Where’s the Library? New York Public Library Releases Beta of Improved Location Finder
Today we’re very excited to launch the public preview of a new design for the Locations section of nypl.org. With thousands of people every day trying to find or planning to visit one of over 90 NYPL branches, the Locations section is the most heavily visited part of the website after the homepage. The current design has served us well for several years, but it was high time to take a new look at this critical piece of the site and bring it up to date. We’ve been testing our new version internally for a couple of months now and we’re ready to open it up to the public for beta testing at http://locations-beta.nypl.org.
We’ve enhanced our complete listing of libraries by adding a smart search. Just start typing a library name and you’ll get suggested matches. Or, search by address, zip code, or landmark (like “City Hall”) to see the closest branches in an interactive map view. Of course, on a mobile device, you can click “Libraries near me” to let your phone’s GPS do the work.
For those of you that are interested in the technology, this is built in Angular. It’s our first big project using this framework and the experience was good enough that we plan to continue with it. nypl.org is a Drupal site, and the basic data is still administered in Drupal, but we’re exporting it via an API for use in the front-end. Once we were already pretty far down this road we discovered it was something of a trend and already had a name: Headless Drupal. Right now, it’s a good compromise for us between the best of the new web technologies and the investment we already have in several years of Drupal development.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.