Our recent survey, in partnership with Koios, asked library staff to think about the role of their website. While the number of responses we got were too small to draw any meaningful statistical conclusions, the feedback and comments we got were thought-provoking enough for us to make some initial observations.
- We asked, ‘In terms of providing service, what is the relative importance between your building and your website?’ Most people rated the importance of their website and their physical building about equally.
- While almost every library surveyed has web analytics installed, most respondents felt their analytics were underused.
- It seems that everyone would like more online discoverability.
We also found that the libraries paying for online advertising on social media platforms, primarily Facebook, are not sure whether this advertising has any effect. Our analytics have shown that social media generally does not drive much traffic to library websites.
Most respondents rated ‘Promotion’ as their websites’ primary function, but driving circulation, providing community space, and meeting the needs of the underserved also scored highly. Other recurring themes included combating digital exclusion, supporting local business, and community health. The current economic squeeze in the UK will give libraries an opportunity to show their value in providing all of the above. It’s good to know that so many librarians recognise the critical role their websites are going to play.
We have two winners of our prize draw: Congratulations to Doncaster and Hertfordshire libraries – some nice tea is on its way to you.
We’re donating $300 to our nominated charity, Clear voice interpreting services.
Huge thanks to our respondents and if you haven’t yet shared your website thinking, please look out for our new and improved perma-survey, which will be out soon.
If you want to talk about how your library can get more value from its website, make better use of analytics, and spark more traffic – both online and to your buildings – please get in touch. Email us or fill out our online form to learn more.