Friday, November 5, 2010

VAPLD 's website

OveraLL, I think that our website is pretty good. We have a lot of information to offer people that they can access even when the library is closed. I do know that sometimes it is difficult to navigate to the information needed. When our staff asks me questions like "where on the webpage is..." that means that things need to be a bit more transparent. I like how the Schaumburg Library organizes their information. They have a "How do I?" section with dropdown menu. The description is : "Get Answers to frequently asked library questions. Makes sense to me! I do like our "television screen" that shows our different programs. I think that adds nice color and interest to our page. From a content creator point of view, I love that we use a content management system so that I can submit my own content. The tricky thing, is that not being familiar with the nuts and bolts of our CMS, I don't really know all that it can do, in terms of design.

One thing that drives me crazy on the VAPLD page, and I know it makes other folks nutsy too, are the drop down menus on the top level page that drop down right over the words on the top page. Mouse over Research and the whole menu pops up, even if you were just dragging your mouse over to the Kids page. I also wish there was more interactivity on our webpage. I realize it is not a blog, but I think that we are missing a great opportunity to get feedback from our patrons by not allowing them to comment directly on something, as they are used to on Amazon and blogs.

From the kids page standpoint, I know that there are changes that we want to make. I'm looking forward to spending some time looking at other library's kids pages, to see what they include or don't include, and how they get feedback from kids and their families.

One of VAPLD's greatest resources on our website are the subject guides. They used to be featured in an article on the web page, which has since scrolled off the screen. There needs to be some sort icon on the top page with a link to the guides. At the very least, it needs to be much more obvious
(is it there at all?) how to navigate to the subject guides from our menus.

In short, I think the website is good, but there are areas in which we can improve. That's the nice thing about the Internet though...things are always "under construction" and can often be updated on a moment's notice! :)

Write a blog post and share your thoughts on the library's website. What aspect of the website did you like the most? The least? Do you have any ideas for new services we can provide through the virtual branch? What other ways can the library improve its web presence?

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