TL Ponderings


Criteria for Library Web Site Design

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

The readings suggested for this activity give a comprehensive look at factors that influence website design by examining best practice libraries, children’s websites, online library identity and web 2.0 architecture. After scanning several library sites that may be of interest to my students, the audience, I decided to examine Parramatta City Council Library  which is not too far from my school. The page has a clean, fresh feel to it and is easily identifiable with the council home page through the use of a brand. There are several different options to search for resources prominent across the top which utilises a tabbed federated search box, with the body of the page dedicated to library news, promotion, and upcoming events keeping the site current and the content relevant. Navigation around the site is straight forward although you need to know the site map to link back to the library home page. The e-Resources page has a very clear guide to use and provides links to many ‘reliable’ online databases, no silo here. There are several ways to contact the librarian; through live support (leaving a phone message not really asynchronous communication), email and of course in person. Customer feedback seems important with an invitation to comment on your experience, positive or negative through paper form and online through contact us. The library has several Web 2.0 tools which enhance communication and engagement element that foster social networking, there is also a mobile element through Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and You tube and the library runs a separate blog to foster collaboration and possibly folksonomy in tagging. The style of the blog page ‘Parra Reads’  changes markedly from the main page making it more inviting through colour and a book shelf design.

Overall this library page fairs well with regards to the many criteria presented in the readings. Its pages don’t really have a high visual appeal nor do they particularly invite you into the physical library itself. It does not provide information
literacy tutorials, (possibly utilising podcasts) or how to’s or services available, nor does the site discriminate for different users for example children, or the many cultures residing in the area, the links catering for different languages are not that obvious.

Governor, J., Hinchcliffe, D, & Nickull, D. (2009). Web 2.0 architectures (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. [ebook] Available http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/9780596514433

Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practices, Smashing Magazine, (27 November). Retrieved from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/

Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February). Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity: Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October). Retrieved from http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/2510

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A – Z of Social Networking for Librarians

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

Brown, A. (2010). A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries. Retrieved from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/

At present my primary school library does not have a web page; I am yet to ‘get around to it’ although the plans have been developing for a while. Unlike 6 – 7 years ago when I first started as a TL and was in charge of creating the school web page, the software is so much easier and more over I’m not afraid of making mistakes – trial and error and delete. It may/will be my holiday task. Lorcan Dempsey on his Weblog ‘On libraries, services and networks’ talks about the 3 stages of a library website….

  1. Fragmentary – where the library site is in its 2.0 infancy and is a mix up, thrown together page of databases for managing information.
  2. Integrated supply – simplified (for the user) search function, a unified feel and look, ‘consistent management framework’ throughout the site’ and the visibility of the staff through blogs, ask a librarian and the possibility of feedback from the user.
  3. Demand influence – this is the stage when the needs of the users shape the content and the services available to from the library. Moreover, the library tries to ‘predict, meet and guide demand’ from the user.

With this in mind I have chosen the following five letters to help me embrace a library 2.0 ethos in my situation.

  • Active – a slightly different take on this term – knowing my users (read here teachers) I will need to be active in promoting my services, what I can do for my users, active in reminding them of the possibilities and opportunities out here in 2.0.
  • Direction – I need a plan.  What are the needs of my users? What do I want to achieve with my library’s presence on a web page? I want to support the school’s vision, mission and goals; I want to support the library’s mission and goals/objectives; I want to start small and be effective with the initial tools I chose to include so that my users continue to visit my page and see it as essential for progressing through primary school; I want students to read; I want to make teaching more relevant to students. I want, I want, I want……
  • Good reads – the heart of the primary library is literacy (yes multi-literacies) but promoting a love of reading is essential in young people to set them up as lifelong learners and readers.
  • Video – children love to see themselves on screen, they love to record and take film, teachers get ideas from seeing other people teaching the same thing in a different way and there is a plethora of good visual resources out there that can enhance education and interaction. Adding video to my social networking site, my school library page is a must.
  • Widgits and wikis – I couldn’t decide, where would we be without them.