Wednesday, February 12, 2014

St. Louis Public Library Branch Map

I recently put together a little project which I've been thinking about for some time. Specifically, I created a map of the St. Louis Public Library's branches in which you can see each branch's hours of operation when you click on the icon for the branch.

I've always found it inconvenient that the SLPL's website has no map of their branches. There is a list of branch addresses, but that's somewhat difficult to use if you don't have an intimate knowledge of St. Louis geography. Since there are seventeen locations, it's hard to figure out which branch is closest to you, especially since you have to keep track of all of them without a map.

As a workaround, I've generally searched for SLPL locations using Google Maps. The only downside to that is that various branches have different opening and closing times, which aren't listed on Google Maps. Plus, there's the issue of extraneous search results; a search for "St. Louis Public Library" in Google Maps returns not only the St. Louis Public Library's branches, but also branches for the St. Louis County Library and various other St. Louis libraries. 

Thus, I created this custom Google Map with all of the SLPL's branch locations. With it, you don't have to page back and forth between Google Maps and the library website to figure out if the branch closest to you is still open. 

In any case, I sent the map to the SLPL's webmaster, and got a nice response from their Director of Technology Services, Dave Halbeck. Apparently, they did develop a lovely Google Maps API of their branches a little over a year ago, which he was kind enough to show me a screenshot from:

This map is available at the SLPL's branches, but was never incorporated onto the library's main website. However, he told me that they're apparently migrating the library website to Sitecore CMS into March, which will give them more functionality to publish code on their website.

Thus, I suspect that there might soon be a nice branch map for the SLPL on their website. I certainly hope so, but until then, I hope you find my map useful! 

No comments:

Post a Comment