Library Homepage Design at Medium-Sized Institutions

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Taylor & Francis


This study sought to describe and analyze the homepages of academic library Web sites at 313 medium-sized bachelor's and master's general institutions. The authors evaluated an unprecedented number of library homepages for the presence of 118 design elements and reported common and uncommon design practices at these libraries. They found 21 elements present on at least half the homepages studied. Seven of these occurred on at least 80 percent of the pages studied: links to the university homepage, library hours, images, portals by subject or links to subject guides, links to interlibrary loan services, “about” sections, and catalog searches. This study serves as a baseline for the current practices of homepage design for a large population of libraries. The results of this survey indicate trends and common design elements for library Web site design and show which elements Web designers and librarians at medium-sized libraries should consider including on their Web pages. Findings are compared with a similar study conducted in 2010, and this study in turn may provide a comparison point for future research. The study also reports characteristics of the implementation of discovery services for this population of libraries in unprecedented detail and provides descriptive information about homepage links to social media sites and mobile applications.



World Wide Web, Web sites, university libraries, academic libraries, homepage design, discovery services, library Web sites, design elements, social media


Jones, S. L., & Thorpe, A. (2014). Library homepage design at medium-sized institutions. Journal of Web Librarianship, 8(1), 1-22.