From the Director 3/2014

March message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:

Something historic is happening this month at Shaker Library. For the first time in a decade, we will unveil a new website! Ten years have passed since the current website was introduced in 2004 and many things have changed.

The first mass adopted smartphone in the United States, the Blackberry, was released in 2003; the popular iPhone was not introduced until 2007 by Apple, and there was no Android based smartphone (82% of the current market) until 2008. Today, more than two billion smartphones are in use worldwide and more than two-thirds of U.S. mobile consumers use a smartphone.

Tablets have become popular since the release of the iPad in 2010 and are now in more than a third of U.S. households. That is why the biggest difference between our old site and new one is its mobile-friendly design. Using responsive WordPress architecture, it will display properly on each type of device used—computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Ten years ago, downloadable audiobooks and ebooks were in their infancy, but now they are an integral part of our offerings along with print material. Our collection is front and center on the new website. You will see cover art of what is new; including ebooks, eaudiobooks, digital magazines, and streaming video; easily find if something is available; and just as easily place a hold on the item you want.

In 2003, Shaker Library migrated from a text-based to a Windows-based online catalog, and our Google-like web catalog interface appeared in 2011. Because of the new website’s integration with the library`s web catalog, customers will have easy access to the catalog from every page of our site. A “My Library” tab gives direct and secure access to an individual’s account information, including what is checked out and what is on hold.

The new website gives improved access to our research tools. The Library subscribes to a number of paid databases with in-depth information on a variety of topics—for homework, research, or personal interest. There is also in-depth access to our Local History Collection. Shaker Library has an extensive collection of Shaker Heights local history. You can look up your home’s information in the Shaker Buildings Database to find out if your blueprints are available on microfilm.

We will provide improved information about our meeting rooms. The new site has detailed information, including photos and setup schematics. Improved access to information about our hours and locations, will be available from every page of our site, along with a detailed page with photos and maps for Main Library and Bertram Woods.

Finally, there will be more information about our services, including some online forms to easily access services such as exam proctoring and free, one-on-one Small Business Consulting by SCORE; improved search functionality so if you cannot find what you are looking for on the site, you can use “Search” to immediately find what you need; and there will be easy-to-find and detailed contact information for all of our departments and services, including email addresses for our Board of Trustees.

We are turning over a new leaf and will have the site up and running by the first of spring! Look for it the week of March 17 and connect with us at the Shaker Library.

Luren E. Dickinson, Director