Quatrefoil Library is an all-volunteer-supported and managed lending library and archive of materials reflecting the GLBT experience in our area and across the nation. We began, literally, in the closet: in the apartment closet of a Twin Cities gay couple, David Irwin and Dick Hewetson. In 1983, after a decade of collecting gay publications, they incorporated the collection as a non-profit organization, Quatrefoil Library. In February, 1986, the Library was opened to the public. Since then we have grown into a respected repository for collecting, documenting, and sharing the history of GLBT persons. More than 2,500 people visited us last year and we circulated more than 5,000 items.
The Library takes its name from author James Barrâ€™s 1950 novel QUATREFOIL, a work now recognized as one of the first positive portrayals of homosexuality in mainstream media and literature.
What new functionality we are looking for
In late 2014, after more than 25 years of being physically located in the basement of an office building in in St. Paul, MN, the Quatrefoil Library moved to a brand new building called Spirit on Lake, located in Minneapolis, MN. This much more visible and inviting location is enabling us expand our services to become a greater resource within the GLBT and larger community. With our new beautiful physical location, the Library needs a website which showcases all that all that it has to offer.
The Library would love to have a new website with the following tools and capabilities:
â€¢A more robust community calendar to promote additional services and programming opportunities. The current website is limited in this area and the library has use Facebook as a means to promote itself.
â€¢Better placement of our online catalog on the homepage so people can easily access resources-- whether they are looking to check them out or need to see if they are available for academic research. Right now, users have to â€˜hunt and peckâ€™ to find see what we have to offer.
â€¢Better presentation and communication about the varied resources in our collection, including a number of online resources that are under-utilized.
â€¢An easier to way to make online donations. Quatrefoil Library is 100% volunteer-operated, relying mostly on modest membership fees. We do not receive any support from local or national government; Quatrefoil Library relies on financial donations to keep the doors open, maintain our collections, and host programs, exhibits, and event related to our collection and mission. Making a donation needs to be right on the homepage and easy to access.
â€¢More capability in the areas of analytics so we can better understand our visitors and how the use the site.
â€¢Overall, the website needs to be more visually appealing, intuitive and sophisticated to satisfy a younger demographic that expects to find information quickly rather than clicking through multiple pages to find what they are looking for.
How the new functionality will help
Countless articles have been written about the changing nature of the libraries. The modern library is more than a place where physical books are checked out; a modern library is a resource which enhances the community by providing tools of information whether they are electronic, physical or social.
The current website was last updated more than five years ago and has not changed much from its original iteration. Quatrefoil Library needs a new website that will inspire and motivate new and existing users to spend more exploring the site or finding out about important readings and other events we host. A new website is also critical to help us attract a much-need based of younger users, members, and donors. Like many volunteer-driven and supported nonprofits, Quatrefoilâ€™s user and membership base skews old. More than 60%of our current membership base is 55 or older. Quatrefoil Library has the unique distinction of being internationally recognized for its unique collection of GLBT resources. Our goal is to develop a website that will not only benefit the local community but one that allows us disseminate information on a global scale.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
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