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Web Page Review: Rebecca Crown Library

March 28, 2008

In doing this assignment, I reviewed many library web sites to see which ones were the most user-friendly, and made it easiest for patrons to find the information they need. I was most impressed with Orange County Library System in Orlando, Florida, and New York Public Library. Both libraries have very impressive web sites that are user-friendly.

The Orange County Library System’s (OCLS) web site is a site that employs Flash, but that doesn’t detract from the site at all. In fact, users can switch from the Flash version to a simple HTML site, or a text-only version. Links at the top of the page include important items like Home, Locations, Get Your Card, Contact Us, Donate, About Us, Confused?, Site Map, Podcasts & RSS, and Jobs. The Confused link takes users to a page that contains a search box where users can search for help on anything to do with the Orange County Library System. The web site also has a search box at the top of the page where users can search the catalog or the OCLS web site. The home page also has other links down the side of the page for Library Catalog, Innovations @ OCLS, Virtual Library, Classes & Programs, Children & Teens, and Login to My OCLS. The links on the home page make it very easy for patrons to find what they need.

The New York Public Library’s web site is not quite as simple as the Orange County Library System, but it still is very user-friendly. The top of the page includes links to Libraries and Hours, Books and Materials, Digital Collection, Calendar, My Account, About NYPL, and Support NYPL. The home page is divided into sections, that include a Calendar, Books and Materials, Libraries, Services, and News. The page also includes two search boxes. One search box has a drop-down box that allows patrons to select options such as everything, circulating, non-circulating, NYPL digital, archives, and NYPL website. Another search box also has a drop-down box and is called “How Do You …” The drop-down box has options like get a library card, reserve a book, get a job at NYPL, find events, research a topic, etc.

The Rebecca Crown Library does have Meebo and Ask Away on the home page. This makes it easy for patrons to ask reference questions of the librarians. The web site is divided into sections that include Find Books, Find Articles, Services, Research Help, Contact Us, About Us, Crown Library Blog, and Ask Us. The sections are helpful, but you must click on one of these links to find information. Both the Orange County Library System and the New York Public Library web sites use search boxes to make it easier for their patrons. It would be much more beneficial if a search box plus a drop-down box was incorporated to the Crown Library web site. This would allow for patrons to find information more quickly.

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