Broward.org/Library is Broward County Library’s website, a busy, 24/7 virtual library that pivoted seamlessly from being the library’s online branch to being the library’s only branch, providing a complete range of virtual library services, programs and resources to replace the library’s brick-and-mortar buildings, which were closed to the public due to the threat of COVID-19. To facilitate this transition, this already-outstanding website was further refined to provide easier access to remote and online resources and to accommodate and highlight new features that customers with everything they expect from their public library – online and accessible 24/7. One of the site’s biggest success stories is the dramatic increase in views of the library’s on-demand YouTube library programs. In April-December 2019, BCL’s YouTube channel received 3,692 views, which leapt to 45,421 during the same period in 2020!

Broward.org/Library’s color scheme features bright, vibrant colors that reflect Broward County’s tropical yet dynamic feel – shades of azure that range from deep navy to sky-blue contrast perfectly with sunshine-bright oranges and yellows, set off with crisp white space. While this same palette is standard throughout the Broward County Divisions’ website, the design of Broward.org/Library incorporates splashes of those shades throughout the site’s other visual elements, providing a pleasing visual continuity that is familiar and reassuring, especially as library customers transitioned into using it as their exclusive point of library access.

Visitors to Broward.org/Library are greeted by a bold, all-capitalized “Broward County Library” banner at the top of page, providing a strong sense of visual identity to the site. Above that is a narrow, orange “Update” header for urgent library news, with room for two messages displayed in moving type. In March 2020, the lead position of this header become BCL’s “COVID-19 Update” section, with links to the latest general COVID-19 updates and information from Broward County as well as library-related COVID-19 news including revised library opening and curbside service hours.

As Broward County Library serves a multilingual, multiethnic demographic, the photographs and images selected for the site are diverse and multicultural, representing people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities. At the “Quick Links” section of Broward.org/Library, a nine-frame, moving carousel, modern, sleek icons add texture while providing visual cues to the library’s most popular services.

With an emphasis on BCL’s virtual library services, the layout of the page is clean, sharp and geometric, with an intuitive design that walks visitors through the site, starting with the most important/popular features and services “above the fold” and working downward through the page to lesser-visited areas. These prominent features include the search box, Quick Links carousel, “Highlights” section and two cards with photos and information. Links and information selected for these sections were chosen with the needs of the online library “shopper” in mind, with consideration given to popular online services and resources of particular use or interest to those affected by COVID-19.

The site’s search box is located right under the Broward County Library banner in a stand-alone white box with a jaunty, blue-and-white magnifying glass search icon. Underneath that is the aforementioned “Quick Links” section, which divides the first row sections down even further, providing users with easily accessible online “doors” that provide one-click access to pages where users can get a library card. Below that is the Highlights area to the right, which is updated with current stories and information, including the most recent issue of the Library’s “Fresh News” customer email, with two image cards nestled in the center of page, one announcing online events and the other curbside service.

In terms of accessibility, Broward County Libraries is a division of Broward County Government and as such adheres to all Broward County standards for its website Broward.org/Library including those set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and web content accessibility guidelines as provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The site has an “Accessibility” icon/link on the top right hand corner with an extensive dropdown menu with 12 setting selections that enable users to quickly and easily change site features to accommodate different abilities. A “Translate” icon/link located next to the Accessibility icon/link allows users to choose between accessing the site in five languages. Images have alternate content that is clear and concise yet descriptive. Additionally, the site was designed with mobile and assistive device use in mind.

The content for Broward.org/Library is timely, updated daily and as needed by a fulltime staff member responsible for its content, design and upkeep. New issues of the library’s newsletter are posted twice weekly in the Highlights section, and the Online Events links, which are connected to the library’s automated event management system, update automatically each day. In terms of access to virtual library services, Broward.org/Library provides a full-service library customer experience online, offering access to classes, research materials, live tutoring, live job coaching and resume writing help, on-demand events, live programs, virtual Special Collections and online venues. Broward.org/Library provides access to hundreds of credible, up-to-date links and outside resources, arranged by categories that include Arts and Literature, Jobs and Career, Business and Law and links in Spanish. Broward.org/Library also offers multiple forms of social media engagement including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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