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A librarian in front of a television working with a group of young people learning 3d modelling softwareFor a full list of mandatory requirements, submission guidelines, and terms and conditions, please view the full Request for Proposal below:

Request for Proposal – 2023 Library Website Project

East Gwillimbury Public Library is a three-branch library system serving the fastest growing municipality in Canada, with two physical branches within the communities of Holland Landing and Mount Albert and a third Digital Branch that supports the community. The Library nurtures literacy in all its forms and is the cultural and social heart of the community. Here you create, play, and grow. And here you belong.

As the Town’s population continues to grow, the Library must adapt to meet the growing needs of its customers. This has meant the adoption of Self Check technology, a new BiblioCommons discovery layer, more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programming, and an expanded Makerspace. In Summer 2023, the Library will be launching new branding and an updated strategic plan, leading up to the opening of a new central branch in Queensville in early 2025.

The Library’s Digital Branch is located at www.egpl.ca. Built in 2017, this WordPress website serves as a hub for Library customers to gain information about the Library; to search the Library catalogue; to contact Library staff with questions; to view the Library’s events calendar; and to access digital resources.

The Library’s website currently provides statistics through Google Analytics and has the following third party integrations:

  • Direct catalogue search access using the BiblioCommons discovery layer via the top search bar of egpl.ca
  • Texthelp’s Reachdeck Accessibility Toolbar
  • Mosio Text-a-Librarian add on

The Library is looking to upgrade or replace this existing site with a new website that is user-friendly, accessible, sustainable, and flexible. The Library is looking for Proponents with experience building websites for public libraries that incorporate accessible design principles while also enhancing the experience for the customer visiting our Digital Branch.

Key Goals for Website Replacement

The Library is looking for a new website that will prioritize the following characteristics:

  1. User-Friendly so visitors can access information they need quickly and intuitively.
  2. Accessible to ensure equitable access to information beyond current legislated requirements set by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
  3. Sustainable to remain functional for a minimum of five years and sustain regular maintenance and modifications by Library staff.
  4. Flexible enough to allow for content upgrades as the Library grows while integrating with the Library’s existing services and providers.

Key Deadlines

Deadline for questions related to the RFP is June 9, 2023.

Closing date for receipt of proposals is June 16, 2023.


  1. Closing Time will be 5:00 pm EST on Friday June 16th
  2. The Library will be looking to migrate around 50 pages of content, although the Website Committee will be willing to edit, condense, or modify content to support the successful applicant’s vision.
  3. What is your budget for ongoing maintenance and hosting costs?
    • In our planning for this project we have heard widely ranging maintenance and hosting costs depending on the methodology of the vendor. Rather than specify in advance and potentially limit the number of bids, we encourage all proponents to put forward their expectations in their bid, even if the combination of implementation and maintenance costs will exceed our listed budget.
    • We will be removing the budget section from the RFP to accommodate for this flexibility.
  4. Will the new brand guidelines be available early for site design guidance and considerations?
    • As soon as the brand is selected it will be made available to the successful applicant. Unfortunately we do not believe they will be available before the Closing date of this RFP.
  5. What are some areas of frustration staff have with your current site (and website development partners) that you are specifically hoping to improve on?
    • Clearer navigation for the public, as our existing site relies heavily on single line drop downs that are not accessible and hide a lot of useful context.
    • Improved accessibility site wide, making it compliant with existing regulations (our current WordPress theme is limited in its ability to adapt without major changes.
    • Better access to our Domain registry, and the ability to make changes as our internal systems require it.
    •  An improved event-finding experience for the public. Currently again the information is somewhat obscured and it takes a bit of work for the public to dig in and find the right information.
  6. Is the ability to increase/decrease font size a backend design option, or a frontend UX option? Is this based on a desire for accessibility for patrons, or do staff need to change font sizes (outside of heading levels) while creating content for the site?
    • Our initial vision was for this to be a front end UX option for users visiting the site, but on checking our other wish-list sites we are seeing that option not being as present anymore (which seems like a recent change!)
    • Consider the requirement to be revised to user-side text can be magnified through the use of front end UX, plugins, add-ons, or proven compatibility with in-browser tools.
  7. When asking for push notifications, are you looking for banners and announcements on the site itself, or notifications that are directly delivered to registered users?
    • We are looking for banners and announcements on the site itself, similar to what is seen on https://www.haliburtonlibrary.ca/
  8. Can you describe in more detail how you want to use Square on your site? Is this just for donations? Fines? Program fees? Are you using it on your current site?
    • We are not currently using it on our site, but hope to either embed, or link to a Square Site as a site for future donations, Library merchandise, and similar transactions. This will not be used for fines as it will not integrate with our existing library system, and we do not anticipate using it for Library programs as well, as it does not match our existing event booking software.
  9. Do you currently use Square Marketplace? If so, how, and if not, what are you envisioning using it for?
    • See question above. Plan to use Square for simple online ordering of merchandise and donations without integrating with other library systems.
  10. E-newsletter/Eblast- are you looking to continue using MailChimp (with better integration in the site), or are you looking for a different solution (potentially one that is part of the CMS)?
    • We have no issues with Mailchimp, so continuing to use them would be ideal, but we are open to hearing about other possibilities.
  11. Content migration: The RFP mentions that the proponent would be responsible for all content migration. In our process, this is something we equip the library team to do. We find it’s necessary for the staff to have direct control of the content and it also helps them become comfortable with the CMS prior to launch. I think this is a semantics thing, but wanted to clarify it. We certainly build the site structure and page templates to the library specifications that best fit the desired content and provide thorough staff training, but adding the final content will be the responsibility of the library.
    • You are correct in that this is a semantics issue. The Library will be creating/modifying content and fitting it into the site structure and page templates provided by the successful applicant.
    • Our previous migration had library staff create these pages offline in a word processor, which were then moved in bulk by the successful applicant, but we are willing to have library staff handle that portion of the process if needed.
  12. Are you all willing to have a post-RFP debrief with applicants at the end of the bidding process? We value feedback on how we can improve our participation in the process regardless of the outcome!
    • Absolutely. We would be happy to provide feedback, although it may be direct with our Manager, IT & Digital Experience, rather than with the entire Website Committee.

Contact Information

Any questions or comments can be made to:

Ben Van Gorp
Manager, IT & Digital Experience
[email protected]
905 836-6492 ext 109


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