A really great presentation if you plan on going mobile with your library website. This presentation will walk you through some things to consider when thinking about the functionality and content of your library’s mobile presence, and point to useful tools for building your mobile website. Rachel has done a really great job detailing all the specifics of mobile development.
Websites are the electronic front door to your library; as such they deserve the same planning and care that your library receives. Websites are a form of marketing and a way of reaching otherwise unserved customers. A library website can be a vital information resource for your community; capitalize on the opportunity. Bear in mind that a web page is not a website. Displaying the depth of information and resources available at the library requires more than a single page.
The Office of Library and Information Services Local Library Development Team and Web Publishing Team have developed the following basic guidelines for the content and design of public library websites. These guidelines are designed to support libraries in designing are great website. These refer directly to information and resources that should be available through a library’s website.
Library Home Page
- Library name, location and phone
- Library hours
- Link to branch information
- Link to catalog
- Links to services, programs, calendar, and about the library
- Link to site map
- News and events
- Link to “support the library”, Friends group, or a way to get involved as a library supporter
About the Library
- Contact information: name, address, phone number, fax number of the library
- Branch locations (if any) and contact information for the branches
- Library hours
- Key personnel and contact numbers and/or e-mail addresses
- Directions to the library
- Board of Trustees members
- Board of Trustees meeting dates/agenda
- Friends group officers, activities, and membership application
- Library mission statement
- Library policies (especially for library cards, loan periods, use of the meeting room, computer use, unattended children)
- Contact Us link and/or virtual suggestion box
- Annual report
- Long-range plan
- History of the library
- Library newsletter (if any)
- Trustee by-laws
- Trustee meeting minutes
- Volunteer information
- Images of the library
Programs and Services
- Children’s services
- YA/Teen services
- Literacy services and programs
- Disability services
- Classes/workshops (if offered)
- Museum and park passes
- Calendar of events
- New books listing
- Staff recommendations listing
- Parents section
- Teachers section
- Seniors section
Reference and Research Information
- Link to library catalog
- Link to OSL home page
- Electronic resources
- Reference links
- Virtual reference services (email/IM)
- Special collections
- Search engines and directories
- Local history page
- Genealogy page
- Connections to other libraries
- Statewide Reference Resource Center
- Instant Answers
- Ask a Librarian
- Design by the 10 second rule: a visitor should be able to find a link to your catalog, your locations, your programs, your resources, or your key personnel in less than 10 seconds from any page on your site
- Include the library name on every page (the name should be prominently displayed as a header and included in the <title> tag on the page)
- Include library address, phone, and “contact us” link on every page (possibly as footer if not in header)
- Provide clear and consistent navigation throughout the site; include a link to the library homepage on every page
- Include a site map, and provide a link to it on every page
- Avoid library jargon, e.g., provide a link to the library catalog
- Make sure pages load quickly — limit the use of images and text graphics; compress file sizes for all images
- Avoid flashing objects and multi-colored text that distract a visitor’s attention
- Avoid pages longer than 2 screens; users will not scroll down to find information
- Make sure the page is accessible to users with disabilities
- Libraries meet ADA requirements; websites should have a comparable level of accessibility as specified in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Federal Section 508 Standards for Electronic and Information Technology
- Check your pages in multiple browsers to be sure they render correctly, e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape (Mozilla), Firefox, Opera, even on a Mac (Safari)
- Librarians are experts at organizing information; library websites should reflect this!
This presentation is about promoting your library site, how to allocate content, navigation tips and many other useful information. We have created many library websites and found this presentation very helpful so we decided to share on our blog.
- Best Practices in School Library Website Design – This is a discussion of issues which you should consider when planning your website or blog.
- Five Things That Every School Library Web Site Should Have. – From the Adventures of Library Girl Blog.
- Web Design that won’t get you in Trouble – The legal issues in developing a library web page.
- Design Tenets for Web Pages – By the Bellingham Public Schools.
- Guidelines for Designing Successful School Websites – by the Connecticut Department of Education.
- Accessible Design for Library Web Sites – This guide to writing library web sites has good real-life examples and includes design considerations for special needs users. This site was written by Iona Derman.
- Usability of Web Sites for Teenagers – Points to consider in the design of web sites. By Jakob Neilson, Jan., 2005.
- Web 2.0 in School Libraries – If writing a web site looks difficult, you might want to do a blog or wiki. Look here for more information on web 2.0 applications such at blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking.
- Web4Lib – Electronic discussion group for library web site managers.
- Virtual Library Guide to Writing Your Own Web Page – Browsers, HTML, graphics and other page writing aids.
- How to Build a Web Page in 25 Steps – A humorous look at the difficulties of creating your web page – and it is all sooooo true.
- Exemplary School Library Web Sites – Chosen by School Media Toolbox. Do not be overwhelmed by these if you are just beginning.
- School Library Web Sites – by Joyce Valenza
- LibWeb : Libraries on the Web – This is a long listing of public and university libraries with web sites. Visit a few of these libraries to get ideas on how to design your web page.
This presentation, given by Steve covers trends in mobile website design and the endless possibilities for public libraries. Library apps are critically reviewed while simpler, less expensive mobile website techniques are favored.
A great presentation on library website design and requirements.
You are a librarian, not a web developer, but you can have a library website that fulfills the needs of patrons and library staff. If you keep it things simple and don’t take on more than you can administer, and concentrate on what you know and do well it will be a piece of cake.
Building a great and user friendly website for a public library, you need to look at it from two perspectives. First, you will need to look at it from a librarian’s point of view.
What will your patrons need, and how can you best service their needs? This is the easy part as it comes with the profession. So coming up with that info should be a fairly easy task.
Second, you need to look at it like web designer as someone who has an eyed for design and knows what the users looks for in a website. Since most librarians are not trained as a web designer, that could be a daunting task and be a complete waste of time.
Gallery of great public library websites:
Best thing is to focus on what you know and what you do best, and spend as little time on what you don’t know as possible. Since you are trained and experienced in managing a library, that’s where you should be focusing your professional energy.
Think of your website as an extension of your technology or media center — you weren’t the one who build that yourself, right? Of course not, because you’re not a constriction worker! The same goes for a website.
What few librarians understand is that building a great, usable, easy to use, accessible, attractive public library website that meets the needs of patrons and staff is every bit as difficult and as complicated as designing a good building that meets the needs of everyone. If people built buildings the way they build websites, there would be too many rooms with no doors, rooms that no one would use, and hallways that didn’t lead anywhere; you wouldn’t be able to tell what a room was for or even whether the door opened to the inside or the outside of the building until you opened it; and the roof would leak every time it rained!
The good news is, you can hire a web design professional to build and maintain your website and do it right the first time.
They key is that you don’t need a complicated website because public libraries are mostly informational so something very simple will probably meet your needs. Most libraries use Dreamweaver to edit their websites but the use of content management systems has made it so easy that you don’t have to do the technical work yourself, but rather mange all content online and is as easy as using Microsoft word.
If you have any questions about designing a library website feel free to contact us.
Employing a online strategy to sell directly to consumers and to compete directly with traditional wholesalers and retailers.
Software developers have used the internet as a highly effective distribution channel to complement sales through wholesalers and retailers. Selling online directly to end users has the advantage of cutting out the costs and margins of software wholesalers and retailers as much as 30-50% of the retail price. In addition, allowing customers to download their software purchases immediately via the internet eliminates the costs of producing and packaging CDs. However, software developers are still strongly motivated to continue to distribute their products through wholesalers and retailers to maintain broad access to existing and potential users who, for whatever reason, may be reluctant to buy online. Despite the channel conflict, there are two major reasons why manufactures might want to aggressively pursue online sales and establish the internet as an important distribution channel alongside traditional channels:
1.they make a far bigger profit margin from online sales
2.it helps educate buyers to the ease and convenience of purchasing online, thus encouraging more and more buyers to migrate to buying online where company profit marking are greater
This sell direct positioning strategy is well suited for companies in industries where there are good long-term prospects for the internet to evolve into a company’s primary distribution channel. In such instances, incurring the channel conflict in the short term and competing against traditional distribution allies makes good strategic sense.
A big strategic issue for online retailers is whether to perform order fulfillment activities internally or to outsource them. Building central warehouses, stocking them with adequate inventories, and developing systems to pick , pack and ship individual orders requires substantial start-up capital but may result in lower overall unit costs than would paying the fees of order fulfillment specialists who make a business of providing warehouse space, stocking inventories, and shipping orders for online retailers.
Outsourcing is likely to be economical unless an ecommerce business has the high unit volume and the capital to invest in its own order fulfillment capabilities. Overstock.com, an online superstore consisting of thousands items has partnerships with many leading brand-name companies and uses outsiders to stock and ship those products.
Dealing with all the risks and opportunities of an emerging and ever changing online industry is one of the most challenging business strategy problems. To be successful in an emerging online industry companies usually have to pursue one or more of the following tactical avenues.
- Try to win the early race for industry leadership with risk-taking entrepreneurship and bold, creative strategy. A few good examples are Google, Apple regardless how many other companies have tried to compete with them they have not succeeded. Broad or focused differentiation strategies keyed to technological or product superiority typically offer the best chance for early competitive advantage.
- Push to perfect the technology aspects, to improve products or service quality, and to develop additional attractive performance features. For instance adding new functionality features to your website such as live chat, 24-hours support phone etc., can tremendously help your chances in staying competitive.
- As Web 2.0 technological uncertainty clears and a dominant technology emerges, adopt bearer on expertise and to pioneer the dominant product design, businesses have to beware of betting too heavily on their own preferred technological approach or product design — especially when there are many competing technologies, research and development is costly, and technological developments can quickly move in a surprising new directions.
- Form strategic alliances with key influencers in your industry to gain access to specialized skills, technological capabilities, and critical materials or components.
- Acquire or form alliances with businesses that have related or complementary technological expertise so as to outcompete rivals on the basis of technological superiority. If you are a PR marking company try reaching out to high-tech web development agencies and collaborate or share resources with current clients.
Try to capture any first-mover advantages associated with early commitments to promising technologies, allying with most capable influencers, expanding product/service selection, improving styling, capturing experience curve effects, and getting well positioned in new distribution channels. Facebook , Twitter are the perfect examples of first mover advantage. Facebook not only swept MySpace out of its own business model but it created something what we now call “social media”. Facebook may have been the second or third after MySpace or Zynga but they made it into a first mover advantage.
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