I'm Leon, digital manager at Suffolk Libraries. I manage our web and customer service teams, as well as several IT projects. I also help manage our network and staff and public PCs. My remit is anything running over the internet and on a screen.
Suffolk County Council contracts us to run the county's library service.
We design, build and manage our website in house, integrating it with several external services such as the catalogue of physical titles and ebook downloads. We manage PCs for 400 staff, hundreds of public PCs and our staff and public networks.
What I do
I build websites. Given a free reign, I'll prioritise speed and security over what I deem unnecessary features, so my preference is to use the following tools:
- A static site generator such as Jekyll. No database = ⚡️ fast, rock solid and impregnable websites.
- Secure (as in
https everywhere by default) hosting that integrates well with Github and APIs to provide dynamic features such as forms, events and automatic deploys (e.g. Netlify)
- Functional CSS, such as Tachyons
I can develop more traditional websites, complete with admin areas and databases. I'm comfortable with:
- Foundation and Bootstrap frameworks
- jQuery and jQuery plugins
- LAMP hosting
I've been interested in, and written about, subjects such as accessibility, design and writing for nearly a decade. I was there when we won the table wars and Firefox defeated IE6. This experience underpins how my organisations develop, publish and manage any web content.
I'll develop a strategy (complete with document) that'll answer the following sorts of questions:
- Who's responsible for producing content?
- How and when do we publish?
- How do we write for the web when no-one reads web pages?
- How do we find out what's important to our customers?
- How do we design content so it's readable?
I've managed several large scale projects where we've moved from a client to a web-based service. Most notably a project to develop and deploy library self-service software.
- Scope and definition
- Third party developers
- Stakeholder comms
What I don't do
For more complex web projects I'll select and manage third party developers. I've worked with top class agencies such as Clearleft and Dootrix.
In previous lives I've been a newspaper ad salesperson, telecoms engineer and teacher of English. If you were looking for a common thread you might argue I've always been interested in communication, user experience and technology.
I've published blog posts since 2008 on web design and writing, my work, politics, books, philosophy and other bits and pieces. These are my thoughts and opinions, not those of someone else, my employer or you.
I keep a journal of absolutely anything at This Day's Portion.