Customizing the Library Website in the Time of COVID-19

Library Resources | June 18, 2020

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Learn how libraries are using Stacks to customize their library websites to provide real-time updates and news to patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As libraries shift to communicating with their users online, the library website is the bridge providing information on the latest updates on re-openings, virtual events and real-time updates to collections.

Kristin Delwo, founder of Stacks, describes how Stacks is working with libraries as they adapt their websites to accommodate a remote audience of students, teachers, patrons and more.

What are the trends you are seeing as libraries adjust their library websites as their patrons move online?

Libraries are seeing the need to integrate their catalogs, open resources and remote learning resources. They are using Stacks Collections to catalog items they might not normally catalog. Stacks offers base level metadata that allows cataloging to be turned around quickly. As libraries have a growing need to aggregate new information quickly (as it becomes available), Stacks can help tie concepts together and publish these updates in real-time, as highlighted in EBSCO’s new information portal.

Can you provide some examples of library websites using tools within Stacks to help serve patrons and keep them engaged during COVID-19?

The Fayetteville Public Library is a great example of a library hosting virtual programs and integrating articles like alerts and news features to advertise these events. The Waukee Public Library notifies patrons about closures and curbside pickup using Stacks’ Custom Block Alert.

St. Helena Public Library emphasizes online resource availability with a combination of sliders and callouts. The Ocean City Public Library leverages our Patron Model Alert screen that appears when patrons visit the site to provide vital, real-time updates.

What are libraries saying about their experiences with Stacks and customizing their websites?

We’ve gotten some pretty positive feedback. We have developed a system that is focused on usability and access, so librarians can make updates while working remotely.

You’ve been busy with a project that demonstrates’ Stacks full capability to curate the most relevant, current information on COVID-19. Tell us about the project.

In late March 2020, we worked with a team under Dr. Brian Alper, the founder of DynaMed®, an evidence-based clinical decision support tool, to develop a COVID-19 Information Open Access Initiative that provides medical researchers and the healthcare community with trusted, real-time updates on the pandemic. This initiative exhibits the type of agility that companies across the globe need right now — agility to offer different types of content in real-time to audiences who need it.

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