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Posts Tagged ‘darien library’

Darien Library in Connecticut-an example of a good public library website

One of the reasons why many public library websites look a bit dated, lack user friendliness and often feature irrelevant content is because they have to sit within the myriad constraints of the wider Council website.

I’ve spoken with lots of librarians from different authorities across the UK over the years and many of them have voiced concerns that they are unable to fulfil user needs and expectations because IT and legal departments either don’t understand what public libraries are trying to do or are just too busy juggling multiple projects from other council departments to invest time and energy into developing the public library website into something fit for 21st century users.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the publication of an article by Margaret Adolphous in the March online issue of Update. Margaret first contacted me back in July 2009 to ask my own opinions about the state of public library websites in the UK. I also met up with her for a brief chat following my presentation with Liz McGettigan at the Internet Librarian International Conference in October. Margaret has invested a lot of time and energy into investigating this topic and has sought opinions from a variety of people within the profession so I’m sure it will be a great read. Hopefully she’ll offer us all some solutions for the future! 🙂

In the meantime you might find this article, appropriately titled “How to STOP writing rubbish copy on your website”, useful if you’re currently involved in upgrading your public library website.

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Librarian in Black blogged about this a few weeks ago but this is the first chance I’ve had to check out the new Darien Library website. It’s the brainchild of self confessed library geek John Blyberg who, in a previous life was instrumental in the development of my other favourite library website – Ann Arbor Public Library.

But with Darien Library John has taken it to the next level, using SOPAC 2.0 and Drupal 6 to create a library website that looks cool, is a joy to navigate around and actually works!  Also, a big plus for those of us interested in the social networking aspects of public library life, the website also supports and encourages the creation, storage  and sharing of “local, community-driven social data” (Blyberg, 2008).   Brilliant! 🙂

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