The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest is a place where form meets function. With multiple departments, blogs, new offerings and numerous events, the library had outgrown its old website and needed more functionality. They were looking for a clean, modern, “green” look to go along with the library’s LEED certification and environmental concepts. They wanted to entice customers to see what they have to offer, answer questions about library policies, promote events and special programs, and communicate with the community. Most of all, they needed a site with the flexibility to display whatever they needed to highlight, be it a program, an event or a new new library offering like streaming video service Hoopla.
Additionally, the site needed to be responsive – to be displayed optimally on tablets and phones as well as laptops and desktops, and it needed to be able to capture email information from patrons wishing to register for the email newsletter.
We implemented a calendar system with categories for each department, with the ability to show selected department(s) on different pages. We set up blogs for each department so they could control the information they put out on their own terms. We also programmed special areas on each departmental page which will display 3 featured events or blog posts, and what displays here is easily controlled by library staff by selecting a special “featured” category (no complex technical knowledge required). WordPress provides great flexibility for formatting calendar items and blogs, and for including lots of images. The library staff decides what to feature in the slideshows at the top of the home page and each departmental page, so the content of the site is very much under their control and they determine their needs and priorities.
This is a project with a lot of moving parts that should function well for the Library in the Forest for a long time, and I was please to work with the staff on it.