Library Web Sites That Standout

I am going to go out on a limb here and say there are far too many library related listservs to possibly keep up with.  I was gone for one week and had over 150 emails from only the listservs!!!  When you only subscribe to five, it seems a little ridiculous.  While most of the time listservs deliver topical information that only now and then catches my interests, recently there was a post that I found interesting.

The original post on Web4lib inquired as to those academic libraries with the ‘best’ Web presence.  The author elicited he was looking for inspiration.  A reply was posted with the top five picks of another university library that used the information to redesign their own Web presence.  The top academic library Web sites according to the reply were BYU Library, Penn State University Library, NCSU Libraries, University at Buffalo Libraries, and Luria Library.

While the listserv is still awaiting the reply regarding the rating system used, it did make me think about their shared similarities.

Some of the similarities I found were as follows:

-use of boxes (div tags) to help organize the site

-top navigation bar, instead of on either side of the page

-preselected searches for patrons at the top of the page, using AJAX to allow patrons to toggle between keyword, title, books, articles, and affiliate searches

-use of one or more images on the page as a background for navigation links or images on a marquee

-4 out of 5 sites have references and links to their varying social media presences

-All pages are presented as portals to the rest of each library’s content, where the majority of each organization’s content is still accessible from the homepage, however the user of each site does not experience what I consider content overload.  This is achieved through the use of drop-down menus when the mouse is hovered over the top of navigational links.

Overall, I enjoyed browsing each academic library’s content and site.  I agree that the libraries mentioned above have excellent Web presences, excelling at creating highly accessible and usable sites.  And while I am sure there are more academic libraries with similar presentations, these five examples serve as shining examples of the possibilities for academic library Web sites.

What academic library Web sites do you think are worth note?

As always, your comments are always welcome.

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