Our department was invited to contribute feedback to the Web Team for their website redesign project, specifically looking for inaccuracies and outdated information.
We were also asked to provide additional feedback and comments about how the content might “be redesigned or reorganized to better promote the activities or services of your department”. I’ve been thinking a lot about how the library catalog could be improved. Even if the Web Team is focusing on the pages that surround the catalog, I thought this was a good opportunity to organize and share my ideas. I wrote:
1. combine bib records for print and e-access to journals
2. put coverage information for journals on the search results page so that resources can be compared (much like the EBSCO A-to-Z list)
3. make search categories prompt search help: if I choose “Journal Title”, make those hints appear on the page instantly, or as part of my search—but put them in a more visible place
4. make the search hints more comprehensive (e.g. tell patrons to try “and” and “&” in title/journal title searches)
5. add “Journal Title” in search options at all points (it currently isn’t part of the “Guided Keyword Search”)
6. make the “Ask a Librarian” link more prominent in the catalog to better encourage patrons to contact a librarian if their search (or our search hints) aren’t helping
7. include more sorting options for search results, like “format” or “type” so books can be instantly distinguished from journals or DVDs (perhaps this can be accomplished using the location code, but presenting it to the user as format—media, book, journal, etc.)
If the catalog is ever redesigned it will probably be a separate undertaking. I believe a redesign is necessary, given the addition of so many electronic resources in the past few years (the catalog has become a gateway, not just a finding aid), and I hope it will be done soon.