OWHL Revitalizes and Reorganizes Webpage to Facilitate Research

Last Wednesday, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) released its new revitalized website in order to provide researchers with more organized information and resources. The OWHL webpage primarily serves to aid current students in finding resources and to provide information to prospective families. In attempting to fulfill these roles, the old website was cluttered with information and was difficult for students to use to find guidance, according to Elizabeth Tully, Director of the OWHL. “In essence, the website is the face of the library, electronically, so we’d like to have it be clean and streamlined and to be less chaotic and easier to navigate,” said Beth Tompkins, Head of Technical Services at the OWHL. In order to help organize its resources, information is now categorized under five tabs titled: “About the Library,” “Programs and Services,” “What’s New,” “Research” and “Ask a Librarian,” all of which are designed to make the website as practical and immediately useful as possible. In particular, these tabs have helped make OWHL Guides, a popular research tool that consolidates resources by topic onto one page, more accessible. Previously, the Guides were buried behind multiple pages and links on the website. “I think [putting the Guides under the ‘Research’ tab] will end a lot of frustration that students have had with our website before. The OWHL Guides are front and center since we know that’s what a lot of students use, and that’s what we designed them for,” said Liza Oldham, Instructional Librarian at the OWHL. “Even for prospective families and some of our current teachers, they want to explore a little bit and see what the library has to offer, so we wanted to make that as clean and clear as possible by organizing with these tabs,” she continued. The new webpage runs on WordPress, a blogging platform. Using WordPress, OWHL faculty can now easily post updates on the page to notify the community if the library must close early or if a new book collection becomes available. “Even updating the staff list was tricky [on the old website], and we couldn’t just log in and do it. It wasn’t as fast and easy and simple,” said Emily Tordo, Assistant Archivist at the OWHL.