Website Design

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Library Website Hall of Fame

Is there a library website with which you are particularly impressed? You can put a link to it here -- with some comments if you'd like.


  • Airlangga University Library
  • Art Institute of Salt Lake City Library
  • ASU Libraries
  • Augustana College Tredway Library
  • BYU Harold B. Lee Library: This site looks great on Android phone. viewed 7 June 2014.
  • California State University, Fresno
  • California State University San Marcos
  • The Claremont Colleges
  • College of Saint Benedict/ Saint John's University
  • Cornell University Library
  • Earlham College Libraries
  • E.J. Pratt Library, Victoria University in the University of Toronto
  • Emerson College Library
  • Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University
  • Georgia State University Library
  • Harvard Business School Baker Library
  • Ithaca College Library
  • MIT Libraries
  • North Carolina State University Libraries
  • Otis College of Art and Design Library
  • Queen's University Library
  • St. Francis College Library, Brooklyn, NY
  • University of Connecticut Research Database Locator
  • UCLA Library
  • University of California Riverside Libraries
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Minnesota Libraries
  • University of Notre Dame Libraries
  • University of Oklahoma Libraries
  • University of Saskatchewan Library
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas libraries
  • University of Washington Libraries
  • Western Michigan University Libraries
  • Western Washington University Libraries
  • Williams College Library
  • University of Seville Library
  • University of Central Florida


  • Ann Arbor District Library
  • Arlington Heights Memorial Library
  • Aurora Public Library District
  • Barrington Area Public Library, Barrington, IL
  • Bedford Public Library, Texas
  • Boston Public Library
  • Burlington County Library System, NJ
  • Bibliothèque Nationale de France
  • Bloomfield Township Public Library
  • Canton Public Library
  • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
  • Cecil County Public Library
  • Central Rappahannock Regional Library (AnswerPoint)
  • Christchurch City Libraries
  • Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MI
  • Contra Costa County Library
  • DeKalb County Public Library, GA
  • Denver Public Library
  • dlr Public Library Service, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Dublin, Ireland
  • DOK Delft Public Library, Netherlands
  • Library, Institute of Technology Sligo Ireland
  • Ellensburg Public Library, Ellensburg Washington
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Greenwich Library, Greenwich Connecticut
  • Hamden Public Library, Hamden, Connecticut
  • Hennepin County Library, Minnesota
  • Iowa City Public Library, Iowa
  • Jackson-George Regional Library System - Mississippi
  • Johnson County Library, Kansas
  • Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Marathon County Public Library (MCPL)
  • Morton Grove Public Library
  • Mount Prospect Public Library
  • Natrona County Public Library, Casper, Wyoming
  • New York Public Library
  • Oakville Public Library, Canada
  • Orange County Library System
  • Orcas Island Public Library, Eastsound, WA
  • Osceola Library System
  • Palmerston North City Library
  • Phoenix Public Library
  • Pickens County Library System, South Carolina
  • Powell River Public Library, Powell River, British Columbia
  • Ringwood Public Library, NJ
  • Royal Oak Public Library, Michigan
  • Sala Borsa Library of Bologna, Italy
  • Salinas, CA Public Library - John Steinbeck
  • Scottsdale Public Library
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Somers Library
  • Sno-Isle Libraries - Marysville, WA
  • St. Charles, IL Public Library
  • Stockholm Public Library First real Library 2.0?!
  • Thomas Ford Memorial Library
  • Toronto Public Library
  • Ventura County Library
  • Westerville, Ohio, Public Library
  • Weld Library District, Colorado
  • West Milford Township Public Library, New Jersey
  • Washoe County Public Library, Reno, NV
  • West Bloomfield Township Public Library, West Bloomfield, MI
  • West Bloomfield Township Public Library, Youth Website
  • Whitehall Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
  • William F. Laman Public Library System, North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Durham County Library, Durham, North Carolina

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  • NASA Headquarters Library Site directory on the front page enables quick navigation.

Successful Re-Design Projects

To view cached pages of a website's previous look, visit: WayBack Machine

Cecil County Public Library - Complete redesign which showcases Web 2.0 functionalities and customizable content, engages patron participation, features an easy to use navigational structure with prominent displays of library events, materials and resources, and offers a wealth of new content.

Salinas Public Library, Salinas, California - Complete re-design which incorporated new content, navigation structure, and usability.

Lessons learned: 3.0 - overview of what it took to get a successful overhaul implemented.

UAA/APU Consortium Library '05 Re-Design - overview of process.

Allan Bean Centre Library: A special library in New Zealand for people with spinal injury, brain injury, strokes etc and their families.

University of Washington Libraries 2004 redesign - overview of process

Johnson County Library (KS) - Timeframe for redevelopment, usability studies, and results reporting 2007

Whitehall Public Library (PA) - Complete redesign using Wordpress (Thesis theme), 2013.

DeKalb County Public Library, GA - complete re-design, launched on July 15, 2008. Previous design looked like this

Ventura County Library, CA - complete re-design launched 12-2009 of original 2001 public library website. Previous design looked like: this.

Bloomfield Township Public Library, MI - complete re-design on Drupal launched in June 2009.

Usability Tips

  • Best books on usability and web interface design
  • Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design
  • Library Terms That Users Understand
  • Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines
  • 90% of All Usability Testing is Useless
  • How to Design Library Web Sites to Maximize Usability - second edition (2007)
  • Sinking or Swimming: The State of Web Sites in Ohio's Public Libraries
  • Web Presence for Internet Librarians Notes from a presentation given by Shari Thurow at Internet Librarian 2006
  • Liberty Interactive Marketing Blog
  • presentations given at yearly Internet Librarian conference


Accessibility Standards and Guidelines

  • W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • W3C References on Web Accessibility
  • Section 508 Standards -- Under the Federal Rehabilitation Act (U.S.)
  • State Accessibility Laws, Policies, Standards and Other Resources (U.S.)

Accessibility Tools

  • Browser Emulator -- Check pages in a number of ancient browsers.
  • IETester -- See how your site renders in any version of Internet Explorer from version 5.5 on up.
  • html2txt -- W3C's text browser simulation.
  • Lynx Viewer -- See how your pages look in a text-only browser. (Requires a blank file named delorie.htm on your Web server.)
  • WebXACT -- The accessibility tester formerly known as Bobby. No longer free.
  • Colorblind Web Page Filter
  • WAVE Accessibility Tool
  • Cynthia Says
  • Web Accessibility Toolbar provided by the Accessible Information Solutions (AIS) team at the National Information and Library Service (NILS), Australia (Internet Explorer only)
  • Fangs Screen Reader Emulator A Firefox Extension that renders a text version of a web page similar to screen reader output. Helps developers find accessibility issues fast
  • Free Accessibility Plugins for Macromedia Dreamweaver: Section 508 and W3C-WAI/WCAG Priority 1 and Priority 2 guidelines checker from UsableNet
  • Babel Fish Language Translator
  • Jaws Screen Reader (text to audio) for blind people
  • Firefox Accessibility Extension A Firefox extension used by people with disabilities and web developers

Accessibility Tips

  • W3C's Accessibility Checklist
  • Accessible Site Design Guide
  • WebJunction's Accessibility topic, with articles & discussions for library website accessibility

Web Tools


  • Color Box - Design custom colors with draggable hue and saturation levels, and view the corresponding hex value.
  • Color Scheme Designer tool for building color schemes
  • fiddle around with colors
  • COLOURLovers a resource that monitors and influences color trends.
  • kuler web-hosted application for generating color themes


  • Browser Archive


  • W3C's Amaya browser/editor
  • KompoZer for web authoring

URL checkers

  • Total Validator - Checks spelling, html errors, and urls.

Cross-browser Checkers

  • BrowserCam -- I used this during a redesign process and it was well worth the $$
  • Browsershots -- Free service similar to BrowserCam

Blogs/Websites to Watch

  • 456 Berea Street: "Most articles on this site are related to web standards, accessibility, or usability in one way or another"
  • Accessible Design for Library Websites
  • Library Webmaster Resources Although this website hasn't been updated since March 2005 it still contains many useful annotated links.
  • A List Apart: "A List Apart Magazine (ISSN: 1534-0295) explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on techniques and benefits of designing with web standards."
  • SitePoint: "One of the best 'web professional' sites with a strong standards emphasis and also good for latest technologies"
  • Web Style Glossary Terms
  • Web Style Guide
  • Brain Sparks by Jared Spool
  • User's Lib "usability, accessibility, functionality, & aesthetics towards a more usable library."
  • WordPress for Libraries (wp4lib) Wiki: a community for people interested in using WordPress for library websites

Specific Blog Posts/Articles to Check out

  • WebJunction's website development topic, with discussions, articles, and groups