Our Authors of the Month for June 2017 are Patricia Greaves, David Tonks and Kirk Underwood: the Answers Plus team based at Northamptonshire Central Library.
Patricia, David and Kirk are three of our most prolific authors, regularly updating their pages and getting involved in mini-projects to improve the site. We caught up with them to find out more.
Let's start with the basics: how often do you use the website and what do you do?
As part of our Information Programme Coordinators role we are constantly improving the website, updating and adding new content, including images, across all library service pages in a user-friendly approach.
We utilise the new web platform to highlight promotions - most recently, we promoted Earls Barton Literary Festival on the
Earls Barton Library webpage.
You had plenty of experience of the old site before moving to the new one - how did you find the migration process?
We used the opportunity of moving to the new platform to change the emphasis of the library pages from mainly providing information about the library service to also become an online resource, where customers can:
- download our e-reads and e-audio services: e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines etc
- renew items and pay charges online
- refer to our online subscription resources such as online encyclopaedias and dictionaries.
Also, research from the web team showed that a high proportion of customers’ first contact with the Library Plus webpages was through the webpage of their nearest library, so we wanted to make sure that all our resources, services and activities featured on these pages as well as on the main landing page.
It sounds as though you see the website as promotional as well as transactional?
Definitely. The website provides us with an important channel to promote our services and events. It drives users to our social media platforms where engagement is excellent.
The website gives us the opportunity to attract new users with online services including our
e-Reads and Audio offer and our subscription resources including the Oxford Suite.
In fact our online offer now matches our physical stock which is important for users that want to access services in different ways, incorporating self-serve with online catalogue and personal account access.
What do you to do to improve the existing content?
online reference section containing the good web guide and free subscription resources, we monitor resource usage, while researching and adding new websites to the collection to help and encourage customers to gain access to online information in life critical areas such as careers, health and important online government services.
In our Business and IP Centre capacity we edit the business pages to promote our regular programme of events. We have recently worked with the web team on
a new landing page that effectively showcases all that is on offer at the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire including workshops, seminars, online business resources and advice.
So what's next for you?
The web team are setting up a dashboard for us to show usage of our site and search terms people enter. We'll also be looking at their Crazy Egg heat map software so we can see which parts of our pages get clicked.
We're looking to simplify our homepage based on initial findings and we'll continue to review how customers use the site and what we can improve.
Our other big task at the moment is populating the new events calendar which will be going live at the start of July.
Explore libraries online
Take a look at the libraries section maintained by David, Patricia and Kirk:
If you want to receive reports about your site to help you improve your content, get in touch with the Web Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.