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Liverpool Public Library unveils new web site

The Liverpool Public Library has a new look, and it's not just on the outside.

In addition to the renovations being done to the roof and parking garage, the library's web site has also been completely revamped.

"This [site] addresses a lot of the problems that needed to be solved [from the old web site]," said Jean Polly, assistant director at LPL and head of their IT department. "It's a much more robust system."

The web site has been in the works ever since the library's last web site was constructed several years ago.

"Rick [Fensterer, of the IT department] put up our last web site in October of 2001," Polly said. "The planning for the next version started right away."

Fensterer said the last web site provided a base for the new site. "It's like putting in a foundation before building a new house," he said.

The new site includes a myriad of new features that will make navigating the site easy, even for the less-than-technologically-savvy. The site "avoids library-ese," Polly said, changing terms such as the vague "Adult Services" to the more specific "Enjoy a Book."

"It makes it easier for people on the site to find exactly what they're looking for," Polly said.

The web site works on a Content Management System model, allowing for continuous updates. For example, the calendar on the site's home page refreshes itself constantly so that it is continuously showing up-to-date information. There are also RSS (internet-ese for "really simple syndication") feeds featuring news, book reviews, blogs and other useful features.

"You're no longer dealing with just building a page," Polly said. "There's a database behind it. It makes information very flexible -- it can live in a lot of different places at one time."

New features

The new site also offers library patrons free access to a number of different features right from their computers, from full-text newspaper and magazine articles to journal databases.

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