Good Library Webpage Content


Based on the principles in Letting Go of the Words by Janice Redish (2007), good content is:

  • a conversation (pay attention to your audience!)
  • answers questions (focus on the facts!)
  • grab & go info (we’re busy and have other things to do!)

Here are two examples of how a library can use its online presence to accomplish these goals.  They demonstrate empathy by valuing the time their patrons spend when visiting their site for information bygiving them the facts in a easy to scan and read format. (Redish, 2007).

The City Library: About

TheCityLibraryAboutPageWebsite:  https://www.slcpl.org/about/

This is one of my favorite library websites; I love their use of white space, color and meaningful images.  But, I wasn’t sure how they would handle a tall order an About page for a very large library system.  Their About page defaults to the Locations & Hours page (it should be highlighted so we know that) which consists of a simple, non-fussy contact form and an attractive list of their locations accompanied by a nice photo of each one.

The content is divided by clear categories in the right sidebar menu to dig deeper into the site for more specific information.  The City Library handles the complicated matter of sharing too much information at once beautifully by channeling a smooth path by utilizing the menu to manage the overflow of information (Redish, 2007).  There is a risk of getting lost while going in deeper as the side bar menu changes, but the About tab on top stays consistently in place, along with their signature logo for consistent branding and site recognition (Redish, 2007).

Live Oak Public Libraries: Story Stones

LiveOakLibraryStoryStonesWebpage:  http://www.liveoakpl.org/events/summer_reading/story_stones.php

This announcement for a children’s program is perfectly succinct and readable.  It offers a general idea of the activity with a single image that is gender neutral (Redish, 2007).  It gives the age group the event is targeted towards as well as the presenter’s name and qualifications for conscientious parents.  This is followed by a list of library branches, phone numbers, dates and time surrounded by a lot of white space that is easy to read.  The only thing I wondered about was why some library names/numbers are in bold and some not.  I know some web editors have a difficult interface and I’ve wrestled with my share of stubborn posts that refused to do what I wish, so I put it down to that.  Regardless, this is a perfect example of keeping announcements simple and attractive.

 

Redish, J. (2007). Letting go of the words: Writing Web content that works. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

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