Grace reported on the LITA conference she attended and at which she was involved in teaching a pre-conference session. The theme was the Ubiquitous Web: Personalization, Portability, and On-line Collaboration. The most useful presentation she attended featured work by California Digital Library members in customizing metasearch using MetaLib's X- Server, an application program interface for integrating meatsearching with XML programming.
Grace distributed the home page of the Repository (d-Rkive) and asked for comments and
feedback on the website from TSC members once they've had a chance to look at it:
The Strategic Planning Committee is interested in input from our various councils and committees regarding the Libraries new Strategic Plan. As a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Rhonda facilitated this discussion. She reminded the group that the RUL plan should mirror the university's stated goals. Therefore, the committee pulled out areas that the university is emphasizing and crafted a plan relevant to those areas. For example, development of the digital repository will focus on library collections, faculty research and the constituencies that we serve. A question was raised as to how the "Qualls Report" on undergraduate education fits into our strategic planning. There is currently a section of the draft plan entitled "Students and Campuses" that addresses some of these issues. Much discussion ensued regarding enhancing a user's library experience, whether that is on site in a library or through the virtual library. Examples for consideration are:
Strive to keep frustration levels low by offering "point of need" help. (excellent signage and maps that do not use library jargon, obvious service points, brochures on various services and resources at appropriate locations throughout the libraries, more help available at relevant spots in the webpage, library trained staff in computing hubs)
Create a welcoming environment and comfort level in the buildings and with the webpage (signage and maps, exhibit spaces for students similar to what is available in some student centers, coffee, a social space.) Look outside of library models and observe what some retail spaces and webpages are doing to enhance their users' experience.
Do not overwhelm students in bibliographic sessions. Keep introductory classes focused only on what the students need to know at this point in their research. Too much information at once can be foreboding, mastering small tasks at a times make students feel successful and willing to try the next step.
Offer free printing (especially for the smaller libraries) with a quota limit similar to the computing hubs. Sometimes students attend bibliographic instruction sessions, or ask for help at reference, but then do not come back to do their research in the library because they must pay to print. Email does not always work or is not always easy to figure out. Some students prefer going to remote computing hubs where they can print for free but no one is available to help with library research.
Create natural matches for a researcher's workflow processes. Design the libraries website according to natural workflows, not according to "chunks" of information.
Strive to enable a person to know where they are, and where they fit into the library space (building or webpage) at any time.
Rhonda will take these ideas back to the Strategic Plan Committee. While the specific activities will likely not be encoded in the strategic plan, the principles on which they are based should be there (welcoming, navigable environment, both physically and virtually). In addition, the strategic plan will include scenarios, and the Steering Committee can use some of these ideas in the scenarios.
The group reviewed and finalized their Goals and Objectives for the year. Goals are:
Grace announced that Li Sun, a cataloger for East Asian materials has been hired and will probably start in early November. Li Sun is currently at the University of Arizona.
The group agreed that due to many scheduling conflicts, the November meeting will be cancelled. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 1st.
Next recorders: M.B.W