UMMS Affiliation

Lamar Soutter Library



Document Type

Article Postprint

Medical Subject Headings

Libraries, Medical; Lamar Soutter Library; University of Massachusetts Medical School; Computer Communication Networks; Internet


Library and Information Science


This article details the process of upgrading and expanding an existing academic medical library intranet to include a wiki, blog, discussion forum, and photo collection manager. The first version of the library's intranet from early 2002 was powered by ColdFusion software and existed primarily to allow staff members to author and store minutes of library team meetings. Other ColdFusion-based applications and functions were subsequently added, as were various other library documents and procedures. As a follow-up to the library's strategic plan, a library Staff Intranet Team was organized in early 2008 to reorganize the content of the intranet and to identify software tools that would allow greater staff participation in maintaining and updating intranet content. Early steps in the process included brainstorming, a card-sorting exercise, product research, a staff survey, and paper prototyping. The team focused on implementing various open-source, ColdFusion-based tools in order to accommodate existing technology, available budget, and time constraints. Challenges in implementing the tools included bypassing or modifying existing authentication systems and applying modifications that led to loss of native functionality. Despite usability testing and staff training, library staff have not universally welcomed or adopted all the new tools. Notwithstanding these challenges, the renovated staff intranet has shown promise in furthering the goals in the library's strategic plan to improve communication and facilitate collaboration among library staff.

Rights and Permissions

This is the authors' final peer-reviewed version of an article published in: Vander Hart, R., Ingrassia, B., Mayotte, K., Palmer, L. A. & Powell, J. (2010). Upgrading a ColdFusion-Based Academic Medical Library Staff Intranet. Journal of Web Librarianship, 4(2), 129-141. doi:10.1080/19322909.2010.500865. Link to article on publisher's website


Libraries, Intranets, ColdFusion, Wikis, Blogs, Discussion Forums, Photo Collection, Training, Evaluation



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