Session Title

Digital Branch Libraries: Serving Patrons Online Beyond the Library Website

Description

Many libraries operate small branches throughout their communities -- sometimes even at high traffic shopping areas – because they recognize the need to serve patrons where they already are, beyond the main library building. That same goal can apply to a library’s online services. Patrons are already members of a larger university, school or civic community, whose other websites they may visit more frequently than library’s digital space. Libraries can partner with these external portals to include relevant library services, increasing those services’ visibility and use in the community.

At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Polk Library provides select library services on three digital spaces not controlled by the library: the learning management system, the student portal, and the campus iOS and Android mobile applications. These tools include core library services such as catalog search and electronic course reserves. They also include services designed specifically for these portals, including a mobile-oriented tool that displays a count of the library’s “Computers Available Now”.

This presentation will discuss each of the services provided on these external spaces, as well as the different integration methods for each site based on the partner’s technology capabilities. Because library-developed web services were a key component, we’ll discuss complications such as documentation, versioning and reliably serving multiple partner sites. We’ll also explore how “component-izing” library services improved the library’s own website. Finally, I’ll describe how strengthening these relationships between departments led to unexpected benefits for the library and the university community.

Start Date

14-3-2012 10:30 AM

End Date

14-3-2012 11:30 AM

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Mar 14th, 10:30 AM Mar 14th, 11:30 AM

Digital Branch Libraries: Serving Patrons Online Beyond the Library Website

Many libraries operate small branches throughout their communities -- sometimes even at high traffic shopping areas – because they recognize the need to serve patrons where they already are, beyond the main library building. That same goal can apply to a library’s online services. Patrons are already members of a larger university, school or civic community, whose other websites they may visit more frequently than library’s digital space. Libraries can partner with these external portals to include relevant library services, increasing those services’ visibility and use in the community.

At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Polk Library provides select library services on three digital spaces not controlled by the library: the learning management system, the student portal, and the campus iOS and Android mobile applications. These tools include core library services such as catalog search and electronic course reserves. They also include services designed specifically for these portals, including a mobile-oriented tool that displays a count of the library’s “Computers Available Now”.

This presentation will discuss each of the services provided on these external spaces, as well as the different integration methods for each site based on the partner’s technology capabilities. Because library-developed web services were a key component, we’ll discuss complications such as documentation, versioning and reliably serving multiple partner sites. We’ll also explore how “component-izing” library services improved the library’s own website. Finally, I’ll describe how strengthening these relationships between departments led to unexpected benefits for the library and the university community.