Michael Stephens has posted a useful list of Ten Steps to Effective Web Presence for Libraries.
These are wonderful things to strive for, but some of them are
definitely for advanced webbies and tech-forward libraries. Here are
LiB's Alternative Ten Steps, based in large part on Michael's, for what
they're worth. Maybe they're too basic, but somewhere in between the
two of us is the sweet spot (somewhere over Colorado, I believe).
1) Be Discoverable: get other sites in the community to link to you, check search engine rankings
2) The Basics: post your locations, hours, and all contact information (including fax, e-mail, IM, etc.).
3) A True Online Catalog: link to your online catalog with the
ability to place holds, renew items, and pay fines and fees online.
4) Design for Your Users: give your patrons what they want–not what you think they want.
5) Best of the Web: have a set of recommended web resources for
users in a wide variety of subject areas, focusing on local stuff
(Michael's “Local Flavor Rules”)
6) Databases: offer online databases, even if your users don't know
what they are yet. Then, show them why they should know about them.
7) Let Them Ask You: provide ways for patrons to ask you questions online–e-mail, IM, Jybe, SMS, web-based chat.
8) Blog Your Stuff: have a weblog (call it “What's New at the
Library” or some such”) that offers links to current events, materials,
and online services from the library and other community resources.
9) Utilize RSS: Use RSS to communicate new events, new materials,
new services, and more to your users. Customizable RSS is best.
10) Do Super Cool Stuff: digitized local history collections,
podcast, wiki, image sites, toolbar, 360 degree tours of your
libraries, the list will go on and on and on..