Having a cutting-edge, user-friendly library website will motivate community members to benefit from the wealth of resources your library has to offer. As you begin rebuilding your website, we’ll give various examples of the best library websites.
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Now, here are, in our opinion, examples of page attributes for the best library websites.
Easy Access to Library Catalog and Online Resources
Don’t make library members search longer than they have to to find what they need. Ensure your library’s catalog is easy to access. A best practice for making your library’s website easy-to-use is to add catalog and account login information in the header of your website. This way, the buttons are accessible from any page on the site. You can see this on Tyngsborough Public Library’s website which we redesigned.
Add Library Hours and Contact Information to the Header
For those who prefer to head into the library, they need to know when the library is open, where it is located, and where to call if they have any questions. Ensuring that information is readily available eases the browsing for library members. Website visitors may give up browsing if needed information isn’t located where they expect it! Don’t let them miss important information. It can even be beneficial to include an active hours display, as we included it on the Walpole Public Library website we redesigned.
Prioritize Ease on the Homepage
In our recent library website redesign, we worked with Walpole Public Library to enhance how user-friendly their website is. Their library offers resources that may only be available in some places, such as access to Libby, an e- and audiobook app. All 24/7 resources are included just two scrolls down the homepage. Also in this section are featured links. As the school year has begun, at-home reading supports and test prep are very useful. Walpole Public Library has prioritized resources that community members need here and now.
Make the Navigation Menu Simple and Clear
As libraries offer many different services, it is important website visitors can easily find them all. You may have sections for kids and teens, books, online resources, a donation page, and more, so it is best practice to keep those sections organized and self-explanatory. The sections may have drop-down menus with more options categorized under the main navigation title, as we did for Newbury Town Library in their recent redesign.
Include a Search Function
For some website visitors, directly searching for what they are looking for can be extremely helpful. The Westerville Public Library website is a great example of this function. They allow visitors to search their catalog, website, FAQs, and events all from a search bar within the header. Ease of use is improved with this function, making visits to the website more enjoyable for the user.
Include an Inclusive Events Calendar
The best library websites include a comprehensive calendar of events. From book club to town meetings, it is important library members don’t miss a thing. If your library hosts many events, it can be beneficial to categorize events by interest, like the Walpole Public Library. Their website’s calendar allows multiple view options, including adults, kids & teens, meetings, and book clubs. This allows visitors to easily find an event they would be interested in attending. An advanced useful feature is app integration that will allow users to sync the calendar to theirs.
Include Town-Specific Content
Libraries are a learning center for all information, and your town’s history and resources are no different from that important information. The best library websites include town-specific content, such as a community page which can include a variety of information. This information can include school district information, local history, meal program information, and more.
A New Arrivals Section on the Homepage
Putting relevant information on the homepage of your library’s website is beneficial. Some website visitors may not click beyond the homepage, but if they scroll down and see new arrivals to your catalog, they’ll gain more interest. An example of this is on the Newbury Town Library website we redesigned.
Do You Need Help Making the Best Library Website?
Getting a new website will enable devoted library patrons to take advantage of all that your library has to offer and attract new users if the one you currently have is dated and challenging to use. A new website will help your library reach its goal of making its materials available to users of all ages. Please get in touch with us to find out more about our services for designing library websites. We look forward to hearing from you!