A new front door on the Web
The NLS website at www.loc.gov/nls opened its new front door on Sunday, July 9, when our long-awaited revamping of it went live. Most major URLs important to longstanding users within the website have not changed, or have been made painless by internal redirects. New, more explicit, navigation will lead first-time visitors to what they need to find quickly.
Three reasons make this the right moment for a new NLS website. First, we are undertaking several major pilots during 2017 and 2018 whose results, we hope, will help us widen our audiences and improve our services to cooperating network libraries, and, through them, to our end-user patrons. Second, we want to address a vast audience that has been, in the past, somewhat neglected by our website: visitors who do not use screen readers, but for whom features like monitor contrast tools and font-size adjustments are helpful. Third, a new generation of patrons makes a fresh website crucial. A website in 2017 must be meaningful to longstanding patrons—but also to younger users and others who reach us on mobile devices, to a new generation of veterans and those with physical disabilities who don’t yet see themselves as seniors, and to new organizations who want to help us share the message of our services with their staff and patrons.
And if those three reasons weren’t enough, the NLS offices in Washington, D.C., have been undergoing a major renovation this year—so it’s good timing to have a virtual renovation on the web in parallel with our architectural renovation. Websites in 2017 are never truly “done,” and ours is no different. We’ll be iterating on improvements over the next few weeks, so please make your voices heard if there are problems you encounter, fixes that are necessary, or suggestions you would like to make. You’ll find a link right on the homepage asking for your feedback. Make use of it—that’s what it’s for!
Again, the address for the NLS website is: https://www.loc.gov/nls/