As you are all no doubt aware by now, I haven't put much effort into this website over the past few years (which is why I felt the need for an overhaul). The content was stale, the design well past its prime, and the coding not even close to current standards. All this, despite the fact that I developed websites for a living. You'd think that a web developer would have a wonderfully designed website of his own, but that is not the case (but I'm working on it).
In addition to being a web developer, I am also a librarian. When the two are combined, the result is someone who looks critically at a lot of library websites. Now, one would think that libraries, who are all about organization and information access, would have easily-navigated and content-rich websites. But I find that this usually isn’t the case. It seems pretty hit or miss, depending on the people at the library, and, I surmise, how much they care about “new” technologies.
But then I thought, perhaps the idea that libraries should naturally have great websites isn’t all that logical. After all, libraries generally don’t create information - they organize it. The various classification systems libraries use were given to them, and don’t really take any input or creation - it’s just a set of rules to follow. So, perhaps that is the approach that should be taken with library websites. If you take away the creation aspect (which does take time and skill), and just provide libraries with a structured framework to fill in with their content, online patrons would have a better chance of finding what they need, and the librarians could spend more time doing what they do best.
I know this sounds very draconian and like it would lead to blandly identical websites, but I don’t think it would be that bad. Besides, I’m still working on the idea.