April 20, 2018

Jesse Haro | Movers & Shakers 2005

Customer Focused


Jesse Haro is not a librarian. But this software engineer, who once designed sites for companies like Harry and David, listens to librarians. Carefully. As web services manager for the Phoenix Public Library (PPL), Haro heard librarians tell him that they wanted a web site that was easy to use and that promoted and gave seamless access to all library services.

What he built was a site that did all that and had the look and functionality of a high-end commercial site. When www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org launched in September 2003, one library user said, “I love your new web site; it has such a fun ‘let’s go shopping’ feel.”

That’s because when planning the site, Haro and the library’s web team looked to their real-world competitors: Google, Amazon.com, and other successful commercial sites, which allow you to search through their entire product line with one, friendly user interface.

That kind of seamlessness when you’re working with multiple databases from multiple vendors is a challenge. The Quick Search Haro created searches through the catalog, the event calendar, and library web pages. Soon it will also search all databases and present all results on one page. Haro has insisted that vendors allow search results to appear within the library’s own interface. “When our users access information from our catalog, we want them to know they’re still in the same world they started out in.”

PPL director Toni Garvey admires Haro: “Jesse keeps our librarians focused on customer expectations in the larger virtual world.”

“I view the library’s purpose as to promote growth, development, and creativity,” Haro says. “Deciding how to foster that offers greater fulfillment than any project I’ve worked on before.”



Current Position Web Services Manager, Phoenix Public Library

Degree M.S. Information Management, Arizona State University, 1999

Pride In being part of a profession that makes www.storyplace.org available to his three-year-old