Web Design for the Evolving Library


Websites to Learn From 

What I really appreciate about the W.C. Mepham High School Library Weebly is the style. The color palette immediately distinguishes it from many of the other weeblys I perused. The most common color palette seemed to be red, white, and green, which to my eye, are not the most pleasing color choices. However, the color palette here consists of two, more neutral tones (a darker brown, and a tan), along with one accent color (a kind of rust red). This color combination pairs well with the sepia tone photograph featured on the homepage. Reynolds says that color should be used sparingly, and that “careful use of light and dark is important for creating clarity and contrast” (65), therefore I think the creator’s choice in choosing a limited number of colors, and a contrast between the dark brown and light tan elements was well done. The red accent quickly draws the eye to the elements that may be most important to a newcomer, like the welcome message, and the “about us” tab.  The format of the website is also appreciated. Some basic library information like “borrowing books”, “general information” and “inter library loans” is right there on the opening page, with no scrolling or maneuvering necessary.  Other information is organized and designed to look like the tabs of folders in a folder file (a nice touch), to offer effortless access to other items of importance, such as “eBooks”, “databases”, “apps”, and a library blog. If more than one resource or page is available within each tab, a drop down menu appears when you hover your mouse over the tab. Tabs also turn that accent red, when they are clicked on, giving you a visual cue to let you know what you have selected. The combination of a clean design and simple organization make this Weebly exemplary.

M.C. Mepham HS Library Weebly 

The Santa Su Library Weebly, while not lacking in good design, is more appreciated by me for it’s choice in content. I really like how they have included most of the elements identified in the blog post we read this week entitled, “5 Things Every School Library Website Should Have”. Senior projects are highlighted through video, right on the homepage, while a focus on teaching is apparent in the section titled “Lesson File Cabinet”. I also really appreciate how the creator’s have set up a “Student Backpack” section, and a “Teacher Briefcase” section, to help users quickly find the information most pertinent to them. “Outstanding Library Resources” and a selection of apps collected in Symbaloo, are easily accessed on the homepage, providing direct links to “cutting edge” resources, one of those five essential elements of a great library website, as identified by Library Girl. The website adds “flavor” by sharing photos of students and staff, as well as including creative titles for information (like “Student Backpack”) instead of generic ones (like “For Students”).

Santa Su HS Library Weebly

Tools to Consider

After exploring the tool’s in this week’s sandbox, as well as taking a look at some sample websites, I am considering using Weebly or Wix. Weebly is a top pick because I know many teachers at my school have created weeblys for their clubs, and seemed to be able to create quality websites with limited frustration. I am definitely in the camp of “Work smarter, not harder”, so I also took into account the past successes with Weebly that ODU students have reported. However, I am still very drawn to the style of Wix. It looks so clean and modern, and I found some really stunning examples (however most of these examples were not library related). Here’s an example of a library Wix I found, just so you can compare. 

Hershey MS Library Wix


LeGarde, J. ( 2011). Five thing every school library website should have. [web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.librarygirl.net/2011/08/5-things-every-school-library-website.html

Reynolds, G. (2014). Presentation zen design: a simple visual approach to presenting in today’s world.  USA:New Riders.

Image Credit 

Pixabay.com (2106). Design. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/design-internet-www-web-design-web-1210160/ CC 0.

Web Design for the Evolving Library

11 thoughts on “Web Design for the Evolving Library

  1. Thanks for posting a comparison fo us. I really enjoyed looking at the library Wix page. I actually have started a page using both Wix and one with Weebly. I too was drawn to the Wix site for it’s modern features. I feel myself becoming ever slightly more confident playing around with these tools!


  2. I’ve also posted my wix in the discussion board so feel free to check it out. I find it to be pretty intuitive actually. Let me know if there’s something you can’t figure out. I’ve put several hours into it, so I may have had a similar issue!


  3. I enjoyed scrolling through the two websites you showcased. I will say, I was not expecting the Santa Su’s library to only have 2 curriculum areas for their lesson file cabinet and I was surprised that one of them was physical education. I wonder why only this and senior English are represented there. I also like that you threw in a Wix example for us to compare. I liked it, but it was busier than the other two sites – could be good, could be bad. Great examples!


    1. Yea that was super weird that they only had a few lessons. Maybe they count on teacher submission and it hasn’t been very high? When I created my mock “lesson plan file cabinet” on my website I put a button for all the contents, plus tech and electives. It would be important for a librarian to consider how she would collect, assess, and choose the lessons to go inside. Something to think about…


  4. Okay so I love the W.C. Mepham High School Library page as well. The break down on the homepage is well done and the interlibrary loan request link is a great addition to the page. I think these are both great examples of library sites. That being said, I think YOUR library site is even better! Maybe you hadn’t gotten it “finished” by the time you posted this, but I think your background and overall design has a nicer flow and vibe. I can see the possible influence Santa Su HS Library site played in creating tab titles like “Teachers Briefcase”. I love that! Yours and these two examples will help me create my site.


  5. This post was very helpful! The Santa Su site was new to me and your post made me eager to see the Symbaloo–wow! It’s called “College Research Symbaloo,” but it seemed to have so much more than that going on. I clicked on the buttons like a kid in a candy store! I also appreciated how you shared thoughts on weebly versus wix as tools, and gave us a link to the Hershey wix site.


  6. I enjoyed reading your ideas because you come at it from a high school perspective. I come from an elementary perspective and it can be overwhelming. I have to think about what is right for preschoolers and what is right for fifth graders. I know that the site will be mostly for adults (parents, colleagues, administrators) but I want all students to be comfortable with the site.


    1. I guess with younger kids it’d be important to have a page just for these. Something really simple that you could teach them to use. Maybe learning games and library catalogue and simple database. Keep it simple you know?


  7. Joe Harrell says:

    Thank you for highlighting these two sites. Besides all of the impressive bells and whistles of the Mepham site, I like how the black and white photos enhance the age of the school. You just don’t see large windows with nice wood trim in schools anymore. Reminded me of my elementary school.


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