A new Elvis site on the net is the 'Elvis Presley virtual Library. The webmaster describes his site as:
"Why "re-invent the wheel"? Why duplicate material that already exists elsewhere? It is time to bring it all together in a virtual library ...
This Virtual Library is a gateway to various Internet resources about Elvis Presley and related topics. The resources have been selected for the quality and reliability of their information content. The objective is to provide a clear, current, easy-to-use and unbiased guide to the most important online resources about Elvis Presley, creating a network of reliable materials and providing subject access to them".
We asked ourselves one little question: "is it?"
This Elvis library has a very simple text-orientated lay-out and is therefore very fast and it works on all browsers and screen sizes. Upon entering the site you have a few choices, look at the information in general, look at recourses on special topics. The other options are a search engine, a sitemap and a "what's new". Problem with the last three menu-items is that they are on other sites (one of those free services) with a different lay-out. On the main page you get to the actual "library".
Navigation is easy, you select on of the categories and clicking on it will lead you to the information selected. Strange thing is that whatever category you choose, you're always lead to the same long table, containing all information, but to the specific part that contains the information you choose. The same goes for the alphabetic detail menu, but there you can choose particular subjects. Every sub page has it's link back and even a complete URL at the bottom.
The site has a consequent and clear navigation, and the only problem is, like mentioned above, leaving the site for some special features like the search engine. There are free services around allowing you to modify the search and result page in the style of your website, perhaps that's an idea for the webmaster.
The only images we found are the logo and geocities-yahoo banner. The site could use a little lighting up with some appropriate images. But these are the only two remarks we can make about the design. We have to compliment the webmaster on building a site without all the animations, backgrounds, midi's and so on.
Once on the main page the following sources are available: Encyclopedias, Biographies, Library catalogues, Serial Publications, Electronic Publications, Reviews, Activities, Elvis in the News (yes he mentioned the right page), Databases, FAQs and queries.
We do have a little problem judging this site on content, all the information made available is not on the site itself. The site contains links to other sites providing the information. So should we judge this site on the information made available or on making the information accessible to the Elvis fans. We decided for the last.
This has as a consequence that this site can be described as an "start page" for surfing the web looking for information on Elvis. It means also that we can be pretty short on the content. There are pre-selected links, based on the quality offered by the "providing" webmasters. All links are well organized and have a comment from the webmaster on what to expect following the link.
The only problem we found here was that following a link means leaving the site you're on, and losing the information recourse you're on. perhaps it's an idea to open pages in a new window.
So little "own" content makes it hard to rate it. The collection of links is useful, the way the links are organised and because of the comments by the webmaster this is probably the best links-page around.
There's not too much advice we can give this webmaster besides the remarks we made above. The site is an original idea but should perhaps be presented as an start page in stead of a library. But we can give this webmaster our two star award!