my predecessor, and she did a fantastic job! Today I just had to tweak some of the colors to be compliant. I used the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool plug-in for Chrome which I got from WebAim. It was recommended by our web master and is an easy add-on to use. Simply go to the page you want to evaluate, and then click the "W" button in your toolbar and select "Contrast" from the panel to see any discrepancies.
In order to calculate some good replacement colors between backgrounds and text, I utilized the Color Contrast Checker at WebAim.org.
I had to ensure the new colors would be compliant with WCAG 2.0 required contrast ratios and I also wanted to stay loyal to the design. See the before and after results below. You can click each image to see it larger. I've made some other updates, but today's update was fun and allowed me to use some handy tools so I wanted to post about it in case it helps anyone out there.
Yay! I made it through. After 6 months of courses with Library Juice Academy, I completed my goal of learning more about Linked Data and the semantic web, earning a Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. Instructor Rob Chavez deserves a big mahalo for his thoughtfully laid-out lessons and assignments. I didn't continue with Sparql II or Sparql III, primarily because my current semester and the upcoming oral examination I need to pass in March is taking huge amounts of time and effort, but I hope to take more professional development courses in the future. I'll write more about my current internships, work, and the oral exams in another post. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!
During my internship this summer at Smithsonian Libraries, I was introduced to Linked Data concepts through a NISO vitual conference on BIBFRAME & Real World Applications of Linked Bibliographic Data, and some other meetings and discussions with members of the Digital Programs and Initiatives Division. Alvin Hutchinson recommended Library Juice Academy to the interns as a possible way to supplement our current academic curriculum if we were interested in learning more. In August, I registered for the first course (of six) in a series that awards a Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. All courses in this series are taught by Robert Chavez, who puts together month-long courses broken down into weekly modules with readings, examples, and assignments. Successful completion of each course allows you to progress towards the certificate. I definitely feel a greater understanding of these concepts largely attributed to Robert's course materials. I just registered for the final course in the series and if all goes well, should be getting a certificate next year. I'm willing to pay the extra money to learn concepts that aren't currently being taught at my own school and have enjoyed the experience so far!
I said I'd tell you what I did this summer at Smithsonian Libraries, and here it is in the blog post they asked me to write for them. :)
Chromebooks have been out for a while now, and I finally found myself purchasing one last week at Best Buy since my (not-so-trusty) macbook pro retina is, once again, in the shop.
Enter the Samsung Chromebook 2. Limited by choice (we only have Best Buy and WalMart in Honolulu), and finances (broke college student), I found myself in need of a backup laptop that was: affordable, portable, and reliable. Best Buy had a display table with 6 chromebooks on it. After putting my grubby little hands on all of them, and comparing the specs across them, I felt like the only one that wouldn't drive me insane was the 11.6" Samsung Chromebook 2. ($199). The rest of the Chromebooks felt really cheaply/shoddily constructed. Yes, my display kind of sucks, but it's good for what I need, which is note-taking and Internet browsing. Thankfully, I have a Best Buy credit card from the old days (when I worked full time) so I could easily purchase it with the option to pay it interest-free in 6 months. (As a note they do price-matching with Amazon.com if the product is sold by Amazon and not a third-party seller.)
Dropping Mad Library Science!
Here is where I write about everything library and archives related going on.