Re-envisioning the library website

It began innocently enough. One of my co-workers mentioned that the children’s page for our library was really outdated. I had just registered for this class and I thought it might be fun to take on the challenge of redesigning the page. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Really, our library’s website isn’t bad. It’s better than some I’ve seen, just a little bland. So I started goofing around. I was inspired by the design of the Maui Community College Library, which Michael blogged about some months ago. My first attempt was really bad. No… really.

But the effort was not in vain, because I got to practice using tables in tables. I know that using tables to create layout is no longer correct, but with my limited knowledge of html, it was the only option available to me.

Having the chance to map out my plans for the page was really helpful. It helped me know where I was going before I started messing with the code. The other assignment that significantly affected my thinking in regards to this project was the website review. I loved the content and design of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg’s Kids page, and have incorporated many of their ideas in the organization of my site.

Putting the Youth Services page together was not difficult, just time consuming. Even though content was not a factor in the project grade, I would ultimately like to use this page as an example of what could be done to re-think the real kids page. I needed enough content to flesh out my thinking. I used the picture of the library and the library logo from the main page. I created the Youth Services logo in Publisher. I chose green because of the color scheme of the original library page, and tan because it was a nice complementary color. While I do like the bolder color schemes used on other library kids pages, I sometimes find them kitschy or garish. I felt a more understated color scheme, supplemented by lots of colorful pictures, would convey the idea of a children’s space without “screaming”. As for the colorful photos, Flickr Creative Commons is AWESOME! Of course, eventually I’d like to have pictures from our library, but we’re still wrestling with privacy and liability, so we’ll leave that for now.

Overall, I’m happy with the way the page turned out. Obviously, there’s still some work to be done. Eventually, I’d like to play around with some CSS and maybe even redo the whole page the “right” way.

But for now, the page is achieving the objective: I’ve managed to sneak my way on to the library’s website re-design committee. Because of the information I’ve learned in this class, I have a lot of ideas to contribute. And, more importantly, the confidence to share them. We probably won’t be adding texting or cover flow. But we have a blog now. And I’m going to float MeeboMe at our next meeting. So there’s progress.

And I’m good with that. It’s good enough 🙂