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What Do You Know About RichlandLibrary.com?

The website team at RichlandLibrary.com is constantly working to ensure your online service from the Library is the best it can be. A website is a living, breathing entity. It grows and changes every single day.

But how do we determine the direction of that growth? We use several pieces of data to determine what we need to develop, what we need to improve, and what we need to do away with.

First, we constantly monitor customer comments and online conversations for information about trouble spots on the website. Comments are submitted either through the "Was this page helpful?" dialog at the bottom of each page, or through the yellow "How do I..." box at the top of each page. Online conversations happen using instant messaging located on the Ask A Librarian page. Our User Experience Specialist takes great care in following up with comments, sometimes going as far as to meet in person with commenters. This kind of deep dive into customer feedback helps us understand our customers.

We also watch something called "Site Analytics" closely. Each visit to our website is anonymously counted, so we know which pages get the most visits. Don't worry, we can only count how many times pages are visited, we can't see who you are or what you visit as an individual. But this type of traffic counting helps us understand what you are interested in seeing on the website.

What have we learned?

Who is visiting?

RichlandLibrary.com gets 200K visits from over 70K unique visitors each month. A large percentage of those visitors use our website more than 3 times each month. These are big numbers, showing how much customers love their library in Columbia.

What are you visiting?

Here is a list of our top 5 most visited pages:

Jobs - Did you know Richland Library has helped countless job seekers connect with employers through our Business and Jobs Center?

Download It - We offer downloadable music, audiobooks, eBooks, and eMagazines.

eBooks - More and more customers are downloading eBooks every day. Richland Library offers eBook downloads through two different partners. This page can help you get started.

eBooks Search - Search both of our eBook partner catalogs from this convenient page.

Locations - Get information about your local branch, or any others, from here.

What are we working on?

The long term vision for the website is all about integration and empowerment. We strive to provide a one stop interaction with all library services - downloads, online databases for research and learning, event information, and the catalog items that you will come to the library to pick up and check out. Currently you have to interact with a different website for each of those things.

The first step was to ensure you can search the website and the library catalog from one location. To this end, we recently launched in-site catalog search. Now when you search the website from the bar at the top of the page, you will get search results for books and databases, as well as books lists and reviews written by the information experts here at Richland Library. Our highest priority is the enhancement of this in-site search tool. We believe that your online experience will be maximized when you can see all we offer from one page. Look for enhancements and improvements over the next few months.

We are also working on enhancing your ability to find the information you need in as few clicks as possible. We streamline and enhance our website content every day.

Have you noticed you can now place a hold on an item from the catalog without leaving the website? Watch for better in-site account management over the next few days and weeks.

Interested in Helping Shape RichlandLibrary.com?

We have formed website advisory groups using Facebook. These groups will answer questions, help us test new functionality, and tell us what they want us to work on next. Join one of our website advisory groups >

What Else?

Do you have a comment? Would you like to suggest a topic for me to write about next time? My name is Kelly Coulter, and I am the manager of the website team here at Richland Library. Email me at kcoulter@richlandlibrary.com.