SRJC Libraries unveil revamped website

Isabel Johnson, Feature Editor

The SRJC libraries have a new website this semester, packed with updated databases and helpful study guides. Along with a new mobile site, the home site for the library will help students access the library from home and open new avenues for research.

The new mobile site allows students to search library databases from their cell phones ( and weekly features on the homepage provide updates on new website content. Visits to the library website have risen by 161 percent over the past year, and page views are up by 244 percent, showing that the new site has been a success in reaching out to students.

“We started with a ‘web walkabout,’ interviewing groups of faculty and staff to understand how the website could meet their needs and to gather ideas for ways to use the redesign to support the delivery of instruction,” said electronic services librarian Alicia Virtue. The process of creating the new site took about 10 months.

“With students’ increasingly busy lives, the library wanted to make access to its huge collection of electronic materials readily available,” Virtue said. “The growing collection of electronic resources coupled with advances in web technologies gave the library an opportunity to develop new ways to access research tools from one easy place.”

The main page of the new site has a search tool found at the top of the page. Students can choose to search books, periodicals or other materials made available through the library. Directly below, a set of links – particularly relevant guides compiled by library staff – is updated weekly. During the week of Feb. 2, links included a guide of news and history of the Middle East, a webpage about a current art exhibit, a list of library databases and lists of useful web searches and sites.

“The redesign of the site has a very big tag-line that says ‘Start Your Research Here’ and you’ll see below it with that search box we’ve basically put every possible way that a student would need to use library-searching tools right there in that top half of the page,” Virtue said.

The website makes it possible for students to not only find books to borrow from the library but it also provides access to library-owned e-books directly to students at home, using their student ID number so they can log in, similar to the MyCubby page.

“That was a big motivator, this huge influx of electronically oriented material,” Virtue said. The library will make it easier for students to find the information they need without relying on the sometimes faulty data found through Google searches and Wikipedia. Library staff or SRJC instructors have chosen all of the linked sites.

“The content is changing all the time,” Virtue said. “There are problems in Egypt, we put together the Middle East guide that you can use to track news feeds or what’s happening in Egypt right now, the history and politics of it. That will go away probably over the weekend and something else will be featured.”

Among the many new features is a guide to the Work of Literary Merit for this year, “Into the Forest” by Jean Hegland. An entire page with links to interviews, reviews and other materials about the novel is available for students to use. Visit the library at