Library debuts new website design

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By Calen McKinney

More than 1,300 people "like" the Taylor County Public Library.

And with a recent redesign of the library's website, personnel say they hope that number continues to increase.

Library board members heard about the new website at their meeting on Monday afternoon.

Clark Agathen of KTL Computer Concepts in Campbellsville told members that library staff members knew the design they wanted for their site, which made the redesign much easier. He said the site is minimal, but is broken into functional areas that provide visitors all the information they need to know about the library.

"We kept it pretty simple," he said. "The same content is there, just a little reorganization."

Agathen said he believes the library's former design had too many colors and appeared a bit young.

When visiting the site, www.taylorcountypubliclibrary.org, patrons can read about the library's adult and youth services, its outreach, digital collections, hours, staff and upcoming events.

There are links to search the library's collection and browse its digital books, along with instructions as to how to do both.

Library Director Julia Turpin said a photographer took photos of the staff, along with some of the new library, which are now prominently featured on the site.

Agathen said he believes the photos make the site warm and inviting. He said he has many photos to choose and rotate to make the site look new.

With photos of the library's staff members, Agathen said, patrons can now know who the staff members are and what they do at the library.

He said library staff members can also update the site themselves, which will ensure the calendar on the site is always up-to-date.

Turpin said the library's newsletters will be posted online, which hasn't been done before. And Agathen said library staff members are also working on creating a mobile site for patrons to view on their cell phones. Turpin said this will make the site appear much easier on smartphones.

He said the new design also allows staff members to provide links to the library's social media accounts so they can interact with patrons. The library also now has a Flickr account, which is linked on the website.

Having more of a social media presence, Agathen said, will help the library move up in its Google and other search engine rankings and help more people see what services the library has to offer.

More than 2,500 people visited the library's Facebook page last month, Outreach Librarian Bonnie Webster said, which equates to a 180 percent increase in traffic.

She said there were 78 people recently "engaged" at the site during a specific time period, which equates to a 38.7 percent increase.

Board Vice President Eddie Hazelwood asked if there is a visitor counter on the site so staff members can see just how many people view it. Turpin said she will receive the same report as always as to how many use the site and will report that to board members next month.

Also at the Meeting:

• Despite anticipating a decline during its slower time of the year, Turpin said more patrons are continuing to use the library and its services.

Circulation increased by 5 percent in October when compared to September's data and 52 percent when compared to September 2012.

Use of every part of the library's collection has increased, Turpin said. There was a 68 percent jump in nonfiction, 133 percent increase in large-type books and a 148 percent jump in juvenile nonfiction.

"We had a big month," Turpin said. "It was a very good month in the library."

She said 205 new patrons were registered in October for library cards. Many of the new patrons are Amazon.com workers who have come to Campbellsville to camp and work during the upcoming holiday season. She said those workers are welcome to use the library, as are all residents.

• Turpin said Campbellsville resident Michelle Fletchall will soon teach yoga classes at the library, for adults and children. The classes will be donation only. Dates for the classes, when they are announced, will be published on the News-Journal's Calendar Page in the Community Calendar.

• Turpin gave board members a quarterly financial report, which she said shows that some purchases have equated to more than 25 percent of their line item allotments. Those expenses will balance at the end of the year, she said.

"We are financially on track and I'm not concerned."

• Webster said Campbellsville and Taylor County high schools have received a digital copy of their yearbooks. The library recently worked with a company to have all CHS and TCHS yearbooks digitized and made available for patrons.

Turpin said the yearbooks will be stored on a computer at the library and patrons can view the material and save what they like to an external drive. She said uploading the files to the library's website has been discussed, though staff members will gauge the interest before deciding to do that.

• Turpin said the library's roof, that had been leaking, has been repaired and some damaged ceiling times were replaced.

• Nearly $3,000 was raised at the library's recent book fair, which is much more than what had been collected at previous fairs. Since profits increased so much, the company the library worked with has said the library will now get to keep more of the proceeds.

• Turpin told members that residents are paying library taxes and she expects to receive two more large checks before the end of the year.

• The Board will next meet on Monday, Dec. 9, at 1:30 p.m. at the library. Since the meeting is not at the Board's regular noon meeting time, it will become a special meeting. Only the items on the agenda can be discussed. The meeting is open to the public.