Services for Graduate Students: A Review of Academic Library Web Sites

TitleServices for Graduate Students: A Review of Academic Library Web Sites
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRempel, HGascho
JournalJournal of Web Librarianship
KeywordsAssociation of Research Libraries, Oregon State University Libraries, Web site design, Web site usability, Web surveys, {ACADEMIC} libraries, {GRADUATES}, {GRADUATE} students, {LIBRARY} information networks, {LIBRARY} Web sites, {OREGON} State University. Libraries
AbstractA library's Web site is well recognized as the gateway to the library for the vast majority of users. Choosing the most user-friendly Web architecture to reflect the many services libraries offer is a complex process, and librarians are still experimenting to find what works best for their users. As part of a redesign of the Oregon State University Libraries' Web site, entry points for specific user groups were created. One of these user groups was graduate students. The purpose of this study was to explore the ways other academic libraries design their Web sites for particular user groups, specifically graduate students, in order to determine how the Oregon State University Libraries Web site compared to peer institutions. This study analyzed 112 Association of Research Libraries' Web sites and 26 Oregon academic libraries' Web sites to determine the availability of resources and services specifically promoted to graduate students. Since graduate students may view the library Web site through the lens of new student, researcher, or instructor, Web sites were also examined to see if sites were created with any or all of these roles in mind. Nearly a quarter of Association of Research Libraries' Web sites that were examined contained a link on the homepage for graduate students, and another 20 percent provided graduate-student information at a lower level in their site hierarchy. A majority of sites had events, subject guides, or course guides for graduate students. Information for graduate students was typically framed in the context of graduate students as researchers. Ideas and examples are given for ways to improve Web site design to better serve this user group. In order to provide improved services to these students, future studies will explore what graduate students need from academic libraries and the ways these students conduct themselves in their various roles of researchers, instructors, and new students. [{ABSTRACT} {FROM} {AUTHOR]} Copyright of Journal of Web Librarianship is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)