For the past few months, we have spent a lot of time working on a new Library website, which will launch on Monday, Oct. 8. Web design is not really anyone’s area of expertise here, but we have all been involved with creating and updating content and launching new websites with previous jobs. The one thing that these experiences have taught us is that a website is never done.
The Library’s management team spent all of 2017 editing content. The process was long and sometimes painful. The previous version of the website included everything including the kitchen sink, and places where you could buy one. Instead, we wanted to provide a variety of options for finding your next book, video or music. And since we offer free materials to patrons within the library, we wanted to reflect the same thing on our website. We weeded out links to services that charged a fee to access information and replaced them with trusted sources that provide free, well-founded and usable material. We continue to update content regularly as we discover new sources that may be of interest to patrons.
The result of this major content overhaul is that the existing website is much better than it was previously. However, it still looks and acts like a website of the early 2000s. Earlier this spring, our outdated web platform went haywire and our website was inaccessible for almost two months. We knew we had to upgrade to better software that allowed us to change the look and organization of all the great information we had worked so hard to compile.
The new website includes a number of improvements:
- The overall design is much cleaner and better organized.
- E-content is highlighted in the first dropdown menu box.
- Online resources are easily accessed in the Explore A Topic dropdown menu.
- The NEXT Catalog is prominent at the top right corner of the new website.
- We have a new Library calendar, which is easy to find at the top of the page.
- Library information is featured in the middle of the Home page.
- Approximately 45 percent of our patrons view our website on a tablet or phone. The new site is much more responsive for use with electronic devices.
- The Library’s blog, which includes this article, is still on the Home page. You can read the posts by scrolling down the page. Please note that I did not include the full range of posts from earlier this year or from previous years.
As with any major change, there will be a learning curve with using our new site. No matter how many times we review it, there may also be mistakes. If you should happen to find a link that doesn’t work, spelling errors or information that is incomplete or out of place, please contact Cindy McGuire, Programming and Marketing Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-682-5666 ext. 5100. Meanwhile, we will continue to regularly update our web content and provide a productive and enjoyable online Library experience.