Children and the UI of a Public Library
Public libraries offer all children access to an environment that facilitates life long acquisition of knowledge through simple, consistent and accessible interaction patterns. In contrast, public library websites and Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) for children are often not accessible and lack age discriminating features to support appropriate reading-level and comprehension skills.
A library interface that is sensitive to these categories of young readers and can filter in a meaningful way is an important step towards children’s independent navigation. In order to accommodate varying reading abilities in the library interface, librarians would have to ensure that the bibliographic records of their holdings are cataloged appropriately. Nonetheless, the effort required to introduce new cataloguing practices for children’s books is worthwhile because it can significantly enhance the ability of the interface to support children’s independent use of the library online catalogue.