CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY WINS
WEB MARKETING ASSOCIATION’S WEBAWARD
FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 1, 2008
On September 16, 2008, the Chicago Public Library was honored with the Web Marketing Association’s Government Standard of Excellence WebAward for its newly designed website, www.chicagopubliclibrary.org.
Created by web content development firm Duo Consulting and funded by a public/private partnership with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Chicago Public Library’s new website was launched on March 4, 2008. The website is the public face of the Library’s new Integrated Library System (ILS) which includes a new online catalog and robust online resources.
The new website presents a user-friendly experience and interaction with the Chicago Public Library offerings. It allows for multiple ways to browse and/or search for the rich library content through new search functionality. An event search was also added to the website that allows patrons to find events not only at their local branch but throughout the city.
“For 135 years, the Chicago Public Library has provided free resources to people from all walks of life and we’ve worked very hard to make sure all the programs, services and technologies are cutting-edge and relevant to the needs of Chicagoans,” said Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey. “We are very proud to receive this recognition for the work Chicago Public Library staff and Duo put into creating the site, and are pleased to hear each day from patrons how much they enjoy its functionality. We are, of course, enormously grateful to the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library Foundation for making this possible.”
“The Chicago Public Library has become a model for library systems across the country and I want to thank the Web Marketing Association for recognizing the achievements the Library has made with web technology,” Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said. “I’ve said many times that for Chicago to continue to progress for all its residents and to compete in the global economy in the future, we must reinforce the idea that education never ends. We have to instill in all our residents – but especially our children – a love of learning. Technology is one of our most powerful tools in this effort.”
The new website includes:
The new catalog allows patrons to quickly and easily consult reviews, summaries and even character summaries before selecting their materials. This enhanced catalog showcases the Chicago Public Library’s vast holdings, and displays materials with cover art in a user-friendly format which today’s consumers are used to seeing on leading search engines and shopping websites.
For the first time, the Chicago Public Library has a catalog created exclusively for younger readers; with information presented in a way that is both “kid-focused” and “kid-friendly.” The Kids’ Catalog provides simple navigation options and introduces materials in categories which children find easy to navigate.
Patron Placed Holds
Patrons now have the ability to reserve library materials (books, DVDs, audio books on CD, and music CDs) themselves, online, without the assistance of a librarian. The patron indicate which of the Library’s 79 locations they would like the item sent to and they then receive an email informing them when the item is ready for pick up.
Searchable Events Calendar
The Chicago Public Library serves as one of the City’s premier cultural venues, providing thousands of free author events, exhibits, lectures, workshops, and family friendly events every year. The new Searchable Events Calendar provides an easier way for patrons to search for events they would like to attend. This online listing of the hundreds of events which the Chicago Public Library offers each month may be narrowed by key words, type of event, audience level, branch location and zip code.
This is the first Chicago Public Library web-space designed in collaboration with Chicago teens for other young adults. For Teens showcases the Library’s collection of teen fiction and nonfiction, promotes Chicago Public Library teen events, and reintroduces the Library as a resource for young adults. Additionally, For Teens supplies external links to reputable internet safety resources, displays teen book reviews, and features materials on topics that are of interest to teens.
My CPL – Improved Renewal
Library patrons may now monitor their account activity, check fines and fees, update personal information and renew their materials 24 hours a day without visiting a Chicago Public Library location.
The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web. Staffed by volunteers, this organization is made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, PR, and top website design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, internet marketing, and website promotion. The Web Marketing Association is the producer of the WebAward Competition. Now in its 12th year, the WebAwards is the premier annual website award competition that names the best websites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development.
Now celebrating its 135th year, the Chicago Public Library continues to encourage lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.
TheChicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the remaining 76 branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the libraries’ collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.