Ruth Bogan is the Executive Director at PALS Plus, a consortium of many libraries. She needed a fresh online presence for the organization’s website. A traditional content management system had already once been tried and proved cumbersome and onerous to support. Ringwood Library Director Andrea Cahoon recommended Web Developers Studio. A fixed budget and frequently changing library schedules were part of the basic requirements.
We recommended using Google Apps to hold the variable data. Google provides a convenient mechanism, familiar to existing and potential staff. Furthermore, the data is held in the Google servers, one of the world’s most stable and secure data repositories.
We designed a wide, attractive interface that lays out the mission and benefits of the organization. A standard Google calendar widget displays consortium events and a standard Picasa gallery adds warmth and humanity to the home page. To show the members’ hours and holiday data, we needed to become a bit more creative. We entered this information into strictly defined Google spreadsheets and used advanced tools to expose the information on hover. The consortium staff updates these spreadsheets as the need arises without incurring extra coding costs or the hassle of maintaining a database or custom scripts on their own servers.
The member board of directors is pleased with the new website and Ms. Bogan twice mentioned that she actually had “fun” during the website development process! Fun is good!