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School Library Website Review (Part 2)

Last week I provided a general overview of your website and focused on your homepage. Let’s move to another website topic this week.

Is your website user-friendly and age-appropriate for your patrons. Consider using part of your lessons as a time to review different pages with different audience groups from your school. Think of it like a market study or focus group.

See what jumps out at them from each page. What they see may not be a match for what you intended the page to be. If you went to library school then I know you studied information seeking behavior for students of various ages in one course or another. We need to think back to some of the things we learned. And, we also need to remember that we serve an audience that includes more people than just students.

The following study points out some key things we need to take into account to make our websites usable. How Usable Are School Library Websites? A Random Sample from All Fifty States.You can do a self-study of this research article. But, one big idea I picked up on is to remember that your patrons use your website for a variety of reasons. And these reasons should not all be crammed onto one super long webpage.

For example, are your students there to seek help with coursework or are they there to explore and find things that interest them on a personal level?

Are parents on your website seeking help with the remote learning schedule or how to use Zoom or Google Hangout?

Are teachers on your website looking for things they can use in their hybrid classrooms?

Let’s focus a little on the students who are seeking help with coursework. Create a tab/button on your homepage that includes quick access to these other pages on your website:

Digital Resources

  • Link to OPAC

  • Link to LMS (if applicable)

  • Links to Digital Resources

  • Link to Local Public Library

  • Link to Local College Library (if applicable)

  • How do they reach you if they need support?

A Research Guide Section

  • Research Guide template

  • Citation Guidance

  • Search Strategy Help

  • Video Tutorials

  • How do they reach you if they need support?

Instructional Support

  • Assignment Links

  • Assignment Handouts

  • Assignment Rubrics

  • Recommended Reading Lists

  • Recommended Apps/Websites/Web 2.0 Tools

  • How do they reach you if they need support?

Remote Learning

  • An obvious link to your LMS

  • How-to videos

  • How do they reach you if they need support?

Our websites are going to get a lot of use this school year. And hopefully, once we return to face-to-face instruction, your website continues to be THE place all of your patrons turn to for help.

Take care!

Dr. Laura

Have you met the one and only Hilda Weisburg? You need to meet her ASAP! She has some inspiring stories and ideas to share with you from her distingushed career with libraries.

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If you need more help getting organized for the year, I invite you to check out my Handbook Organizer. You can watch my video overview here and check out the shop for more details!

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