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Your Community: IT at the library

Shawnee Mission Post Sponsor - November 9, 2019 10:00 am

We’ve all seen how the stereotypical “IT guy” is portrayed in the movies: Usually, it’s a bespectacled, pocket protector-wearing introvert who is good at technology but hopeless at understanding humans. But members of Johnson County Library’s CX-IT Team are very good at understanding humans, and specifically, how patrons use the Library’s technology. Their mission is to make it as user-friendly as it can be.

The “CX” part of the team’s name stands for “customer experience.” Point to anything in a Library that has a screen or connects with the network or a database, and the CX-IT Team is responsible for the patrons’ experience with it. The CX team also includes communications and web professionals, as well as IT specialists.

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In every stage of a project – working with vendors, evaluating technology, testing, acquisition and staff training – the goal is always to help patrons access the Library’s resources. When selecting technology, the team asks a lot of questions: Can this technology be more intuitive? Easier to understand? Placed in a more convenient location? What value will this provide to patrons?

The team has many projects going at any given time, most recently:

  • Scheduled replacement of public computers
  • Creating new process for updating and maintaining software on public computers
  • Working on a back-end upgrade of the public website
  • Upgrading interlibrary loan software which allows patrons to request materials from libraries throughout the country

One recent project was to make the catalog-only screens more ADA-accessible. The team noticed some of the screens weren’t at accessible height and that keyboards and mice were less user-friendly than modern touch screens. Several models of touchscreens were tested for durability and responsiveness and ultimately the larger screens were chosen. As a finishing touch, the team made the catalog-only setups more aesthetically pleasing. Now, you’re not just seeing a computer on a desk – it’s more like a kiosk. Patrons will notice that the new catalog kiosks are more visible and easier to use to look up a book or author quickly.

If you see someone working on technology at one of the Johnson County Library branches, it’s most likely a member of the CX-IT team. Be sure to give them a waive or tell them thank you because they are making technology faster and easier to use. To see what technology is available visit your favorite branch page.

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom

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