The future is now

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The Webster Parish Library and all its branches are making a major move, that’s no longer in the future. The future is now and it’s wireless.

Library Director Savannah Jones, Director of Marketing Kim Sentell and staff are proud to introduce a new app that will make life at the library fast and easy.

“This innovative technology provides contactless ways to interact with the library,” Jones said. “It uses a mobile-friendly catalog interface and puts our best electronic features all in one place,” Sentell explained.

The app is free and anyone can download it by going to the Android or App Store and searching for “Webster Parish Libraries” on their devices; however, those with a library card will be privileged to more.

While the app is an important and useful tool in keeping the library relevant, the main location of the library is also upgrading aesthetically by shifting areas, remodeling and painting certain areas, because, as Jones said, the app is not intended to replace the buildings or website but to meet the needs of patrons who prefer to connect with the library while on the go or in the comfort of their homes.

“By doing that, we are seeing the public attracted to those areas,” Jones said. “It is really neat to watch. They are coming in and staying longer. They’re gravitating more, as we make those changes to certain areas one at a time, every time we make a change, we see them use that area more to do their work.”
Whether Covid was a factor, Jones said society was definitely a catalyst in designing the app.

“Society is ever-changing,” she said. “It’s evolving with new forms of technology. So that means many more aspects of life are moving online.”

The app, which took more than 18 months to complete, along with countless hours of work and input from library workers, will help patrons access collections and services such as booking a meeting space, viewing programs and events or even learning a new skill in a user-friendly way.

“We were always mindful of putting forth our best efforts to ensure the features that would best suit our patrons during the entire process,” Jones said. “Down to the smallest detail, we found ourselves researching the best color schemes we should use that are easiest on our patrons’ eyes when viewing the app,” Sentell added

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