Creating “wizards” on the library’s website


  • Berika Williams Emerging Technologies and Web Librarian, Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University, 145 Harrison Avenue, Boston MA 02111
  • Debra Berlanstein Associate Director, Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University, Boston, MA



Decision Tree, Drupal, Virtual, Help, Wizard


Objectives: The library website is the virtual front door to the variety of services that the authors’ library offers. Library staff found confusion arose focused on two areas: how to reserve rooms in the library and how to reuse images using best practices. Two interactive forms were created that would hide and reveal content based on choices and lead the patron to answers.

Methods: Brainstorming meetings were held to create a flow chart that identified the specific questions to be answered that would lead users to a logical answer. Once the correct flow was created, we approached each of these challenges by creating a custom module decision tree, using code through Drupal’s application programming interface (API) for forms.

Results: The image reuse decision tree went live on the library website on February 17, 2017, and the room reservation wizard went live on August 27, 2017. By the end of the spring 2018 semester on May 18, 2018, the room reservation wizard had been accessed 1,945 times and risen to number 7 on the list of top-accessed website pages, and the image reuse wizard had been accessed 484 times.

Conclusions: The popularity of both the decision tree pages is exciting. Both “wizards” have empowered users to find an answer to their questions virtually, especially during nonbusiness hours.

This article was selected by the Virtual Projects Advisory Committee of technology experts after an annual call for projects in MLA-FOCUS and announcements to encourage submissions from all types of libraries.






Virtual Project