all sorts of goodness from Vancouver Public Library

How are Canadians so cool? Not only does the Vancouver Public Library have a beautiful, entirely usable website that features library users on the front page, they also have a neat set of programs coming up. Here’s a bit of the press release:

SPEAK UP 2008: MY VIRTUAL WORLD LIBRARY DIALOGUE SERIES EXAMINES E-WORLD

(Vancouver, B.C.) – From February 19 to March 11, the Vancouver Public Library will host a lively exchange of ideas and discussion at Speak Up 2008: My Virtual World, where participants will explore the role of technology in our lives.

During this intriguing four-part series, expert panelists representing a broad range of perspectives on technology in the virtual and real worlds will address four key aspects of e-activity: Online Privacy, Gaming, Information Online and the Social Impacts of Our Virtual World. Participants are invited to share their thoughts about the role of technology in our world and how the rapidly advancing virtual world is increasingly intersecting with our daily lives.

There’s also a nice looking PDF, SpeakUp 2008 Booklet, My Virtual World, that contains info about the events, and lists relevant library books and databases. What an interesting and timely series of talks.

Ok, one more thing about the front page of the VPL website. Take a look at how much above the fold screen real estate they devote to featuring a library user. About one fifth, right? Someone made the decision to be literally user centered in this case, and it works. It illustrates that the library is full of people. It is social.

Vancouver Public Library - Home

And each patron quote highlights a related library service.

Vancouver Public Library - Home

Their website is newly redesigned, and I know this because they’re offering a one hour “Virtual VPL: The New Library Website” class. Clearly I’m a fan. Way to go VPL!

8 thoughts on “all sorts of goodness from Vancouver Public Library”

  1. This is a great looking site. I’ve been thinking about a full redesign for a while and looking at VPL’s site tells me it really is time.

    There so much stuff on each page, but they’ve hit a negative space sweet spot that keeps the homepage from being busy.

  2. It would be interesting to compare this with the Toronto Public Library’s recent redesign as well, which launched just recently. Alas, I have not delved into either website particularly deeply.

  3. Karen, thanks for the tip about TPL’s redesign, I didn’t know about that. I’m totally stoked that my post has found its way to into the Canadian blogosphere!

  4. As a heavy user (addict?) of VPL, I have to say that the redesign is everything I expect from VPL and more. The library really researched what users did with their old site before reworking it. They also hired one of Vancouver’s foremost design firms to design it. I really, really love the new site and think that it is another example of VPL’s wonderful service to this magnificent city. Bravo!

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