June 5th was a HUGE day for us at IWD as we launched our first large-scale municipal project. The Board of Library Trustees of the Fairfield Public Library generously funded a new website for their library system and we had the privilege of helping make their vision come alive! It took 15 months to complete the project and we couldn’t possibly be more proud and excited.
Fairfield Public Library located in Fairfield, CT is comprised of a Main Library and a Branch known as Fairfield Woods. Their website averages over 2 million hits a year and their physical libraries serve an average of over 2,000 patrons a day. In a town with a population of 59,000 it’s clearly a hot spot.
Analysis conducted by IWD alongside FPL staff showed some key elements of the previous FPL website were under accessed by the public; that data gave us a great starting point. Because the FPL staff work with the public every day, they came into planning sessions with impressive insight regarding what the new site needed to best serve the public.Of course the design needed to be visually attractive but at the core of everything was navigation, navigation, navigation! This meant organizing content in a manner that was intuitive, making it easy to access for all ages. Because the library offers such a wide range of services and programs, there was a lot of information to incorporate into the architecture.
Some of the major design elements incorporated into the new website:
- Automatic updated feeds for new library materials and programs on the home page
- Hours and contact information highly visible and easy to locate
- Easy to find list of services and digital resources such as databases
- Events calendars are automatically updated on the homepages (Main, Branch, Teens & Childrens)
- Vibrant background imagery on the Children’s and Teen pages of the site
It was a great feeling for us to work with a library we love in our own backyard! If you look up team effort, this project really fits the bill. That patrons are telling us about their positive experiences accessing information about their library and its wonderful services on the new website makes it especially fulfilling.
You don’t need to live in Fairfield to explore the new website, so we invite you to check it out. Get it? “Check it out”…that’s a library expression *wink wink.* www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org