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.

This survey is designed to grow our collective knowledge and understanding of how library websites are perceived, designed, and used. It is not about website design, but rather about the utility and purpose of your website. We want to know: what is your website for, and how successful has it been in achieving your goals?
We will summarise and share all responses with you.

DCA will donate $2 to Clear Voice for each completed survey. You’ll also have a chance to win a special prize of some delicious tea!

The information you provide will be used by DCA (Digital Content Associates Ltd) in relation to the optional prize draw, and market research purposes only. Prize Draw winners’ surnames and regions may be published. If you object to this, please email dataprotection@digitalcontentassociates.com

DCA regularly conducts library research, which is very important and valuable to all parts of our business and the library sector –  including content provision and product development. If you do not wish to participate in future public library research, there will be an option to select this at the end of the survey.

For more information on your rights and how we use your data, please see our Privacy Policy or contact dataprotection@digitalcontentassociates.com.

An example of a library website’s Google Analytics doughnut, showing where their visitors are coming from.

At DCA, we have a thing for libraries; we love public libraries and we want them to succeed. But when it comes to library websites, well our besottedness enters the realm of a disorder: We’re obsessed, we can’t lie. 

So to feed our beast we’re doing some work designed to grow our collective knowledge and understanding of how library websites are perceived, designed, and used. 

This is not about website design, we don’t care to debate button placements or colourways. But we do want to know stuff like: What’s your website for? And how successful is it in achieving your goals? What is the right ratio of service population to website visits? What represents a good library website ROI? And what’s more important, your building or your website?

We know something about this already from the clients and customers we work with, and some of that (eg what Koios knows) is pretty darned interesting.  But we want to know more, understand better, and then we’ll share.

So please look out for our library website survey (with prizes) and webinar in the coming weeks. 

It’s going to be a fun summer!

DCA Director