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Design Background

Beginnings

I first became interested in web design in the early 1990's. While working as Catalog Coordinator for the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC), I became involved in helping to design our first website. Initially, my involvement centered on the interface for the online curriculum catalog, but I became fascinated with the whole concept of web site creation and as I began cataloging internet resources for our catalog, I also started examining the source code and learning all that I could on my own.

In 1998 I began my formal training by taking a series of workshops through Kent State University's School of Library and Information Science/Continuing Education program. Through these workshops, I learned the basics of HTML coding, including the creation of tables and forms, use of graphics, and design principles. I immediately fell in love with HTML!

The Biology Project's Web Design Workshop

The next year, 1999, offered a unique opportunity for myself and my friend Lynda Titterington. Lynda is an adjunct instructor at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH, where she teaches a class in Human Pathophysiology. As part of her dissertation work at Ohio State University, she wanted to explore the use of online case studies for her class. In her research she discovered that The Biology Project at the University of Arizona held an annual workshop to help people development instructional websites in various topics in biology. Lynda and I talked about this and finally applied for the workshop. We were so thrilled when we were awarded a fellowship to attend! This week-long intensive training was one of the best professional development experiences I have ever had. Incredible instructors worked with us on basic design, graphics, scripting, as well as providing a thorough overview of many instructional design concepts.

International Webmasters Association/HTML Writers Guild eClasses

My "career" in web design now firmly in place, I continued to develop my skills through reading, working with the web designers at ENC, and membership in The HTML Writer's Guild (HWG). Now merged with the International Webmasters Association (IWA), IWA/HWG offers an amazing series of online courses in web topics from HTML coding through programming with PERL and JavaScript. I've taken over 10 of IWA/HWG workshops and have learned so much! [See the professional development section of my C.V. for a listing of the courses I've taken.] I earned my certificate in Web Technologies in August 2003.

My recent love for XHTML coding comes from Chimène Long, who teaches Introduction to XHTML and Intermediate XHTML. She has taught me so much about the importance of well-formed and valid code. Another instructor, Cheryl Iverson, has helped me develop my design skills. Cheryl teaches Introduction to Web Design and Web Design Workshop, two classes which really focus on the whole design process from initial client interview and writing site specifications to the final design and testing process. Cheryl and Chimène are both great instructors and I'm very grateful to them for sharing their expertise and providing such great feedback!

Recent Career

In my recent position at the University of Akron, I still did some web design work even though I was "officially" a cataloger! I served on the University Libraries (UL) Web Team, serving as webmaster for the UL website from Aug. 2002-Sept. 2003. With my colleague Christine Rigda, I developed a website for the Cataloging Department and continued to maintain that site until my retirement in 2016. After 35 years in various positions in various libraries, it was time to take a break. With retirement, I'm hoping to get myself up to speed with the latest HTML and CSS coding since I hadn't done much web design the last few years of my librarian career. I still love it; just didn't have time to work on things with work, health issues, and other things.

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