Date Approved

5-9-2005

Embargo Period

4-18-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Shontz, Marilyn

Subject(s)

Communication in information science; Multiculturalism--United States--Library resources

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

A library's web site can be an important outreach service for Hispanic patrons. Many county libraries in New Jersey, however, may not have web sites that are easily accessible to Hispanics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate New Jersey county public library web sites to determine if selected access criteria were present. Using a researcher designed criteria checklist, content, language, organization & navigation and services were examined. The existence of these criteria were used to determine if public library web sites provided adequate access for Hispanic patrons. The sample and population consisted of 20 county library, or their equivalent, web sites in New Jersey. Salem County was not included in this study.

Results showed that most of the criteria were not present on the majority of the web sites studied. The criterion found most commonly on these public library web sites was the availability of a Spanish-language database. Two of the criteria that were found the least were a Spanish web site that mirrored the English version and a language link that was located in a clearly visible area of the home page. Libraries A and M had the highest frequency counts for all criteria among the 20 web sites that were examined.

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