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ERIC Number: EJ948367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
A Use of Space: The Unintended Messages of Academic Library Web Sites
Kasperek, Sheila; Dorney, Erin; Williams, Beth; O'Brien, Michael
Journal of Web Librarianship, v5 n3 p220-248 2011
Academic library home pages are not only access points to the resources and services of a library, they are virtual representations of the library itself. The content placed on the page, where it is placed, and the amount of space allotted are all choices that send a message about the character of the library, the resources a user should start with, and the library's attitude toward its users. This study explores the messages being sent by the content selection and design of the home pages of 49 of the 50 largest academic libraries in the United States. By looking at the area allocated to different content types and the number and location of different content types, the researchers discovered that design elements and promotion/public relations receive a large amount of page space. The researchers also identified the prominently positioned multi-search box as the apparent de facto standard access point to library resources. Many sites are clearly designed to direct users to specific, presumably important resources. Other sites are more obscure in their site structure and design, increasing the options and visual clutter for users without providing much guidance. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States