Website Guidelines


Public Library Website Guidelines

Websites are the electronic front door to your library; as such they deserve the same planning and care that your library receives.
Websites are a form of marketing and a way of reaching otherwise unserved customers.
A library website can be a vital information resource for your community; capitalize on the opportunity.
Bear in mind that a web page is not a website.
Displaying the depth of information and resources available at the library requires more than a single page.

See this content as a printable Word document.

20 Things You Can Do To Make Your Library Website Better Right Now
A one-hour webinar from the Nicolet Federated Library System.

I. Library Home Page

Essential Information

  • Library name, location and phone
  • Library hours
  • Link to branch information
  • Link to catalog
  • Links to services, programs, calendar, and about the library
  • Link to site map

Suggested Information

  • News and events
  • Links to:
    • Friends group
    • Library advocacy

II. About the Library

Essential Information

  • Contact information: name, address, phone number, fax number of the library
  • Branch locations (if any) and contact information for the branches
  • Library hours
  • Staff contact information
  • Directions to the library (Google map)
  • Board of Trustees members
  • Board of Trustees meeting dates/agenda
  • Friends group officers, activities, and membership application
  • Library mission statement
  • Library policies (especially for library cards, loan periods, use of the meeting room, computer use, unattended children)
  • Contact Us link and/or virtual suggestion box

Suggested Information

  • Annual report
  • Long-range plan
  • History of the library
  • Library newsletter/publications
  • Trustee by-laws
  • Trustee meeting minutes
  • Volunteer information
  • Images of the library
  • Downloadable library card application

III. Programs and Services

Essential Information

  • Children’s services
  • YA/Teen services
  • Literacy services and programs
  • Disability services
  • Classes/workshops (if offered)
  • Museum and park passes
  • Calendar of events

Suggested Information

  • New books listing
  • Staff recommendations listing
  • Parents section
  • Teachers section
  • Seniors section
  • Adult section

IV. Reference and Research Information

Essential Information

  • Link to library catalog
  • Link to SWLS home page
  • Electronic resources
  • Reference links
  • Virtual reference services (email/IM)
  • Special collections
  • Community links:
    • City/Town government website
    • State Government/Law & Legislation Information
    • (portal for state government services)

Suggested Information

  • Search engines and directories
  • Local history page
  • Genealogy page
  • Connections to other WI libraries
Adapted from a document created by
State of Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services
July 14, 2011

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