Minutes of November 30, 1999 Meeting

Our next WAC meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2000 at 9:30 am in the SCC-Heyer Conference room.

Quick Updates

  1. Design Group. Our official decommissioning of the old RUL website will be on December 20. Sam will remove the cloud button and all requests to /rulib will be redirected to the new website. Ron will sent out an email to faculty and staff notifying them that this will happen and giving them an opportunity to voice any concerns.
  2. I'Things. No official report. The team noted that Statistical Universe, TurfGrass, and the Social Science Electronic Data Library require news items (TurfGrass has been put up since the meeting). Ron will do a writeup for ICPSR which will require some special treatment given that users have to access data through the data librarian. (As an aside in this discussion, we noted that the index Tablebase, requires a parenthetical explanation so users have some idea of what it is. This is similar to what we did with ABI/Inform.) Also, it was agreed that we would include the Social Science Data Library and ICPSR under the new index category "Statistics/Data". (Also, as an aside in this discussion, Harry and Ron took the action item of producing a position description in order to fill a WAC position. This person would hopefully cover Arts/Humanities and also join the I'Things team).
  3. Research Guides. We identified a number of guides that are in progress and committed to several actions (either in this meeting or the previous WAC meeting) as follows:
    • An example of minimal guides - Au will do Religion
    • Newspapers - Au volunteered from the previous WAC meeting. Note that the list of newspapers that Alex has is not in digital form.
    • Agricultural Science - Steve will work with Sam to have it up by the holidays.
    • Careers/Jobs- Sam will work with Leslie. Target to have it up by the holidays.
    • Nursing - We could possibly point to the megasites as a starter. Pat will talk with Helen about this.
    • Statistics/Data - Au and Ron agreed to develop this (from the previous meeting).

Items for Discussion/Action

  1. Mockup for index alpha-list. Everyone agreed that they liked the mockup that Sam did which provides an alpha list of all of the indexes. The change was motivated by users and in particular feedback from Mary Fetzer regarding difficulties that students were having with the current presentation. We agreed that we would make this new approach available during the semester break, although we didn't discuss a specific date.
  2. "See Also" lists for indexes. Several WAC members have noted that our "See Also" pointers are not uniform across our indexes and in fact several indexes do not have any. We agreed that we needed to do something about this and came up with the following process:
    • Designated WAC owners as noted below will review their respective areas and note indexes that need more "See Also" pointers:
      • Art/Humanities - Rebecca
      • Business - Au
      • Medicine - Pat
      • Science/Technology - Pat
      • Social Sciences - Ron
      • General - WAC design group
    • The WAC owners will contact the appropriate librarians and ask for "See Also" references, noting that we are setting a limit on at most 5 or 6 "See Also" categories. This number was arbitrary but we decided that we had to put some limit on the number.
    • Sam will add the new "See Also" pointers to the website.
  3. Input for Training and Development Committee, per L. Mullins request. We brainstormed and filled in the six questions on the form that Lynn had previously sent to the WAC chair. (Our input has since been distributed to WAC members and forwarded to Lynn).
  4. Ownership for downloading instructions. We didn't discuss this item and will hand it off to the design group for deliberation and a proposal on how to handle this material.
  5. Assessment and Evaluation
    We started this discussion but didn't conclude anything so will continue this discussion in the next meeting. It was pointed out that we do get a lot of informal input that results in improvements in the website. However, most of this input comes from teaching faculty and librarians; we rarely get input from students. We also discussed the dilemma of how much education and training do you try to embed in the RUL website. We are always working to strike a balance between delivering information and providing online instruction to help people learn how to use the various information resources. Related to this discussion, we decided that it would be important to link to the Instructional Committee. More on this next time.

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