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Upgrades make updating Shaler library website easier

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By Bethany Hofstetter
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Shaler North Hills Library's website soon will have a new look.

Staff at the library, which recently won a National Medal for Museum and Library Service, decided it was time to make the site more user-friendly.

The new site is set to launch by the end of January.

“It's going to be very streamlined and clean with not a lot of the icons that you see right now,” said library director Sharon McRae.

“It should be easy to find things on the site and content driven.”

McRae said it has been more than six years since the library launched its website through the county electronic information network.

After the librarian who had knowledge of the site moved out of state, the Shaler library was limited in trained staff who could update the site.

“Everyone is doing so much with so little, we needed a site that could be updated quickly by a number of us,” McRae said.

Library staff is working with Red Lab Media, of the North Side, to create and launch the new site by the end of the month.

Bruce Letterle, managing director of Red Lab Media, said the company builds and maintains websites for a number of community and nonprofit groups including Christ Church Fox Chapel and Shaler Township.

“I love doing things for the local community, just like doing the township website,” said Letterle, of Indiana Township. “We try to do a lot of nonprofit and community related things because it's nice to be part of the community.”

Letterle, who grew up in Shaler and went to the Shaler North Hills Library, said the website will provide a “good, fresh, new face to what the library does.”

The library website address will remain www.shalerlibrary.org.

McRae said most people use the library's website to access its hours of operation, catalog and daily programming schedule.

The staff wants to be able to post inclement weather schedule changes or special events.

“So if we want to update the website from home at 2 in the morning, you can do that,” McRae said.

While the website will be new, McRae said patrons shouldn't expect anything fancy because the focus of the library staff will remain on creating one-on-one relationships and conversations with patrons.

“The reality right now for us is we're focused on programming and more direct contact with people,” McRae said.

“We … focus more on talking to people, and the website is a tool to do that.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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