We actually had zero web presence until about 2006. At that time, my predecessor developed a custom website through a simple webhosting service, which was better than nothing.
When I got here about two years ago, I made a case for developing a new website that was a sub-domain of the main campus site. One of my main arguments was that this would allow the Learning Commons' website to match the design/branding of the entire Seminary community. I have a separate install of Joomla on the main campus server, which is administered by our web guru. If the campus changes its web branding, the development office will make those changes for me (after consulting with me); content and structure of the library site are up to me (when I have time!).
I maintain the old webhost for special projects and an install of SubjectsPlus.
Both the previous and current website have been useful for outside scholars: they find out about our special collections through web searches and not through WorldCat, etc. A long-range project is developing new online guides to our special collections that are web-searchable, as we do have some really important historic materials that are hidden.
Because we're denominationally-affiliated, local pastors (within about four states) and alums can check out books. If it weren't for our web presence, no one would know of the services we provide to unaffiliated folks.
Like some of the other respondents, I think it would be useful for you to find out how many people get to your website's "landing page" before logging in and how many regularly log in. The disparity between those numbers may speak volumes. Additionally, consider what your institution's mission is and try and frame your discussion around that mission.
Hope this helps,
Assistant Librarian, Chicago Theological Seminary
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Matthew Sherman
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:41 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Academic Library Website Question
Slightly odd question for you academic library folks. Why does your library have its website where it is on the university site? For context, the library I currently work at has our library site hidden within the campus intranet/portal, so that students have to log into a web portal to even see the search page. This was a decision by the previous director who was here before my time and an assortment of us librarians think this is a terrible setup. So I wanted to kick out to the greater community to give us good reasons for free to the website to more general access, or help us to understand why you would bury it behind a login like they did. All thoughts, insights, and opinions are welcome, they all help us develop our thinking on this and our arguments for any changes we want to make. Thanks everyone and have a good week.