As we work toward redesigning our library’s website, a recurring issue keeps pushing itself to the forefront of our discussions:
What is the purpose of our website?
In the past, this question has come up but we never arrived at a solid answer. I dove into building our website without a real sense of where I was going, or why. This has been a difficult question to answer, in terms of a library website. We are not trying to earn a profit, which is the category many of my other web projects have fallen into. We are not serving a core demographic — library service is for everyone, isn’t it? We are not using a corporate model, are we?
What are we trying to do?
This is a tough question to answer. I found a way to focus my thoughts around this after attending a seminar on Logic Modeling last summer. A logic model is essentially a roadmap for problem solving and is a method for pinpointing exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. You have to answer the tough questions, like it or not, and the results help you to focus in on specific steps you need to take to reach the goals you have set.
A great place to get started on understanding the concept of logic modeling is this slide show on the University of Wisconsin’s website:
Module 1 explains the concept in excruciating detail, while Module 2 gives a real-life example on using a logic model to create a community nutrition education plan.
Although I attended the seminar last summer on this topic, the UoW site helped me put all the pieces together and got me started on my redesign.