Selection Criteria

In addition to the selection criteria contained in the TCC Selection Policy, the following criteria based on those developed by the American Library Association will apply to TCC library links to WWW resources. A site does not need to meet every one of these criteria to be a great site, but the more of them it does meet, the more likely it is to be a worthwhile place for our students to spend time.

A. Authorship/Sponsorship: Who put up the site?

  1. The site should be attributable to a clearly stated and reliable source (university, association, agency, publisher, qualified individual, etc.)
  2. The creator should give a source for information in the site where necessary.
  3. The web site author or manager should provide a way for users to make comments or ask questions.
  4. The web site author or manager should be responsive to any questions regarding copyright, trademark, or ownership of all material on the site. Sites that knowingly violate copyright statutes or other laws should not be linked, listed, or recommended.

B. Purpose: Every site has a reason for being there.

  1. A site's purpose should be clear and its content should reflect its purpose, be it to entertain, persuade, educate, or sell.
  2. Advertising should not overshadow the content.
  3. A good site should enrich the user's experience and expand the imagination. Sites promoting social biases (gender, racial, religious, or other types) rather than enlarging the views of the student should not be considered worthwhile sites.

C. Design and Stability: A great site has personality and strength of character.

  1. The information on the site should be easy to find and easy to use.
  2. The site design should be appealing to its intended audience.
  3. The text should be easy to read, and not cluttered with distracting graphics, fonts, and backgrounds.
  4. Users should be able to get around the site easily.
  5. Pages consisting mainly of links should be well-organized, and the collected links should be well-chosen and useful to students exploring the subject.
  6. The site's design should be appropriate for the intended audience.
  7. A game or recreational site should have a clear interface and playing instructions.
  8. The page should load in a reasonable amount of time.
  9. The page should be consistently available and load without problems; stability is important.
  10. Required "plug-ins" or other helper applications should be clearly identified.
  11. The design elements and features on the site, such as searchable databases, animations, graphics, sound files, introductory and transitional pages, etc. should enhance and not hinder the accessibility and enjoyment of the site.
  12. A user should not need to pay a fee before using the site.
  13. The interactive features should be explained clearly.

D. Content: A great site shares meaningful and useful content that educates, informs, or entertains.

  1. The title of a site should be appropriate to its purpose.
  2. A site's content should be easy to read and understand by its intended audience.
  3. There should be enough information to make visiting the site worthwhile.
  4. If there are large amounts of information on the site, some kind of search function should be provided. There should be at least an outline of topics covered, allowing the users to find topics and move among them easily.
  5. Spelling and grammar always should be correct.
  6. The information should be current and accurate, and if the topic of the site is one that changes, it should be updated regularly. A "last updated" date is a plus.
  7. Links to more information on the topic should be provided.
  8. Graphics on the site should be relevant and appropriate to the content.
  9. The subject matter should be relevant to and appropriate for the intended audience.
  10. The viewpoint presented should be comprehensible to the intended audience.
  11. The skills required to use the site's features and structure should be appropriate or appropriately challenging for its intended audience.
  12. In informational sites, especially those used to support school assignments, quality of content should be most important.
  13. Some sites, such as health and life-education sites, may include mature content. Such material should be developmentally appropriate to the information needs of students.