I wrote to ALA
They Wrote Back

Subject: your new website is terrible
To: feedback@ala.org
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 15:54:51

your new website is terrible.

most of the old URLs no longer work.
You did not warn us that this would happen.

the search is so slow it breaks.

there are 50 images on the front page and it loads slow over my DSL.

The URLs are impossible to pronounce, much less write down.

if any of this is a "temporary" problem, you should not have made the site live today. It makes you look like clowns, and it makes me, who gave you money, feel like a clown.

you are librarians, you are the people who are supposed to be most able in today's tough times, to manage information and be able to find things. the website is a disgrace, it is a kludge and it is embarassing for me to have to tell people how lame it is,. since it is national library week and all.

I wrote an article TWO WEEKS ago with links to current PATRIOT Act articles, using your website and those links 404. They don't even redirect, they just die. The new URLs, once I found them using the search are *140 characters long* they are untypeable.

Your site map is a joke, it's 73 screens long, by my estimation and takes minutes to load via my DSL.

I hope, for both our sakes, that this is only an intermediate stage and that you sent it live because of National Library Week, but maybe you're just late for April Fool's Day.


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 13:26:16 -0500
To: jessamyn@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: your new website is terrible


Thank you for providing thoughtful feedback on ALA's redesigned website. We are reading and considering each response and have been working to improve a number of aspects of the site. I apologize for not acknowledging your comments earlier, but as you might expect, we were focused on helping people find specific pages ... as well as working on the various technical issues you comment on.

Again, thanks for the input ... we are listening.

-- Karen Muller
Librarian and Knowledge Management Specialist
American Library Association