The Library is coming up on its 223rd birthday in April and we got ourselves a modest present a bit early today: A refresh of our blog sites, to bring you the same great stories in an updated appearance. We can thank you readers for the motivation — readership of the Library’s blogs was up 18 percent last year, to some 5.5. million readers.
For this redesign, we’ve remade the entire look of the blogs, from the headlines to the layouts to the way photographs are featured. The page is cleaner, the reading space wider and overall look more streamlined. You’ll notice how much better this layout displays on your mobile phones and devices — which is important, since roughly half of our readers come to us on their phones.
This change has been in the works for more than a year, said John Sayers, chief of digital and content strategy in the office of communications.
“The Library’s blogs serve a critical role in telling the stories of the Library’s collections and services,” he said. “The blogs continue to be authoritative resources on the subjects they cover, and there are several posts that maintain strong traffic years after publication. Since they serve as the face of the Library to the public at large, we’re delighted to be relaunching them.”
Sayers expressed his gratitude to the Library’s internet technology team and to the more than 125 Library blog writers for their help. “The blog authors are the Library’s ambassadors and storytellers,” he said, “and their work brings to life everything we do.”
Another splashy change you’ll notice is that the landing page for all blogs also has been redesigned, with each blog getting a new signature image. This blog even has a new name, changing from the Library of Congress Blog to “Timeless.” It’s meant to evoke both the reach across the ages that the Library covers (some 4,000 years) in its collections of nearly 200 million items, as well as the future role that these items (and the stories they tell) will play in the nation’s culture.
Our new signature image, the rotunda clock in the Library’s Main Reading Room, has a nifty story itself. It, and the sculpture that surrounds it, was cast in 1896 and been greeting readers and keeping good time ever since. (It’s wound once a week by technicians in the Architect of the Capitol’s office.) It’s known as “Mr. Flanagan’s clock” for its designer/sculptor, John Flanagan. The name might not sound familiar, but virtually everyone in the nation has seen his work — he also designed the original U.S. quarter.
In the close-up, you’ll see two young people, one reading and one writing, lounging on either side of time itself. It’s a pretty good summation of what a day at your favorite national library is all about.
As a staff member of LC, I go to the LC blogs once a week. I appreciate your efforts to make the display more beautiful but the search of all the blogs easily is not facilitated by the new look. Sorry for being the messenger of this bad news. You may contact me if you want me to elaborate.
The BEST read around gets even better!
If you’re going to make the reading space wider you need to make the font bigger (for desktops/notebooks) to compensate as it’s harder/slower to read now and more tiring on the eyes.
Will pass this along to the design staff!
Your dream job just gets better and better. Love it!
Thank you for all the work that has and is going into the new changes. Love the Timeless name. It also is much easier to read.