Words like databases, MARC records, or weeding have a specific meaning for librarians. For example, if I tell another teacher I am busy weeding, they may think I am in the school garden. Instead, I am following protocol to remove outdated books from the library.
When creating our school library web pages, users may not have the same understanding of certain words. For example, a young learner may not know that the library catalog link will take them to a page listing books in the school library. A catalog is not a common word used by most learners. What words would a learner recognize? For my library website, I changed the links to “books” and “search for books”.
What other terms do school librarians commonly use that learners do not recognize?
- Review your home page to see the library terms used.
- Review your navigation. Do you use words that students would recognize to access different pages on your site?
- Ask students to provide a description of what they think each link/term means. Is the description what you intended?
For more information about updating your school library website, visit two other earlier posts.
School Library Website – User Friendly and Learner Centered: Provides a brief overview of how to start analyzing your school library website that is user friendly and learner centered.
School Library Website – Layout: Discusses the layout of important items on a page and how to improve the layout for users.
In the comments, let us know what terms you use on your library site to describe library vocabulary.
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience in education. Becca is the Coordinator for Library Systems in the Blue Valley School District. Previously, she was school librarian at Blue Valley West High School. She opened two buildings in Blue Valley and spent some time as an Ed Tech Specialist before returning to libraries. Becca supports over 45 librarians and support staff as they work to fulfill the mission of flexible scheduling, collaboration, and literacy.