Monday, December 26, 2016

Library Websites and home pages

Why have Websites? 

  • Excellent way to market library’s success
    • Broadens clientele base, those who wouldn’t traditionally use the library 
  • Enables users to access library resources from places convenient to them 
  • To ensure a place on the Internet 
    • Beyond pamphlet information 
  • Guide people to resources outside the library 
  • Reach new audiences 

Major factors

  • Make sure you have a purpose for your site 
    • Why are you doing this?
    • Will guide to content
  • Present a consistent image
    • Do you have to fit in with parent organization?
  • How to get people to visit your site 
    • Do you want links on indexes? 
    • Load quickly
    • Attractive site
    • Easy to use 
  • How to keep people coming back or spending time on your site (be a sticky site) 
    • People stay
    • Include a option to create a default home page for users
    • Data and links should be useful 

Planning your Website

  • Why are you doing a website?
  • Who are the primary audience?
  • What are your limitations? 
    • Staff to keep site up-to-date
    • Equipment 
  • What do you want people to be able to do at your site?

The Home Page* 

  • What should be on the home page? 
  • Must present the essential tools users need to navigate your site and no more than that 
  • Each item on the top page must be defensible 
    • Give a solid rationale as why it is there
  • You may have choices like:
    • Search the library’s catalogue
      • Don’t name the catalogue 
    • o Do research on a topic 

*Ensor, Pat. “What’s Wrong with Cool?” Library Journal Supplement Net Connect (April 15, 2000):11-13 


  • Use text boxes explaining options which appear only when mouse is hovered over the option 
    • Give instant access 
  • Err on the side of leaving something off the homepage as long as you provide a navigational tool, e.g. site map, search function or site index 

Essential elements 

  • URL persistence 
    • Register and keep it 
  • URL simplicity
    • Be memorable
  • Contacting the library 
  • Don’t overlook the basics
  • What to definitely include:
    • Official name of the library 
    • Complete street and mailing address of the main library and all its branches 
    • Phone numbers
    • E-mail address for general inquiries 
    • Hours of service
    • Link to catalogue 
    • Description of facilities and collections 
      • Virtual tours 
    • Finding aids or gateways to electronic resources 
    • Directory of library staff
      • Name/e-mail address 
    • Site index 
    • Search box for finding information within the site 

Breeding, Marshall. “Essential Element of a Library Web Site.” Computers in Libraries 24 (Feb 2004):40+ 


Keeping your website sticky

  • What is sticky? 
    • Keeping your users at your site for lengthy periods of time (effective use however!) and making sure they come back frequently 
Methods for becoming sticky**

  • An editorial viewpoint 
  • Up-to-date relevant content
    • What’s new 
  • Building relationships 
    • Ask for feedback
    • Provide forms
    • Follow through 
  • Content with depth 
  • Niche content
    • Age appropriate
  • Building community
  • Features, features, and more features 
    • E-mail
    • New books

* Fichter, Darlene. “Making Your Library Web Site Sticky.” Online 24 (Jul/Aug 2000): 87. 

Keeping the site current

  • “A web site is like a cat box, you have to keep changing it if you don’t want users going elsewhere”* 
  • Check and weed links regularly (at least once a month). AVOID LINK ROT!
  • Do not build a site so large that it cannot be maintained 
  • Add new items of interest, keep listings current 

** Minkel, Walter. “Keeping Up Appearances.” School Library Journal 45 (December 1999): 27 


Some dos and don’ts 

Dos Dont's
Write your documents clearly and precisely Overuse emphasis
Organize text so readers can scan for important information  Clutter with pretty but unnecessary images
Be careful with backgrounds and coloured text Split individual topics across pages
Keep layout simple Link repeatedly on the same site to the same page
Provide alternative for images Use terminology specific to any one browser
Provide a link to your home page and your parent organization's home page Don't use the "here" syndrome with your links
Use descriptive links
Provide signature block or link contact information on bottom of each page



Lemay, Laura. Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.0 in a Week. Indianapolis, Ind: Sams.net Publishing, 1996, p. 307

Suggestions for school library sites* 

  • Include links to 
    • Sites recommended for current assignments 
    • Announcements of special events 
    • Information for parents about library resources and activities 
*Minkel, Walter. “’Tis a Gift to be Simple: Designing a Library Web Site that Makes Sense.” School Library Journal 45 [sic] (June 2000): 29.

Suggestions for public library children sites* 

  • Keep parents and other caregivers notified of calendar of programs and library events
  • Provide a list of kid friendly events in the community 
  • Link to appropriate game and craft sites 
*Minkel, Walter. “’Tis a Gift to be Simple: Designing a Library Web Site that Makes Sense.” School Library Journal 45 [sic] (June 2000): 29. 

Criteria for evaluating web site effectiveness*

  • Navigational characteristics o How easy is it to navigate? 
  • Practical characteristics 
  • Visual characteristics 
    • Does it look pleasing? 
*D’Angelo, John and Sherry K. Little. “Successful Web Pages: What are They and Do They Exist.” Information Technology and Libraries 17 (June 1998): 71-81. 

Navigational 

  • Provide a link to the home page and/or beginning of a group of pages 
  • Provide a link to a help page 
  • Give the same name to each link to the same location 
  • Provide links to outside sources or remote sites which are related to your organization or purpose
  • Keep all links updated
  • Make sure menus are understandable to users no matter where they enter the site
Practical 

  • Make sure layout consistent and user-friendly 
  • Use bullets and numbers for lists but not images
  •  Do not create items that look like buttons, but do not work like buttons 
  • Strike a balance between graphics and transmission speed 
  • Images
    • Use no more than three images per page 
    • Allow users to choose between viewing or bypassing graphics 
    • Use images that are 600x400 pixels or smaller 
    • Banner images 500x100 pixels or smaller 
    • Make image files smaller than 25k, if possible less than 15k 
  • Background 
    • Make background files smaller than 5k
    • Avoid text that clashes with background pattern
    • Avoid Text that blends with background pattern
    • Use only light gray or white for backgrounds, not black
    • Use a patterned background for limited special effect 
  • Colour
    • Do not use more than 50 colours per image
    • Do not use more than four colours per screen
    • Indicate actions with warm colours 
    • Indicate emphasis with bright colours 
  • Content 
    • Design the web site for content, not appearance
    • Make the top 6 inches of the home page interesting and enticing
    • Provide text at the top of the page so users will have something to look at while graphics load
    • Put important material at top of page o Include a what’s new area
    • Provide a search capability for your page or site o Include descriptive data on the organization 

Visual 

  • Home page should fit single screen
  • Keep the web page simple and organized 
  • Break up content with topic and subtopic headings or horizontal lines 
  • Make lines descriptive 
  • Include horizontal line at bottom of page
  • Provide navigational options at the top of the page (and bottom, if possible) 
  • Use boldface and italics sparingly, never type text in all caps 
  • Avoid using multiple fonts 
  • Use white space effectively

Monday, December 19, 2016

Special events and programming


  • Special events are held once 
  • Programmes are ongoing over a period of time 
    • For more than one day, e.g. summer reading programs between July 1 and August 31 
Why have special events and programming? 

  • Promote library 
  • Raise profile 
  • Create positive public relations with community 
  • Create a potential interest for media coverage of library 
  • Photo opportunities 
  • Video-taping opportunities for future broadcast 
Programming 

  • Types
    • Informational 
    • Cultural
    • Recreational 
  • Purpose 
    • Motivate people to learn 
    • Attract new clientele 
      • People who didn’t think of going to the library for information or day-to-day activities 
  • For different types of libraries
    • Academic 
      •  Instruction—linked to a particular course
      • Orientation 
    • Special 
Special events 

  • Targeted to loyal clientele, new client groups, or both 
    • E.g. ground-breaking ceremony, anniversary 
  • Much planning is required 
    • Committee 

Open house 

  • Publicity
    • Email
    • Advertisements 
  • Logistics 
    • RSVPs?
    • If tour, more than one person needs to be present 
    • Refreshments
      • When
      • Where 
  • Evaluation 
    • Guestbook 
    • Did new clientele join? 
  • Follow-up 
    • Send thanks 
    • Report on what occurred

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marketing concepts

What is marketing?
  • Marketing 
    • Managing demand 
    • Promoting product, service, use 
  • Public relations 
    • Maintaining relationship with clients
    • Managing library image with reasonable explanation turned into positive 
  • Advocacy 
    • Ambassador 
    • Bringing necessary service 
    • Managing support 
    • Cultivating movers and shakers to fight 
    • Encourage passionate support 
Library life cycle
  • What libraries can do when they reach the mature or decline stage 
    • Attempt to be the market leader 
      • Offered Internet, many thought this would be the death of libraries, but they can afford to offer it for free 
    • Find a niche of customers
      • What value can be added to users’ needs? 
    • Move into next cycle of communication 
      • Moved into Internet, databases to offer supports for users 
    • Divest 
      • What makes the library unique from others?
      • Add services 
      • Remove services 
How do we market? 
  • Key marketing concepts 
    • Market segmentation 
      • Public libraries segment by age – children, teens, adults, etc. 
      • Identifying actual and potential markets 
        • Who do, and who could, use the library? 
      • Determining proportion of individuals who will never be interested in your services 
        • Requires careful analysis 
      • Answers questions such as: 
        • Who are your clients? 
        • To what extent are they similar or different to their needs and demands?
        • Who are the most/least intensive users?
      • How might each type of library segment its market? 
      • Who are its primary clientele? 
        • Academic 
          • Faculty 
          • Graduates
          • Undergraduates
          • Professionals
        • Public
          • Age 
        • School
          • Teacher
          • Student 
        • Special
          • Department 
    • Market positioning 
      • Prioritizing groups of clients 
      • Who are primary client groups?
      • How much resources should be used in serving each group?
        • Allocate 
        • Outreach
        • Offer
        • Staff devoted to specific groups to provide resources 
    • Consumer analysis 
      • How do we find out who our nonusers are?
        • Don’t ignore users 
        • Don’t try to convert users
        • Find out who isn’t using the library
      • How do we analyze nonusers?
      • How can we determine the ongoing needs of users? 
        • Surveys 
          • Focus groups 
          • Interviews
          • Timed appropriately
          • Short
          • Keep track of questions and what can and cannot be answered
          • Must be easy to answer 
          • Clearly stated questions
          • Leave room for general comments 
            • Interesting feedback
              • Positive
              • Negative 
          • Suggestion boxes
          • Bulletin boards 
    • Marketing program 
      • The 4P’s
        • Product 
          • What are you offering?
          • Make a complete description of the product(s)/service(s) being offered 
            • Think about it from the user’s point of view: What’s in it for them?
            • What is the ultimate goal?
            • What does the user want?
          • What are the products attributes and benefits to the consumer? 
          • Product /service chart
          • Product/service Features Benefits
            Self-service circulation Easy to follow screen instructions Speed in check-out materials
            Children's summer reading program Prizes
            Contests
            Children find reading is fun
          • Six elements of quality of product/service
            • Performance 
              • Should be able to meet deadlines and turnarounds 
            • Features
              • What could be a value added? E.g. Story time, children participate 
            • Reliability 
              • Meet deadlines, be consistent 
            • Durability
              • Stands test of time, repetitiveness 
            • Esthetics 
              • Packaging 
              • Does it look professional? 
              • Means a lot
            • Perceived quality
              • Others recommend
              • It’s worthwhile
              • Time well spent 
        • Price 
          • Will it be free?
          • Will there be a cost? 
          • Link to the service and see the value.
          • How is service priced? 
            • Once free, printing is more often charged in both public and academic libraries. Special libraries account for all charges.
          • What are the costs involved to provide the service? o Should service be “fee” or “free” 
          • Levels of pricing 
            • Premium pricing
              • Charged at highest level for in-depth personal service 
            • Competitive pricing 
              • Photocopying, videorecording costs – can the library be cheaper?
              • Protect material if expensive 
              • People will rip or steal books 
            • Market penetration (discount pricing) 
              • Very aggressive 
              • Make place the first place to go
              • Libraries offer a lot for free 
        • Promotion 
          • How do you get the word out? 
            • How do you ensure that there’s good demand?
          • Getting the message out 
            • Personal selling 
            • Advertising 
            • Public service announcements
            • News releases 
            • On-site promotion
            • Direct mail 
        • Place
          • Be convenient
          • Where will service be offered? 
            • On location 
              • All branches? 
            • Over the Internet 
              • Virtual reference 
              • Chat
            • Various other sites 
              • Off site, not at library 
        • Politics
        • Public policy
      • Marketing audit
        • How successful was the program? 
          • Open house
          • Guestbook
          • Ask how they found out about the library? 
          • Use a decent evaluation form 
            • Check boxes
            • Additional comments
        • Different measures of success
        • Return on investment
        • Cost-effectiveness
        • Cost-benefit 
        • Popularity of program 
Marketing plan 
  • Determine what to promote (product) 
  • Define targeted audience 
    • Objectives
    • Target group(s) 
  • Choose type of outreach (strategy and promotion) 
    • Strategy and tactics 
      • Who
      • What
      • When 
      • Where 
      • How 
    • Communication tools 
  • Evaluate the program
    • Evaluation

Monday, December 5, 2016

Science fairs

McCann, Wendy Sherman. A Science Fair Companion. ERIC Digest. May 1999. 

This digest comments on various aspects of school science fairs. General expectations for science fair projects and participants are discussed, and tips for choosing a topic and completing a project are given. Organizational strategies for teachers charged with conducting science fairs are presented. Guidelines for parents in helping children with science fair projects are considered. 

For fulltext search ERIC under ERIC #ED432455 http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal?_nfpb=true&pageLabel=advanced

Fulltext articles on EBSCOhost 
Joseph, Linda C. “Science Fair Fundamentals.” Multimedia & Internet@Schools; Nov/Dec 2004, Vol. 11 Issue 6, p18 3p. Academic Search Premier 
Presents information on several Web sites that offer resources, tips, and experiments for science fair programs.

Marshall, Carol. “Science Fair Projects.” School Library Journal Winter 2002; Net Connect, Vol. 48, issue 2, p35, 2p. Academic Search Premier. 
Discusses the factors librarians may consider in helping grade school students find Internet resources about science projects. Problem and solution on topic selection; Description of Web sites; Information on various Web sites for grades four to eight and grades nine to 12. 

O’Connell, Beth; McElmeel, Sharron L. “Science Fair Sites.” Library Talk, Jan/Feb 2001, Vol. 14, Issue 1. Academic Search Premier. 
Presents information on several Web sites on science as of January and February 2001. 

Young, Terrence E. “No Pain, No Gain…The Science Teacher and You WORKING TOGETHER.” Library Media Connection. Jan 2003, Vol. 23, Issue 4, p14, 7p, 7c. Academic Search Premier. 
Focuses on the role of the school library media specialist in helping students learn quickly about science and technology. Entries below update and correct URLs for sites listed in above articles. 

CyberBee: Science Fair http://www.cyberbee.com/science/science_fair_sites.htm 

Cyber Fair: The Virtual Science Fair https://web.archive.org/web/20080222125544/http://www.isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/welcome.html 

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Educators http://www.schrockguide.net/

Stryjewski, Elizabeth. Kennedy Space Center. Science Project Guidelines. https://web.archive.org/web/20050404212303/http://www.thesciencefair.com/guidelines.html 

The Kids’ Guide to Science Projects http://web.archive.org/web/20040603042727/edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/jtindell/ 

Successful Science Fair Projects [Neuroscience for Kids – Science Project] 
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/fair.html 

The Science Club: Kids’ Science Projects http://scienceclub.org/kidproj1.html