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WordPress for Academic Libraries

July 7, 2020
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The cloud based website creation software WordPress is highly popular across the web and with libraries as well.  My Library, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Mangarella Library, has recently begun the process of moving our website from our college’s portal system and into a WordPress site of our own design.  Our hope is that by designing the website ourselves we can create something specifically for students doing research.

WordPress is approachable for most tech savvy librarians.  It requires little to no coding ability to make a site.  The process starts with the selection of a theme, or template, for how you want your site to look and function.  Some themes are free but the more flexible options have affordable costs.  After selecting the theme you can begin the process of customizing the website to your own needs.  This is where you can really begin to implement a design that caters to your users.  What terms will you use that people will immediately recognize?  Can you organize content so that students can get to it with a minimum amount of clicks?  What content will you offer and what will be removed to streamline the site?  How can you make your site easily navigable?  How can you create a site that is useful for teaching during information literacy instruction?   If you maintain your own website, perhaps not an option for every library, you can update it regularly to meet new needs and opportunities.

With so much activity occurring online right now any library would be wise to look at their website.  Are you happy with your website, both for users and for yourself to administer?  Tools like WordPress and similar services can give you more flexibility and control over how you present your library online.

If anyone has any questions about creating a WordPress website for their library please contact me.

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