Minutes of March 7, 2013 Meeting

Anderson, Au, Boyle, Deodato, J Gardner, R Gardner, Koruth, Ling, McDonald, Mullen, Purger, Sterback
Agnew, Glazer, Gwizdka, Just, Lotts, Mills
Marty Barnett (IIS), Fetzer (for Just), Natalie Wadley (UMDNJ)


  1. Beta site
  2. Open House plan
  3. Library integration tasks
  4. Miscellaneous

Purger states that the first two agenda items can be combined if appropriate to the discussion at the time.


1. Beta site (Purger, Koruth, McDonald, Deodato)

Purger introduces the Beta Site presentation by stating that this is the second in three presentations. Because of scheduling conflicts, the first was given on Friday, March 1 to Fetzer, and Sponsors Just and Agnew. The third presentation will be the Open House. During the presentation last Friday, Fetzer suggested that the Open House be done immediately following the Faculty Meeting on March 8 and opened to all RUL faculty and staff. This suggestion is enthusiastically approved.

Purger then begins the presentation of the Beta site, following the planned script for the presentation at the Open House. He reviews the steps to bring the design to this point, saying it is a result of much thorough and collective input and research.

Deodato summarizes the work and decisions of the committee that designed the Search box. Their intentions were to make prominently available the tools for which our users usually come to the site and to provide simple useful options. They are still getting feedback and may continue to modify the design as new tools and technologies are implemented. The team wants to focus on providing labeling that is friendly for novices.

McDonald summarizes the design and work that produced the Mega Menus. They have solved some previous problems when trying to incorporate new functions in our current site. Each menu is displayed on the screen and he describes its purpose and what it contains.

Koruth reviews the remainder of the main page. She states that design considerations included making the site, especially the main page, simple, easy to use and clean, while presenting interesting content but retaining a light, open look that is distinct from other university pages that use large blocks of color. She briefly mentions the new banner and top-of-page navigation and features, then describes the Spotlight block, the Ask a Librarian slide-in tab, the News and Events block, the RUcore block, the Special Collections/University Archives block, the User Audience-specific information links, and the footer.

Koruth then displays some secondary pages and briefly describes their contents. All secondary pages will have the banner and Search block in the upper right but smaller than on the main page. Individual library home pages will have similar blocks such as places for photos, address, directions, and map. Those pages will also have customizable blocks for content that the libraries can choose to include or not. All pages will display the Ask a Librarian slide-in tab and the Mega Menus. R Gardner suggests that the Chat Tab is not accessible or visible enough and wonders if it could be made more pronounced, such as a green color, when chat is live. Mullen thinks that getting to LibGuides is not immediately apparent.

Purger thanks everyone -- individuals, groups and committees - who has contributed to the Beta site and asks for comments and questions. Several people say they thought it is a clean, attractive site and that users would like that it is more visually appealing. Anderson asks if the Campuses links under the Places and Spaces Mega Menu would link to the individual library home pages. McDonald says that will be considered. R Gardner has some concern that Ask a Librarian is now so "in your face" but that it may be less noticeable on the new site. J Gardner expresses the impression that the "Email us with your questions" in the Ask a Librarian block does not look like a link. Mullen wonders if LibGuides are too hidden. Au observes that the Mega Menus don't work on a tablet. Purger says that the web group is working on making the redesign available on mobile devices including tablets. Boyle wonders, given the reasons people come to our site, why the News and Events block is so prominent and whether Services and Tools should be more prominent. A suggestion is made to flip the Ask a Librarian and RUcore blocks with the News and Events block. Au suggests that other topics such as the Institute of Jazz Studies could be highlighted along with the Special Collections/University Archives.

2. Open House and future plans (Purger)

Purger says we will not solicit major new ideas for the first release, but if they come up they will be collected and considered for later phases. He says that presentations to the User Services Council (USC) and probably the Cabinet will also be done. The first phase of the redesigned site will deploy in June, after Memorial Day. Harry Glazer has volunteered to help publicize the release of the new site. Purger asks for suggestions for the Open House presentation. Mullen suggests that everything for the presentation needs to be arranged and set up before the Faculty meeting because the break before the presentation will be short. A suggestion is made to have a handout available at the meeting with a screenshot of the redesigned main page and link to the redesign site.

Purger discusses future work for the next phases of the new site. The mobile site will be refreshed based on the redesigned web site. Style sheets for lower-level pages will be done. Some content and style work on lower level pages has already been done by several Web Board members. Current web site content that would belong on those pages will have to be reviewed and updated. Anderson asks if she could get the wireframe for individual library pages so they can start working on their page. Purger says it will be available on the Sakai site and on the Redesign site. Purger says that a region will be available on the main page for display of emergency messages which can be input as necessary.

3. Library integration tasks (Purger, Wadley)

Wadley states that rebranding of the UMDNJ library site will be done by the July 1st integration date. She says there is concern about how to keep the Biomedical and Health Sciences identity but make it work within the RUL site. Some UMDNJ library pages are currently on a different server from the main UMDNJ server and that is and should continue to be done for reliability and responsiveness to change. McDonald says that the UMDNJ webmaster will maintain their site until July 1st. After that, both webmasters will work together with the central IT groups to integrate the sites, which will involve both hardware and applications. Issues involving authentication and proxy servers will be mostly resolved during migration through the rest of the calendar year.

4. Miscellaneous (Purger)

Purger asks if there are any other topics to be discussed. No one has an additional topic.

Links to sites:

Beta site: dev7-www.libraries.rutgers.edu
Redesign info site: www4.libraries.rutgers.edu/redesign

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_board/minutes/web_board_13_03_07.shtml
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