In 2014 a library is often first known by its electronic presence. At Kennebunk Free Library, patrons new and old see this image when a search engine brings them to http://www.kennebunklibrary.org (please click on image for larger view). The site is maintained by Janet Cate, the Assistant Director of the library and has been a presence since 1996. The format is designed by http://www.librarywebsites.com.
Mobile-friendly Page Link: A person can search the catalog, check for upcoming events, download audio and e-books through OverDrive, instantly stream a film on Indieflix (easy sign up via RBdigital Gateway link), and pertinent to our technology focus, click on a ‘Mobile-friendly Page’ link, which brings up this screen. I think of it as a tip-of-the-fingers way to access anything electronic a patron might want. – so simple AND functional!
The Social Media link above takes the user to links for:
- Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kennebunk-Free-Library/42611456476 with 625 likes!)
- Twitter ( https://twitter.com/kennebunklib – 1537 tweets, 335 followers ) and
- The Blog ( http://kennebunkfreelibrary.wordpress.com/ – blogging since October 2008)
These sites post weekly and often daily, keeping their online guests tuned in to new books (choose your format), parenting classes, Portland Bookmobile visits, Story Time, YogaPlay and the like.
DROP-DOWN LINKS FOR KIDS, TEENS & ADULTS:
The Homepage has specific age-related links for Kids (Marvel and Museum Passes), Teens (Teen Advisory Board and College & Career Planner) and Adults (Ask a Question & Book Lists) where a patron can access programs, books, DVDs, e-books, genealogy help, ILL and age specific help.
Janet Cate says that their active social media presence helped the staff keep patrons up to date this past summer when KFL upgraded to Minerva, a consortium of 60 Maine libraries that share resources. KFL was able to electronically spread the word that the library would be closed for the changeover (and to ask for volunteers to help catalog) and explain some of the ins and outs of the new system. They were then able to provide a link on their homepage to a Minerva brochure with FAQs at http://www.kennebunklibrary.org/kennebunk/images/sitepics/minerva%20brochure.pdf .
ABOUT THE LIBRARY:
This drop-down is extensive and something of which to be proud. It offers a peak behind the curtains, a way to show how serious a library is about providing patrons with up-to-date useful information.
By clicking on either Policies or Reports, I can access KFL’s Long Range Plan 2013-2018 link: (http://www.kennebunklibrary.org/kennebunk/images/sitepics/long%20range%20plan%20final%209-20-13.pdf ).
Page 10 of the 33 page plan emphasizes their technology focus under Priorities, Goals and Objectives / Programming, Goal 3:
- Provide opportunities for assistance in word processing and Internet searching to patrons.
- Provide specific hours for individual tutorial availability.
- Present four workshops for patrons to learn basic word processing and Internet search skills.
- Review computing tutorial handouts for accuracy and currency. Post these handouts on the KFL website.
- Provide specific hours in the schedule devoted to individual tutorials and assistance in computing.
- Provide workshops on Facebook, Skype, and other social media twice a year.
This action plan says to me that they know their patron demographics and they believe in their mission of enhancing literacy by promoting their resources and offering expert and personal help while they fulfill their vision of serving the diverse needs of the community.
Technology can truly expand the world of both user and staff in a local library; using those technologies on behalf of your patrons is an ongoing challenge. The Kennebunk Free Library website offers a window into a rich and diverse literary culture for interested users.