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ERIC Number: EJ891782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
Separate but Equal? A Comparison of Content on Library Web Pages and Their Text Versions
Hazard, Brenda L.
Journal of Web Librarianship, v2 n2-3 p417-428 2008
This study examines the Web sites of the Association of Research Libraries member libraries to determine the presence of a separate text version of the default graphical homepage. The content of the text version and the homepage is compared. Of 121 Web sites examined, twenty libraries currently offer a text version. Ten sites maintain wholly separate text pages, and another ten are dynamically generated with text transcoders or stylesheet translation. The descriptor and placement of the link to the text versions varies considerably and is often placed inconveniently for users relying on linear speech output or text display. Separately maintained text versions often omitted useful content and were updated with less frequency than their equivalent graphical page, in violation of Web accessibility guidelines. Outdated news, lack of contact information, omission of links to new functionality such as metasearch tools, and exclusion of quick links were some indicators of the lack of attention given to the text version. Failure to maintain equivalent content is a disservice not only to users with disabilities but also to the nascent constituency of users with mobile devices. Libraries that offer a separate text version of their homepage must ensure it is given equal attention and similar content. Adoption of standards-based Web design offers the greatest promise of providing accessible content independent of device, thereby eliminating the need to maintain separate text-only pages. (Contains 1 table and 17 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A