Minutes of December 3, 1998 Meeting

R. Gardner (minutes), H. Glazer, T. Haynes, D. Hoover, R. Jantz (chair), S. McDonald, J. Mi, S. Perkins, P. Piermatti, M. Witteman

WAC Subcommittee Reports

I. Frontpage

The Frontpage subcommittee renamed itself the "WAC Design Subcommittee." The group is discussing; overall plan and time line for new RUL pages, needs and expectations of user population, layout, structure, policies needed to maintain and develop our site. By the end of January they expect to consider new content and have a plan for redesigning existing pages. New coding should be finished by the end of April. New pages should be ready for publicity, evaluation, and user feedback during May and June. The subcommittee is trying to adhere to a strict time line so that the new site can be rolled out in July, thus leaving plenty of time for publicity, marketing and education before the fall semester begins.

Harry will be involved with how and when to handle publicity for the new site.

The new pages will follow the colors from the Rutgers Toolkit. (Black, white, dark blue, light blue, medium blue.) For readability, there will be little or no scrolling, short descriptions, and consistency in terms of left, right or center justification. The site will be Lynx compliant.

At the first meeting, the group looked at the web pages of 30 other university libraries. They brainstormed about what they liked and did not like to help think about what they wanted to see on our pages. The group will have a prototype for the 1/8/99 WAC meeting.

Sam and Dave will talk about how to possibly have both the old and the new sites up at the same time for a while. All of the old pages will redirect users to the new pages at some point for at least a few months.

Harry and Sam will discuss how to communicate with and alert RUL people to changes on the site.

Ron suggested that decisions made in the 3 WAC subcommittees do not necessarily need to go to the whole WAC for approval.

II. Web Guides

Discussed the "look and feel" of web guide pages--will assist those creating their own guides with design. Looked at other models, especially Virginia Commonwealth University.

The group will do an inventory of current pages–who updated them and when? Aim is to keep web guides within 6 months currency. Dead pages will be removed.

Question of "ownership" arose; who will adopt pages if the person who created them leaves?

Name, email and date last updated will be moved from the bottom to the top of the pages.

The subcommittee proposes to add an "Area Studies" category which would include Latin American, Africana and East Asian studies, among others. Will replace the Ready Reference Guide with the "Reference Bookshelf" which will be organized a little differently. Will create an A-Z list of all Web Guides. Will also create a FAQ on how to do research in a particular subject using these guides. May develop RUL subject guides which would consist of uncataloged locally owned resources.

Most ideas from the Web Guides subcommittee are recommendations, not necessarily policy statements.

III. Immediate Things

Theo distributed a list of URL's for web catalogs outside of Rutgers for which we now only link to telnet connections. These were sent to Sam to make corrections for pointing to webcats where available. (Some sites still only provide telnet connections.)

Next the subcommittee will look into whether there are descriptions for all of the Indexes and whether there are both lynx and web connections for each Index.

Theo asked that concerns for the Immediate Things subcommittee be channeled through her. She will take them to her group to deal with (mostly via email), give tasks to Sam and let WAC know through the RUL_WAC list.

IV. Sam's Report

Sam is a member of the Campus Webmaster Committee.

He has updated the Staff, Human Resources and News pages.

There will be an article in the Agenda about the WAC.

He is currently working on an International Students' Guide, two trial databases, and some individual subject web pages.

The Chang Server has been switched over to Elrond.

V. Common Knowledge Databases Report (Ron)

Ron Read the charter of the Common Knowledge Databases Team.

At their first meeting, the group tried to define "common knowledge."

Basically, they will provide access to and integrate material across New Brunswick or RUL–a sort of online help kiosk for librarians and library assistants working at reference desks. (Will need to come up with another name; "databases" does not really reflect all that they are working with.)

Will need to keep in close contact with WAC; don't want to duplicate efforts.

Next WAC meeting: January 8, 1999, 9:30 am in the Heyer room.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_advisory/minutes/wacmin_98_12_03.shtml
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