Minutes of June 28, 2000 Meeting

Au, Boyle, Gardner(recorder), Glazer, Hancock, Hoover, Jantz(chair), Kesselman, McDonald, Perkins, Piermatti
  1. Progress Reports

    Design Group: See Sam's summation handout. In addition, there was discussion about providing free indexes on our indexes page. There are all kinds of freely available indexes, not all of which are necessarily very useful. We need to develop parameters for adding to our indexes list. Criteria will be that in order to be included, an index must be of high value to our users. Selectors will decide which titles to add in their areas and give them to Sam to post. As they go up, there will also be an announcement on the News page, just as there is for licensed indexes. Design group will need to change the wording of the introductory text on the indexes page to indicate that not all are restricted to Rutgers users. There was some discussion as to whether or not Shepards Index is up to date. If not, should we include a note alerting users to this? (Jeanne later confirmed that it is current.)

    I'Things: No Report

    Research Guides: Au reported that the jazz research guide is almost ready. He will write a scope note and include information about IRIS, etc. Nursing research guide is still in process.

  2. Survey Results

    There has been a good return rate on the surveys. Marty has tabulated half of them so far (see handout). He has only tabulated the first page as the comments do not lend themselves easily to that. The comments will probably contain the most useful information, so Sam will write them up and categorize them. There was preliminary discussion of some of the results from the first page: the CKDB (Common Knowledge Database) is not used much. This is not surprising, however, as it is not necessarily intended to be a high use tool. Librarians tend not to access web search engines from the library page, although staff do. Staff use hours and directions more than librarians. Research shortcuts and the site index do not get used much. Comments were mixed, in general. Phase II (the student and teaching faculty user survey) will provide much more insight. This survey will probably be done in October and will take some thought as to how to develop and implement. We will need various categories of users, including novice, experienced, student, faculty, etc. We may get very different results from the Phase II survey, especially regarding vocabulary, etc. There was discussion as to whether or not we should wait for all results from both surveys before we make changes to the website. Decided that Sam will distribute the comments from the first survey to WAC and Marty will send us the rest of the page 1 tabulations by Friday, July 21. This will give us all time to read the results by our July 26 WAC meeting, where we will further analyze and discuss. If we discover obvious things that can be changed before Phase II is completed, we may go ahead and change them. We should report findings back to faculty and staff. It was noted that we should also share the results with the Assessment Committee and that we should check with them before we do another survey involving library personnel.

  3. Search Engine

    The committee moved to one of the information handling labs for a demo of htdig, the proposed search engine for our site. A major problem is that there is no phrase searching. Phrase searching is expected in the next version but it is not certain when the next version will be available. We have some flexibility in terms of weighting various areas (ex. title, keywords, etc.) We will need to customize the search engine to a certain extent, including writing our own "Help" section. We can certainly take a look at what's been done at other sites for guidance. Originally planned to have the search engine ready by August 23rd, but decided that October might be a better time. Hope to have something ready to be tested by tiger team and RUL faculty and staff by early August. (Search button will be hidden during this testing time.) Decided it would be good to get a group of people all testing in the same room at once since a more focused and structured group might produce better comments. At our August 16 WAC meeting we will discuss comments. In September we can "tweak" and be ready for the public in October. See also Sam's "Search Engine Rollout Status/Plans" handout.

  4. WAC Organization

    Jeanne distributed our charge and we discussed membership. Ron and Harry are going off the group. After looking at our goals (finish survey, bring up search engine, revise site where necessary, increase number of research guides, research other library websites, work with instruction groups and distance learning) we concluded that we are comfortable with our size and structure. However, we may consider adding an instruction person to the group. Decided to select a new chair by sending our votes to Steve by July 7th. Anyone on WAC is eligible. The chair must be a member of the design team and able to meet once a week for a design meeting. (currently Thursday afternoons but time could change.) Teleconferencing could be used for these meetings. Ron will announce the new chair at the July 26th meeting.

  5. Other

    People should be aware that once we stop local loads of Ovid, we will no longer be able to provide telnet access to these indexes.

Next meetings: July 26th, 9:30 am and August 16th, 9:30 am

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