9 comments on “Why do some university library websites suck?

  1. Hi Lelil,

    Your Save library websites post is very interesting. Have put Mind Boggling into my Google Reader.

    I had a further look at the UEL Library website, and have been finding even more problems.

  2. Hi Roddy,

    You will be pleased to hear that our website is under review and a large
    number of the changes you mention are already planned. I am sure
    you would find it rather tedious were I to respond point by point to
    your crit, which is actually extremely useful to us. I’m very pleased you like our Info skills site (which you refer to right at the end of your post) which has been praised by a number of colleagues in UK academic libraries, some of whom have asked permission to use our content themselves. It recently received the 2011 Innovation award from Cilip UC&R and you will be pleased to hear we are going to build on that success and use Info skills as a model for our updated web site. Watch this space!

    Incidentally Athens and e books are very familiar terms to UEL
    students, who receive above average (for the sector) levels of information skills training, and have the opportunity for one to one advice from their Subject Librarians and other library staff both online and face to face, as they need it. Our Ask a Librarian chat service (which you helpfully noted showed some slightly out of date information – now corrected) has been a huge success and our students love it – and I would be happy to share the feedback we’ve received from them if you like!

    Anyway, we will welcome your comments on our new website when it goes
    live later this semester. As you will know from our ‘You said, we did’ page,
    which you also say you like, we always take feedback seriously, act on it and provide responses which we are only too happy to publicise on our web site. I believe this atttitude and approach is one of the measures of a really professional and responsive library service which continually seeks to improve and which is able to take all truly constructive criticism on board. Thanks for taking the time to analyse our web site so thoroughly.
    Cathy Walsh
    Head of Library and Learning Services, UEL

  3. Hi cathy,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. The “You said … we did” – idea is something that other libraries may want to copy. It shows that suggestions are acted upon.

    I see that some of the things I wrote about have already been changed, and I’m glad that you found the crit useful.


  4. Pingback: Information literacy « Roddy Macleod's Blog

  5. Hi Rob,

    Get your clients to find 10 issues/problems with http://www.hw.ac.uk/library/find.html

    e.g. Page maintained by: YourName@hw.ac.uk

    “To search for journal articles you should use a resource that has been designed to help you do this.” OH REALLY!

    Compare http://www.hw.ac.uk/library/find.html with the other verbs (Research, Ask, etc), where the paras under the headings don’t give advice, and the pages are easier to read.

    Get your clients to write better descriptive paragraphs for the headings.

    Sometimes, library websites have problems because the institution forces them to use a university-wide template. In the case of UEL Library, this is possibly why the SEARCH goes to UEL Direct, and is also why the overall design of the H-W site is so dire and uninspiring.

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