On only our second Aspen Weekly we took a dive into the Web Builder functionality within Aspen Discovery. At the time this module was very new in Aspen Discovery and many of our partners were just getting started with the possibilities!
This week I wanted to return to the topic and discuss again, what the Web Builder can accomplish for your library and your patrons, but specifically how all of our partners have used this module and continue to think of creative and exciting ways to utilize Web Builder.
What is it?
A quick refresher on what the Web Builder module is! This is a section of the Administration Menu where you can create completely customized and unique web pages on absolutely anything. You can either use the "Basic" or "Custom" web page section of the module. The Custom page will be a bit more complex to create but this does allow a more customizable web page. You can also create custom staff directories, custom web forms, and "Web Resources" within the module. If you are just getting started with Web Builder, I recommend the following tutorials:
Events and Programs
With the ability to create a web page on absolutely anything, you can share all kinds of information with your patrons about upcoming events or programs they have access to! You can see below some of the great events/programs that our partners are sharing via custom web pages in Aspen. Benson Memorial Library shares information on their Pokemon League and over at Uintah County Library you can find out all about their Code Club that is offered!
Due to the ease of creating web pages in Aspen you can create all of the administrative pages that are necessary for your patrons to know. You can see below how several of our partners share information about their library, contact information, general patron information, and even frequently asked questions!
Meadville Public Library shares their mission statement on their "About the Library" page. They also included historical and current photos to make a visually appealing site.
Benson Memorial Library shares their policy information within Aspen by creating a Library Policies page in Web Builder. The bullet points link to Google Doc sheets so no additional hosting is needed.
Our partners have created informative and beautiful web pages on local history as well as events in regard to their local history. You can see here that Uintah County Library is sharing information on an upcoming exhibit at the Heritage Museum nearby!
Meanwhile, Benson Memorial Library created a page dedicated page called History of the Library!
Using Aspen as Your Library Website
Due to the flexibility of and customization options included in creating your own unique web pages within Aspen Discovery, some of our partners have actually chosen to use their Aspen Discovery layer as their catalog AND their website. In order to accomplish this we have seen many partners create web pages on all of the information they want to pass along to patrons - events, services, library information, etc. and embed all of those resources along their menu links over the catalog search bar.
You can find a tutorial on embedding Menu Links here.
Aspen as Your Library Home Page
Additionally, many of our partners who use Aspen Discovery as their library web site will actually create a ‘Home Page’ within Aspen Discovery. This is not the Browse Category landing page that you may be used to in your own Aspen Discovery layer but a custom web page that you generate within Aspen and then tell Aspen that is where you want your patrons to be directed when they first arrive on your site.
If you choose to do this, the house icon will bring you to your custom home landing page and the book/browse icon will bring you to the Browse Category exploration page. You can see some example catalogs below where Aspen Discovery is being used as a discovery layer and library website. Click on the images to explore the library's page.
There are countless ways to utilize custom web pages in Aspen Discovery. If you have any questions about how best to use these features or how to set any of the above up please feel free to reach out and we would love to help out in any way.
We cannot wait to see all of the future great ideas y’all have to use the web builder module for to share information with your patrons and to get them engaged in all the amazing services you offer to them!
Did You Know?
Did you know that Web Builder is an included functionality in Aspen Discovery? You don't need to purchase an additional product or use a third-party vendor to incorporate your library website!
Read more by Addie Van Salisbury