An Alternative to Existing Library Websites : Evaluation of Nine Start Pages using Criteria Extracted from Library Literature
This research evaluates nine internet start pages to determine whether they would be suitable for use in a library context. The methodology involved extracting ninety-six evaluation criteria from library literature and measuring each start page against those criteria. A quantitative measurement method was used, with a single researcher awarding marks of 1.0, 0.5 or 0.0 for each of the tested criteria. Results are displayed in statistical and chart form, and then discussed in narrative form. It is found that there is scope for using some of the tested start pages in a library setting. Sites that provided public pages, consistent speed, rich display and a wide range of library applicable content tested most effectively. However, no single start page met all the criteria. Some, such as iGoogle, lacked a public page, while others had problems loading consistently or provided limited content. Netvibes was the highest testing site. User testing should be conducted as an extension of this research.