For my first post I thought I’d start with a list and descriptions of my favorite library websites. These are sites that I think do a really nice job of balancing usability, aesthetics, and a lot of content. Oh, and they’re also good self-promoters. Self-promotion might not seem like an obvious fit with these other things, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately that it’s going to become even more essential for libraries if they are going to compete with the likes of – well, Google, of course. I’ll post more examples from each of these categories in the future, but for now, these are my favorites.
Do you have a favorite? Let me know.
Ann Arbor District Library
This site is very cleanly designed, offers simple ways to navigate, doesn’t overload the user with tons of links, and unconventionally dedicates most of the screen real estate to events and news.
At first I was a little surprised by the springy color theme, but it has really grown on me. Plus I appreciate all that beautiful white space. I don’t normally like links in a line but they’ve kept their lists short so I think it works fine. This is also a nice example of grid design that doesn’t feel too boxed in.
I like the color scheme and overall it has a really welcoming feeling. Ya, I’m a sucker for photos.
Free Library of Philadelphia
I love how bold this site is. Its so simple and friendly – Find… Explore…Ask…
New York Public Library
NYPL has a stately look without feeling cold and unfriendly. Again, photos = good. And I especially appreciate the prominence that the digital collections get.
Yale University Library
Yale has succeeded in balancing content with style. So hard to do.