ILA Best Practices

Archive for the ‘TECHNOLOGY’ Category

With our new website, we wanted to be able to take advantage of features that would make the site useful to our community – RSS feeds for users to subscribe to that list the new books recently cataloged, blogs for our library gaming groups, and forums for virtual book clubs. We did not want to code this all by hand. We needed a Content Management System (CMS) that did the hard work for us and allowed us to focus on producing and managing the content.

What CMS to choose? Following our research, we chose Drupal ( as our CMS. We developed an internal committee of a representative from each department to migrate the relevant information from the old site to the new. It took just two months to go from installing the software to launching the new website. Now we have a site that is current, uses new technologies and is easy to maintain. Submitted by Tim Jarzemsky, Director & Head of Computer Services, Bloomingdale Public Library


Because we are a small (ish) library, we do not have very many internet stations. The Board decided to restrict them to city resident card-holders only. However, the staff recognized that many of the visitors who come through are also stopping in on their way to shop or dine. Rather than give a negative impression of our city, we established an Internet Express station. For 20 minutes anyone can quickly check their email. It has proven to be very popular (we average over 200 visits per month). Plus we get positive feedback from library visitors who are very appreciative. Out of town businessmen and college students are our best customers. Submitted by Deborah Owen, Fairview Heights Public Library

The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library has instituted Library Elf ( A service that checks the circulation accounts every day and sends e-mail notices when items are coming due, overdue or when holds are ready for pickup. Patrons set up their own parameters, deciding how far in advance of due dates they would like to receive reminders.
Submitted by Robert Harris, Helen M. Memorial Library, Lombard, IL

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