Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's time for something new

We have taken the first step to a new library web page; not just realizing the time for change has come, but knowing that it will be easier to start anew as opposed to upgrading what currently exists. This has been quietly in the works for several months, to be fair most of a year. After attending two Dreamweaver workshops last fall, I put my new found knowledge to work redesigning the Instructional Resource Center web site (and blogged about it here, here, and here). I learned many useful things, such as utilizing Dreamweaver's option for applying a template as opposed to creating my own generic page, and as is often the case found many things that could have been done better. With a new library page on the horizon, I will be able to put these experiences to good use.

As with the IRC web page, I will be starting the new library web page from scratch. While in theory starting over sounds like more work, it will actually be less problematic making design, flow, and content changes. Additionally, there will not be a period of time where new pages and old pages must live together in less than perfect harmony. When the time comes I am hoping to completely eliminate the existing page, erasing everything but the irc folder inside the main library folder on the server and then sending over new; but I am getting ahead of myself as this is an issue for completed pages.

Monday's librarian meeting set the stage. Each librarian is charged with scouring the web and locating three library web pages they like, keeping in mind there are a few constraints we will be held to; Ashland colors, similar formatting to the current main AU Web site, and the ability of the web designer. I recommended the following resources to begin our search:

I spent some time perusing the offerings on these sites and my favorites are:

  • North Carolina State University Libraries
    This page has six basic categories of information presented to their users and includes brief descriptions of each topic. It is text based as opposed to heavily image based and loads quickly. The basic backround is white, therefore no problems with printing. It also utilizes simple tables to format the page.

  • Fordham University Library
    Four information categories are presented + two side bar menu's with Quick Search and Helpful links (I really like the quick search - we have a catalog quick search but this is nicer). The page uses CSS as opposed to tables and, unfortunately, was a pain to print.

Though only a first step in what will be long process, it's exciting to see what could be. Have a favorite library web page? Feel free to add addresses in the comments section.

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