Source: Sherman Publications

Addison library gets e-facelift

by CJ Carnacchio

July 06, 2011

These days if you’re not on-line, you’re not in-touch.

Multinational corporations know it. Teenagers know it. Even small, rural public libraries know it.

That’s why the Addison Township Public Library launched a brand new website and created its own page on Facebook.

“It just felt like we needed to start over,” said Library Director Jaema Berman. “The website just wasn’t a priority in the past, but I think it’s become more of a priority in today’s world and in the way people relate to their libraries.”

The new web address is www.addisontwp.michlibrary.org.

Berman set up the page, which was available to Addison free of charge through the Library of Michigan.

“We’re creating a new physical space for the community, so I thought it was important to create a new electronic face for the library, too, so we could coordinate those two things,” she explained. “I think it will be very useful for us and our community.”

Berman was referring to the fact that on June 1, the library formally took over the lease on a 3,000-square-foot space inside the Lakeville Towne Square strip mall located along Rochester Rd. The demolition/remodeling process has already begun and the library hopes to move into its new larger home in about three months.

The new website offers visitors a myriad of features, information and services including library news and photos; a calendar of upcoming events; a catalog of materials available at the Addison facility and many other area libraries; book reviews; and access to the Michigan eLibrary’s catalog and databases.

“It’s very user-friendly and very adaptable to our community,” Berman said. “It allows us to have many positive features. The community can click (their mouses) and connect to our library services via the internet.”

A link to the institution’s Facebook page can also be found on the site.

“Facebook has become a part of our lives and it’s another opportunity to share what’s going on with the public,” Berman said.

For Addison’s young patrons, there’s separate on-line areas for children, middle-schoolers and high-schoolers. Services include educational games, research resources and homework help for almost every academic subject.

One of the most exciting and important features of the new website, in Berman’s opinion, is its ability to allow patrons to communicate with the library in a more efficient and instantaneous manner in order to find out what they want and what they need.

“They can post suggestions. They can request (we) purchase books. We can answer questions,” she said. “There’s a contact button in the right-hand corner of the page that allows them to fill out a form and with one click, send it to us. That’s one more tool for them to communicate with their library directly.”

Berman’s amazed with the response the website’s already received from visitors who live far from Addison.

“We already have people from Canada and Arkansas looking at our website,” she said. “It puts us out there in the world.”

The website gives the library “immediate feedback” about its visitors in terms of how many it’s had, what pages they viewed and how long they spent on each one.

In late August, the library plans to add a new 24/7 service to its website called Download Destination, powered by OverDrive.

“It allows patrons to download e-books and e-audio books to their computer for free through our library,” Berman said.

Between the new website, the new Facebook presence and the new brick-and-mortar facility, Berman noted, “I think the community will be excited to see some of the changes we’ve got in store.”