Weaving a Library Web: A Guide to Developing Children's Websites

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Eager to feed their curiosity with interactive information, children are becoming more responsive to technology, and many now use a mouse more effectively than a crayon. By embracing the possibilities of the Internet when programming for children, libraries can empower the young with great information while supplementing traditional children's services. These award-winning children's web developers and librarians build their virtual library services starting from the four pillars of children's librarianship: readers' advisory, homework reference help, programming, and outreach. Presenting a wide assortment of possibilities, the authors offer guidance, inspiration, and practical direction—complete with sample screen shots—to:

  • Create appropriate sites for different ages
  • Develop a project plan, including an "Approach to Success" document
  • Map out details with storyboards and flowcharts
  • Make user experiences easy and fun using mascots, navigation tools, and downloads.

Authoritative and comprehensive, this guide provides sample documents and hands-on help on technical issues—usability testing, dealing with online privacy, monitoring, maintaining, promoting the site, testing for functionality, and using meta tags. Children's and web librarians, generalists responsible for creating online services, as well as school library media specialists, instructors and administrators will find the support they need to design successful websites that serve a whole generation of tech-savvy kids.

Helene Blowers

Helene Blowers is web services director of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, well known for its outstanding web resources. She co-led the development of several innovative children's websites including StoryPlace.org, Handsoncrafts.org, and the award-winning BookHive.org, that won the ALA-ALSC Notables Award and Learning Magazine's Teacher Choice Award. Story- Place.org was selected as an Education "Best Bet" in USA Today and was included in Education World's Best of 2000.

Robin Bryan

Robin Bryan is an information specialist for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. She has worked as children's specialist, help-desk coordinator and as the Brarydog coordinator. In that role, she educated children and adults about the library's unique homework help portal. She is co-author of E-Book Functionality.

"This book can be used as a beginner's first stop and as a webmaster's companion. It is uncomplicated and easy to read ... the text is clearly written for anyone who wants to create Web sites to engage children in fun/functional online learning/discovery. This book addresses enduring models for learning, guidelines for user engagement, accessibility, and issues that persevere despite changing technologies."
--School Library Journal