In an effort to make its services more accessible to its patrons, the Webster Parish Library has recently launched their new app which can be downloaded on both the Android or Apple App stores.
The idea to create an app for the library system was spearheaded by the Webster Parish Library System’s Director Savannah Jones and brought to life through their Community Liaison/marketing Director Kim Sentell. The app will help patrons access collections and services such as booking a meeting space, viewing programs and events, or even learning a new skill in a user-friendly way.
“This innovative technology provides a contactless way to interact with the Library. It uses a mobile-friendly catalog interface and puts our best electronic features all in one place. The app is not intended to replace our buildings or the website, but rather a way to have all the library information right at your fingertips. It’s a library-to-go,” said Sentell.
“The reason being is to make sure our library doesn’t get left behind as technology progresses. This is one way for us to bring our library more easily to our patrons,” said Jones.
“The build took a little over a year and a half to complete. Countless hours of work, but we wanted the best for our patrons.”
To go into details about some of the features the app provides, there is a new e-card available with the app that can be used in place of a library card. On top of that, the library partnered with library media streaming services such as hoopla, overdrive, and canopy that will be available to patrons for free for three months after signing up for the e-card.
The app itself will also connect users to these services, making a seamless transition from discovering what ebooks or audiobooks are available to reading/listening right on their phone.
The app also features an ISBN scanner, which can be used on the barcodes of books to see if they have them in stock at the library. So a user could be browsing books at a store, and look to see if the library had a copy before they make a purchase.
“Personally I think the biggest hit on the app will be the meeting room booking feature. Right now they have to come in or call to get a reservation for the meeting room, whereas now they can just do it from their phone,” said Jones.
The app will showcase the meeting rooms, the time slots that are available, as well as list equipment such as laptops that can be checked out during the use of the meeting space.
They will also feature a service called Printer On, which will allow users to print documents from anywhere to be picked up at the library.
“We were always mindful of putting forth our best efforts to ensure the features would best suit our patrons during the entire process. Even down to the smallest detail, we found ourselves researching the best color schemes we should use that are easiest on our patron’s eyes when viewing the app,” said Sentell.
Be sure to check out the video tutorial on the Webster Parish Libraries website and Facebook page to see a more detailed presentation of the app and it’s many features. Patrons can download the Library System’s new app by going to the Android or Apple App Store and searching for ‘Webster Parish Libraries’ on their smart device.