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Friday, June 6, 2008

Ironing Out the Rough Spots

After much planning, discussion, hard work, and revision -- after countless hours of typing, clicking and staring at computer screens, we were able to bring you a new Web site this week. Anyone who has participated in a roll-out this large can tell you that things never go easily nor perfectly - but hey, I don't think we did too badly. A few dead links here or there, a few misdirected links, and a few "whoops!" moments. We thank all the patrons who have taken the time this week to give comments and suggestions and we will take all of them into consideration. In fact, one of my biggest qualifications for the new site was flexibility, so that we can adapt and change as needed. Thanks also for your patience with problems that occurred as we made the transition. Most have been solved or are in the process.
Some things you may find helpful:

  1. Check out the top right hand corner of every screen. This part of a Web site can be easy to overlook, but we've put all kinds of helpful features there. You can search our Catalog from any page of the site, and can search by Author, Title, Subject or Keyword. There's also a helpful "How Do I?" menu there, including a link to "My Account" information.

  2. Something new about our library databases: previously, if you wanted to use a database from home, you had to click on a separate link, with a little picture of a house. You don't need to do that anymore. Most of our databases can be used from home, or anywhere you have an Internet connection, if you have a DPPL library card. Just click on the title of the database and you'll be prompted to log in. The few databases that are not available outside the library are marked: "In Library Use Only." We eliminated those house icons because they cluttered up the pages - only a handful of our databases cannot be used outside the Library.

  3. Our new home page is designed to have a newsletter feel -- but obviously we can't put all the library news there, it would get crowded. So remember to click on the "What's New" button, left hand side of the site, to get the latest, including links to this blog as well as our new blog, "Positively Ellinwood Street."
Speaking of news -- the Taste of Des Plaines is just hours away. We'll be there on Saturday and Sunday, so stop by and visit with us in the Community Expo tent (or, come into the Library and cool off, since the Taste takes place on Library Plaza and it's gonna be a hot one). I've never been to the Taste before, so I'm hoping to spend a few hours there on Sunday afternoon. Got a question about the new Web site? Stop by and ask us - or ask us about all the other great services and programs we offer.

The Taste is a popular summertime tradition in Des Plaines, and so are our Summer Reading Clubs. This year's Summer Reading Club for Kids is called, "Get in the Game." Kids who are up to the challenge of reading this summer can receive prizes and a t-shirt. But summer reading isn't just for kids -- check out our "Not Just Summer Reading Club" for adults, too!

In the meantime, I've got to get back to work on the Web site!

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