Middle Country Library

Turning the Page

With two state-of-the art facilities–one in Centereach, the other in Selden–the Middle Country Public Library (MCPL) system provides local residents with a diverse array of resources, including print and electronic publications, movies and music, online databases, and classes in everything from yoga and social media to foreign languages and defensive driving.

Born in the 1950s, the MCPL works in partnership with businesses, schools, philanthropic groups, and social-service agencies, drawing from other organizational models to create innovative services and develop “entrepreneurial solutions” to its own challenges. One of those challenges was revamping the MCPL website so that it would be uncluttered and user-friendly–an easy read, so to speak.

SNAPSHOT

Content strategy and website redesign for regional public library, including WordPress content management

SERVICES

Strategy, Information Architecture, Design, Technology, Ongoing Support

www.mcpl.lib.ny.us

Challenge

The MCPL knew it was overdue for an online overhaul: Its website was complicated and difficult to navigate. The goal was to make information as simple to find on the MCPL site as it is in the libraries themselves. The MCPL also needed a site that library staffers could update on their own, so they could keep patrons on the same page with events, programs, and resources.

Approach

We designed a new website organized by library user types, such as adult, children, and seniors, to create a customized user experience. We built custom databases to house the library’s online references, and an easy-to-use content-management system using WordPress that integrates with the MCPL’s media catalog; lets staff quickly add library news, events, and meetings; and allows patrons to save activity listings to their iCal or Outlook calendars. We also created a colorful new look inspired by the library’s uniquely vivid decor and architecture.

TECHNOLOGY STACK

This website was built using WordPress as its content-management system. PHP was used as the server-side scripting language, with MySQL as its primary database. jQuery and CSS3 were also used to enhance the front-end user interface and overall usability.

Results

A visit to the library’s site is now as bright, helpful, and welcoming as a visit to each library itself. With the new organization and customized user experience, patrons quickly find information and activities that are relevant to them. Every department can easily update its section of the site. If a teacher asks the library to set up a class project, the right department head can immediately update the website with books and media that will be relevant and useful to that class. The new site clearly communicates library events, news, and resources…and now, it’s a great read.

“We’ve gotten a lot of very positive feedback from the community and from staff. And it’s been very easy for our team to edit and add content too — exactly what we were looking for!”

– Ryan Gessner
   Territory Sales Manager
   Librarian, Computer & Technical Services

Turning the Page

With two state-of-the art facilities–one in Centereach, the other in Selden–the Middle Country Public Library (MCPL) system provides local residents with a diverse array of resources, including print and electronic publications, movies and music, online databases, and classes in everything from yoga and social media to foreign languages and defensive driving.

Born in the 1950s, the MCPL works in partnership with businesses, schools, philanthropic groups, and social-service agencies, drawing from other organizational models to create innovative services and develop “entrepreneurial solutions” to its own challenges. One of those challenges was revamping the MCPL website so that it would be uncluttered and user-friendly–an easy read, so to speak.

SNAPSHOT

Content strategy and website redesign for regional public library, including WordPress content management

SERVICES

Strategy, Information Architecture, Design, Technology, Ongoing Support

www.mcpl.lib.ny.us

Challenge

The MCPL knew it was overdue for an online overhaul: Its website was complicated and difficult to navigate. The goal was to make information as simple to find on the MCPL site as it is in the libraries themselves. The MCPL also needed a site that library staffers could update on their own, so they could keep patrons on the same page with events, programs, and resources.

Approach

We designed a new website organized by library user types, such as adult, children, and seniors, to create a customized user experience. We built custom databases to house the library’s online references, and an easy-to-use content-management system using WordPress that integrates with the MCPL’s media catalog; lets staff quickly add library news, events, and meetings; and allows patrons to save activity listings to their iCal or Outlook calendars. We also created a colorful new look inspired by the library’s uniquely vivid decor and architecture.

TECHNOLOGY STACK

This website was built using WordPress as its content-management system. PHP was used as the server-side scripting language, with MySQL as its primary database. jQuery and CSS3 were also used to enhance the front-end user interface and overall usability.

Results

A visit to the library’s site is now as bright, helpful, and welcoming as a visit to each library itself. With the new organization and customized user experience, patrons quickly find information and activities that are relevant to them. Every department can easily update its section of the site. If a teacher asks the library to set up a class project, the right department head can immediately update the website with books and media that will be relevant and useful to that class. The new site clearly communicates library events, news, and resources…and now, it’s a great read.

“We’ve gotten a lot of very positive feedback from the community and from staff. And it’s been very easy for our team to edit and add content too — exactly what we were looking for!”

– Ryan Gessner
   Territory Sales Manager
   Librarian, Computer & Technical Services