Thursday, 16 April 2015

Using the power of Enterprise to create a full library website

I know that I've shared this information with a few people previously, but consider it worth posting here for broader access & a permanent record.
When we were evaluating which LMS the consortium would purchase, one feature of the Enterprise technology we saw was its ability to be customised using style sheets to create more than just an online catalogue with pictures and links.  So far some libraries have used a little of this capability however we haven't seen it fully exploited by anyone yet.
So I thought I would share links to a few sites which have different, interesting approaches to the Enterprise presence.  I asked Rick Braham of SirsiDynix to nominate sites where libraries had used Enterprise in a more complex manner.  Amongst the sites he nominated I've selected a few to highlight here.  I have dropped in a few pictures, but haven't done this for all sites.  They're best appreciated by visiting them.

If you have any other favourite sites please send the links through in the comments so we can build this list of links for others who may be interested.

Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (Washington State) has chosen to populate their front page with 9 boxes with pictures which take the user off to various other pages (see below). If the traditional books & e-content button is clicked a page opens with many more boxes appear to guide the user. However other choices include access to events etc.  There is also a button which will translate the site into Spanish!  Personally I like the clean look of the site, and the consistent use of the boxes /buttons to take users to other content.  It also has many other features worth looking at.

Blue Mountains City Libraries (NSW) has used much of its front page with news about its libraries - building upgrades, more e-books etc. as well as its twitter feed, links to online resources at the NSW State Library, their pod casts, external blogs and so much more.  There is a really nice photo stream of pictures from their local studies collection at the bottom of the site. This is made up of photos that the library has put up on Flikr.  And most obviously - is a series of coloured "bricks" at the very top of the site which link out to additional rescues developed by the library - such as a Community Directory, Kids resources, Book Club resources etc.

Jefferson Parish (Los Angeles CA.)  Given the multi-lingual nature of their community I was particularly impressed with the link they have to a "pronunciatior" tool which provides language translation and pronunciation in 80 languages.  (Its a passworded product).

West Dunbartonshire (Scotland) has an interesting site which includes a set of 12 messages which change every few seconds to highlight various aspects of the library's services & events.  They also have a dozen static boxes which take you off to various areas of interest.  The picture below shows one of the advertising screens showcasing their community directory and the first three of twelve boxes.

I quite like the use of tabs in various sections such as the one below, which sets out a separate section for each library branch.

The District of Columbia (US) library has a very clean site which includes some interesting inclusions.  Under the "locations tab they have a Google map with all libraries shown.  and below this is a "how to get to feature - like in Google maps.  So you can use your address and say which library you want to go to and it will provide a route map including which public transport to catch to get there.  It also includes information about building upgrades, computer classes, & I really like the "how do I...?" section which clusters together a lot of the FAQs that people are looking for.

Coweta Public Library System (Georgia) has used an interesting "drop down" approach to its main page.  If you hover your cursor over the "about us" or "locations" or the other words a neat set of menu options is displayed across the page.  I can't replicate this with the "cut & paste" software I have so you'll have to go look yourself.

Bloomington Public Library (Illinois) has a very busy site & I'm not sure that I like it being so busy.  But the immediate use of colour is striking, if a little bright - but this is obviously an issue of personal taste.  But the site does link through to dedicated youth and teen spaces (like our local Marion library does) and a library Blog amongst other features.  I quite like the map of the 2 storey library as well.  It makes it easy to orientate yourself before you visit.

I mentioned our local Marion Library Service earlier & while they have retained the fairly standard look & feel of the generic Enterprise template there are a couple of things to look at there.  One is the seamless branding between the Enterprise and the existing council and library website.  the others are the various other links including their "Little Library Monsters" site for children - see below, as well as the great set of links that are on their main page, out to IndiFlix, the Computer School etc.  It is worth taking a look.


1 comment:

  1. Geoff, I really like how the websites you have highlighted have utilised the power of the library catalogue and presented it in a way that integrates nicely with other on-line information. One of interesting trends is how more people are accessing websites via smart phones and tablets. Apps of course provide useful access points but these are rarely as comprehensive or as functional as the website yet many websites still don't work well on mobile devices. I am sure everyone has had the experience of trying to do something on a smart phone via a website and it usually involves a lot of finger scrolling and zooming to be able to find what you are looking for. I am interested in what others think about the increasing use of mobile devices and its effect on the future development of library websites.