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Web > Web Committee Notes, 02 March 2010

Web Committee Notes, 02 March 2010

Web Committee Notes, 02 March 2010

The meeting began at 2:00 PM in the SMIL Screening Room at 2 PM.

Present: Cynthia Archer, Sarah Coysh, Dana Craig, William Denton (chair), Walter Giesbrecht, Angela Hamilton, Linda Hansen, F. Tim Knight, Nisa Lawson (secretary), Aaron Lupton, Louis St-Amour, Anna St. Onge

Guests: Bianca Merlo, Adam Taves

Notes from previous meeting

Notes from 02 February 2010 were approved. Guests Bianca Merlo and Adam Taves were welcomed.

Business arising

  • W Denton contacted Peter Rowley about the Open York workshop idea, and will report back.
  • W Denton sent out the link to the API documentation.
  • A Hamilton sent link to CMS documentation to reference-l and asked what people would like to see added.
  • FT Knight updated YUL’s LibX instance. W Denton reported that he had talked to Annette Bailey at Code4Lib 2010 and she was expecting good work to happen on LibX this spring, with two new students they have hired, so version 2 should not be too far away.
  • W Denton sent S Coysh links related to innovative pedagogical applications of Zotero.
  • A St. Onge and W Denton met to discuss existing and new ways of promotion and announcement on our web site.

CARRIED OVER: FT Knight to schedule a brown-bag session about Yahoo! Pipes (possibly 23 March).

CARRIED OVER: FT Knight to schedule a Zotero brown-bag session.

ACTION: W Giesbrecht to send links about discussions forums to the committee mailing list.

L St-Amour ran through a number of possible discussion forum applications we could use, depending on what the purpose is: vBulletin, Envision Powerboard, Get Satisfaction, Vanilla, ponBB, SMF, phpBB, and Google Moderator. Other suggestions: Reddit.

ACTION: L St-Amour to send all the names to the committee mailing list.

ACTION: C Archer to report back on OCUL director discussions about Scholars Portal building their own article-level search tool, similar to what Serials Solutions and Ebsco offer.


Robert Thompson created a mailing list open to everyone working on or interested in VuFind. To subscribe, e-mail with the following in the body of the message: subscribe yu-vufind Lastname Firstname. A couple of problems reported were referred to the mailing list where they can be tracked and everyone will see them.

Other web-related news and updates

There was some Feedback activity: requests for more detail in the citation sent by text and e-mail; a one-click way to report missing books; a slight delay when hovering over the red navigation bar.

The home page schedule is not yet filled in for the rest of March.

A St. Onge saw an OLA presentation from a librarian at the Gerstein at U of Toronto about doing home page book carousels with sets of books put together by faculty: their top ten or some other collection with a purpose. This gives and authoritative voice and a fresh perspective.

Site map and improved information architecture

S Coysh asked who would be interested in resuming work on the site map and revisiting the information architecture of our web site. W Denton and A Hamilton volunteered. This could be a good project for a FI practicum.

ACTION: S Coysh to follow up with A Hamilton and W Denton and begin this exciting work.


We have a Twitter account, created last year. Posting to it has fallen off. After some discussion of what to do with it, it was decided to give it regular attention and keep up posting until the summer, when we would look at it again.

The @yorkulibraries account has two style guidelines: 1. Speaking in the first person, as in, “My Scott branch is open all night tonight.” 2. Be cheerful.

ACTION: W Denton to get Twitter (and Facebook?) links on the home page.

ACTION: W Denton to send Twitter login information to FT Knight, and to follow up with L Sloniowski and J Dupuis, who have also done some posting.

A Lupton, “2: Create an environment of ongoing assessment”

A Lupton presented his draft plan for this part of the committee’s work. There are four steps to beginning:

  1. Identify what can be assessed.
  2. Identify tools for assessment.
  3. Identify who would be responsible.
  4. Identify schedules, timelines, and deadlines.

We will need to ensure:

  1. We establish regular user assessment activities.
  2. There are plans to address issues identified by those activities.

Much discussion ensued. The two biggest assessment activities done in 2009 were development of the new home page and testing around VuFind. L St-Amour questioned three points on the plan that included comments on assessment of physical things; but these would be up to the Library Services Committee to look at.

S Coysh suggested research guides as something else to test. There is work afoot (in ETIG and the ILC) about new ways of doing subject guides, and assessment and testing could come out of that.

ACTION: W Denton and A Lupton to meet to begin an assessment audit.

ACTION: A Lupton to draft a plan of testing whether and how we should create mobile web interfaces.

ACTION: L St-Amour will compile his thoughts on mobile interfaces to libraries and send them around.

MULER demonstration

A Lupton gave a demonstration of MULER (Management of University Library Electronic Resources), our eResource management tool that was developed last year by Library Computing Services. He showed how eResources are stored in it and what kinds of metadata is there. The system is a good one and everyone admired it.

Could information be added to MULER records that would help build subject guides? For example, could a resource be tagged with a faculty or program so that we could automatically suggest to student that it is good for their work? Could it be given a ranking, so that we could order things into some sort of best/helpful/other categories by subject? There was discussion about what kinds of metadata like this would be useful to help build better and customizable subject guides. There will be more to talk about as work on subject guides develops.

ACTION: A Lupton to find out if read-only access is available. Everyone who saw the demo would like to have this.


The meeting adjourned at 4:15 PM.

Next meeting: Tuesday 6 April 2010, 2-4 PM, SMIL screening room.

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