New library website launches

News | Posted on Tuesday 11 April 2023

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new website, designed with input from both students and staff. Our focus on UX (user experience) has involved interviewing students and incorporating many of your suggestions, resulting in a completely rebuilt site from the ground up, more useful and user-friendly than ever before.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on our new website, so please take a moment to give us your feedback. Click Home near the top left of the screen to take a look around, then you can tell us what you think via our new Contact page, where you'll find a variety of ways to get in touch including chat, email, and social media.

Contact the library

So what's new?

We have a brand new structure. The old site had far too many ways into it, and it was confusing to navigate. Now we have just six top-level landing pages (detailed in the next section below) with simple themes, so can find what you need easily.

There are new pages to represent the way the library has changed. Our new digital labs are represented, for example, as is the University's Art Collection now we have a Curator. The website now better reflects the library experience overall.

There are more pictures and fewer words. We've tried to break up more of our text with relevant imagery, and as far as possible we've got rid of over-complicated explanations for things. That said, we've not over-simplified - some things are just complicated - but we've removed anything extraneous from our pages. Check out Borrowing as an example - the equivalent page on the old site was a multi-tabbed behemoth of a page with a word count as long as some dissertations... 

One of the students we spoke to at the prototype stage said simply 'this is much friendlier than the old site' and that's important too. 

What is where on the new library website? 

We've set up a load of redirects, so even if put in an old URL you may well get taken to the new version of the page. But there are brand new pages, more useful info, a lot of unnecessary detail taken away, and a new structure too: here's a guide to what is where. 

  • Home. Our Home page features links to our new Interactive Maps and Library Essentials Guide, along with an embedded virtual tour. You'll also find links to important pages like Accessibility, News, and About the Library, where you can learn more about our leadership team and our approach.
  • Visit & study has all the info you need if you're coming to our buildings. Information about each location, links to study space bookings, and useful info on things like printers, lost property and the student kitchen. It also links off to our Library Study Spaces page which details the different Zones and where you can find them.
  • Find and use resources. Learn about borrowing our Flexible Loan items, postal loans and our scan & send service, how to tell us what new items you need, and the differences between YorSearch and the Subject Guides. You can also learn more about our incredible Featured Collections, our Laptop Loans, and the University Art Collection. 

  • Skills and training. If you're interested in developing your skills and attending workshops, our Skills & Training section is the place to go. You'll find information on upcoming Library, Archives, and Learning Services workshops, along with pages on the Writing and Maths Skills Centres, and your Academic Liaison Librarians. Additionally, you'll find useful information about our Labs, past Exam papers, and how the library can help academic staff.

  • Research & Digital Creativity has two distinct parts. There is loads of useful information for researchers about Open Access, Research Data and using our SafePod. There are also details of our digital Creativity Lab and the YorCreate makerspace and these are for both for absolutely everyone, not just researchers. During the UX process for this website project some students expressed surprise that these labs were free to use so let us emphasise that again now: if you're  a member of the University you can use these resources free of charge! 

  • Contact has links to our Chat and our social media, Help Desk info, the 'spotted a problem' text number, and our various addresses. You'll also be able to find out about Library Membership if you're not already part of the University. 

What happens next?

Getting the new site live is a huge stage for this project, but not the last stage. There are bound to be things we've missed or info we need to improve, so over the next month we're going to be doing a final round of UX with students and staff, and aim to refine and fine-tune the website so it can be the most useful resource possible. If you'd like to help, just tell us what you think! We welcome all feedback, good or bad, and look forward to hearing from you.