Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thing 11: Library & Reference

My library is currently working with a web design company to completely overhaul the library homepage. One of the major points of discussion was how to either make our site completely responsive (and practical for use on all devices, regardless of screen size), or if we should stick with an unresponsive site, but create a mobile app for devices and phones.

Ultimately we went with the responsive option - we're under the illusion that it will be less work in the long run - and I can only hope it is as clean-looking as the ELM mobile site.

A few take-aways that I'll bring to the web design committee:
Our current mobile site actually isn't that bad.  But BookMyne is still just a little bit better (even w/o our library's branding.)
Make sure all databases linked to from our site are mobile-friendly.  (And if they aren't, make sure there is a note to the effect so patrons aren't frustrated.)
Put My Account at the top of the page.  That seems to be the common place for it, and let's be honest, that's what people are looking for first.
Don't use librarian-speak, especially on a mobile site. (Even down to "Location & Hours" v. "About Us."  Because then you have to ask, "What about us?")

Finally, our youth services librarians are working on a grant for the purchase of a small iPad lab, and I forwarded the following snippet from on to their committee for future reference: "If you have a fleet of iPads in your schools, consider adding the ELM website to them to make library research tools prominent and easily accessible."

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