Library Committee Handbook

Web Content Working Group

Library Web Content Working Group Meeting Minutes April 17, 2008

Library Web Content Working Group
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Meeting Minutes
April 17, 2008
Main Library 428

1.       Call for volunteers for a "Library Intranet Requirement Gathering" task-force-committee-thingy. Peggy Steele, Lori Mestre, Laura Hanson & Beth Woodard have all expressed interest in being on this group.  Any other suggestions/nominations?

The consensus was that this was a project long-overdue (and one that has had many false starts in the past) and something that this group should pursue.  Several members pointed out various units that would benefit (or should benefit) from having someone serve on the intranet requirements working group. The final list of people to invite to this committee includes: Robert Slater (possibly as chair), John Weible, Darlene Chirolas, Peggy Steele, Lori Mestre, Laura Hanson, Beth Woodard, Cindy Kelly (or someone from HR) & Rod Allen (or someone from the Business Office). Finally, it was suggested that towards the end of  their work, the inranet requirement working group send out a library wide announcement of the general requirements they had drawn up, and ask for input/feedback, before sending the final report on to the Web Content Working group.

Michael Norman will need an update on the progress towards having a library intranet, since this will impact his units work on converting (or not converting) their content into the CMS.

There was a brief discussion on the viability of using the CITES-supported Confluence Wiki from Atlassian Software as a possible intranet platform. John Weible reiterated that it's important for the intranet requirements group to talk about what they need functionally out of a library intranet, and not base it on what platforms are available/liked. That said, John Weible's analysis thus far of the confluence wiki, based on ISDs use of it has been that it works as well as any wiki. It may not provide an aesthetically pleasing interface out of the box, and it suffers from some usability issues, but it's functional, supportable, and well integrate with AD.

2.       How about allowing any valid CSS (inline and style sheet class/selector based) in the CMS. Rather than imposing CMS based restrictions on CSS use, we can set policy that certain elements aren't to be overridden, and later, if this proves to be insufficient, implement the policy (where possible) in the CMS.

There was a great deal of discussion on this item, with most members agreeing that allowing inline styles was a generally "bad idea." However, there was some general consensus that we should open this up in a way that doesn't insert barriers to the web authorship process. There is a general consensus that there are too many barriers and gatekeepers for our users to be expected to create/use their own CSS.

From here, discussion focused on how best to allow our users to use CSS, but not let them alter required site wide elements (like the header and footer). The idea of setting a policy to control this rather than limiting this automatically through the CMS was raised.

One important issue that was raised was that if we open up the CSS, there needs to be a location for people to go to get help. There was general agreement that the Office of Web Technologies & Content Coordination (Robert & Camilla) will be the place people contact for help with CSS.

During wrap up discussion for this topic, the topic of where stylesheets could be linked to/from was raised. The group generally agreed that we shouldn't allow linking to stylesheets outside of the library server.

Robert will work on a draft Library Web Content Policy that he'll send out to the Web Content Working Group for feedback. Once we have agreed on the language for this policy, it will be sent on to CAPT to review. They will then either ask for amendments, or forward it on to the Executive Committee for a final vote to make it an official library policy. There was some discussion of sanctions/punishments that could reasonably be included in this policy to serve as a deterrent to individuals who might purposefully try to later their unit pages in a way that would remove them from the library-wide layout/style.

3.       New Version of library gateway easy search proposed: http://hades.grainger.uiuc.edu/templates/top-level/index.php

There was a brief review of this updated version of Easy Search, that includes a drop-down menu for subject area selection (that defaults to the general purpose databases Easy Search already targets, but allows for selecting different sets of databases). There was a rapid consensus on using this new version, so long as we make sure that the interface and results sets validate and meet accessibility requirements.

The meeting ran long, and the WCWG didn't get to discuss agenda items 4-7. Robert will send out the rest of these items for email discussion, and then set a meeting for discussion on for item's where we can't reach consensus over email.

4:00 Meeting adjourned