Web design and libraries are my two biggest passions, and today I wanted to showcase a few library websites that I think are smashing.
Category 1: Overall Sheer Awesomeness
Library websites that offer the total package are visually awe-inspiring, contain all the relevant information (and no more!) in the appropriate places, and are accessible and enjoyable for patrons from all different levels of computer literacy.
The City Library (Utah) – beautifully minimal with excellent graphics, helpful descriptions throughout the navigation bar, and a daily events calendar
EJ Pratt Library (University of Toronto) – another excellent minimalist landing page, with just an events banner, navigation bar (each page has a different splash of color), quick links, and location/contact information. No room for fluff no one needs!
Aurora Public Library (Indiana) – focus on catalog, databases, finding aids and other resources, with links to library programs, contact information and social networking below the fold. Again, no fluff!
Syracuse University Library – colorful wallpaper is actually part of the digital collection, includes ‘Today’s Hours’ widget, central Summon search bar for all resources, and recommended databases (love it when they encourage database use!)
Washoe County Library (Nevada) – events calendar, database quick-search bar (see my comment above), and separate spaces for seniors, teens and kids (all with their own unique branding, but central elements like the footer remain constant to aid with navigation)
William F. Laman Public Library (Arkansas) – denim-y textured and modern with a large header containing important things like account access, catalog search bar and hours, with the page content visually separated
Iowa City Public Library – cute textured website (with too much footer space) with a weekly events calendar, very little fluff, easily navigable with designated spaces for kids and teens
These sites may not have the total package, but they’ve done some pretty noteworthy things, especially in regards to their navigation systems.
MIT LIbraries – search every type of material in their collection individually with advanced search options and without ever having to leave the header. This is amazing, I wish every library had the resources to do this, and in comparison, Summon can eat it.
Scottsdale Public Library (Arizona) – each link on the navigation bar is its own mini web page with relevant info, subcategories, an event calendar, catalog search bar, and more… leaving the rest of the home page for all that fluff
Osceola Library (Florida) – every link on the website is contained within a slider in the header, graphically appealing and crisp. My only complaint is that many of the links open new web pages rather than being nested below the header