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From website to ebranch 6 26-2011 (no macros)
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From website to ebranch 6 26-2011 (no macros)


San Mateo County Library website redesign project

San Mateo County Library website redesign project

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  • IntroductionSegue: Welcome to “From Website to eBranch.”
  • Will take questions after each section
  • CrisSo why did we choose the content management system Drupal. Well Drupal• is open source, so the free aspect of it fits a libraries budget perfectly• it is modular and has a large community of developers that contribute to its further development. With Drupal beingmodular you can easily expand the functionality of your site instantly.• The Drupal core can manage multiple sites. For example, our main, kids, and teens site all share the same drupal core. There is no need to install Drupal 3 times.• Drupal does a great job at user management. It was designed for community-based Web sites and has strong user role and access control functionality.• Drupal has powerful features to manage content. It has a flexible and easy to use taxonomy and content type system which allows you to organize your content in whatever form you desire.• Drupal offers the ability to easily make your site available in multiple languages. You can use machine or manual translation.• But one of the main reasons we decided to go with Drupal is because of SOPAC the Social OnLine Public Access Catalog module developed by John Blyberg at the Darien Library in Connecticut. SOPAC will allow us to create our own custom user interface that overlays over our Integrated Library System. This will enable us to completely integrate our catalog into our eBranch making it less confusing for our users as they no longer have to jump from our website to the catalog and encounter a completely different site.
  • CrisThings we love about the new eBranch are: it has a clean look and layout is more user friendly allows for multiple contributors of content. For example we have multiple staff entering content for events and blogs. The eBranch is almost a single sign-on interface. Currently when a user creates an account their library card number and pin are stored in their account. This allows us to push this information out to our online databases and automatically log our patrons in. This process works great with the majority of our vendors but there are a few that have been problematic but we hope to make the eBranch 100% single sign-on in the near future. and lastly our blogs have given staff a voice to communicate with our users.
  • JulieBrand: Mission statement is Connect. Discover. Evolve. The eBranch exemplifies all 3.Materials and services: BMM, Research, eBooks/eAudiobooks, Events (main nav hits all the key pointsNavigate: main, fat footer (want to increase hits, put it in the fat footer, Google analytics proves it)Flickr carousels: shows what is going on at our libraries; Main page and every branch landing page has oneVideos: allows us to share programs, storytimes with all users, not just those who can get to the library and provides a unique and interesting way to promote library servicesSocial Sharing tools:
  • JulieLove these pages, but lot of work to keep them fresh and currentWork with selectors to efficiently generate new/featured recommendations.
  • CrisOur eBranch now offers multiple methods to promote events. Our promotion blocks allows us to publicize monthly promotions like Hispanic Heritage Month, Banned Books Week, and many others that we tie events to. Our events carousels allow users to scroll through our highlighted events. and our Events page allows our users to search events, add to their calendar, add a reminder, write a review, add an image and add a video.
  • CrisOur eBranch is currently offered in Spanish and Chinese.A key decision we had to make is whether to use machine translation or manual translation. When we started our eBranch project machine translators were not very good which helped sway us more towards manual translation. Ultimately we based our decision on the needs of our community and went with manual translation. Manual translation can be time consuming but in the end you know it is translated correctly and geared to your community.Another decision we had to make was to make a mirror translation of all English content or develop unique content in other languages. Again, this depends on needs of your community and expected audience. We decided to have a mixture of unique content and a mirror translation of English. We felt this would allows to better cater to our Chinese and Spanish speaking communities.
  • JulieDouble or triple your initial time estimates.Events: agreed to structure that required us to enter each event 3 times plus the translations 3 times.
  • JulieInvolve staff, spread out the work.Get creative. Example: monthly promotions, we used to ask for a staff member to volunteer to put resource list together. Fewer staff volunteer due to extra help budget cuts, workload issues. Pick subjects of wide appeal: gardening, cooking, ask everyone to contribute favorite titles. Success!Blogs: appointed manager.Recommendations: very time consuming, can’t keep up with everything. Asked selectors to send me lists of new orders, highlight featured recommendations. Events: 1 or 2 staff at each branch enters.
  • CrisDon’t assume problems will be easy to fix. At the launch of our eBranch we assumed the automatic login functionality for our catalog would be complete so we wrote the FAQs as such, but of course we ran into some obstacles and we were not able to complete it. This ended up causing confusion for our users because the FAQs were incorrect.
  • Demo – search by tag“summer”Next I will review my favorite SOPAC features.
  • Demo Books Movie Music
  • Demo – new dvds and new fiction
  • No way to moderate reviews. Need to develop means of notifying admin when review is submitted so it can be vetted for inappropriate content.
  • Request to add multiple Search Term boxes.
  • Harry Potter Chinese San Mateo County Libraries
  • Faceted Browsing provides numerous ways of limiting search parameters
  • Basic Search for Harry PotterLimit to DVDsLimit to Belmont BranchSwitch to Foster City branchThen add Millbrae to see all Harry Potter DVDs at Foster City and Belmont
  • Saved searches can be subscribed to as an RSS Feed. Items show up in reader with a “Request this item” link.
  • Advanced Search: most common use of Save SearchReplacement order for Magic Tree House Keyword = Magic Tree House, Format = Book, Location = San Mateo County Libraries
  • Never need to type in library card number and pin
  • Allows viewing of account info, placing holds, and paying fines without having to enter library card number and pin.
  • Place HoldView Fines (can also pay)View checkouts (can renew)View holds (note frozen)View Checkout history (can opt in and out)
  • Custom FeatureDemo adding items, placing holds from bookbag
  • Add items to BookbagView BookbagSelect AllRequest Items
  • Demo Google Books, Title = Unbroken.
  • Table of ContentsBrowseSearch
  • Make sure you understand how materials in other languages are cataloged before you start translation of SOPAC into a new language. Chinese is particularly challenging because of the need to be able to handle both traditional and simplified characters.
  • Harvest: how you get the data from your ILS database into SOPACIt’s important to realize that for the most part, the details of the harvest will be unique to each library system as it is highly dependent on how materials are cataloged.Expect to spend a lot of time on this.
  • No matter what the advantages are of having a SOPAC account, some people will not want it. Patrons will resist what they perceive as “forced change”.
  • Performance: hourly indexing, cover art, bookbag.Harvest once a day.
  • JulieSOPAC: very much a work in progress, continue to make improvements based on staff and patron feedbackIntranet redesign: convened task force and hired intern. Initially going to use Sharepoint but reevaluating due to feedback received at prior conferences.Social Media: Continue to expand SMCL social media presenceMobile App: Boopsie,
  • It’s much easier to correct any issues found in the design stage than it is to fix them later when the website is built.To test the usability of the wireframe, we did remote usability testing using a tool called Chalkmark. On the existing website, patrons were given the opportunity to participate in reviewing the new designs for the website. If they clicked the link, they were shown the wireframe above, and then asked to perform a series of 10 tasks. One of the tasks was to see if your branch is open on Sunday.Patrons would click on the screenshot. Remember the wireframe is just an image. It’s not an actual webpage.Within a few days, we had almost 100 responses.
  • Here’s an example of what the results looked like. I know this may be a bit difficult to see on the screen. The wireframe is in the background. Overlaid on it is a “heat map” showing where people clicked to find out if the branch was open on Sunday. 79% clicked the Hours and Locations in the upper right. 3 clicks for About Us, which is next to it.There were also clicks on the logo, view book bag, resources, and How do I. You can’t see in this screenshot, which shows just part of the screen, but there were also quite a few clicks on the Hours and Locations link in the footer.
  • This is a comp – an proposed design that was created in Photoshop. We created 3 different designs, and San Mateo picked the one they liked, which is shown above.


  • 1. From Website to eBranch
    Julie Finklang
    San Mateo County Library eBranch Manager
    Patrick Sweeney
    @pcsweeney; sweeney@smcl.org
    San Mateo County Library Branch Manager
    Katherine Stevens
    @kathstevens; kstevens@isitedesign.com
    ISITE Design Project Manager
  • 2. Presentation Outline
    Redesigning our website – Julie Finklang
    SOPAC interface – Julie Finklang
    Blogs – Patrick Sweeney
    Social Media – Patrick Sweeney
    Web Development Process – Katherine Stevens
  • 3. Design was dated
    Not easy to navigate
    Little dynamic content
    No user interaction
    Didn’t adequatelyrepresent San MateoCounty Library
    Why a complete redesign?
  • 4. Why Drupal?
    Open source
    Multi-site management
    User management
    Content management
  • 5. Things we love about the eBranch.
    • Clean look and layout
    • 6. User friendly
    • 7. Multiple contributors
    • 8. Almost a single sign-on interface.
    • 9. The blogs give staff a way to communicate with users.
  • 10. The design.
    Adds a new dimension to the SMCL Brand
    Eye-catching, interesting and attractive
    Conveys wide range of materials and services SMCL offers
    Easy to navigate
    Flickr carousels, videos, social sharing tools
  • 11. Books, Movies, Music
    Kids Books+
    Teens Recommended
    Monthly Promotions
    Promotion of library materials.
  • 12. Promotion blocks
    Events carousels
    Events page
    Promotion of library events.
  • 13. Spanish and Chinese
    Machine or manual translation
    Unique content vs. translated from English
    Other languages.
  • 14. Did we make some mistakes? Of course!
    What we wish someone had told us 2 years ago …
    Lessons learned.
  • 15. Initial entry vs.
    ongoing updates
    Content entry takes a long time.
  • 16. 4 Recommendations pages
    Be realistic about content updates.
  • 17. Write your help text and FAQs based on how the site really works, not how you would like it to work.
    Don’t assume problems will be easy to fix.
  • 18. Yes! Average monthly visits to smcl.org increased from 26K to 35K! That’s a 35% increase!
    Official WebbyHonoree
    Was it worth it?
  • 19. Questions?
  • 20. The Social OPAC: http://thesocialopac.net/
    Open Source
    Drupal CMS
    Developed by John Blyberg
    2.1 latest release
    Darien, Palos Verdes, Ann Arbor, San Mateo County
    SOPAC: What is it?
  • 21. Open Source interface means future migration will be invisible to users
    Choice of ILS: connectors available for Evergreen, Koha, III, Sirsi-Dynix and Polaris
    Community Driven – searchable tags and reviews
    SOPAC: Why SMCL Chose It
  • 22. SOPAC: Search by Tag Demo
  • 23. Tags – can be used to quickly and easily create booklists.
    SOPAC: Features
  • 24. SOPAC: New Item Lists Demo
  • 25. Allows users to rate, and review holdings
    SOPAC: Features
  • 26. SOPAC: Reviews Demo
  • 27. Advanced Search
    SOPAC: Features
  • 28. SOPAC: Advanced Search Demo
  • 29. Faceted browsing
    SOPAC: Features
  • 30. SOPAC: Faceted Browsing Demo
  • 31. Saved searches
    SOPAC: Features
  • 32. SOPAC: Saved Search Demo
  • 33. Single user sign-on
    SOPAC: Features
  • 34. Integrated renewals, holds placement, checkout history and fine payment
    SOPAC: Features
  • 35. SOPAC: Acccount Info Demo
  • 36. Bookbag
    SOPAC: Features
  • 37. SOPAC: Bookbag Demo
  • 38. Google Books
    SOPAC: Features
  • 39. SOPAC: Google Books Demo
  • 40. Chinese
    Traditional vs. Simplified
    SOPAC: Challenges
  • 41. Harvest
    Requires a lot of tweaking. Will not work out of the box.
    Need to consult extensively with catalogers.
    Will it work with RDA? How much customization will be needed?
    Example: DVD/CD Contents. Had trouble getting song/track titles to display correctly.
    SOPAC: Challenges
  • 42. Patron resistance to creating user name/password acccount
    Create accounts for all lib card holders, user name = card #, password = pin
    Provide option to log in with card #/pin
    SOPAC: Challenges
  • 43. Launch
    Never underestimate the power of change resistance
    Do a staff launch first
    Provide multiple methods for staff and patrons to give feedback
    Make sure staff know you welcome feedback
    SOPAC: Launch
  • 44. Performance
    Current user group very small
    Updates aren’t instant
    SOPAC: Drawbacks
  • 45. Faceted Browsing = put off implementing RDA
    Content Integration
    Google Books
    Professional Reviews from Syndetics
    Movie Trailers Next
    Opportunities for additional customization
    Better able to respond to staff and patron feedback
    SOPAC: Benefits
  • 46. SOPAC
    The more users, the greater the potential
    Open source = endless possibilities
    SMCL intranet
    Social Media
    Mobile App
    The future.
  • 47. Questions?
  • 48. Three are fa-mi-ly.
  • 49. Inclusive blogging—classification blindness.
    Photo Credit: Sean Rogers1
  • 50. How did we do it?Setting the tone with recruitment.
    Photo Credit: Tracy Hunter
  • 51. Getting good and comfortable: training.
  • 52. Making it happen.
    Photo Credit: AGeekMom
  • 53. Project organization.Deadlines motivate!
  • 54. You changed what!Writers have feelings.
    Photo Credit: Zach Klein
  • 55. Where are we now?
    Carine's Blog Activity Tracking Worksheet
  • 56. Collective brain highlight.
  • 57. Teen highlight.
  • 58. Kids highlight.
  • 59. Worth it? Let me count the ways.
    Photo Credit: Q U E E F
  • 60. (Sage) advice.
    Photo Credit: leo_leibovici
  • 61. Words to post (and live) by.
    “It is sometimes to the detriment of libraries that much of the talent and personality that resides among staff is not sponsored in more creative ways to provide a highly engaging user experience—as well as differentiating it from the insidious creep of blandness which masquerades as customer service in many retail sectors.”
    Best Sellers: Reader’s Advisory at the Core of Public Libraries and ‘First to the Fringe’ by Paul Brown APLIS 23 (1) March 2010
  • 62. Questions?
  • 63. Why did SMCL start a social media campaign?
  • 64. How did we start?
    Evaluations –
    Online profile
    Social profile
    What platforms are ourpatrons using?
  • 65. Creating our plan.
    What is our brand name?
    Is it organization Run?
    Is it employee Run?
    Which tools are we using?
    What will we say?
    Who is our audience?
  • 66. Creating our policies.
    Staff policies
    Patron interaction policies
    Personal use policies
    Blogging policies
    Twitter policies
    Facebook policies
    And more!!
  • 67. Launching.
    Registering our name
  • 68. How are we finding “Friends?”
    Utilizing staff networks
    By talking
    Using hashtags
    Creating contests andPromotions
    By retweeting
    Answering questions
  • 69. Training staff.
    How to use various Social Media Platforms
    What to do/not to do
    How to monitor the SMCL message
    How to respond to patrons online
  • 70. Next steps.
    Increasing staff participation
    Increased connections across moreplatforms
    QR codes
    Mobile apps
    New & emerging social mediawebsites
    Augmented Reality
  • 71. Questions?
  • 72. Web development process
  • 73. Preparation (allow 3-6 months).
    features functions
    surveypatrons and staff
    openness what to share
  • 74. Working with potential vendors.(Through RFP or less formal evaluation.)
    Be clear about your vision, features, functions, technology.
    Explain contracting process.
    State your budget or budget range.
    Have real conversations with vendors.
    Be open to process and deliverables.
    Limit the number of copies that you request.
    Seek out advice to help with the RFP or evaluating vendors.
    Check references.
  • 75. What’s easy and what’s not.
    Takes more effort & time
    Single visual design.
    Integrating with some vendor’s systems.
    “Skinning” an existing calendar.
    Content pages.
    Simple forms.
    Flickr, social sharing tools.
    Multiple designs.
    Discovering that you can’t integrate with some vendors’ systems.
    Custom calendar.
    Multiple languages.
    Custom databases, such as lists of research databases.
  • 76. Create a shared visionof what you want now and in the future.
    Establish team responsibilities.
    Decide on the review and approval process.
    Analysis & research.
    Kickoff & analysis.
  • 77. Design: User experience design.
    Site map
  • 78. Design: Usability testing the design.
    Used Chalkmark tool for remote testing.
    Task: See if your branch is open on Sunday.
  • 79. Design: Usability testing.
    Results: A heat map showing where people clicked.
  • 80. Design: Visual design.
  • 81. Development
    Enter content
    Train staff
    Prepare for launch
    Go live
  • 82. Your website isn’t a project!
    Update content.
    Analyze site effectiveness.
    Gather feedback.
    Make continual improvements.
    Ongoing improvement.
  • 83. Questions?
  • 84. Thank You
    Julie Finklang
    Patrick Sweeney
    Katherine Stevens