Well, we finally did it! The new library website launched a few months ago. There's still work to be done but we now have a library that will let us meet the needs of our clients for years to come.
When we started this process I blogged about building a better digital librarian to go along with our new digital library. I thought I'd share a few of the things that I'll take away from the experience...
1. Never underestimate our clients: One of my big fears going into the site was whether or not our clients would respond to our new download option: zipped DAISY books. I knew the option to download an entire DAISY book in a single click was a powerful one but I was concerned that the new format could be confusing. I'm happy to report that most clients I've spoken to love it! Those who want to learn how to download zipped DAISY books can always check out our Help page for tutorials.
2. Landmarks are cool: Our site uses a new accessibility feature called landmarks. Landmarks allow you to identify common sections of a web page and navigate through them with your screen reader. Now clients can easily jump through sections on the page, from navigation to search to the main content. For more on landmarks and other accessibility features on the new site check out our Accessibility tips page.
3. The possibilities are endless: The old digital library site often felt pretty static with limited options to grow. The great part about the new site is that we already have updates on the horizon for clients and staff to look forward to. In the months to come we plan on testing out a mobile version of our site. Let us know if you'd like to join our mobile test group!
4. There's only one Google: Early in the process clients asked for a "Google-like" library catalogue search. We tried that and well...we're not Google. We're looking at ways to improve our search. To make sure it has the best elements of our old search functionality while coming close to the simplicity of a Google search. To stay on top of site updates check out our Site updates and known issues page.
5. Clients care: Of course I knew this but I'm always impressed by how much! I had the opportunity to work with a group of clients who helped test out the site in the months leading up to launch. My sincere thanks to them for their dedication to testing and a big thank you to everyone who contacted us, positively or negatively, about the new site. Keep letting us know what you think about the site!
If you haven't checked it out yet, what are you waiting for?