What makes for a “wicked-good” website?” will be the focus of a talk and a chance to share ideas from 6 to 7 p.m.  Wednesday, March 10, via Zoom, hosted by Vose Library in Union.

With the recent acquisition of an American Library Association Special Grant for Small and Rural Communities, it has afforded the library an opportunity to bring all interested parties together to talk about what is of importance to them.

“Well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck our world, our nation, and our community, our tired website was merely a place to check our hours or to see what was new on our shelves,” said Dr. Debra Lay, library director, in a news release. “The pandemic has since intensified the inferiority of our website and has magnified a two-part dilemma; 1) our youth need a platform for one-stop shopping where all facets of social media are present and it is fashionable and popular to visit, and 2) our seniors need a platform that is streamlined and provides easy access to the things that they hold near and dear.”

According to ALA’s Reference and User’s Service Association, “library websites need to be easily navigable, including obvious signs that quickly lead the user to the information that they need to find. Websites have as little as 25-35 seconds to convince users that the information they are looking for is available” (Chow, Bridges, & Commander, 2014).

The answer to this dilemma is found in a modernized website that will merge each of these challenges and transform what the library means to its patrons and future friends of the library. Compelling is the decrease in young families and teens in Union, and how this concern is exhibited in program participation and patronage. The dilemma of a poorly designed website has impacted the library’s potential to be seen as a pillar of the community well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but certainly has been exacerbated while patrons have been forced to retreat from social settings.

Hard-to-reach clients are even more indisposed and the website has been inefficient in projecting current offerings. A conversation is needed to discover what keeps our young families from using our resources, our teens from exploring our collection, and the vast majority of our seniors from joining us on Zoom programming.

To register, email [email protected].

The library is located at 392 Common Road in Union, and is open for curbside and in-person (by appointment) library services. For more information, call 207-785-4733.