Library Web Design – Search Box Round-up

If you could only have one single feature on your library web page… what would it be?

Search, right? Except library searches don’t usually work like Google (yet)… That doesn’t mean library websites should hide their search boxes, all tucked away in the corner.

Here are a few lovelies I thought I’d highlight. I tried to stick mostly to search boxes that let the user choose which “silo” to search (so, more than just a web page search or catalog search) but a few single searches were worth including.

University of Virginia Library
Now that’s a dedication to giving up some screen real estate! It won’t even fit in my blog template. I bet this one doesn’t get missed. It also has a fresh “2.0″ feeling (as does the rest of the site). Oh, and one of the tabs is for Google Scholar… interesting!

British Library
The search box is in a very prominent location, and it’s very clear about what is being searched. The little descriptions of what each search option includes is a fantastic idea and I bet does a lot to solve those pesky terminology problems.

Free Library of Philadelphia
I’m not actually sure I like how you have to select the box to do a site search only… (I’d prefer it not have the message above about what’s being searched and instead have select boxes below that say “catalog,” “databases,” and “site search” and all are selected by default). However, I find their overall design irresistible and I appreciate that the “FIND” area is a good 1/3 of the main body content!

University of North Carolina Libraries
When you select a different tab – the options under the text box change. Nicely designed and seems easy enough to use.

Vancouver Public Library
Catalog search only, but I really like how well it’s integrated into the overall site design. Very simple, yet still stands out.

Yale University Library
This is the most simple example but simple is sometimes hard to do. It has a good amount of white space around it that helps set it out from the rest of the site.

I found a few more nice onces – All are in my Search Box flickr set.

Any suggestions for other sites that have a nice, big search box?

1 Comment so far

  1. Ben Toth on May 11th, 2008

    Hello Suzanne

    Nice blog. Here’s another UK offering –

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