Library reboots website

New search abilities offered in digital domain amidst physical expansions

REDESIGN — The new Jerry Falwell Library website includes search functions designed to streamline the research process. Photo credit: Courtney russo

REDESIGN — The new Jerry Falwell Library website includes search functions designed to streamline the research process. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

After the doors of the Jerry Falwell Library opened earlier this year, students flocked into the new building to explore the computer labs, the 24-by-11-foot media wall and the Automated Storage and Book Retrieval System. One of the most recent additions to the library is the new website, which has been up and running
since Aug. 13.

The home page ( includes the hours of operation for that day, a search bar and various links to blogs, research tools and library contact information. According to Cynthia Schmidt, head of communications and customer service, the new website was designed with students in mind.

“The website was completely redesigned in response to student feedback on surveys in the spring of 2011 and 2012,” Schmidt said. “The concept behind the redesign was to create a more Google-like search experience with a cleaner, more simplified interface while still enabling customers to find what they needed within just a few clicks.”

Study - Worker organizes

Study – Worker organizes. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

Liberty student Adam Shull expressed his thoughts on the new website, talking of its improvements over the old one.

“I had heard about the new website from some friends recently,” Shull said. “I looked at the home page and I thought it was very different and much better than the
previous website.”

Despite taking students into consideration when redesigning the site, the library still wants more feedback.

“Student feedback has been very helpful so far,” Schmidt said. “It has revealed a few things that we have tweaked to make the site even better. Many seem to really love the redesign, while others have expressed a preference for the previous site.”

With all the upgrades, the new website will welcome discovery for researchers and those who wish to utilize its resources.

“As with any new endeavor, there is a learning curve involved, but we feel that customers who take the time to explore the site and perform some searches will be pleased with the new design,” Schmidt said. “Of course, if help is needed, it’s only a visit, call, email or chat away. We really strive to provide excellent customer service and support to our residential as well as our online students, faculty and staff through our website, but also through our faculty and staff in the library.”

The old Jerry Falwell Library home page is still accessible through a link at the top of the new website, but it will be retired Dec. 31, 2014. In order to help with the website’s transition, a tab located at the top of the page labeled “Assistance” enables students to chat live with a research assistant, review frequently asked questions, look at what the library offers for both residential and online students and more.

“While the Search Anything box provides a simple search interface that searches approximately 70 percent of the library’s available resources, students and faculty with specialized or advanced topics will likely want to perform a more focused search in our specialized databases,” Schmidt said. “Our totally redesigned research guides provide top resources for various subject areas, making it easy to find the best resources for any given topic in a variety of formats.”

Shull expressed his desire to take advantage of the new website.

“I will definitely be using the new and improved website this year to do research for all of my classes,” Shull said.

Try out the new website at

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