Thursday, 23 October 2014

Library Web Site - Finalist in the web awards 2014

The library website was a finalist in the Web Awards Education and Third Level category, The website aims to provide access to multiple information sources via a single online service.
More details about the site below:

  • A bento style search box offers all the search options a user needs from a drop down menu, with the integrated resource discover layer providing the default search location as it provides search results from multiple search target in one unified cloud hosted search page.  These sources include:
    • Metadata stored on the library’s catalogue server (which also hosts the website), (+36,000 physical items) 
    • Online collections (c. Books 28,5873, Journals 10,3275 on 293 databases)
    • Virtual items (Exam papers c. 38,000 downloads since April ’14)
    • Library information blogs
    • Online library calendars
    • Booking systems
    • RSS feeds
This is all delivered via an accessible standard compliant (WCAG AAA tested) responsive site design. Javascript and iframes are used to place information in the relevant positions, without the need to visit several library sources. In the first 5 months of operation there were 187,472 page views (excluding those visited post login (connections via the proxy server c.277,621 to information sources in the same period). A mobile app is available for users on the go.

Once logged in at the library web site the user can:
  • View their account details and update them, 
  • Renew loans (14% of all transactions since April 2014) 
  • Place a hold on a book on loan
  • Request a title not in stock
  • Save searches
  • Create lists, 
  • View their reading history and export it in a bibliography friendly format for use with bibliographic reference management software
  • Rate materials, 
  • Book rooms and equipment
  • Access online databases, journals and e-articles.

The site itself is hosted on the proprietary web platform provided by the library management software vendor III, and this posed several challenges as to how the pages are constructed for the design team. Eventually solutions were found to all the issues except where code was generated by the system, and not accessible to edit. There are 100’s of pages on the site itself, creating a rich information resource for users, all of which is searchable via a Google site search, including:
  • Subject support details
  • Links to discipline related online sites and services
  • Help and support services
  • Help and FAQ pages and forms
  • Online chat for support

1 comment:

Jon Sigurdsson said...

Thanks for sharing this post!
That was quite informative

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