East Hampton Wins for Connecticut’s Best Library Logo & Website

After working with the stakeholders of East Hampton Public Library on both a new logo as well as a new website, they were highly recognized at last month’s Connecticut Library Association Conference. The library won both designer award categories for best website and best logo redesign at this year’s annual conference.

The library was in need of a logo mark to best represent their town history as well as the many services they offer. Our team took on the challenge of incorporating the town’s bell and ship making past, while the open pages at the bottom “does triple duty” as a book, the bottom of a bell, and ripples on the river. Ellen Paul, Library Director, spoke to the honor of receiving this award saying “This logo wouldn’t work anywhere else but here. You see it and know this is East Hampton”

Once the new brand was established, the Libby development team built a modern, welcoming, and engaging custom website. The site now showcases their events, digital resources, and collections that are both beautiful and functional on every device. In a pre-launch user test, it had been reported that 100% of respondents said that they learned about services that they didn’t know the library offers by looking through the website. The chair of the CLA publicity committee announced the award saying “not only is this the best new library website in Connecticut but we think this is the best library website in Connecticut period.”

Libby Reaches Milestone of 25+ Library Clients for Website and Branding Services

Libby, the sub-brand of Stirling Brandworks, has recently reached the notable milestone of over 25 library clients served for website and branding services. The Libby team has completed projects ranging from new logo designs, custom themed websites, and mobile applications, all with the goal of providing advanced solutions specific to the needs of libraries.

Libby exclusively helps libraries take advantage of today’s technology, expand outreach, and better serve their patrons. Today, library technology is often overlooked leading to tools that are outdated and not user-friendly. Libby has worked with libraries across the country, as far out as Washington state, to develop solutions specific to the needs of libraries. Some of the online solutions that have been implemented are interactive book carousels, staff intranets, and digital catalog listings.

The 25+ library clients come from six different states as well as libraries close to home from the Minuteman Library Network. The Woburn Public Library, Wellesley Free Public Library, and Belmont Public Library are just a few of the clients that have received website redesigns from Libby. Libby has also been the recipient of six PR Awards from the Massachusetts Library Association and the Connecticut Library Association.

“I couldn’t have imagined a better website for our library,” said Ellen Paul, Library Director of East Hampton Public Library. After working with the Libby team, East Hampton won awards for both best new website and best new logo from the Connecticut Library Association.

Billerica Public Library Website Launch

The Libby team is proud to announce the launch of Billerica Public Library. Libby worked to redevelop and design a modernized website that would drive patronage to Billerica Public Library. With both a user-friendly design and sleek appealing layout- Libby was able to achieve this. The website includes a mobile-first responsive design that allows library patrons to view the website from both a desktop and laptop, as well as, a mobile phone or tablet. An important feature to highlight is the “I Want To” section. This provides QuickLinks on the homepage to the most used library resources. Additionally, to make the library-goers experience most enjoyable and easy, we created a “New Items” section that visually shows a list of the new book/DVD offerings at the library. To individualize the library experience we also included separate calendars for Adults, Teens, and Children. Libby crafted a simple to use “Reservation” feature that allows patrons to reserve a museum pass or meeting room from the ease of their computer or mobile device.

You can view the complete Billerica Public Library website here.

Planning a Focus Group For Your Library Website

An effective website should provide people with useful, easily accessible information that offers depth but does not burden the reader with unnecessary details. Identifying user experience issues via focus groups can help improve website ease of use and bring to light issues before launch.


Prior to any wireframing, content restructuring and development of your new site, a great way to gather feedback is a simple online survey. Asking a few questions on how people use the current site will pay dividends, and keep your patrons happy as you incorporate this feedback into your new site. It may also be helpful to dig into any current analytics before organizing your focus group, if available.

Focus Groups

The group should be between 8 – 10 people that traverse your target audience. Break the group into 3 segments (Youth, Adult, Senior, for example) and form a list of questions that outline common use cases. Interviewing these groups will give you and your consultancy and designers/developers a better sense of what patrons want to see in a new site.

Sample Questions

As you are planning your focus group, it is important to gather feedback on the current site as well as the new site. Asking patrons to compare and contrast the websites will shed light on potential areas that any have been moved or omitted during the migration:

  • Current Site

    • How often do you use the current website?
    • What devices do you use for accessing the current website? Desktop computer, tablet, smartphone?
    • What is the primary reason you visit the site?
    • What other reasons do you have for using the website?
  • New Site

    • What is your overall impression of the new website?
    • What types of content do you expect to find when accessing the website?
    • Are you able to find the information you need on the new website? If not, what is missing or difficult to find?
    • What suggestions do you have for improving the new website, including design, information and functionality?
    • How do you search for content on the new website? Do you use the navigation or the search box, or rely on other external links?
    • Describe a positive experience you’ve had with the new website. What made it a positive experience?
    • Describe a negative experience you’ve had with the new website. What made it a negative experience?

Your patrons are the people who will be using the library’s website on a regular basis. Receiving feedback from the community will help clarify the usability of your new site, and learn its most important features. If you are interested in setting up a focus group for your library’s redesign, contact Libby!

A New & Engaging Way To Display Your Catalog

Showcasing media from your library’s catalog is now simple and user-friendly with Libby’s digital catalog plugin! By utilizing the API’s from Google Books and The Movie DB, the plugin makes it easy to share your library’s collections through the web.

Display Media Beautifully

Our interactive catalog is available in a list view with summaries, or in an animated, responsive carousel. All items are linked directly to your library’s catalog, and are displayed utilizing engaging designs.

More than Just Books!

Share your entire catalog including books, television series, movies and more! Media is linked directly to DVDs in the catalog or streaming services. Sharing all collections allows patrons to browse any type of media that may interest them.

Automatic Descriptions

With just a title or keyword, Libby’s catalog system automatically fills in any missing fields and adds a photo for each item. Google Books vast library of books, covers and meta information makes finding items in your catalog fast and simple, so you don’t have to manually enter all the information yourself!

Print & Share

The digital catalog allows you and your users to print or share an entire collection. Lists can be downloaded, shared via email or through social networking with a simple click of a button.

See it in action!

Visit Bedford Free Public Library to view an animated carousel or Belmont Public Library to check out a list view!

5 Benefits of an Integrated Event Manager

Our custom event management system integrates directly with WordPress. Unlike other outdated library event management platforms, our system provides a seamless and headache-free user experience! With the event manager you can easily:

1. Schedule & Draft

Just like with posts and pages, you can schedule events and draft them too. If you are not ready to publish to the calendar or events list, simply change the public status by saving as a draft, schedule to publish on a specific date, or publish privately.

2. Filter Events

Create one-time and recurring events organized by easy-to-edit event categories such as specific audiences, event types, venues, and more. Every event is color coded based on category or venue, and users can filter events further by choosing from an advanced search menu. Any time an event is updated in the system, it will automatically update every occurrence!

3. Subscribe & Register

Patrons have the ability to subscribe and export your library’s event calendar so it is easily accessible on their own calendars. They will receive notifications for events of interest so they will never miss one! Have a max capacity limit for a certain event? We provide the option to offer express registration for events. If the event requires a fee, you are able to pair registration form with PayPal for quick and easy payments.

4. Engage with a Friendly Design

This application will feature a beautiful, user-friendly calendar design. With multiple views such as list, month, or by specific date, finding events is easier than ever. The calendar can also be featured in a smaller window with a few upcoming events on the home page as a teaser to increase event visibility! Searching for events on your smart phone? All of our designs are responsive to any screen, making your search as simple as possible.

5. Integrate Events

Are you happy with your current event planner? Not a problem, we are able to integrate what you already have to fit your website’s new look! If you are interested in trying something new, we will assist you with making the change as well. Your calendar will be integrated with your websites, events, and news!

See it in action!

Check out The Public Library of Brookline and Bedford Free Public Library to see how simple the application is for yourself.

Bedford Free Public Library Website Launches!

Bedford Free Public Library Website Redesign and Development
We recently launched the Bedford Free Public Library new website that we designed and developed. Both the team at Libby and the staff at Bedford Free Public Library love the library’s new website redesign!  The new library website includes features like: animated book and DVD carousels, advanced search (between the website and the library’s catalog), Libby’s integrated event management system, Google Maps integration, and so much more! You can check out our case study of the Bedford Free Public Library or you can visit their new site at www.bedfordlibrary.net.