vivkraus’s Weblog


Web Page Review
October 20, 2007, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Director,

I have been researching other academic library homepages to search for ways that our Rebecca Crown Library homepage can be improved to better support the students, faculty, and staff who use it.  The important aspects of a good academic library homepage are already included in our homepage: a library blog, policy information, a chat reference librarian, inter-library loan access, access to databases, phone numbers, history, events and much more.

First, I would like to talk about what is most important for the user in an academic library homepage.  I believe the most important aspect is to make research available to the user as easy and quickly as possible.  The users in an academic setting are: undergraduates, graduates, faculty and/or staff.  All of these users would use the library homepage to conduct research of some sort.  Examples being; using databases, searching the catalog or using Ref Works.  To make research easier, the user-friendliness of a academic library homepage is important.   It is of my opinion that our RC library homepage is not as user friendly as it could possibly be.  The homepage does not provide any direct search boxes for the library catalog or databases, but does provide information about the library.  Information about the library, such as renovation is important, but not more important than providing students, faculty and staff with direct access to information that they might be looking for.  The Dominican user has to click on the small icons to access any search boxes.  http://www.dom.edu/library/

As an example, the Columbia Library homepage has the important information needed to immediately start a user with the ability to  search for information, making research or obtaining information quicker and easier.  This particular library homepage has a very simple layout,  is user friendly, aesthetically pleasing, not cluttered and definately uses user-oriented words, thus making it very user friendly.  I find it so simple and helpful to the user because all a user has to do is click on those direct links provided, to find books, find articles, find movies, etc. and a search box will appear.   Check it out for yourself, http://www.lib.colum.edu/

Another example of a library homepage that is also very user friendly and uses user friendly-oriented vernacular   is the Walter E. Helmke library at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.  This library homepage makes accessing information even easier for the user.   Search boxes are provided for books, articles, websites, etc. directly on the homepage making it user friendly and allowing the patrons to access their needed information even more  quickly than on the Columbia homepage.   The issue I see with this particular homepage is that I find the colors to be too monotone and the homepage is not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye than our RC Library homepage and also has no human element. http://www.lib.ipfw.edu/

All in all, the improvement that I find that our RC Library homepage that is most important is to provide search boxes directly on the homepage, making obtaining information quicker and easier.

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