CIL 2011 — Building Great Websites

Speakers:  Amanda Etches-Johnson and Aaron Schmidt (both work for consultant firm, Influx)

Most users see us through the catalog, which we have little control (vendor specific).  OCLC “Perceptions” says that 0 % of users begin online searching via the library.

Library web page need balance between usefulness, desirability, and functionality.  Librarians should be centered on content strategy, and ask themselves what are their critical tasks, e.g. pay fines, hours, databases, etc.  Librarians should perform a content audit.  The audit should catalog everything on the web page, including urls, jpgs, mp3s, etc.  The page should be kept small.  Amanda has a page at http://influx.us/onepager that anyone can use as template for a library web page.  It works well on mobile devices, and anyone can download the code, play with it, and use it.

There are four stages of library website development:  Basic, Destination, Participatory and Community Portal.  Basic is just the necessary information, and has only relevant functionality.  Destination development includes librarian generated content, such as book reviews.  Participatory has serious user generated content (e.g. photo sharing) in which patrons create a culture (e.g. Hennepin County Library, http://www.hclib.org/).  Community Portal development happens when the library website works as a community platform and becomes a databank for the community (e.g. community shares genealogical information).

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