The Award Winning Pomfret Public Library!

The Pomfret Public Library has received two awards from the CT Library Association’s (CLA) 2014 Publicity Awards Contest: one for its’ new logo, and one for its’ website. CLA holds the contest each year to bring attention to exemplary efforts to promote a library concept or event. There are fifteen categories of awards in print or electronic formats, with distinctions made between materials developed in-house or professionally. The winning entries are chosen by a panel of designers, artists and librarians and are evaluated for their content, usability, originality and design.

The awards were distributed at the annual CLA Conference, April 28, 2014. Library Director Laurie Bell received the awards on the library’s behalf and gave a brief presentation about the creation of the Pomfret library’s logo and website:

Our Logo
The Pomfret Public Library logo, seen above in the header of this page, was created by Rusty Kinnunen of Rusty and Ingrid Creative Co., Gloucester. MA. I had seen Rusty’s work in other contexts and was impressed with his artistic versatility and his ability to capture the essence of an organization or event in a simple illustration. We had a phone conversation about the character of the town of Pomfret, the history and future of the library, and our emphasis on maintaining the comfortable, informal atmosphere of a small library while offering up-to-date library services.  Rusty got back to me with some initial ideas; we decided to go in a direction reminiscent of an early 20th century woodcut or tile. The final submission is perfect: this logo has immediate recognition, a handcrafted feel and great charm. It feels very warm and personal. The artwork is also surprisingly versatile; it works as well on a banner as on a business card, and can be used in black and white, monochrome or full color.

Our Website – pomfretlibrary.org

The library’s website was created in-house using WordPress, and is hosted by Pomfret Computer Technologies. In preparation for redesigning our site, I attended a WordPress workshop offered by the CT State Library, and (naturally) bought a couple of reference books. I looked at a lot of other library websites, analyzing their structure, content and general design sense, and I spent some time thinking about our library patrons – how they might want to use the site, and what they might hope to find there.  For the convenience of library patrons, the site needed to work well on smartphones, tablets or desktops. For my own convenience, I needed to create the site without learning programming and be able to update the content from any location.

The site tries to fill the needs of both new library patrons and regular users. If you are new to ebooks, for example, you can use the Books & Media menu to go to our ebooks page and find instructions to download library ebooks to your device. Once you are familiar with using your ereader, you can just click on the image in the rotator and go directly to the library’s Overdrive collection.  You can use the People & Programs menu to get an overview of what the library offers for various age groups, or you can use the calendar to go directly to an event registration form. You can use the search box at the upper right to search quickly for a title, or you can use the link in the rotator to log in to the catalog and do an advanced search, request a title from another library or renew your books.

We will continue to add content and make improvements, but Pomfret Public Library now has a website that is appealingly clean and simple to use, while being versatile and full-featured. I encourage you to take a look at the site (pomfretlibrary.org) and learn more about the services and programs that are on offer at your local library. Come get a library card if you don’t already have one, and while you are there you can support the Friends group by purchasing a book bag or coffee mug with our beautiful award-winning logo!