Having a modern, easy-to-use library website will encourage people from your community to take advantage of the many resources that your library has to offer. Today, we’ll share a variety of library website design tips to help you as you embark on redesigning your website.
If your library’s website is in need of a redesign, our team is here to help you. Compete Now has been completing innovative web design projects for clients for over ten years and is ready to serve you. Click here or call 617-539-6528 to get in touch with us.
Now, we’ll give ideas on how to create the best possible library website.
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Top Library Website Design Tips
Though this list is not exhaustive, here are some of our top library tips:
Make the Catalog and Account Login Easy to Access
Many visitors to your library’s website will already have accounts and will be visiting the website to browse the online catalog or log into their accounts. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to access this information. We often put the catalog and account login information in the website header as you can see in this example of the Walpole Public Library website that we redesigned.
Include Quick Links to the Most Commonly Used Services on the Homepage
Since the homepage is the first thing that website users see, use this important real estate to share the library’s most used services. From audiobook downloads to books, other digital offerings and library services, there are many possibilities for what to include and how to design it. In the example above from the Tyngsborough Public Library, you will see that we included the top services next to a rotating announcement banner.
Include a Feed of New Arrivals from Your Catalog on the Homepage
Frequent library users will want to know what’s new! Even those who don’t often visit the library will be captivated by a section of new arrivals. We recommend including a section featuring new offerings on the homepage.
Turn Your Website Into a Resource Center
Your website has the potential to be a resource center for all the different books, resources, catalogs and subscriptions the library has. Since library offerings have greatly expanded even within the past few years, many libraries find that their current websites do not do justice to all of the resources that they provide. If you find that your library’s website is not meeting its potential, it may be time for a website redesign. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of experienced web designers to learn more about the redesign process.
Make the Main Navigation Menu Clear & Simple
Since your library undoubtedly has many offerings, it is important to make the website easy to navigate. In the main navigation menu, we recommend grouping together services, resources, programs, events, and about information. Doing so will help users to find what they need quickly and easily. As you’ll see on the Newbury Town Library website that we designed, the main navigation is clean and straightforward.
Add Your Library Hours & Contact Information in the Header
Many people just visit the library website to check the hours or find contact information. Putting this information in the header will prevent confusion and frustration while decreasing the amount of phone calls that your library receives asking about hours. For maximum convenience, you can even add a widget that says “currently open” or “currently closed” based on the time as seen in the example above.
Use Fresh, Modern Images
One of our tips for making your site the best website possible is to include current looking photos. There are many high quality stock photos available on websites such as Bigstock and Shutterstock. To make it even more personal, you can hire a photographer to visit your library one day and take professional pictures of the space and the people in it.
Add Upcoming & Featured Events to the Homepage
As we already mentioned, your homepage is usually the first thing that people see, and should therefore include the most important information. Since many libraries are trying to get the community involved, the homepage is the perfect place to add upcoming and featured events. The image above shows how we added upcoming and featured events to the Walpole Public Library website.
Does Your Library’s Website Need a Redesign?
If your library’s website is outdated and difficult to use, getting a new website will help long-time library users take advantage of all that your library has to offer and get new people involved. Public library resources are meant to be accessible to people of all ages, and a brand new website will push your library towards meeting that objective. Don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn more about our library website design services. We look forward to hearing from you!