Library Committee Handbook

Administrative Council


Library Web Content Policy

Originally drafted: Oct 2008
Last full review: Oct 2008
Last amended: March 2009

The University of Illinois Library is committed to providing a consistent graphic identity for all Library web pages that complies with campus graphic identity standards. The University of Illinois Library is also committed to providing accessible content for all users, as required by applicable federal and state law and campus web requirements and policies. The guidelines in this policy have been established to ensure that our web presence conforms to these commitments.

Table of Contents

  1. Applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws and Guidelines
  2. Content Library Units Must Manage on Library Servers
  3. Required, Unalterable Elements
  4. Linearization Of Pages
  5. Use Of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  6. Use Of Dynamic Content
  7. Multimedia Content
  8. Content Validation
  9. Site Wide Changes To The Library Web Site
  10. Compliance And Enforcement
  11. Exceptions To This Policy
  12. Questions, Comments Or Concerns About This Policy
  13. Responsible Office for this Policy

1. Applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws and Guidelines

All Library web resources must comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as university regulations and guidelines. These include, but may not be limited to:

2. Content that every Library unit must manage within the Library server environment

Every library unit will have a home page within the current preferred Library web hosting environment. As of fall 2008, this is the Library's Content Management System, openCMS. Each unit must also maintain information concerning the services and resources their unit offers, their location, their operating hours, their service hours (where different from their operating hours). Unit may host additional content on other Library servers or even third party systems, so long as all of the other resources are identified and linked to from their web page(s) in the current Library hosting environment. If significant amounts of content are being managed outside of the Library web servers, the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination must be notified. Individuals who choose to host content on web servers not managed by the Library are still responsible for ensuring that their content meets with all applicable university, state, and federal laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines.

3. Required, unalterable elements:

Content that must be hosted on a Library server

All units must minimally host a departmental home page with a brief description of the services they offer, their contact information, and information about/links to their hours of operation. Any external web sites/pages/services that a unit is employing must be linked to from a Library hosted page.

For web pages in the CMS

The Library header and footer are automatically included on every page hosted on the Library's Content Management System (CMS). Authors and editors of Library web content are prohibited from using any techniques that would in any way alter the contents of, move, remove, or hide the Library header and footer, except in those cases where methods to modify those areas (e.g. Web Contact Link, Library Header Unit Image) are provided through the CMS page/folder properties options. Use of CSS, JavaScript or similar techniques to override the default placement and appearance of the header of footer is prohibited.

For web pages on other Library servers

Units/Individuals creating content on other Library web servers should contact Library Infrastructure and Software Development or the Office of Web Technologies and Content Coordination if they are hosting web content outside of the CMS. Content on other Library web servers must still use a version of the Library header and footer approved by the Web Content Working Group. Units/Individuals creating content on other Library web servers are still responsible for ensuring that all content they produce meets all relevant federal, state, local, and university laws, rules, and guidelines discussed or referenced in this policy.

For web pages on non-Library web servers

Units/individuals creating content for the University Library on external web servers (University servers or third party hosts like LibGuides or YouTube) are still responsible for ensuring that all the content they produce meets all relevant federal, state, local, and university laws, rules, and guidelines discussed or referenced in this policy, insofar as the host server/application allows.

Units/individuals planning on developing or hosting Library content on with a new third-party host must inform both the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination and the Office of Information Technology Planning and Policy of their intentions before the content has been created/hosted. Once these offices have reviewed the potential host and assisted the unit/individual to ensure that content created/hosted on the third-party host complies as much as technically possible with this policy, that unit/individual does not need to consult either office as additional materials are created/hosted on the approved service.

For stand-alone content

Stand alone content includes any presentation or application that might be hosted on the web, but not necessarily embedded into a web page. This includes, but is not limited to: PowerPoint (and similar) presentations and video tutorials of any type (e.g. Camtasia/Captivate produced tutorials). These types of materials are not required to impose persistent Library & University branding on slides/during the entire presentation. Instead, when these types of materials are made available online they must include an opening slide/splash screen, as well as a closing slide/credits screen that includes the University of Illinois I Mark, as well as the text "University Library" and "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" (and may include information including the title of the presentation, authors, date etc.). The University of Illinois Office of Public Affairs provides PowerPoint templates that can be modified to include the text "University Library." Contact the Office of Web Technologies and Content Coordination if you would like assistance with creating or updating your materials to include this opening/closing information.

4. Linearization of Pages

Page creators/editors are free to be as creative as they wish in using CSS to lay out the contents of their page on their web site, provided the content meets the requirements of all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and does not violate any university policies. The content itself must be marked up with appropriate and properly nested descriptive headings (<h1> through <h6> tags) to allow header navigation of the content. The pages minimally must be navigable and understandable if all CSS styles are removed or disabled.

5. Use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Page editors are free to develop and deploy their own CSS so long as it does not violate any portion of this policy or policies referenced in this document.

6. Use of dynamic content

JavaScript and similar client-side code:

JavaScript (and similar client side code) may be used in Library web pages only if the content that it adds, manipulates, or interacts with is accessible by all users, including those employing assistive technologies. Some examples of this include, but are not limited to:

Applets, Plug-ins, Embeds & Objects:

Applets, browser plug-ins, and objects/embeds may be used in public web pages so long as an they can be accessed by all users, including those employing assistive technologies, or an alternative and equivalent presentation of the information or service is also made available. For instance, use of an IM widget in a page is permissible, so long as alternative but equivalent means of contacting the service point are also provided (email, phone, and revealing the actual IM account the widget uses).

7. Multimedia Content

The Web Content Working Group acknowledges that multimedia content (e.g. Camtasia or Captivate produced audio/video tutorials, audio/video recordings of Library committee meetings, forums, presentations, etc.) is a growing and important part of web based communication and instruction, and encourages web content authors to continue exploring the use of multimedia on the web. Whenever possible, when audio (voiceovers, etc) or video is used, simultaneous presentation of what is being said should be presented as text on the screen.  Minimally, a transcript of all audio content must be provided, or a text-only version of the resource must be provided.

8. Content Validation

Newly created web resources, regardless if they are hosted on Library web servers or by third party hosts, must pass the following validation services.

Pages do not need to be run through these validators every time a minor change is made (fixing typos, links, adding or removing a small amount of information). However, if significant amount of content is being changed on a previously validated page, it should be validated again. Any time content is copied and pasted, the page it is being pasted into should be validated again, as many web tools that support copying/pasting introduce badly formed code that can cause a page to fail validation.

9. Site Wide Changes to the Library Web Site

In the event that site-wide changes (a new gateway, a new template, etc) are introduced to the Library web site design, the Web Content Working Group, the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination, and the Office of Information Technology Planning and Policy will ensure that such changes will not be made without a time frame being set for Library units that will address how long they have to comply with these changes. These units will ensure that sufficient time and resources are allocated to assist units with the transition.

10. Compliance and Enforcement

The Office of Web Technologies and Content Coordination (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/services/wtcc/), the Office of Services (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/services/) and the Office of Information Technology Planning and Policy (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/it/index.html) are all committed to assisting Library staff to comply with this policy. Please contact Web Technologies and Content Coordinator (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/services/wtcc/) for assistance in assessing if your materials are covered by this policy, determining if your web content conforms to this policy, or for assistance in modifying you web content to comply with this policy.

Violation on any of the policies contained within or referenced from this document may result in the reversion of web content to an older, compliant version; modification of your content by the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination; or, if necessary, the temporary suspension of Library web server access for the offending page editor(s). Policy violators whose accounts have been suspended will have their access restored after meeting with a member of the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination, where they will review the policy/policies they have violated. Repeated policy violations may result in restrictions being placed on the violator's Library web server access that will prevent them from employing the technology/code that has been violating this policy.

Although Library Infrastructure and Software Development and the Library Office of Web Technologies & Content Creation will periodically check content on Library web servers, the responsibility to ensure that a particular web resources meets the requirements of this policy, as well as any other referenced or related federal, state or local laws and regulations, as well as university regulations and guidelines, rests solely with the unit/individual who is creating/editing the web content.

11. Exceptions to this policy

Third party web sites, applications, or platforms

There are some instances where a Library web page/site may be excluded from this policy. Currently exceptions are granted for web applications over which the Library has limited or no control with regard to the requirements of this policy. These can include purchased, licensed, or open source applications (e.g. Voyager Library Catalog, LibGuides). The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is in the process of developing a Campus Software Purchasing Policy that will govern these types of applications in the future.

Course materials and faculty research materials

Course materials and faculty research materials are exempt from all of the University of Illinois and University Library web content regarding graphic identity or branding. This includes the use of the I-mark, and the use of the Library header/footer, or other design elements of the Library web site. However, course materials and faculty research materials that are published on University of Illinois web sites are still required to comply with all other federal, state, and local guidelines regarding web content, privacy, and accessibility, including the Illinois Information Technology and Accessibility Act (IITAA) (http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32765) Implementation Guidelines for Web-Based Information and Applications (http://www.dhs.state.il.us/IITAA/IITAAWebImplementationGuidelines.html).

Legacy Content

Legacy collections and older web content that is/are not being actively added to or updated since after this policy has gone into effect (February 1, 2008) are not required to comply with the Library However, any newly created web resources must comply with this policy. This includes the addition of new web pages of resources to legacy collections.

Collaborative Projects

Materials that are produced, managed, or funded through collaborations with external agencies and published in some format to the web are not required to comply with this policy as it relates to applying elements of the University of Illinois Library web design or elements, including the use of the Library header. However, units and individuals are still encouraged to work with their external agencies and partners to make it clear that the University of Illinois Library is a partner in the project. Furthermore, federal and state guidelines regarding privacy and accessibility, including those covered under the IITAA, still apply to content that is produced in a collaborative manner. Depending on the particulars of the collaboration, adherence to the Illinois Identity Standards may still be necessary.

12. Questions, Comments or Concerns about this Policy

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or requests for changes to this policy, please contact the current chair of the Web Content Working Group (http://www.library.uiuc.edu/committee/wcwg/charge.html).

13. Responsible Office for this Policy

Responsible Office: University Library Office of Services

Contact:

Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services and Associate Dean of Libraries
246 Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Drive,  Urbana, IL 61801. 217-333-0318.

Robert Slater, Assistant Professor of Library Administration and Web Technologies & Content Coordinator
246 Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801. 217-333-4789, rslater@illinois.edu .

Approved by:                             

Approved on:

Effective on: 

Review Cycle: As needed

Change History:

Initial approval, September 2008 by the Library Web Content Working Group
Initial approval, Oct 2008 by the Library Content Access Policy & Technology Committee (CAPT)