by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 18th, 2014
The Iowa City Public Library’s redesigned website is live, with features designed to improve user experience, especially for patrons using Smartphones and tablets.
“Part of our long-term strategic plan was to make improvements to the Website that’s easier to navigate from both a desktop computer and mobile devices,” says Brent Palmer, the Library’s Information Technology Coordinator. “We also wanted to make our website more dynamic.”
To meet the first goal, “responsive design” elements were incorporated into the webpage infrastructure to assure an optimal viewing experience. The website is now easier to use on all equipment including smart phones, tablets and desktop computers. The content automatically adjusts based on the screen size of the user’s equipment, making site navigation easier and more appealing.
To meet the second goal, Library staff identified content, created by staff members, patrons would be interested in, including the new 123 South Linn Library Blog, which contains book recommendations from staff, and program information listed in the Library’s online calendar. Then staff identified existing webpages where the staff-created content would augment the information presented.
Infrastructure was created so the webpage dynamically pulls information into correlating webpages, bringing together a hybrid of information for our patrons. One example is the “Books” webpage at www.icpl.org/books. In addition to standard information about loan periods and online book-related resources, users may now explore books recently added to the collection and book reviews written by staff.
The launch of the new design is the culmination of a year’s work by the Library’s IT staff.
“We look forward to sharing the redesigned webpage with our community and continuing to explore ways to improve our user’s online experience,” Palmer says.
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 5th, 2014
The Iowa City Public Library’s Koza Family Teen Center will have new Tech Time Hours this summer.
Beginning Monday, June 9, the new Tech Hours will be 12:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. During Tech Hours, teens in grades seventh through 12th can play video games on the big screen, check out iPads and laptops.
Students who will enter the seventh grade this fall can use the Koza Family Teen Center.
For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 3rd, 2014
The Iowa City Public Library wants to help you relax with a good book this summer by helping you connect your smartphone and tablets to our e-resources. The library’s e-resources include electronic books, audiobooks, and more; all are available for download.
Want to learn how to access the library’s e-media for your specific device? Come to one of the classes for adults this June that will help you learn how to use the Overdrive software to find and download items from the Library’s e-media collection.
If you have an Android device, join us Tuesday, June 10, from 6 to 7 p.m. or Friday, June 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. for eMedia for Android Devices.
eMedia for Apple Devices classes will be held on Friday, June 13, from 10 to 11 a.m. while the eMedia for Kindle Devices class will be on Friday, June 13, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Participants are asked to bring a valid Iowa City or Coralville Public Library card.
All classes for adults are held in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 10 people per program, so patrons should register early. Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at (319) 356-5200.
Participants should also be aware that in order to download e-media from the library they need to be an Iowa City or Coralville resident or are a resident in rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights, and Lone Tree.
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 2nd, 2014
The Iowa City Public Library’s introduced its newest piece of technology – an interactive touch table described as a table-sized iPad – to its youngest patrons today.
“The Ideum PLATFORM 55 is the final piece of the Children’s Room technology update,” Information Technology Coordinator Brent Palmer says. “It is an exciting piece of technology, but there isn’t that much ready-made software that would take advantage of its features.”
Palmer has contacted local software developers and student groups to build custom applications for ages six through 12 that are multi-touch, multi-player, and easy to operate. The vision for this table is that it will foster collaborative fun and exploration.
“On one level, the table will bring kids together in the Children’s Room but on another level, it will bring the community together as we determine what people want this technology to do,” Palmer says.
University of Iowa’s EPX Studio and indie developer Virtually Competent have already produced prototypes of custom apps for the table. Palmer is facilitating partnerships with groups and individuals, including a possible Hackathon with Iowa Tech Chicks and the Library’s CoderDojo group later this summer.
If you have an idea or want to help build something for the table, contact Brent Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.