Information Update - Spring 2007

Weinberg Library Launches Redesigned Web Site

If you’ve visited the Weinberg Library’s Web site this semester, you’ve noticed that the “virtual” Library has a new look. The Library launched its redesigned Web site during Intersession. The new “Home” page for the Library makes better use of your monitor by extending the width of the page and by minimizing the need for scrolling down the length of the page. The size of the text font has been increased, and the contrast between the color of the text and the color of the background has been improved.
Prominently located in the center of the page is a text box for searching the Library Catalog. Below that are the primary links for other pages on the Library’s Web site, separated by ample space between each. Placing your mouse on any of these links opens a sub-menu. By moving the mouse directly to the right, you can select one of these secondary links. When you click on one of the thumbnail images at the bottom of the page, a larger image will open up in this central space. This feature gives prospective students a brief glimpse of the Weinberg Library.
The top right has other options that you can choose from besides "Saved Records." These include: Catalogs - this option takes you back to the beginning to select either a new group of catalogs or an individual catalog; New Search - this option allows you to start a new search using the group you have currently selected; History - this shows you all of the searches you have performed and allows you to return to the results; Help - this option reviews what records are in the NPLN Online Catalog and how to search the catalog; and Exit - this option logs you out of the catalog. There are other options for searching the NPLN Online Catalog. To search by an author's name, click on the tab to select "Authors" and then type in the author's last name followed by a comma and then the first name. The procedure for searching for by an author's name is also noted on the bottom of the screen.
The left-hand side of the page contains a site map and links to Ask a Librarian (chat or e-mail reference), the CTLE (Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence), PALCI (self-service book borrowing from another library), your Library account, the Friends of the Library, and the Tutorial on Scholarly Research and Academic Honesty. Below that is listed the Library’s regular hours along with its address and the telephone number of the Reference Desk. On the right-hand side of the page, there is a link for the systems status for all of the different University systems as well as links for news and events related to the Library. There is also a space for announcements, for example, notification that one of the Library databases is experiencing problems.
Although the page was created by Ahmad Jordan, a professional Web page designer who works for the University’s Public Relations Department, the design was the product of input from Library users, Librarians, and the Library’s system staff. The redesign has been a work in progress since the spring of 2005. Students and faculty expressed their opinions about the usability of the Library Web site through participation in the focus group and Web usability research conducted by Professor Bonnie Oldham during the 2005-2006 academic year. Additional information was provided by Library users via the LibQual+™ survey. Three main areas were identified as in need of improvement--the style of the Library’s “Home page,” the username and password, and ease of access to the databases.


Besides the overall new look of the redesigned Library Web site, the Library has simplified access to the Library’s databases. When you login to MyScranton, you will notice a new tab that says “Library.” Click on this tab to get to the Library Web site. If you have trouble logging in or need to change your password, contact the Help Desk at 941-4357.
Focus group participants were worried that if the library’s Web site changed, then they would have to learn where everything is all over again; but when surveyed about the new Library Web page, they indicated that it is less confusing, easier to use, and somewhat more intuitive. If you bookmarked the Library in your Web browser, you may need to reset your bookmark to the new page.
Library Dean Charles Kratz said that as a result of all the assessment that the Library has done during the past year, he is happy to be able to tell our users, “We listened to what you said.”
Bonnie Oldham