In August 2019, library administration came to three of us librarians and asked us to head up a team to redesign the library’s website; we were given comparative freedom to ideate how we wished. We identified existing pain points, and undertook a massive overhaul to improve our web users’ experience. Pain points we identified included: lack of cohesion between library and archives webpages, non-existent navigation, and accessibility challenges. Thus, our primary objectives became unifying the look and design of the website, making it easier to navigate, and improving accessibility. Our previous website was SpringShare-hosted, and we opted to continue using SpringShare as our platform because of its ease of use, cost, and customizability. However, we were determined that our website would not “look like a guide.” With some expanded skillsets, we delivered a fresh website, in spite of a global pandemic. There are many simple changes that can be made in LibGuides CMS to make guides look like custom-designed webpages. Some require HTML and CSS know-how, others don’t. See what we did and find inspiration for your own website.
Emily Underwood is a research and instruction librarian at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in Geneva, NY. In addition to teaching information literacy, she is also the library webmaster. She is also interested in health literacy and doing what she can to help dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health. In her spare time she enjoys listening to leadership, personal finance, and popular psychology books (audio books are the best), as well as taking her dog on long walks.
Library Type: Academic Library
Demographic Served: students, faculty, and staff
Population Size: ~2000
Library Staff Size: 18
Plan for Fall 2021 both course if any and library instruction: Mostly in-person, but maybe a little bit of everything
Instagram: @emilyrunderwood | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emily-underwood