homepage highlights WAS RE: Feedback on css webpage sought

Elena OMalley Elena_OMalley at emerson.edu
Thu Jul 15 16:50:13 EDT 2004

Alnisa Allgood wrote:
> I've found clean, well-design library sites, and library sites with 
> access to an amazing amount of materials, but I've yet to come across 
> a library site that attempt to engage its community. Which I've 
> always found strange, because obviously most libraries do attempt to 
> do so, even if it's just with monthly displays.  I'm not say hide 
> access to your primary resources. They should be front and center in 
> the navigation. But why not use the main content are on the front 
> page for, content. Highlight this collection, a particular book, a 
> new resource, and old resource that people have forgotten about, 
> introduce a staff person that people may want to know if they're 
> researching this or that or wanting to learn how to use something, 
> even a donated or on display piece of art. Make me want to come 
> visit. Why not encourage me to explore your library?

Hey, we do that, I think (http://www.emerson.edu/library). Spotlights and
highlights are one of several developing trends, I think. It's the great screen 
real estate debate. Libraries are sometimes unwilling to sacrifice links or
info on the homepage that we see as being useful for many users over the
long haul to make room for publicity/promotion that's more ephemeral. 
And sometimes it's just that we'd like to do that, but we haven't 
had the time or resources to update the site from the last redesign, 
at which time the goal was "Don't make our users drill down - put as 
much as possible on the homepage." Sometimes it's just difficult, for one
reason or another, to give up the splash logo or photo of the building from
its best angle.

Some libraries do set aside areas on the homepage that link to announcements, news, 
events, and features, sometimes with a teaser line and link to pique interest, 
as part of the balancing act.  

Perhaps as we find the perfect navigation labels and category terminology in time, 
we'll be in a better position to give over space that we currently devote to 
repeating navigation, alternate terms and phrases for the same content,
and making sure certain buried treasures (our link to Lexis Nexis 
or Services for the disabled, etc) are brought to light on the homepage.
Elena O'Malley, Head of Library Computer and Internet Services
Emerson College Library, Boston, MA 02116

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