If you want to think deeply about academic libraries' websites and how faculty and students use them, you'll want to delve into "The Library Web Site of the Future," an article that just appeared (Feb. 17) in Inside Higher Ed. It's another thought-provoking piece from Temple University's Steven Bell.
If you've built your academic library's website to function as a portal to all the fantastic content you own, do you realize that most people don't use it that way?
I won't simplify the article by trying to summarize in a sentence or two, but one telling quote says that, according to studies, "faculty increasingly access what they need elsewhere or simply find alternate routes around the library Web site to get to their desired library e-resources." Bell mentions marketing several times, and in one spot he says:
"It’s not that academic library Web sites completely ignore marketing. It’s just done badly."
If you're thinking that your site is the starting point for research or that your target audience rates it as highly important to their work, think again. Better yet, read this article, then think again about how your website should its constituents, and how you should promote it to them.