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Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website

In the past fifteen years, the World Wide Web has become such a major part of the library world that most libraries now have some presence on the Web. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores the idea of the digital branch—a library website that is a vital, functional resource for patrons and enhances the library’s place within its community. The report outlines an efficient process for creating a digital branch, from the initial phases of gathering information and sketching out a design, to winning approval from management, hiring qualified IT staff, and maintaining and upgrading the site once it is built. Throughout the report, the author regularly uses his experience at his own library as an example of how the process can unfold and what pitfalls to avoid.

Topics Covered in this Issue Include:

  • Defining the digital branch
  • Gathering information; understanding what your patrons and staff want from the digital branch
  • Planning for the digital branch
  • Building the digital branch
  • Maintaining and upgrading the branch once its built
  • Building community through the digital branch

About the Author

David Lee King is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans for, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website usability and management, digital experience planning, and managing techie staff and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2008 and recently published his first book, Designing the Digital Experience. David writes the Internet Spotlight column in Public Libraries magazine with Michael Porter and maintains a blog at

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