An Analysis of the Information Architecture of New Zealand Tertiary Library Websites
Library websites are becoming more and more important as so much of a library’s content is accessed through its website. It is important that this is usable for the site’s users and that the information contained in the site is findable. In order for this to happen the site must have a good information architecture. This study was done firstly as a literature analysis to determine what is currently considered to be best practice in information architecture for library websites. This was then formed into a checklist of best practice criteria and was used to analyse a sample of New Zealand’s tertiary library websites to determine what areas that these sites were doing well with their information architecture and what areas may need improvement. The study found that in many areas the sites matched well with the criteria such as having effective site navigation systems and using clear label terms. There were also areas that needed improvement such as the prominence of the library branding and search tools needing to be more user-friendly. This study provides a good picture of the current state of New Zealand tertiary library sites information architecture that could be used when updating these sites and it also provides a good checklist that can be used in the analysis of other library sites. Future research could extend this project by analysing sites more thoroughly and it could also do a more specific analysis by looking at what a certain library’s users want and need in the information architecture of their library site.