Author Archives: Matt Anderson

Content Marketing on Your Library Website

  • Content can help get more visits to the library website
  • It can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • What kind of content do university homepages use?

 

Easy content marketing ideas:

  • “5 ways that the library can help you with finals”
  • “10 ways to research for your philosophy paper”

 

Demonstrating whether your content marketing works:

  • Page visits
  • Social media shares
  • Event attendance

Mobile Optimization for Your Academic Library Website

First, a couple graphs on mobile usage from Mary Meeker…

 

Smart phones and tablets will soon become our primary personal computers.

Mobility strategy will be necessary for:

  • Catalog discovery
  • Library marketing
  • Student account management
  • Siri-like tools for finding things on campus

 

 

When links are close together, users hit the wrong links and become frustrated.

  • A reason to avoid lists of links

 

Don’t

  • Have items that patrons click right next to each other
  • Repurpose a mobile site design from a larger screen layout

 

Do

  • Design from scratch for the small screen sizes you wish to support
  • Use Responsive Web Design for library sites to minimize:
    • Resizing
    • Panning
    • Scrolling

 

Creating a mobile site design or a native mobile app will create a different user experience

  • Here are some examples…

Is USC successful?

 

 

Developing an Android native app:

  • It isn’t difficult to make an Android app
  • Android devices are not very standardized
  • Android apps tend to have a lot more bugs than equivalent iOS apps

Developing an iOS app:

  • Much easier to develop
  • Smaller share of the market

 

Other mobile technologies that academic libraries are beginning to use:

  • ILS-sent text messages about due dates/times, library events, etc.
  • Texting a call number/URL to a mobile device
  • Texting a librarian for reference questions
  • QR codes that send people to parts of the library website

Generous Interfaces for Library Websites

Generous interfaces are the current work of Mitchell Whitelaw, University of Canberra…

  • Give users visual things to engage with; not a list of links
  • Show users something first, before they search or click on something

 

Examples of non-generous (stingy) interfaces…

 

Examples of generous interfaces:

 

Academic libraries will gradually shift to generous interfaces over the next five years, with large icons appearing where links once did.

Academic Library Websites in the Next 5 Years

Academic library websites 5 years ago…

 

In the last 5 years, online focus had turned to:

  • One-box resource search
  • Faceted search
  • Traditional OPAC -> Summon/ Primo discovery tools
  • Online reference chat
  • Social media

 

Academic library websites today: the focus of each site circled…



 

Academic library websites in the next 5 years…

  • For some academic library users, the only library experience they have will be via the library’s online interface

 

Library websites will need to figure out mobile-friendly ways to link to:

  • Research help
  • ILL
  • Faculty info
  • Catalog
  • Subject guides
  • New mobile device services

…But they’ll do it in the context of a 2015 design, not a 2005 design.

 

In the next 5 years, academic libraries will work on the following: