AADL Website is a Winner

Launched on July 1, 2005, the new aadl.org has been selected by the American Library Association as the best library website in the nation for libraries with budgets of $6,000,000.00+. Skidmore Studio located in Royal Oak, MI worked with seven members of the AADL staff for five months in 2005 to determine the site goals, conduct usability studies with the public, determine a new site logo, and to develop simple administrative tools for maintenance. We wanted our site to be functional for all levels of computer proficiency, and we wanted to use interactive tools to facilitate communication with our customers.

We got what we wanted and so, apparently, did our public:

Feb 05 Feb 06 % Change
Stat Visits 77277 108601 +40%
Unique Visitors 28206 33518 +18%
Ave. Visits per Visitor 2.74 3.24 +18%
Average Visits per Day 2760 3878 +40%
Pages Per Visit 5.6 17.7 +216%
Registered Users unknown 22272 (over 50% of patrons)

My thanks to staff members Amy Cantu, Chuck Yates, Terry Soave, Jenny Hoffman, John Blyberg, Eva Davis, and Eli Neiburger for their great work in the development stages and to the Information, Access and Systems staff for everything that has come after.

Comments

This shouldn't surprise me. I visit the site nearly every day and I stopped thinking about how to get around months ago, which is a sign of a really great design. Great work. You deserve the award.

Mark


Congratulations! Your web site is definitely a winner--easy to navigate, appealing, informative, and readable in terms of content and style. In addition to all these qualities, I would like to commend you for creating a truly interactive site. Thank you for providing non library card holders like myself the opportunity to communicate with you.
Elba Barzelatto
Assistant Director
Princeton Public Library, NJ


Thank you, Mark. Your comments along the way were a great help to us.

Elba, you are more than welcome and thank you.


Well, this site could have been made with any basic CMS. Also, you can't browser by some materials (ex. music scores), and a lot of content was changed/removed since the last website. I haven't seen the 24/7 internet contact program on here in a long time. Perhaps it was hidden somewhere? I tried contact us but didn't see a very good link or anything that would lead me to it. The double menu is confusing; most menus are rather constant. A collasable menu would be a good change and an example can be found at "http://dynamicdrive.com/". However, overall, this website has improved a lot. It seems more organized and advanced but could definitely inprove.


Kelt, We are always interested in improving, and appreciate the feedback.


Could you make it easier to log in and then go directly to the catalog? I am new and had a convulted time trying to reach Search the Catalog.


Approximately how much has the new web site cost to date?


I love having my request list online. So easy to manage! It's the main reason I am such a frequent user. Thank you.

My only wish is to be able to change the status of my holds without library personnel involvement. Of course, it wouldn't be fair to be able to move myself in front of other users who have requested materials, but it seems like it would be reasonable to be able to move myself backwards in line.

For example, if I knew I was going out of town, or knew that I already had on hand more materials that I could read, listen to, or view, I would love to be able to kick myself back a few notches, and let other users go in front of me, without losing my place totally.


I am sorry that you had difficulty with the search feature. After you log in, click the catalog button and that will take you directly to the search function. If you continue to have difficulty, submit a description of the problem through our online form at the Contact Us page and we will help you figure it out.


We paid 30K to the design firm and then 3 staff developers worked over a period of 3 months on the website and another month on the first revision in November. The software is open source so there was no cost to that.

The catalog is separate although it appears integral to the site, which is one of the major successes of the site. ILS systems and associated costs, are expensive, and ours cost 500K. We do not expect to migrate to a new ILS system for years. We used our last one for 13 years!

Many on staff, including me, work on the site everyday. It is considered part of the cost of doing business and is covered in several budget categories.


pwaxman, We are working on a way for you to "pause" your request list without losing your place in line. Hopefully, we will be able to launch that with our Fall upgrade. It is a great idea and one that others have asked about, too.


I also would like to "pause" my list or some items on it. Perhaps there could be another list where I could put books that I want to read, but not right now. It would be nice to keep these books somewhere, so I wouldn't forget them.
I am the envy of my out of town friends, because of the AADL web system.
I would like books that I get from other libraries to be sent to my local branch, not kept at the main library.


Carolyn -

You can put books that you want to read into your "personal card catalog". Add items to that list by clicking on the "card catalog image" link on any item's page; look at the little catalog card image there, make whatever notes you want, and then "add this card to your collection". View the list under "My account", "Personal card catalog".

Edward Vielmetti


Edward

Thankx
Will the wonderfulness never end? I had never explored the "personal card catalog".

Carolyn


Carolyn,

Not only can any item from anwhere in our system be held for you at a specific location, but so can ILL material from libraries other than AADL. When you request an item, you can request a pickup location, too.

Josie


Thanks, I will try that the next time. Carolyn


This site is amazing! I have told everyone at work about it, and I feel so grateful to have such an invaluable resource at my fingertips. I live very close to the Malletts Creek Branch, and I can't say enough good things about it: the friendliness of the staff, the natural beauty of the building, the media assortment are all outstanding.

Many thanks!

Sean Murphy
Ann Arbor, MI


Sean, we are glad that you like the website and Malletts Creek! Thanks for the comments.
Josie


Congratulations!! There are a lot of things to like about the new web site, and I especially appreciate how responsive the staff is to suggestions for new features or other improvements, and how quickly they respond to problems.

However, it's not necessarily a good thing that average pages per visit is up - that could also indicate that it's harder to find information. I have found it a little harder to use certain catalog functionality compared to the previous version. Of course, it's certainly true that there's a lot more useful content on the site now, so some amount of that increase is likely to be a positive indicator.

And you all definitely deserve to bask in the glory of your national recognition for all your hard work - enjoy!


I love aadl.org. You folks have done an excellent job with the content and layout. My only suggestion... A direct link for making donations. I would think if aadl had a "click here" to donate button it would be a quick and easy way for someone to make a donation. At it's simplest form, it could just be a referrer to PayPal or something like that.

Again, great work!

Lon Lowen


camelsamba, Thanks for the great feedback. We'd like to know more about the functionality issues that you encounter with the catalog. Please take advantage of the Contact Us form to detail the issues. Much of the site development began with a question from someone using the site!


Lon, While we don't have a quick click here option to donate directly online at the moment, we are happy to receive financial donations. :)On the top bar next to the Login feature is SupportAADL. Don't hesitate to call us at 327-8311 about a donation, or mail a check to AADL Administration 343 S. Fifth Avenue AA 48104 and note how you would like it spent.

Josie


Well deserved!