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New Library Website

Ialoveni’s library has a new website, one with lots of new features and a much cleaner design, all of which the library can manage itself for free instead of paying someone else.

The site is at bibliotecaialoveni.wordpress.com.

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My library colleagues scrapped their outdated previous site for this new version, which is easier to manage and will serve their customers better. Having worked on several web redesign projects back home, I was able to help guide them through the process of organizing their data into logical categogies and presenting it in ways that put user needs ahead of internal organizational lines.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 11.48.38 AMThe new site features the library’s many new services, such as its clubs for robotics and film animation, and its “Bebeteca” room for kids and families. It highlights a library blog that previously existed on a separate site and was often overlooked. There’s an automated calendar that lists upcoming events. Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 11.45.51 AMA map provides directions. An online exhibit offers a video, photo exhibits and historical information about the library’s namesake, folklorist Petre Ștefănucă. A multimedia section shows YouTube videos about the library. Another section provides the annual work plans for the main library and its two branches.

We built the site on WordPress, which offers templates and operating systems in multiple languages, including Romanian. I’m a fan of WordPress, which is easy to learn and has a lot of useful features even in its free versions. Since I use WordPress for my own blog and have become comfortable with it, I took the lead in designing and assembling the new library site, using a free template called Rowling. I worked closely with library director Valentina Plamdeala and my partner Lidia Russu, who I am now training to update and manage the site.

 

Like many Moldovan companies and institutions, Ialoveni’s library relies heavily on Facebook for its communications. We made sure the new website includes prominent links to its Facebook site and features its latest Facebook posts automatically. WordPress “widgets” made this easy to do this, as well as to highlight the library’s schedule, link to the blog archives and do other tasks that used to require custom programming.

We hope the new site will enable Ialoveni’s library to serve its community more effectively and attract new users. If anyone reading this works at another library in Moldova and wants to learn more about our experience, we’d be happy to share it with them.

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Web Designers

This is Mihai, with the first website he ever designed. It’s about our city, Ialoveni.

Victor has his first website, too, about Moldova’s famous wines.

This boy, also named Mihai, made his first website about his family.

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All three boys are in my weekly computer class at the Ialoveni library. During the past several months, they’ve learned some JavaScript, Excel and other programs. Two weeks ago we turned our attention to website design. Since I am most familiar with WordPress, which is also available in Romanian, that’s what I told them to use to build their first sites.

In fact, I created this post — the one you’re reading now — while they were watching, to show them how to do it. I snapped their photos with my iPhone, uploaded them to my blog on WordPress and inserted them here.

Perhaps you were surprised by Victor’s site about Moldovan wine, given how young he is. When I pointed this out to him, he produced the following screen. Enjoy:

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