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New San Jose Public Library Website

   November 16th, 2010

Whoa - check out the new website for the San Jose Public Library:

San Jose Public Library website

Sarah goes into some detail about the features of the new website and their reasoning behind it, which is worth reading. Here's my two cents too:

  • I love that they've done away with organizing their website along library department lines (Reference, Childrens Teens, etc.)
  • The design is wonderful - so clean and simple, yet colorful, engaging and informative. It's so different it's shocking at first, but once your eyes and mind adjust to the new design, everything is just there
  • Actually, now that I think of it, the homepage reminds me of the app icons on a smartphone - which is an interface that increasing numbers of people are becoming familiar with
  • I like embedding functionality, so two things I'd be curious to try to see if they'd work are:
    • In the New and Events block, instead of a picture to click on, embed a scrollable list of upcoming events to bring that info one step closer to the patron. Also include the link to drill down into the rest of that section
    • In the Locations block, again instead of a picture, it'd be neat to just embed the Google Map right there, and have each of the branch location markers include address, phone, email, and hours. That would put so much information right on the homepage, and of course again include a link to get into the rest of the section
    • But these might be overwhelming, so you'd have to try them to see

My library is planning to redesign our website, ahead of our migration to Evergreen. I'm definitely going to lobby to use SJPL's design as one of our models. Good job guys.

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4 Responses to “New San Jose Public Library Website”

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for Swiss Army Librarian » New San Jose Public Library Website :: Brian Herzog [swissarmylibrarian.net] on Topsy.com Says:

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  2. Anne Says:

    Wow! That is really lovely. I loathe our website – WAAAAAAY too much going on. I can only imagine how easy it would be to show patrons how to find things with such a simple interface.


    I’m going to send this to our web people. We’re migrating to Polaris in March, and I believe there will be a major website overhaul (I hope).

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Robert Says:

    The one thing I preferred about the old website was that it represented the merger of the SJPL and San Jose State University libraries. SJSU and SJPL share physical materials, and anyone inside the Martin Luther King, Jr. building can access SJSU-purchased databases. With the new setup, both systems have their own website and it might discourage public patrons from making use of the valuable resources the university is sharing.

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Robert: I saw a mention of SJSU in Sarah’s post, but not knowing the history, it didn’t make much sense to me. I agree that making sure people know all the resources available to them is important.

    In my library, we actually have the opposite dilemma: we’re part of a 36-library consortium, and our catalog is set to search all libraries’ holdings by default. So most of the time when a patron searches our catalog, they find books they want that we don’t have in our library. Which is fine for requesting items, but when people are in our library, their preference is definitely for things they can get right now. It’s not too much trouble to show them how to limit to our building, but it’s not intuitive.

    So, just like the in the SJPL/SJSU example, there must be some happy medium between “local only” and “all available” – but I have been able to find an interface that obviously strikes that balance yet.