Responses to Questions for Request for Proposal for Website Redesign

The questions below were submitted to the Palatine Public Library District from prospective bidders in response to our Request for Proposals for a Website Redesign.  We may have omitted some questions in favor of a similar questions from another developer. 

Library Goals

What are Palatine Library's biggest challenges from a marketing and brand perspective? For example, what’s holding the institution back from achieving its goals?

  • We are always looking for ways to better educate and inform our patrons about our many services and collections.
  • We serve a growing, diverse community. We need to stay informed about our patrons and their needs, and we want to make connections with individuals and organizations.
  • We aim to position ourselves as a trusted source to the community and remain relevant.
  • We face competition from other local organizations (Park District, Schools, Clubs, Google). People are very busy and we are competing for their time and convenience services.
  • We are comparatively less-well funded than our neighboring libraries.

Have measurable goals been set that will allow you to determine if this project is a success? What are they?

The goals we’ve created for this project are listed in the RFP under “Project Objectives.”


Can we submit the proposals via email?

Yes, email submissions to Susan Conner: sconner [at] palatinelibrary [dot] org

Who may apply

Can companies from outside the United States apply for this project?

Yes, companies from outside the United States may apply.

Can we perform the tasks (related to RFP) outside the United States?

Yes, project tasks may be performed by companies outside the United States.

Working remotely

Does the Library expect development work to be executed on-site or remotely from the vendor's facilities?

Work may be conducted on-site or remotely.

Do we need to come over there for meetings?

The successful bidder does not need to visit the Library for meetings. If an in-person meeting is not possible, we require at least one introductory video meeting to be conducted at the beginning of the project.

Budget and pricing

Are you in fact legally (by procurement rule or statute) required to select the lowest priced bidder?

Certain purchases of the Palatine Public Library District are governed by the State of Illinois statutes. It is the policy of the Board to follow the most responsible business practices when purchasing goods and services in addition to complying with any statutory requirements. Statutory requirements will supersede policy provisions (Local Government Prompt Payment Act (50 ILCS 505/1), and Bids For Construction, Improvements, or Equipment Purchases (75 ILCS 16/40-45)). Purchases, contracts, and expenditures of funds in the amount of $20,000 or greater will be awarded following competitive bid procedures as required including awarding such to the lowest responsible bidder considering conformity with specifications, terms of delivery, quality, and serviceability. (From our Policy 5: Financial Management)

We are unable to price usability testing as a separate component of our process (per your Proposal Requirements, optional information section). This is due to usability testing being an integral part of our data-driven design process. Will this disqualify us?

No, this will not disqualify you.

The RFP mentions that the Library will complete content migration, but then requests pricing for content migration services. Is the Library looking for an hourly rate of content migration services or a fixed cost for these services?

We will consider either pricing model.


Is personal information about visitors being stored on the site?

We do not want to store personal information about our site visitors on our website.

How many content editors or managers will be using the new system, and can you describe their range of tech/html/cms/Drupal skills?

Approximately 20 staff members will need website accounts.

  • Four staff members will act as site administrators. They have moderate to strong web technology skills. They are very familiar with our current Drupal 6 website but significantly less familiar with Drupal 7 and 8 and other web platforms.
  • The other staff members will be content creators and editors. They have moderate technology skills but limited web skills. They have experience adding content to our current Drupal 6 website.

What is the current website’s traffic?

Our current website averages 78,500 pageviews and 20,000 active users per month.

Has the Library identified the specific type of usability testing it’s seeking?

We would like to conduct task scenarios and A/B testing. However, we are open to any testing that will help us achieve the best results for our website.

Will usability testing be conducted with internal library staff, patrons, participants from the previously conducted focus groups, etc.?

We want future usability testing to be performed with our patrons. They can be first-time participants or they may have participated in previous testing and research.


Does the Library have a CMS or technology preference?

We have a preference for Drupal because that is our current system and our staff is familiar with it. However, we are open to considering other platforms that would meet our requirements and suit our staffing abilities. Whatever system we use for this project, we strongly prefer it to be the most recent stable version available.

Other than that Drupal 6 is outdated are there any other concerns that you have with it?

We are concerned that our web hosting options are increasingly limited with a Drupal 6 site. We are also concerned about the growing security risks and performance stability of unsupported software. The admin GUI of Drupal 6 was difficult for many of our staff to learn. Some of this could be due to how our current site was built. However, we are looking for a simpler interface for our staff.

The current version of Drupal is version 8. Some modules currently used may not be available in Drupal 8. Can you provide a list of the existing modules in use?

We will share this information with the successful bidder. We should note that we are not looking for an updated copy of the site we have now. We would like the developer to help us design a better solution for our needs.

What do you like and dislike about the way that Drupal is currently configured regarding the management of the content?

We are not satisfied with the staff/admin interface for managing content on our current Drupal 6 site. We are looking for an easier content management GUI for staff, particularly for staff with lower technology skills. We like the ability to batch publish/delete content and to batch edit taxonomy terms for content. We like the revision feature for Drupal content.

There are many ways to accomplish the same task in Drupal. Did the previous developers design the system in an intuitive and flexible manner?

We think there could be some improvements with how the website is designed for staff/admin functions.

Can you describe what version of PHP is being used?

Our current site is using PHP version 5.5.9.

Web hosting

The RFP does not make mention of web hosting. Should we include that as an option for you?

Web hosting is not a requirement of our RFP, but you may include it as an optional expense.

Who currently hosts your Drupal 6 website?

Our current website is hosted by a 3rd party vendor off site.

Does the library intend to continue using its current hosting services?

We are always open to considering new vendors.

Does the library have any hosting preference i.e. Shared or Dedicated?

We prefer dedicated.


Content migration is to be priced optionally. Is it the intent of the Library to migrate the content themselves?

Yes, we intend to migrate content ourselves. However, we would like to know what our options would be if the developer were to provide that service.

Do you have a rough estimate on how many pages might be in the new site?

At this time we are still determining what content will be included on our website. An early, rough estimate is around 40 static pages in addition to dynamically generated content.

The current site has three(?) blogs. Is it currently the intent of the library to migrate this information as well?

No, we do not plan to migrate the current blog content to the new site.

As a part of this redesign, would you like to clean up any legacy data that exists on the site?

We are evaluating and editing the content now. This will be complete when the developer starts work.

Presuming that most of the contents in the existing site would be reused, do you anticipate that new contents would be added before the site is being launched? If so, how many?

Most of the information will be carried over from the new site, but we do not necessarily want the same presentation of content as it is on our current site. We are evaluating, editing, and reorganizing our content now, and we will present the successful bidder with updated content when the project begins. We may add 1-2 new static pages on our current site before the project begins, but again, we do not necessarily foresee those pages being carried over as is to the new site.

Is the library open to have content migration as part of the scope?

We would prefer the content migration to be priced separately. Should we decide to hire the developer for content migration services, it will be included in the scope of work at that time.

How does the library currently maintain Media files, and documents? Are they managed by Drupal admin/editor in same hosted environment or does the library foresee the need to set up a CDN, SVN etc.?

We currently use Drupal for file upload and files and images are stored locally on the web server. We are open to the use of a CDN, version control, and asset management.

3rd Party Services

Does the library prefer to continue User Sign-in with the existing system or would you like to maintain User Sign-in within the new Drupal site itself?

We prefer to keep the current user sign-in on the existing system. This sign-in (linked to the “My Account” link in the top right corner of our website) allows visitors to log in to Encore, our online library access catalog (OPAC). This catalog is maintained by a 3rd party vendor.

It looks like the referenced 3rd party websites used for the OPAC and other elements run on Drupal 6. It is necessary that these sites also be upgraded to Drupal 7 (that we strongly recommend), or do you wish to upgrade the main site alone as part of this engagement?

This project is strictly for the website at We are not able to update any 3rd party website.

Does your current site integrate with any third party systems that affect your website’s workflow? If so, please explain the workflow/integration.

Our current crucial integrations:

  • Our catalog search box in the header facilitates a search of Encore, our online public access catalog for our integrated library system Sierra. These are services from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. The number one reason patrons visit us online is to find items in our collection to check out, therefore this search box is essential to our design.
  • We also use Encore and another service called Syndetics from ProQuest to populate library item content on our website like We use the bibliographic number in Encore to create the “Reserve It” link. We use the item ISBN to pull the cover image and summary from Syndetics. Note: Syndetics is also integrated with Encore. The goal of these integrations is to help our staff more easily create recommendation lists on our website, such as this New Books list:
  • We use and XML feed from our event calendar and registration service, Events from Evanced, to populate our website calendar: Each event in Evanced creates a linked node in Drupal. These nodes are automatically updated nightly. We want to continue to have a calendar populated in such a way on the new website, and we would also like to have a way to feature upcoming events on the homepage.

Please let us know the areas that involve API integration and redirects to 3rd party sites, apart from the sites mentioned in the RFP.

The 3rd party services mentioned in the RFP are the required integrations for this project (also see above question). We are open to learning about other possible integrations from developers.

Does the library foresee any changes in the working of the site catalog search?

At minimum we would like to maintain the same functionality of our current site catalog search box. We are interested in learning about the possible enhancements to the catalog search on the website.

For catalog and account integration, are you looking for an integration similar to what's on your current site, where a unified search interface is used for searching either catalog or site, but search results for catalog are displayed on the catalog (as opposed to all results being integrated into the CMS)?

See above.

As for account login, are you looking to integrate authentication between the CMS and ILS or simply looking for a way to hand off users to ILS authentication?

We would prefer the latter.

Can you provide examples of the Syndetics summary API (ideally documentation or examples from Syndetics) and how you may intend to use the data? Is this an example:

Yes, that is an example of how we would like to integrate Syndetics into our website. Currently, we have a custom module that scrapes the cover image and item summary from Syndetics based on an ISBN entered in the content form. We will share this module with the successful bidder. It needs some improvement, but overall it’s working fine. That said, our primary goal is to create curated item lists on the website, and we are open to any integrations and workflows that will help us do this more efficiently.

Are you planning to stay on your current version Evanced or are you planning to update?

We plan to update our event registration system in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, likely to Evanced SignUp.

Do you have any performance SLA or Security SLA, Support SLAs in place that you could share at this point?

We currently have a support SLA, and we will share information about it with the successful bidder.

Functions and features

As a part of this redesign, is there any new features you would like to add to the site that does not exist in the current website?

Yes, we expect to add some features on the new site that are not on our current site. In our RFP, we requested a translation tool and a floating chat widget, neither of which are on our current website. We are open to any new features that will serve the needs of our users.

Are there any components of the current site that will not be part of this new redesigned site?

Yes, there are likely components on the current website that will not be on the new website. We are not expecting merely an updated copy of our current website.

The RFP mentions that the new website should offer language translation options. How many and what languages should the new website be support?

We need the translation feature to support Spanish. We would like to know what our options are for adding other languages, too. We serve an ethnically diverse community including significant Polish, Russian, and multiple Indian language populations.

Will the Library provide translated content or is the Library interested in an automated translation tool like Google Translate?

We are interested in automated translation tools. We are unable to provide translated content for all content in all possible languages.

There are two ways to do translations: Google Translate or Drupal Translation. Google Translate is pretty standard. Drupal Translation is significantly more complicated for the developer and would be more time consuming for Palatine Library. We can do it either way, but need to know; which do you prefer?

We will give preference to any website tool that performs the required task and that the Library staff is able to sustain.

What SEO standards do you require?

We want to follow basic SEO best practices.

Have you developed a URL structure/model to be followed?


Have you considered the number of unique templates to have on the new site? or can that be determined by the selected vendor?

The number of templates required should be determined by the successful bidder and the Library working together.

The existing site makes use of a first level menu structure, does the library anticipate the need to go in for second and third level menu structures within the new site.

Second and third level menus may be required. Information architecture will be determined by the Library and successful bidder working together.

Will the Teens and Kids sections require a modified theme?


Can we be provided a copy of the Library's style guide (if you have one)?

Our print style guide: Sheet_Print.pdf

What kinds of security standards does the website have to comply with, from a regulatory standpoint?

Our standards are outlined in our policies. Please see Policy 10: Digital Resources and Policy 11: Privacy Policy. In short, we always want to implement security and management controls to prevent the inappropriate disclosure of private information and to ensure information is resistant to tampering and remains confidential as necessary.

What are the current security metrics associated with the current site?


Do you currently have any security services in place to prevent attacks from hackers and bots?

This is a question for our web host. We are not qualified to answer.

Do you wish to have Email setup within the new site?


What level of ADA compliance is needed? Is 508 Level A or WCAG 2.0 Level A sufficient? (

We prefer WCAG 2.0 Level AA as it the proposed new standard for Section 508.

Does the Library currently have any eCommerce functionality? Will it ever provide any eCommerce functionality?

We have no eCommerce functionality, nor do we have any plans for this in the future.

Do you have any site examples that you want your site modeled after or that have features you would like to incorporate?

A partial list of library websites and the features that we like:

Skokie Public Library

  • visual design
  • prominent catalog search box and library account login button
  • information architecture
  • calendar design and Evanced integration
  • reading list -
  • upcoming events on home page
  • chat functionality on every page

Westmont Public Library

  • visual design
  • information architecture
  • today’s hours on homepage

Des Plaines Public Library

  • visual design
  • footer with map and newsletter subscription
  • photos of staff

Toledo Public Library

  • Visual design
  • large search box that produces results for both catalog and website

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

  • Prominent search box
  • events page and the feature that suggests similar events
  • stream and download options on homepage
  • library hours on homepage

Oak Park Public Library

  • Visual design
  • stream and download options on homepage
  • Photos of staff

Gail Borden Library

  • Information about multiple locations available on homepage

Daniel Boone Public Library

  • Prominent search box that produces results for both catalog and website
  • today’s hours on homepage