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Developing a Digital Branch
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
Course Instructor: David Lee King
Would you like to expand and enhance your library’s online presence? Do you want to build an effective, user-friendly digital branch that is an active online community where customers can interact – with you and with each other?
In this course, you’ll learn:
- The differences between a traditional library website and a digital branch
- How to plan a library website redesign
- How to write documents that will serve as a roadmap for website planning and design
- How to develop a communication plan for a successful website redesign
- How to keep the digital branch running successfully
This intended audience for this course is library staff, including IT and marketing staff. City IT and web staff with library website responsibilities would also benefit. After completion of this course, you will understand what it takes to create and run a digital branch. You will also learn best practices for maintaining and updating the branch after it has been created.
Course Description: Through assignments and discussions, this course takes you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly digital branch that will expand and enhance your library’s online presence. During the four-week course, you will analyze your current website and other websites, learning best practices and applying techniques to your own organization and website. The instructor will provide resources and useful tips that can be applied immediately. You will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions with others.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1: Defining the digital branch
- Explain the differences between a traditional library website and a digital branch
- Describe the concept of a digital branch as a real branch library, with staff, a collection, customers, and a virtual building
- Explain staffing levels and content needs of a digital branch
- Week 2: Gathering information and planning
- Ask questions to help determine website redesign needs
- Summarize answers from website redesign questions in a work plan for a redesign project
- Explain what usability testing is, and create and run a basic usability test for a website
- Week 3: Building the website
- Define creative briefs, experience briefs, and site maps and describe when to use them during a website redesign project
- Explain what basic standards-based website design is
- Describe the types of communication needed for a website redesign project, including what types of meetings to hold
- Week 4: Next steps
- List types of documentation and tools needed to run a library website, including website style guides, scheduling writing and updating time, training for staff, and making continuous website improvements
- Explain what types of basic web analytics are needed to help keep a website successful and why
- Describe how to connect with customers using social media
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Library staff, including IT and marketing staff. City IT and web staff with library website responsibilities would also benefit.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.
Keywords: Technology, Website planning & design