Minutes of November 8, 2000 Meeting
- Vibiana Bowman, Jeanne Boyle, Rebecca Gardner (Chair), Brian
Hancock, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Marty Kesselman, Sam McDonald, Leslie
Meeting opened 9:50 A.M.
- Before opening of meeting, issues concerning customization of ProQuest
screens were discussed.
A. Progress Reports:
- The RUL Web search engine made its premier appearance on October 16.
Dave, Rebecca and Sam commended for the article that appeared in the
Targum on October 25th.
- The Research Guide to Patents, Trademarks, and Standards is now
- The "About the Libraries" section on the RUL home page has been moved
to the bottom of the right-hand column, and the text has been minimized.
- The Indexes page now contains the message "First time off-campus users
must set up their web browser for remote access." in bold-faced type
above the beginning of the list of indexes.
- OED is now available for remote access.
- Posting notices in red on the News page seems to be an effective way
of notifying users of anticipated downtimes.
- Notices about changes in coverage of an index or e-journal need to be
sent to both the faculty and staff e-mail lists
- Academic Universe and Gale Literature Resource Center have been added
to the list of Indexes.
- An analysis of user-agent logs shows that 68 % of our patrons use
Netscape, and about 27% use Internet Explorer. Approximately 1% are
accounted for by users of other browsers, such as Linx. About 2 % of
the browsers could not be identified. About 97 % of our patrons use
Windows as an operating system, 2% use Mac, 1% use some form of UNIX.
- Progress is being made on the development of Descriptions and Guides
for new online resources.
- Beilstein updates have been mounted. Product needs to be reviewed for
changes to instructions. Howard Dess will be asked to help with this.
- Links need to be provided to tutorials for Academic Universe and
- A press release needs to be written for Science Direct. Science
Direct covers titles subscribed to by the New England Research Libraries
back to 1995.
- Country Watch needs to be added to IRIS.
- We need to establish new procedures for alerting Technical Services
whan new online resources are made available.
- Early English Books Online is ready to be added to the Indexes list.
- The following new databases will be available soon:
* Not discussed in meeting, but appearing on New and Trial Indexes page
- Mergent (Moodys Manuals)
- Grove dictionary of art online
- ATLA religion database
- Dun and Bradstreet's Million Dollar Database
- Africana Studies database
- Biosis Previews
- Books In Print
- RAMBI: the index of articles on Jewish studies
- World News Connection*
- Columbia Granger's world of poetry online*
- Middle English compendium*
- International Women's Periodicals*
- FIS online*
- Sam is tracking updates on existing Research Guides.
- As noted above, the Patents page has been expanded to cover
trademarks and standards, and has been elevated to the status of a
- The History page is being revised.
- Chemistry, Physics, and Women's Studies are in need of updating.
- Tom Glynn is working on updating Political Science.
- Seven new guides have been identified as high priority for
development; 5 others are currently in process.
- A workshop on the preparation of guides is planned for early in 2001.
- Letters soliciting the development of new guides will be sent from
Jeanne's office soon.
- The Web task force of the Instructional Services Committee held a very
productive meeting, and has resolved many issues surrounding support for
instruction on the Web.
- The Instructional Services Committee is preparing proposals for the
development and support of instructional programs in both traditional
and digital environments. Presentation of initial drafts is targeted
- The Instructional Services Committee is providing support for the
E-College distance education instruction project.
Phase II Survey
At the request of the committee, Gary Golden presented suggestions
about ways to design and implement Phase II of the research study on use
of the RUL Web portal. Gary suggested that WAC design and implement a
usability study, based on the model of a study conducted by the
University of Arizona. Copies of the article were distributed.
Discussion ensued. Some key points were:
- usability testing is relatively low-cost, can test specific items,
and can be customized to target audiences.
- Usability testing provides support for the decision process.
- Not everything needs to be tested at once.
- Feedback on design changes is an important component
- balance between "dumbing down" and creating a welcoming site.
- Customization options and privacy issues
- Total independence for users is not a realistic expectation.
- Simulation of existing services in a digital environment
- possibility of pop-up survey for feedback on a specific problem
- Investigate possibility of usability study more thoroughly. Read
article; get more information from U of Arizona. Vib will contact
authors of article.
- Investigate possibility of involving SCILS.
- 3 categories of indexes: paid subscription, RU-created, free
- Public Service Council has made the recommendation that selectors be
allowed to add free indexes to the Indexes list, if they are important
tools in the discipline. Requests to add free indexes must be approved
by primary selector in the discipline, with the criteria that, if the
item were available only by subscription, they would be willing to pay
$1,000.00 to obtain access.
- In order to be added to the Indexes list, free indexes must adhere to
the same criteria of preparation as others: description and search guide
must be available.
- An icon indicating free access to an index will need to be developed,
and decisions about placement will need to be made.
Meeting closed at 12:20, followed by WAC SNACK.
WAC SNACK - was generously provided by Gary Golden. Thanks, Gary.