Welcome to the new Greenwich Library website

| 17 Comments

As one of the Town of Greenwich's most important cultural and educational institutions, Greenwich Library continues to be an essential resource for residents. Through the generous support for libraries in the town, we are fortunate to have a great staff, wonderful facilities and an excellent collection for public use. No matter where you are, or what time of day it is, library access is available either at the main library and branches or through the website which we refer to as our virtual branch.

On our website, you will find access to our catalog, databases, new acquisitions, program listings, book reviews, downloadable selections, and much more. We have tried to organize the site to be easy to navigate, functional and practical while also being full of up-to-date information. We hope it becomes a regular, bookmarked Internet site where you check your account, reserve and renew items and communicate your needs to us.

I hope you find the information you are looking for at this site and I encourage you to visit our libraries. Let us know what you need the library to be and how we can better serve you. The staff and I look forward to assisting you.

Carol A. Mahoney, Director

17 Comments

the former web site worked fine and i'm sure the folks did a fine job creating the new one. i'm just not sure what value added there is to the new site. i stil get the same results , i.e., lib cat search, lib a/c search etc. perhaps it "looks" better to some, but why bother to spend the money? Was the new site created because of the new download e book feature?? this appears to be the only tangible change (other than cosmetic, or "easier to use " features.Just not sure. I do have 1 suggestion: why not set up an automatic renewal feature option for a $ 1.00 fee on books etc(assuming no hold exists on material etc). to be offered to patrons. I do have to say MOST of your staff check out people are always friendly, but there are some......

Hello Anonymous, and thank you very much for taking the time to comment.

In your comments about the site redesign you hit on one of the main reasons, namely "ease of use". We found, for example, that the previous drop-down menu system was actually a hindrance to many of our patrons due to its "flying out" at inopportune moments when unintentionally rolled-over. By changing to a menu system that requires clicking to activate we've (hopefully) made the menu less obtrusive and more predictable. We also made an effort to place links to our site's most heavily-used features in more prominent locations (based on Web usability testing and recommendations) and to repeat them from page to page so they are within easier reach--for example the catalog search and account links at the upper left, or the "Contact Us" link in the footer. News items on the main page are now easier to see and control (the old "scroller" would simply loop endlessly without any means of control). You are correct in that much of our site's content has been carried over from the previous format, but with the redesign we've made efforts in regard to presentation to draw more attention to aspects that were previously "buried" (see the new Teens pages, or the Blogs section on the main page as examples). With the redesign also came an upgrade in technology, allowing us to use more sophisticated back-end programming for features such as browser-detection for serving up specific code for each browser which allows for better consistency of page display in each, as well as a "mobile" format for various hand-held devices.
You also made reference to the aesthetics of the new design; I won't downplay this as a critical component in our decision to upgrade the site. To be blunt, the old "Green Bay Packers" color scheme was not exactly a favorite among our entire user base! Sure, "it worked", from a purely utilitarian point-of-view, but it was well past time to offer something a little more pleasing to the eye to coincide with our much-needed usability and technology upgrades.

In regard to your suggestion about an "automatic renewal" option on books, we will be sure to give this idea due consideration. Thank you for your suggestion!

My compliments for a very attractive and user-friendly website.

As a native speaker of Italian, allow me a bit of constructive criticism: the translations, at least the Italian one, leave a lot to desire.

Hello Paolo, thank you for your comment, and we’re glad to hear you like the new site design.
Regarding the language translations (you mentioned Italian), we are using the “Google Translate” language translation service, which is admittedly less than perfect. Google is constantly striving to make it better and hopefully the improvements will be steady. For us the choice was between offering page translation across our site with Google, or only being able to offer limited translations for select documents given the time and staff that can be devoted to creating and updating translations. Hopefully most of our users will find the page translation feature more helpful than not—at the very least, it offers a “gist” of meaning for page content in a user’s native language, where otherwise English would be the only choice.

You took a very good web site and put in an awkward, poorly designed (not with the library in mind) web site. I would be very happy if you could revert to the old one.

Hello John, thank you for taking the time to comment. We’re sorry to hear that you are experiencing difficulties navigating the new site. Given the time and effort and planning that went into the new design, “reverting” to the old site is, as you have probably already determined, not really an option. However we’d like to use this as an opportunity to recommend that maybe you might like to take advantage of our in-house training for using the new site? Our Training librarians offer regular hands-on sessions with our website and are there to answer any questions you may have. You can see when the next Greenwich Library Website computer class is being offered by clicking here.

Thanks, I love the newly designed site, and I'm glad you retained the "staff picks". I'm a non-fiction (history, science) fan, and sometimes, when I can't find anything I want to read, that list always provides a 'winner".

The Greenwich Library is The Best reason to live in Greenwich.

Thanks Kathy, we love the Staff Picks as well. Thanks for reading them.

Is this new website more cost-effective? I haven't so far seen much of an improvement over the previous website. regards, Geoff Hornbeck

Mr. Hornbeck: We believe that the website is cost-effective in that it functions as a virtual branch library. We are able to offer many resources to our users that they can access from their home or office. Offering these resources remotely to our patrons adds enormous value to them (and to the library in general.)

Love my Library! I live in Riverside, however, my favorite branch is Byram. Miguel and Gary are outstanding and add the personal touches to everyone's day, from a warm Hello to we have a new book you might enjoy. It is always a pleasure to spend time there.

The content looks good, at first glance, but the font is way too small!

Please have someone over the age of 45 review these things for visual ease!

I hope there is a way to improve the font size. I find the new site extremely difficult to read on my computer screen. I guarantee this will reduce my time spent on this site.

Thanks!

Hi Karen. In order to maintain consistency across our site within a wider variety of browsers and screen resolutions, we opted to utilize fixed font sizes instead of relative font sizes. Our testing revealed no definitive problems regarding legibility, even for the 45+ crowd, but we understand that there will always be exceptions. On our ADA page we have provided a link to the W3C’s guide on how to change text size in different browsers (found here) but to describe it briefly, most modern browsers now offer the ability to zoom text sizes larger or smaller, or as an alternative, the entire screen larger or smaller. We would recommend that if you do use the "zoom" feature in your browser that you zoom the entire screen (rather than just the text), otherwise you may experience display errors as over-large text breaks out of its containing elements. As another alternative, you may want to try the "Mobile" page style available via the "Page Style" link in the footer, which will offer up a simpler, single-column page where resizing the text will not “break the page” so easily if scaled too large.

The database links need some review. Many of the Proquest links do not work at all. Thanks for looking into this.

Thanks Mr. Long: We had a brief problem with some of our databases the day that we made the switch over to our new site. We fixed them the same day and they should be working properly now.

Your new website looks good, but when logging into my library account in the Firefox web browser the spacing is completely messed up. This was never the case prior to your upgrade. It is not a problem though with Safari, so it is clearly an issue with Firefox that needs to be fixed.

Hello "Anonymous"! Thank you for your comment. We too have noticed this problem with Firefox. Because our catalog is maintained differently and apart from our "“main" website, our control over the various style elements is somewhat limited. But we will continue working with our catalog vendor to resolve this issue.

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This page contains a single entry by Kate published on November 13, 2009 3:21 PM.

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