Library wants to develop new website

Updates include drop down menu, library hours of operation



Alex Merrill, head of systems and technical operations, says changes include changing the operating system from Drupal to WordPress and making it more accessible.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

WSU Libraries plan to revise its website in hopes of making the user experience more accessible and easier to use.

Ben Rearick, web services and usability librarian, said he is the project manager, and they are hoping to launch the new website sometime over the summer.

Rearick said he is in charge of migrating the website from Drupal, a content management system, to WordPress. He said the change will get the library website in line with the rest of the university’s web presence.

“Just making it look more like a WSU site, is a big one for newer students,” he said. “I think that will be a big benefit.”

The new website will also be in line with the best accessibility practices, Rearick said, and will be more responsive, which means it will look good on different types of screens.

Alex Merrill, head of systems and technical operations, said this will be the first substantial change to the website since 2014. They have worked on parts of the website since then, but not the entirety of it.

“It was honestly kind of time to do it,” Merrill said. “Five years is a long time in the web world.”

Rearick said the new website will have a drop-down menu and more links available, as well as information on the library hours. He said the website will look much nicer and less text-heavy.

“I think what I’m most excited about is not only making a new, consistent user experience but a better user experience,” Rearick said.

Merrill said people mainly use the website for classes, and they want to revise the website by what people mainly use it for.

“We like to have a consistent user experience because people have to come to the library site whether they want to or not,” he said.

Merrill said one of the biggest benefits will be making it easier to access and understand for people who might be new to the website, such as freshmen or sophomores.

“[We want to] get them going faster and easier without intermediary support,” he said. “Hopefully they won’t find roadblocks.”

Rearick said they anticipate only small tweaks and changes once they launch the website.

“We will hopefully never have to do anything drastic,” he said, “at least for another five years.”