• 77°

Library’s improved website goes live

The director of the Lincoln County Public Library believes their new website is one for the books.

“It’s the best we’ve ever had,” said Henry Ledet.

The website, which covers all four branches in the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library system, came online about a month ago with little fanfare as administrators worked to find any glitches and get them fixed.

It can be found at www.llf.lib.ms.us.

Those who use any of the Brookhaven branch’s 20 public computers have seen it when they sign in.

It’s been getting rave reviews, said assistant director Katrina Castilaw.

“We tried to make it easier for folks to see what is offered,” she said.

A federal grant, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Mississippi Library Commission, helped make the new website possible, she said. The library paid just 10 percent of the $15,000 cost.

The new site provides patrons with the ability to manage their accounts, search the library’s catalog and request materials for pickup. Patrons can use the library’s “extension services” to request hard-to-locate books.

“Extension services allows the library to borrow materials from other libraries across the state at no cost,” she said.

Links to the statewide research databases are also available to assist with school projects, professional research and general browsing.

Free apps are available that allow patrons to access the library’s eBook and eMagazines collections at their convenience.

Several new features have been introduced with the website. An online calendar allows patrons to check on scheduled library events, with filtering available for age group, program type and location. Patrons can make reservations to use the meeting space for non-profit activities and receive e-mail confirmation.

The website includes dedicated sections for education, community and employment links. Learning-related resources include online databases, children’s literacy resources, local education institutions, financial aid, testing links and computer skills training. Community-related content focuses on local cultural and civic organizations, she said.

A big upgrade to the site is the section for employment resources.

“For many years, the library’s public computer lab has been a hub for job seekers and applicants,” Castilaw said. “The library staff has observed that job seekers often end up on deceptive job sites that solicit money for free services. To help patrons avoid these sites, the library has listed links to legitimate jobs sites applicable to the library’s service areas.”

The site’s initial listing contains job sites most commonly used by job applicants, however, the library expects this listing to expand as local businesses supply links to their online applications, she said.

Castilaw is encouraging the public to offer feedback as they navigate the site. They’re looking for suggestions to improve the content, school information like reading lists, links to community services and other relevant content. To make a suggestion, email libraryinfo@llf.lib.ms.us.

Henry Ledet

Katrina Castilaw