Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's all in the name

Someone recently shared this website which I found responds to many questions we often address. The site is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It compiles usability test data evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology. I think this is very applicable to building design and signage also. The usability studies were fascinating. Looking at terms we often take for granted and how little they are understood by the public. It offers some great alternatives. check it out.
Library Terms that Users Understand:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Verification of What We Know to Be True

ALA released their 2010 State of America's Libraries report this week. No surprises, but I thought some of the findings might be useful. Yes we all know libraries are busier than ever with less staff and less funding. But what was interesting was the amount of supportive data pointing to the importance of our libraries during the economic hard times.
"The report shows the value of libaries in helping Americans combat the recession. It includes data from a January 2010 Harris Interactive Poll that provides compelling evidence that a decade-long trend of increasing library use is continuing- and even accelerating during economic hard times. More than 223 million Americans feel thatt because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. So check out the report - maybe you can use some of the stats as a comparison to your library. Your local newspaper might be interested! The full text of the report is available at
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