Identify a website of a library or information agency you are familiar with (as either an employee or user) that is utilising one or more Web 2.0 technologies to provide information services and/or learning support.
Based on your reading of Mathews (2009), Lazaris (2009), McBurnie (2007) and Governor et al (2009):
1.Develop your own set of criteria (up to 10 criterion) with regard to effective library website design; and
2.Evaluate the effectiveness of the selected library website based on your set of criteria, and identify aspects of this website that could be improved using Web 2.0 technologies.
Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).
The following is a checklist to be considered when developing an effective library website. The first 4 points are placed in hierarchic order, whilst the remaining 4 could all be considered as equal in importance.
- Up to date AND updated
- A Homepage, which is easy to understand and only needs a quick glance to find what is needed.
- One or more social networking tools used, including a consideration of apps for mobile use of the library.
- User friendly for desired patrons, including search box on each page.
- The appropriate tone is depicted through colour, font and general style.
- The Website reflects the library – it’s needs, ambience, style and purpose.
- The website caters for what the patrons want and need, NOT what the library thinks they want and need.
- The ability to easily comment and receive and provide feedback.
In addition to the above, the 4C’s – collaboration, conversation, community and content creation, should be the principles underpinning the creation of the website as a whole.
(Hay, 2012; Lazaris, 2009; Matthews, 2009)
CSU LIBRARY WEBSITE EVALUATION:
So how does the CSU library stand up to scrutiny?
The site certainly has a homepage, which is easy to navigate with detail to allow the patron to find and click on the desired information. The tone of the website is also in keeping with the academic nature of the library. The style is consistent with that of the main CSU website which allows for familiarity for the patrons.
I believe the website reflects the library quite accurately. It is professional and serious in style whilst also being quite detailed and modern. It offers a variety of services and a multitude of social networking tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, QR codes and blogs). These tools are used to encourage conversation, community and collaboration- not simply disseminate information. The site also offers live chat, online tutorials and a mobile app.
The use of social networking tools and particularly the mobile app shows the website is up to date with technologies and as recently at Jan 6 had been updated with the latest library news.
Feedback is also encouraged and invited.
The website does all of this while still adhering to it’s ‘core business’ of providing academic resources to students and staff.
The CSU Library appears to have a successful website which encompasses the many needs of its patrons. The 4 C’s of Library 2.0 are easily achieved within it as well.
Charles Sturt University Library. (2013). Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/index.html
Hay, L. (2012). Social Networking for Information Professionals [INF506 201290 Module 3]. Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from CSU website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/84cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21
Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practices, Smashing Magazine, (27 November). Retrieved 5 January, 2013, 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 5 January, 2013, from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126