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Web Design Basics for Librarians eCourse
Diane Kovacs
Item Number: 1541-8864
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $175.00
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This eCourse is now closed. We plan on offering the eCourse again soon. If you’d like to an email alert when we schedule the next session, please complete this form.

An ALA Editions eCourse facilitated by Diane Kovacs

Please note: Your purchase at the ALA Store is only Step 1 of a 2-Step Registration process!

Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account History. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.

This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30
Certificate of Completion available upon request

Learning Outcomes:
  • The ability to compose basic- to intermediate- level HTML documents and to understand and compose basic CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
  • The ability to draft a needs assessment for a website design and plan for a web project
  • An understanding of accessibility and how to design accessible pages
  • The knowledge to plan and implement usability testing
  • A foundation for further self-learning for more advanced web design
HTML elements are the basic building blocks of every webpage, so a little coding skill can yield big gains in effective communication and efficient website maintenance. With basic HTML skills, you can add links to your press releases, customize your Facebook page, or update your library’s website.  Even if you work with rich text editors in a content management system, fundamental web design principles will give you better results.  Once you know the basics, you can deepen your contribution to the web team with skills in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript.

Diane Kovacs, an experienced web designer and online instructor, will show you how to design attractive, clear, and accessible webpages and give you the foundation for learning more.
eCourse Outline

Topic 1. Web Standards and Basic Concepts:
Creating a Basic Web Page (HTML5 Standards) 

Topic 2. CSS for Style and Layout (External CSS3 Standard)

Topic 3. Accessibility Validation, and Usability Testing

Topic 4. User Centered Design: Needs Assessment and Design Planning

This self-paced hands-on course focuses on the basics of Web standards, Web site planning, design, and construction. Students will complete learning activities to develop HTML5 and external CSS construction skills, and validate HTML5 and CSS standards. Practice in accessibility validation and simple usability testing will complete a solid grounding in good practices. Students will complete needs assessment and design plan worksheets for a project of their choice.

This is a primarily asynchronous seminar, allowing participants to work through course material at times convenient to them. The instructor will provide feedback to all completed work via email. Participants may also choose to schedule online chat time with the teacher, as they feel necessary.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use standard HTML (HTML5 at this time) to create usable and accessible Web pages.
  • Use standard external CSS to layout and style Web pages including highly accessible navigation and menus
  • Use both text and WYSIWYG editors to create web content
  • Draft a needs assessment and design plan for a Web project of your choice.
  • An understanding of accessibility and how to design accessible pages
  • A foundation for further self-learning for more advanced web design
  • Practice accessibility validation and simple usability testing for selected users/groups.


Librarians and other information specialists who want to learn to design usable, accessible, standard Web pages that will attract the intended users and encourage and invite them to persist and return to the site.

Experience working with the library users in any subject area chosen is assumed. Level of instruction is beginner in regard to HTML5/CSS and Web design experience.

Participants must understand paths -- directories or folders and where files are saved -- in a Windows or Mac OS environment. FTP or other experience uploading Web pages to a Web server will be expected. Some basic assistance will be provided.

Participants should know how to use e-mail and a current standard Web BrowserFirefox, Chrome, Safari or IE 7.0 or higher is preferred.

Course Material

All of the required readings and learning activities for the course will be available on-line but it will be useful to have available the references listed below. Most of the texts are available as e-books through your affiliated libraries or directly from

  • Elizabeth Robson and Eric Freeman. First HTML and CSS, 2nd Edition. 2012 . O’Reilly. Print ISBN: 978-0-596-15990-0; Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-2448-3
  • Eric Freeman and Elizabeth Robson. Head First HTML5 Programming. 2011. O'Reilly. Print ISBN: 978-1-4493-9054-9; Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-9055-6
  • Graph Paper for laying out CSS design.
  • Ben Henick HTML & CSS: The Good Parts. 2010. O’Reilly. Print ISBN: 978-0-596-15760-9 Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-8269-8
  • Jennifer Niederst Robbins. Web Design in Nutshell. 3rd ed. 2006. O’Reilly. Print ISBN-10: 0-596-00987-9. 2009. Ebook ISBN: 978-0-596-10463-4
  • Bickner, Carrie. (2004) Web Design on a Shoestring. New Riders Publishing: Boston ISBN 0-7357-1328-6
  • Norman, Donald (any edition). The Design of Everyday Things.

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How this eCourse Works

The eCourse begins on July 11, 2016. Your participation will require approximately five hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to
  •    Read, listen to or view online content
  •    Post to online discussion boards
  •    Complete weekly assignments or activities
Instructor Diane Kovacs will monitor discussion boards regularly during the six-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on the first day of class or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.
User Requirements

Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Editions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.
About the Instructor

Diane Kovacs is a consultant, teacher, and librarian. She has nine years’ experience teaching online in library schools, for both the University of Illinois and San Jose State University. An instructional designer and trainer, she has developed courses for public and academic librarians on technology usage, library instruction, web design, government documents, virtual reference, and electronic collection development. In 2000 she received the "Documents to the People" award from the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT).


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