Clinton-Macomb Public Library members will be able to utilize a new smartphone app.

Clinton-Macomb Public Library members will be able to utilize a new smartphone app.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Clinton-Macomb Public Library to launch new app

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published January 23, 2018

 The app, expected go live in late February, will allow residents to check book availability and schedule programs and tutoring sessions. It will also be accessible to the impaired.

The app, expected go live in late February, will allow residents to check book availability and schedule programs and tutoring sessions. It will also be accessible to the impaired.

File photo by Deb Jacques

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Soon, you can track everything the Clinton-Macomb Public Library has to offer with the unveiling of its new smartphone application.

CMPL Director Larry Neal said the idea came about after a 2015 community survey revealed that 82 percent of residents use apps on their devices. Of those surveyed, 85 percent indicated they would use a library app if it was developed.

He said the development process took some time because community standards and expectations were not being met. People surveyed said the top three things they wanted in such software were the ability to place a hold on items, search the catalog and manage accounts.

“Our goal is to make the library as easy to use and as accessible to everyone as possible,” Neal said. “We also hope that our residents will keep the app icon in a prominent place on their devices, so they think about looking to (the) library first before paying for electronic content such as e-books, magazines, audiobooks and movies.”

CMPL Associate Director Juliane Morian said the library staff wanted to develop an app for both library users and nonusers — such as millennials who may have not visited any of the three locations in Clinton Township and Macomb Township for a while.

Digital media usage time is driven by mobile apps, she noted, and individuals ages 18 to 44 spend more than 50 percent of their digital media time on smartphone apps.

Priorities for this particular app included accessibility for the impaired, via the Macomb Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; making account actions easy to access; and providing quick access for more premium resources like downloadable titles and access to live tutoring.

One demographic focus is on families who may have access to more than one library account.

“Our app allows the end user to input multiple library barcodes and manage all without logging out of the app,” Morian said. “For instance, a parent may enter all their children’s library cards on the device and keep track of all accounts from the app. Additionally, we allow users to enter a digital library card on the device that replaces the need to present a physical card when checking out.”

Jamie Morris, head of community relations, marketing and development, said the library worked closely with a company called Capira to design the app. Added features include the ability to reserve study rooms and register for the multitude of programs that regularly take place.

“From a usability standpoint, I think that the app will be very easy for users of all skill types to use once it is launched,” Morris said. “It’s as simple as linking the library card to the app, and then people can browse the catalog, place holds, monitor due dates and more.

“I think tech users will be very happy to have the app as an option, and I think people who are more casual users of the library will enjoy being able to access accounts and see library offerings through the app rather than the mobile website.”

At press time, the app was in beta testing for Apple products, with an anticipation that Android testing would begin soon afterward. Library officials are hopeful for a late February launch for all devices.