Thursday, September 12, 2013

Essentials for a Public Library Website

     What should a website for a Public Library include?    First of all think about your patrons ( children, teens, adults, and    senior citizens) . What do they need to get from your site? How can you draw them in to get them to use resources and bring them into the library?

   Does your site provide patrons with an accurate picture of what your library is all about?  A public library should focus on resources and programs.

     A good site will show case what a books, resources, and services the library provides  So of course one of the primary items should be the online catalog.  Information here can also allow patrons to request items and place them hold.

   Additionally ,  there could be having easy links to the library's databases . Information can be given on  what to do if patrons are accessing the databases at home.

   Also have in a calendar or a listing  of programs . Our public library has a link to the calendar  which shows all the special programs and events ( book discussions, poetry nights, game nights, story hours, book sales computer classes, ect)

   How about electronic books and magazines? Have  a link with directions on how to download and then also items available. Information on terms of loan and how to request should also be available. Some libraries have Zinio and magazines can be downloaded for patrons to read on tablets.

    Additional tabs or pages could be the basics: driving directions, contact us, about us, board of directors and their minutes,  new arrivals( books, DVD's videos), newsletters,  and library news.

    Last but not least, what kind of fun things can you include?  Do you gave photographs of  patrons using the libraries resources? How about photos / videos of special programs, and classes ( think story hour, kids program, discussion groups, poetry slams, ect.) Put them interspersed around the site or prepare a slide show  that patrons can watch.

    Make  your public library website a place where patrons can find out all that is going on at your library!

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