Two School of Information Studies (iSchool) seniors recently completed work on an updated online directory system for the Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC) as their capstone project for Professor Marcene Sonneborn’s IST 466 class, Professional Issues in Information Management and Technology.

The Council’s previous online directory was just a simple list of their dues-paying members, and did not have the capabilities to showcase the many branch libraries and other community institutions that also receive CLRC member benefits from their parent organizations. 

Senior  Information Management and Technology majors Sam Kluender and Jordan Spector worked throughout the fall semester to evaluate the CLRC’s needs and developed a new system that met the organization’s requirements.

“First, Sam and I had to familiarize ourselves with the disparate underlying components that made up the CLRC’s website,” said Spector. “Then, by gaining a contextual understanding of how each functional area worked on the back end, we were able to evaluate and choose the best course of action to take in building out the directory.”

“The biggest challenge was trying to figure out a way to develop on WordPress what we were envisioning in a way that had all of the features and abilities that the CLRC wanted, and would also be easy for the CLRC members to manage, edit, and use,” added Kluender.

“My education at the iSchool helped me cultivate many of the skillsets that were necessary to accomplish this project, and previous course experience in project management and systems analysis was instrumental in helping us manage our deliverables and maintain a clear channel of communication with project stakeholders,” said Spector. “In addition, courses in web design helped me deliver the custom solutions I programmed in languages like PHP, HTML, and CSS. Having worked with various content management systems in the past, I was excited to leverage that experience within a WordPress environment.

“I am very happy with how everything turned out and the CLRC seems to be very happy as well,” said Kluender. “It was a great way to put what I’ve learned at the iSchool into action. Working with the CLRC to help them complete this project was very similar to how working on projects in the real world in a full-time job would be.”

Spector concurred, “I am grateful to Professor Sonneborn for facilitating this opportunity, and to the iSchool, which provided immense support in developing my skills as a leader and a professional.”

The Council is indeed pleased with the added functionality of their new member directory.

“Sam and Jordan worked enthusiastically and diligently through the fall semester to provide us with this solution, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” the organization said in a release. ”They have even gone above and beyond to extend support past their deadline – a huge thank-you to Sam and Jordan!”