How is discovery implemented in library sites? New study provides data

An interesting study from Scott Jones and Angie Thorpe in the latest issue of the Journal of Web Librarianship:

Library Home Page Design at Medium-Sized Institutions

Jones and Thorpe systematically analyzed library website homepage content at 313 medium-sized academic institutions (3,000-9,999 FTE).  They looked at 118 different design elements, including how web scale discovery services such as EDS or Summon were presented on the home page.

What they found:

  • 40% of the libraries had a discovery service
  • 44% of libraries with a discovery service gave it a library brand name
  • 30% used the vendor brand name
  • 26% used no brand name at all
  • 52% presented discovery as part of a multi-tabbed search box
  • 34% presented discovery in it’s own search box
  • 67% provided context for the discovery search

I recommend checking out the article for useful data on other design elements, including use of  social media (Facebook 68%, Twitter 39%), librarian chat (46%), most common page links (97% link to university), and more.  This is data that library web designers can put to immediate use.

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