Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Look for the Library Website

I am so excited to unveil the "new and improved" Maquoketa Valley library website!  Although the bare bones were in place (I created the site two years ago when I took over the library position.), it was in much need of improvement.
The first thing I did was create a "logo" using Picnik Online photo editing.  I was very pleased with the outcome.

The second project was to make the student links pages more user friendly and visually appealing.  The previous pages were boring---all text, no images.  (For those of you who loved that page, it has not disappeared.  It is now a quick link called "Just for Fun".)  My goal was to provide students with the links they used most often right at the top.

Also, on the elementary page,  I wanted to create an environment for reading extensions.  Many popular series books have fantastic websites that provide fun activities and enrichment to the reading experience.  I also felt that it was important to include images, rather than text for these links.  The images are more visually appealing!
I learned how to adjust the size of each image using Picnik, so that each icon was the same height.  This gave them a uniform look.  Each image is linked to the page where I got the image, so I didn't feel that onscreen credits were necessary.

The third change I made was to add a Library News and Photos page.  This page will have information about upcoming events, announcements, and photos of library activities.

Each library in the district has a separate page for it's library.  This page has hours, checkout information, and a photo of the library.  I hope in the future to add to these pages with a Picasa photo slide show specific to that center.  I think it would be neat to create a slide show with new books that could be displayed on the site!

At the bottom of the home page, I have created a link for students and teachers to "leave me a message".  On this page, I embedded a WallWisher wall.  This will provide a place for students to communicate with me.  I would like to explore other tools that could also serve this purpose.  I'm not sure if WallWisher is the right tool for this, but I'm going to give it a try.

On thing I had difficulty with was embedding my Diigo tag cloud on the webpage.  I searched the internet for information on how to embed it, but didn't have much luck.  So, I just placed a link at the top of the professional resources pages.  This will serve the purpose for now.

My next goal is to create a page with YouTube book trailers for the Iowa Children's Choice books and the Iowa Teen Award books.  I think that this would be a neat way to "advertise" these books.  I'll let you know when that page is up and running.

I'm very excited about the "revamped" library site.  I hope that the students and teachers will appreciate it as well!  If you have suggestions for the site or comments about it's layout, please let me know.  I am always looking for ways to make it better and more use friendly!


  1. Thank you so much for all the time you spent on this, Jill!! It is awesome!!! I can't wait to spend more time exploring the website! JoAnn Swinton

  2. Wow! I love not only all of the links, but the way they are presented. You obviously spent a lot of time on this website, and the students, teachers and parents are going to love it. Awesome!

  3. I love how you put pictures with each link. What a great idea! I love all your ideas you have. Creating a page for book trailers would be beneficial to all students. Great Job!