Public Libraries in Smart Cities and Communities Toolbox
Although we often hear that websites are not needed any longer if you have social media accounts and are active on social media, your library’s website may still be a core piece of your marketing plan, as a communication tool that presents your library’s strategy to contribute to smart city/community development as well as your programs and services. You may also include static information about your library on your website, such as a way for the community to get in touch with you, your address, and your opening ours.
A website can also be the channel for patrons to access your electronic services, such as online catalogs and repositories, training initiatives, and registration to you activities. There has been a lot written about what makes a good website and that applies to public libraries’ websites as well.
For example, make sure that your website is clean, sleek, has a modern design and layout, and is easy to navigate. In general, it is a good idea that you test your website taking into account 1) content (types of information and styles made available such as general information, buildings, and e-services), 2) accessibility (which will guarantee that your website produces no or minimal obstacles for any users trying to access its contents irrespective of disabilities), 3) usability (user friendliness of the website), 4) privacy/security (features of websites pertaining to security and privacy issues resulting in “trust” and “loyalty” toward your website), 5) quality (attributes that website should have, such as frequent updates, relevant information, structural consistency, or operational functions), and 6) interaction and engagement (ability of the website to link residents with your public library).
General resources on websites:
Resources on Website Content, Development, Usability and Design from the American Library Association: https://wikis.ala.org/professionaltips/index.php?title=Websites