In her opening keynote, Sarah Houghton-Jan referred to monolithic library websites. It’s easy to think of some library buildings as monolithic structures – massive, sprawling, cavernous creations that patrons find both intimidating and unnavigable. Are we now creating websites that patrons find just as intimidating and just as unnavigable?
Libraries try to offer more and better services, but are these services that patrons need or want? I’ve seen some library websites that offer a staggering array of services splashed seemingly haphazardly across the screen and ultimately resembling a myspace nightmare with every possible plug-in and add-on known to humankind. In trying to reach out to patrons, do these monstrosities actually push them away?
In some cases, too much information can be just as bad as too little. If a monolithic website frightens patrons away, then there is a problem. In some cases less truly is more.