The use of supporting documentation for information architecture by Australian libraries

Philip Hider, Sally Burford, Keith Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


This article reports the results of an online survey that examined the development of information architecture of Australian library Web sites with reference to documented methods and guidelines. A broad sample of library Web managers responded from across the academic, public, and special sectors. A majority of libraries used either in-house or external documents or both, but the nature of these documents varied greatly. Most external documents were guidelines handed down by libraries' parent bodies, though some documents produced by independent organizations were used. More general guides on best IA practice were also consulted. The extent of libraries' control over their own Web sites also varied widely, from minimal control to complete autonomy. Although guiding documentation was considered useful in some ways, respondents were more interested in developing the necessary IA skills and competencies than in cross-site standardization. The lack of these skills and resource and management issues were a greater concern than a lack of documentation. The influence of parent bodies and the diverse purpose and context of library Web sites suggest that a generic set of guidelines for libraries would not be particularly helpful. Instead, librarians with greater IA skills would be in a better position to apply the most appropriate standards and guidelines according to their local contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Web Librarianship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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