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Libraries unveil stylistic and streamlined new website, June 26

While the URL will stay the same, the look and functionality of the Rutgers University Libraries website will be so different that users can be excused for wondering if they connected to the wrong address. A thoroughly redesigned version of the Rutgers University Libraries website (libraries.rutgers.edu), to go live on June 26, offers users a variety of new options and much greater ease of use.

The new website replaces a vertical navigation bar, with 20 links, on the old website with a five tab horizontal navigation bar at the top of the new site. On hovering over one of the five tabs, it opens to reveal a menu with links which were prominent on the old website and links that have been 'bubbled up' from web pages previously buried deep in the old website. The five tabs in the new navigation bar - Find, Services & Tools, Help, Places & Spaces, and About – reflect a concerted effort by Rutgers librarians and Libraries technical staff to improve the information architecture of the Libraries' website.

Under the 'Find' tab, users have quick access to links to the most frequently requested library services like articles, books, journals/magazines/newspapers, audio/visual and course reserves. This tab also offers top-page access to links to government documents, dissertations & theses, data & statistics, computers (a guide to available and in-use computers in the different library buildings), and more.

Under the 'Services' tab, users have easy access to links for resources and services such as borrow/request/renew, information for faculty/students/alumni/off-campus users, and RefWorks. This tab also offers top-page access to links to library classes, media services, information for international students, copy/print/scan, and more.

Under the 'Places & Spaces' tab, users have easy access to links for libraries & centers, maps & directions, and building hours. This tab also offers top-page access to links to information on group study rooms, computer labs, quiet spaces, building accessibility, and the Scarlet Latte café in Alexander Library.

The 'About' tab offers new top-level links to information on exhibits, employment, diversity resources, and other services. The 'Help' tab offers new top-level links to information on research guides, tutorials, making an appointment with a librarian, and other services.

The newly redesigned website raises the visibility of the popular "Ask A Librarian" service. A 'Chat' box appears on the right of the page and is colored differently when the 'Chat' option is available (dark shading) and is unavailable (light shading). The 'Chat' box on the front page, and a small vertical "Ask A Librarian" box that appears on all lower level pages, also features icons that link to email and phone options for the service.

The newly redesigned website includes a tabbed search box that lets users easily search library resources in five distinct areas; articles, books, journals, audio/video, and course reserves. The tabbed search box, featured prominently on the top left of the front page of the website, appears as well in lower level pages of the website at the top on the right.

The newly redesigned website also includes three new aspects of interest to users – a 'Featured Collection' from Special Collections and University Archives, a Site Search search box at the top right of the front page, and section on the Rutgers' Institutional Repository organized and managed by the Libraries.

The Libraries' Integrated Information Systems (IIS) staff will be implementing the new, uniform style of the website to all lower level web pages on the Libraries website in the months ahead. IIS also plans to make modifications to the Libraries' catalog, so it reflects the new style of the website, in the coming weeks.

Individual library pages on the newly redesigned Rutgers University Libraries website will feature most of the features described above, with the exceptions easily accessible from the front page of the website.

Several pages on the new website are still evolving, with improvements being made to presentation and content. Though we have unveiled a new design, it is the result of an ongoing, iterative process.

For more information on the newly redesigned website, or to share feedback, please send email to rulweb@rulmail.rutgers.edu.

Libraries new website graphic




Posted June 21, 2013