Think of it as a sneak preview.

Milner Library will be releasing a new, finished website to preview throughout the fall semester that will make it easier for visitors to navigate through the library’s wealth of research information, services, and assistance.

With access to countless resources—from online databases to special collections—the new site aims to streamline the process of discovering and locating what patrons need. “Libraries, especially excellent academic libraries like Milner, offer access to an incredible amount of information. It can certainly be overwhelming, unless you know where to start,” said Milner Library Associate Dean Chad Kahl, who noted the website redesign is a great entry point for users.

The new website will be available at starting August 14 until the end of the 2017 fall semester. Once the fall semester concludes in December, the new website will replace the “legacy” website when visiting

“The last thing we wanted for students and faculty to return to campus and find the site they knew was gone,” said Kahl. “Running both simultaneously will provide plenty of opportunity for students to familiarize themselves, and faculty members to update instruction content.”

Along with providing streamlined access to services and research tools, the new website is a response to the rapid increase in those accessing information by phones and tablets. “Over the past six years, we’ve seen a 400 percent jump in users coming to the website using mobile means,” said Paul Unsbee, director of Milner Library’s IT services.

Unsbee oversaw the transition, working closely with the Office of WEB and Interactive Communications, and the library’s Web Presence Group. “Our goal is that students who visit the site can easily discover all the things Milner Library can do for them. It’s more than you’d think and easier than you’d expect,’” said Unsbee.

“This process has been a terrific example of collaboration resulting in clearer paths for our users to discover all that Milner has to offer,” said Interim Dean of Milner Library Shari Zeck.

Those with questions can contact Kahl at (309) 438-3454.  Faculty members can also reach out to subject librarians as liaisons for the new site.