Minutes of January 8, 1999 Meeting

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

WAC minutes and subcommittee reports can also be viewed at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu//rul/staff/pub_serv/committees.shtml

I. Frontpage: Prototype review

The committee convened in the Information Handling Lab, to review two frontpage prototypes developed by Sam McDonald. Sam led the committee on a brief tour of the prototypes and pointed out that the two designs were identical except for the placement of the center logo, the color of the 'recalls' notice (under the 'news' button), and the title of the 'news' button ('news' on one design, 'news and notices' on the other). Sam noted as well that the prototypes lay out similarly in Lynx.

Issues raised by committee members included: logo at top takes up too much space, shrinking size of this logo, adapting front page so limited scrolling is necessary, the changed language 'under the bar' (Sam made this change so he won't receive Ask A Librarian questions), changing specific descriptions and placement of category headings, amount and location of white space, path to take to review individual library's hours, and the need for definitions of certain facilities and services (eg. what is the Citation and Location Center?).

After some discussion, the committee approved the basic front-page architecture for the new site and agreed to the following adaptations, which Sam will implement:

Other issues considered, which Sam will review for feasibility, were - renaming "Digital Library Projects" to "Digital Library Projects and Initiatives" and including a listing of all current projects or highlighting one each month, editing the listings under "Library Services," and adding either a site-map or search engine.

The committee also recommended that SACOPS be asked to review the prototype, after Sam has made the necessary changes.

II. Research (Web) Guides

Ka-Neng Au reported on his review of existing research/web guides on the RUL system. Ka-Neng recommended that future guides developed should focus on collections at RUL and a 'style sheet' for future guides, noting font and lay-out preferences and overall policy, needs to be drafted.

There was some discussion as to how RUL offerings should be listed on the 'second layer' webpage under "web guides." Choices in this vein are either a 4 category subject heading (General & Interdisciplinary, Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science) as currently exists or an A to Z listing. Alternatives proposed included devising a companion A to Z list to the five category heading, with no links (on the A to Z) just pointers to the five subjects, and inclusion of a series of color coded icons to accompany each journal title.

The committee approved the latter concept and recommended that Sam develop a draft of the color coded icon system for the next WAC meeting.

Ka-Neng raised the issue of adding a thesaurus to the Web Guides page. Concerns were voiced by committee members on the possible volume of alternative key words and the inclusiveness of such a feature. The committee recommended that Ka-Neng develop a draft proposal for such a feature or that the matter be tabled until 'second stage' corrections are addressed, after the new site is rolled out in the summer.

Ka-Neng then advised the committee on the matter of abandoned or neglected web guides. A list of these 33 sites is posted on the WAC site and 16 appear not to have been updated for some time; Sam advised that some of these may have been updated yet the site manager left the 'last updated' line unchanged.

There was a discussion of some length on how to handle these web guides. The committee agreed to the following sequential set of procedures:

  1. Dave and Sam will review the 'abandoned' guides when requested by the reserach Guides sub-committee.
  2. Ron, Au, or Sam will attempt to contact the last known manager of each site, to see if they intend to continue to update their respective sites;
  3. For those pages without owners, some deemed 'no longer necessary' by WAC will be shut down;
  4. For those pages without owners deemed useful, Ron will work with Harry to publicize their availability and urge new managers to step forward (The "Adopt a Research Guide" program).

III. Immediate Things

Theo Haynes reported on the issues tackled by the immediate things subcommittee. Sam made changes or corrections to the 'problem' catalogs she identified and now all have active web links and telnet connections. A concern was brought to the subcommittee's attention regarding the need for a master list of library committees and Jeanne Boyle advised that she is compiling such a list. Harriette Hemmasi made a suggestion regarding listing new library journals and the committee advised that SACOTAS be asked to address this question.

Theo raised the question of the procedure to handle trial indexes. The committee determined that first, the collection development committee should determine if RUL should have the index and then, the immediate things subcommittee should determine the proper placement on the website and secure index descriptions where needed.

The committee also agreed that Theo is empowered to make immediate things decisions, with her subcommittee's input, and that those decisions should be reported to WAC after they are made.

Dave Hoover raised an issue regarding authentication for external users, and modifications that were made at Systems, as an example of a webpage issue that doesn't easily fit any subcommittee's purview. With the committee's approval, Sam will form a 'tiger team' of himself, Dave, Mark W., and Sho at Systems to address these issues. Sam will report on all matters handled by this team to the committee and send out a 'news item' on each issue handled in this fashion to the RUL_Staff list-serv.

IV. Next Meetings

The next meeting of WAC will take place on Friday February 5th, at 9:30 a.m., in the Heyer Conference Room of the SCC. This meeting will focus on feedback from SACOPS, a mock-up of the research guides color-coded icon system, a list of immediate things actions, and a list of ownerless web-guides.

The following meeting of WAC will take place on Friday March 5th, at 9:30 a.m., in the Heyer Conference Room of the SCC.

The next meeting of the web-design subcommittee (formerly the 'frontpage subcommittee') will take place on Wednesday January 20th, at 10:00 a.m.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_advisory/minutes/wacmin_99_01_08.shtml
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