The College’s library has unveiled the new Web site which has been “heavily influenced by students,” according to Jacqui Dacosta, the information literacy librarian at the College.
The Web site was designed by Matthew Winkel, the College’s Web designer, with the help of the library Web committee over a period of about 10 months. The site, which is more user-friendly and designed to look like the College homepage, is completely finished, according to Dacosta.
“(Winkel) and the library Web committee were thinking, ‘Well, we had this Web site for four or five years and it hasn’t been doing what we wanted,'” Dacosta said. “We started the project probably in November. We knew that we wanted student feedback.”
After researching other libraries’ Web sites, a survey was sent out to students to get an impression of the likes and dislikes of the previous library site. This feedback influenced the prototypes of the new site, which were demonstrated at focus groups with students over the summer. The next stage included students performing tasks on the prototypes and navigating through them.
“The site is prototype 22 or an even higher number,” Dacosta said. “It seemed like an endless time.”
Faculty and staff were able to attend workshops and give their opinions as well, which were generally positive, according to Dacosta.
“We’ll still spot things that make us go, ‘oh, why didn’t we spot that before?'” Dacosta said.
The new site, which is accessible through the College’s home page and at tcnj.edu/~library, is designed to reflect the College’s current site design. There are three main columns with the left column remaining consistent throughout the various links. One of the main changes to the library home page is the inclusion of a search box.
“We never had one before,” Dacosta said, “but Google has one and people are very familiar with researching this way.”
Though the search box is currently only for books, films and music, it is possible that in the future it will also include articles.
Instead, the library home page has a link to search for articles, which includes a database of subject areas such as anthropology and modern languages. By clicking one of the subject areas one is given recommended databases for that subject and information on the librarian who oversees that particular subject. It also has links to popular article search engines such as EBSCOhost and Google Scholar.
“I think it’s very helpful,” Kerline Sulpha, junior psychology major, said. “I guess it’s just more helpful to find articles, which is what I use it for the most. Especially for electronic articles, it’s easier.”
Access to personal library accounts is also included directly on the home page, along with floor plans of the library and exact locations of materials.
Though the workshops on the new site ended last week, there could be more if there is a high demand for them, Dacosta said.
“The life span of the site will probably be three to four years,” Dacosta said. “You can’t predict what’ll happen in the future.”