web content strategy document for a public library

Blakiston, Rebecca blakistonr at U.LIBRARY.ARIZONA.EDU
Fri Jan 3 15:08:03 EST 2014

Yay, content strategy! Here is an example of our content strategy analysis document we created a couple years back, this is what Kristina Halverson describes as the foundation for your content strategy:

Phase Two: Analysis

Purpose statement

The goal of this document is to define the objectives, assumptions, risks, and success factors for our website content. We have conducted an analysis of all internal and external circumstances that have impact on our website content. This includes anything that might inform or affect recommendations for content creation, delivery, and governance.

This analysis document - also called the strategic foundation - will serve as a reference guide for our content strategy recommendations. This document is not the content strategy and doesn't include any recommendations - it simply summarizes and analyzes the resources, research, and circumstances that inform recommendations.
What are we (the University Libraries) trying to achieve with our website content?
*          Act as a portal to all library services and resources
*          Direct users to scholarly resources, library hours, services, and more
*          Promote the library's place on campus, highlighting library services, collections, and events while also supporting fundraising
*          Meet the needs of our different target audiences.
*          Entice potential students to come to the University of Arizona
*          Positively influence
o   students' opinions about the quality of education they are receiving
o   students' opinions on the Library as an organization
o   the opinions of the Library's research partners (i.e. other organizations and academic libraries)
o   the opinions of grant funding agencies
o   the opinion of donors and alumni

What do our users wants and need from our content?
*         A place to start to conduct research or find information about the libraries
*         Information about library resources and services
*         Ability to find library materials, including books, journals, articles, and DVDs
*         Ability to access our content from a mobile device

What can we do with our available time, talent, and budget resources?
We have a lot of challenges due to limited staff time and resources, as well as a lack of knowledge among staff about how to write and organize content for the web. We can come up with a process for maintaining and updating content, but the amount of content (currently) is so overwhelming that it seems unlikely that a process alone can fix it.

Project Objectives

On the user end:

  *   Users know where to start to conduct research or find information about the libraries
  *   Users can easily find information about library resources and services
  *   Users can easily find library materials, including books, journals, articles, and DVDs
  *   The variety of users all have their specific needs met

On the creator/technical end:

  *   Create a content structure that is flexible enough to accommodate ever-expanding services and resources
  *   Establish a maintenance process that will allow us to keep content relevant and up-to-date
  *   Establish a creation process that will ensure our website uses vibrant, compelling  web copy with a consistent voice
  *   Address current content issues to ensure that the amount of content is practical to maintain given our staffing and budget constraints.

Success Metrics
See the Metrics as outlined in the UAL Website Road Map (pages 3-5).


  *   The Website Steering Group will develop our content strategy and make the final decisions on our content strategy. WSG will communicate with stakeholders as necessary for input.
  *   Current content creators may or may not remain as content creators.
  *   The current amount of content on our website is unmanageable, frequently duplicative and outdated, and therefore must be reduced in order for us to remain relevant and useful to our users.


  *   Content creators may be upset if their content is edited or deleted
  *   Users that have been using certain pages in the past may be upset if they move, are changed, or get deleted
  *   When content is deleted, users may find links now go to 404 pages
  *   This may take more time than anticipated given the complexity and depth of our content

University Libraries Brand

Our brand is what users think and feel about our organization. Currently, we have not analyzed our brand. However, we can have a brand to aim towards.
How do we want our users to think and feel about us?
Welcoming, friendly, and approachable.
Knowledgeable, helpful, and timely.

Messaging (added to Editorial Guidelines)

Messages on our website must support our brand. We are customer-focused organization, so let's use their language. Voice and tone needs to reflect our customer-centered personality. Our web copy needs to be:
            Knowledgeable, not authoritarian.
            Helpful, not frustrating.
            Welcoming, not full of jargon.
            Professional, not pompous.
            Conversational, not preachy.
            Approachable, not intimidating.
            Direct, not complicated.

Less like: The customer should login to their Illiad account to request a document delivery.
More like: Login now to request an article.
Less like: Library staff will respond to user complaints by enforcing the code of conduct.
More like: We want you to feel safe in the library. Please notify desk staff if you have any concerns.

Other Channels
We have other web presences including a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel (forthcoming), and other web pages outside the scope of the Website Steering Group.

Current Roles

*         Requesters submit requests for web content to be created, updated, or removed. Anyone in the library and any customer can be a requester.

*         Providers are subject matter experts who own and manage source content - or who have the necessary information in their heads - that will be used by creators to develop web content. Often, the provider and the creator are the same person. Some teams have their own process that distinguishes these roles; on AIST, the members of the Leadership Group are the providers and their team's webmaster is the creator.

*         Creators are responsible for actually developing the content. Anyone affiliated with the library, upon request and approval, can be given access to Drupal. This allows them to become a creator; they can create new pages and edit any Drupal page on our website.

*         Reviewers/approvers must be consulted about some or all of the content prior to its publication online. The UAL currently has no reviewers/approvers in the content creation process.

*         Publishers get the content online via coding, a content management system, or other technical wizardry. For regular Drupal pages, our creators are also the publishers. For certain type of content, like applications, members of DLIB are the publishers.

Current Maintenance and Oversight
Teams are assigned certain sections of the website in the Content Owner Guidelines. Some teams, including AIST and IST, have assigned webmasters who are the content creators for their teams. Their job description includes dedicated time to maintaining their web pages. Others, including RST, do not have this type of assigned responsibility. Content creators receive training in Drupal, but no training in writing web copy, information architecture, or website usability.

The expectation is that content owners will:

  *   Review content within their areas of responsibility on a regular basis, no less than once every six months. This includes reviewing content for relevance and accuracy.
  *   Add new pages to their areas of responsibility if needed to meet the needs of our users.
  *   Check for broken or outdated links in their area of responsibility at least once every six months and fix or remove them.
  *   Communicate changes to their areas of responsibility, including addition of and deletion of web pages as well as the need to update links, to stakeholders.

While this is the expectation, there is no system of accountability. Unfortunately, pages often become outdated.
Since the website redesign in 2009, 433 of 1126 (38%) published pages have been modified in some way. 104 new pages have been created in that same time period.

I also have a lot more documentation on standards, workflows, etc. if you're interested!


Rebecca Blakiston
Instructional Services Librarian
Website Product Manager
University of Arizona Libraries
blakistonr at u.library.arizona.edu
(520) 307-2834

From: Web technologies in libraries [mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Chris Evjy
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: [WEB4LIB] web content strategy document for a public library

You betcha, Lisa. JCPL Web Strategies, inline below. Tip-of-the-hat to Ryan Hess at DePaul University from which we borrowed the "Principle of..." construction and a few concepts.

Jefferson County Public Library Web Strategies


    This document is a statement of principles that inform:

  *   the content JCPL publishes on jeffcolibrary.org<http://jeffcolibrary.org>
  *   how the design of jeffcolibrary.org<http://jeffcolibrary.org> ensures the usability and accessibility of that content
  *   what experience patrons have using jeffcolibrary.org<http://jeffcolibrary.org>
Content Strategy

Principle of Publishing
*         Publish useful content.
*         Publish content that is aware of audience and context.
*         Publish content that supports the Library's mission, strategic objectives and brand.
*         Create best practices to deliver effective service to our users.
Principle of Collaboration
*         Publish content through collaboration with JCPL stakeholders.
*         Support collaboration with a shared set of guidelines and communication norms.
Principle of Venues
*         Provide channels to distribute dynamic and reusable content.
*         Host venues that facilitate communication and connection.
*         Create sustainable venues.
Principle of Selection
*         Curate content according to users' needs.
*         Use concise action-based language.
*         Make evidence-based decisions about what we say to users and how we say it.
Principle of Expertise
*         Publish reliable content that instills confidence in library services.
*         Inform content with the expertise of staff who best know their content areas and their users.
Design Strategy
Principle of Choices

  *   Keep the number of choices manageable for each page.
  *   Global navigation reflects top user tasks.
  *   Limit sub-menus to five items (including a "more..." link).
Principle of Convention

  *   Follow users' expectations in terms of placement, functionality and structure.
Principle of Exemplars

  *   Use icons to make actionable items visually intuitive.
  *   Use visual examples to communicate what content is.
  *   Use contextual images that compliment, describe or encapsulate content they appear alongside.
Principle of Emphasis

  *   Make the focus of pages clear.
  *   Limit the number of focal points per page.
  *   Apply a consistent approach to textual emphasis.
Principle of Front Doors

  *   Make every page, in part, a landing page.
  *   Provide a unified global navigation.
Principle of Simplicity

  *   Minimize distractions to performing user tasks.
  *   Present information clearly.
  *   Use white space to enhance usability.
  *   Remove barriers and extra steps.
User Experience Statement

A user finishes using our website and reflects:

  *   I got that done and it was pretty easy.
  *   I feel confident about what I accomplished.
  *   I can do that again when I need to because it just made sense.
  *   I can connect with librarians and get help when I need it.
  *   I found out something new about the library.
  *   I will use this site again to do new things.

On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM, Lisa Holmberg <lisa.holmberg at gmail.com<mailto:lisa.holmberg at gmail.com>> wrote:
Our web team is about to start writing a content strategy document for our library. We were wondering if anyone had a web content strategy document that they would be able to share with us. As a public library, we're particularly interested in content strategies of public libraries, but I think we're still learning so much that seeing any examples would be helpful!

Thank you.


Lisa Holmberg
Web Services Specialist
Boulder Public Library
1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302
holmbergl at boulderlibrary.org<mailto:holmbergl at boulderlibrary.org>


To unsubscribe: http://bit.ly/web4lib

Web4Lib Web Site: http://web4lib.org/


Christopher Evjy
Digital Experience Manager
Jefferson County Public Library, Colorado

To unsubscribe: http://bit.ly/web4lib

Web4Lib Web Site: http://web4lib.org/



To unsubscribe: http://bit.ly/web4lib

Web4Lib Web Site: http://web4lib.org/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.nd.edu/pipermail/web4lib/attachments/20140103/d1aee77e/attachment.htm>

More information about the Web4lib mailing list