To Bento or Not to Bento – Displaying search results

Many academic institutions – including my own – have moved to a “bento-box” style search result display:  a single search box that returns side-by-side results from multiple library search tools, e.g., library catalog, article index, institutional repository, website, LibGuides, etc.  In this post, I explore the pros and cons of “bento-ing.”  Why to Bento Eliminates…

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Usable Library of the Month – Boston College

This month’s usable library is: Boston College Library What I like: Newly redesigned, fully responsive site uses LibGuides CMS Search results returned in “bento-box” style, with articles and books separated (see this article for more on bento box search) Includes link to old library website to ease transition Database dropdown under search box provides quick access to known…

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Usable Library of the Month – Baldwin Public Library, MI

This month’s usable library is: Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI What I like: Recent redesign Responsive Drupal site Clear distinction between website and catalog search Link icon indicate when a user is being taken to an external site (e.g. events calendar)

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Usable Library of the Month – Luther College

This month’s usable library is: Luther College, Iowa What I like: Easy to understand, jargon-free explanations for Finding Primary Sources, Evaluating Internet sites, Check for print or Electronic Journal Availability, and more Point-of-need links to tutorials and help on Find Scholarly Articles page Clean, modern look and feel: sans-serif fonts, lots of white space, good color scheme Responsive Breadcrumb…

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Usable Library of the Month – University of Toronto

This month’s usable library is: University of Toronto What I like: New site launched in May, 2015.  For a comparison, see old site snapshot at the Internet Archive. Search upgraded from tabbed to single search box The “Find a specific article” page Excellent outreach on new site design and launch, including why site was redesigned and opportunities…

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Report from Designing 4 Digital – A Library UX conference

This week I attended Designing For Digital, a new library UX conference held in Austin, TX.  The brainchild of Judy Siegel and Bonnie Tijerina, D4D aims to: “educate and expose library and information professionals to colleagues working on user experience, discovery, design and usability projects inside and outside of libraries.” Attendees, though small in number, came…

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Usable Library of the Month – Houston Public Library

This month’s usable library is: Houston Public Library What I like: Newly redesigned!  Compare to the previous site (Internet Archive snapshot.) Accessible, mobile, responsive design Breadcrumbs for ease of navigation Main menu labels simplified, jargon removed: “Find it, Learn & Explore, Research, Get Involved.” Events calendar fully integrated into site

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Top 10 Academic Library Websites 2014

Here are my favorite academic libraries of 2014. I expected this year’s sites to be: Unified – I wanted a seamless, integrated research experience.  I looked for cross-platform search tools, integration with courses,  and built-in, non-siloed research guides. Instructive – I wanted the site to teach me how to be a better researcher.  I looked for embedded…

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Usable Library of the Week – Addison Public

This week’s usable library is: Addison Public Library, IL What I like: Attractive, easy-to-read design Responsive and mobile-friendly Jargon-free “Book a Librarian” on the research page “Confused? Book a Tech” on the e-books page, right where you most need it Big “Order items” button is much more understandable than ILL  

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Usable Library of the Week – Universiteit Gent

This week’s usable library is: Universiteit Gent, Belgium What I like: Their Blacklight search interface: lots of white space and large fonts for clean, readable look and feel Search detail includes “For Librarians” and “For Developer” tabs with access to MARC/XML/JSON records as well as links to open datasets Both Permalink and Citing are prominent…

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