FDLP

Website Wednesday: Your Library’s Web Content

We’ve heard from library staff who are working remotely that many of you are taking care of tasks and projects that may have fallen by the wayside when life is in its normal, chaotic state. One of those tasks is reviewing your library’s website to see what could be refreshed and what language could be improved.

All library web pages should be reviewed for information about FDLP access and visibility. Are you linking to GPO and FDLP resources on your depository page or guide? Is the FDLP visible on your website? Limited access policies on library-wide pages may conflict with welcoming access statements on depository pages, so we always suggest that FDLP library staff review all library-wide content for library access and other FDLP info, on a regular basis. If you find information that limits library access or otherwise affects access to Federal depository resources, please consider updating it while being mindful of your FDLP community’s needs.

Next, take a look at these tips for making your website content clear and concise, and see what you can do to improve your web presence.

  1. Know your audience. Are you ‘speaking their language’ and using words and phrases that make sense to your community?
  2. Drop the jargon. Spell out acronyms, and avoid complex or industry-specific terms.
  3. Write short, concise sentences for a middle school reading level.
  4. Use an active voice. Instead of saying, ‘Resources are available to you,’ try ‘You can access these resources.’
  5. Avoid writing long paragraphs of text. Utilize white space, bulleted lists, and anything that makes your content easier to scan.
  6. Use clear headlines and subheads.
  7. Get to the point quickly. Put your main ideas right up front.
  8. Get a second set of eyes to proofread your work. It’s very difficult to see your own mistakes.
  9. Incorporate photos, graphics, and videos wherever you can.
  10. Keep your content fresh. Add features to your web page or integrate your social media to include what’s happening in the news, the season, holidays, etc.

Previous Website Wednesday tips are also available for reference on FDLP.gov.

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