California State Library website better for online customers

To deliver the information California State Library (CSL) customers want, the CSL is making its website easier for customers to use. Like all good logical information, the CSL website will now allow online CSL visitors to locate information more intuitively. Its content will also be in plain language.

The CSL’s new streamlined website follows the popular redesign of the state of California’s web portal, a customer-based project directed by California’s State Chief Information Officer J. Clark Kelso. Explaining the new trend in his 2006 Strategic Plan, Kelso wrote that government information technology leaders should “rethink” the entire [web] service delivery model into a ‘service center’ model.” Most recently, speaking at the 20th annual Government Technology Conference in Sacramento May 18th, Kelso said to “give customers the information they care about” government websites need to abolish “departmental boundaries.” Kelso, in other words, sees today’s government website catering to what customers need, and not displaying how government is organized. Sifting through an agency’s organization or mission statement, for example, won’t help a customer get his or her job done.

Visitors enjoying the simple online structure of “file folder” tabs on the state of California home page will now find the same “tabs” on the CSL home page. Beginning this summer, as CSL visitors comfortably “flip” through folders, they will be in greater control of their library website experience and the library’s internal organization won’t distract them

Leading the website-redesign project at the CSL are Ira Bray of Library Development Services, Mark Cashatt of the Information Technology Bureau, Kris Ogilvie of the Government Publications Section, and Laura Parker of the California Research Bureau.

Ogilvie says, “Revamping the CSL’s website has allowed everyone on the redesign team to dig-in and examine what the CSL’s diverse customers need when they visit our site. We’re constantly learning, and the process has been really exciting.”

State Librarian Susan Hildreth says of the website project, “We’re lucky to have such a talented team spearheading this project which will make California State Library services and information more accessible for our customers.” 

  

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