May 19, 2022

New Journal Article: “How Usable Are School Library Websites? A Random Sample from All Fifty States”


How Usable Are School Library Websites? A Random Sample from All Fifty States


Anthony S. Chow, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Rebecca J. Morris, Ph.D.
University of North CarolinAchool

Jessica Sherard, MLIS
Grimsley High School

Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults 7 (2016)


This study examines the basic design layout, content, and usability of 300 randomly sampled elementary (n = 100), middle school (n = 100), and high school (n = 100) library websites representing all fifty states in the United States. Of the schools selected, 102 of the school librarians also completed a survey examining their libraries’ information and service priorities, site maintenance, and primary users. The results show that the majority of school library websites contain information intended for students but rate low on recommended youth-oriented website standards for cognitive, affective (or emotional), and general design best practices regardless of the age group served. Trends in design layouts and content were also identified. Major implications of the study include a best-practices checklist and preliminary design and content guidelines to help school librarians create more age-appropriate websites for their students.

Direct to Full Text Article (HTML) ||| PDF Version (28 pages)

See Also: Anthony Chow is also a co-author of, “The Website Design and Usability of US Academic and Public Libraries: Findings from a Nationwide Study”
Published in RUSQ (Vol 53, No 3; 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.