Helping a 125-year-old institution better engage patrons and build community.
Here’s how Mightybytes helped a community library overcome website governance challenges while making content easier for their users to find.
The St. Charles Public Library (SCPL) has proudly served the diverse communities of St. Charles, Wayne, West Chicago, and South Elgin for over 125 years. The library houses over 400,000 books, magazines, audio books, CDs, DVDs, and video games. SCPL has over 500,000 annual visitors who check out more than 1.6 million items each year.
The library’s website had become bloated and slow from years of patchwork web development. Content was hard to find, causing frustration and site abandonment. SCPL needed better information architecture and a website redesign to properly organize and help patrons easily find content.
The previous St. Charles Public Library website was cluttered with miscategorized content. The new site offers multiple permissions levels, empowering site editors to restrict access to specific contributors so that content cannot be placed in areas where it does not belong. A responsive design offers a consistent experience for patrons and other users, regardless of the device they use to access the site.
Mightybytes collaborated with SCPL patrons and staff on the site navigation, testing a new navigation structure with real users and shifting our approach based on the results. This validated assumptions about how website content should be organized. The new site also puts an enhanced focus on ebooks and audiobooks to showcase the library’s digital offerings.
With an improved information architecture, updated user interface, and several integrations for improved functionality, St. Charles Public Library can better serve their community in a number of ways.
Here are some other results the new site has generated:
- Integration with SCPL’s chat tool Mosio makes it easy for site visitors to connect with a librarian and ask a question.
- Site admins can easily update and manage content.
- Users can now quickly locate the library’s catalog to search, hold, and renew materials with easy access to ‘My Account.’
- The responsive layout has given SCPL its first ever mobile-friendly website.
- Most importantly, users can now quickly and easily get answers to questions and find the content they need.