Office of Research and Technology

246H Main Library
1408 W Gregory Dr
Urbana, IL 61801
217.333.0318
217.244.4358 (fax)

Interim Report of the Library Web Content Group

November 16, 2006

The Library Web Content Group is providing this interim report as we finalize the look, feel, and functionality of the proposed Library home page.   We had hoped to provide CAPT with a functional page at this point, but production has been delayed primarily due to the loss of personnel available to “bring the pages to life.”  This has been remedied to some extent, but the production work has not yet been finalized since the last meeting of the group on November 8.  We will still need to run the first four to six usability sessions with naïve users before we can make our complete recommendations.  In the meantime, aside from the final design of the page, we strongly recommend the following actions be taken to provide service to our users.  In providing these recommendations, we have adhered to the guidelines developed for this project.

 

Where do we go from here?

 

We strongly suggest a Development Team of several individuals be brought together to provide ongoing assessment and development for the library website.  The team should consist of an expert in CSS/HTML and the CMS system, a graphic designer with exceptional web development skills, a usability specialist, and at least one individual working in the delivery of public services.  It is further suggested that the majority of the individuals involved in the Development Team have experience working “on the ground” with users of the library. The position of Webmaster for the Library should head this development team.  This individual should possess either the graphic/web design skills, or programmer/CMS specialist skills, but must in either event, have a strong background in managing a large web presence and an understanding of the issues of accessibility, web standards, graphic design and layout standards, and  the importance of training in the use of the CMS and timely update procedures. 

The Webmaster and his/her team should have joint reporting and consultation responsibilities to the AUL for Information Technology, the AUL for Services, and the AUL for Collections.  Our website, and the services it provides, is too important to the success of the University Library to be isolated under a single rubric.  Although tradition does not support this model of reporting, it is a time to step away from the traditional model and look toward the future of the University Library.

 

Responsibility for page development

 

The following categories have been identified for placement on the front page of the website.  (Please see associated image)  We have tentatively indicated the specific party or parties that should be responsible for the development of these next level pages.  Several alternatives have been presented to us concerning “responsibility” for the production of pages including Central Public Services, the Advisory Committee to the AUL for Services, the Systems Office, and subject specialist and public service librarians.  We have over 50,000 web pages in our collection.  No one unit, department, or library can hope to take on the responsibility for building all of these alone.  In addition, we have made a commitment to the Department of Disability Resources and Educational Services to comply with the latest in accessibility guidelines for all of our pages.  This really has to be a joint effort on all of our parts, and perhaps this is the impetus that has been missing in the past iterations of the website.  The implication of this is that a comprehensive and evenly applied program of training in the use of the CMS, including accessibility, must be developed at the earliest date possible.

Quick Links - Electronic Resources (ORR)

Online Catalog

RefWorks

Illinois Compass

(additional items may be identified by the Systems Office via review of  transaction logs)

 

Find – Books (catalog links)

                        Articles – using Search Assistant and other resources

                        Journals – using the Journal Finder developed by Grainger Library

                        Course Reserves

                        AV/Media

                        Reference – include also Statistics, Maps, Standards, and Patent

Information

                        Other – add Grant Information

 

About Us – House/locations - leads to the equivalent of the current print list

                        Libraries/collections - leads to maps, unit directory

                        Contact Us  - leads to telephone directory

                        Jobs – identified as useful links by patrons

                        More….

 

Services – Borrowing/Interlibrary Loan – ILL department updates

                        Renewing

                        Computing/Printing – similar to information provided by Systems Office

                        Accessibility – Mary Beth and others?

                        More ….

 

Get Help – How to Use the Library – Coordinator for Instruction….

                        Ask a Librarian – default page

                       FAQs – responsibility of CPS

                       Workshops – Undergraduate Instruction Librarian, et al.

                        More….

 

Browse by Subject – Subjects A-Z – responsibility of subject specialists

                        Libraries by College/Major – responsibility of unit libraries

 

Resources – Undergraduate

                        Graduate Students

                        Faculty

                        Alumni

                        Affiliates

 

Boundless – links to a paragraph of facts or accomplishments provided by the

Development Office

News and Events   Library specific news

More…. – leads to aggregated list from campus

Library Friends – About the Friends

                        Donate to the Library

                        Gifts at Work

                        Buy a Book Service (BABS)

                        More….  – all of these pages are supported and updated by the

Development Office

At the bottom of the page, to the right at the same level as Contact Webmaster “Staff Access” provides access to an intranet that runs through the BlueStem server or its equivalent.

The header for secondary pages is currently in process and includes color coded tabs leading back to the homepage, a banner branding the page with the Library and the University, an identifier for the information found on the page (e.g. political science, geology, circulation, etc.), and breadcrumbs to allow the user to work his/her way back.

 

The future of the University Website

 

We cannot emphasize enough that the website, like the University Library, is a growing, changing entity.  In the opening section of this report we mentioned administration of the first four to six usability tests for the site.  The website is not something that will be done at any point in time.  It must be flexible and responsive to the needs of our users.  It must reflect changes in the collections and services provided by the Library and the technological tools we have at our disposal.  Remember gopher or telnet or bitnet?  We need resources directed in many divergent areas in the Library, but most of all, we need resources directed to our web presence to enable our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and larger public to understand and access the information we are providing.

Submitted by members of the Library Web Content Group:

Lynne Rudasill, Chair

Susan Harum

Lura Joseph

Helen Sullivan

Caroline Szylowicz

David Ward

John Weible

Helen Zhou