Blair County Genealogical Society - News



Exciting changes at the Library!

Al Greiner - Posted:2016-10-24

As is true in life, so is it with technology: “time marches on.” The forward progression of technology seems to never slow down, nor does it wait for any man. Which brings me to the topic of this post: changes to the website . We have had many requests to make the website more user-friendly. We have wanted to add more to the website. We were forced to upgrade the database portions, due to changing technology. Why not accomplish all that (and more) at once?

For user-friendly, you will notice the biggest change is the menu bar at the top. This menu is the same on every page; you can click the same menu option and get to the same place, no matter where you are on the website. This will make it very simple to run searches through our extensive obituary collection, for instance.

This change also allows us to support mobile browsers. Mobile devices are becoming more and more the norm. Mobile devices include: smartphones, tablets, and iPads. Where this will be felt the most is in the library. Bring your tablet with you, and search for obituaries, without having to wait for a computer to be free, or go back to your table and get the next listing.

We’ve added a newspaper reader, which allows the user to view digitized copies of newspapers from our microfilm collection. This portion only works while visiting the library. This will make the task of searching for that elusive ancestor even easier. In the works, we are working on full-text indexing these papers, so that a search for a name will be even faster! This will also help us by making it possible to limit the use of microfilm, helping to safeguard it.

Finally, the boring bits. Our website runs on php, which is a programming language which generates html code on the fly. What this means is: as we add items to our database, it is automatically added to the website, so nobody has to go in and update lists as items are added. Php will soon be updated on our web hosting provider, which would have caused downtime for our website, while it was re-written. We have gotten “ahead of the curve” on this one, and we are ready for the upgrade to occur.

Stay tuned here for more news and events, as we set them up. We will also keep you up to date regarding any future changes to the website (yes, there are more coming!) It’s an exciting time here at the Library.


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