New Webpage Work Continues
It has been over a year since we decided to switch our HTML webpage to a content management system site. After much discussion, we chose Joomla since it seemed to have a shorter learning curve than other products available, and we wanted our entire staff to be able to contribute content.
Several of us have attended short, half-day classes, consulted books on Joomla, and even signed up for online tutorials. It looks like this long preparation might finally be showing some positive results. We have another committee meeting today and I hope to show fellow members a bare-bones version our new site.
The most important change, at least in my humble opinion, is that the catalog search box is front and center on every single page on our site. I read a thought-provoking article recently (sorry, don’t remember the librarian- author’s name) that addressed the point that our patrons really don’t differentiate between our online catalog and our web presence. Since our own ILS doesn’t provide the features we need in a webpage, then our library-created site should give patrons easy access to everything in our catalog. We’ve done two online surveys asking users why they visit our page. Overwhelmingly, the top response is some task relating to the catalog – renewing books, searching for materials, or putting holds on bestsellers. Checking for library events and using databases came in second and third. With these results in mind, a catalog-focused web site is a no-brainer!
We still don’t have all of the style sheets worked out, and our graphics need help, but I finally feel like we’re creating a site that isn’t just different from our current one, but also better. This has been over a year in coming, but I now see a purpose in this journey. Our past webpages have had lots of information useful to staff, but perhaps not so much for our residents. The new site will, hopefully, be patron-centered and focused on their needs, not ours. With this goal in mind, I’ll keep you updated on our progress!