About 150 miles up from Vancouver, BC, the small town of Lillooet has mountain views that will take your breath away! The area’s low population density and thriving seasonal tourism make promoting local events a challenge. Last year, the Lillooet Area Library Association decided to meet that challenge with an interactive events calendar and community info kiosk.
Creating a More Inclusive Loop
The library serves 4,500 people in Lillooet and six surrounding communities; about half belong to the St’át’imc Nation. Traditional PR tools like bulletin boards and posters have limited reach, and many area events are organized by older folks who aren’t well-versed in social media marketing. So newcomers, tourists and residents who just didn’t happen to be “in the loop” were missing out on all kinds of activities. That’s why library staff created the Lillooet & Area Calendar of Events online. Anyone with internet access can post and peruse workshops, meetings, clubs and recreation opportunities.
To make the calendar fully accessible to all, the community had an idea for an outdoor kiosk placed in a high-traffic area and available 24-7. They obtained grant funding from Decoda Literacy Solutions and Interior Savings Credit Union.
Literacy Outreach Coordinator Marianne Gagnon took on the kiosk project because it fit into a greater plan: “As a literacy worker, my vision for Lillooet is of a vibrant and inclusive community. A community in which everyone has access to the tools they need to be engaged citizens, to be lifelong learners and to live active and healthy lives. I knew a community informational kiosk would help support that vision.”
A Kiosk for All Seasons
Marianne started her interactive kiosk search with some online research. “I looked at dozens of websites and made dozens of phone calls,” she remembers. “It was hard to find any kiosks made for the outdoors and suitable for our winters.”
Last week, Lillooet had temps as low as -13 °F. But they also happen to hold British Columbia’s record for hottest temperature recorded: 112 °F in July 1941. Fortunately, the extremes aren’t a problem for our Enviro Kiosk. It’s fully sealed and made with durable stainless steel, a sunlight readable touchscreen, and commercial-grade outdoor computer components.
The Advanced Kiosks team helped Marianne install and configure Lillooet’s community info kiosk. She was impressed with how easy our Zamok Kiosk Software was to use and setup. For the first year, they enjoyed the AK Support service. “Advanced Kiosks staff was super helpful and always responded very quickly to any issues we had,” Marianne says.
User Interface Adventures
Lillooet’s community info kiosk sits right outside the door of the only grocery store in town, anchoring the Old Mill Plaza shops. Marianne explains, “It’s one place everyone goes!”. The kiosk welcome screen collects data on whether users are locals or visitors. Then it gives them the option of visiting the community events calendar or LoveLillooet.com, a site that profiles local businesses and encourages people to shop local.
Zamok makes it easy for anyone to design simple homepage templates with buttons that take users to online content. Lockdown software keeps users on the sites you select. But through trial and error, Marianne and her team have found not all web content works well on a 19” touchscreen. They have experimented with changing some of their online calendar’s design features for a smoother user experience.
Advanced Kiosks now offers custom interface design. Which means we design all your kiosk content specifically for your touchscreen’s size and aspect ratio. Vibrant images and bold text draw people in, while fixed-resolution design minimizes scrolling for the most natural user experience possible. Custom interface design ensures all your online content looks and works great on your interactive kiosk.
“Options are Limitless”
Marianne characterizes the last year as “a learning experience”. She’s pleased that the outdoor kiosk has allowed the library access to a new audience, and she plans to expand its offerings. “I’m excited to see what partnerships our kiosk will enable in the community. The options are limitless in terms of what content we can have on there!”
Community info kiosk solutions do provide a wide range of options, from content to form and function. Whether you’re interested in event promotion, wayfinding or collecting feedback, interactive kiosks can bring your community together. Let Advanced Kiosks help you inform and engage your community!
Written by Amy Robison, contributing author