Category: techomnibrary

Operation Perfect Library Web site: the list

This is the list of Web sites I will be analyzing (so far) for my pet project. They are chosen for unique elements, not necessarily for the interface design (is Hennepin ever going to redesign??). Anyhow, if you feel there is a Web site I overlooked, please let me know! I’ll briefly outline what it is that initially caught my eye.

  1. Oakville Public Library (Oakville, ON)
    Bibliocommons. I want it. I can’t have it. Look how nicely it integrates onto the Web site… look how it creates a community. *sigh*
  2. Vancouver Public Library (Vancouver, BC)
    Nifty “add to homepage” feature for My Libraries. Go to the library location and click “remember this branch”. Oh, and the icon-y goodness…
  3. The European Library (Netherlands)
    Search all Europe? Sure, not a problem! Search collections by topic? Okay! Move from one section of the Web site to another without losing your results? Most definitely…
  4. Europeana (European Union)
    Similar to the European Library but includes realia as well. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I am intrigued.
  5. Harold B. Lee Library (Provo, UT)
    Mmmm… portal-y. All the major research tools on the main page! Who would have thunk? (Note: still in beta)
  6. California State University San Marcos
    Research databases. I am not overly fond of it, but does pretty well.
  7. Ann Arbor District Library (Ann Arbor, MI)
    All the blogs blogs blogs blogs… despite an incredibly horrible navigation, I like the one interface design that seamlessly integrates the catalog and events calendar into all those freakin’ blogs.
  8. Darien Library (Darien, CT)
    This recent Web site gave me my epiphany about the search box. Major step forward here, but I greatly improved it. If only I could implement my design…
  9. Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis, MN)
    Let me repeat: redesign the Web site!! For heaven’s sake… *sigh* In any case, love the bookspace and search results page on the nameless “what the heck does this do?” search box. Not the cleanest, but the concept is intriguing.
  10. Johnson County Library (Overland Park, KS)
    Bias kicking in, sorry… but there are some good innovations. The NoveList search integration and booklist display are particularly nice. Separate teen and kids styles are better than most I have seen.
  11. Stockholms Stadsbibkliotek (Stockholm, Sweden)
    Yeah… I can’t understand a word of this, but I have been told it may be the first and only real 2.0 Library Web site. Can anyone tell me why…?

Some of my snarkiness came out there, I apologize… when it comes to Web design, I can be downright crude. In any case, those are the ones I found today (and some I had in mind). If I missed something, please let me know! Of course, my new Web site has some nice features, but it mostly resembles JoCoLibrary until I get the proper software to make it what I actually have in mind. Army pains… *shudder* If you think you have a problem with bureaucracy where you work, let me share some stories…

Project Perfect Library Web site

I have finally decided to research and determine what the perfect Library Web site is. Let me preface this by saying, there is no such thing. Doh! Great way to start right? Let me rephrase that. There isn’t a universal perfect Library Web site. Each community is different and has different needs. We have several different types of libraries that perform different functions.

Despite this significant flaw in the project, I do believe there are certain elements that can make a perfect Library Web site. I have an idea about it already, but I will start with researching and analyzing what already exists. My first step is to identify Web sites that really are doing it right. LibSuccess’s Library Website Hall of Fame is a joke (yes, I am opinionated!), but it has a lot of libraries on it, so I will go through that whole list. I already have ones that aren’t on it. The list I come up with will not be extensive; there will be Web sites I find that fit my standards but may not be included.

I am pretty excited about this, so cross fingers I stay on task! With everything that is happening right now, I can easily go the way of La La Land. Hee hee… sorry, already lost in La La Land… I will make a list of elements I feel are of extreme import. I am very picky, so be prepared. 😉


I haven’t said much about work, but I can guarantee that it isn’t from a lack of things to talk about! Quite overwhelming most of the time, but I am doing what I can. Just to sum up, here are the current “in-progress” projects:

  • Web site redesign (about 30-35 people)
    •    project management (lead)
    •    primary content editor
    •    developer and designer
    •    usability test designer
    •    IT head for acquiring necessary software
  • Web catalog enhancements (just me)
    •    improve current functionality (“My Account”, holds, search, efficiency…)
    •    research software enhancements
  • Intranet development (just me)
    •    development
    •    content editor
  • federated search

Well, those are the big ones off the top of my head at least. Needless to say, I am fairly busy. Not sure 50 or 60 hour work weeks would help. 😛

I am very excited to get some of the projects done and have that feeling of accomplishment. Most of my current projects I hope to have most of the work done in two or three months. Just need to keep on truckin’.


So, I went to check my work mail and saw FedTech and Computers in Libraries. On the cover of CiL is “The Secret to Patron-Centered Web Design.” At this a scoffed and said “like a librarian can tell me how to do Web design better than me.” Okay, not quite like that, but I thought I would take a look at it for giggles. Lo and behold, in big letters, is my former boss!! I was like “no way!” Yes way… it is an article all about the usability and design of the JoCoLibrary Web site!! Now I have to read it. 😛 I did not see my name mentioned *sigh* but my awesome colleague has a picture!

So, a front page feature and seven page article in CiL. Freakin’ awesome!! And right now on the Library’s home page is a picture I took too! Sweeeet… (feel free to leave guesses to what one it is 😉 )I just wish I could get the Web site here up and running, it’s just taking so long! Anyhow, congratulations to my fabulous colleagues at the Johnson County Library! 😀 I miss them!!