Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library Website Redesign Survey

The Toronto Public Library has been a major part of my life since I was a kid, enough that the librarians at my branch knew me by name. This changed when I became an undergraduate student, as I only relied upon the TPL to find books that other callous students had kept indefinitely from the university stacks. But after graduation I found myself back at the Toronto Public Library. It's my video store, comic store, crafting circle, recipe swap and occasionally, my internet provider. Through it all, I use the Toronto Public Library website almost daily to request books, adjust holds, peruse the job listings and check library schedules.

But this can be quite a challenge because the TPL's website is slow, outdated and using the search function can sometimes lead to keyboards being thrown across the room! It's perhaps not as bad as the TTC website, but it definitely isn't the best representative for the largest public library in Canada and the second busiest library in the world (in first place is the Hong Kong Public Library.) Luckily it seems that the TPL is aware of these problems and have decided to commit to a redesign with input from library patrons.

The online survey is only offered in English, but there are phone extensions provided to complete the survey in languages such as Arabic, Somali, Urdu, French and Russian. I'm impressed that the Toronto Public Library, who provide a great places for non-native English speakers to learn the language through workshops as well as library materials, is also as committed to seeking out their input for the survey. But I think it would also make a big difference if some web-savvy patrons took the time to offer their input on the redesign.

So take the survey and have your voice heard. The most promising thing about the survey is that they offer boxes where you can voice real opinions about the website and possible changes, rather than simply ticking vague boxes.

Good job Toronto Public Library, and may we see a redesign sooner than the TTC website!

Photo: "drop it in" by 416style from the blogTO flickr pool.


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