New KCLS Web Pages
The King County Library System will launch a redesigned Web site August 1. The improved site was inspired by you, our patrons, who told us that improving access to information and materials should be one of our top service priorities. We listened to your feedback,and as a result, our new Web site makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for and also helps you discover new items of interest along the way! With more than 3.6 million items and a multitude of online resources, KCLS is your source for quality resources, services and information.
While much of the content on the site remains the same, the presentation and overall accessibility of information is now more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
The Major Issues We Addressed
During the redesign process, we spent time with library patrons, and asked for very specific feedback on the current Web site and issues encountered on the site. We also showed patrons a preview of the new site, and factored their feedback into the design of the new site.
- The overwhelming amount of information: The old site appeared far too cluttered, and valuable resources got lost because they were difficult to find. We built the new site using better navigation strategies that greatly cut down on the amount of text on individual pages
- An updated color scheme with more visual appeal: The colors of the new site were chosen for the relaxed feeling they exude and because they are accessible for patrons with visual impairments. Patrons we talked with during the redesign responded very favorably to the new color scheme, using descriptors like “relaxing,” “elegant” and “professional.”
- The need to find a branch library quickly: Use this tool to find a branch library near you. You can search by ZIP code of the branch, or by branch name.
- Tools for basic functions such as changing text size, emailing a page and printing a page: These tools are located under the top navigation area of each page.
- Make the “Your Account” experience consistent with the rest of the KCLS site: We tested a new look for a KCLS catalog with patrons. While this look will not launch at the same time as the new site, we wanted to test out the redesigned buttons and “Your Account” page layout. Over the next couple of months, we will continue work on this catalog feature - stay tuned for updates!
- What is the “Answer” feature?: Clicking on “Answer” under “Browse By” takes you to an online database (“Answer File”) of frequently asked reference questions. The Answer File contains information covering a wide range of topics including quick facts, local and hard-to-find information. It offers full text searching in both the question and answer field.
Why did you redesign the site?
During the Patron Experience Transformation Project in 2005, in which we asked patrons for feedback on KCLS services, patrons overwhelmingly commented that improving access to information and materials should be one of our top priorities. The old site appeared far too cluttered, and valuable resources got lost because they were difficult to find.
How may I submit a suggestion?
You are encouraged to submit suggestions and comments using the “Contact Us” link located on the bottom of every page of the new Web site. We will be making regular site updates, and we look to you to help us ensure that KCLS.org continues to improve over time.
How did you decide upon the color scheme?
The colors of the new site were chosen for the relaxed feeling they exude and because they are suitable for patrons with visual impairments. During early testing, patrons responded very favorably to the new color scheme, using descriptors like “relaxing,” “elegant” and “professional.”
Does the Web site redesign affect the library catalog and its features?
No. The only pages that will be affected by this are those with a URL that starts with “www,” which generally contain information about KCLS library services, programs and events, policies, etc. When you are searching for books and other items, placing holds, looking at your account and paying fines online, you are in the library catalog, which will not be changed.
What new features does the Web site offer?
The new KCLS home page allows you to easily access information with the following features:
- Format Searching: Links to specific library materials are located in the upper left-hand corner of the home page and also on the bottom right-hand corner under the “Browse For…” header. This allows you to quickly search for books, music, movies, magazines and a variety of other materials.
- Search Tool: The “Find”box has two basic components: it allows you to search for specific information in the catalog, databases and Web sites, and it provides quick links to information.
- Slide Show: The slide show highlights system-wide programs, initiatives and other important information. This was implemented to ensure that KCLS can alert you to information which might be relevant to you.
- Highlighted Services: Prominent links to a variety of library services allow patrons to access information about the library, including programs and classes, events, general information about the library system and research and homework help.
- Branch Locator: Enter a ZIP code or branch name into the “Find Your Library” search window and you will be directed to a map showing libraries in your area. You also may view a map of all library locations with links to each library’s home page.
- Page Tools: A “Tools” feature is displayed on every Web page, allowing you to increase or decrease text size, email the Web page, or print the page.
- A “How To” Section: Easily access specific information, such as how to obtain a library card or borrow library materials.
- Frequently Updated Content: Content on the “Good Reads” page is frequently updated using RSS feeds.
- Item Requests: A new online form enables you to request items in different formats, such as CDs and DVDs. The form is available in the “Using the Library” link on the home page.
- New Application Form: Located under the “Using the Library” link on the homepage, an improved library card application form displays pictures of library cards, enabling you to select a card online.
Where did the following go?
- The former “Web Links” page is now the new “Web Sites” page, located on the top left-hand corner of the home page or under the “Browse For…” section.
- The “Databases” link is now located on the top left-hand corner of the home page, or under the “Browse For…” section.
- The “Library Catalog” is now available via the “Find” box on every Web page. It defaults to the classic catalog.
- The “Catalog Explorer” (called “AquaBrowser” on the former Web site) is now available through the “Find” box on every Web page listed in the drop-down menu.
- The former “Early Literacy” page is now located under the “Parents & Caregivers” page, which can be reached by clicking on “Kids & Reading” and then “Ready to Read.”
- The “Good Reads” page is now located under the “Books & Reading” section.
- “This Just In” (formerly Book Alert) is now located under the “Books & Reading” section.
- The “Reserve a PC” page is now located under the “Using the Library” section and can be reached by clicking on “Computers & Internet.”
- The former “Request a Meeting Room” page is now available under the “Using the Library” section and can be reached by clicking on “Meeting Rooms.”
Last Updated: July 30, 2007