Building a website for a library can be fun and challenging at the same time. That’s because these projects might seem simple on the surface, but there are a lot of details and moving parts involved once you start outlining specific pages and features.
Because we have the opportunity to work on a variety of different library websites, we are able to provide a different perspective than you might find elsewhere. And so, today we want to share our seven essential elements for a public library web design project. Here are the things you should be sure are included…
#1 Basic Information About Hours and Location
This might seem obvious, but far too many library websites stash important details in places that are difficult to find. Many of your visitors will be looking for the basics on hours, location, and phone number. Make sure they are prominently displayed on your website, preferably in multiple pages.
#2 Catalogs of the Library’s Materials
Using online databases, you can import the details of your library’s current catalog. Then, you can show visitors what you have on your shelves in real time. That’s convenient for your community, of course, but also reduces the customer service burden faced by librarians and other staff.
#3 Online Reservation Tools
You might want tools that allow visitors to reserve certain materials within your library for a short period of time. You could also use plugins to manage study areas, guestrooms, and other facilities to prevent scheduling conflicts or other misunderstandings between visitors.
#4 A Calendar of Upcoming Events
Most libraries host readings, school visits, performances, lectures, and other cultural activities. You can use your website to promote these to the community. In fact, with the right content management system, a member of your staff can update your calendar in just a few minutes per week.
#5 Photos, Videos, and Images of Special Collections
If your library is hosting a special collection of some kind, then it may be worth it to have information about (or related to) the contents on your website. Doing so can help you draw in more visitors to see them firsthand. It also makes those materials more accessible to people who can’t make it to your location.
#6 ADA-Compliant Tools for the Impaired
Every website should be accessible for those with disabilities, but it’s particularly important for a library. That’s because the knowledge and collections you have are there to enrich entire communities and generations. With a few simple tweaks you can make your site accessible to those with visual, auditory, and other impairments.
#7 Information for Donors and Volunteers
Many libraries get significant assistance from individual donors, volunteers, and even local businesses. It only makes sense to put information for these groups on your pages. That way, there are simple guides in place for anyone who wants to pitch in or help out.
Weblinx Is a Leader in Library Web Design
Looking to create or upgrade a website for a library? Don’t move forward without giving us the chance to show you what we can do. Contact Weblinx today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our work in this area.