I am very grateful to have the access to the incredible wealth of journals and other online resources that VCU Libraries provides--thank you! One question and related suggestion: why does the home page for the library continue to change so frequently? during fall semester, it seemed like every month, there was a new "look"--new arrangement of icons, new icons, old access points difficult to locate, etc. When time is at a premium, becoming familiar with a new page takes up that valuable time. Is the current page one that will stay for more than a few weeks, or is the changing face of the library home page going to be an ongoing aspect of using this valuable resource? It would help me allocate time for using the online resources if I knew how often to expect a new library home page--could you make this information easily accessible if monthly change will be the norm? Thanks again for the extent of the resources that are there!
Jean Shipman, Director of the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and Associate University Librarian, and John Duke, Senior Associate University Librarian, reply.....
Thank you for your comments regarding the recent changes to the VCU Web site. Changes to the VCU Libraries and Tompkins-McCaw Library Web pages are in large part being driven by university guidelines, heightened security, and the desire to bring dynamic, personalized content to our users while allowing them to more fully benefit from our collections and services. We have made only modest and necessary changes to the main VCU Libraries page since last summer. Prior to the redesign, we solicited feedback through surveys of our users, focus groups, and were guided by accessibility standards and accepted best practices in Web design. After the updated pages were completed, we widely vetted the pages to give users opportunity for input.
The nature of the Web is that it is very dynamic and we are trying to focus on the needs of the user, rather than organizational or staff-centric design models. We have found that our users are very adaptable and have quickly taken to the new design. We do not have any current plans for major modifications, although we will continue to make modest changes based upon the feedback and needs of our users. We value all comments we receive and strive to give all of our users Web pages that best reflect their use patterns and needs. We would be glad to set up a meeting with someone from the Tompkins-McCaw Library reference or liaison team to answer any questions you have regarding finding specific resources to help meet your needs.