Library launches mobile site

The Otto G. Richter Library is finally getting tech savvy.

Students now have access to the library’s numerous resources online and on their cell phones.

Over the past two years the library’s website has been under revision and now the final version will be available starting June 2011.

The new format has links along the side for each group on campus such as: undergraduates, graduates and faculty.

The website is now focused more on helping students with their research process. The website allows students to make the process smoother by requesting study rooms, books, renewing material or checking out equipment all on the home page.

There are also easy to click tabs above the search bar that separate e-journals from the catalog and subject guides so student’s can search exactly what they are looking for.

Many questions that used to be asked at the downstairs information desk can now be answered online with video tutorials.

Freshman Colleen Kenyon tested the new site and said, “There is a lot of information on the first page and it comes across a lot more appealing. Essentially it is just as easy to search for items on the new site but the layout is simpler so I know my research will go faster.”

To aid in the updating process, the library staff created a board to research ways to make the website better.

“We had usability tests, focus groups, surveys and generated a lot of feedback. It has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Director of Access, Information and Research Services Scott Britton.

Director of Information and Management Systems, Cheryl Gowing considers the site a “work in progress.”

“We will be switching to the new website but will continue to solicit feedback and make changes as we go along,” she said.

Britton also explained the launch of their mobile website that was created for smartphones. The website for the mobile site is:

“It functions similar to an app but is not technically one. It was optimized for iphone’s but works well with blackberrys too,” said Britton.

Gowing added, “We wanted to be able to reach as many students and faculty as possible, so we decided on a web-based approach that would work on both smartphones and plain internet-capable feature-phones.”

Later on this summer the department is also hoping to add the Libraries’ Catalog to the mobile site for people who want to quickly check if the library owns a certain book, CD, DVD, etc.

The Richter Library is located East of the University Center across from Starbucks. It is home to over 150 computers, multiple study rooms and studying tables. In all there are 3 main floors and six floors of stacks that hold most of the libraries’ novels.