School Library Website – User Friendly and Learner Centered

As we work to create a welcoming atmosphere in our physical library spaces, our  school library websites should convey a welcoming and helpful online environment for our learners as well.  When students have online access from phones and other devices almost 24/7, our school library web pages can become a critical component in delivering quality instructional tools and resources.

How often do we ask others to provide feedback about our website?  What type of feedback is helpful when designing the navigation and layout making the site user-friendly? Do we view the website from a library novice perspective?

Asking questions about our website design can give insight to how we can improve the site and create a welcoming experience.

Getting Started

Begin by choosing two or three pages on your website. Include your home page along with two or three supporting pages.

Look at the text or images that identify what this page is about – not looking at what you know, but what a user sees on the page to identify the content.

Identify the important information on the page.  Where is it located? Is it prominent for a user to easily find?

Home Page

Is the school and library title and logo at the top of the page for easy recognition?

Does a user need to scroll to find those most important items on the page?

Do you have a navigation menu?  Where is it located?

Do you use visuals – color and images – to help users scan the page for quick access to information?


What is the page title?

Is the school library logo or information located on the page?

How can the user easily return to the home page?

Can the user easily get to other locations on this site from this page?

How would you access this site from the home page? Is this page easy to find?

How are visuals used to help a user navigate?

I love scouting the web for creative school library websites.  I discover ideas about page layouts, instructional tools and other unique nuggets that school librarians use to create an online presence for staff, students and the community.  I also develop an idea of the library’s focus – what the school library and staff find important and how that is communicated online.

To continue to improve your school library site, look at other sites and analyze your school library site.  Utilize the questions above to help you gather information.  In future blog posts, I will provide details about how to improve the site – site maps, accessibility features, vocabulary, visuals, navigation and more.

Author: Becca Munson

Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .

Categories: Blog Topics, Technology


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