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20 Things You Can Do to Make Your Library's Website Better Right Now


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Let’s face it--we can’t always overhaul our library’s entire website. Sometimes,we just need ways to improve on what we have, due to cost, expertise or political barriers. There are lots of things you can do with very little to improve yourl ibrary’s site. Some are small, some are bigger, but all can make your site better for your visitors. Get some quick and practical ideas about potential ways to polish your site without busting your library’s budget or eating up tons of staff time.

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20 Things You Can Do to Make Your Library's Website Better Right Now

  1. 1. 20 THINGS* You Can Do to Make Your Library Site Better Right Now Laura Solomon, MCIW, MLS Library Services Manager Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) *Approximately.
  2. 2. DISCLAIMERS NOT Tacky Clip Art (to be discussed later)
  3. 3. Not everything is free <ul><li> </li></ul>
  4. 4. Some require expertise <ul><li> </li></ul>
  5. 5. Political correctness may be optional
  6. 6. Focus on practical
  7. 7. SPELL IT OUT
  8. 8. AKA the“Dial-up Destroyer”
  9. 9. Cool program for kids coming on July 13 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras lectus sem, auctor a aliquam malesuada, semper vitae erat. Pellentesque eros diam, hendrerit nec ultricies nec, suscipit ac massa. Mauris sit amet est id velit suscipit pharetra. Suspendisse feugiat urna quis diam varius bibendum. Integer sit amet mauris eros. Praesent viverra blandit interdum. Maecenas sem turpis, venenatis tincidunt elementum eu, tempor a lacus. Ut orci ante, ultrices vulputate ornare ullamcorper, auctor at urna. Nam blandit enim ac leo laoreet sollicitudin. Quisque sollicitudin pharetra tempus. Vestibulum tempus nisl risus, a mattis quam. Mauris tincidunt varius aliquet. Aliquam eu orci eu turpis pharetra scelerisque sed eu est. Proin tempus imperdiet tellus, rutrum sagittis ipsum egestas vel. Nam sodales justo convallis dolor cursus aliquam. Suspendisse non massa odio, sit amet condimentum sem. Sed eget egestas purus. Donec sem eros, aliquet pharetra porta at, dignissim quis est. Nunc laoreet, quam a pellentesque lacinia, arcu purus mattis lectus, at porta enim velit in elit. Cras non interdum tellus. Aliquam congue purus eu erat lobortis sagittis. Phasellus luctus, justo viverra lobortis adipiscing, turpis metus condimentum tellus, sed pulvinar nibh nulla ac nulla. Nunc suscipit fringilla bibendum. Nam fermentum venenatis arcu, vitae viverra mauris ultricies vitae. Vivamus fringilla diam sit amet arcu malesuada sed molestie dui cursus. Nulla facilisi. Proin sed elit dolor, ac vehicula nulla. Aenean tempus magna id nisl dictum vel scelerisque mi tristique. Nunc sed orci elit. Suspendisse sollicitudin eros condimentum lacus tincidunt a dignissim urna fringilla. Donec scelerisque neque ut sapien sagittis sodales. Mauris sed ipsum turpis. Who’s gonna read THAT?
  10. 10. FAQ #1: Who founded the library? Answer: The library was founded by consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum tempus felis euismod leo sagittis quis elementum urna pretium. Nulla vel nisl purus, eu volutpat nulla. Sed vitae odio nec nisl ultrices bibendum in in nibh. Pellentesque diam nulla, adipiscing et pharetra eu, congue non velit. Sed vel lacus nisi. Aenean sed pretium orci. Fusce lacus arcu, lacinia vitae vehicula nec, vulputate sit amet nisi. Aliquam congue volutpat eros, vel consequat odio egestas eget. Vestibulum ante mi, tempor quis pharetra in, mattis eu dui. Proin sit amet nunc at neque molestie sodales. Mauris leo massa, posuere quis feugiat nec, posuere quis massa. Sed viverra tortor eu mi egestas a tincidunt ligula co… Seriously?
  11. 11. <ul><li>SEARCH </li></ul>WARNING: One of those might-not-be-free things disclaimed earlier.
  12. 12. “ The mission of our library is to…”
  13. 13. WEED your graphics http:// /
  14. 17. <ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul><ul><li>Click here </li></ul>People know how to do this already. Honest.
  15. 18. <ul><li>“ Come to our cool program!!!!” </li></ul>
  16. 19. Quick way To bleeding eyeballs.
  17. 20. <ul><li>We do all sorts of great things: </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting rooms </li></ul><ul><li>Internet computers </li></ul><ul><li>Storytimes </li></ul><ul><li>Computer classes </li></ul><ul><li>More cool stuff </li></ul>So what? Tell me more!
  18. 21. <ul><li>Club Penguin </li></ul><ul><li>Nickelodeon </li></ul><ul><li>PBSKids </li></ul><ul><li>Webkinz </li></ul><ul><li>Habbo Hotel </li></ul><ul><li>NewestFadSite </li></ul>Why do penguins need a club?
  19. 23. Lose “links” <ul><li>About Us Contact Us Links </li></ul>???
  20. 25. Ban the building X Yes, *this* is Tacky Clip Art (TCA)
  21. 27. Put your library’s @#$%! phone number and address on the front page. NOW. I’ll wait .
  22. 29. Cringe at collapsible menus Surprisingly evil.
  23. 30. Stop giving credit to… <ul><li>Browsers </li></ul><ul><li>Resolutions </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Web servers </li></ul><ul><li>Frontpage, Dreamweaver, whatever </li></ul><ul><li>Design firms </li></ul>
  24. 31. Let’s stop pretending
  25. 32. Resources Hot Zone Mascot’s Page It’s a form of Mystery Meat Navigation.
  26. 33. “ What does this mean to me, Laura?”
  27. 34. Want to make your library site more CREDIBLE ? <ul><li>Know what to do with prime real estate </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigate simple usability and design problems </li></ul>
  28. 36. Laura Solomon (aka “MeanLaura”) <ul><li>Twitter : @laurasolomon </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook : </li></ul><ul><li>Blog : What Does This Mean to Me, Laura? </li></ul><ul><li>( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Email : [email_address] </li></ul>