Common Knowledge Database Team Meeting Minutes, May 13, 1999

Present : S. Bartz, R. Gardner, M. Gervits, S. Hines(Recorder), R. Jantz, P. Page

I’m going to add at the beginning here a list of decisions made and tasks to be completed as a little value-added feature of these minutes.

Decisions made regarding CKDB design:

  1. Public side
    • Keyword will search across all fields.
    • Button will be added that asks “Did you find what you wanted?”
    • Results page will display title plus description, with title in larger font than description.
  2. Add/Modify design
    • Date entry field will include an example of date format.
    • Pick list will be added for location. List will include library locations and other designations such as “web”, etc.
    • Password protection for add/modify will be coded.
  3. General considerations
    • We will look again at original list of things we considered including in the database to see if any of those things should be picked up now.
    • CKDB team plus liaisons from other groups and from libraries not currently represented on CKDB team will be designated as persons responsible for entering records into the database and will be given passwords for add/modify access.

Tasks to be completed by next meeting:

  1. Additional liaisons -- Penny will ask at ISSG meeting for New Brunswick participants and Ron will ask at WAC for Camden and Newark participants
  2. Ron will code for passwords.
  3. Ron will take to WAC design meeting the question of where CKDB will be located in RUL site.
  4. Ron will enter a couple of RUL web site records and take to Jeanne and Sam to discuss possibility of using CKDB as search engine.
  5. Scott and Susan will work further on library-to-library directions and Scott will work on maps designed especially for these directions.

Meeting Minutes

Update on organizational changes: CKDB team will merge with WAC (Web Advisory Committee). This move was offered up to the NB faculty and met no objection at the NB Faculty meeting on May 13. Opening up the CKDB to all of RUL to include Newark and Camden will occur over time. Merger of CKDB with WAC will be on agenda at WAC meeting in July. It will also be introduced and discussed in SACOPS and in the New Brunswick Information Services Steering Group (ISSG) coordinating committee.

Experiences with entering records : There are 578 records as of May 11.Quality control is one issue to discuss – dead links, for example. In the source date field, an example date format should be suggested.

Only title and keyword are accessible on public side. On the public side, should keyword search all fields

Maya did a search for “art” and found 3 records, one of which was titled “ starting a business” because it contained the string “art”. This is probably not a problem with the relatively small number of records that are in this database.

What goes in location field -–should we use “web” as a location? Pick list for location would be good and should include libraries and maybe other designations such as “web”. Keywords can be delimited with semicolons. Until a pick list for location is implemented, enter records using standard library location abbreviations. For multiple locations, use “location,location,location”, comma delimited with no spaces.

Anyone who made “test” records, please delete those.

Vertical files at Alex are mostly way out of date – one that had useful content but it had no good contact or source for updates. Maybe contact or update source is not needed for this miscellaneous stuff that does have some use.

This database probably doesn’t need too much weeding in the future, but once a year taking a look at some of the oldest records directly in the Access database might be a good idea.

Are there any documents that need to be scanned and placed in the database?

There haven’t been any big clumps of stuff entered, just one or two at a time.

We should look again at our original list to see what things might be entered. We will revisit original ideas for what to include at the next meeting.

Is entering records intuitive enough? No one has had trouble so far, so we probably don’t need any sort of documentation.

Who should enter records in the future? Should we limit to this committee? Should we have someone from every library? If someone from Douglass, Camden, and Newark comes in, that’s easy enough. Alternately, a password could be given to a liaison at each library who could enter records but who would not have to come to CKDB meetings. Maybe a liaison to the telephone committee would be good, too, maybe Lisa Vecchioli, since she covers both Douglass and telephone committee. Ron will code for password entry to add/modify.

When will CKDB be announced? Probably 3rd Summer session in conjunction with unveiling of RUL web site, approximately July 12th. Announcement can be made via email lists, agenda, and maybe on RUL news web pages.

Where will the CKDB be located in the RUL web site? Ron talked with Sam Macdonald and suggested putting it in finding aids. Staff resources will be buried, and even though CHDB is not for public use, it seems that it should be easily accessible to info services staff, maybe even at the top level of the web site. The idea is position it as high as possible, maybe even put it in the navigation bar, and if the public stumbles on it, no harm done, since nothing in it should be hidden. Ron will take this question to the WAC design meeting on May 27.

Further discussion of design issues… Should we have a “did you find what you wanted” button? Yes. Currently there’s a mailto to goes to entire CKDB team.

Holdings and directions from earlier design will have records and the actual files for these web pages will be mounted alongside the database on the SCC server.

Maybe we should have records that are pointers to selected RUL web pages so that the CKDB becomes sort of a search engine for RUL site. It could thus serve as a stopgap until index/search engine for RUL site is available.

Results interface could be altered to give a bit more info, displaying title and description, with title in larger font.

On the public side, should keyword search all fields?

Should there be additional views available like a dump of all records sorted by location?

Short comical interlude (contributed by Rebecca)… What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common? Their middle name!

Library-to-library directions will be mounted on RUL website, but Sam says they don’t meet his standards for clarity for the public site. Indeed, there are problems with them in some places, but it’s mostly a limitation with written directions in general that causes problems. They will serve very well for the CKDB, though, and WAC agreed that they were needed. Scott and Susan will work on them further and add some visuals to them using Paint Shop Pro to produce simple maps.

Next meeting will be Tuesday June 22 at 2:00 pm. Agenda items for that meeting will include discussion of design changes implemented and announcement details.

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