Georgina Public Library staff desired a website that would meet the needs of the Library system’s different audiences, cater to readers and researchers, attract potential library card holders, and engage the community. The website needed to be flexible, easy-to-use and responsive on all devices from desktop computers to smartphones. Moreover, in accordance with the Library’s vision, the site should open doors and minds to information, entertainment and lifelong learning for children, tweens, teens and adults.
The new Georgina Public Library website meets these objectives and more. Right from the new website’s homepage, visitors have a wealth of information readily available. They can read the latest tweets, link to the Library’s social media sites, read alert banners that library personnel may have posted, search the events calendar, browse the Library’s catalogue or the website, see branch location information, sign up for an e-newsletter, see what’s new in books, DVDs, eBooks and eAudiobooks, and login to their library account. Although all of these actions are accessible from the homepage, they are grouped in intuitive ways so that visitors can quickly scan the content and choose an action within approximately five seconds. Several focus groups and a sitemapping session ensured that the pages are organized in logical, intuitive menus, and require three or fewer clicks to access. Topics are organized by audience type: Kids & Teens or Adults, and also by eResources and Services. The most popular pages are under an “I’d Like To” menu as well as within Quick Links on every page.
The website encourages engagement. Website visitors can subscribe to various communications including the events calendar, e-newsletter, news and notices, alerts and for updates on specific webpages to stay abreast of changes. They can also suggest a Library purchase, request an interlibrary loan, renew materials and more.
The website incorporates BrowseAloud for speech, reading and translation support for those with Dyslexia, low literacy, English as a Second Language and those with mild visual impairments. The website is also AODA compliant for accessibility standards in Ontario.