Tag Archives: Web design

20 Great Public Library Websites

It IS possible to create a great website for a public library! Here are twenty examples…check them out!

 

#1

Multnomah County Library · Multnomah County, Oregon · http://www.multcolib.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Multi-lingual support
  3. Social media

 

#2

Salt Lake City Public Library System · Salt Lake City, UT · http://www.slcpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Library services
  3. Social media

 

#3

Cleveland Public Library · Cleveland, Ohio, USA · http://www.cpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. New acquisitions
  3. Mobile experience

 

#4

Iowa City Public Library · Iowa City, Iowa · http://www.icpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Programming
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Young people

 

#5

Princeton Public Library · Princeton NJ · http://princetonlibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Catalog searching
  3. Blog

 

#6

Columbus Metropolitan Library · Columbus, OH · http://www.columbuslibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. E-books
  2. Carousel
  3. Social media

 

#7

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh · Pittsburgh, PA · http://www.carnegielibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Young people
  3. Social media

 

#8

Lawrence Public Library · Lawrence, KS · http://www.lawrencepubliclibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Social media

 

#9

Brantford Public Library · Brantford, Ontario, Canada · http://brantford.library.on.ca

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Social media
  3. Carousel

 

#10

St. Louis County Library · St. Louis, MO · http://slcl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Social media
  3. Catalog searching

 

#11

Daniel Boone Regional Library · Boone & Callaway Co, Missouri · http://www.dbrl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Library news
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Catalog searching

 

#12

Arlington Public Library · Arlington, VA · http://library.arlingtonva.us

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Multi-lingual support
  3. Carousel

 

#13

New York Public Library · Bx, Manhattan, SI · http://www.nypl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Navigation
  3. E-newsletter

 

#14

William F. Laman Public Library System · North Little Rock, AR · http://www.lamanlibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Graphics
  2. Young people
  3. Catalog searching

 

#15

Scottsdale Public Library · Scottsdale, AZ · http://www.scottsdalelibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Social media
  3. Carousel

 

#16

Los Angeles Public Library · Los Angeles, California, USA · http://www.lapl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Multi-lingual support
  2. Young people
  3. Social media

 

#17

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library · Topeka · http://www.tscpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Young people
  3. Catalog searching

 

#18

McAllen Public Library · McAllen, TX · http://www.mcallenlibrary.net

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Library news
  3. Catalog searching

 

#19

Oak Park Public Library · Oak Park, IL · http://www.oppl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Events
  3. Catalog searching

 

#20

Birmingham Public Library · Birmingham, Alabama · http://www.bplonline.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Local indexes created in-house
  3. Blog

 

You can read about the things that these important libraries are doing at Library Science Daily. I publish it every morning.

 

Here I tried to list libraries that had beautiful websites. Did I fail to mention your library’s website? Leave a comment!

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: