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Universal Design for Learning (UDL): * Link Requests/SEO

Many students do not want to self-identify as disabled. If you design your course from the start with learning differentiation in mind, everyone does better, and special accommodation needs can disappear

All the reasons why your clients should not send me requests to have their link put on our library website:

Library bias is to find the best possible information for our educational needs,
without leading students into questionable websites that might take advantage of them or lead them into unethical behavior.

My personal bias is to use resources that I have found from searching: 

  1. Library websites, so the links are reviewed by other librarians. (Peer-reviewed)
  2. Government resources (especially statistics) found with USA.gov (Bias - self-justification for tax dollars well spent)
  3. Open Educational Resources (OER) (Peer-review, some copy rights opened to allow instructors to revise and reproduce content.)
  4. Free Relevant Content on Professional Association websites (reputation to risk, therefore more reliable)
  5. .edu websites, university recommended or related websites (Peer-review, reputation to risk)

If I am still not finding something to illustrate a concept, then I consider .com, .net, .org websites 

  1. with Relevant Content that is not littered with adds and 
  2. has a signature with Current date

  3. Contact Us with working info., 

  4. About Us info explaining Bias

avoid 

URLs pushed to me by requests to link.

  • Occasionally I will look at them. Although I get these requests weekly and sometimes daily, I don't have time to judge if I can somehow put them into our resource lists to replace a less useful website. 
    • It is faster for me to look for the specific illustration I want. 

      • Of the hundreds I have received, I have added perhaps 3 links, but only after chewing on it a while, and deciding it actually did add a significant point of view or illustration. 

        • I usually don't have time to do such an analysis.

I also avoid

  1. websites that don't pass recommendations I have made on Evaluating Sources (especially poorly designed websites that look like covers for ad quilts.)
  2. content bait that is hosted on a website selling essays, unethical homework aid, legal advice, rehab options (patient brokering issue), or non-topic-related services.
  3. websites hosted on domains that have a bad reputation or odd info on Domaintools.

  4. websites with low rating; website to for-profit colleges or links that are a conflict of interest, or don't have FVTC as a client or in their search results list.

  5. websites that are similar but less attractive or less easy to use than what I already have.

I also weed out links that are never or rarely used.

So, the bar is high and is slanted towards Recent, Relevant, Reliable, links that have a Reputation to Risk.

I now answer the bulk of link-add-requests with "Unsubscribe"

I have NO idea why people selling contact lists for conferences and expos think we are a possible customer.  We have no budget for marketing, we do not accept any paid advertising or blog posts, and the links are only for illustration in place of creating our own illustrations.

I understand that trying to get your links on authoritative websites, especially.edu websites, is a common marketing strategy.  

However, I stick to my bias of providing the best possible free resources off the internet to supplement our subscriptions and purchased resources.

For libraries with little or no marketing budget: Some resources can be used without joining; the 7-day risk-free trial is something I found useful as well. -Val

Try free account
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