BnF information architecture

For Kahn + Associates (Paris, France) we were asked by the BnF (La Bibliothèque Nationale de France) to analyse the world’s four largest national Libraries websites. Upon the outcome, we proposed structural improvements on the BnF’s own website.

Our approach

The main focus of the analysis was strategic. Web-accessible database software and content management systems make these large sites possible. What are national libraries communicating on their website? Why are they doing it? What are they preparing to do next? We looked closely at the kinds of information available on each web site, the intended audience for this information, and the relationships between serving the audience that visits the physical library and the remote audience that uses information on the website.

Elements of the process

We gathered information about all the digital collections and services available on the current websites of the four libraries. This information was categorized and presented in tablular form to further analysis and discussions with the client. The table facilitates comparison of similar resources across the four sites.