Assignment: Web Page Review: Dominican Rebecca Crown Library

October 19, 2007 at 10:13 pm Leave a comment

To the Library Director:

As part of the staff committee for library webpage review, I have spent many hours researching other Academic library webpages in order to determine if our webpage for the Rebecca Crown Library is without flaw or if improvements might be made to enhance its service to our students and patrons. To make this determination, I reviewed the Bowdoin College Library webpage and the Trinity College Library webpage.

Bowdoin Library

The Bowdoin College Library webpage is a simple webpage with much to offer. It was not over-run with pictures and not sparse of information. The links were all organized by useful headings such as: Find, Research Help, Services & Forms, About the Library and Library News. Each link was then listed underneath the headings, right there for the user to see; there was no need to click on each heading to find out what links the heading contained. There is a box on the homepage where the patron can search the library’s catalog and databases; they don’t have to go to another page in order to use the catalog! Also clearly displayed is the option for live help. Although live help is not offered around the clock, the button clearly shows if live help is available at the current time. There is also a very clear link for patrons to contact the webmaster and the library.

Trinity Library

The Trinity College Library webpage is visually more appealing than the Bowdoin College Library, but offers many of the same valuable resources to patrons. Users can search the library catalog and databases right from the homepage without having to click through several links in order to arrive at the catalog. There is also a link to the library blog and the capability to subscribe to their blog through an RSS feed. Offering Web 2.0 technology is a wonderful way to provide users a way to keep informed about the library. There is also a link to contact a reference librarian on the homepage that will immediately allow the patron to ask a question without having to click through several annoying links.

Dominican Rebecca Crown Library

The Rebecca Crown Library webpage could incorporate many features of the two above-mentioned college webpages to better serve our patrons. According to Nielsen’s Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005, “users want content that answers their questions” (Nielsen, 2005). By offering information upfront on our homepage, like Bowdoin and Trinity do, we will be serving our users more effectively. We need to allow our catalog and databases to be searched from our homepage and not have patrons click on several links. All links should be clearly displayed and accessible; organized under unifying headings. The Rebecca Crown Library blog should be accessible from the homepage and RSS should be made possible. We should have a links to get help from a librarian, contact the library and contact the webmaster on the homepage so users don’t have to do unnecessary clicking. There are many good thinks about our webpage. The link to the Dominican GSLIS homepage is a wonderful service and the font and colors are very appealing. The site is personal, although needs the above mentioned improvements to become easier to navigate. In short, the information is available on our webpage, but we need to make it easier to get to by providing links on the library homepage.

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